Saturday, August 22

I know, I know...

I've been slacking lately. Well, this isn't going to be a big post, I'm just shooting off a couple of random shots I've been taking.

Ever since I've moved, I've been trying to eat healthier. But sometimes, you just have to backslide a little to remind yourself just how good you have it. For instance, I hadn't been to Red Lobster in so long that I had forgotten that their food was terrible. Their biscuits, however, remain out of fucking control. So I decided to make the most of it and stuffed mine with an assortment of tasty fried fishy bits.

A squeeze of lemon, and the end result was outstanding. I think I'll remember that the next time I've got enough scallops for a good fryathon.

In other news, my dad and I found peeled tenderloins on sale for megacheap. Never one to look a cheap tenderloin in the mouth, I jumped right on stuffing it with fresh herbs and blue cheese. As for the side, well, neighbors had veggies that needed plunderin', not the least of which were a series of ridiculously sweet heirloom tomatoes and a couple of really happy-looking bell peppers. The end result made for an excellent sauce to go along with some cheese ravioli.

This last bit is a snapshot of the sour cream we use at work. Those of you who are faint of heart, look away.

That shit is unreal. Take it easy, guys. I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, August 12

A quick interlude of cheese

Two little things I thought I'd share with you. First, ever wander through your grocer's cheese cave and wonder, "Can I really buy half a wheel of parmigiano reggiano?" Now, how many of you are thinking, "What does half a wheel of parmigiano reggiano look like?" Here's the answer, along with an average female hand in the frame for reference.

Next, I bet you're thinking, "How much is it?" Right now, I'm thinking, "Have you ever suffered sticker shock from cheese?"

That's right. 21.81 pounds at $19.99 a pound makes for $435.98 of cheese. If any of you come across a bigger or more expensive hunk of cheese, please send the pictures to I'd love to see them.

Up next, we have an indulgence. I love mac and cheese. A lot of you do too. What could be better than macaroni and a nice, thick, rich cheese sauce?

Think now.... Verrrrry carefully....

Give up?

That's right -- macaroni and fondue! Sure, it makes the entire thing cost $40, but oh ho ho, is it totally worth it. Richer than rich, extra tang delivered by the cider and brandy, with a smoky smooth texture thanks to le gruyere and smoked gouda. Don't bother baking it, just dump the macaroni in and go. You won't be disappointed.

'Til next time, stay hungry and full. Alternate between the two.

Saturday, August 1

Home made spaghetti, part 3 of 3

And now for the sauce. This recipe comes from a friend of mine, Megan, who put me up for a few months when I got out of college and hadn't quite found a job yet. She made this sauce for me and another friend one time, made of just vegetables in a saute pan, but it was different than the stuff you get in jars. And good! I've tinkered with the recipe since then and have come up with my own version.

You will need 3-4 tomatoes (or a big can of diced tomatoes in puree), a small onion, a large pepper, 1/2 to 1 pound of Italian sausage in bulk, some salt, pepper, fresh oregano and basil. That's what's in the cup. Kate picked some fresh from our pots of herbs outside, along with the pepper from our garden. We would have had fresh tomatoes too, but the weather isn't cooperating.

Start by browning the sausage. While that's going on, dice your tomatoes, and cut your pepper and onion into large chunks. I like my vegetables chunky, but if you don't, feel free to dice them finer.

Now add the peppers and onions. Use the rendered fat from the sausage to brown them a little. If there's not enough fat, add some olive oil.

Add the tomatoes and herbs. At this point, you're cooking the tomatoes down for their liquid, and the herbs for their flavor.

It you've picked up a little fond (?) at the bottom, that's fantastic. Use a little red wine to deglaze the pan. You can see a little undeglazed (glazed?) pan at around 7 o'clock on the pan in the picture, along with a puddle of red wine in the middle. You don't need much; the tomatoes' juices will help along.

Adjust your salt and pepper now, and cook your pasta. Remember -- home made pasta cooks very quickly, like 1-3 minutes.

And there you go. One of the finest bowls of spaghetti I have ever had, and made just about completely from scratch. Home made. Up thine, Sandra Lee!