Month: January 2011

Mark Your Calendars! The Bake Sale Begins Monday 1/31

Just a reminder – Stephanie from Steph’s Bite by Bite has organized an Online Bake Sale to benefit the efforts of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.The Bake Sale will begin on Monday 1/31/2011 at 7:00 am Click here to see all the tremendous offerings that some really wonderful people in our community have donated to the sale. As you probably know, Plate Fodder has donated the Glasee Oranges we have been working on this month, and we finally have the finished product pictures ready. So, feast your eyes on these jewels and get ready for the bidding tomorrow morning! Best of Everything! Toby @ Plate Fodder

Spatchcocking Your Bird

– or –  How to Make a Limp Chicken You!   In the back of the class… I hear you giggling… You’re the same one that snickered when we made Spotted Dick… and Sticky Buns… Sheesh… Not every thing that sounds dirty… is. Spatchcocking is a dressing procedure that enables you to remove most of the structural bones in the body cavity of chicken or other fowl in order to maximize the heat-to-surface ratios. It’s particularly useful when grilling whole birds. Although, can be just as helpful when you want to reduce the overall cooking time and simplify carving of the breasts (heh..he he heh..breasts.) What you will need… 1 – 3 to 4 Pound Hen (or fryer) 1 Boning Knife 1 Good Pair of Kitchen Shears Cutting Board 4 Skewers Compound Butter (See Recipe Below) and – Plenty of Lemony Chicken Gravy (See Recipe Way Below)   1. Empty the carcass of the offal, neck, and extraneous fat, place back up on a cutting board 2. Feel along the back, and beginning with the …

Houston – We Have Winners – TFX Non Stick Giveaway

The stomping’s all done, The dust has settled, And we have winners for our 1st giveaway! Congratulations go out to: Dan Peiser – Winner of the Plate Fodder Sponsored Prize for registering on Facebook (Right Foot) ~ and to  DEE – Winner of the TFX Non Stick! Sponsored Prize for registering on Google  (Left Foot) Happy non-stick baking to our winners and thank you all so much for registering! Toby @ Plate Fodder

Glaśee Oranges – Steph’s Bite by Bite Online Bake Sale

 Tending the ball and chain Our story so far…… You all remember back at the beginning of the year we began the Glaśee Orange project. We left our tale with the oranges in the beginning of the last 2 week steep and soak. Today we began the drying process. Six of the oranges will air dry and drain for the next 24 hours. When that process is complete, and the syrup has ceased running, they will be placed into the dehydrator for another 12 hours (or so) until the skin is no longer tacky. What will become of the oranges? As some of you may know, Stephanie from Steph’s Bite by Bite has organized an Online Bake Sale to raise money to benefit the efforts of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in their fight against Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and Myeloma. The Bake Sale will be on January 31st. The auction will open at 7:00 AM EST and will close on January 31st at 9:00 PM EST. Click on the above link to see all …

Simple Dinner Sunday

Being cooped up in the house this past week, we headed out into the mountains just – to – get – away. Treachery awaited us just getting out to the road, though.. still icy, still 5″ of snow on the ground… still very sloggy. But once out on the open road – it was smooth sailing. We didn’t stop or even get out of the car… it was relaxing enough just to watch the scenery swoosh by at 55 mph. It was the long route today… Cleveland, past the new home of Babyland General (the place where they actually make those disturbing Cabbage Patch Kids) On to Helen, our little bit of Bavaria in the Sticks… Up to Hiawassee, on the North Carolina border… Back through some of the most refreshing countryside to Blairsville Past Ellijay and the Apple Barns… And home… All in all.. about a 3 hour trip. Which, oddly enough, didn’t leave a lot of time to get something started for dinner. Tonight is just a simple meat sauce with spaghetti. Easy …

Making Do with Back Ribs

Picking up the cryo-pack of beef ribs, I really didn’t look at it that closely. $10 for an 18″ double layer package of Short Ribs was a good deal…no.. a  great deal. I quickly stuffed it under the bundle of asparagus and the bag of fresh greens, and quickly made my way out of the meat counter – lest someone realize they’ve made a pricing error and the meat police come to snatch them back out of my hands. Even after I got home, my sight was blinded with thoughts of slow braising the delicious short ribs (al la Alton Brown), the fat and connective tissue literally dissolving into the muscle, creating  oh so tender morsels of meaty goodness. Oh, the stews we’d have…. the stories we’d tell……. If only I’d been a little less dazzled, a smidge less greedy. Opening the package yesterday to begin the day-long slow roast and expecting to find this: Short Ribs Instead – there is this: Beef Back Ribs Back Ribs…. the anemic, half brother of the short rib. …

Snowed In

Back in January 1973, Atlanta had one of the worst snow / ice storms in modern history. First, it began to rain, then sleet..and finally snow. Over the course of the next five days, the temps raised and lowered slightly, alternately layering the already frozen landscape with fresh coatings of freezing rain, sleet and snow. Temperatures plummeted into the single digits, and Atlanta and the surrounding communities were plunged into the ice age. Rampant power outages, frozen pipes and total immobility left the city a ghost town.  It was 10 days before the ice lifted and another 3 days after that before power was marginally restored. In the end, 112 people died from exposure or from Darwinism taking effect. We were one of the lucky families, we had a fireplace and we had food. When the power died, the six of us packed up all the blankets we could find, each grabbed a stack of books and barricaded ourselves in the den around the fire. We spent the next week bathing in melted snow, eating …

Scali Rolls – 1, Plate Fodder – 0

If you’re from the Boston area, you know what Scali Bread is. Crisp dark brown crusted bread, braided and usually sporting a copious coating of sesame seeds. The local market I frequent carries a scali roll. Crunchy, crisp crust… elastic, fragrant, tender interior. They’re honestly the best roll for a sandwich…. Forget the sandwich, they’re the best roll with just some butter slathered on it. You already know I’m not much of a baker, but that never really stops me from trying. I keep thinking..“This will be time I can actually make bread”. As though during the night, the baker’s fairy (looking a little like James Beard…with wings) smacks me with a bread stick and magically bestows the inner secrets to bread making. The recipe I used is from the King Arthur Flour Website. (Subsequently, so is the picture of the delicious bread above…. we’ll get to mine…..) I had been told that King Arthur bread recipes were fool-proof…and that an idiot could make bread with them. I.. um… am worse than an idiot.  I …

I love you like a Ball and Chain

This story actually begins 12 years ago when I made my first Il Timpano. Two and a half agonizing days to produce the large, tub shaped pasta, cheese, meat and sauce filled drum. Layers of savory sauces, precision sliced meats and hand-made pastas, lovingly prepared, painstakingly cooked and sleep deprived assembly to produce that culinary masterpiece. Was it worth it…really? No, probably not. It was good, my dinner guests loved it, but did the effort and time involved weigh against the end product? I probably could have just done one of the ingredient components of the dish and they would have been equally as happy…. and, I would have had two good night’s sleep to boot. But easy isn’t really the point. I always seem to find myself elbow deep in some cooking project. It’s important to me to fully commit myself to a food project and to do it as it was originally done… at least once. Only then can you fully appreciate the effort involved in creating complex flavors, and the traditions created …

Mad Dogs, Englishmen and a Lump of Cream Cheese

Back in my younger, unsupervised days, I lived a little too close to the fire. The weekend would hit, we’d scrape off the trappings of reasonable professional people, and we’d drink. With friends in the bar business and friends in the food business… we used to drink…a lot. We’d begin the night with a late-ish dinner…and a couple of bottles of wine, head over to The Little 5 Points Pub, meander our way to the Star Bar, hit each of our own respective establishments, then out to Copperfield’s and invariably wind up at a Brit’s, named John, house (only because he could out-drink the British Army… and he had cool crap to play with..and some really comfy sofas to crash in)…trying to outdo each other in cocktail creations. Cocktails disolved into arguments, arguments eroded into a growling, drunken stupor…and we’d pass out. good times…..yeah…. John was a gracious host, always accommodating.. so every Sunday morning we were there, he had his patented “after the fall” hangover cure / appetizer out…. a block of cream cheese …