Saturday, December 15, 2012

Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Sheep

Here recently I have found myself craving more lamb than normal and over the last few weeks, that craving has become a reality with some tasty lamb choices. I once had a professor at Texas A&M University, the late and great Dr. Howard Hesby, that used to challenge his incoming Animal Science majors to trying lamb, at least for those that had not tried this delicious protein before. I have had plenty of previous experience with lamb, so this was not a challenge as such, but more of a In Memory tribute. Anyways, so lamb has been the center of the plate on a handful of dinners over the last few weeks. Lamb meatballs, lamb racks, lamb shanks, etc. To say the least, it's been a couple of fantastic weeks.

On to the Meat Porn. Below you will find a picture of some Anderson Ranch Lamb shanks that are cut at 1" intervals from the hoof side of the lamb hind shank. I actually cut these myself from the hind shank for a customer who wants a shorter shank to braise, thereby serving me up with a weekly stock of these tasty morsels of goodness!

I will take these little lamb morsels and toss them with a little EVOO, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh sage. I'll then put them in a shallow baking pan and put in the oven at 425° F. About 10-15 minutes later the tasty morsels will yield up a bit or two of flesh, but most importantly, inside the shank bone will be bone marrow heaven! Typically I will just suck the marrow out of the bone, but I suppose you can use some fancy marrow fork...

If you care to know a little bit about Dr. Hesby, check out the link below to the Memorial Atrium at Texas A&M and check out the other links below for more tasty info!

Howard Hesby Memorial Student Atrium
Anderson Ranch Lamb - Fresh Oregon Lamb
American Lamb Board

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Food Porn/Meat Porn

Since my last posting, it has come to my attention that the idea of "Food Porn" has become a trending topic on many social media platforms. And though I do enjoy a fantastic snap shot of some overly priced and probably ill-prepared tempeh that been marinating in mirin and topped with some local roasted herbs, I feel like the meat world just sometimes doesn't get its fair share of coverage. Hence I bring you a new posting... Meat Porn.

Though you can probably think of many things to say about that title, I will save you and I both the energy and say, "Yes, I have heard that one."

So, here is Day 1 of Meat Porn. May our days ahead be full of Meat Porn and may you get your fill.
Breakfast Links courtesy of Molinari Salame

I specifically prefer when not making my own sausage to check out the following guys that I can personally attest to in the Seattle, WA area and beyond:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Food

Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band...

Taste the Pain, or might I say, feel the burn. Not Dani California, but the California Anaheim Pepper. Peppers are the topic for this posting, the food kind, though I will try to plug as much Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band, into it as much as possible. Why? Because it just seems fitting.

Chili Pepper Display in Houston, Texas

By the Way, I have always been a fan of the red hot chili peppers, in fact, my love for them dates back to 1983. Which just so happens to be the same year that a specific American alternative rock band with a similar name formed Out in L.A.. But Hey, Nevermind all of this jazz, let's Buckle Down here and really get into talking about peppers. In addition to their many other uses outside of the culinary field, They're Red Hot in my daily food choices.

Around the World, throughout the history of mankind, peppers have been used for other things other than the culinary field. From medicine, psychology, weaponry, defense, crop and food, defense, decoration, etc.

Thanks to many years of science innovation, the 21st Century has brought us to a place where we can not only enjoy many of things, but we can also understand why it is that we do enjoy those things.  Chili peppers have been used by civilizations throughout the history of mankind. Even though it wasn't until the 1800's did we learn what it is that can make these little peppers so hot.  What It Is that makes these little fruits make you want to Get Up and Jump and scream out Mercy Mercy is the capsaicin and a couple of other chemicals, collectively know as capsaicinoids.

The heat level in peppers ranges from mild or non-existent, or a Minor Thing, to scorching Fire, reminiscent of a Skinny Sweaty Man hanging out On Mercury.  Personally, I tend to Fight Like a Brave man So Much I find myself Naked In the Rain with a Million Miles of Water trying to cool down. The heat in these peppers are measured by a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) that ranges from 0 to 16,000,000! Bell peppers hanging out down low on that scale and moving upwards for more spicier peppers, habaneros, for example.

File:Chiltepin mexico sonora.jpg
Tepin Pepper

I remember when I was younger, Me and My Friends were hanging out having a couple of cold beers and enjoying the Time. My Friends thought it would be fun to Torture Me by having me try a couple of peppers native to the south regions of the United States called a Tepin Pepper, or to my friends and I, the Wild Turkey Pepper. If You Have To Ask, let's just say that pepper can Knock Me Down and Easily give me a Deep Kick in the stomach. Though I found it Hard To Concentrate and it was One Hot Minute of my life with a Funny Face, on the Otherside I felt this Transcending feeling of endorphins running through my veins. By The Way, you know I Could Have Lied and spoke of How Strong I was but my Tear could Give It AwaySomeone told me I could Make It Feel Better, say, If a had some Snow from an Eskimo or a Body of Water. Caution, my experience may by like yours. You may feel Warped or left with quite a Tearjerker. By The Way, those endorphins may take you to Higher Ground or  just leave around some various Scar Tissue, either way, still highly recommended. I Can't Stop making all of these Red Hot Chili Pepper references!

But in reality folks, try to add some spice in your meals at home. Start experimenting with hot peppers! Not only will your taste buds appreciate it, but will your body.  There are some great health advantages to eating hot peppers.  You don't have to start flaming hot, but start somewhere and build on it.  You will feel refreshed and revived.

This post really started out to be a serious one, but I just had too much fun with the Red Hot Chili Pepper references in this one for my own good!  Here is a list of peppers that I have cultivated and used in the kitchen that I would suggest trying out in your dishes. Ranging from mild to hot:

Bell, Anaheim, Poblano, Jalepeno, Paprika, Serrano, Cayenne, Tabasco, Chiltepin (Tepin), Pequin, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Red Savina Habanero, Naga Jolokia (Ghost Chili that will have you doing an American Ghost Dance)

Stay Spicy Folks,