"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thanks, Storck!

Kelly Cook of Storck USA, L.P. noticed our post about Riesen some time back and sent us a bunch coupons for Storck products. Thanks, Kelly! (Thanks also to Michael Phillips, who sent me a very nice letter.)

I myself am probably going to use my coupons to buy Toffifay, the best candy ever next to Riesen. I mean, they're these little cups! And each one has a whole hazlenut inside! Also, the packaging is ultra cute. (Years ago, they had a pretty funny ad with this motorcycle cop standing around eating Toffifay and singing a song containing the lyrics, "Toffifay/it's too good for kids!" I couldn't find the motorcycle cop ad, but there's another one from the same campaign, with the song, here.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Baconbaconbacon mmmmmm BACON

In order to counteract the distressing news about high bacon consumption, it has become necessary to create an open thread for the purpose of posting inspirational stories of bacony goodness. Please, share.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Come on Baby, Light My Fire

This title is for Miss Cake, because I know how much she loves the Doors.

Tonight, Chez Gateau, we inaugurated the grilling season. It was a stunningly gorgeous day, finally, after a couple weeks of rainy cold spring misery. Young Master Gateau requested that we barbecue, and he was very insistent that we have corn on the cob, and that it be cooked in a pot of boiling water, not in the obnoxious way his mother likes to do it, which is on the grill in its husk, and served with a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, and hot chilis. He is a butter and salt man, dammit, and he would not be thwarted.

I picked up some corn, figuring it would be barely a step above cattle feed, but to my surprise it was sweet and tender. No doubt Whole Paycheck is trucking this stuff in from Florida and bunring insane amounts of fossil fuels to bring this to their "natural and organic" produce sections, but WHATEVER. Along with that we had some good beef hotdogs on buns and some burgers made from the beef I bought with Mr. X. I also had a pint of some vegetable-and-grain salad with pesto vinaigrette from the store that was pretty good. Because I tended the grill, the burgers were a perfect medium-rare (Mr. Gateau tends to overcook, the poor dear), and we had them with crumbled blue cheese and a little ketchup. I think this will be this summer's obsession.

We started out with guacamole and chips and some marinated olives (Y.M.G. had mozzarella balls, which is one of the few things he eats), with a Brooklyn Lager for Mr. G. and a pink grapefruit margarita for me. I'd had my first beer of the day earlier, I must admit. And it may not be my last.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Perils of Bacon?

Horrors, just stumbled across this article in the BBC News.

And there I had nearly convinced myself that bacon is so good, it's practically health food.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hot hot hot

Today, during the giant storm, I made some nice popcorn, which is a whole grain, and put cayenne pepper on it instead of salt because More Magazine said cayenne was an anti-inflammatory or some such thing. It was weird, and Mr. Cake rejected it entirely. I think maybe next time I'll try a Penzey's Bangkok Blend instead, as Mr. Cake brought some home last week. It has cayenne, but also ancho chile powder and so forth.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

1 box + 3 packages + 1 jar = dinner

Here is one of those recipes that is measured in containers of things from the supermarket that comes out deliciously tasty. Also, though it uses various packaged goods, none of them has disgusting, unpronounceable ingredients. I think it was my sister who came up with this.

2 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 breast halves)
1 package sliced prosciutto, cut into thin short strips (probably about 1/4 pound)
1 jar vodka sauce
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil or 1 tbs. dried
1 box penne
1 bag frozen peas (about 9 oz.)

Get a big pot of water going and start making the penne. When the penne is nearly done, pour in the frozen peas and cook all together until everything is finished.

Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is translucent. Cook the chicken in the microwave and slice into chunks (you can cook it in the skillet if you want, or use leftover cooked chicken, or poach it, it really doesn't matter). Add the chicken and prosciutto to the pan and stir until everything is cooked and intermingled. Reduce the heat. Add the vodka sauce and the penne and cook until everything is heated through.

When the pasta and peas are done, drain in a colander and return to the big pot. Add the skillet contents and toss well. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

This dish also does very well doubled or even tripled if you are feeding a crowd, and it reheats nicely.

And speaking of matzo....

I recently learned of the most spectacular thing you can do with matzo. I'm not kidding, it's incredible, decadent, and delicious. Our invisible online friends refer to this as matzo crack. Check it out. I made a double batch the other day, and I'm not sorry. My hips will be, but that's another story.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Matzo. Oy, Matzo.

Cooking with matzo, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks. For passover, I tried to make this matzo kugel. (For those of you not in the Tribe, "kugel" is basically a pudding -- not a milk pudding, but a pudding in the style of Yorkshire pudding or bread pudding.) Well, it was pretty much a disaster -- basically came out like some pieces of matzoh with some apples and raisins sitting there, sort of barely bound together with egg and honey. No fun at all. Everyone just sort of nodded at it and didn't say a word, which was very polite of them considering the fact that it was a horror. If we had had a dog, they would have scraped it under the table for him, where he would have proceded to ignore it if he had any taste whatsoever.

Moral of the story: don't cook with matzo, except for matzo brei, and even that's questionable, to be honest about it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cultural Learnings of My Mother For Make Benefit Glorious Comfort Food

I should start by saying that it helps that my mother is not that normal.

For Passover this year, she bought $150 worth of standing rib roast, but had no idea how long to cook it. I hauled out my copy of Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and got excellent, clear instructions, that mandated the use of a meat thermometer. Foolproof! Of course, she didn't trust me, and the meat, though succulent, did get a teeny bit overcooked. Anyway, it was good and we all enjoyed it, but she had way overbought, which is appropriate for a Jewish mother cooking a holiday meal.

So today she made the world's most expensive pot roast out of the leftovers, with kasha for the mushroom gravy, and invited me over with the little Cupcakes. I am telling you, this was comfort food to the nth degree. In fact, I highly recommend going a little nutso with your prime rib purchasing, just to enable something like this.