Dinner Tonight: Chops,Pots,Salad and Candy


I got out of making salad as the cold set in. I love salad and it grows well in the fall. You must say it like the French, “Sal-ahd.”


Chops fried, pulled out of the pan to grab some onion gravy ( of the non-milky variety ) then in the oven to work it all out.


Don’t forget the creme fraiche with the mash. Total magic.


This is how Smarties look through onion watered eyes.

Chicky Pot Pie, Biscuit Edition


I have yet to make an actual chicken pot pie. I always opt for the baking powder biscuit version. Oh crust, so much rolling, so much chilling, so much pre- baking. I have no patience for these.


Cook everything in advance. Make some cream sauce with chicken stock. Stick it in a pot and cover it with biscuits.

It’s a hearty meal as winter approaches as you try to figure out what the heck to do with this big squash.


Chicken Fried Steak


I can’t believe it’s not fried chicken chicken … er … steak chicken steak. Chicken fried steak is one option for steaks without fancy names. Pound it out with some ancient wheat, salt and pepper then do a quick fry job in duck fat ( or your animal fat of choice. Don’t under estimate the power of lard ).

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 compliments and sets the tempo of your steak preparation before it gets fried like chicken.


It’s best served with a milky onion gravy and some mash. “Milky onion gravy” sounds like something you’d find on a fifties recipe card, but in truth, it’s lovely. We did ratatouille. Not the best match, but fine for a quick Tuesday lunch.

One bite of chicken fried steak sends your taste buds dreaming of other taste-buddie horizons for pounded meat. Suddenly, you want to play around with katsudon ( “Japanese Schnitzel” on rice ).

Ratatatouille Tonight with Some Firm Duck Breast


I love ratatouille. I had a Marseillaise pop ’round last time I made this lovely dish. I showed her the Ripailles recipe that included some lemon. “Citron? Mais NON! Jamais!”. Then she told me all the secrets of a standard French dish of which I will share as the blog rolls.


“Duck again?” the kids whine. Oh if they only knew how lucky they are. Yes, it’s duck again. We learned this little “finger” number at a restaurant in Toulouse after our Carte Vital was renewed. Slice the duck breast in fingers with a little salt-and-pepper’s-here action then do your fry routine. The slices give it a nice, even cook with some juicy redness in the middle without being too red.

For whatever reason or child or chicken or cow, I have forgotten to finger and had to cut fingers mid-fry. This worked like a charm and you can feel an obscure recipe developing ( now why do I slice the duck breast into fingers after I’ve started frying it? I’ll tell you why, because whomever wrote that recipe had kids and cows and chickens and farm and they forgot to slice the damn breast. )


But 6:30 is approaching. In a very non-European way, dinner is served before 8pm. As such, we need to let the ratatouille rest overnight and serve up a new squash dish.

Macarons Again


This photo is inside-out and upside-down. I really should read the manual for my very shattered iPhone, but I’m showing you that I’m getting close. Yes, I know it feels like I’m sharing the raw data that will support my book, “Fucking Up Macarons: Let Me Count The Ways.”. Each iteration brings new, tasty mistakes.


Not only did I not fold, I also used noix de coco rapee. The recipe clearly asks for noix de coco en poudre. And I overlooked it. Did I mention that I have a one-year-old? Thus explains my solid march into “macaroon” territory.

Through this, I see clearly that should I ever find myself in a hip new band with a hunky bass player, I will put in the hat “Desiccated Coconut” as a band name to be reckoned with.


I happened to have a little coconut powder on hand, but not enough. I filled in with the shredded cousin.

Folding didn’t work at all because I essentially made coconut marzipan. So I whipped the crap out of it with a balloon whisk.

All this effort to reliably repeat a flour-free cookie for my family to enjoy.
Next time, I’ll try the ones with the almond powder.

One Branch for Leftover Chili


Do you have leftover chili? Yes
Do you have eggs? Yes

Get that chili bubbling, then fry up them eggs.
Note: that is a man thumb. This is Brent’s recipe and as such fried his own damn eggs.


After, pour some chili on top ( I feel a Def Leppard song coming on ) Should you have some cheese and a dollop of fat creme fraiche, your dish just got pimped.

Cafe Goya Memorial, he calls it. I know nothing about this Sydney cafe, but I do know this: fried eggs covered in chili are very yummy.

Chili Con Ground Booty Cuts


If life gives you random booty cuts, make a meaty chili. My chili goes a little something like this:

Onions-star anise
Tom purée
Beans ( but I never use beans, they make you toot … x6 not a good situation )

You know how to cook, make it happen

I smoodge the onions and friends in the final pot while browning ( yes, browning, French beef ) in a fry pan generally in duck phat with a little wine action. I’m after the Taco Bell classic “Encherito” beef. Separate, browned and tasty.


This is what I see when I dice onions. I’m not cryin’, I’m making a lasagna for one.

Random Booty Cuts


Not a Sir-Mix-Alot career revival superDubStep remix ( though I would quite like to hear that ), no these are the cuts you are left with after your loving customers take all the good bits.

But we did find one surprise …


A little, tiny filet mignon ( dare I say super mignon? ) lurking in the booty pieces just in time for Friday lunch. And what’s this? Some foie gras fat to fry it in. Oh yum.

We’ve not tried the filet from our cows yet. Though there is always room for growth and improvement, I’d have say I like tender loin and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny.

Duck Confit, Part Deux


Good day, it’s time to stick that salty, peppery duck leg and friends in a hot vat of its own fat.

Thankfully I’m friends with a duck farmer who has fat to spare.


Gorgeous stuff, duck fat. Add a couple of fresh bay leaves and a dash or three of thyme. Then, cover that goodness in duck fat. Slowly, as the fat warms and the legs render, you’ll begin to here sounds of the absent-minded professor. Though, instead of an amazing Flubber invention, you will be creating a modest dinner in your future. To really enjoy the moment, dig up your old John Cage records and enjoy the sounds of broken glass hitting concrete, incomplete piano scales, muffled sounds of Milan and the bubble and gurgle of duck confit in the making.

… And you wait. You wait for time and fat to work magic.


I Feel Like Confit Tonight


Though probably not tonight. Duck confit is a week long extravaganza of preparation, cooking in a vat of fat and waiting.

Today’s step is: salt and pepper the crap out of the legs. The French for this is “genereusement” ( the are some accents in there, but this iPhone don’t make it easy ). Then let it snug overnight.


Oh but what a wait. I heart duck confit.