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  • Quick Cassoulet

    Well Sandy is gone, kinda like bad girl friend, shows up, spends the night, wrecks the place and leaves.

    I have had my fill of wind and rain, an I want some hearty fare, so perhaps a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the southwest of France, containing meat and white haricot beans. Cassoulet is named after a special pot called ‘cassole’ or ‘cassou’, highly glazed and made from the red clay, which was designed especially for french casseroles and was originally made in the village of Issel.

    A casserole, from the French for “saucepan,” is a large, deep pot or dish used both to cook a meal in the oven and as a dish to serve it. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a dish.

    Casseroles originate from the ancient practice of stewing meat slowly in earthenware containers. Types of casserole include ragout, hotpot, cassoulet and carbonnade. A distinction may be made between casseroles and stews in that stews are cooked from unidirectional heat, whereas casseroling is done in an oven where heat circulates all round the cooking vessel, and cooks from omnidirectional heat.

    The deal is I do not want to spend the hours slow cooking so a few short cuts are in order
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  • Emergency Pantry Prep

    So a hurricane is coming to NYC, the Mayor and the Governor are proclaiming states of emergency, demanding evacuations, and in general adding to the chaos and panic.

    Just for a lark, I walked into my local not-so-mega-mart today at noon, (I had a taste for Ice Cream), the state there was less than impressive. The vegetable section was decimated, the frozen food was GONE, (WTF!!!), the endcap displays of water were gone, as was all the “soda” aisle. I did see bottles of water in the baby food section.

    In case of emergency, the rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day. This DOES NOT have to be bottled water. Tap water in a seal able container is just as good on the short run.

    The canned goods section was stripped of soups, the canned fruits were barely touched. All in all, a fine example of a panic. I suppose the last straw was a hipster couple walking back and forth trying to come up with ideas on how to feed themselves when the local bar and deli shutdown. (THIS IS NOT A JOKE, more like evolution in action…)

    I think my mother would have a stroke to hear that conversation. (We ALWAYS had canned goods in the pantry, “Just In Case”.)

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  • Photos from Bad Wolf Birthday ’12

    Just a few of the many taken..

    Thanks to Izzy for the Photo Shoot…

    All the miserable cropping / presentation is my fault…

  • Cajun Chicken Cacciatore

    So Stormagedden is coming, and all the mouth breathers are running around like mad people…

    Idiots!, a properly stocked pantry would see you thought just about any storm…

    But it will be cold, windy and rainy, time for some really hearty food. Perhaps poultry, but done in something more that the usual baking or frying…

    Not frying, not baking, but browning then simmering in a rich stock with mushrooms, garlic, onions, bell pepper and my own version of Cajun Essence, called spike, all bound together with a very rich roux gravy. The method is similar to the Italian “Hunter Style” or Cacciatore, with a gumbo twist, and will lean more on the Cajun trinity with bell and hot peppers than on tomatoes.

    Coming from the Bayou region, which is located in the southern part of Louisiana, this is a simple and rustic recipe, that yields a dish that is truly greater than the sum of it’s parts. The cooking style is part French, part Spanish, part Caribbean, a unique style unto it’s self, New Orleans Cajun.

    The region includes the Mississippi Delta, which looks out on to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a coastal region, and has its own distinctive history and cooking traditions that are somewhat different from the rest of Louisiana, which features lots of seafood, garlic, and olive oil and tends to be a bit spicier than most. As with all good foods, the emphasis is always on quality, fresh ingredients.

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  • Breads

    Previously on RogueChef:

    I have my annual revel occurring later this week, and I want to “kick things up a notch” as much as possible.

    For appetizers I have a nice cheese board planned, along with some of the RogueChef’s special breads, but to set the expectations for the dinners, perhaps a flavored dipping oil, or perhaps three just for that absolute rogue chef , “BOOM…”. (I’m from Texas and do not do “Bam”.)

    There used to be a HPM, Home-Party-Marketing company that sold various cooking gadgets, mixes, recipie books and the like…. One item they sold was a beer bread mix, it was good but no commercially available mix is going to be great.

    It is my though to reconstruct that and use it as a basic bread dough for the various breads I’ll make as part of the bread / cheese / cracker / fruit board for the party. Using the basic dough one can add cheese, herbs, peppers, onions, roll it out and make calzones, pizza, or stromboli.

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  • Con Queso Dip

    As the annual Badwolf revel approaches, I must place my RogueChef’s hat on and consider the menu for the event.

    As always, I will do a fresh salsa, and a Guacamole, but want something a bit more. Perhaps Queso, but not the average run of the mill melted processed cheese melted and mixed with pickled jalapeno rings.

    And while processed cheese is just “Oil Field Trash”, in its melted state it is good stuff, the stuff of my youth. But when you are serving queso, people hope for something more sophisticated. Some recipes are called queso compuesto, or “queso and other good things”—good things could be a scoop of beans or fajita meat also added to the dip. Perhaps some really good chorizo, browned off, crumpled and mixed in.

    While I have eaten MANY bowls of cheese spread and jalapenos poured over tortilla chips, I really have a urge to make a real Chili con Queso with real peppers and real cheese, and have it taste as good or better than the rectangular brick of cheese food.

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