Orange and Blue

February 16th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Super Bowl day. HG was clad (courtesy of Uniqlo) in Bronco colors–a lounge outfit consisting of an orange shirt and blue pants. Warm and comfy fleece. HG was prepared for a Panthers win. The Broncos defense had stifled two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL–Tom Brady of the Patriots and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers. These are relatively immobile QB’s–classic “pocket” passers. HG thought Cam Newton, a swift and powerful runner as well as an accurate passer, would be too much for Denver’s stout defense. HG was wrong. HG had underestimated the speed and power of the Denver defenders (as well as the intricate plan devised by Wade Philips, Denver’s defensive coordinator). A tough day for Cam Newton but a happy day for HG/BSK and their many Colorado pals (HGBSK lived on a Denver foothills horse ranch and in a Denver apartment for more than 20 years). HG had intended to dine on roast beef-onion-duck fat sandwiches during the game. Cold weather indicated a switch in culinary plans. BSK made a big pot of fiery chili. Chopped onions. Grated Mexican cheese mix.Three types of salsa. Sour cream. Sliced avocado. Ample tequila and Santa Fe Brewing Company Black IPA Ale. Genuine western treats. A comment about the televised extravaganza. The crowd booed Tom Brady (who, as usual, looked movie star handsome and GQ stylish) when he made an appearance as one of the MVP’s of past Super Bowls. Why? Must be jealousy. He has been named MVP of three Super Bowls and is married to the beautiful Gisele Bundschen. The lady also is an astute businesswoman who earns millions every year. Plus, Brady is always gracious in victory and defeat. Unlike Newton, who acted like a sulky 13-year-old in his post game interview.

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Righteous Repetition

June 15th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

BSK lightens culinary labor (and intelligently economizes) by cooking dishes that are equally good for two consecutive dinners. BSK also has the knack for recycling roasts and saut├ęs for savory Asian salads (these are salads that can happily rest in the refrigerator for a few days). BSK’s stews, of course, gain in flavor by being reheated. A favorite is rich and unctuous chicken curry (Recipe from Vikram Vij’s cookbook, Vij’s At Home). BSK always cooks enough for two hearty dinners. HG makes a raita of Greek yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, garlic, cucumbers, radishes, baby turnips, sumac and smoked paprika. Condiments (peanuts, chipotle peppers, lime pickles, Major Grey’s chutney, etc.) are varied at each dinner to prevent monotony. BSK’s Texas beef chili (the traditional “bowl of red”); New Mexico pork green chili; French-influenced beef stew (cooked in plenty of red wine); Chinese Mo Pu ground pork and tofu, are splendid for consecutive dinners. When BSK roasts a marinated spatchcocked chicken (backbone cut out and the chicken flattened), the left over chicken is mixed with a variety of greens, onions, scallions, radishes, turnips and room temperature cooked Chinese rice “sticks” or rice noodles. The salad is dressed with soy sauce, Canola oil and Vietnamese fish sauce. Sprinkled with red pepper flakes. This salads makes an excellent dinner and a pleasant lunch. Marinated Asian flank steak (cooked rare and sliced on the bias) gets a similar treatment. Confirmed foodies, HG/BSK manage to dine very well at home without long, burdensome meal preparations. That’s because BSK always merges creativity with economy.

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Tasty Texas Tribute To Jackie Cain

September 22nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

One frosty winter night in Montcalir, N.J., many years ago, HG/BSK (and family) joined their friends, the great jazz duo Jackie Cain and Roy Kral (plus their daughter, Dana) for ice skating on the frozen pond in the center of town. BSK and Roy were graceful skaters, HG was a klutz. Everyone else displayed moderate skills. Lots of laughs as appetites were sharpened under the starry suburban skies. Apres skate, the group gathered around the Cain/Kral dining table for a perfect winter dish–steaming bowls of Texas chile. The hungry folk topped their bowls with grated cheddar cheese and chopped raw onion. The fiery heat of the chile peppers was tamped down with some dollops of sour cream. Jackie confessed that the secret of the chili (best HG had ever tasted) was the use of Wick Fowler 2-Alarm Chili Mix. It was the only packaged mix that Jackie ever allowed in her home. The mix included numerous packages–chile powder, sage, super-hot cayenne pepper, masa flour, oregano, paprika, garlic, salt. These ingredients were added to two pounds of browned ground beef, a can of Ro-Tel (or canned tomatoes) and two cans of water. A half hour (or a bit more) of simmering and you had a noble Texas treat. According to chili history, Wick Fowler in 1967, won the first world chili cook-off. The event was held in Terlingua, Texas, and the Chili Mix company was born soon after. Roy Kral died in 2002. Jackie died last week in the Montclair home where we first tasted her (and Wick Fowler’s) chili. So, here in New Mexico, HG/BSK (and granddaughter Beautiful Sofia R.) paid tribute to HG/BSK’s dear friend and lovely artist of song: Jackie and Roy cd’s were on the Bose. Wick Fowler’s 2-Alarm Chile was on the table. A bittersweet occasion as rollicking times were recalled and toasts were drunk to Jackie. Happily, her voice filled the room with its essence of champagne bubbles (SJ’s memory) and eternal spring.

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Iceberg: The Black Sheep of the Lettuce Family

March 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The unintended consequence of the micro-green revolution that has landed a Mesculun salad mix in produce sections across America is that Iceberg lettuce has become reviled as tasteless; detractors call it edible packing material with nary a trace of nutritional benefit. HG thinks this is an unfair overstatement. Iceberg can be good in a variety of ways. HG likes it shredded over spicy chili stew or posole (with chopped onion, sliced avocado and Mexican oregano). It is the indispensable crunchy ingredient in a BLT sandwich. Iceberg leaves are very useful in scooping up many Chinese stir fries. And, a quartered head of Iceberg covered in a chunky blue cheese (Maytag, please) or roquefort dressing, can be a very pleasing companion to a rare, pan broiled steak.

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