"It IS all about the TASTE"
RSS icon Home icon
  • New Years Eve – The Day After …..

    So the big night is done, and you are left with the aftermath, empty Champagne bottles, half eaten bowls of dip, bags of water that used to be ice, cigarette butts stuck into half empty drink glasses, and worst of all the unpleasant physical and mental symptoms including fatigue, headache, dizziness, and vertigo.

    How to get rid of all of it …

    First of all, fluids, and I would suggest not the fluid you have been most recently consuming, water is good, juice is good, sports drinks are better, and MAYBE aspirin. (Aspirin and alcohol, WILL mess with your liver so use caution)
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Eggs – Straight up


    One of the “loyal critics”, has asked for an article on frying eggs. Hmmm, I would swear I did this….

    Let’s start with what is a egg….

    The most commonly used bird eggs are those from the chicken. Most commercially produced chicken eggs intended for human consumption are unfertilized, since the laying hens are kept without roosters. Fertile eggs can be purchased and eaten as well, with little nutritional difference. Fertile eggs will not contain a developed embryo, as refrigeration prohibits cellular growth for an extended amount of time.

    Chicken eggs are widely used in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory. Eggs can be pickled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, fried and refrigerated. They can also be eaten raw, though this is not recommended for people who may be especially susceptible to salmonella, such as the elderly, the infirm, or pregnant women.

    NOTE: , the protein in raw eggs is only 51% bio-available, whereas that of a cooked egg is nearer 91% bio-available, meaning the protein of cooked eggs is nearly twice as absorbable as the protein from raw eggs. As an ingredient, egg yolks are an important emulsifier in the kitchen, and the proteins in egg white allow it to form foams and aerated dishes.

    A boiled egg can be distinguished from a raw egg without breaking the shell by spinning it. A hard-boiled egg’s contents are solid due to the denaturation of the protein, allowing it to spin freely, whereas viscous dissipation in the liquid contents of a raw egg causes it to stop spinning within approximately three rotations.

    The albumen, or egg white, contains protein but little or no fat. It can be used in cooking separately from the yolk, and can be aerated or whipped to a light, fluffy consistency. Beaten egg whites are used in desserts such as meringues and mousse. Ground egg shells are sometimes used as a food additive to deliver calcium.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • ‘Tis the Season for Champagne

    As the end of the year fast approaches, I think back to all the things that made the year. I suppose top of the list is the London run, and my education into champagne and vodka martini’s.. Thank you, Miz O.

    To compliment the year end celebrations, a selection of champagne cocktails

    Wikipedia says :

    Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France, from which it takes its name.

    The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier. Through international treaty, national law or quality-control/consumer protection related local regulations, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation. In Europe, this principle is enshrined in the European Union by Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Other countries, such as the United States, have recognized the exclusive nature of this name, yet maintain a legal structure that allows certain domestic producers of sparkling wine to continue to use the term “champagne” under limited circumstances. The majority of US produced sparkling wines do not use the term “champagne” on their labels and some states, such as Oregon, ban producers in their states from using the term as it can be confusing to consumers.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Hot Toddy


    It is a night that is fit for neither man nor beast… They type of night you would only throw your worst enemy, (or your mother in law, but I am being redundant), out into. One of the worst snow storms / blizzards I have seen in NYC, over of 18″ of snow and a day of high driving winds. The front of the lair needed to be cleared and so it was, but now the various denizens are shivering and blue. There is only one way to stave off pneumonia and certain death… A hot toddy..

    Wikipedia says:

    Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink, usually including alcohol, that is served hot. Hot toddies (such as mulled cider) are traditionally drunk before going to bed, or in wet and/or cold weather. They were believed to help cure the cold and flu, but the American Lung Association now recommends avoiding treating the common cold with alcoholic beverages as they cause dehydration.

    Pour a shot of Whiskey into a cup and add boiling water to it. Add a spoonful of honey or sugar. Add a half slice of lemon, two cloves and, if available, a cinnamon stick. Let brew for three to five minutes.

    Depending on preference, the cloves and cinnamon stick can be removed before drinking, although leaving them in is often said to make a toddy even better for clearing a blocked nose and relieving a head cold.

    The traditional English variation uses black tea instead of plain hot water.

    A couple of these and we will survive the night, maybe not the morning, but for sure the night
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Pho

    GAK! My mountain top lair has 12″ of errant ice cream, and 18″ of snow in locals, in the city! GAK!! TWICE!!! Traffic / Travel is quite difficult / dangerous if possible, and in a lot of places it is NOT possible

    This is going to call for some serious hearty food. Beef, in a rich broth, with veggies, and noodles, and more beef and more veggies, and spices, and peppers, and even more peppers. Ja, that’s the ticket, a STEAMING HOT super beef broth, full of gelatin, and lots of Asian Trinity, (Ginger, Garlic and Chili’s), all kinds of rich meatiness from the beef and from mushrooms, maybe some bok choy.

    Take some rice noodles cooked on the side, and put them in a bowl, add our hot broth and veggies, and add garnishes, say red pepper strips, bean sprouts, scallions, chili’s, and some basil. We have a beef and noodle soup similar to Pho.

    Phở is served in a bowl with white rice noodles in beef broth, with thin cuts of beef. In this case I’ll use chuck steak, and I’ll pressure cook the beef, with veggies to extract the gelatin, and generate my stock, which I will cook with additional veggies for my soup. I’ll save the cooked meat and add back into the soup at the table.

    These dishes are typically served with lots of greens, herbs, vegetables and various other accompaniments such as dipping sauces, hot and spicy pastes, and flavor enhancements such as a squeeze of lime or lemon. The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander, Thai basil. fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, bean sprouts, and cilantro.

    (Yes I know this should be meatless monday, but this is NOT your usual monday…)

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • “Sino Steak”

    Recently a good friend asked me to provide my view / spin on his favorite sandwich / meal, that being the “Sino Steak”.

    It appears this has little or nothing “Sino” or Chinese other than a serious dose of Red food coloring, and is really just a piece of Romain Tenderloin Steak, (read on before running to look it up), or really skirt steak, that has been marinated in a bbq sauce and grilled or broiled.

    Wikipedia says:

    The term skirt steak refers to a cut of beef steak, from the plate. It is a long, flat cut that is prized for its flavor rather than tenderness. Sometimes a flank steak is used interchangeably with a skirt steak, but it is a different cut of meat.

    The outside skirt steak is the trimmed, boneless portion of the diaphragm muscle attached to the 6th through 12th ribs on the underside of the short plate. This steak is covered in a tough membrane that should be removed before cooking.

    The inside skirt steak is a boneless portion of the flank trimmed free of fat and membranes.

    To minimize their toughness skirt steaks are either grilled or pan-seared very quickly or cooked very slowly, typically braised. Because of their strong graining skirt steak is sliced across the grain for maximum tenderness. To aid in tenderness and flavor, they are also often marinated .

    The skirt steak is sometimes called Roumanian Tenderloin or Roumanian Strip in New York deli restaurants and steak houses. It is commonly grilled or barbecued whole and often served with fried onions and potatoes or baked beans.

    But in keeping with my view point that if an ingredient is part of the name, it really should be a part of the dish, I’ll attempt to add a little “Sino” back in.

    One bit of research turned up a “sino sauce” of sake, soy sauce, szechuan pepper and star-anise, but I’d want to go a bit farther, perhaps with hoisin or charsiu sauce, as a marinade. (Given the pronounced Red color of the sino sauce, that charsiu is a strong component).

    Ingredients in marinades for charsiu are similar to those found in China (honey, five-spice, wine, soy, hoisin, etc.), except that red food coloring is often used in place of the red bean curd for convenience. (I do not use food coloring) Charsiu is used to marinate and prepare a variety of meats which can either be cooked in a conventional or convection oven, or on a standard Barbecue.

    Read the rest of this entry »