Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Shame

I can't help this...

It really isn't worthy of me posting... but I can't help it.

I am watching Food Network. And turned in to see Bobby Flay's Throwdown. For those of you that know me, you know that I don't have a high opinion of Bobby Flay. This was confirmed in my brain when he was handed a victory over Masaharu Morimoto and then jumped up on his cutting board and knives... up until that moment, Flay whined like a pussy every time something didn't go his way.

Be that as it may...

This is totally unrelated.

Really. I swear.

But as I was watching his throwdown with Jasper Alexander... and what did I see?





That is all...

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Liquid Gold

We had this recently at David Burke... Liquid gold is the only correct description.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Cool design!

I love cool looking stuff and this certainly qualifies.

I am not entire entirely certain why I would need a these devices to be able to roll down the table but can appreciate it that it does.

The only problem with this item? The cost -- around $140.

If you can figure out what it is and what it is for you can order this at Grand Illusions.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yummy Soda

We were at the favorite Mexican place tonight… Imelda order the Jarrito with the tamarindo flavor. I asked one of the Marias (Maria Elena, specifically) how it is tamarind became both a Mexican and Asian flavor. She was surprised to find that it was popular in Asia as well… Well, it is in Thailand, Fun Daddy and I told her…. There must be some connection.

And it turns out that there is… it is native to Africa.. particularly to Madagascar’s dry tropical forests.. and is wild in the Sudan… of course, geographically speaking Madagascar is a hop, skip and a jump to Asia… Particularly to India

With the Portuguese so active in trading with India tamarind was eventually brought to Europe. Inevitably ending up being introduced into the Americas… especially Mexico and the Caribbean. In Mexico, tamarind is a popular flavoring in candies and sodas…. Like the Jarrito enjoyed by Imelda tonight. Although I have to say, that I find the link to Sino-Peruvian food flavored with tamarind even more interesting.. Which direction did the flavor get to South America from? From Asia with it obvious tamarind influences or from the European Spanish population…

I guess I will have to keep checking.

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Can Any One Explain This?

My 10 year old, Imelda gets a stomach ache every time she has a soda lately (pop or Coke for the rest of you, just to eliminate arguments). Well, almost.

See it turns out that she can drink Mexican sodas all night long (Which is NOT allowed). The Mexican sodas, Jarritos for example, are made with cane sugar. Not the high fructose corn syrup that American sodas use.

Has anyone else out there experienced stomach trouble from this stuff? Or is it just a coincidence?

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Our Austro-Hungarian Feast.

I went to the grocer the other day looking for ingredients for the weekend and found beautiful veal cutlets. Generally speaking we end up making veal parmesean but I really wanted to do something different. So instead we made weiner schnitzel and spatzle with a paprika gravy.

Honestly, I prepare the veal the same way whether it is for parmesean or schnitzel... first it is flattened a bit. This is done by Imelda who uses the marble mortar. For some reason, I find this a much better tool than one of those stupid mallets and it certainly has some heft behind it... then I just coat the piece in seasoned bread crumbs and then pan fried. Simple.

What we were concerned about during this dinner was the side dish... The spatzle.


Well because we made them from scratch. I had been convinced that this was a doable dish. and it turned about to be the case. Like everything that I cook, I looked up a recipe and then screwed around with it. In this case, we figured that the recipe was too big. I really didn't need spatzle for six.. That sounded like enough mini dumplings for an army and given the results that we got, I stick by that answer.

My version called for 2 eggs, 3/4 of a cup of milk, salt and pepper and 1 1/2 cups of flour that are combined with a wooden spoon until combined. Then the mess sits in the fridge for about an hour. So far so good. When it was time to cook my little dumplings of joy, I got a pot of water (salted of course) to a rolling boil...(Please note: on the stove in this rental this takes about 45 minutes... when my Btu dreams are fulfilled in about a week, I hope to decrease this time to about... um five minutes.)

Then the fun began.

In my imagination I expected to take the dough, load it into my potato ricer loaded with the biggest holed disc that I can find, push it through the disc and slice it off every 1/4 inch or so. Great plan, eh?

Well not exactly since the cutting process makes the dough stick together..yuck. It kind of works but it is kind of messy. 'Kay... lets try again... Now I try again but push the dough through and kind of jiggle the dough as it stretches and finally breaks off from the ricer.

The end result? Something a bit longer than I expected... BUT.... completely normal looking! WHEE! They were scooped out of the pot, drained and tossed into the pan that we cooked the veal in.. Traditionally spatzle are panfried with bread crumbs... So this worked. As you can see, they almost look edible (in my humble opinion)

This feast was served with a quick paprika gravy that was made of paprika, tomato paste and olive oil, mixed with veal stock (yes.. I cheat.. I use veal glace that I keep in my fridge.. and water... once it is cooked down a bit? I added a cup of sour cream. The thing I forgot? SALT I forgot that the glace has none... This is a pain the butt for me.. but the glace is really good.. it is just me that is stupid and forgets... or too lazy to make my own veal stock.. the choice is yours.

The fact is that dinner was amazing. so good. I expected Imelda, my 10 year old, to be enthusiastic about it as she helped cook it.. but she was overwhelmed by the flavor. Fun Daddy sang its praises also (although he sat watching Imelda and I cook.... The Angel? At the movies.)

What can I recommend? Take that trip between Budapest and Wein.. Try the schnitzel with spatzle and gravy.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Boston Tea Party Was a Lie


You heard me!

It was.

Just like George Washington and his cherry tree, this American myth needs to be shot down too.

Turns out the Sons of Liberty were not protesting the tea tax, they were saving their lucrative tea smuggling operation. See some of the Sons, specifically John Hancock, was illegally importing tea from the Dutch East Indies Company, bypassing British Customs and selling the tea in the 13 original colonies. Sweet eh?

Now, there was a tea tax and there was a protest. And it was working. With the illegal tea available at cheaper prices the colonists had all but ceased purchasing tea through legal sources. We win! YEAH!!!!

Except for one little problem.

The British East India Company was not thrilled to have all this extra tea available in their warehouses. So they cut their prices. LOW.... So low, that the price of tea was now below the pre-tax price. How low was that? Lower than Hancock and Co. could afford to import illegal tea for. (and yes, I know that sentence is ungrammatical)

And that is how is the Boston Tea Party came to happen. It didn't occur to stop the British from selling OVER-PRICED tea to the American colonists... It happened to stop the American colonists from buying CUT-RATE-priced tea.

Think of that the next time you want a spot...

Thank Biggie for making me remember that story and enjoy your trip to Bean-town! Maybe you too can be banned from the Freedom Trail.

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