fondant potatoes

Aren't they cute? 

If this were a chessboard they'd be rooks. They're flavored with thyme. 

Fondant means "melted." 

Soak in water to rid them of surface starch.

Fry both sides in butter and oil flavored with thyme.

Add chicken stock, cover and bake. 

So they're first fried and then baked. With butter and chicken stock flavored with thyme. 

Make sure your pan doesn't have plastic handles. 

Know what these need? 

Sour cream and chives, maybe bacon bits, like proper baked potatoes.

Colorado peach, sweet apple ham, Prairie Breeze cheddar cheese

Colorado peaches are in season and they are food of the Gods. 

The ham is Tony's own and it's the best I've ever tasted.

And I don't know what prairie this cheese gets its breeze but the stuff has changed my life. It's ridiculously expensive and worth every cent. My attitude about cheddar cheese, what it can be, is altered permanently. If you see it around, don't even think, just throw it into your basket.

tossed salad

I did not make this. I bought it from across the street. And this is only half. And I must say kudos to this sandwich place for preparing such excellent salads then having them on their menu as simply "tossed salad." The menu description gives no clue to their excellence. I've been served much worse in restaurants.

It's been sandwiches for days consecutively because Taste of Philly does such a nice job. My new thing recently is buy two sandwiches and give one away randomly to a clerk working away at any of a number of places on my way home. I just slip in and say, "Here." So far this new project has gone very well. Make new friends through bribery. It's fun.


large elbow pasta with cheese sauce, tomato

I wish there was some cream around this place then these noodles would be very fattening. 

And not just regular fattening.

The tomato is incredible. And it's just been sitting around for a week. The basil blasts through from the bottom on the first forkful.

And the aroma of smoke is quite strong wafting up from carrying the plate to the table. Off the cooked bacon. And I thought, "Wow, that smells amazing." I don't think children would like this. I don't think they'll appreciate strong cheese.

corn on the cob with miso paste (replacing butter and salt)

There I was walking along when a sudden urge developed for corn on the cob simmered gently for five minutes weighted down with meat pounder and smeared with miso instead of butter and salt.

Is that weird or what?

So I did. And it tastes exactly as imagined and it looks exactly as visualized and the miso is just the pain in the butt that I knew it would be.

The threads are silk from the corn and could have sworn that picked all that off.

This miso is top quality from South River Miso. It's been in the refrigerator for over a year and it doesn't look a day older than when I bought it and it hasn't aged a bit. 

I imagine all miso will do. One needn't go crazy for miso handmade the old fashioned way with people stomping around piles of it spread across the floor while wearing their special cotton socks.

Talk about weird.

But there you go. 

That's what they do.

Check it out if you like on YouTube, South River is happy to show what they get up to.

potato in chicken broth

But wait, there's more! Tofu and miso.

A diced Russet potato boiled in salted water tasted very good by itself just sampling for doneness, and that was the original idea. To hold me over a period of starvation.

But then I get carried away as usual and thought, hey!, add some miso straight into it

And then I thought, hey!, add some of the potato water into it. 

And then I thought, hey!, use that chicken broth opened yesterday. 

And then I thought, hey!, add add some tofu into it.

And then I thought, hey!, dice up some scallion on top of it, and there ya go.

roasted chicken thighs, gravy, potato, tomato

The chicken is coated with flour spiced up heavily as Indian cooks do except with American and Mexican flavors, and roasted in a pan covered with foil for an hour. 

* Smoked paprika
* Chipotle powder
* Cumin
* Fíle, it's a Cajun thing from sassafras leaves
* celery salt
* garlic powder

There's nearly as much spice powder as there is flour. 

Not really. 

About half as much.

After baking, the chicken is removed to a bowl. The bits in the pan are used to prepare gravy the usual way by browning a roux from the leftover spiced up flour.

A diced onion is added.

Deglazed with sake. Simmered a minute until the mixture turns to sludge.

Liquid smoke is added.

Loosened with chicken broth and milk that is also spiced up from coating the chicken.

So both those things, spiced up flour and spiced up milk are used twice.

We try not waste around here.

The chicken is returned to the pan, covered again and continued to cook boiling on low for another half hour.

That's an awfully long time to cook chicken. It's literally falling away from the bone.

Every drop of fat is used, the skin is still on, and the bones are contributing considerable flavor.

The chicken is desperately overcooked and that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, I like it. 

A diced potato is simply boiled.

A tomato is chopped into rough chunks but not cooked.

This meal is incredibly satisfying, and I don't care who ya are.

waffle, blueberries, bacon and egg


And this is where my stomach signaled STOP! Just stop already, you pig.

Could I carry on anyway? Could I override my body's instruction? 

Yes, I can. I can do this.

This is why everyone out there is fat. 

This is an odd waffle. It has white flour, corn meal and whole wheat flour.

* An egg is dropped into the immersion blender cup.
* Milk is added. Too much actually. That was a mistake that affected everything else
* A few kernels of dry pozole corn kernels are processed to powder in the coffee bean mill.
* White flour is added by the tablespoonful but it's taking more than anticipated.
* Whole wheat flour is added by one heaping tablespoonful.
It's still not thick enough because I used so much milk. So more white flour is added.
* Salt, because all things like this must have salt or else they're just awful and naked.
* Sugar to make it more like dessert and to help browning.
* Cinnamon because it seemed like a good idea.
* Clove, barely a trace, to make the whole thing more mature.
* Vanilla because that goes into cakes and cupcakes and I like it.
* Baking powder to make the thing puff up inside the waffle iron and press against both sides.

If I wanted blueberries inside the waffles, or pancakes or anything for that matter, then I would roll them in flour so they stay suspended in the batter. But then they would break inside pressed against the waffled heating surfaces presenting a problem of cleaning and I don't want that. I'm lazy. I want cleaning to be easy as possible.

barely cooked salad

Vegetables fried incrementally for 4 minutes and less in olive oil and butter. Corn boiled for three minutes tossed with the vegetables in the pan so that everything is coated with fat. Sprinkled with rice vinegar to brighten, and right there's a simple oil/vinegar salad dressing. 

Green beans
Brussels sprouts
Yellow squash

chocolate popsicle

News is circulating around the blogs that I read about San Francisco legislators and school officials disallowing chocolate milk in schools and my first thought was, "Oh man, chocolate milk sounds great." 

I put the sticks in straight up but they shifted as they froze and that made removing the top very difficult. They tell you to wait until the mixture has started freezing but I'm terrible at timing it just so and I didn't want to wait. So I suffered.

Paletas in Spanish, named after the stick. The English cognitive is wooden pallet.  

pork roast, cole slaw

I've never tasted pork roast this extraordinary.

And I mean it.

I finally got my pork roast act down.

Not my usual thing. I've overcooked these roasts every time I tried them and this time I made sure not to do that. Oven set high to 400℉ Set the timer for 8 minutes, flip it, then 7 more minutes, then outside the oven closed the foil around the baked roast for longer than necessary. It was room temperature by the time that I went back to it.

Before that the roast marinated for the whole afternoon, but it was still slightly frozen when started. 

Soy sauce was poured into a vacuum seal bag, then sugar to counter the soy sauce and aid browning, then rice vinegar, so sweet / sour once again, sake, and half a teaspoon thereabout of toasted sesame oil. That broad combination of sweet and sour and tart and bitter and saltiness from soy worked very well even without any herb nor any spices like the usual chile hotness that I like so much. 

The meat tasted sweet. Additional mineral-y salt at the table balanced everything so well that I couldn't believe what I just cooked. And it's so easy. And fast. 

I went back for more and ate half this whole roast.

The roasts were on sale two for one. So I have another whole roast to do this again. 

cole slaw

Cabbage salted and sugared to draw out liquid and make the leaves less stiff.

Mustard powder added generously, celery seed added generously, cider vinegar added moderately and mayonnaise added sparingly. See? Sugar and vinegar means sweet and sour dressing right there.

The purple half was cut using the Cuisinart zap just like that.

The green half was cut by chef's knife, slice, slice, slice, slice just like that.

It was not worth dragging out the machine and now I have to rinse it out and carry it back. Plus it cuts irregularly leaving chunks of cabbage leaves that are cut by hand anyway. Conclusion: leave the machine in the cabinet unless you're cutting things for an army.

And that could happen.

Brussels sprouts and bacon salad

These bacon bits are awesome. They're like pork jerky.

Looks burnt, huh? 

It is! 

Is it even legal to put tofu with bacon? Maybe I just now broke the law. 

The thing is, I was really craving tofu. Can you believe that happens? 

This is sweet and sour. It has honey and vinegar in it. And it has sake flavor that when it was liquid the sake lifted off all the sugary burned bits on the pan. And it is hot with jalapeño in two forms, fresh diced and charred in the pan and chipotle that came on the bacon, which wasn't enough, so with more chipotle powder added that also charred in the pan. Chipotle is smoked-dried jalapeño. So it has charred flavor permeating throughout. All of the bacon fat stayed in the pan.

There is hardly a trace of Brussels sprouts flavor remaining. And my goodness is this ever good. 


But not recommended. Everyone will think that you just burned the food and that mental barrier won't allow them to enjoy it. So this treasure must remain our little secret. Or maybe don't char it so much as I did.

shrimp and pineapple salad.

Psych! It's really ceviche.

No it's not. Psyche again. It's really Mexican shrimp cocktail.

No it's not. You wouldn't eat that. Psych all over the place. I don't know what this is. I haven't named it yet. All that I know is that I cannot keep off of this stuff and that's why I made a gigantic bowl of it all for myself.

I eat it like a cartoon, rolling two spoonfuls into my mouth like mechanical wheels, my eyes popped out and my tongue flapping freely, breakfast, lunch dinner, breakfast, lunch dinner, breakfastlunchdinner, breakfastlunchdinner, breakfastlunchdinner until boom it is gone.

Then I am sad because it is gone.

Let's go.

Yellow tomatoes this time because these are the sweetest available right now at the store that I went to.

This is a pound and a quarter of shrimp with half a pound of sole cooking cold in lime juice and water.

Now acidic pineapple juice adds to the lime.

A good deal of shrimp flavor is in their shells. That flavor is extracted by boiling in water for ten minutes or so.

This is the is shrimp-flavored water extracted from their shells. And in this case this is why it's better to buy shrimp with shells still on or else you will pass this chance.

Green chiles are better when blistered. They just are. Because green means they're not quite ripe. If you planted their seeds they won't grow because they're not fully developed.

These are the vegetable portion diced and prepared the next day. The shrimp and sole are cooking in the refrigerator. 

Ingredients are chopped to small pieces so that I can use this different ways, dip with chips, sauce for omelet and so forth.  You can do the same thing with larger pieces and without so much liquid.

It's not the most beautiful sight in the world but it is one of the most flavorful things you can eat. Healthy besides. And its unsightliness is corrected by presentation. But I don't bother with that. Because I am not sharing. This is mine.

Mine, mine, mine, all mine.

And I used the largest bowl that I own.

I'll have it with avocado. But that cannot be added to this now because it will turn too quickly. So those come one at a time.

You should make this. It's awesome.


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