"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Brats in Beer

    beer-brats-

    Ah Summer, Grilling, BaseBall, Hotdogs, and Beer.. Now how to make this better… Maybe combine a few … Let’s see,
    Beer, check,
    Hotdog, how mundane, maybe Bratwurst,
    Grill, check,
    Garlic, Yeah now we are talking..
    Onions, Oh, Baby!!!

    From wikipedia:

    Bratwurst is a common type of sausage in the United States, especially in the state of Wisconsin, where the largest ancestry group is German.[10] Originally brought to North America by German immigrants, it is a common sight at summer cookouts, alongside the more famous hot dog. Wisconsin is also the origin of the “beer brat”, a regional favorite where the bratwurst are poached in beer (generally a mixture of a pilsner style beer with butter and onions) prior to grilling over charcoal.

    In the area around the upstate lair we have a number of small, organic meat providers, so it is quite easy to find fresh or smoked local sausages, and the lair is quite close to “Little Poland” in Brooklyn, so finding good quality sausages is quite easy. It may take others a bit of effort to find these, but the taste more than makes up for the trouble. If all else fails get a GOOD quality commercial product.

  • Red Risotto with Peppers

    red-risotto

    Having done Chicken Cacciatore, one must serve over some form of starch. Pasta is traditional, but I do not feel like being traditional. A search for Italian rice dishes, yielded some interesting recipes for Arancini (Rice Balls), and they looked soo good, but not quite what I wanted, (but I WILL do them shortly) I found all kinds of risotto posts, but maybe, maybe not. Then I saw a post for a rice dish using red wine, and roasted red peppers. Quite an idea to play with, perhaps using my standard risotto, but red wine, and the roasted peppers.

    I have some broth / stock / almost gravy from a roast and I have a package of dried porcini, and I’ll steep them in just enough boiling water to cover for 20 minutes or until they’ve expanded. Drain them, reserving the liquid, and mince them. I’ll use the rehydrate as well. I’m looking for a lot of mushroom aroma, and the beef stock will add that umami mouth feel/taste.

    One can use a rich vegetable stock as well, for those with an aversion to meat or meat with dairy.

    Risotto is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat-, fish-, or vegetable-based. Many types of risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.

    Risotto is normally a primo (first course), served on its own before the main course, but risotto alla milanese, is often served together with ossobuco alla milanese.

    There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients, but they are all based on rice of an appropriate variety cooked in a standard procedure.
    Grains of Arborio rice

    The rice is first cooked briefly in a soffritto of onion and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat, this is called tostatura; white or red wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains. When it has evaporated, the heat is raised to medium high and very hot stock is gradually added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly: stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid. At that point it is taken off the heat for the mantecatura when diced cold butter and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are vigorously stirred in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible. It may be removed from the heat a few minutes earlier, and left to cook with its residual heat. Seafood risotti generally do not include cheese.

    Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains. The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all’onda (“wavy, or flowing in waves”). It is served on flat dishes and it should easily spread out but not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter. It must be eaten at once as it continues to cook in its own heat and can become too dry with the grains too soft.

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  • Sprouts and Bacon

    Recently, I was accosted by a “Trained Food Scientist” … who it would seem, did not read the “It IS all about the TASTE! “ post, and proceeded to rip my cooking styles, menus, ingredients, into VERY small pieces, not to mention, my lack of knowledge in basic food science, poor taste, poor grammar, etc, etc, etc.

    After several minutes of this, I left… (Remind me, to IGNORE my fan club…. or maybe start carrying a shock prod)

    FLAME ON

    Let’s get one thing straight… I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING &%$%#!@ ….. about “modern nutritional science”, the folks who write / espouse that crap, also produce such healthy and wholesome items as the great American Fast food menu..

    Bluntly, good food, prepared fresh, in reasonable amounts, combined with reasonable amounts of exercise, (GET OFF YOUR FAT ASSES!!!!), will be more healthy for you than consuming the prepackaged, chemically preserved and flavored, highly salted, over processed organic material that is excreted and extruded as a wonder of “modern nutritional science.”

    To quote a friend, (MaryeAudet@Bakingdelights.com)

    It isn’t meat or butter or eggs or even sugar that are responsible for America’s obesity problem. I really believe it is dependence on foods that are full of chemicals and GMOs AND an inactive lifestyle. The combination is deadly. Problem is people decided to go low fat rather than get rid of the chemicals and move around a little. So now people ingest more chemicals, they are still fat, and they are battling diseases that are brought on by toxins in what they eat.

    FLAME OFF

    While in the green grocers, I noticed fresh Brussels sprouts. Now given the time of year, I had to ask, where they were grown, and the reply was San Mateo, Ca.. Wow… It seems they get FLOWN in… WOW!! … The price.. “UGH!”, but then again, sprouts are mild and sweet at the start of the season, especially if you toss them in hot butter or olive oil after boiling them, or shred them and stir them into hot bacon fat, with some onions and serve with a vinegar dressing.

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  • Valentine’s Day Special – Chocolate Soup

    So thinking of all the things I WISH to be doing, and all the things I will be doing, I think, I should think about what to prepare for Madam Bad Wolf, once I escape all the things I must do.. But enough thinking, it leads to drinking…

    Dinner is a given, but after dinner, perhaps a very thick, very rich chocolate drink, just made for dipping small cookies into, or perhaps fresh strawberries, or bananas. To describe chocolate soup, it’s somewhere between rich hot chocolate, (the richest and most sinfully good) and chocolate mousse, (smooth, stiff, and irresistibly rich).

    This is not a fondue, but really more like a very thick hot chocolate. Thick enough you can eat it with a spoon. Topped with freshly whipped cream it is a dream.. Hmmmm, Chocolate and whipped cream, how much fun can you have with that…… (especially this whipped cream)

    But wait, where is the BadWolf Howl and the Rogue Chef twist… Perhaps I will use some very good spicy chocolate I was gifted, or maybe I’ll use a orange flavored chocolate, and nothing like this is complete without a hint of good bourbon…

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  • Angel’s Kiss

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    So another Christmas has passed. I have returned to the lair and am preparing for the short week to come.

    I am soo not ready for that to happen, I just regained my holiday spirit, and now it’s pretty much over.

    Looking around I have a small selection of good chocolates, and I am looking for a light aperitif to go with them, something coffeeish, but creamy and with a kick. Rummageing around the bar I find some Kahlua, and in the fridge is some cream…

    Sounds like an Angle’s Kiss, or at least a wolf slobber …

    A layered (or “stacked”) drink, sometimes called a pousse-café, is a kind of cocktail in which the slightly different densities of various liqueurs are used to create an array of colored layers, typically three to seven. The specific gravity of the liquid ingredients increases from top to bottom. Liqueurs with the most dissolved sugar and the least alcohol are densest and are put at the bottom. These include fruit juices and cream liqueurs. Those with the least water and the most alcohol, such as rum with 75% alcohol by volume, are floated on top.

    These drinks are made primarily for visual enjoyment rather than taste. They are sipped, sometimes through a silver straw, one liqueur at a time. The drink must be made and handled carefully to avoid mixing; however, some layered drinks, such as shooters, are generally drunk quickly.

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  • A Christmas Toddy

    hotwhiskey

    As always, as I settle in for a winters nap, a server decided to take a crap…
    After several hours service was restored, but now I’m hyped and bored…
    Time for a tea and bourbon delight, just made to let me settle in for the night ..
    And as the kettle warms I find the time, to dig up this ancient rhyme..
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