Grilled pork chop, Brussels sprouts salad

This could become my favorite meal. I invented this Brussels sprouts salad and I don't care what they say I won't live in a world without... 

The success of the Brussels sprouts salad, I must say, because if you lived here you would not have it, would not put up with it, comes from a not-so clean pan. 

It would work with a thoroughly clean pan but not as well, just as it will work with a nice clean outside grill even better but not as well as a not so clean outside grill. It is the way of the caveman. The taste and and the scent of fried burnt pork fat where it does not belong in a salad is oddly and arrestingly satisfying, it makes you glad you have it there on the plate, the layers of abuse laid onto the Brussels sprouts, bitter in taste, a bit mean in nature on their own, is beat up and modified and covered with masculine flavors of burnt meat and singed leaves with deep layers of what is termed umami nowadays, perhaps a trendy phrasing, but it hits the nail on the head, the salad is dense and strong and sturdy, with all of that modified appeal to contemporary taste with salt and with aged balsamic vinegar somewhat sweet put on all that char. It is an extraordinary salad. There. I said it. 

I recall the moment my brother convinced me eating an onion will not be unpleasant. I was incredulous. Ha! He'd have to do better than that to trick me.
No. It's safe. It changes when it's cooked a long time.
No way.
Yes. No kidding. It changes to sweet.
No it doesn't.
Yes it does. Look. Yum, yum, yum.
I tried it and it was sweet.  Onions became almost like candy. Like  magical transformation. 

And that is what these Brussels sprouts do. Nothing magical about the pan, But I never can bother to get it completely clean, and when I do get it completely completely clean, thoroughly between all the ribs, then it is ruined for that one next time until it gets messed up again and thereafter cleaned only half-heartedly. Or perhaps three quarters-heartedly. Fine! A primitive cast-iron pan cleaned only four fifths-heartedly. That is the success of this salad. 

Gyros sukiyaki,

Beef broth is basis for the sukiyaki, of course, and I do not think you can do better than this, it is deep and dark and rich, possibly too rich, I considered diluting it. 

It is changed to be sweeter with mirin or sugar, here I used brown sugar less than a teaspoon, and rounder with fish sauce, anchovy if I didn't have that, and some kind of alcohol for its permeating ability, here I used saki but anything will work.

The beef broth by itself is delicious. Any vegetable I scrounge will contribute. Butter and wine is an amazing combination and so is beef with wine. Saki is rice wine. 

I'm genuinely surprised the lamb gyros is greatly improved in splendid beef broth from Tony's market. The gyros is much better here than it is in gyros sandwich form and it is fantastic that way but here a lot more tender. It needed only a soak to soften right up. It is actually better than beef.

Baklava filo fail

I rolled two bread pans like these holding three rolls each, so six rolls total, the result of rolling flat six dough wads at once and then brushing each layer separately with melted butter and sprinkled nuts and rolling up onto a dowel, and pushing the roll up layer off the dowel. 

Mine is overbaked and not good at all.

I was trying to this ↓ and this ↓↓ and failed. These two women are interesting.

This page is unsteady and I hope these two videos stay up. YouTube is not that steady either, their members are not, and I did not copy these videos. It's a careless gamble.

This is a video of an Arabic or Persian woman making a round savory pie with phyllo or filo type dough. She manages the surface flour keeping it dry by replacing it for each dough wad repeatedly until finally she deftly and cleverly rolls them all flat together, and due to her care in keeping her powder dry the layers stay separate until she brushes  them with butter. It seems vinegar changes the pH of the dough allowing for extra thinness and sturdiness.

This second video, should it disappear, shows a girl wrapping regular phyllo the customary way except she rolls each sheet onto a wooden dowel purchased at Home Depot. The clever thing here is she pushes the roll off the dowel then the phyllo bunches up before sliding off adding another convoluted dimension to the compressed rolls. The rolls end up hollow like unfilled cannoli.

But I know where I went wrong, and cups of honey and pistachios and butter and flour are not so great a loss. School is a lot more expensive than this.

Here is how to cut a pie like a Muslim. You see, it is against the law to make pictures of nature, so no making dough in the shape of an apple or leaf or any such natural thing. It is offensive to presume to imitate creation of God so stick with geometric and mathematic designs and it is alright to go elaborate there. 

Sweet potato cream soup

This has butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar milk and cream added and it is sweet and delightful and unchallenging and kid-friendly.

Then the same bowl right here has ginger and chile powder, and nutmeg and salt and it is delightful and unchallenging.

Then the same bowl before finishing has pepper added, and more chile, and more salt, and a lot more nutmeg and it is delightful.

Then 3/4 the way through this bowl pictured right here, more salt added, and more chile powder and more ginger and more nutmeg and more black pepper, and it is.

Shrimp, polenta with masa


That's all well and good but how is the delicious red sauce made?

The sauce is started with a regular roux, that is flour and butter in equal parts, 1 tablespoon each. The flour is browned in the butter to desired darkness, here, blond. 

Spices are add, here, a lot. hot things. Hot powders. Uncomfortably hot for most people. Various chile powders where one will suffice. Other spices and herbs too, here dehydrated onion powder and garlic powder as found in commercial flavor packets.

Off the heat, some kind of alcohol whisked in to a sludge.

Back on the heat some kind of liquid whisked in, about a cup, here, water. But it could be chicken broth or milk or beer or vegetable broth, something like that. It thickens once it boils and more so as it cools. 

Basic velouté sauce, her pronunciation is throwing me off, you can tell she is all wrong because you don't go tossing accent marks on vowels for nothing, they are trying to help you say it. Ve-loot-e, not Ve-LOOT-e, touch the tiny speaker icon offered and Google will say it for you.

Smoked ham hock, beans, spinach

This ham shank was $8.00 and I was all, "What? Can you divide that in half please?" So they did. I have both halves and they packaged them separately and they are the best thing I've ever tasted in beans. Smoked ham hock is the way to go, with a lot of meat on it, like this. It flavors a large pot and it is totally worth it. 

These bones are going to make some little dog very happy.

Emily said, "This would be better with feta" and I said, "Why, Miss Dickinson that rhymes" and Emily said, "I know."

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