Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spicin' up that white meat--

I'm a huge fan of James McNair's recipes ever since I got a copy of his at my bridal shower.  The recipes are clear, the photographs make you want to run out, buy every ingredient and start cooking!

But I, perhaps like you, fall victim to routine, and rotate the same recipes in and out, week in, week out.  The other night I was racing home and realized my guests needed a splash of protein to accompany the drinks I had offered.  I picked up this copy and found another winner, one that I hadn't previously had the imagination to try.

Cube a chicken breast.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and thyme (proportions?  More spice for heat, around 1/2 teaspoon each per chicken breast).  Let sit for a half hour.
Melt half a tablespoon butter along with half a tablespoon oil in a saute pan.  On medium high heat quickly saute your chicken cubes--3-5 minutes, turning to cook through. 

What a great nibble to go with a glass of almost anything--

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Meal

As you know, the end of the world is scheduled for Saturday May 21st.  I'm not sure whether that's Greenwich Mean or Pacific, in any case the implication is that Friday night is the very last supper.

I have a fondness and affinity for those who believe in the end times. After all, for many years I was a devout fan of The Late, Great Planet Earth.  So, to be inclusive, as well as on the safe side, I have penciled in a meal of final requests:

To start the day:

croissants flown in from Broca's, Paris.
(or perhaps, Ugo's, in Sierra Madre)

To end the meal:
gelato flown in from Italy.  Or, perhaps Bulgarini, around the corner.
Or perhaps hot fudge sundaes all day long.

And in between?  Caviar and blini?  Foie gras?  Gumbo?  A mess of mole?

Let me know one of two of your favorite things---

See you around, or, then again, not!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Refried Beans.

It's astonishing, the amount of invective hurled at this simple dish.  Identity and food can be so overwhelming,and, of course, the basis of ethnic stereotypes and slurs.

However, this is a dish I embrace. 

Three cups of home made beans, including liquid.
In a deep skillet, heat one to two tablespoons of lard. (Of course you can use vegetable oil, you can even doctor it later with butter and milk--but there is no substitute for this animal fat.)
When hot, turn off the heat, stand back, and pour in the beans. When the sizzling has stopped,
raise the heat to medium.  Take your potato masher, and start mashing.  I personally like them fairly well pulverized.  Allow the liquid to bubble away, to your preferred consistency. Thick or thin, it's your call.

The beans should already be well-seasoned, but if they seem too bland, add salt.

I really have been quite thick about comfort foods, not understanding ice cream and macaroni and cheese as go-tos.  And yet, if I think about it, refried beans made just right, on a hot flour tortilla, with a dollop of sour cream, is my Valium.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Plans

In an alternate universe my day would include:
reading novels

(Please don't tell the kids--)

In the official universe it will include deli fixings from Billy's in Glendale--and some form of drama, to be determined.