fried chicken breast with Hatch chile

Why do we pound chicken breasts?

Because we're mean. Duh. 

Nah, just kidding. Because they've misbehaved very badly. 

Nah, just kidding again. To fool us into thinking we're getting a lot more than we are.

No, for reals, this time. Because they're lopsided and so they cook evenly and a lot faster.

Add to the flour whatever you like and don't let anyone tell you differently.

Wild flower honey.

These Hatch chiles are hotter than I recall and that's why I love them so. 

pozole to flavored hominy grits with cheese

Polenta, if you like.

Southern grits are made with corn kernels soaked in an alkali solution, a process called nixtamalization received from Native Central Americans. Notice the root word tamali in there.

Whereas Polenta is the same idea but from Europe that uses ordinary corn kernels that are not treated, originally the heirloom type Bantam 8 rows, a type that is not at all cost efficient to produce although still regarded by enthusiasts as the best tasting polenta.

Here is a lengthy description on Huffington Post about how to cook the best Southern grits. It's pure nonsense relying on authority and indicating the writer does not know from experience what they are talking about. The article is overcomplicated ridiculously. For a cynical laugh but for no useful information.

This is breakfast. And I must say it is delicious. And it's delicious whatever you do. Even if you use dried beans instead of corn. Even if you cook it in three minutes by microwave as I have.

Cayenne, salt, pepper and butter.

This is 1 part pozole kernels to 3 parts water. 

Stirred three times in 30 second increments. Stirring is crucial as the weight of the kernels sinks and clumps separately.

It is too dense for my preference today so 2 parts more water is added and returned to the microwave for an additional minute.

Two types of cheese. An incredibly strong cheddar and a lighter white cheese.

The first time our family was served Southern style grits at a diner all five us kids were all, what, what, WHAT?  We had no idea what to do with it. Salt, pepper and butter hardly helped it at all. We failed to form an affinity for grits the entire three years in Shreveport. 

And now I adore it enhanced this way. 

Sometimes I make it from popcorn kernels. Sometimes cooked on the stovetop. Sometimes with shrimp or some other protein. Whatever I do, grits/polenta are always great. 

My nephew said, "What? I had grits last night? No way. I don't eat no grits." Even after virtually inhaling a bowl of heavily seasoned grits with shrimp his prejudice against them still held. Because he didn't recognize them as grits. 

Yukon Gold French fries

These versatile Yukon potatoes are a waxy type and great for everything but not suitable for French fries. These French fries are not crispy even though they were cooked by the double cook technique. These were boiled first until done and then deep fried to dehydrate. Except they never do dehydrate. On account of their waxy interior. 

Too bad because they are delicious. The catsup is flavored with chile and the yellow daub is wild honey.

Limp and delicious. And who doesn't like that? Everyone! 

Double fail because that double cook method is a pain in the butt. 

And great crispy French fries are available downstairs a few doors away. 

Burger Fi serves a huge pile of excellent crisp French fries for $3.59 a pile. Large enough for two people. Such a pig to eat the whole pile. Which I do.  I'd say, two potatoes worth of French Fries.

These potatoes were $.69 a pound. I think. 

Burger Fi $3.49 vs. Pain in the butt DIY $.69

It's at least $5.00 of trouble and possibly $10.00 of trouble considering the oil and pots and cleaning and shopping. Plus my whole place smells like a fast food restaurant just for this one potato. Forget about it. 

I do this because I'm insane. 

Not recommended.


ham and cheese pizza

With pineapple, jalapeño and mushrooms.

I almost added black olives for black dots, but I don't care for those things very much.

The dough made previously two days ago was enough for two pizzas. This is the second half. It's been sitting in the refrigerator getting better and better with each passing day. But there is a limit to that.

What is the limit? I don't know. Let's say, five days.

No! Six days.

I saw a contest one time on t.v. Two well known pizza places in a city vied for supremacy. Everything they did was the same except one place aged their dough for three days. That place won and aging the dough was the deciding factor. The judges said so. And that reaffirms my pizza related experience.

Mexican style salad

Mexican style shrimp cocktail, actually, but people don't seem to like that idea very much so I chopped the ingredients more crudely and called it salad. I don't know, maybe people are put off by the familiar 60's era American style shrimp cocktail that has half a dozen shrimp arranged around the rim of a Sundae glass filled with catsup and horseradish, the red menace. I do know. This combination is delicious with interchangeable ingredients to suit one's own wishes.

This time the salad doesn't have avocado, because I want to have this around a few days, and it doesn't have cilantro because I forgot to buy that. I also left out horseradish.

Shrimp was soaked in brine for fifteen minutes to plump them.

The water in the pan shown above was brought to a boil. Then the heat cut off and the shrimp added. So the shrimp never actually boiled. They sat in the hot water for four and a half minutes. Then transferred to ice water to chill them.

I cannot keep off this stuff so this time I made half a batch. I can eat it continuously and nothing else until it is gone. And that's probably not a great idea.

No worries. I love it so much I'll be at it again soon enough. 

This can be eaten as taco, with or without something else, like chicken and like lettuce. It can be rolled into an omelet. It can be spooned over fish as a sauce. I can add pineapple since I have so much of that on hand. Or mango, or apple, whatever. Even watermelon would be great. Off the top of my head I can think of a million combination possibilities. 

Maybe twenty possibilities, but you get my point. 

Fine! Ten possibilities. 

The thing is, if I have it around I love it so much that it cannot last long enough for those possibilities to happen because I'll have already eaten it to the last molecule then lick the bowl. Like a maniac.

Major win.

heterodox pizza

In any discussion about pizza involving more than two people, totally unprovoked, someone must aver flatly and by apparent compulsion that pineapple is unacceptable on pizza, as natural law, without any supporting reasoning beyond it's simply not done. Not ever. Not ever among sensible people.

Too bad. 

Here is an excellent out of canon pizza made with those myopic and limited taste having dopes in mind. Not Italian, not necessarily Hawaiian, not Mexican either. But who cares? Who made any of those guys boss of us anyway? 

The dough is started the night before with scant 1/4 teaspoon yeast to proof overnight. Formed carelessly into a haphazard shaggy dough. Barely mixed. Time does the kneading. 

1 + 1/4 cup water, 2 cups flour + 1/2 cup semolina for strengthened body. 


Excellent cheddar. Monterey Jack all the eh. And honestly, I don't know how mozzarella won the pizza war. It's not that interesting so far as cheese goes. However it does melt very well. ↓

Completed mise en place.  ↓
That means all the ingredients are ready and waiting. 

Now pressed and stretched in corn meal both top and bottom for additional texture.  ↓

Tony's apple cured ham. It's very good, somewhat exclusive and expensive. Maybe pizza isn't its best use. 

Mild and unchallenging and uninteresting Monterey Jack cheese and mozzarella. ↓

Mushrooms and onions are oiled. ↓

Jalapeño.  ↓
Mexican cooks understand that jalapeño is unripened fruit and so best cooked.

Pineapple and very strong outstanding crumbly cheddar cheese. ↓

The little grape tomatoes have the most flavor of all other tomatoes available right now. Later this sad situation will change.

unbaked  ↑
baked  ↓

You don't have to die for heavenly pizza.

tossed salad

From Taste of Philly nearby.

Much better than expected. This is the large and honestly it's large enough for two normal salads.

I don't bother with their prepared dressings. Instead, they're brought home and drizzled with top olive oil and rice vinegar. 

So worth it. Think of all the shopping, and storing, and chopping of vegetables out of the way.

So are the full sized sandwiches there large enough for two regular meals, and if you can eat an entire full size sandwich then that means you're a pig. 

Or else very hungry.

Or a male teenager.

Truth is, the guy in front of me ordered two full size sandwiches and ate both of them right there, BLAM, gone, just like that. So there you go. 

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