Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Globe trekking, cookbook rants, and Zebraman...

Not much to report. I've been back to work for a week (after vacation) and it's as much fun as a barrel of dead monkeys. I'm really not digging this back to work shit. Nope, not at all.

The most exciting thing in my life right now is the fact that one of my favorite shows is now on Monday nights on the Travel Channel. Globe Trekker is now airing at 8:00PM on Monday nights and re-airing at 11:00. This, coupled with No Reservations at 10:00PM, makes for an evening of fine TV viewing. And all of the Globe Trekker episodes are Ian Wright episodes. That's a darn fine thing too. I'd be a little happier if they were half Ian Wright-hosted episodes and half Megan McCormick hosted episodes. She makes me swoon. Beautiful, smart, funny, and well traveled...that's a package!

I also can't wait for the new season of No Reservations to start (October I think). Anthony Bourdain...he's cooler than you. Speaking of Anthony Bourdain my landlord happened to make the Onion Soup Les Halles (French Onion Soup) recipe from the Les Halles Cookbook. He brought me down a steaming crock and it was damn fine if I may say. Damn fine! My lunch at Les Halles in New York last January was one of the simplest and most sublime. This prompted me to get out my copy of the Les Halles Cookbook and look through it. I scanned the recipe, but also took in the introduction as well as several other recipes. The ability to salivate is a prerequisite to reading any Anthony Bourdain book. I would really love to have a few beers with him sometime while the Stooges and Ramones are blaring in the background. That would be really cool. But here I am posting about my food geekiness... He's also now prompted me read Emile Zola's The Belly of Paris, but I've discovered that it's out of print...

This week I made a big-ass pot of turkey vegetable soup. Good shit. I was originally just going to make a vegetable soup (with a chicken stock base), but I saw a roasted turkey breast next to the roasted chickens at Farmer Jack and threw it in the cart. I started the soup with a mirepoix (the holy trinity of onions, carrots, and celery), tomato paste, and a bay leaf, and then I added potatoes, grape tomatoes, corn, lima beans, carrots, red pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, ditillini pasta, and chicken stock. I shredded the pre-cooked turkey and tossed it in. Good shit! I froze about a 1/3 of it and I'm still working on finishing the pot.

Today I actually had Labor Day off and I braised a beef brisket and boiled some red potatoes. Tasty!

FOODIE/WINO RANT- You know what I hate? Recipes that call for sherry, port, or Madeira and they don't specify what kind...that's what I hate. Either for my own cooking (I can usually guess the appropriate one based on the recipe) or for customers. If a recipe calls for "sherry" what kind are you supposed to use? Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, Amontillado, Cream, or PX? What kind of port? Ruby or tawny? What type of Madeira? Rainwater, Sercial, Bual, Verdelho, or Malvasia? Each type of fortified wine could be anywhere from subtly different to extremist. Ruby and tawny port provide completely different flavor profiles. The difference between a Fino sherry and a Cream sherry is night and day. Fino sherry is the driest (almost salty) white wine in the world. Cream sherry could be poured on pancakes. When a home cook follows a recipe that calls for a "sherry" which type should they use? Using the wrong type could ruin a recipe. The average consumer does not know the difference in sherries and may choose inappropriately ultimately creating a big ol' mess. There are cheap, domestic sherries, ports, and Madeiras that are generically labeled, but please don't ever consider using that garbage. That's for your 90+ year old grandparents to drink...

Last night I was invited over to BST's for a BBQ/get-together. It was fun as are most of our get-togethers, but we had the added bonus of watching Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Hilarious! Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a documentary made in the parking lot of the Cap Center in Maryland before an actual Judas Priest concert in 1986. The fashions and the hair are a site to behold. A flashback to my middle school/high school days that I really didn't need. And not at all disturbing is the 20 year old guy making out with his 13 year old date...no kidding. Or Zebraman (see for yourself). Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a must see! Also made were Neil Diamond Parking Lot, Monster Truck Parking Lot, and Harry Potter Parking Lot, but the original reigns supreme.

Awww!!! How I long for the old days...
Rock and Roll!

Random poll- What is the best meal you've had in your travels and where was it?



Blogger Kathleen said...

Try alibris.com for the Zola book.

I'm easy, I'm happy whenever I can get to the Cheesecake Factory and have the Chicken Madeira with the chicken replaced with a portabello mushroom. To die for. Other than that, when I go to SF (and oh, it's been a long time), I make sure I get to my favorite restaurants from when I lived there.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Kathleen- They're opening a Cheesecake Factory in Michigan soon.

12:51 PM  

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