This Week

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This Week

This week 05-26-15

ALPO with mustard anyone?

I cook a lot, but I don't cook things because they're good, I cook them because of where they come from. I want to know what it tastes like to have dinner at a great restaurant in New York or San Francisco. My cookbooks are all from great chefs at their restaurants. No food network people, no "great chefs at home" cookbooks (I don't care what they do at home).  I want to know what it tastes like on Friday night, all dressed up, best table in the house, best thing you make. I don't care too much if I don't especially like it (although I won't make it again if I don't). One of my favorites is Tetsuya Wakuda's cookbook from his restaurant "Tetsuya's" in Sydney Australia. Restaurant Magazine ranked his restaurant #5 in the world a few years ago. Linguine with a Ragout of Oriental Mushrooms (that was really good), Roasted Lobster with Braised Oxtail (started out not looking too good, but when I finished it was great), Breast of Duck with Apple and Ginger Dipping Sauce (I could eat this every day), Slow-roasted Rack of Lamb with Miso and Blue Cheese (this stuff makes me cry), Lime and Ginger Crème Brulee (it's ok, but just ok…) …… Then there was Duck Terrine. You never see this kind of thing in restaurants any more. They still teach it in cooking schools, but it's mostly a lost art. I've had it at very, very fancy weddings and I've tasted it in places like Dean and Deluca. It's always a mixture of different meats, this one is duck, pork, and chicken. Sometimes chefs will put nuts in it or whole fruit or a layer of bacon down the middle, so that when you cut it you can see all these different things in the cross-section. It's like a big sausage. I made it exactly the way Tetsuya said. Cooked it perfectly, done on the outside, pink in the middle, Perfect!!! … tastes like dog food!!! I put mustard on it = dog food with mustard, I put BBQ sauce on it = dog food with BBQ sauce, sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, Tabasco, more salt …. It always testes like dog food. It did at that fancy wedding, it did at Dean and Deluca, it does everywhere. I'm sure it tastes exactly the way it's supposed to…  I put a big red X through the page and wrote ALPO across the top …..

Gods like that: Things don't turn out the way we wanted and we blame ourselves, but really, we did exactly what we were supposed to do. God just had different plans. It's ok, God picked you for a reason, he put you in that spot for a reason. You're not there because you're being punished, you're there because you were chosen. Now all you have to do is figure out what you were chosen to do…. Get it? Not punished, rather CHOSEN for the task. 

I wonder what ALPO tastes like with Miso and Blue Cheese?


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

OK, so Memorial day weekend you have to have potato salad. Right? Here's one thats totally different. But, everybody will love it because it's got bacon in it. This is so easy. Here's the trick to all potato salad. Don't mix it until you're ready to serve it. It is always, always best as fresh as possible.

This is from Melissa Clark from the New York Times
Her notes:  It’s best served warm while the bacon still glistens with fat, but is also nice at room temperature. Make it as close to serving time as possible. Or if you do make it ahead, consider popping it into the microwave for a minute or so just before serving.

Bacon and Shallot Potato Salad

2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size (((Or regular baking potatoes - Russet)))
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
½ cup thinly sliced shallot (((or sweet onions like vidalia)))
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, more to taste
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
 Black pepper, as needed
 Chopped parsley, for garnish (((Optional. Just there for color)))

Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them. Transfer to a large bowl. (((If you use baking potatoes put them in the oven and bake at 350 until they are soft and brown)))

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Stir shallots (((onions))) into the skillet with the bacon fat and fry for a minute, until just slightly crisped. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in shallots and bacon drippings. Crumble in bacon.

(((Stop HERE!!! .Until you're ready to serve.)))

Toss potatoes with dressing. (((Taste! Taste! Taste! Adjust seasonings, which can be Salt, Pepper, Vinegar, Sugar, Mustard, or Hot sauce. Remember you are always going for a balance of Hot, Sour, salty, sweet. If you achieve this you will always have a great dish. If you find youself tasting it over and over to correct the seasoning you are done. If you can't stop tasting, it's perfect.))).

Garnish with parsley serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)
186 calories; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 5 grams protein; 14 milligrams cholesterol; 283 milligrams sodium


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:36 AM