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Bourdain-a-thon: Carmageddon, The Aftermath

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone looks clean and sober to start, at least...

Dear Chef Bourdain;

Carmageddon was greatly exaggerated, and turned out to be Y2K-like in its underwhelmingness. Bourdain-A-Thon, on the other hand, was better than expected, and featured drinking, cooking, vikings, dogs and lots of good food. We tried to kick things off with a nice responsible picture on the couch with Assistant Chef Bourdain.

The black blur is actually a dog.

It didn’t work, he was way too anxious to get cooking. We put on a marathon of No Reservations on Netflix and started off. With drinking. That seemed like a good place to get started. We cracked a beer, and warmed up the warhammer for making Veau Viennese.

Tenderizers are for pussies.

I had set a goal of completing 14 dishes during the weekend, and I actually got 13 of them knocked out. That puts me closer to actually completing everything in time, but given the difficulty in locating some ingredients, I am ever less confident of really finishing. But I won’t bullshit about it, if I don’t make it, I don’t make it.

Since the traffic for Carmageddon was so underwhelming, and the various tribes of barbarians roaming the wastelands remained in their traditional blasted, ruined hellscapes;  (the valley) people actually did drop by. Some of them were totally down to commit murder – Nathan from Ikillit.com adding to his repertoire;

"I KEEL you, mussels! I KEEL you FILTHY!"

…and since hand Cody were pre-gaming before they came over for even more drinking, dressing up like a viking and roaming the streets of Venice, challenging other lawyers to duels seemed like a good idea.

Bring it. And by "it" I mean another drink.

But aside from shenanigans, I did get a lot of cooking done – and consequently a lot of eating, too. By Sunday night, I really didn’t want to look at another pot, and my lovely wife sure as hell didn’t want to clean ’em. Proving to myself once again – I’m a hobbyist, and will never be a pro.

Here’s the list of what I actually made:

  • Whole Fish Basquaise
  • Soup au vin
  • Veau Viennese
  • Lapin Aux Olives
  • Moules Basquaise, Moules a la Portugaise, Moules a la Grecque
  • Pate de Foie Gras aux Pruneaux
  • Petatou
  • Daube Provencale
  • Cote de Porc
  • Celery Remoulade
  • Salad Nicoise

I had planned to make pommes fondant as well, but that one will wait for another day. Don’t worry Chef, I know you’re waiting on bated breath for each and every write-up, and I’ll deliver!

Davy

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Categories: Cooking, Eating, Maundering

Salad Nice Ooze

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Salad nicoise by aghrivaine
Salad nicoise, a photo by aghrivaine on Flickr.

Dear Chef Bourdain;

This one is really easy. Boil some potatoes, some eggs, some green beans. Put ’em in an ice-bath. Throw in some oil, red wine vinegar in a bowl you’ve rubbed with garlic. Toss in green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, plus the quartered potatoes and green beans. Top with tuna, olives and anchovies.

It was kinda nasty, to tell you the truth. But you know, that’s anchovies for you. Super salty. I brought it to a family dinner, and while it looked gorgeous, it clashed with the BBQ chicken and steak. And fish-on-fish is a little much one of the fish is super salty, like a mouthful of…

Seawater. Yeah. That’s what I was going to say, and I’m stickin’ to my story.

Thanks for an easy recipe though, Chef!
Davy

Categories: Uncategorized

Not-So-Whole-Fish Basquaise

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Whole Fish Basquaise (but not so whole fish)

Dear Chef Bourdain;

My lovely wife headed out to the hallowed halls of Super King, way up in Pasadena-ish territory. They are a purveyor of many fine and strange meats at very reasonable prices, so it was worth the trip to lay in the supplies for the Carmageddon Bourdain-A-Thon. This was the same place I got the offal for Tripes Les Halles on Guts Night. She had a big list, because it’s a pretty big menu, and I didn’t do the greatest job of being especially specific. So when I said “red snapper” in my head was this big ol’ gorgeous fish. But she got fillets instead, because she is not telepathic, no matter how often I expect her to be.

But ya know, fish is only going to keep so long, so I figured I’d just do it anyway – I know that your exhortations about fish being better on the bone are sincere. In fact I’ve cooked whole red snapper before anyway – just not in the Basquaise style. So I’mna say this counts, anyway, even though it’s not a real whole fish. If you disagree, let me know and I’ll do it over again. After telling you to go fuck yourself, ‘cuz what were you thinking with so many goddamn veal recipes?

Step one - don't fuck up the meez.

Bearing in the mind the greatest lesson I’ve learned so far – don’t fuck  up the meez – I proceeded to not fuck up the meez. An onion, a red pepper, a green pepper, four garlic cloves and thyme leaves, all set to go. I heated up roasting pan and olive oil, and browned the onions and pepper. This fills the house with an amazing smell, and so I bet the Basque people are both colorful and perpetually hungry. Judging by the recipes named after them. By that same logic, though, I am covered with cilantro and have avocado on my head.

After the veg was browned, I added the garlic and thyme. When that got hot, I poured in the white wine and scraped up the good stuff. I added some home-made stock (it really does make a difference) and brought it to a boil. On goes the fish fillets, and into the 400F oven. Your recipe is for a whole fish, which obviously would take longer to cook than just some fillets, so I kept a close eye on it. I also omitted the potatoes since we’re doing the low-carb thing most of the week. I managed to pull the fish out at just the right moment, so it was delicate, flavorful and very tender. Assistant Chef Bourdain also went nuts for it, and circled the table like a well-chummed shark.

Assistant Chef Bourdain Approves

I missed out on crisping the skin and the added flavor of the more delicate bits, but it was still really delicious. It’s also easy, and as you say, simple to improvise on, too.  I’m crossing this one off the list. I’m way behind, and the fundamental technique was still the same – and, I might add, something I’ll be using  a lot in the future.

Next time, the whole fish!

Davy

Carmageddon Bourdain-a-thon menu

July 12, 2011 1 comment

Dear Chef Bourdain;

So I combed through the Good Book and came up with enough recipes that if I finish them all this weekend, I’ll be in a good situation to finish the rest on time. If you’ll recall, L.A. will be paralyzed by the horrors of velociraptors stalking the freeways the closure of the 405.

Here’s the list:

Soupe au vin 49

  • Salad nicoise
  • Celery remoulade
  • Moules a la portugaise
  •     ” Basquaise
  •     ” Grecque
  • Foie GRAS au pruneaux
  • Petatou
  • Fish Basquaise
  • Veal Viennese
  • Daube provencale
  • Cote de porc
  • Pommes fondants
  • Sauce béchamel
  • Lapin aux olives
The final one depends on my lovely wife actually getting out to Super King in the valley this week. If not, it may be replaced or removed. I know that’s a lot of cooking, but I tried to pick things that had similar ingredients for ease of prep.
For locals, stop by any time – there will be something on to try, and something to cook if you want to try your hand! Also, drinking. Also, watching No Reservations.
Davy
Categories: Maundering

Carmageddon Bourdain-a-thon

July 8, 2011 3 comments

Los Angeles Carmageddon, July 16-17

Hey Chef Bourdain;

I don’t know if you spend much time in Los Angeles, but we’ve got this little thing going on the locals are calling ‘carmageddon’. It might be a little dramatic, but only by a skosh.  they’re shutting down the 405 on the weekend of July 16th, which basically means that all of Los Angeles is going to descend into a sort of cross between the Old Testament and Mad Max.  You know, where wandering tribes of scavengers evade the wrath of angry God? It’s like that, plus with smog.

So my plan is to stay the fuck off the roads. Since I’m pretty far behind on my schedule to finish every recipe in your book inside a year, I’m going to take this opportunity to make ALL  THE THINGS.

COOK ALL THE THINGS!

COOK ALL THE THINGS!

Well, all the things I can find ingredients for, anyway. So my plan is this – I’ll work from home on Friday and start cooking.  There might be some drinking, too.  We’re going to watch as many old episodes of No Reserevations as I can stream. Which is nearly all of them. For the entire weekend, I’m going to cook, cook, cook. I don’t know if I can catch up or not, but I’m going to give it the old college try. No, fuck that, Chef – my college tries were pretty half-assed. Well, except after the Army. But anyway – I’mna cook the shit out of ALL THE THINGS.

Anyone who is stranded by Carmageddon and doesn’t want to take their chances evading the wrath of an angry god and wasteland scavengers is welcome to come over for all or some of it – There will definitely be something to eat. Whatever we don’t eat, we’ll freeze or give away. This is probably a  make-it-or-break-it proposition, if I don’t get caught up, or at least mostly caught up, it’s going to be progressively harder to do so  before the deadline. (November 1st, 2011, for the record.)

So Chef – or any other neighborinos, stop on by for the Carmageddon Bourdain-A-Thon. Though, if for some strange reason you actually show up, we’ll just play loud punk music instead of making you watch your own show, ok?

Davy

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