Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

When life hands you a deadbeat father…

1 August 2006

Make steak au poivre and eat it off the good plates!

As loyal readers of this blog (both of you) will remember, my dad can be a bit of a douche when it comes to holidays.

¬†After Christmas’ Omaha Steaks brouhaha, I didn’t really talk to him for a while. He never remembers to save my phone number, and he changes his so often I can never call him. So, my birthday came and went back in March with no sign from him. “Grand,” I thought to myself, “This means I can skip Father’s Day.”

A week and a half ago, four months and four days after my birthday, a styrofoam cooler the size of a Mini Cooper showed up on my doorstep. Yum, more Omaha Steaks. Attached was a card that read “Happy (late) birthday. These should keep you occupied for a while.”

And indeed they will. For there were filets mignons, top sirloin, tenderloin tips (fondue party, anyone?), twice-baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin; lots of wondrous things. There were also marinated salmon filets, pork chops, and pork hot dogs.

I have never willingly eaten pork in my life, and the only fish I eat is on sushi. And I know it wasn’t a pre-packaged deal from the invoice.

I know it sounds whiny, waah, daddy sent expensive meat and I don’t like it. But really, I’d rather he not have bothered at all than done it all half-assed and four months after the fact. A phone call on my birthday would have been more than sufficient. As Bart Simpson said, “No offense, Homer, but your half-assed under-parenting was a lot more fun than your half-assed over-parenting.”

But, since I have a freezer full of meat, now is the summer of my eating like a king. Tonight, since nobody else is home and work’s been mind-numbing and the gym’s been kicking my ass, I decided to spoil myself. I took a nice thick filet and made a lovely steak au poivre out of it, complete with the theatrical flaming of the brandy. To that I added one of the twice-baked potatoes and served the whole mess (No, I don’t believe in vegetables or greenery) on the fine china, ate it with the sterling, and drank Two Buck Chuck out of Great-Grandma’s old crystal. That, my friends, is living. Of course, being able to afford gas would be nice, too, but one can’t be picky.

Can one?

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I cook like a faggot!

6 June 2006

And I'm damn proud of it, too.

Today's dinner menu:

Suprêmes de Volaille à l'Écossaise

Purée de Pommes de Terre à L'Ail et Le Romarin

Really, 'twas just sautéed chicken breasts with aromatic vegetables and cream with a side of rosemary and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, but it sounds impossibly posh to say those overly-accented phrases above. And no, I don't believe in eating vegetables, so there. Julia Child has been good to me so far. This is probably the fourth or fifth meal I've made from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and each has been better than the last. Usually my sauces turn out somewhat lackluster, but this time the combination of cooking juices, mirepoix (equal proportions of carrot, onion and celery), vermouth, beef stock, butter and cream came together beautifully. The taste was rather splendid, and it had an excellent mouth feel. Look at me, using phrases like 'mouth feel'; how pretentious.

Oh, and I made the mashed potatoes from some purple potatoes I found at the farmer's market last week. So it was a rather surreal-looking meal. In the future I'll have to take photographs in an homage to Aunt Twisty's Morsel Institute.

As a side note, it is unbelievably difficult to buy meat stocks, made from bones and meat, around here. All that the grocery stores carry is broth, made from only bones. I did manage to find beef stock, so go me. We reeeeally need a Whole Foods or Fresh Fields or even a real Trader Joe's around here. The TJ's we have is itty bitty and doesn't carry much in the way of fresh produce, decreasing its utility significantly. Next on my list of foods to conquer is Soupe à L'Oignon, better known simply as french onion soup. A restaurant that makes a good french onion soup goes far atop my list of favorites and I have been known to make squeaky noises of appreciation for an especially fine specimen. The other day, Alton Brown made french onion soup on Good Eats and it made me salivate profusely. So, armed with the TiVo remote and a bushel of onions, I will set out on my sweet soupy journey. Sweeeeet.