So I’m sitting at work, at my desk, banging out Java code, when I realize, I don’t feel much like cooking tonight. Now I get that feeling from time to time and I simply just don’t cook. Beck will usually fend for herself by eating some cake or a piece of pie. The only problem this time was that I was actually hungry and didn’t feel like cooking. Sure, a quick stop somewhere to get something fast could work, but I had something more dastardly in mind. I remembered the pork shoulder I had in the fridge that had only been partially used for pot stickers a couple of days earlier and then the halogen above my head fully illuminated, “twice cooked pork!", yeah, that’s the ticket! Only, since I really didn’t feel like cooking, I damn sure didn’t feel like cooking something TWICE!
So on the ride home from the grind, I ventured into my favorite cash depository, Whole
Foods Paychex, and rounded up the usual suspects for a quick stir-fry. This particular fry was to have some noodles in it though. I haven’t worked to much with noodles in my pseudo, quasi, trying-hard to taste authentic, Asian inspired dishes, but I’d seen one blog (do remind me which one someone, please) with “slurpy udon noodles” and my wife had just gotten some when we ordered in. So having noodle on the brain, more so than usual, I wanted to experiment a bit; ever so slightly expanding my culinary bounds, if you will. Or even if you won’t.
What you see there is the absolute best steak I have ever eaten in my life. Believe me when I tell you that I am not exaggerating. I have eaten a lot of steak in my like; from shoe leather, well-done crispy critters, to a succulent, melt in your mouth Kobe strip. But this Akaushi steak has risen the bar for me.
I was mulling around looking for a place to purchase a heritage turkey for this Thanksgiving. (You can read more on the heritage turkeys here) I tried to buy my turkey from a farm about two hours from where I live, but they sold out really fast. In any case, I found this place, did a bit of vetting and decided to get my turkey from them.
Well, I found that they had a veritable cornucopia of foods ranging from Berkshire pork to rabbit, to Guinea fowl, to Alaskan wild salmon. I literally spent a good part of my day browsing and contemplating purchasing something along with my turkey. And I did. I bought the Akaushi steaks…four of them.
You may be familiar with what the term “Kobe” or “Wagyu". Well, The word Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle (’Wa’ means Japanese or Japanese-style and ‘gyu’ means cattle). The Kobe steak comes from the Tajima-ushi (black cow) cattle, whereas these steaks come from the Akaushi (red cow). There are stories of the Tajima-ushi cattle being placed in slings, massaged, and being given Sake and beer. They are all bred for their amazing genetic characteristic of producing abundant intramuscular fat. The marbling.
I am not really much of a fan of reality TV for the most part. Shows like Real World, Surreal World, Survivor, Amazing Race, and the like, don’t interest me much. But I have to say, I don’t miss an episode of Top Chef. I am pretty sure that it is the competition for sure, but the food has me really captured. I time shift the show, which means I record it on DVR and watch it later, so I have to stay away from Michelle’s blog because she live blogs every episode and she will spoil it for me. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool what she does.
The winner of last year’s show was Stephanie Izard. The recipe here was from her little layout in Food and Wine magazine. So I’m reading this recipe and I’m thinking, okay we’ve got bacon, scallops, and Swiss chard? This produced and instant Pavlovian effect and I began to imagine the flavors. I had to do something about this!
Hey, I’ll make this!
Off to Whole Paychex and what do I find? Fresh gigantic scallops! I mean GIGANTIC. In that shot below, that plate is not a salad plate and that “little” scallop on the left is actually big, whereas the other two are ginormous! I’m not a small guy and I can eat plenty. That is my plate; Beck could only eat two.
And my feeble attempt at a garnish is a wilted piece of flat-leaf parsley. Maybe next time I’ll wait for my lights to be set before adding the garnish to a hot dish. I apologize for that. But the pic may not look it, but the dish was screaming!
I got the idea from watching Jamie Oliver on his Saturday morning show. I’ve always liked Jamie Oliver. I can dig his rustic approach. And his garden, or small farm, has me exponentially envious. In this episode he showcased leeks. And well, we like leeks.
Jamie’s dish was a simple one with slow pan-roasted leeks covered in prosciutto with homemade pappardelle. So let’s see, we’ve got homemade pasta, sauteed leeks, and pork. So I decided to put my spin on it.
It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to post something interesting, thought provoking, and/or intriguing for you all to read; not that at all. I realized that sometimes I just cannot bring myself to sit in front of my PC for much longer than a quick email check, a quick headline, or a quick browse of y’all’s blogs. You see, I sit in front of a PC everyday, and sometimes, the work gets to be just tiring enough that I don’t want to type anymore. It’s kinda like that commonplace story of working in an ice cream factory so long that you hate ice cream except that in my case it’s actually true. Who can ever hate ice cream?
Now that the weather here is finally equalizing with the actual season, I have been looking for inspiring dishes. Mostly this time of year, through the winter, I like to make comfort food type dishes; things that “stick to yer ribs.”
Well, if it isn’t already evident by my postings that I am a seafood lover, I’ll shout it out now. I guess that doesn’t really matter because I am truly a food lover and I don’t tend to discriminate…well not too much. I especially love the bivalves; scallops, clams, mussels, give them to me in excess!!!
Except…if I overindulge even a little bit, I get slammed with the “king’s disease", gout. And friends, that ain’t pretty. Nothing like being cursed over something you love.
Oyster stew is something that I have wanted to make for some time now and with the cooler weather I thought it was fitting. I am not much of a shucker. I mean I can and I have. I would rather not though. For those who like to shuck, shuck on. I’ll be over here.