Seared bell pepper, Brussels sprouts

Chicken breast, vegetables, cream sauce, pasta

Mashed potato, gravy

Mike Wolf said, "This shift knob is the thing that completes the restoration. This shift knob is the gravy on the potatoes …"

Man, that sounded like a good idea. 

Shredded chicken on steamed buns

Bacon and egg, rice and mushroom pancake

Bacon and egg with rice, mushroom and onion. 


Leftover risotto already flavorful with saffron and Parmigiano is lightened with beaten egg. The mixture too loose to handle so it isn't handled. A disc-shaped layer of panko breadcrumb is spread on the edge of a plate the mixture plunked on top and flattened, and another layer of panko to cover, the wobbly mass transferred to a hot buttered pan and flipped when the egg begins to set. 

Baked potato with ham and sour cream

It is the same thing as grilled ham and cheese sandwich where bread is switched out for potato.

Butternut squash soup

This could by your kid's favorite soup. I thought, "Did you put that pineapple in there?"  No. I did not, but with this combination of things it tastes like I did. 

* butter
* brown sugar
* ginger
* cinnamon
* salt/pepper
* lemon

Risotto with broccoli and mushrooms

It's as if he knows what he's doing.

And yet he did it all wrong, we watched him.

I say disqualification. This is outrageous.

And yet it is risotto. And it is very good too. Better than the others. I say pass him to the next level.

I say kick him out.

Arborio rice dumped from the chutes at Whole Foods and stored at home in mislabeled jars to vex kitchen interlopers.  

Risotto made the steamed rice way, then stirred at length, there is no getting out of stirring, either throughout or all at once at the end, either way the point is to knock off the outer surface of starch to form a sauce with additional liquid without brutalizing and breaking apart the rice grains. 

Grated Parmigiano is added at the end to finish so the sauce is made more liquid to compensate for the thickness caused by melted cheese to retain a wet loose sauce texture and to avoid the whole mass tightening up, which it will do as it cools. 

Cheesesteak sandwich

This is a deplorable fate for rib eye steak, this treatment is reserved for tougher pieces of meat, and this meat is not tough. The steak is not sliced thinly either, it is shaved. So it helps to be a little bit frozen.

The meat has onion and garlic and one mashed up chipotle chile in adobo which renders the whole mixture hot with capsaicin heat. Pleasantly hot, my lips are still feeling it.

This is ridiculous, there is a shop right across the street and I actually like going over there. Do I do as well? Why, yes, I do. Their bread is great but my bread is better, and their steak is good but my steak is great. And my sandwich is less expensive too, but not by much. They are a very good at what they do over there at Taste of Philly and it is a good deal and I recommend them, still, my sandwich is objectively better.

Chicken soup from bones

These are mostly femur bones from chickens, if chickens have femurs, the large bone in chicken thighs. They are crushed with pliers, and I usually do not do this much bone crushing.

The bones are roasted. On high. To impart layers of flavor that would be absent without it.

Old bay, and not a good thing either. I'm tired of fishing out little broken pieces to use, so out with it.

I must say, this is so good with my own bread, it doubles the goodness. This bread has more character to it than official sourdough loaves that I purchased from stores. They usually disappoint me when I bother, and this bread beats those.

Also, this is chicken broth, not chicken stock. All that bay, salt, coriander seed, mustard seed, fennel seed, black pepper seed, an entire garlic bulb cut in two, and a whole onion sliced in two, the end of a celery bunch, and a couple of carrots, so a full on chicken broth thoroughly flavored.

I tested it for adjustments.

No adjustments necessary, except possibly water because this broth is not light.  

So naturally I added heavy cream to finish.

A portion of the potato is blended. 

You don't find soup like this, you just don't.

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