Archive | Food RSS feed for this section

Oeufs Durs

27 May

*she really didn't need the paprika

As promised and just in time for Memorial Day, I bring you Deviled Eggs. I titled this oeufs durs just because I know how to spell it and it doesn’t require any special accents, and also because I would like any French people that end up here to know that they, collectively, all of them, yes you too French person saying  mais non, are doing it wrong. If anyone is wondering what French deviled eggs are like, they aren’t. They simply don’t exist.  Not to say that they don’t enjoy a good egg, they do, but the French iteration is severely wanting in flavor. Basically it’s a hard-boiled egg with some mayonnaise squirted on top. I know, right? Gah.

First, if at all possible you should farm your deviled egg making out to a trusted relative who prepares them in the identical manner that you do, and yes, Jamie, I am looking at you. They are a pain in the ass to make and at some point you will end up cussing or crying or both. Almost every family, from Maine to California, has someone known for their deviled eggs. Should you be the odd family that lacks this person, with this recipe, you can be it. But beware, it is a double-edged sword. We all want the glory, but with that glory comes the knowledge that you will be making the fucking eggs, forever. You’ve been warned. Brave people proceed.

The eggs themselves are a tricky matter. If you’re oh so proud of your organic-just-bought-at-the-collective-fresh-out-of-a-chicken’s-ass eggs, good for you, but you’re basically fucked*. They won’t peel. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it. Make my day. The key to the eggs is that they not be too fresh, nor too old. Kind of in pear territory here, I think you all know what I mean.

The boiling, cooling, peeling process is much debated and researchable online. Every one from Julia Child to Martha Stewart has weighed in on the subject, and the reason for this is everyone from Julia Child to Martha Stewart has fucked some up. So do whatever your Mom told you to do. Seriously. It doesn’t really matter that much. The peeling Gods are with you or they have forsaken you that day. Walk it off.

I am going to trust that you have taken the boiling time to have your cocktail mixed and, did you just use the clean end of a dirty fork to stir that? Gross.

Anyway, here’s what you need:

The perfectly-aged yet not yet bad eggs. The formula is two eggs per guest. One to fuck up peeling and one good one to halve per guest. Use the fucked up ones to make egg salad.

Mayo, sour cream, mustard (dry or wet), horseradish, Worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper.

What you don’t need: Pickles, onion, relish, or anything green. Put all that shit away. Resist the temptation to add a sprig of anything to dress them up. Sprinkle paprika if you need to detract from your fucked up peeling, otherwise, go commando with your eggs. Also, a piping bag, unless they are for your soon to be Mother-in-Law, then by all means, do what you have to.

Halve the good eggs and put the yolks in a mixing bowl. Save the whites to fill. Did that part even need to be said?

This is where it gets tricky, as there aren’t really measurements, per se. I do not know how big your yolks are. The key here is to remember your Mom’s admonition that you can always add more but you can’t take it out. No one likes a runny deviled egg. Add 1/2 mayo and 1/2 sour cream and a squirt of mustard. Start with a forkful of horseradish and two dashes of Worchestershire sauce and blend it together. Also, if you need a real recipe, there is always deviled eggs dot com. It’s run by someone named Irene, and I think that says enough right there.

Once you’ve achieved the fluffy-moussy consistency desired, spoon the gak back into the whites. Hopefully you registered for a deviled egg plate for your first wedding. If not, put them on whatever plate you don’t care if you see again and head to the cookout.

I think what I’m really trying to say here is, Jamie, will you make the eggs? You know you do them wayyyyy better than I do.

*organic. yeah. got that. city people are funny.

Ribs, St. Louis meets Lexington via Aix-en-Provence.

22 May

St. Aix-Boro-lex-a-licious Ribs.

Not really sure that’s an actual title, but who really cares? Here’s the rub. No, not that rub, like, the deal. I am a Midwestern girl, but with nuance. I make The Best Fucking Ribs Ever. I know that everyone, regionally speaking, believes that they have the best, insert your region’s famed dish here, whatever… But really, listen, these ribs are like taking a Lewis and Clark type expedition through the heart of America’s best rib regions and then shipping the fuckers to France for the finishing glaze. I am not kidding you.

First of all, and let’s get this out of they way quickly, you can’t doubt my recipe or my method. I realize that YOU, whoever the YOUS are, have your way, and that’s cool. But this is THE way. Kinda like Jesus, but with more meat.

First, the meat. Baby backs only please. It’s really not worth fucking with anything else. When you buy them, however much you think you need, double that. My personal minimum is 3 racks, but you do what you have to.

Second, a pressure cooker. A big-ass pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, you need one. Go get one off Ebay and come back later when you have it. This recipe absolutely will not work without it. And all you sous vide people, and I am looking at you, Ezra Klein, kiss my ass. Pressure cooker = sous vide on crack. You pussies. Maybe pussies is a bit strong. You employed people with the cash to try new shit. I may be bitter. It happens.

First, assemble the basics. Ready?

One onion, halved. One beer. Sea salt. Ground pepper. Red pepper flakes. Maggi seasoning sauce, and no, I don’t know what’s in it and I don’t care. Herbes de Provence. Got all that?

I assume by now that you have your cocktail in hand. If you made my slaw, or my choucroute, you know the drill. Unless you are in AA, there is no reason to do this sober.

Wash and pat dry the ribs. Liberally coat them in sea salt. Heavily cover them in ground pepper. Rub in the herbes de Provence and dash on a few shakes of  red pepper flakes. Add a few, okay 12, splashes of Maggi and pray that your pressure cooker’s gasket holds. Curl the racks inside. Yes, I know all the herbs are going to fall off, but it’s much less dramatic to add them after the fact. You must feel as though you have rubbed the meat. Ha. I said, “rubbed the meat.” Yes, I have the humor of a 13 year-old.

Once your meat is in place….heh, again with the meat….add in the bottle of beer. Add enough water to make 3 inches of water in the bottom of the pan. Close this monster truck of a cooker and hit the gas. Fire it up until the steam rises and the release is hopping up and down like a Meth addict hiding Easter eggs. I know. There is little about Meth addicts and Easter egg hiding in the way of behavioral studies; I just find it humorous. It’s how I roll.

Now, hurry the Hell up, you need sauce. Not just sauce, but sauce(s). Here’s what I do:

A traditional Mesquite sauce, I used K.C. Masterpiece, but it doesn’t matter. Add three dashes of red wine vinegar and a teaspoon of minced garlic.

The second is a combination of 2/3rds Thomas sauce and one-third Texas Pete. (These are your NC ribs.)

The third is a half and half combo of Soy Vay, Veri Veri Teriyake sauce and Gyoza dipping sauce, in a nod to our Jewish (Ezra) and Asian friends.

Did I mention that when you start pressure cooking the ribs you should start the grill? No? Sorry. You should have. 350 degrees. You might want to clean it as well. Do I have to tell you everything?

So where were we? Oh yes, sauce. By now the steam should have risen and your ribs should be cooked through. Ease them carefully out of the pot and onto whatever you plan to use to transport them to the grill. Do not break them up.

Place them gently on the grill and allow the heat to dry them for at least 5 minutes. The remaining herbes de Provence should be crusty and bones protruding from the ends. Baste each rack with a different sauce. I like to do traditional to hot to sweet, but absolutely decide for yourself here. Go ahead, play with it, it’s your thing now. The key is to serve all 3 flavors at the same time.

If you have any sense at all, you’ll serve them with Nanny’s slaw or corn on the cob. If you like your starch more traditional you can always go with home-cut fries. But like I said, I’m Midwestern, so outside the corn or fries, I’m fresh out of ideas for you. Unless, of course, you want to devil some eggs. Recipe to follow.

I Am Sorry Iron Hen.

18 May

You are too hip. Almost tragically so…

You are not Grandma-friendly. I can’t go to you. I can’t wheel Grandma in and spend twenty minutes at your ultra-rushed counter trying to explain why you have taken a perfectly simple thing like slaw and fucked it up with red cabbage, walnuts and wasabi/horseradish sauce. I just can’t. There are some things that just are, slaw being one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, you have some good things. You know you do and you sell the shit out of them every day, but really, sweet potato chips? Really? They are pretty to look at, but they suck. They have the consistency of a scab and salt will not stick to them, and really, if a side can’t even hold salt, what’s the fucking point?

Gluten free this and eco-friendly that. I am tired just thinking about you. You wear me out. I guess maybe 8 years ago I could have mustered some enthusiasm for this slowcavore stuff, but not now. I am Earth Day’d out. I just want a sandwich. I don’t want to stand in line, I don’t want to wonder what in the hell Tasso gravy is. I don’t want a photo of my wait staff on my table.

Actually, I think Grandma and I will just head into Brown-Gardiner and try and decipher your fauxhemian menu over a patty melt and toast our good decision with an orangeade. Though I fear in doing so, we may accidentally be giving ourselves the ultimate hipster reach-around in going old school.

Maybe we’ll both wear our Converse high tops. But only ironically, you know?

Jesus This Smells Bad

18 May

Choucroute Greensborianne

Anything that smells like this has got to taste better, doesn’t it? Let’s hope so. As you can see, we are not afraid of cabbage in this house. The eastern European heritage of the homeowner combined with the German influence of the other two occupants makes for one foul smelling kitchen. The things I will do to cabbage are endless, like today’s recipe, in which I basically empty it in its rotten, fermented form, along with all the other usable contents in my fridge to create this masterpiece:

France meets Germany meets Greensboro, or what I like to refer to as Choucroute Greensborianne. Provided you’ve got the trash on hand to throw it together, it’s a 5 minute (prep) recipe for happiness on a wet, dark day.

What you’ll need:

First, you have got to like sauerkraut, if not, this is never going to work for you no matter how much you drink while preparing it. But go ahead and start drinking anyway; it’s only getting later in the day.

3 cans of vile, fermented cabbage

2 cans of potatoes, the baby kind. Do not peel potatoes for this recipe, it’ll just slow you down and make your house stink longer.

Almost anything in your fridge you want to get rid of. Those last three slices of bacon, toss them in. That wilted celery heart? In it goes. The last quarter bag of baby carrots the kids didn’t eat? Them too.

One onion. Can’t skimp on this. Quarter it and throw it in.

Cover the top in celery seeds.

This dish does need a meat base. Luckily it can be anything from a left over pork chop to an actual sausage, or fuck it, even a pack of hot dogs will work. French people like to put in duck, to which I say, whatever French people. I tend to not have duck just floating around in my fridge.

The key to this choucroute is the layering. Meat goes in first, then it is covered in the sauerkraut. All other ingredients are tossed at the pan from a distance as to avoid smelling the horrid mess. The celery seed goes on last as a control measure. Drink the entire time you’re preparing this as a precaution. DO NOT STIR OR OTHERWISE DISTURB THE STINKY POT. COVER IT AND GO TO ANOTHER ROOM.

It should be simmering on a very low heat. As the steam rises and builds up, the celery seed should slide down into the pot and no longer be visible on the top. I hope for your sake that you have a glass lid through which to check the progress.

OH MY GOD. You are going to have to go back and open the pot. Damn it, I forgot to tell you to add a bottle of beer. DOWN THE SIDE! Not on top of the celery seed. I am sorry about that. But since you have beer, you may as well drink one. If you’re more French than German, use white wine, but now you have a bottle to finish.

How to know when this is done:

1) You can no longer stand the smell.

2) The celery seeds have disappeared into the sauce.

3) The quartered onion is cooked through.

4) You are now drunk and hungry enough to eat it.

To serve: With a spatula or really large spoon, scoop out a layer and plate it. Fish out a few of those potatoes and smash them with a fork. Drizzle sauce over them. Make sure you got some of the meat. Serve with a dollop of French mustard, Amora, preferably and use the remainder of the beers to wash it all down. When finished, toss the plate in the vicinity of the sink. Take a nap.

Things I Hate About Grandma.

12 May

What?

Well it’s certainly no fun to have a blog if you can’t show your asshole side from time to time. Also, the main reason I don’t allow comments. You can think I’m an asshole all you want, but if you want to say it, you’re going to have to put on your big boy pants and email me. And for any haters out there, yes, there will be a Things I Love About Grandma, fair and balanced, just like her favorite fucking news channel.

Today’s thing I hate about Grandma:

She eats breakfast.

Like every fucking day. All of them. Yes, Sunday too. I loathe breakfast, except on Sunday, when it’s called brunch and I can have it with liquor. Also, only when it is served to me, preferably on the patio at Europa. Every other day, no bite of food passes my lips until at least three or four in the afternoon, yet each frigging morning, I have to awake, generally sometime before noon, and make fucking breakfast.

I am never in the mood to make breakfast. Even pouring a bowl of cereal and getting out milk annoys the shit out of me. I wake up an asshole most mornings, unless, oddly, I have to get up early and then I am irritatingly cheerful. Go figure. Fucking with the cereal box, screwing with opening that hermetically sealed bag, seeing more raisin than bran in the bowl, or vice versa. I hate it. Finding the clip thingy to close the damn bag. Screwing with the giant gallon of milk. God, especially when it’s not been opened and weighs 14 pounds. Question. Is there any way to pour the first pour from a new gallon without some splashing out?

On the days when it’s not cereal (the not hung over days) it’s bacon and toast. I hate having appliances and shit on my counter. Things I want on my counter are the coffee maker and the knife block. Period. The end. The toaster is just about the last thing I want on my counter, coming in just above ants and below a cat. The damn thing is nothing but a crumb factory. A damn mess. Stupid fucking toaster. Then, the bacon. Oh my good God do I hate the smell of smoldering pig fat emanating from the microwave. And forget a pan, the popping fat, oh Jesus no.

Then, the worst of all, eggs. At least once a week I will do eggs. This is the same day of the week that I will refuse to cook dinner. I think she is picking up on the pattern as the request for eggs has fallen dramatically. This is perfectly fine with me. I only like my eggs one way, served by a waiter.

On a more positive note, the breakfast routine has become a bit easier as Grandma transitions from being totally spoiled by Jamie. (Sorry Jame, true) When she first arrived, I’d ask her what she wanted for breakfast and she’d reply with her pat answer, “Oh,  just whatever’s handy.” Put through the Grandma translator this means, “I want eggs.” The first morning I clarified that this response was unacceptable by stating in a very asshole way, “none of it’s handy Grandma. I have to make all of it.”

The second day, as Grandma is incredibly hard to train, I got the same response. I gave her beets and cottage cheese. And damn it, she ate it. I knew I’d have to bring my A game the following morning.

Morning 3, “Grandma, what do you want for breakfast?” Same response, but I was ready for her. I poured her a shot of Jim Beam and handed her a can of sauerkraut and a can opener. Point taken. Now, I no longer have to even ask the question. As she lowers herself into the chair at the breakfast table, she blurts out her order like a drunk in a diner at 3am. “I’ll have toast and bacon!”

Please be sure and come back for installment 2: Her Dog.

Okay So the Last Post Was a Total Fucking Bummer, Let’s Make Slaw!

5 May

Nanny's fucking awesome slaw recipe, you're welcome.

Man. Nothing cures like a butter burger with this slaw as a side. I had to endure years of judgement and Grandmotherly bitchiness, not to mention houses without air conditioning and way too many relatives squeezed around card tables to get it, but you…..you get it for free, no effort and sans the wrath of Nanny. Ready?

Okay, so first you’re going to want to pour a glass of wine. (Jamie, you may proceed with Diet Mountain Dew and 100 proof Smirnoff, you’re welcome), do we all have our drinks? Then let’s proceed.

First: Cabbage. Yes, cabbage. It’s slaw assholes. Get out your dirty food processor and discern that it doesn’t work because your niece broke it. Cuss her. Then get out a knife and get to chopping. And don’t be a pussy, do the whole head. Slaw goes with everything, and on the off-chance that someone dies, it’s always a hit at the after funeral buffet. If no one dies, have a party. See? Slaw is awesome. Dead or alive.

Second: DO NOT PRESENT ME SLAW WITHOUT CARROT PIECES. Get out the carrots and grate them. Not too much, just enough for color. Yes, I know no one can taste the carrots and I don’t give a shit. Nanny said carrots. Put them in. Drink more wine.

Third: Celery seed. Not celery. If you put celery in it, the ghost of Nanny will come and kick your ass. Don’t have any in the pantry? Go get some, slackard. I’ll wait.

Got the celery seed? Good. Coat the entire top of the slaw mound with it. Then repeat with pepper and salt. If you want to get fancy you can use cracked or freshly milled pepper and sea salt, but if you do, you’re kind of a douche and probably shouldn’t have this recipe. Quit reading now please.

Fourth: And this is the secret. Don’t tell anyone else. The dressing. The sauce. The vinegary thingy that goes on it. Write this down.

One part red wine vinegar. (Jesus. Are you going to the store again?)

One part oil. Whatever edible kind you have.

One part water.

And sugar to taste. LOL. (In Nanny’s terminology, TO TASTE = approximately one-third of a cup.)

Heat this shit on the stove until your kitchen smells like a hot dumpster. While you’re gagging on the smell, cook some bacon, like 5 or 6 slices. Crispy, for crumbles. Don’t question me, just do it. It’s good.

Now, take that hot mess of a dressing and pour it onto the already stinking cabbage/carrot/celery seed mixture. Stir it in good while it wilts the cabbage. If you begin to gag, take another drink of your wine. You’re almost there.

Your bacon should now be almost burnt. Good news. It’s just how you want it. Remove from stove, burn yourself because you’re kind of drunk now, and blot with paper towels. Eat one slice and refresh your drink, crumble the rest and set aside.

Serve slaw in small ramekins. Jesus Christ, you don’t have those either? Whatever. Serve the damn slaw in whatever your Neanderthal ass has on hand and top with crumbled bacon.

Savor. Thank Nanny, but most of all me, for making this with her over and over until I got it right. Drink more and wish her a happy Mother’s Day.

Nanny’s Slaw: Serves 2 Mid-Westerners or 8 normal folks.

Today in Grandma Torture

24 Apr

Bruschetta.

Yes.

I had a stale-ish baguette. I wanted to use it. I had six tomatoes. I mentioned casually to Grandma that I was going to make some bruschetta to nibble on in place of dinner.

Her spine stiffened. Her jaw was set. “I don’t want any of that.”

Of course not. My bad. I should have known to call it tomato salsa on toasted French bread, but I fucked up. I get tired. It happens.

There was no recovery from the original description. It was foreign and therefore, possibly poisonous.

Just wait until I whip up a Blanquette de Veau.

Holy Mother of Maude.

I took her two topped slices and left them in her room. Came back in 10 minutes to check. Yep. Gone.

Bruschetta. Old People Poison.