The Haggis is So Raw, It’s Still Digesting!

Obligatory.

I forgot how good Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word” is. Everyone needs to watch this.

EVERYONE.

It’s entertaining, and it shows true farm to table practices. And what we all need to be teaching the next generation. If you care about food origin stories, farm to table, or just….well, food…

http://www.hulu.com/gordon-ramsays-the-f-word

You got to get on dat.

早く(とファルクアン):勇敢なナス

I require and demand all my vegetables bravely face their inevitable end from this point forward.

DIY

I’ve been watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares tonight because, well, apparently I’m not scared enough by real life at this point. Maybe soon. But it brought out the author in me. Briefly.

I am just shocked how often these people whip shit out of the freezer and wonder why Gordy hates it. Seriously. Ask any goddamned cook or chef: as long as you cooked it, they’re going to love it. That’s all you need to do. No chef or cook is ever mad at someone who put together some good ingredients. Sure, maybe the sauce didn’t work, maybe the red pepper flake spilled into the pan.

It doesn’t matter. You cooked that for them. From scratch. It’s the saltiest thing they’ve ever tasted and they once ate a whole bowl of salt.

But you made it YOURSELF.

Stop panicking all you cooks out there, just make things. We’re all just happy someone else made the damn thing!

While drunk may be the best seasoning, the second best is, “I didn’t have to cook this!”

Everything’s Better with Peanuts on Top

Say title three times fast.

Rinse. Repeat.

Of course, variety is the spice of life, so if you prefer your peanuts on bottom, go for it!

Today, however, both sides won because the peanuts got totes sandwiched.

Ingredients:

Whhhhhhhheat Bread

 Whhhhhhhheat Bread

 

Au natural peanut butter

Au natural peanut butter

 

Almond just sayin' that there's two pieces of bread: why stop at peanut butter?

Almond just sayin’ that there’s two pieces of bread: why stop at peanut butter?

Now I have two pieces of bread well-lubricated with nut butters.

 

Yes. I went there.

Honey roasted almonds? Almond if I do!

Honey roasted almonds? Almond if I do!

 

The more nuts the better, right?

Really not a nut, but a legume.

Really not a nut, but a legume.

Let's get sticky.

Let’s get sticky.

Now let’s go bananas.

I dalek bananas so much!

I dalek bananas so much!

 

No bananas were harmed in the making of this sandwich.

Ethically-sourced, dolphin-safe.

Ethically-sourced, dolphin-safe.

But best of all? Bananas are a source of protein!

When you put it that way...

When you put it that way…

Now, we eat.

Soft, creamy, sticky, salty, sweet, crunchy.

It’s a party in my mouth, washed down with hot apple cider on a windy fall day.

You Heartless Monster!

Bacon

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pancakes,

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makin’ bacon pancakes!

Take some bacon and I’ll put it in a pancake.

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Bacon pancakes, that’s what it’s gonna make.

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Bacon panca-aaaaaa-ke!

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Inspired by Jake.

 

You Want a Pizza Me?

It has been rumored that pizzas are made of hate, but clearly Kanye West has cornered the hate-market.

Nevertheless, there are only so many salads one can make from CSA veggies that I swap at pick-up for the endless zucchini I find in my bag.  At some point, you just want some damn pizza!

  • Too cheap to order and put extra toppings on it.
  • Too tired to make the dough from scratch.
  • Too much carb-loading to buy a Boboli’s crust.

What’s that? How did I make pizza? Well, stop pestoing me and let me show you it:

Taste the rainbow of vitamins

Taste the rainbow of vitamin

First, I made HOMEMADE PESTO from scratch! It was amazingly simple and now I’m wondering why I haven’t been making this every damn week of my life. Used red and green basil, elephant garlic, and because I forgot to buy pine nuts and was out of walnuts – almonds! Process all that and puree with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Top a flour tortilla with the pesto, tons of feta cheese and sliced mushrooms, tomatoes still warm from the vine, and baby red bell peppers.  Pop in the oven.  (Ideally you would use a baking stone but mine is still packed away in some mystery box)

Pesto and Plates are the new green.

Pesto and Plates are the new green.

Tried to eat it with a fork, but gave up and used the tear and fold technique first developed during junior high lunches when eating  pizza (which we blotted first with napkins to soak up the grease, unless we were holding grease races, in which we would let it run down our forearms; first one to drip on the table was the winnerwinner chicken dinner).  Ah. Adolescence.

Mind. Blown. I – I made this!  It was highly aromatic and savory and I wish I had made more than one. Of course, now I have a large container of pesto with which to top pasta in the near future.

I just realized I forgot to put onion on it!  Well, there’s always next time. Like, maybe the next time I see an E-Ho!

Quickies (with Amon): Bring back your dead!

Corpse Revivers are an old hair-of-the-dog staple from pre-prohibition days. You know—the sort of classic drink that was invented to make you feel better the morning after a night in which you had too many classic drinks. There are several different corpse revivers and they are super different, so you should probably experiment repeatedly to find your favorite. (Besides, repetition is part of the reason corpse revivers were invented in the first place, so it all goes together.) Personally, I’ve become partial to Corpse Reviver #2, a sweet-tart, gin-based elixir that works as well at night as it does in the morning.

corpsereviver

Good juju.

To make it, simply combine 1oz each of gin, lillet, cointreau and lemon juice; shake well with ice and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Drip precisely 3 drops of absinthe onto the drink. Sip and feel the life return to your bones.

Also, this, of course.

To the Stocks With Ye!

This Monday I attended a cooking demonstration/interactive chicken processing class, delightfully referred to as Chicken 101. It was put on by my CSA (yup, I’ll pretty much pimp these guys anytime) and Cleveland farm-to-table legend, Parker Bosley. He’s an absolute delight and knows way, way more about food and farm-to-table than I ever hope to. Ever.

The class itself was excellent; we all could use refresher on how to bone from time to time.

Sadly, I continue to butcher this process.

I’m also not sure we’re still talking about food.

…Moving on.

There was one question raised during the event to which I found the answer unsatisfying. Being a polite and courteous guest at functions such as this wherein I actually don’t know more about the subject than the presenter, I don’t go about correcting them unless their facts are egregiously wrong. In fact, even then I generally wait till the end unless they’re irreparably destroying the audience’s grasp of the underlying subject matter.

On the internet, however, this will not stand. Why yes. That comic IS compulsory, thank you for pointing out the entire internet has used it.

The question was that old chestnut of, “what is the difference between stock and broth?” And while this has probably been answered a thousand times. I personally prefer the axiom put forth by Alton Brown in [citation needed]: “Broth is made with meat, stock is made with bones.” Which, quite unfortunately, doesn’t alliterate the way one would hope.

I guess one could say that stock sounds like stalk, and bones are like stalks for animals. Sorta. What? If you don’t like it, make up your own and put it in the comments, damnit.

The point of stock is to dissolve out the collagen, gelatin (yes, it WAS made from animals, get over it already) and connective tissues of the critter into the cooking liquid. This creates that luxurious, full mouth-feel that makes stocks such great sauce fodder.

This implies stock, in and of itself, isn’t meant to derive flavors, but rather create that unctuous texture.

The point of broth, on the other hand, is solely to impart flavor into a liquid. Generally you think of broths from a meat source, but this could be from anything: ginger scallion broth, lamb broth, Porsche 911 broth. Water, boiled with tasty things to dissolve into the cooking liquid.

But if you have an Porsche 911 around and are thinking of making broth with it, I humbly beg you to reconsider and just send it to me.

So in the REAL world, “stock” is a combination of brothery and stockery. There’s always some leftover tasty bits clinging to the bones, and those makes everything taste better.

Yes, you, there, in the back? Why yes, there is such a thing “labeled” as vegetable stock. But in my opinion, it’s not stock. It’s broth. Proper vegetable stock (again, my opinion) would be cooked with completely stripped bones and connective bits to impart the texture, and vegetables only for flavor. Definitely not vegetarian.

At the end of the day, what’s really important is to understand the process. Knowing how the dissolving bits work is imperative to understanding how flavors exchange in, well, pretty much every other dish in the world. It’s not complex, it’s not magic. It’s just…

[Insert your own copyrighted food show theme with 10 notes here]

First Principles, Clarice. Simplicity.

Turns out June has finally rolled around here in the midwest, which means Spring is still about a month away from boinging.

Seriously. It barely hit 60F today.

Fortunately my Fresh Fork Market CSA that I love so dearly started up the summer shares this week, so I got to prematurely boing. Into spring. …Yeah, that’s what I mean.

witty

No, really. Booooing.

What we have here, besides a failure to boing at a proper time, is a quick primavera of asparagus (pee!), pea (pea!) tendrils, garlic scape linguini, and chicken (leftover), quickly blanched in a white wine/garlic/olive oil sauce. Well, more like a dressing really. Then, add as much parmesan as you can stand. I, myself, can stand a lot.

It was, spectacular. If you couldn’t tell.

What I really love about these early spring meals is that they take approximately 15 minutes from start to finish (omitting the chicken — honestly it would have been just as good…ugh…vegetarian). I simply pulled everything from the fridge, boiled some water, and some quick sautéing later, dinner was ready to be Instagrammed.

Or at least posted on E-Ho’s.

And it’s not difficult at all. Not time consuming. It’s just using what’s ready to go right now. It’s not hours of planning, worrying about some insane fusion flavor profile. It’s simple stuff. Put together. Un-thought about. Un-doctored by demi-glace or elderberry gastrique. Simple.

Whatever you do, don’t over think. Don’t even over think. Over think and your dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t over think.

Good luck.

Kitchen Knife Review: Miyabi 6000MCT “Artisan” 8-inch Gyuto

Stats:
Blade: 210mm long; mirror polish, hammer finish; SG2 steel (target 63 HRC); double-bevel edge
Handle: oval cocobolo pakkawood
Weight: 212g
Price: $125 discounted ($200 standard)

artisan

Yay, it’s another knife review!  This time we’re looking at the 8” chef’s knife from Miyabi’s flashy and (relatively) new Artisan line. We’ll begin with the obvious. The first thing you’ll notice about the Artisan line is that these are some seriously blinged-out blades. The handle sports a mosaic pin and multiple rows of spacers, the endcap has a deeply embossed Miyabi logo and the blade itself is mirror polished and wrapped in hammer-dimpled cladding. There’s also a hazy stripe of cladding beneath the hammered portion; this is described as “damascus” in the marketing blubs but it clearly isn’t. I don’t really know what they were trying to go for here, but I’ll admit to kind of liking that portion. I think a bunch of layers of faux damascus crammed into the middle would have really been too far over the top. The haze calms things down a bit. Anyhow, if you want something really eye-catching, this’ll do it. If you prefer simple and subdued, you’d best look elsewhere.
artisanhandle

Once your eyes recover from the initial radiance, a closer inspection reveals a number of details about the blade. The profile is similar to Miyabi’s Kaizen line of knives, with a long, gentle curve to the belly. This is different from the Fusion gyuto, which has a lower tip and flatter profile. The blade is definitely slim overall; less than 2mm wide above the heel and quite thin behind the edge. That thinness remains fairly constant, however, and the blade doesn’t taper much until about the last inch and a half or so before you reach the tip.
artisangeometry artisanspine

 

 

 

Okay, we’re done with the looking, let’s get to the touching! (No, not like that. Jeez, you perverts.) The knife weighs a pretty substantial 212g (10g more than the Miyabi Fusion gyuto) and the balance point is is right at the end of the handle, which makes the knife slightly handle-heavy (a feeling that becomes more pronounced if you use a pinch grip). Aside from the balance, I found the oval handle more comfortable than a standard D handle but less comfortable than an octagon or western handle. Spine and choil of the blade are eased, which is a nice amenity. The blade was very sharp out of the box and this combines with the thinness to make it a great slicer right from the get-go. (That thinness will also continue to be an asset over the life of the knife.) The belly lends itself to easy rocking but means that push-cutters like myself will be less pleased. The high-hardness steel should lead to good edge retention, though I’ll admit that I haven’t used it enough at this point to really make a comment on whether that theory holds or not.

So, would I recommend it? Yes and no. It’s got plenty of good qualities that I think a lot of people will like, but at the same time it has qualities that may really turn some people off. Personally, I prefer the Fusion gyuto, but the Gastrognome prefers this one. The one thing I will definitely knock here is the price—there are a lot of cutlery options for $200 that are significantly more serious than this one. If, however, you can find it at a discount and are interested, I’d say a good bet is to see if you can try it out and decide if it might not be a good fit for you!

tl;dr version:

Pros:
spine & choil rounded
thin behind the edge & along spine
good for rocking & mincing

Cons:
on the heavy side
standard price is high–definitely look for a sale/discount
too much belly for push-cutting

Could go either way/your preference:
balance optimized for hammer/sword grip instead of pinch grip
very flashy looks

 

Quick comparison to other 8-inch knives: Top: Zwilling 4-Star chef's Mid: Miyabi Fusion gyuto Bottom: Miyabi Artisan gyuto

Quick comparison to other 8-inch knives:
Top: Zwilling 4-Star chef’s
Mid: Miyabi Fusion gyuto
Bottom: Miyabi Artisan gyuto

More kitchen knife reviews:
MAC 10″ gyuto/chef’s
Miyabi Fusion petty/utility
Miyabi Fusion 8″ gyuto/chef’s

@Falquan

@PrincessZyrtec