Haute Dog Cuisine

No, I don't cook for my dog. Also - I am NOT a stoner. Yet. What do you think this concoction is?

I made a magical pot of chili over the weekend and that always means chili dogs in the near future. Another night I made fish tacos with mango banana salsa yielding leftover tortillas and salsa. On the long drive home tonight I was craving a quesadilla. Hence, dinner was born! Have you noticed the latest trend in hot dogs? Angus. These are Angus dogs which are nitrite/ate free, and smoked. They are pretty fabulous, as far as hot dogs go. I melted cheese on a single flour tortilla, added a thin line of chili and rolled it up taquito style.

A chili dog quesaquito? Whatever it is, it totally would have one some off the wall, Top Chef Quickfire challenge.


Giada's SNAFU

I am highly critical of TV Chefs. Mostly because I am jealous that I am not one. Some things that I see are truly awful and warrant a complaint. I've been laid up for the last few days and have had plenty of opportunity to see some horrific things.

On Giada at Home, Giada was preparing a Mexican meal. I know there are some Giada devotees that will recreate something just because SHE made it, but I have no desire to see Giada's take on Tex-Mex. She was going to grill marinated chicken and steak - probably for tacos or fajitas. She created a marinade that looked pretty good (I would have added tequila) and then marinated the chicken in the same dish as the beef. Um - no thanks. Unless you're going to cook that beef to 180 degrees, rendering it overcooked and inedible, the beef is not edible for risk of salmonella. Would it have been so hard to marinate them separately? Yuk.

Another gripe I have is chefs not measuring on TV and is clearly not close to the original measurement. The biggest offense is coating the whole bottom of a pan with oil and saying, "Start with 2 Tbsp of oil in the pan." I would love to jump into the TV grab the pan to measure how much was used. This is not to say I follow recipes when I am not testing for a purpose, but you must realize if someone actually follows the printed recipe they will often have different results.


Food 52 365

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster') from Food52 on Vimeo.

Food 52 is one of the few food sites that I can find something fabulous on everyday. This must smell amazing while cooking! I keep latex gloves around for peppers. I think it's also important to change cutting boards.


Revisiting Wine

To say that it has been a stressful week is putting it mildly. Last night nerves were soothed with Salty Dogs. They were good but I've come to prefer mine made with Izze grapefruit soda and I was using the much more potent grapefruit juice. Tonight I wanted something more delicate. Wine. I used to really love wine. I still do, but beer has taken over as my beverage hobby. I got out a *good* wine glass, not flinching about it not being dishwasher safe, and traveled over to my kitchen wine rack. My wine rack contained: 2 mini-bar bottles of a Frontera cab/merlot adorned with a 'thank you for joining us for our special day' stickers as they were wedding favors, a bottle of Malibu rum, and my propane torch for creme brulee/emergency s'more making. It was kind of depressing. I am grateful for stellar wedding favors, especially ones that reminded me of a very fun evening, but I needed something extra special to soothe my soul.

I should have thought twice about an emergency trip to the State store just before closing time on a holiday weekend Saturday night. Bottles of Jagermeister were flying off the shelves all around me. Everyone was getting ID'd. Their identification said they were 21 but who can tell anymore? All it needed was a strobe-light and an impenetrable cloud of cigarette smoke to feel like the Palladium in 1997. Not my scene. I headed for the Pinot section. It's easy to drop a pretty penny on pinot noir, but I am on a budget. I snagged a 2007 Bear Boat from the Sonoma Coast for a reasonable $11.99. Then I went over to the Cabernet Sauvignons. My favorite wine at Ruth's Chris is the Louis Martini 2007 Cabernet. I was appalled to discover the bottle sells for $12.99. It is at least $16 a glass at the bar! I know that's within traditional wine mark up range, but the budget conscience wino in me was in shock. I bought a bottle of that too as I will stick to martinis and Manhattan's at the steak house from now on. Remembering that the hubby has had an even more stressful week than I, I grabbed him a bottle of his tried and true Jameson's. I may also be plotting some Jameson's and ginger beers for tomorrow.

I make it home and polish the wine glass. How is it that a glass gets dirty while in a closed cabinet? I get out my wine opening equipment and open the bottle with all the flair I learned in bar & beverage class. I hold the bottle the same way I held the bottle of Lambrusco in Bologna, with my thumb inside the bell on the bottom. I pour. I swirl. I do all the pretentious wine tasting motions. They actually have a purpose, I tell myself. I sip. I exhale. I am soothed.

A little while later, after chuckling that Frontera retweeted my tweet about using a *good* wine glass (after all, it was their wine that I passed up tonight!) I decided to complete a more formal tasting of the Bear Boat. It has a shorter finish than I like, but is grassy and prune-y which I love. I stick my nose as far into the glass as it will go. I ponder that maybe that's why I'm not more of a wine person - I don't have that iconic extra long nose that is made for sticking into wine glasses. What do I smell that I did not expect at all? I smelled it repeatedly to confirm... cooked cabbage! It doesn't taste like cooked cabbage but I can't deny that is exactly what the smell is. I don't find it unpleasant but I am confused about it.

Regardless, the wine and ritual of the wine has served it's purpose.