Tag Archives: Side Dish

Not So Great Moment

As I stated in “A Former Life”, there are many reasons why I will be heading south the day my maker comes calling.  But should you need further evidence, here you go…..

As it goes with four kids, three dogs and a wife with an insatiable drinking habit, our schedule on the weekends is quite hectic and eating out can rarely be avoided.  Often to the displeasure of those around us, our meals are typically filled with colorful conversation; oftentimes loud, typically inappropriate, but always entertaining.   Take last weekend for example.  Squid 3 (age 10) pipes in:  “So dad, do you know why lesbians shop at Sports Authority.”  “No, why?”  “Because they don’t like Dick’s.”  Laughter erupts and beer spit about and all eyes turn to our table.  To my right, a good Christian family with a look of disgust.  To my left, an old blue hair with a look of confusion.  Of no concern to us, laughter continues.

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Love or Lust

Being Twisted, I have a few odd behaviors:  going to bed before my 5 year son,  wearing black dress socks with tennis shoes, giving Dramamine to my neighbor’s barking dog……these arebut a few of a rather lengthy list.  However, according to my most recent wife (we will refer to her as “Siete”), one of my oddest behaviors happens to be my love of the grocery store.  Now, for someone like her who hasn’t seen the likes of the food store in ages, this comes as no surprise; but for foodies like yourself, I am sure this is as common place as dipping your french fries in your chocolate shake……try it, it’s damn good.

As I have said before, I love perusing the isles of my local Fiester and/or the Skaggs, but I do feel a bit deprived.  See, I live in the Metroplex and we do not have an HEB Grocer.   Now for those not from Texas, this may not seem like a big deal.  But for those who do, you know that HEB is like Fiesta on steroids; a truly inspiration shopping experience for foodies like you and me.  In its stead, HEB has decided to bring us an up-scale version grocery store, Central Market.  A treat in and of itself, Central Market has few rivals; but given that I am on the government payroll (unemployed), Central Market doesn’t currently fit in my food shopping paradigm.  Being the holidays, I thought what the hell.   Anyway, most people today have little qualms spending what they don’t have (especially that be-ach from California and her cronies on the Hill), why should it matter to me?  Surely our kids won’t mind cleaning up the mess we leave behind.

As with most Democrats, blowing my government paycheck on booze and cigarettes seems like the appropriate thing to do.  Much to my chagrin, I found out that Central Market doesn’t sell cigarettes, so a crap load of holiday beer and a vat of Love Dip had to suffice.  Fun Fact # 1:  Did you know that fermented grain and Love Dip are WIC approved?  Isn’t it amazing what the government tit will allow!  Yet again, I digress.

Getting home, I was eager to show off the fruits of my labor.  Much to my amazement, Siete was none to pleased with my shopping wares and to my surprise, she appears to have a temper similar to that of Cautro……maybe this marriage thing isn’t for me????  Knowing that working on my marriage gives me tired head and in most instances ill advised, I decided to focus my efforts on something more meaningful.  Knowing times are tough and the payola is short, I have decided to make a run at re-creating this Central Market powerhouse.  Here is my twisted version of Love Dip.

Lust Dip

2  8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

2 T  Bayou Cajun Seasoning

1/8 t  cayenne

1.5 t  lemon juice

3/4 c  sour cream

3/4 c  mild salsa

1/4 c  purple onion, chopped

1/4 c  cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.   Refrigerate for one hour to allow ingredients to marry and cream cheese to firm up.  Serve with crackers and/or pretzel chips.


If It Ain’t Broke

I must admit, I am a chauvinistic, sexist pig.  I like boobs, I like butt and I have strained my neck a time or two watching a hot young thing walk by.  That said, I am a bit of a contrarian when it comes to cooking shows.  Women TV personalities drive me f___king crazy.  Be it the bobble headed, Italian hottie (Giada DeLaurentiis) or the wild haired restaurant chef (Anne Burrell), women chefs are like nails on a chalk board.  Give me Emeril, Guy or “Booby” Flay any day over those Food Network hens.  I digress.

They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  As hard as that is for me to adhere to, I have conceded on this recipe.  It comes from Emeril Lagasse and has been a holiday staple in our house for many years.  It sounds a bit odd, but trust me when I say, this is worth the time and effort.

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

3 T  unsalted butter

3 c  yellow onions, julienned

2 t  salt

½ t cayenne pepper

¼ t  black pepper

3 c  wild mushrooms *

1 T  garlic, chopped

5  eggs

2 c  heavy cream

¼ t  Tabasco sauce

1 t   Worcestershire sauce

8 slices, 1 inch cubed white bread (approx. 4 c)**

½ c  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 2 quart glass rectangle pan with 1 tablespoon butter.  In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, about 1 minute.  Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cayenne, black pepper and sauté for 4 minutes.  Stir in mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and cool.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 30 seconds.  Add heavy cream, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce.  Whisk the mixture until fully incorporated.  Stir in the sautéed mushrooms.  Add bread cubes and mix well.  Pour filling into greased pan.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

*  If wild mushrooms aren’t available, plain white mushrooms can be substituted

**  Stale bread absorbs more of the filling and works better than fresh bread.  If you bread is fresh, toast the bread in the oven for a bit to remove some of the moist.  Also, stale, sour dough bread gives the dish a nice flavor and is a good substitute for white bread.   I can’t leave well enough alone.  I told you I was a bit of a contrarian…..is contrarian actually a word?


Fat Bastard

Bring on the meat and bring on the tatoes.  Without a doubt, I am definitely a meat and potatoes man.  Given the choice and the means, I would eat steak and taters for every meal, every day of the week.  Lipitor can only do so much and the fact that I am unemployed, I do not have the where-with-all to live my dream…..I guess that is what dreams are for.

Given my situation, I must share this recipe and live vicariously through your indulgence.  This side dish is a knock off of a dish my family recently enjoyed in Kennebunkport, Maine.  As usual, I couldn’t leave it well enough alone and altered it the Twisted Way.  Because if it ain’t got spicy, it just ain’t right.

Captain Lord Mansion Potatoes – With a Twist

1  2lb. bag frozen hash browns

1  can Cream of Chicken

1  can Cream of Mushroom

1 c  Monterey Jack, grated

1 c  Smoked Gouda, grated

12  slices bacon

1  jalapeno, seeded and diced

½ c  sour cream

1  can French’s Onion Rings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While oven is heating, cut up bacon and fry in a pan.  Next, combine cooked bacon and all other ingredients except Onion Rings and place in 9 x 13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle onion rings on top and baked for 5 minutes.

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It’s Like Butter……..

Creamed corn…..need I say more.  As much as I love potatoes, corn is definitely a close second.  Add a little cream, a healthy portion of pork belly and a smattering of japs, and this my friend is Good Schit!

Creamed Corn

5  ears fresh corn

2  yellow onions

½ lb thick country bacon cut in lardoons

1  jalapeno, seeded and diced

½ c  heavy cream

2 T  butter

¼ c cilantro, chopped

3  cloves garlic

1  bay leaf

Salt and Pepper to Taste

With a sharp knife or cobber, remove the kernels for the corn cob and set aside.  Take the de-kernelled cobs and place them in a large sauce pan with 2 quarts of water.  Add 2 whole cloves of garlic, 1 onion quartered, 1 bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and allow liquid to reduce by half.  Strain and reserve, keeping stock warm.

While corn stock is reducing, place bacon pieces in a large sauté pan, over medium heat, rendering the fat and browning the pieces, stirring as needed.  When fully cooked, remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.  Add remaining onion (diced), jalapeno and sauté until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add garlic (minced) and sauté for 1 minute.  Add reserved corn kernels and pinch of salt and cook for 2 more minutes.  Next add two ladles of corn stock, allowing the liquid to reduce before adding another ladle.  Continue to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes adding corn stock as needed, until corn is fully cooked.  Just before serving, add cream, butter and bacon, simmering for another 3 minutes.  Add cilantro and serve.

 


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