This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week


Several years ago there was a beep going on during the sermon, especially at 9:30. About 9:35 a bunch of staff people started to panic because they could hear it even during the music. It was loud. About every 20 seconds BEEEP.. BEEEP.  I was getting text messages and phone calls. Of course I was out in the parking lot with the ConeHeads.. I got inside and started looking back stage. I could hear it, I just couldn't find it. I knew it could be only 2 things, an emergency light ballast going bad or an old smoke detector with the batteries about to die. I looked at the 2 emergency lights, they were fine. That's bad! Had to be a smoke detector.. It turns out that when they were building the sanctuary they mounted several home smoke detectors in the catwalk...maybe a fire code requires it? Then when it came time to paint all of the ironwork black, the smoke detectors got painted too along with the little red light. So you can't see them at all, everything is black. All you can do is wait and listen and move toward it. Then wait and listen and move again. Just when you think you've found it, it beeps again, but it's behind you.. wait, listen, move... wait, listen, move... So there we were, Brian Albrecht and I, up in the catwalk in the middle of Eli's sermon looking for this black smoke detector on a black wall in the dark, trying to be quiet, can't talk to each other, have to fine it quick... Wait, listen... BEEEP... move... wait, listen... BEEP... move... Brian found it halfway through the sermon, pointing at it, asking me if that was it, as I ripped it off the wall and tore it apart... There's probably 10 more of them up there, except they're not beeping yet... I guess we need to go find them some day….

God's like that: Sometimes he's hard to find, you're not even sure he's there. God tells us to Wait, Listen and move towards him. You can't run around and make noise. You have to be quiet. He's right there, so close. Wait, listen, move... Wait,listen,move...wait..

Maybe I just need to get a bunch of smoke up there and set the rest of them off.. probably set the whole building off and the fire dept would come. Maybe I'll just call the fire guys and ask them to come help me find them. They're always asking me about going up in the catwalk. It could be a fieldtrip! I know they would like that...


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

A Great sauce can make anything better. Always think Hot, Sour, Salty Sweet in ballance.

This week it's Thomas Keller. This is a warm vinaigrette type sauce.

Thomas Keller's Serrano Ham Vinaigrette:

6 slices of bacon (or 1 /3 cup bacon fat)

1 1 /2 cup chicken stock/broth

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large shallot finely chopped (if you don't have a shallot, use 1 /2 of an onion

1 /3 cup chopped smoked ham (cheap)

5 1 /2 tbsp golden brown sugar (light brown)

1 / 4 cup red wine vinegar
1/ 4 cup finely chopped Serrano ham or Prosciutto (about 2 oz) If you don't have this, skip it, it's not a big deal.

For "hot" you may want to add some Tabasco or slice up some Serrano chillies(no seeds) and add to the stock. Strain it all out. Don't get crazy with this. You could just add some pepper.

Cook bacon until the fat is rendered and transfer the fat to a measuring cup. (you can eat the bacon if you want..) You need 1 /3 cup, if you don't have it add some vegetable oil to make up the difference.

Boil stock in a sauce pan until reduced to 1 cup. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in pan. Sauté shallot for 3 min, add ham, brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir until it is syrupy, about 2 min. Add reduced stock and boil for 3 min. Pour through a strainer. Taste, Taste, Taste!! Hot, sour, salty, sweet .. 

When you're ready to serve, re-heat the vinegar mixture and whisk in the bacon drippings slowly. Then add the Serrano ham. Serve it over pork chops, pasta, rice or just get a big hunk of bread and dunk.  Dunking out of the pan while standing over the stove is the best way to eat this. Double dipping is allowed, it's your kitchen and your sauce, do what you want! Run it through the strainer again if there are too many bread crumbs in it. Nobody will know.  



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:54 AM