Category Archives: food

A letter to the Carrabba’s server from last night

Dear Waiter at Carrabba’s last night,

I know you have to deal with middle management flunkies, hostile kitchen staff, emotionally distraught dish washers, and that creepy dude/dude-ette on the prep line.  I get it.  I really do.  However, I feel I need to write this for you to read … and reread.  There are somethings that they either didn’t teach you or you slept  through in Carrabbas corporate training.  So, unfortunately I have to teach them to you now.

Read the rest of this entry

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Where are you Alanis Morisette???

Floor collapses in Weight Watchers clinic

The floor of a weight watchers clinic in Sweden collapsed beneath a group of people taking part in a weight loss programme. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe for a good day

1. Shopping objectives accomplished in 1.5 hours
2. Laughing about someones haircut with wife
3. Meeting up with a good friend for coffee and insanity in a craft store (see photo)
4. Finding a 1/2 price Le Creuset Dutch oven and buying it immediately
5. A couple rolls at Sekisui South for dinner

Everyday should be this good

On the go posting

This dim photo is evidence of one less Scotch Egg in the world as of last night.
I can feel your jealousy.

The Culinary Death Star

When my wife and I decided yesterday  that we were going out for dinner and her preference leaned toward “What ever you want…I don’t want to decide.”  I decided on SNACKBAR in Oxford, MS.  This place embodies everything that I like in a restaurant.  Good food, good music, good atmosphere, and raw shell fish.  As the 1st glass of wine, first 1/2 dozen oysters, and truffle/parmesean frites were ordered the discussion began over what the “meal” would be.  This act usually involves multiple partial  menu readings, wine sips, casual glances around to see what others are eating, and another reading of the menu all while talking about the day and upcoming plans.  It’s mental juggling 15 plus topics while the most important aspect of the WHOLE visit is dancing around in your head.  WHAT AM I GOING TO HAVE AS MY MAIN COURSE?

I have eaten many things at this restaurant.  However, one dish…one beautiful dish that initially was the most daunting thing that this southern boy has ever come across, stands out as what I mentally associate to this restaurant.  This culinary device has escaped my for 33 years, until I read it’s description on Snackbar’s menu.  As the horror and confusion made its way through my brain, I slowly realized that there was a caveat to my fear: YOU HAVE TO EAT THIS.  To the shock of my wife, I did.  I loved it.

As in the Star Wars movies, the Death Star is the ultimate icon in the movies…It’s purpose is to shock you and give you a sense of overwhelming awe.  Yes, I know it blows up, but that isn’t my point.  My point is this.  No matter what this restaurant does in the future, no matter how they change the menu, the decor, the wait staff…The Scotch Egg will float over that place like the Death Star pulling me with its tractor beam back again.

As I read the menu last night, my mind was reading:

“Duck Cofit…Scotch Egg, Croque Madame…Scotch Egg, Scotch Egg…Scotch Egg…”

I was powerless…Scotch Egg it was.  GREAT CHOICE.  It scared me…it pleased me…it made me happy.  Just like good food is supposed to.

Your homework is to eat one and THANK ME.

GO MAKE THIS TONIGHT!

Good

Here is a recipe: (you are welcome)

SCOTCH EGG

4 hard boiled eggs
1 lb. sausage meat
1 egg
1 tbsp. seasoned flour
1/2 c. crisp bread crumbs
Oil or fat to fry
Shell the hard boiled eggs. Press the sausage meat into meat squares on a floured board. Wrap the eggs in the sausage meat, making sure this is completely sealed without any air space on cracks. Brush with the beaten egg. Roll in bread crumbs. Heat oil and test it by placing a piece of stale bread with oil for 1 minute and it turns golden brown; 1 1/2 minutes if using fat. Put in the scotch eggs. Fry steadily for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Lift out, drain on crumpled paper and serve hot or cold. It is possible to bake these in the oven. Allow approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
(P.S. I like mine with some Dijon Mustard.  Just a little FYI)

My Food Network Wish

If I were granted some wishes from a genie in a bottle one would be to have dinner with 6 Food Network chefs.  Not because of their cooking style or food of choice, but because they look and appear on TV to be cool.  So, here are my top 6 Food Network chefs that I want to have dinner with. (In no particular order.)

Alton Brown:  Host of Good Eats and all around smart cookie.  I think this man is hilarious and wicked smart.  I would expect him to say things like, “You know pomegranates were once used for arthritus medicine because of their molypeptidal antioxidant qualities.”  (or something like that) He is cool plain and simple.

Michael Symon:  Iron Chef America icon.  He wasn’t chosen, he earned his way to Iron Chefdom!  I named my dog Symon after this man.  Humorous and always polite, I think he and I could talk about “guy” stuff  like why Van Halen was better with David Lee Roth and just hot Nigella Lawson really is.

Guy Fieri: Host of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives,  He and I would just eat things while not caring that we had food on our faces.  He bleaches his hair…I will let that pass because he KNOWS where some good grub lives and isn’t afraid to eat it.  After eating we would cruise in the ’65 and pimp our way on down the road listening to AC/DC or Jimmy Buffet.

Ted Allen:  the host of CHOPPED is hands down one of the funniest and arguably  the smartest man on FN.(NOTE: It’s between Ted and Alton for the Food Geek Crown.) As the host of Chopped he tells punks that don’t include one of the ingredients “Sorry, you don’t get ten thousand dollars and you aren’t the Chopped champion.” He and I would talk about how good a gin and tonic is in the summertime and why Guy Fieri needs to wear long pants in the kitchen.

The Neelys:  Hosts of Down Home with the Neelys

I love these people.  Being from Memphis, they are in the same geographic mindset I am in.  We could talk about Channel 5 news, why the pyramid was a bad idea, and “the spice fairy.”  If you have never seen their show, it is the most sexually charged chemistry between a married couple in a kitchen EVER.  She will say things like “Rub that meat big daddy!” and it not be too sexual for TV…but you know what she means.   He says things to her like “You know I am gonna whip this merangue up, Momma!”  It is kinky bedroom talk in the kitchen. AWESOME!

NOTE:  If you watch FN, you may notice that they put star anise in everything now days.  Don’t do it.  Trust me.

I was corrected by the wife after posting on 2 points:

1) Star anise is “UMAMI” enhancing (I still feel it doesn’t go in EVERYTHING)

2) Nigella Lawson is not a “beauty for the ages” but she is “incredibly sexy.”   My wife is so right, esp. about Nigella. <growl>

Sometimes learning is depressing

Monsanto is a name that those of us in the south grow up hearing.  It is synonymous with farming, cotton, seeds, soy beans, and farmers that you know and see everyday.  It has a non-intrusive, non-threatening, “we love farmers” vibe around here.  With Round-Up selling as fast as they can produce it and their Round-Up Ready Soy Beans and Cotton genetically modified seeds, needless to say they are more than a minor influence in the southern United States. So, when I saw the documentary “The World According to Monsanto” listed on my DirecTV guide, I immediately flagged it to record.  What I learned shocked me and really made me think about what Monsanto and its genetically modified seeds are doing for food production and the “intellectual rights” associated to a seed produced by a plant.

We learn in grade school that plants grow from a seed of some sort.  When that plant continues to grow it produces seeds of its own.  The plant does this so the plant can propagate its species.  You may assume that if you grow something from a seed you can replant the seeds that original plant produces and grow more plants.  That may be true…sometimes.  It is never true for a Monsanto seed.  Farmers must sign contracts that state they may not keep any seeds produced by the plants that they grow from Monsanto seeds.  Monsanto uses this policy to protect their “intellectual property.”

We also learn about cross pollination in grade school.  If a farm growing seeds bought from Monsanto cross pollinates with another crop near there grown from non-Monsanto grown seeds. The result is both fields produce genetically modified crops that fall under Monsanto’s GM seed property rights and the non-Monsanto crop owner will be sued. Mr. Schmeiser won is his ordeal, but hundreds others haven’t.

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE.

MONSANTO OWNS PATENTS FOR “TERMINATOR SEEDS” These seeds will yield pants with sterile seeds so farmers will have to buy MORE seeds next year and the next year and the next year.  This coupled with their stance on “seed savers” MONSANTO POLICY The only reasonable motivation is domination and control of the global food market.

WAIT, with all this talk about global food production and market domination, I have missed one important question… Is genetically modified food safe to eat? Well, Reports vary.  However the American Academy of Environmental Science has issued a moratorium on GM foods.  According to their study GM foods caused damage to the organs to animals who ate it.   Here is their position paper concerning their findings and an excerpt from that paper.

“However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”

In all fairness this may be a biased study…WHAT?  A former Monsanto employee feels GM food is unsafe????

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

So this study is saying that GM crops, like the ones Monsanto manufactures, are unhealthy to consume and cause health problems. I need to calm down….

Well thank god we have non GM foods to consume….ummm, apparently not.

“As of 2001, 75 percent of all food crops grown in the United States were genetically modified, including 80 percent of soybeans, 68 percent of cotton, and 26 percent of corn crops.”

Just to make it worse:  Here are the Top 10 Dangers of GM Foods

Well shit.

All I can say now is that we need to be more informed.   We just need to know that when we stop to smell the roses,  it may be a genetically “enhanced” blue rose.

 

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