Mack's Corner

This Week

The Flame

I'm not sure why changing light bulbs is so eventful, but when I do it, it seems to be … All of our house lights are actually stage lights, which is nice because that means you can change the bulb from the back. The front part of the light is just a case and a lens. The small back part that comes out holds all of the electronics and the bulb. What I always do is turn the lights on about 40% and then ride around on my lift replacing the ones that don't work. All of these bulbs are 575 watts so they are really hot when they are lit, "like burn through a pair of leather gloves in less than a second" hot.. Each bulb has 4 filaments that look like little springs that are about 1/2 an inch long and they're all filled with some gas that keeps the filaments from burning up. The bulbs don't screw-in, instead they have 2 little prongs on the bottom that punch in. That way you don't have to hold super hot bulb to screw it all the way in, you just push it in holding the base, takes half a second and you can get your hands away before it heats up. Then you can put it back in to the case and screw it back in while it's lit … nothing to it??? … So there I was changing light bulbs in the sanctuary. I had just pulled one out of the case, gotten a new bulb, had it in place ready to punch in. With thumbs on both sides of the bulb, I pushed…. Snap… BOOM!!! .. The whole bulb exploded, glass went everywhere down below me. The odd thing was that the filament was still intact and lit and flaming and in my hand. At first I thought I was going to get burned but I was holding the base, so it wasn't hot. It glowed a bright orange, the color you see in fake fireplaces, about 3 inches tall with a large flume of smoke flowing off the top. You could see the filaments inside the flame and even though it was on fire it was comforting. I just stood there and watched until someone said "Aren't you going to set off the fire alarm?"  … What? ..WAKE UP!!! … I smashed the light against a bar to short out the bulb and waved the smoke away…… 
God's like that: We live with our pain so long that even though our life is burning down all around us, it's kinda comforting … WAKE UP!!! God puts people all around you to pull you through. He's got way more for you to do than sit around being sad. Go help somebody, do something positive, quit worrying about the past. Never look back, never give up. God is right there with you … He's got stuff for you to do….

Maybe I can make an electric candle, fire and all???


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

Cooking at Home Continued …

Charlie Trotter is one of the greatest chefs ever. Here is a complete dinner from him...

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic sauce and Leek-Tomato Quinoa …

For the sauce:

2 cups milk

2 large heads of garlic, cut off the top 1/3 (the pointy part) to expose the cloves..

1/2 cup Olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock (store bought is ok, real stock is better)

For the Beef:

1 1/2 pound piece beef tenderloin trimmed.. (Go to Charlie's Meat market and get him to cut you one so you don't have to buy one of those 6 pound things in plastic at the grocery store… tell him to trim it for you too.. tell him I sent you..)

2 tbsp olive oil

Leek-Tomato Quinoa:

1 1/2 cup quinoa 

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

2 cups finely chopped leeks (white part only)

1/4 cup chicken stock (store-bought is ok)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 medium size tomatoes, seeded, chopped

3 tbsp chopped green onions

3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Sauce:
Pre-heat the oven to 350

Put the milk in a small pan and add the two garlic heads (tops cut off). You want the milk to cover the garlic. Bring the milk to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. This is going to take out a bunch of the sharp garlic taste. Remove the garlic, discard the milk. Place the garlic in a small oven-proof dish and pour the 1/2 cup of olive oil over it. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until soft, about 55 min.

Remove the garlic from the oil and let both of them cool. Pour the oil in to a measuring cup and add enough extra oil to make 1/2 cup. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the head by holding it by the root end and pushing them out. Put this in a blender/food processor. Add the oil and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Puree until smooth. Taste, taste, taste … season with salt and pepper.. You can make this the day before, cover and chill. Re-heat over low heat, just to heat through… If it breaks (separates) put it back in the blender …

For the beef:
Prepare your Grill, medium heat. Rub oil all over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill beef to desired doneness, about 22 min for med-rare … OR  if you're like me and not really in to grilling everything, skip the grill. After you rub on the oil and salt and pepper, sear the meat in a skillet all over so that you get a nice brown color. Then put it in the oven (do this in the oven at the same time you're doing the garlic. Start the garlic 30 min before you add the meat.) Stick a meat thermometer in it and cook to 110 for rare, 120 med rare… never more than 130  for beef..

When it's cooked, take it off the grill or out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes..

For the Quinoa:

Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear (just like rice). Mix quinoa, water and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until quinoa is just tender and almost all of the water is absorbed, about 20 min.. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat and add leeks. Cook for 5 min.

Add stock. Cover and simmer for 5 min. Add quinoa and olive oil. Cook until heated through …

Stir in tomatoes, green onions, basil and lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper … 

To Serve:
Re-heat the sauce and the Quinoa… Cut the beef crosswise in to 1/3 inch slices.. Spoon the Quinoa onto 4 plates. Top with beef slices, then sauce….   Now you're eating like Charlie Trotter for less than $15. Cool!



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:53 AM