I thought my cats were insistent. Never mind, they lose the battle of intensity. And I have no idea why I find this video so entertaining…
Archive for May, 2008
Most people would call garlic an ingredient, not a condiment. And it most certainly is an ingredient. There are folks that believe that there is no such thing as too much garlic in a dish or even a meal. And I can certainly relate to that perspective. But roasted garlic is another matter, indeed. It is something that is so wonderful that you really do not want to overload. First, make some. Get a few whole heads of garlic, slice the top quarter off, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tin foil and throw into a 375 oven for about an hour. Take ‘em out and let them cool a bit. The cloves will come right out of their skins with little coaxing.
These morsels of heaven will spread like butter on a slice of crusty bread. They will mash into a paste that will make fish, fowl, of meat sing. And the veggies will also be begging for a bit. Add it to whatever you dress your sandwich with and you just may not return from lunch…
I’m a Scotch kinda guy. But it’s summer, and it’s Texas, and it’s hot and humid. So I was looking for some lighter fare. Now I do like to experiment with exotic rums. Lot’s of interesting flavor to be found if one is willing to stay away from cola during the process. Most cheap rum is made from molasses or other syrupy goo. The real thing is made from cane sugar; all cane.
It begins with pure sugar canes. Each bottle is crafted with the finest handpicked canes, grown from rich Trinidadian soil, water and beautiful sunlight. Created from the first pressing of Virgin Cane. Individual canes handled ever so carefully, then double distilled to bring out their natural flavor. A decadence unachievable with molasses. Pure sugar canes, in one bottle that finds its way to you. 10Cane is the most extraordinary rum earth has ever seen. Untouched, light, smooth. It’s how rum was supposed to be.
Not a bad label hype, eh? The stuff does taste different than the cheapo rum and Coke of your youth. This stuff stands on its own with a few cubes but doesn’t weigh too heavy in the heat. Oh, and it makes a fantastic Mojito.
I’d love to keep my loyal readers enthralled with my latest condiment choice, current rant, technical evaluation, recipe, movie review, or whatever. Unfortunately, the judge says to expect at least a week for the trial I got selected to serve on. I must have an really bright neon light above my head that screams “pick me!”.
As it turns out, there may be more truth to that sobriquet about religion than we actually thought. New studies have indicated that the burning of ceremonial incense, such as in the picture above, has a psychoactive effect on the human brain. Congratulations to the Catholics. It’s not about faith or diddling little boys… It’s about being a stoner!
Nothing like seeing the family jewels of nearly three dozen folks getting tortured in short order…
“Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA. We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country,” said another party member, Andrei Gindos. Yep, that’s right. Some old-line communists are upset about the latest Indiana Jones movie because they think it puts commies in a bad light. It’s a movie… as in entertainment. It ain’t a history lesson.
I care not that salsa outsells ketchup in my home state of Texas. The reason that I do not care is that the stuff that is selling is a poor substitute, at best, for real salsa. If it is packaged, the odds are that it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it should. Witness the market leader, Pace. It’s passable, for emergency uses. But even Pace recognizes a major shortcoming: flavor. Witness all the different varieties of Pace “picante” sauce on the shelf. There’s the regular stuff in three different temperature variations, extra chunky, roasted garlic, chipotle, etc. Most of what you buy in the store is pretty bland, red colored water with lumps and varying degrees of “hotness”. The flavor went away a long time ago in a manufacturing facility far, far away. Of course, most of the dearth of flavor can be blamed on the fact that there hasn’t been a decent commercial tomato in 4.6 million years, but that is another rant.
Go to your garden and pick some tomatoes. Get some fresh onion, some jalapenos or whatever chili suits your fancy, some cilantro and a little chopped garlic. Chop it all up, throw it in a warm skillet. Maybe add some lime juice or a splash of beer. Let the flavors mingle. Serve on anything.
You say that fat is not a condiment? Ah, you are wrong oh cholesterol laden one! There is fat, and then there is duck fat. Sure, you can get it in neat little plastic tubs. But the real deal is in cans. The French may have a whole host of problems with most everything in their existence, but canned goods is certainly not one of them. A can of duck fat is just the thing that you need to add flavor and depth to any meal. Little boiled potatoes? Give ‘em a quick sear in a pan with a dollop of duck fat before serving. Fresh green beans, broccoli, a smidge on top of a steamed artichoke, sopped with fresh bread… It’s all good. And you don’t even have to eat in retreat mode!
Mustard. If you do not have at least 8 varieties currently on hand, you are lacking in the mustard experience. Head down to the grocery store and avoid the mustard that is so bright it will sear your retinas. Plain yellow mustard is just fine, but you want to experience the world. Try some coarse ground, English strong, some of the brown’s, some of the Dijon’s, and some of those with names that are likely indecipherable. Go ahead. And try it on some plain potato chips…