baked chicken thighs, asparagus

maguro sushi, seared asparagus

Asparagus is cut and placed in a pan with butter, bacon fat, olive oil, whatever. Turned to high and left alone to burn along one edge. It's covered with water drizzled in for steam.

pozole polenta with bacon and shrimp and cheese, (shrimp and grits)

There is nothing gritty about them. The pozole was soaked overnight then milled in the coffee bean mill.

roasted red bell pepper and asparagus salad

Both fried harshly on only one side. The asparagus covered and with water drizzled in under the lid for a minute of steam.

With raw tomato.

And feta cheese.

And hard-boiled eggs and olives.

And onion. Fried harshly the same way in the same pan. This salad is mostly cooked.

And olive oil and rice vinegar, salt/pepper

Cheese flavored potato chips

Crisps, if you like.

One decent size russet potato from the fantastic state of Idaho, land of true American patriots. Land of the free because of the brave. Land of the Yankee Fork, Land of the Pullers, Land of the potato.

Oh wait. They were grown in Colorado. Nevermind.

Once at six years of age I pulled potatoes on a farm in Dushore Pennsylvania. Dushore. That name kills me. But the guy only paid me half the stated amount. I didn't care. La la la, I didn't know anything about money, but ewwww, was my dad ever mad. Dad thought the guy should pay what he said. So he drove over there while Barry and I waited in the car. 

OMG, they're gonna fight!

I'm going to watch my dad kick this guy's ass. 


The farmer said the little kids mostly just goof around. 

And I did just goof around. I didn't know what I was doing. I just followed along. Here I am in a field. Here I am pulling a potato. Here I am putting the potato in the bucket. I did pull up potatoes from the dirt. I suppose the machines cannot get them all so people go out there and scrounge around for the rest. I learned about potatoes. 

The farmer gave my dad a few more dollars and I went off and bought a Halloween costume. 

And it was a great costume too. A scary devil mask and red cotton pajamas with a tail!

I don't know what happened to the mask and the shirt. They weren't so attractive, but I kept the costume pajama bottoms and pretended I was a red monkey. I loved my pants with a tail. 

Love, love, loved them. 

Loved them to death. Wore them everyday. I hopped around the whole house being a red monkey with a swinging red tail. A red tail with an arrow point on the end, but I ignored the devil-point and kept pretending I was a monkey in those pants. God, I loved that red tail. 

Whoever thought of putting a tail on pants was a genius.

How did the devil monkey pants die?

I used them so much that they simply disappeared one day. 

One morning I was looking all around for them and my mum said, "They're gone." 

Poof. Just like that.

"Pants don't just disappear!"

"Yes they do." 

And that's the way it goes with clothes my entire life. You never know when your favorite things are going to go poof and just disappear. Clothes are the most unreliable things. 

And every now and then it happens that I'll see a guy with a shirt in a pattern that I used to own but somehow let it disappear and I'll go, "Hey! That guy's got my shirt!" 

French onion soup, chicken broth version

French onion soup is made from beef bones, the bones baked so long on high that the marrow seeps out onto the pan and burns, the black bits lifted off by deglazing. So authentic soup will have tiny black dots floating around that is not black pepper. It's awesomely rich.

Then onions, and toasted stale leftover slices of baguette as raft for Gruyère cheese. Man, those peasants sure ate well. See how they do the most with the least? Onions are right up there with stringent noxious weeds. Bones, onions, stale bread, and cheese, and they bring these ingredients to their fullest glory.

But this is Vidalia onions, with hardly any of the sulfuric onion quality. They're more like apples. They're sweet. When cooked, they get even sweeter.

Have you noticed in sautéing onions the sugar that develops at the bottom of the pan is separate from the onions. The onions are not turning brown themselves, their released sugar is, and that can be stirred and distributed throughout. This is what makes the color of the broth.

This chicken broth is homemade, from bones, as the beef version is. They too were roasted and the marrow developed to color and layers of flavor by Maillard reaction. So this time the color comes both from chicken bone marrow and darkened sugar released from the onions. Combined the two are very rich and very satisfying. Nearly so good as the authentic beef version.

Paul and George make pizza

Paul and George made beer downstairs at CoBrew. I ordered pizza from Colorado Pizza Company nearby when the brewing session was finished. During that I mentioned that I copied Colorado Pizza Company to improve my own pizza that involved describing the dough.  George said to Paul, "We should try making our own dough."

I was a bit stunned they had never tried.  

I thought about all the people out there who don't make their own pizzas. It broke my heart. Since then I talked about it more and realized quite a lot of people never tried making their own pizza. That bread making is largely a mystery. I resolved to show Paul and George how to make their own dough. Today they returned to bottle their beer and while here they came upstairs to make pizza. I had ingredients ready, and I must say, all three agree, we produced the best pizza we've ever tasted.

Very good ham and fresh pineapple, mushrooms oiled with Vidalia onions, mozzarella and Asiago cheeses, Serrano chiles that are surprisingly hot. I showed them how to make bread, how to adjust it for pizza. I showed them how much tomato sauce to use, how to protect the ham with cheese. We went a little bit overboard with ingredients. The dough and our flavor combinations were outstanding. Better than the pizzas we buy. Now they know that they can make pizzas themselves better than the pizzas they get elsewhere. We had a blast.

Tater tots

Man, these are good. Better than I thought they would be. I had Tater tots once and they were all the eh. I never bought any that I recall. Not my sort of thing. But these are outstanding. They're like gnocchi without the egg. The flavor that they have is the flavor you put into them. I used grated onion and garlic.

The idea is same as with gnocchi, to use as little flour as possible. For these three small potatoes I used two tablespoons of flour. 

bacon and egg sandwich with cheese and sautéed onion and sauerkraut

On homemade bread, of course. Duh.


Another example of yōshoku, western-influenced Japanese food, this one based on French-style omelet with fried rice, thus omu + rice.

Often served with catsup for sauce. In this Buzzfeed video, where I got the idea, the chef uses a reduced veal stock, undoubtedly flavored with a few of the 7 magical Asian flavor ingredients. We can get a similar thing by reducing commercial beef broth to half and adding a few ingredients from the list. 

I used commercial tomato soup with roasted red pepper because that's what I like. It goes into both the fried rice and on top of the omelet.

Pepperoni pizza

With mushrooms, 2 types, olives and tinned jalapeño. The pepperoni is cut distressingly thin so the slices rolled up into little tubes.

The bread is made with semolina and bread flour and it has olive oil in it. That produces a cracker-like crust.

You know, I've never managed to make the same pizza twice. I'm not sure I'm capable.

The fresh jalapeños are not hot so tinned jalapeños are taking their place. Nearly this entire tin was used and that made just the right amount of capsaicin heat. All the flavors come through nicely, two separate cheeses are both tasted, both mushroom types are tasted separately, the salty olives punch through, the sweet onion is actually tasted. The pepperoni is tasted as separate entity, whereas they would not were they kept as thin slices. The oil they released is absorbed by the mushrooms by different degrees, so each separate mushroom tasted slightly different from the others by the amount of oil the slice absorbed. I like this pizza a lot. It's actually better than any pizza that I've ever bought even though I learned by copying them.

13" Pullman loaf, tuna salad sandwich

I am really digging this pan.

The trick for 13" pan is start with 1+2/3 cup liquid, water, scalded milk, combination of those, whatever. 

This has potato flakes processed to powder, 3/4 stick of butter and honey. 

5 Cups flour. I used 4.5 scooped cups. 

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