All posts tagged: Classics

Under Pressure ~ Corned Beef & Cabbage

Since Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t do the obligatory Corned Beef and Cabbage thing.,, though I’ve already explained why  it really doesn’t belong anywhere near things even remotely Irish. Be that as it may… we  (as in the all-encompassing American “we”) think it’s the pinnacle of Irish cuisine… so there, we’re doing it. Coming up with new and interesting ways to do the corned beef dance is kinda hard. So, this time I’ve decided to put the Microwave Pressure Cooker screws to  that long slow braise, and see if we couldn’t shorten that 3-hour cook time to something more manageable. To do that… we need to talk about beef.  Corned Beef Primarily here in the States, corned beef comes in two distinct cuts of cow. … which is the Eye of Round – or the center, dense, tough, fat-less muscle in the Top Round and  … or full flat –  even though the flat has more fat, it is also tough. This has the added  bonus of being stringy from …

Hickory Nut Sandies

I guess for most people, Oreos – or some other chocolately, crispy, gooey thing was their cookie of choice growing up. Me? It was Pecan Sandies… I love a shortbread cookie. I love that slightly sweet and a little bit salty, brown, buttery cookie… and there is nothing better to dunk into a tall glass of cold milk… or hot chocolate…. or coffee (in my later years…) The thing is – I can’t buy them anymore. Between the dairy – pecans – and god knows what else in them; it just isn’t a very good idea. Luckily, since we’ve come across cultured butter, making things we all can eat has gotten a lot easier. ____________________________________________________________________________________ On our trip the other week, the cabin we rented had huge hickory trees surrounding the front parking area. I busied myself one morning whacking the fallen shells with a rock, picking out the tender nut meats – thinking that since they weren’t exactly the same thing as pecans (Jane can’t eat them), or walnuts (.. those either) or most …

Baleful Bounty – Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes – that mainstay of Church Homecoming potlucks – the master of family Sunday dinners – the keystone of just about every holiday get together… And, face it… most of them are pretty dreadful. Flaccid potato slices floating in noxious, overly garlicky gravy. But, it doesn’t need to be that way. Let’s break away from the norm and make something a little lighter, a little more flavorful, and a hell of a lot prettier to look at.   Since I was blessed with a handful  (really, out of 5 plants, I got 2 pounds of potatoes) of beauties from the garden this year, I thought I’d do something to go with the Sage Battered Pork Chops I was making. And, smashing them up just seemed a crime… you know, since I only got 8 taters from all my hard work and all. I decided to do Jane’s scalloped potatoes… except, I really didn’t know her exact recipe… just basically how it was done… So, I did what I always do… I punted. ________________________________________________ Plate Fodder’s …

French Gibbons, The Number 5, and some peas

  April marks the start of our fifth year at the reins of the madly careening ride that is Plate Fodder. I feel like my somewhat inebriated Uncle Posey heading to town hitched to his blind mule… “I may have connected the wagon correctly”, “He may or may not know the way to town even if I pass out”, “I might not even care if we get lost”. Like my colorful uncle – it’s never about the destination – it’s the journey that’s the gas. and… it has been. You know, I have fellow writer friends that say “I’m taking a break…I can’t seem to find my voice…or my angle… or point of view for my site”. And, I get that. It’s tough to stay within the lines of a prescribed notion of what we want our online persona to be. Maybe that’s why I have three unfinished novels still sitting in boxes and scribbled on moldy index cards (yes, it’s been that long) – I can’t stay focused on a story line. But some time ago I knew …

Madame et Monsieur …

“Est-ce un sandwich dans votre poche ? Ou vous êtes simplement heureux de nous voir…” The Sandwich Diaries: Episode 1 Everyone has that thing, or list of things that “does it” for them food-wise. If you’ve been reading along over these many months, you would have picked up on a general theme in the foods and recipes I call “comfort food”… and that’s Cheese.. well, and Fried… and things stacked together… like a sandwich… (I do love me a good sandwich!)    It’s funny, I don’t remember where I had a lot of my first of things… meals in general just float around the clock waiting their turn to be consumed. But a sandwich? I can quote you time, date and place. My 1st:   Fried Bologna Sandwich? I was 8 and home sick with the flu. Beef Tongue? Summer 1978 DB Kaplan’s Delicatessen in Atlanta. After an hour of pouring over their menu of 287 sandwiches..that’s what I settled on. (It was the end of my freshman year in college – and I was feeling particularly grown-up).  First …