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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pickled Marinated Mushrooms

These are addictive. That is, if you like pickled things, and mushrooms.

One of those 8 ounce packages of whole button mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp water
10 whole black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 to a whole dried red chili pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp sugar
Salt if needed

Fill a pot with enough water to submerge your jar in and bring it to a boil. Put your jar in it with the lids and boil for five minutes. Take the jar and lids out with tongs and let them dry and cool on a clean paper towel.
Dump the water out and put everything but the shrooms in a pot on low to medium heat and bring to a simmer. While its heating up and simmering clean the mushrooms and trim off any tough or dead parts on the stems. Normally I don't clean shrooms with running water but with these I do. I mean, they're going to be submerged in liquid for 3 days so why the hell not?
When they're all cleaned and trimmed, throw em' in the simmering liquid and let em go for like 5 to 8 minutes. When you're doing this your house will smell like a giant pickle. Pluck all that beautiful fungi out with your tongs and fit as many as you can in your jar. Pour all that pickling liquid over them til it gets to the top, put the cover on and screw the lid tight. Be careful, the jar is hot as balls. When it comes down to room temp, throw it in the fridge. Now here's the hard part. Fucking wait three days to open it and eat em.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My slightly healthier version of Whole Food's Sinful Smoked Gouda Pasta Salad

I tried this stuff a couple weeks back at Whole Foods and it was freakin good. But Whole Foods is far and this shit is $7.99 a pound and about 400 calories per serving. So I decided to make my own which is far less expensive and about 260 calories per serving.
FYI I don't measure. So these measurements are guesstimates. Oh and I threw in some sautéed zucchini because I needed to use it before it went bad. It's not in Whole Foods's version but after tasting mine, I actually prefer it.

1/2 pound of cooked whole wheat pasta, I used rotini
3/4 cup light mayo
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp adobo sauce (the sauce that comes in the chipotle pepper can)
1/2 cup cubed smoked Gouda
1 tomato seeded and chopped
1/2 a zucchini cut in cubes
1/4 cup quartered artichoke hearts
1 tsp dried, chopped basil
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic

Reminders: taste everything as you go and season as needed. Salt the pasta water.

While the pasta was cooking, I sautéed the zucchini in a little olive oil with s&p and the garlic powder. Just long enough to brown it a little. Probably 4 to 5 minutes. While the zucchini was sautéing I made the dressing for the salad in a big bowl. Put the mayo, vinegar, milk, adobo sauce, ground red pepper and s&p in the bowl and whisk until smooth. Strain the pasta, throw in the bowl with the dressing, throw in the zucchini, tomato, and artichoke. Set aside a cube or two of the Gouda and finely grate it into the bowl. Add the remaining cubes of Gouda and toss until everything is coated.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Some more New Orleans stuff

So there's no way I'm going to have enough time or motivation to do a "New Orleans Part 2" so here's some cool pics.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, 2012, part 1

Tim and I stopped at Pom Pom's for some road food on our way out. He got this Snickerdoodle cupcake from BlueBird Bakery and let it sit there teasing me for like an hour. Then I made him finally eat it. Oh yeah, it was his birthday so I made him this card on the RedStamp app.We arrived at our B&B, Elysian Fields Inn, at about 11 at night. The Inn Keeper, Jim, waited up to check us in then we went straight to bed.Unfortunately for Tim, one of the reasons we went to Louisiana was to visit his dying Grandpa. The next morning we woke up early and drove 2.5 hours to New Iberia through this shitI met some of Tim's family and hung out with them in his Grand Parent's kitchen while Tim went in a back bedroom to see his Grandpa. It was sad. His Grandpa died a week and a half later.
We hung out there for about an hour then drove some crazy back road route to Abita Springs for 2.5 hours for the ABITA BREWERY TOUR!! Sorry. Abita Amber is my favorite beer. 
That tour is awesome. They give you a plastic Abita cup, put on a 15 minute video, and let you hit the taps for as many times as you can in 15 minutes while the video plays. Then they walk you into a huge room with all the casks and mashers and whatnot, talk to you for 10 minutes, then let you hit the taps again for another 30.

Then, after the brewery tour, we headed to Chef John Besh's La Provence.  I made reservations a month in advance but apparently we didn't need them because when we arrived it was empty.  But it was kinda cool for a minute because it felt like the whole restaurant was ours.
I made some friends.....

Now on to the food......
When we arrived, we were given a chicken liver pate with crostinis.  Best free food nosh ever.
The bartender that's been there for 20+ years asked me if I wanted her to make me a drink.  I was like "are you kidding? you've been bartending since I was ten."  So she made me a Cosmo.  And squirted lime juice on me in the process.  It was the best Cosmo ever.
As apps I got the Oysters Ooh La La and Tim got the Quail Gumbo.  Both good but not 'oh my goodness, I'm glad we traveled 600 miles for this good.'
I forget the exact name of the entree that we split, but I call it Venison x 3.  It was rare seared venison loin on top of slow roasted venison stew surrounded by house made venison sausage.  Best venison dish I have ever ate in my life.  No joke.
We ended with the best bread pudding I have also, ever had.