Saturday, October 24, 2009

Limoncello..........The Finish Line




You've made it! It's been a whole week and I know you've been peeking at your brew on and off during this time. Well your patience is about to be paid off as we're closer than you know to the finish line. I forgot to mention in the first post that limoncello is meant to be served frozen. So, store your bottles in the freezer when you are finished and access as needed; which should be very often. It is at this point in the recipe process that the lemon rind will be strained from the alcohol and combined with simple syrup (which is equal parts water and sugar cooked together to dissolve the sugar) to make the finished product. As a note any good, clean glass bottle can be used for the limoncello. I save bottles and purchase bottles. If you are curious where the bottles in the final picture are from I purchased them from Sunburst Bottle Company (http://www.sunburstbottle.com/). The style I use is the 500ml Carre (link: http://www.sunburstbottle.com/glass-bottles/decorative/CARRE).


Simple Syrup Recipe
7 cups sugar
7 cups water

~ Put water and sugar into appropriate sized pot. Cook on medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved into the water (liquid will be clear). This should take 5-7 minutes give or take
~ Set simple syrup aside to cool


Now with photos I will finish the recipe................

Remove the lemon and alcohol mixture from its resting place

Hells Yes! One week later.

Strain the lemon rinds from the alcohol.

As you can see the rinds have changed color. The rinds will now be white to pale white yellow and should be brittle like dried leather. You're doing good so far!

Here's a look at the straight alcohol mixture.

The brew will be bright yellow and clear at this point.

You will now add the simple syrup to the alcohol mixture.

The limoncello will now become cloudy. This is how it should be. Guess what? You're done! Bottle, place in the freezer and enjoy.

The Finished Product..............


                                                                                                    A Thing of Beauty

"CHEF'S SPECIAL" Lines of the Week - NFL Week 7



My apologies for the late post. I've had quite a hectic week here at the domocile.

Date & Time                            Favorite                            Line                              Underdog         
10/25 12:00 CT                       San Diego                            -5                                At Kansas City
10/25 12:00 CT                       Indianapolis                         -17                              At St. Louis
10/25 12:00 CT                       At Cincinnati                     -2.5                             Chicago
10/25 12:00 CT                       Green Bay                          -7.5                              At Cleveland
10/25 12:00 CT                       At Pittsburgh                     -4                                Minnesota
10/25 12:00 CT (at London)          New England                      -17                              Tampa Bay
10/25 12:00 CT                       San Francisco                    -1.5                             At Houston
10/25 3:05 CT                         NY Jets                             -7.5                             At Oakland
10/25 3:05 CT                         At Carolina                        -3                               Buffalo
10/25 3:15 CT                         New Orlenas                      -7                                At Miami
10/25 3:15 CT                         Atlanta                               -3.5                             At Dallas
10/25 7:20 CT                         At NY Giants                   -8.5                             Arizona
10/26 7:35 CT                         Philadelphia                     -6                                At Washington

Bye Weeks: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Tennessee

As always point spreads are for entertainment purposes only, if you lose your ass, hey, that's on you.


     





Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh The Humanity!!!!!................Part III



Seems the Dallas Cowboys finally met an opponent they could stand up to. Let's hear it for sending "Bye" up in flames. Victory. Mission accomplished. If we only had "Bye" as the opponent every week this thing would be 16-0 and rolling to the Super Bowl. Here are some of the various comings and goings during the Cowboy's off week.

~ Tiger Woods came to Valley Ranch and worked out with Tony Romo. Then they all held hands and went to see U2. Yippee! Don't for one second think that some of Tiger's mojo rubbed off on Tony. It didn't.
~ Flozell Adams - you're still a penalty machine. Anyone care to set the over/under the rest of the season for penalties and drives killed?
~ Considering the pitiful way in which the Cowboys spanked, er, squeaked by the Chiefs the uproar on sports talk radio has been relatively subdued this week. I'm afraid people are starting to see this train wreck for what it is and after 12 seasons without a playoff win this may be the opening shot of fan apathy.
~ This organization is fundamentally flawed; Jerry Jones is Al Davis with people skills (not my original thought but so good and so right on target I had to use it).
~ I know these seem to be reoccurring subjects and themes but until something changes I'm forced to hammer the same nail.
~ Now for some good news; Keith Brooking is awesome. This is one dude who "gets it". Examples: never stops on a play, fundamentally sound tackler, knows his assignment, understands Wed./Thu./Fri. makes a team successful on Sunday, never takes a play off. I wish this team had more Keith Brookings and Jay Ratliffs. I can dream, can't I.

Well, enjoy the week and steel yourselves for the arrival of the Atlanta Falcons.

Timmy's Mole


Ever sit there eating a delicious plate of mole enchiladas, enjoying them with an ice cold cerveza or margarita and think to yourself; damn these are good, what the hell is in this sauce? Well there are actually quite a few things that go into making the perfect mole. Mole is a sauce from the interior of Mexico. Traditionally it is served with turkey (unexpected!). However the sauce can be used in a wide range of dishes with shredded chicken or pork in them. It may also be used with bone-in pieces of chicken and pork tenderloin. And don't forget it makes a wonderful sauce to top enchiladas. One of my favorite favorite ways to eat this is served over white rice with tortillas; simple, yet awesome. I won't lie to you, for the novice this recipe is time consuming. The recipe has several steps and processes to it and has a laundry list of ingredients; 26 to be exact. I assure you the time and care spent in preparation will be reflected in the results. When you are done with the mole you will have a lot of sauce on your hands (3-4 quarts, give or take). Anything extra can be portioned and frozen. You may prepare this sauce up to three or four days in advance of the actual meal. I recommend at least one day ahead of time as this lets the sauce rest and allows the many flavors of the dish to come together nicely. When you are seeding and deveining the chiles I would advise using latex gloves since you are handling a large quantity of chiles. When I prepare this dish I use two whole chickens to make the chicken stock for this recipe. I then shred the chicken and use it with the prepared sauce. However it is perfectly acceptable to substitute low-sodium or no-sodium chicken stock purchased from the store. Sometimes it can be difficult to find ripe plantains in the store. This leaves you with two options; you may substitute bananas or you may purchase unripened plantains several days ahead and let them ripen. A word of note; plantains are not like bananas. Unripe plantains contain a large amount of starch in them, similar to a potato, and are not sweet at all. When a plantain is ripe the entire skin will be black. Try not to get too freaked out about this. It is easiest to use a blender to puree' the mole. While you are blending the sauce you may add some extra chicken stock to thin the sauce slightly. Make sure the sauce has cooled and do it in smaller batches as to minimize any splattering, unless of course you're into that shit.

Away we go................................

7 large gualillo chiles, seeded and deveined
7 large pasilla peppers, seeded and deveined
7 large ancho chiles, seeded and deveined

1-1/2 yellow onions, quartered
3 tomatoes, quartered
8 large garlic cloves

1/4 c. black raisins, firmly packed
1/2 c. dried apricots, firmly packed
1/2 c. prunes, firmly packed
2 c. red wine

1 Tbl. Mexican oregano
2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 Tbl. whole black peppercorn
3 pieces whole clove
1 large cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
3/4 c. pumpkin seeds

2 quarts chicken stock + extra for blending
1 ripe plantain
1/2 - 3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 corn tortillas
1/4 c. espresso
1/4 c. almond butter
1 Tbl. salt
1 Tbl. turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the pumpkin seeds for approximately 20 minutes tossing two or three times. Remove from oven and set aside.
~ Turn broiler up to 500 degrees. Begin by placing the chiles on a foil lined baking sheet and toasting them under the broiler for 3-4 until they start to smoking and let off an aroma. Be careful not to breathe in heavily as you will be in for quite a chili-rific surprise. Remove from the oven, place in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside and allow to soak for 45 minutes
~ Keep broiler on 500 degrees. Place the onions, tomatoes, and garlic on a foil lined baking sheet and place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes allowing the vegetables to roast and become slightly charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
~ In a small sauce pan combine the raisins, apricots, prunes, and red wine and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until most of the wine has been absorbed by the fruit. Remove from heat and set aside.
~ Grind the pumpkin seeds in a spice grinder and set aside. You may also use a mortar and pestle.
~ In a medium hot pan toast all of the spices, turning quickly as not to burn them. As soon as you see them smoking remove from the heat and allow to cool. Grind the spices in a spice grinder and set aside.
~ To start assembling the mole, drain the chilis and combine them with the roasted vegetables, the wine soaked fruit, pumpkin seeds, and spices in a large, heavy bottom stock pot. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.
~ As the sauce is simmering, peel the plantains and slice into 3/4" slices. Place the vegetable oil in a sauté pan, heat pan to medium high and sauté the plantains until they are golden brown on both sides. Put plantains directly into stock pot.
~ Add chocolate, almond butter, espresso, tortillas, salt, and sugar to the sauce and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
~ Remove from heat, allow to cool, and puree until smooth

Below is a photo of the finished sauce. I know it's not exactly a glamour shot but will give you a good idea of the sauces color and consistency. Now go out there and impress your friends and family.




Friday, October 16, 2009

"CHEF'S SPECIAL" Lines of the Week - NFL Week 6



Date & Time                     Favorite                         Line                           Underdog       
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Washington               -3                              Kansas City
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Cincinnati                  -6                              Houston
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Pittsburgh                  -12.5                         Cleveland
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Minnesota                 Pick 'em                     Baltimore
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Jacksonville              -11                            St. Louis
10/18 12:00 CT                  At New Orleans             -4                              NY Giants
10/18 12:00 CT                  Carolina                           -3.5                          At Tampa Bay
10/18 12:00 CT                  At Green Bay                 -9                             Detroit
10/18 3:05 CT                    Philadelphia                      -17                           At Oakland
10/18 3:05 CT                    At Seattle                       -3                             Arizona
10/18 3:15 CT                    At NY Jets                     -9.5                          Buffalo
10/18 3:15 CT                    At New England             -7                             Tennessee
10/18 7:20 CT                    At Atlanta                       -6.5                          Chicago
10/19 7:35 CT                    Denver                             -1.5                          At San Diego

Bye Weeks: Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, San Francisco


As always point spreads are for entertainment purposes only. If you lose your ass, hey, that's on you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Limoncello.......Part I




Mmmm.........Limoncello. For those not in the know Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that is consumed after a meal. The drink services not only as a digestif but as a pleasant end to any meal. In addition to its qualities as a digestion aid it also provides a killer buzz and has been proven to jump start debates and deep thoughts. If that wasn't enough it has a great taste to boot. Limoncello is made with lemon peels that are combined with high proof alcohol and the resulting mixture being combined with simple syrup. The end result is a potion that is bright, sweet, lemony, and potent but not sour as it is not made with lemon juice. The flavor and color are achieved by the interaction of the lemon peel with the alcohol. Limoncello is deceptively easy to make and delicious. I encourage everyone to try this recipe once and impress both your friends and neighbors. As always, I must give credit where credit is due. I originally learned this recipe from my aunt Amy Miller who not only is a culinary talent in her own right but lived in Italy for several years. I have adapted the recipe to tone down the sweetness slightly but hers is my inspiration (and we share a birthday!). This liqueur has developed a mini-cult following at my work due to an incident at last year's holiday party where many people were first introduced to Limocello and were later found howling at the moon. How was I to know?!?!?



Aunt Amy......Culinary giant, Limocello artist, and Ava Gabor impersonator


Without further adieu, here it comes.

1.75 liter + 750 ml Everclear


22 Lemons















Remove the peels from the lemons and combine with Everclear in a container with a lid. I use a peeler to remove the lemons. You want to be careful and remove as little of the "white" part of the lemon as possible. This is called the pith and it is very bitter. The Limoncello will get its bright color and lemon flavor from the essential oils in the peel. The alcohol interacts with the peel drawing out the oils; this process is called macerating. You can use just about any glass or plastic container that you want, just make sure it has a lid. I use a round plastic storage jar with a gripping lid. The alcohol and peel mixture must now sit for 7 days. Place the container in a cool (room temperature is ok) and dark place and practice being patient. As you check the mixture each day you will see that the liquid starts to turn yellow and the peels start to turn white. The magic has begun!


This is how your peels should look.



These lemons is naked!



Concoction combined correctly = Good JuJu!



See you in a week............................

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh The Humanity!!!!!..............Part II


Your Dallas Cowboys. This team is done. Finished. Kaput. How can I best sum up this steaming pile; pitiful, pathetic, and inexcusable. So you beat the Chiefs, so what. Two long Miles Austin touchdowns fueled by dismal tackling has propelled the team to a win. In your division Philadelphia and New York pummeled similar competition (Tampa Bay and Oakland respectively). This doesn't even qualify as a moral victory even though it was an actual victory. Going into today's games do you know who had the worst record in the NFL over the last 29 games? Detroit.....nope. St. Louis...........good guess but wrong. Oakland..........they definitely stink, guess again. Kansas City. You guessed it. The stinking Kansas City Chiefs are the worst team in the league over the last season and three-quarters, mustering a meager 2-27 record their last 29 games. Even lowly Detroit going 0 for 16 last season has managed to squeak out three wins over the same period. Step back, take a breath and let this alleged win sink in. The Cowboys are well on their way to a 7-9 season, possibly worse. Where to begin.......

~ Penalties. This team is a penalty machine. Penalties to kill drives, penalties to negate positive plays, penalties to worsen field position, you name it this team's got 'em. And these aren't even effort penalties. These are mental mistakes pure and simple. C'mon.....four, count 'em four defensive offsides penalties on one series in the K.C. game. Sickening. Chronic mental mistakes can only mean one thing; this team is not being  prepared to play football.

~ Turnovers. Someone, anyone needs to drill it into the heads of these players; lose the turnover battle and you lose the game. Teams that have more turnovers, even a modest +1, manage to win 83% of their games. Take care of the football!

~ Leadership. There is none. From a coach that has lost the team to a narcissistic owner that won't change his ways; this fish stinks form the head down. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. Memo to Jerry Jones; 12 years and counting since the last payoff win (PS - thanks for taking me Chris).

~ Pride. This is where the eyeball test comes into play. It just doesn't look to me like these guys give a rat's ass what happens. I see slumped shoulders, poor facial expression, and a general negative attitude. I know this is an over-simplification but this team seems to be chock full of front runners. When all is going well the team does fine. Punch this team in the face or watch it go up against adversity and the team disappears and the finger pointing begins.

~ Talent. I can't speak for all concerned but those of us in the Metroplex have been drilled for the last few years how talented this group of players is. Has anyone stopped to consider that maybe this team ain't all that talented. Who are the Pro Bowlers on this roster? Who are the game changers? Hell, who's just doing their job? Mark my words, this terrible 2009 draft will come back to haunt this franchise long term.

Well, gotta go enjoy the bye week. Should be two weeks of panic induced sports talk and many opportunities to talk Cowboys fans off the ledge. However I am not one of them. This team is cooked.

Editor's note: began this post with the scored tied 13-13 in the fourth quarter (11:05 left in game) and decided win or lose I would post this item.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TOP TEN GUY MOVIES

What makes a guy movie? Is it the action? Is it the violence? Is it the funny? Well it's all of these things and more. Did you pass it as you scrolled through the cable listings? If it's a guy film and most especially if it's in the top ten you can do nothing except stop, rearrange your schedule, and settle in for some old fashioned man goodness. Can't rearrange your schedule, that's ok you probably own these films anyway. So let the list begin......



10) Beverly Hills Cop (1984) 25 years later I still laugh out loud during the movie. Easily a top five movie of the 80's. Still considered by many as the funniest cop/buddy movie made. Combine Eddie Murphy with a flimsy premise (investigating low-life buddy's murder), add a dash of fish out of water element, a bevy of characters to interact with, and a pair of bumbling cops and you've got a genius film that is chock full of laughs from beginning to end. The Harold Faltemeyer score is just a bonus. Who's ever gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe trick again? The fact that the movie spawned two turd infested sequels does not take the shine off it.

Favorite Line - You're not gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe? It should be more natural, brother. It should flow out, like this - "Look, man, I ain't fallin' for no banana in my tailpipe!" See, that's more natural for us. You been hanging out with this dude too long.



9) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) OK admit it, Who doesn't want to work a bull whip like Indiana Jones? If you said no you're lying. Steven Spielberg's take on the Saturday matinée introduced us to one of the most memorable, most original characters to be put on film. It's a film that has just about everything needed to be a superlative guy movie; action, funny dialog, John Williams score, face melting, villains, villains and Nazis, chases, damsel rescue, heads being buzzed by propellers, and even phobias (snakes). If you haven't seen this film in a while, rent it and be reminded of all cinema can be. Oh yea, don't ever, ever stare directly into the Ark of the Covenant.

Favorite Line - Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.


8) Gladiator (2000) The first Oscar winner on the guy list. Winner of five statues including best picture and best actor for Russell Crowe. Gladiator has what should get it into every top ten guy movie list; epic battle scene. I felt grimy, bloody, and oily after watching it. Ridley Scott's tale of revenge hits all the right notes with superlative turns by Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, the late, great Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou and Connie Nielsen.

Favorite Line - At my signal, unleash hell.


7) Fight Club (1999) Slick, Stylish, Funny, Violent. Four things your are always looking for in a guy film. All I can say is I was totally blown away by this film the first time I saw it. Later viewings clued me into things I had not seen the first time around (always a sign of a great movie). And "wow" was I not ready for the ending. Brad Pitt is perfectly cast as Tyler Durden; maker of soap, purveyor of chaos. Durden represents the sort of archetype man that most men would not openly admit wanting to be; strong of opinion, strong of action, and a man with a plan (no matter how twisted). Edward Norton is stellar as the sleep deprived, inhibited, anti-hero the narrator.

Favorite Line - Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor, but every once in a while...it's a dildo. Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article "a" dildo, never "your" dildo.



6) Die Hard (1988) Quite possibly the zenith of guy action flicks for the 80's. Take one out of place cop, mix in one high rise building, sprinkle in an international gang of terrorists, and cook for 131 minutes and you have high action and a worthy entry into the top ten. Bruce Willis is great as Officer John McClane but the coup de grace is Alan Rickman as the terrorists leader Hans Gruber; a singular, unforgettable, over the top villain.

Favorite Line - Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker



5) Dirty Harry (1971) Vigilante cop treks from one end of San Francisco to the other dispensing his brand of justice, all the while clutching a Magnum .44 pistol. Sounds good to me! It was said that the movie was popular because of a backlash against the 60's and the liberal viewpoint that endeared sympathy to the criminal instead of the victim. That's not why it makes the guy list top ten. Snuffing out crime with a giant pistol and putting the bad guys behind bars or six feet under will never get tired (or un-manly). And let's not forget Andy Robinson as the Scorpio Killer, truly creepy. The sequels softened up and eventually devolved into The Dead Pool. Put those out of mind and remember the original.


Favorite Line - I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?



4) The Dark Knight (2008) Christopher Nolan took the Batman franchise off of life support with Batman Begins. I know of few that would have thought he could not only top it but make an opus magnum of comic book movies with Knight. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman but the true revelation in this movie is Heath Ledger as the Joker. Gone is Jack Nicholson's campy portrayal, replaced with a dark, brooding Joker that is indeed a depiction of unabashed evil. Action galore and lots of blowing stuff and people up. Not to mention an excellent script and wonderfully vibrant storyline. Some may grouse at the films 152 minute running time. I say to Nolan, 152 minutes well spent.

Favorite Line - Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!





3) Miller's Crossing (1990) This Coen brothers classic snuck in and out of the theaters in 1990 barely grossing five million dollars. And what a classic most people missed. Gabriel Byrne is sensational as mobster right hand man Tom Regan. I dare anyone to get all of the plot twists and turns in the first viewing. That is one of a number of elements that make this film so damn good. The casting is spot on, the dialog is top shelf, the cinematography beautiful, and the film has an outstanding score. All of this makes for a film that stands up and gets better with multiple viewings.

Favorite Line - You think that I'm some guinea, fresh off the boat, and you can kick me! But I'm too big for that now. I'm sick a' takin the scrap from you, Leo. I'm a' of marching into this goddamn office to kiss your Irish ass. And I'M SICK A' THE HIGH HAT!.......Youse fancy pants, all a youse.






2) The Big Lebowski (1998) Back to back Coen brothers films, hmmmmm...........So much greatness I barely know where to begin. Trying to be objective as I can this easily could have been my number one. This is the Coen brothers comedic masterpiece (so far). Is it possible to go back and give the un-Oscar to Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of Jeffery Lebowski aka "The Dude"? He was brilliant. Chock full of smart and funny dialog this film only gets better in subsequent viewings. Quirky characters, wheels-off scenes, and enough plot twists to keep you guessing, this film is the thinking man's comedy. As they say, the Dude abides. (Editor's note - just stopped posting this blog to stomp down and watch this movie).

Favorite Line - Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.



1) The Godfather (1972) & The Godfather: Part II (1974) I know, I know. Don't start with me. It is never a cop out citing two films when discussing these two. They say the measure of a film's significance is how well it holds up over time. Brother, these two are as fresh, relevant, and as easy to watch today as they were thirty-five and thirty-seven years ago. All-star cast, check. Script, check. Violence, check. The family dynamic and family betrayal, check. Mobsters, check. Marlon Brando, check. Greatness, check.


Favorite Line - I'm gonna make him an offer he won't refuse. Okay? I want you to leave it all to me. Go on, go back to the party.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

“Chef’s Special” Lines of the Week – NFL Week 5




Date & Time            Favorite        Line        Underdog
10/11 12:00 CT                     Minnesota        -12        At St. Louis

10/11 12:00 CT                       Dallas            -4        At Kansas City

10/11 12:00 CT                     At Carolina        -3.5        Washington

10/11    12:00 CT                    At Philadelphia    -11.5        Tampa Bay

10/11 12:00 CT                        At NY Giants        -15.5        Oakland

10/11 12:00 CT                        At Buffalo        -5        Cleveland

10/11 12:00 CT                       At Baltimore        -6.5        Cincinnati

10/11 12:00 CT                       Pittsburgh        -9        At Detroit

10/11 3:05 CT                         Atlanta        -2        At San Francisco

10/11 3:15 CT                        New England        -5        At Denver

10/11 3:15 CT                         At Arizona        -4.5        Houston

10/11 3:15 CT                       At Seattle        Pick 'em    Jacksonville

10/11 7:20 CT                        Indianapolis        -3.5        At Tennessee

10/12 7:35 CT                        NY Jets            -3        At Miami

Bye Weeks: Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego



As always point spreads are for entertainment purposes only. If you lose your ass, hey, that's on you.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Shrimp and Grits


SHRIMP AND GRITS

This is a classic low country (South Carolina) cuisine dish. The region is best known for its use of local, fresh seafood, local vegetables such as okra, sweet potatoes, and squashes, rice, and other grains. Debate rages as to what constitutes low country cuisine similar to the ongoing debate in Texas of what constitutes barbecue. There are multiple answers and many who cling to their interpretation with tenacity. It is most likely a question that will never be completely answered and that's not necessarily bad. But I digress, back to the recipe. Made with fresh ingredients it is as satisfying as it is simple. I have seen variations that include tomatoes, corn, or both but the recipe below is a straight forward rendition. Served with a rustic, crusty bread this dish is hard to beat.

2 cups Chicken Stock, unsalted
1 cup Water
1-1/8 cup Grits, as far as I'm concerned you may use quick cooking grits but try to avoid instant

~ Stir grits into boiling water and cook until creamy
~ To the cooked grits add in:

2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese

~ Stir until butter and cheese are incorporated, correct seasoning with salt and white pepper. Set aside and keep warm for use at plating

1-1/2 pounds Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 pieces Bacon, cooked and chopped, reserve bacon grease (2 Tbl.) for use later
3 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic
2 ounces White Wine
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/2 to 1 cup Chicken Stock, unsalted
Chopped Parsley
Chopped Green Onion

~ Heat bacon grease and garlic in a sauté pan on medium high heat
~ Add in flour and bacon and cook this quick roux for 1 to 2 minutes
~ Add wine and cook for an additional minute
~ Add chicken stock, this will create a slightly thickened sauce. You want the sauce thicker than water and thinner than gravy
~ Cook mixture 2 to 3 minutes
~ Add in shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked
~ Add in parsley and onion for the last minute of cooking

You are now ready to plate the dish. Grab your grits and lets get going..........

~ Spoon grits on plate or bowl
~ Place shrimp in the center of the grits
~ Spoon sauce on top of shrimp


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Oh the Humanity!!!!!!!


Just got finished watching the Cowboys take it in the tailpipe to the Denver Broncos. What a painful viewing. As I posted yesterday I believe that this team is just an 8-8 season waiting to happen.

In the random thought department, let's roll back to 2007. Coming off of four years under the Giant Tuna Bill Parcells the Cowboys had ditched Parcells and hired Son of Bum Wade Phillips. The 2007 season represented the best opportunity for the Cowboys to make some noise, reach the playoffs, and go deep possibly even to the Super Bowl. The reason for this was a unique dynamic that had enveloped the team. Through Parcell's tenure with the Cowboys he did an excellent job revitalizing the Cowboys after the Chan Gailey/Dave Campo "oh, my aching balls" lost years. Say what you will about Parcells dude knew how to churn and burn a roster. However, his style had grown stale within the locker room. Enter SOB and a new player's coach to take the reins. The loosened reins coupled with the leftover discipline from the Parcells years equated into a 13-3 season and gigantic expectations. These expectations died in a first round loss to the New Your Giants and it has been downhill since. A 9-7 season with a last game implosion at Philadelphia has been followed by a 2-2 start to this season.

So here we are. Let the torching begin.......

~ Wade Phillips; gots to go. Enough said.
~ Jerry Jones, is it any coincidence that the Cowboys were best and revitalized under strong coaches who also had strong opinions and influence in the GM department (Jimmy Johnson, Parcells).
~ Tony Romo Part 1, don't think he's going to cut the mustard. And please for the love of all things human do not throw in my face that he is 26-12 or whatever it is as a starter. The proof is in the pudding, the bigger the game the smaller he plays.
~ Tony Romo Part 2, My man, you're the quarterback of the Cowboys. Go to Cowboy's quarterback school. The spotlight shines brightest in Big "D".
~ Draft (ex., 2009), there is enough talent on this team to win. This pitiful 2009 draft will come back to bite the team in the arse.
~ Attitude, there isn't a winning one in this organization. The fish stinks from the head down. Jerry Jones is more interested in style over substance. It shows in the on-the-field product.

I need a stinkin' drink. Later.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Late Night Thoughts


Just got finished with a full day of paper writing for school. 1000 words, 1000 words, and 1250 words. That's a lot of words. Phew! I can barely see straight enough to make this post. But you are in luck, I have a few word sleft in me. Some random thoughts to end the day.......

~ Don't skimp on spices, quality or quantity.

~ TAMU, you're frauds. Get ready for a nice 5 or 6 win season. Wait, that's an improvement from last year.

~ Consider me very, very nervous about the Cowboys trip to Denver tomorrow. Unfortunately this team has 8-8 written all over it.

~ Is there anything better than a big steak and a knock-it-outta the park Cabernet. Apologies to vegetarians and vegans of the world (or not).

~ You get what you pay for. No, you really do.

~ Best entertainment value going............movies. Where else can you get a two-hour cinematic getaway that can run as low as $5.00. Even at full price I'm still going.

~ Most people who have eaten my cooking may find this hard to believe; it took me years to learn how to make perfect rice. Don't give up.

~ A good bourbon is your good friend.

~ No one, and I mean no one in this stinking town knows how to make a margarita correctly. It's a cocktail not a Sprite spritzer with a wave of the tequila bottle over the top. I'll be giving lessons tomorrow.

~ Go to the pound, get you a dog. Life is better with one.