Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble Edition

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This is why my house occasionally smells like it is on fire…I love, love, love to fire roast or toast or, let’s face it, burn peppers over my biggest burner before I cook with them. It’s easy, it’s fun, you get to burn things inside the house, and it rarely requires professional assistance from your neighborhood fire brigade. Although…my wife got stuck behind an FDNY truck a few days ago and asked whether one of the prerequisites for the job was to be handsome…so maybe for some of you that is a bonus.

Anyway, the technique is self evident, and the flavor boost is huge. Even if you peel the blistered skin you are left with the toasty, smoky flavor of the pepper, and that is a grand and glorious thing. I pop them in a paper bag to steam after I toast them on the stove when I am planning to peel them. That allows the peppers to soften a bit and it seems to loosen the skin.

When I make salsa I overload it with peppers, and it doesn’t really matter what kind, as long as I toast them first. The flecks of charred skin in the sauce are a lovely addition. Oh, you can do the tomatoes the same way, and even in the depths of winter the charring makes them palatable. Sort of.

Random Notes From The Vast Kitchens Of Chez Dildo

The pickling experiment continues, with the sensational addition of thinly sliced red onion and sliced jalapenos. Not together! I pulled some of the veins and seeds out of the jalapenos because I didn’t want them to be too hot. I was looking for a nice bit of heat and a vinegary tang, and I got it! A few of the pickled jalapeno rings on top of a burger but under the cheese is a damned fine way to build a cheeseburger.

Yes, I am lazy, so the four racks of pork ribs I made a few weeks ago went onto the grill, not into the smoker. Fine, take my man card and make me wear a frilly apron (or in Garrett’s case, a lovely gingham one), but we had 20 people for dinner, so I was interested in easy over authentic. But I got smart and used two temperature probes, and discovered something most of you knew already; the temperature gradient in a gas grill is huge, particularly if you have only one of the burners going (the one under the smoke box). About 210° on the far side, and about 385° over the smoke box.

Grilling asparagus is much easier if you put them on the grill at right angles to the grates. Just sayin’.

Meatballs were on the menu, and there was much rejoicing, and much cleaning too. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any shortcuts, so making the meatballs was a careful and gentle and long process, ending with frying them a bit, which is messy. But gently formed meatballs that are browned in fat then simmered in good tomatoes is a fine thing. And plopping a couple or five of them on top of my almost-world-famous ratatouille is a different and most excellent combination. And a dollop of ricotta doesn’t hurt.

My grandmother also made spectacular chopped liver, but the idea that one uses beef liver borders on heretical. It’s nonsense. Offensive nonsense. Arrantly offensive nonsense. Patently ridiculous, arrantly offensive nonsense.
A Love Letter to Chopped Liver
There are lots of versions of chopped liver, from the simple concoctions of Ashkenazim (broadly, Jews from Eastern Europe) to the labor-intensive deliciousness of a fine pâté or rilletes. But I have never had a bad one, and I have never had one made from beef livers.

QED.

So, these people are vegans, so that means they are loons. But they are funny loons, and for some reason they don’t come across as preachy as much as just foul-mouthed and funny.
Grilled Romaine Salad
That being said, this recipe would be damned good with a Caesar dressing (raw egg!) and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Just sayin’.

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Anybody ever seen or used one of these things? Because it sounds like an elegant method, although an auto feed for the fuel would make it close to perfect. Anyway, here’s the website, which is worth poking around if any of you are sort of geeky about cooking. Or just geeky. Or like barbecue. KBQ

I did not know that there was such a thing as Tupelo Honey. I mean, I knew about this Tupalo Honey, because everybody knows Van Morrison. But it’s also a real honey? And, apparently, a rather good one.

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This is French cooking at its best. Oh, I guess the haute cuisine of Paris and Lyon are better known, but getting out of the cities (or eating at a good bistro in one fo the big cities) will reveal the kind of food that many Frenchmen eat, and it is good stuff! Normandy-style pork and cider casserole reminds me of the stews my mother used to make. Well, not all of them. The ones with tripe or brains or, strangely, the veal stew, made me gag.

Food and cooking tips, Castelvetrano olives with a sprinkle of chili flakes, young wild pigs, crisp bacon (although I am moving toward less crisp), thick and fluffy pita, and good tomatoes that aren’t square, pale pink and covered with Mestizo E.coli: cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com. Any advocacy of French Toast with syrup will result in disciplinary action up to and including being nuked from orbit. And yes, shaking a Manhattan is blasphemy…it’s in the Bible!

Here is a pdf of my Lemon Cheesecake recipe.

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