Gobble Gobble Therapy

November 29th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, the Big Bird is the gift that keeps on giving. BSK trimmed the Thanksgiving turkey of slices of white meat (kept some white and dark meat on the carcass). The carcass, water, vegetables and herbs went into the Instant Pot. Cooked for hours (BSK was vigilant about the timing). The result was a pure, rich, fragrant, turkey broth. (BSK got rid of the bones, vegetables, etc. in a colander). HG was feeling weak and sickly due to a sleepless night and some minor league health difficulties. BSK claimed that some big bowls of turkey broth would get HG back into the health zone. BSK said something about “electrolytes”, etc. BSK put some frozen peas and other frozen vegetables (a freezer edit) into the broth and added a healthy amount of pearl barley and garden herbs. Simmered the broth to soften the barley but not turn it into mush. Warmed the turkey slices in the magic elixir. Big bowl in front of HG who added smoked black pepper and crumbled salt crackers. Ate with joy. Had another bowl. And, yes, had a third bowl. Drank a fruity Cotes du Rhone. The result: A magical restoration of a lively and vigorous HG. Thanks, BSK and Big Bird.

Big Bird Reubens

November 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG is very fond of the Reuben sandwich. The best ever was served at the long closed Reuben’s Restaurant on Manhattan’s East 58th Street. It was classic. Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing on very good Jewish-style rye bread. Exteriors of the bread slices were buttered and the sandwich was grilled until the cheese melted and all the ingredients formed an amalgam of lusciousness. It was accompanied by French fries and pickles. Ballantine’s Ale was the beverage. The restaurant claimed it invented the sandwich but many dispute the accuracy of this. No matter. It was very yummy, whether or not they were the first to make it. Last night, faced with loads of left over white meat turkey, HG improvised a Turkey Reuben. Slathered the non-buttered bread sides with lots of Russian dressing. Then came two slices of Swiss cheese. Sauerkraut. Turkey. More sauerkraut. More Swiss cheese. These went into cast iron pans. Flattened with a spatula. Covered and sizzled. Though the bread was supermarket stuff, not a New York treasure, the sandwiches were mighty tasty. Went nicely with potato salad, left over cranberry sauce and lots of Bass Ale.

Gobble Gobble

November 26th, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

Yes, Thanksgiving/Turkey Day came and went. A day of happy overeating and television football watching. A tribute to self indulgence. HG/BSK’s nephew Matthew M. and his girl friend, the beautiful Allyson came to visit. Four people and a 16-pound turkey (the smallest available). Obviously, there was plenty of left overs, enough for a complete reprise of the dinner the next night. Later in the week will be turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey salad and there was a big chunk of turkey to accompany M. and A. on their trip back to their Colorado home. What else was on the table beside Big Bird? Cornbread, mushroom and sausage stuffing. Brussel sprouts with bacon. Mashed sweet potatoes with garlic. Traditional, buttery mashed potatoes. Braised pearl onions. Cranberry sauce. An abundance of gravy. Lots of great sweet things for dessert. Happily, Beaujolais Nouveau arrived and the dining quartet drank a great quantity of this year’s Georges Duboeuf product. Happy holiday, indeed.

Best Quicky

November 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

No, no. HG is not being naughty. The Greedy Old Guy is referring to the best cook-at-home quick meal. HG’s favorite is the long standing Tex-Mex treat: the Quesadilla. Simple. Place a few slices of swiss, cheddar or pepper jack on a flour (or corn) tortilla. Pop it in the toaster oven until the cheese melts. Fold it. Cut it in half. Eat. HG often enhances the Quesadilla with pico de gallo or fiery salsa. You can build on the basics. Add some sliced tomato or ham slices or cooked bacon to the cheese before toasting. Best of all, HG slips a few smoky, fiery chipotle peppers into the folded treat. A tasty quicky.

Sardine Dinner

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

During HG’s New York days, HG would often order a sardine platter at delicatessens (when not in the mood for pastrami) and dairy restaurants (when not in the mood for kasha varnishkes). Did a reprise of that meal for dinner last night. Sardines. Sliced tomatoes. Sliced sweet onions. BSK gave the vegetables a hit of good olive oil and a bit of wine vinegar. The sardines got a shower of capers and a squeeze of lemon. What lifted the dish to higher realms were the sardines. Matiz Gallego sardines. These are Spanish sardines harvested off the coast of Galicia. Thick, meaty sardines bursting with flavor. HG drank Bass Ale with the meal and sopped up the juices with Whole Foods ciabatta (Cadiz sardines also came from WF). In New York, HG would accompany the sardines with Jewish rye bread, pumpernickel or bialys and pletzels (onion rolls). Drank Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Tonic (a Noo Yawk perversion).

New Mexico Magic

November 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

A glorious New Mexico night. Crisp. Cool. Air fragrant with wood smoke. David F. and Karen K. hosted a prolonged cocktail hour at David F.’s home (five minutes from HG/BSK’s residence). A group of eight friends and neighbors gathered around David F.’s outdoor fire pit. Constantly fed with logs, the fire pit was a visual beauty and warm enough for comfort. The sky kept changing. A mini sunset. Then, waves of grey resembling the brush strokes of antique Chinese paintings. Lively conversation plus plenty of vodka and wine. Snacks of tortilla chips with melted cheese (queso), guacamole and refritos (refried beans). All wonderful. Dinner at home was prepared by BSK in record time. Spaghetti with olive oil, sliced garlic,vanchovies, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and bottarga (dried tuna roe). This is the kind of dish Romans eat after a night of carousing. HG/BSK followed their example. Dinner ended with red wine and two cheeses–French morbier and Italian truffle. A night to recall with pleasure.

Radish

November 12th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Food writer Alex Lobrano met the late, great Julia Child at a Paris bistro. She was eating sliced radishes with butter and sea salt flakes. JC remarked to Lobrano that a radish always reminded her how wonderful a very simple thing can be. HG agrees. HG also loves sliced red radishes from Santa Fe’s Farmer Market. Stronger black radishes from the Farmers Market are another HG fave. The red radishes are good with butter but HG prefers to smear the black guys with some duck fat. Icy vodka with the blacks. Red or white wine with the reds. BSK delights HG with a special salad of sliced red radishes, sliced baby white turnips, chopped fennel and chopped red onions. A savory accompaniment to fish dishes.

Eight Eight

November 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

88. That’s not “getting old.” It is old age. Yes, HG has arrived. Eighty Eight on November 9. Many warm greetings and wishes from family and friends. Birthday dinner at home with beloved BSK (and Toby, The wonder Dog, at HG’s feet.) Roaring flames in the fireplace. Heifetz and cellos on the Bose. Candle light. Dinner mixed French and Florentine elements. HG had a starter of buttered Santa Fe Farmers Market radishes (a Julia Child favorite) with cold Provencal rose wine. Then, on to a rib steak cooked very rare (“saignant”). Topped with grated garlic and a dash of olive oil. White cannelloni beans with sliced garlic and olive oil. (Yes, HG ate enough garlic to keep Dracula and his nefarious vampire cohorts away for years). Salad of juicy little tomatoes and chopped sweet onion. BSK cooked a New York strip to a pink juiciness. (BSK doesn’t share HG’s love for bloody meat). And, no massive amounts of garlic for BSK. Drank a BSK discovery, Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Josh vineyards. Big, mouth filling wine. Perfect with steak and cheese (the cheese course was French soft and runny cheese that was a cross between Camembert and Pont L’Eveque). Jameson’s Irish Whiskey after dinner. Vanilla bean ice cream later in the evening. Can’t blame greedy HG for wanting many more birthdays like #88. Stay away from the window sill, Moloch Hamoves.

Instant Pot

November 9th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

If you don’t have one, get one. Instant Pot is a splendid convenience that shortens the time for braising, roasting, stewing, etc. And, it helps to keep meat juicy while cooking to sublime tenderness. Last week, BSK browned a pork roast (saute setting) and then added apple cider vinegar,onions, garlic and rosemary. A roast with a crusty exterior and a moist, flavorful interior was the result. BSK reduced the juices and little brown bits of meat with white wine to create a lush sauce. On another evening, BSK used the Instant Pot to make congee (jook), the Chinese rice porridge. BSK added garlic, sea scallops and shiitake mushrooms to left over cooked basmati rice. The result wasn’t congee but rather a soupy risotto. Nevertheless, it was deluxe comfort food. BSK said next time there will be an adjustment in water proportions to make a more conventional congee.

Burger A La BSK

November 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG is not a hamburger fan. The burgers at Mickey Dee’s and its emulators are vile crapola. HG isn’t fond of burgers at upscale restaurants. The green chile burger at Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite) is nationally famous. Some food mags have called it best burger in USA. HG is unmoved. Finds it pedestrian. BSK breaks through HG’s burger bias with half pound burgers pan broiled in a cast iron pan (BSK uses 20% fat ground chuck because fat is flavor and an essential ingredient for a juicy burger.) BSK sizzles the burger until it’s pink in the middle. Melts a round of Mexican quesadilla cheese on top. The burger is the centerpiece of a hearty New Mexican dinner. BSK drenches the burgers in lush 505 Green Chile Sauce. Accompanies them with Goya black beans topped with chopped sweet onions and Mexican sour cream, On the table are sliced avocados plus pico de gallo (from Poaque Supermarket) and warmed flour tortillas. IPA ale for HG and Spanish Rioja for BSK. Joyous eating on chilly autumn evenings in New Mexico.