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Triangle Pre-Thanksgiving Get Together?


Varmint
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We're set on the cajeta: pumpkin fritters with cajeta and goat milk ice cream!!!

Wow. Does THAT sound good.

Can hardly wait for the report and photos!

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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If I recall correctly (bit of a tequila haze still going this morning), I had one hell of a meal last night.

Perhaps some pictures will help spark my memory.

The leather couch in Varmint's living room can provide a good night's sleep, by the way.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Details will follow later today. We're about 3/4 of the way through cleaning the kitchen -- and if not for the pig pickin', this may have taken the prize for the messiest kitchen after a meal. Well worth it.

I need more coffee.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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So where are ya' Varmint? Continuing the Mexican theme by taking a siesta?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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It's snowing in Iowa and I am dying for a report on the fiesta in the Triangle.

Well, in keeping with that time-honored tradition of strangers chatting in the waiting room, where in Iowa are you?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Des Moines. Would have realized that had I looked harder at your screen name.

Des Moines. Played there once, years and years ago, during my show biz days. It was at a little dive downtown. Just about a half-block south of the river as I recall. But maybe that was another dive and another downtown and another river. They blend, you know.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've had 3 kids with soccer practice today, and this is the first chance I've had to sit down. I'll post some pictures and brief descriptions, and hopefully phlawless and Al Dente will fill y'all in with some details.

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Al Dente couldn't get a date, so we hooked him up with a picture of Miss North Carolina.

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How to smoke a pork butt on a gas grill.

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Pecan-smoked pork butt with chipotle, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, garlic rub; Pecan-smoked chicken (spatchcocked) with coffee, dried chile, cumin, garlic and oregano rub.

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A most excellent 100% agave tequila. Mrs. Varmint even drank a couple of shots! No pictures of the incredible tamarind margaritas made by Al Dente and Mr. phlawless.

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Salsas and guacamole.

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Frying the chips.

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Chips ready to eat.

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"Two-toned" ceviche of sea scallop and tuna.

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Ceviche closer up.

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Baked tamal. Phlawless made three of these. One had chard, chile and cheese. Another was chicken and lots of good stuff. The third was braised short rib with chipotle, cinnamon, onion and raisin.

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Here's a slice each from all 3 tamals, served with phlawless' kick-ass mole, all dressed up.

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Time for a break and for me to show drunken pinkie technique.

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Tacos on homemade corn tortillas. The meat was the smoked pork and chicken shown above along with shrimp mojo de ajo.

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Close up of smoked pork taco with tomatillo salsa and queso fresco.

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Phlawless making pumpkin fritters.

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Fritters frying.

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The single best dessert I've had in 2003: Pumpkin fritters rolled in cinnamon sugar, served with goat cheese ice cream, cajeta and candied, spicy pepitas. Damn, this was awesome.

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Close up of the dessert.

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Too drunk to be truly inspired, Al Dente and phlawless pose for the traditional American Gothic shot, grabbing the first things they can find.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Wonderful, Varmint. Boy do those pumpkin fritters look delicioso.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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There were 11 of us eating. We also had some of Jaymes' great charro beans and a salad of cabbage, grapefruit, lime, poblanos, cilantro, and other stuff. We drank 8 bottles of vino, 1-1/2 bottles of tequila, half a bottle of Cointreau, 25 beers, and 2 Cokes. Al Dente and I also drank a ton of coffee the next morning.

I can't rave enough about those fritters. Even if she and her better half didn't have great personalities, I'm going to start inviting phlawless to every one of my dinner parties. This was an incredible dessert. And incredible tortillas, mole, tamals, and . . . . You get the drift.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I can't rave enough about those fritters. Even if she and her better half didn't have great personalities, I'm going to start inviting phlawless to every one of my dinner parties. This was an incredible dessert. And incredible tortillas, mole, tamals, and . . . . You get the drift.

jeez, and i thought it WAS my charming demeanor that got me all those invites...

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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I was lucky and didn't get the haze... damn those marguaritas were yummy.

Both Mr. phlawless and I had a great time, it was a great group of people to meet, nice to be around folks who aren't in the industry but are still enthusiastic about food, though I hope never to devote that much time or breath to Paris Hilton again.

My favorites of the night (besides the marguaritas) were the salsas and the pork for the tacos. Nice rub, Varmint! Excellent balance of smoke and heat. I still can't believe I ate as much as I did...right now a bowl of beans with cotija and that pork would make a fine breakfast!

I've got a few photos as well, but don't know how to post them. Help?

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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varmint rocks!

True 'dis. The man is the host with the most. So sorry I missed this - it looks phenomenal!

does anything go together better than mexican food and paris hilton?

Y'know - I was so curious what all the fuss was about with this infamous video that I looked it up on the net. Poor girl looks like she'd rather be getting a manicure, she's so bored. No surprise considering we never see her partner doing anything other than pleasing himself whilst using her as a receptacle. I'd say don't eat anything before watching - it's too depressing and reinforces too many stereotypes.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I had a great time. To get some idea of how fabulous the food was, I think phlawless MUST post the recipe for the tamals for all to enjoy. The dessert too, if at all possible, but that would be like asking for the "recipe" for painting the Mona Lisa. It might be too much to ask.

But puleeeeeeeeeeeeeze, give us the chance to make those tamals.

A thread should be started on everyone's success in making them along with the variations in the ingredients. Of course, there must be pictures.

Varmint-- thanks for such a fun night. I enjoyed meeting everyone and getting to know the Doctor Missus a little more-- I didn't get the chance at the pig pickin. You had a good group of folks there-- their ability to discuss shrubbery at length was testament to their wit and sophistication! And what guy wouldn't dream of being set up with Ms North Cackalacky for the evening. She was dreamy.

:biggrin:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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The fritters are incredibly easy:

1 can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 c ap flour

1 T baking powder

1/4 c sugar

4 eggs, separated

mix everything but egg whites

heat 4 inches oil till flour sizzles (about 325)

beat whites with generous pinch of salt to soft peak and fold into above

spoon gumball size dollops into oil, frying three or four at a time

turn after 30-45 seconds, fry till golden

dry on towels, then toss in cinnamon sugar

this makes enough for 8-9 people, 3 fritters a piece, you can half the batch without any adjustments

cajeta

1 qt whole fat goat's milk

1 c sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 t baking soda

heat milk to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add sugar and cinnamon stick

simmer on low for about an hour, till it starts to froth and caramelize

once it starts to clump when falling from a spoon, it's done

add baking soda, this will deepen the color and stabilize the consistency

allow to cool, can be served very cold or room temp, depending on how thick you like it

goat cheese ice cream

1/2 # fresh goat cheese

1 heaping cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 qt goats milk

18 egg yolks

2 vanilla beans

mascerate cheese with sugar and salt till smooth

add to yolks and mix

heat milk and scraped vanilla beans to boil

remove and temper egg/cheese mix, strain

cool, preferably overnight, and freeze in ice cream machine

I need to look up the tamal recipe, it's in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen book, I'll post it later.

The fillings I just kind of winged. Varmint made the short rib, so I'm not sure exactly what went into that.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

That looks real good, and I just happen to have to make something this weekend.

McCord: will I be able to buy goat's milk at Wellspring?

Also, I am not a cook, but I can follow directions. I see directions for all, but what about the "candied pepitas"?

Thx

PS: If you have the tamal recipe, that would be cool too. Thx

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