Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 07-28-15

Grandmothers pound cake

A friend asked me if I had a good recipe for pork tenderloin. She had no idea what I was thinking about.  Twice a year I start thinking real hard about a dinner I have in April and November. It's usually 20 - 30 people and 5 - 7 courses. I always cook a famous chef. Stephan Pyles is one of my all time favorites, his restaurant is in Dallas, and one of his courses is pork tenderloin with strawberry sauce and blue cheese sauce with pine nuts. Sounds kinda weird and the first time I made it I thought I was going to throw it out. But let me tell you, it's one of the best things I've ever made or eaten anywhere.. so I gave her the recipe. The thing about these dinners is that I have to plan it way ahead to make it work. I have 4 big limitations. I only have 4 days to get ready (it's a lot of prep), I have a little dinky kitchen with one 4 burner stove and one oven and one normal size refrigerator, It has to be the best meal of the year for everybody who comes and I have a budget. I have to shop like a poor person and I have to cook like a poor person. All the great food in the history of the world has come from poor people trying to make great food without spending a lot of money. So, to shop like a poor person, you only buy food that's in season. Remember it has to be cheap but it also has to be great. You can't buy tomatoes in January. You really can't do that at the grocery store because they have all kinds of out of season stuff and you don't know what's in season. Go to the farmers market, it's only a little cheaper, but everything is in season. The other thing you can do is shop where poor people shop. A 4 cup jar of Jasmine rice at the grocery store cost $4. A 50lb bag of jasmine rice at the oriental market costs $15. And last buy meat to flavor the dish, not to be the dish. Remember my pork tenderloin, 1 of those will serves 10… sauce is cheap, rice is cheap, noodles are cheap, bread is cheap, meat is expensive. How to cook like a poor person: everything is scratch. You make your own stock, make your own pasta, make your own bread.. By far the dish that most great chefs like cook for themselves is roast chicken. It's easy and it's great and it makes stock. 1 chicken, salt & pepper, 500 degree oven, cook till the juices run clear.. cut the legs at the joint and push down, then push just above the wing and the whole breast will come off. Keep the wings and the body. Put them back in the oven along with any other chicken parts that came with the chicken and roast till they are dark brown. Pot of water, 2 onions, 4 carrots, 1 turnip, roasted chicken parts.. slow simmer(small bubble) for 2 hours = world class chicken stock for about 50 cents. 2 eggs, flour & salt and you've got noodles.. a few veggies and you've got the best chicken noodle soup in the world. A few crackers and that's dinner tomorrow, remember you had roast chicken tonight. That's the way my grandmother used to cook, she grew up in the depression. That's how all the great chefs of the world cook, that's why they're great. Read through a cookbook by Thomas Keller or Gordon Ramsey or Paul Prudhomme or Marco White or Frank Stitt. Respect for food, respect for work, respect for money and respect for the people who eat your food.

God's like that. He gives us everything we need, we just don't know it. Greatness is all around you and all you see is traffic.

I think I'll make my Grandmothers pound cake tonight, eggs, flour, butter, sugar & milk.. about 20 min and $4 = the best breakfast in the world, everyday for a week… not to mention remembering what it felt like to be 10 and standing in her kitchen. Anybody want to lick the bowl?


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

My grandmother's pound cake .. almost too easy. A little more than 20 min, but way worth it.
here's the recipe - 1 lb of each. get it = pound cake:
1 lb Butter
3 ½ Cups Sugar
9 Eggs
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
½ Cups Milk
1 Tbsp Vanillia

Mix soften butter with sugar. Then Add eggs, milk, vanilla and flour.  Put in buttered and sugared tube pan, bread pan, iron skillet, whatever. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours, let it cool for 30 min.


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:19 AM