"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Guacamole


    Tis’ the night before Cinco De Mayo, and through the States, tomatoes, peppers, avocados, and cilantro are been beaten into a unrecognizable pulp, to be served as guacamole..

    From Wikipedia:

    Guacamole, sometimes informally referred to as “guac” in North America, is an avocado-based dip or salad first created by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico. In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine, it has also become part of American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient.

    And there is the first time I can remember, that I venomently disagree, with the Wikipedia Community.

    Guacamole, is NOT a dip, Guacamole IS a salad.

    But like almost all things “Americanized”, the concept has been abused and misused to the point of no longer being recognizable as the original product. Made with chunks of avocado, minced onion, finely diced tomatoes, and just enough Jalapeño or Serrano pepper to add a spice kick. No mayonnaise, no sour cream, no stick blender and for god’s sake, no mariachi bands.

    Guasacaca is a smooth green sauce, from Venezuela, made with avocados and vinegar, with a much stronger flavor and spice kick .. (But that is another post)

  • Pico De Gallo

    It is May 2nd, and soon Cinco De Mayo will be upon us, with lime stuffed beers, limp tortilla chips, and over salted messes of peppers in escabeche, over-the-hill onions, and underage tomatoes. I suspect, I shall hold my head under the pillow to escape the sounds of mariachi music. played at 1000 db.

    The true pity is that, Pico De Gallo should be a harbringer of spring. A crisp, clean salad with a hint of heat, promising the garden abundance to come.

    From Wikipedia:

    In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally beak of rooster), also called salsa fresca, is made from chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, fresh serranos (jalapeños or habaneros are used as alternatives), salt, and key lime juice. Other ingredients, such as shrimp or avocado, are also sometimes added.

    Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.

    The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, coriander and green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).

    In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.

  • Irish Toasted Cheese

    As I have been working on my bread, and baking almost every day, I find myself with the issue of too much bread.

    I’ve stuffed loaves of Ciabatta into every backpack that has entered the lair, smuggled baguettes into the backseat of every car, and provided bags of rolls to the neighbors.

    Time to start producing some posts to use that abundance.

    As it is almost St. Patrick’s day, I am sure an Irish themed post would be appropriate. But I DETEST corned beef, and do not say that is caused by my not having a special brisket, or having it prepared a special way… (I’ve corned my own briskets …)

    Sooo, Toasted Cheese, Irish toasted cheese… True comfort food. Then again not just “normal” grilled cheese, I hate “white bread” and loth “spreadable cheeses”. (Yes, I am still having intense nicotine cravings.. So pardon my intense distaste for many things..)

    From Wikipedia:

    Uncooked cheese sandwiches simply require assembly of the cheese slices on the bread, along with any additions and condiments.

    A grilled cheese sandwich is assembled and then heated until the bread crisps and the cheese melts, sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes or onions. Several different methods of heating the sandwich are used, depending on the region and personal preference. Common methods include being cooked on a griddle, grilled, fried in a pan or made in a panini grill or sandwich toaster (this method is more common in the United Kingdom where the sandwiches are normally called “toasted sandwiches” or “toasties”).

    When making grilled cheese on an open griddle or pan, one side is cooked first, then the sandwich is flipped and cooked on the other side. The sandwich is finished when both sides are toasted and the cheese has melted. Butter, oil, or mayonnaise may first be spread on either the bread or the cooking surface in the case of butter and oil. An alternative technique is to toast or grill each half of the sandwich separately, then combine them.

    When using butter best results are achieved at a medium heat. This prevents the milk solids in butter from burning and allows sufficient time for heat to thoroughly penetrate the sandwich and melt the cheese without burning the bread. A crispy golden-brown crust with a melted cheese center is a commonly preferred level of preparedness. Cooking times can vary depending on pan dimensions, ability to control the intensity of the heat source, bread type, cheese variety and overall thickness of pre-cooked sandwich.

    There is only one pan for this, CAST IRON, if one is good, two are better. For this what is needed is two cast iron griddles, or a heavy cast iron skillet and a griddle. Similar to this:

    One Note: These are great heat “batteries”, so when handling, USE KITCHEN MIT’s or POT HOLDERS.. When hot they are branding irons for the unaware..

  • Tea Eggs (Cha Ye Dan)

    Tea_Eggs

    Here is a little number that has fascinated me for quite some time. I first experienced, these fantastic looking marbled eggs with a light fragrance and outstanding taste, in a surprising hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown, and they have been twisting my imagination ever since.

    As the execrable advertisement said. “Quick… To the cloud!”. Time to do some research..

    Wikipedia says:

    Tea egg is a typical Chinese savory food commonly sold as a snack, in which a pre-boiled egg is cracked and then boiled again in tea, sauce and/or spices. It is also known as marble egg because cracks in the egg shell create darkened lines with marble-like patterns. Commonly sold by street vendors or in night markets in most Chinese communities throughout the world, it is also commonly served in Asian restaurants. Although it originated from China and is traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine, other similar recipes and variations have been developed throughout Asia.

    The process is, as all elegant things, fairly simple. Eggs are hard-boiled, then cracked, but not peeled, rested, then simmered in a steeping mixture. (I have so many side comments in the vein, of “A hard-boiled egg, please. Cracked, but not peeled… All in a Sean Connery brough)
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  • Patisserie Du Méchant Loup – Oatmeal Rasin

    orpb

    As spoken prior:

    It is November, and Cookie Season is upon us. I need to start baking cookies, as I have requests for ginger snaps, oatmeal chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, gingerbread, and sugar cookies, but those are all a lot of different posts, coming soon.

    Yes, my French is horrible…. But my cookies are great. Announcing the opening of the Bad Wolf Cookie Season. May your diets know fear…

    I’ll roll out a few recipes just to kick start the taste buds.

    This would be the post on the Oatmeal Raisin form of diet destroyers…

    From an old family recipe, my wife just gave me..

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  • Ginger Snapper Cookies

    gsnaps

    It is November, and Cookie Season is upon us. I need to start baking cookies, as I have requests for oatmeal raisin, oatmeal chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, gingerbread, and sugar cookies, but those are all a lot of different posts, coming soon.

    This would be the post on Gingersnap addiction and it’s effect on one’s weight. (Remember, the first sample is always free…)

    Simply stated:

    It is the holidays, Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for Congress is in session and none of our liberties are secure. January 1, 2014 is coming shortly, and we will all make “Resolutions”, (Usually about losing weight…), so before the sack cloth and ashes, live a little…

    These cookies are highly addictive, and derive their chewy texture and spicy flavor from adding brown sugar, molasses, and ground spices (cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in three forms, Ground, Fresh and Candied) to a cookie.

    There are differences (think Jihad) of opinion as to how ‘spicy’ a gingersnap cookie should be, so adjust the batter to suit your own individual taste, I for one want a cookie that bites back, so ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, all fresh grated will be added to my standard brown sugar cookie dough, and the addition of a tot of good bourbon, ad a few twists of black pepper for the official RogueChef taste twist.

    A hand full of these with a big glass of eggnogg will put an end to Santa’s night. (That way my grandkids can hold him for ransom….)

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