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eG Foodblog: Al Dente - I done been tagged...


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My fellow eGulleters...

Hello there, my real name is Mike, I live just outside of Washington DC, and Uptown tagged me. We'll see how this makes my week a lot different food-wise. I have some bad dining habits mixed in with my own pretty-good-for-an-amateur cooking along with some meals from some excellent, or at least reliable, restaurants in the DC area.

Can I start with last night? It's been so cooooold. And for whatever reason, braising seems to be the way to go when it's chilly. So, I went to visit my best friend, his wife, and my twin Godsons, armed with a bunch of short ribs, carrots, onions, celery, beef broth, red wine (lots of it), garlic, parsley, tomato paste, anchovy paste, and a can of fire roasted tomatoes.

A delicious meal ensued. More details later as this PC at my friend's place is misbehaving, and the Indian carryout just arrived.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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My fellow eGulleters...  Hello there, my real name is Mike, I live just outside of Washington DC, and Uptown tagged me.

Boy, am I pissed. I thought your name was Al :hmmm:. Bless you for picking up the baton and keeping the rest of us entertained.

Can I start with last night? It's been so cooooold. And for whatever reason, braising seems to be the way to go when it's chilly. So, I went to visit my best friend, his wife, and my twin Godsons, armed with a bunch of short ribs, carrots, onions, celery, beef broth, red wine (lots of it), garlic, parsley, tomato paste, anchovy paste, and a can of fire roasted tomatoes.

My kind of "guest". Wanna come to my house :laugh:? The invitation's open, and if I'm correct about where you live, we're only about 10 miles apart.

Looking forward to your blog Mike.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Not to be picky or ungrateful Al Michael,

but I think after you, it's time to spread the love.

3 in a row from DC area is enough.

Find someone in an area that hasn't been touched by a blog yet.

Just my opinion though.

Of course, you're already dead though. Killed when that giant comet hit.

Edited by herbacidal (log)

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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3 in a row from DC area is enough.

I promise. No DCers. How bout someone outside the US?

If you qualify, and you're interested. Send me a PM.

More tomorrow,

Al

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Looking forward to the blog.

You must have a lot of dinner invites if you bring the food! :biggrin::biggrin:

What do you do for a living?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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3 in a row from DC area is enough.

I promise. No DCers. How bout someone outside the US?

If you qualify, and you're interested. Send me a PM.

More tomorrow,

Al

I vote that you carry on, Al! I want to know about the output of your embarassingly small

kitchen.

Best,

Betty

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Not to be picky or ungrateful Al Michael,

but I think after you, it's time to spread the love.

3 in a row from DC area is enough.

Find someone in an area that hasn't been touched by a blog yet.

Just my opinion though.

Of course, you're already dead though. Killed when that giant comet hit.

I tried!

Seriously, after putting out an open call (and getting absolutely zero responses), I PMed several members who seemed like great potential bloggers...only to be treated like I had the plague.

Sorry for the DC-centricity. In my defense, little of my own blog had to do with DC specifically. :sad:

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3 in a row from DC area is enough.

I promise. No DCers. How bout someone outside the US?

If you qualify, and you're interested. Send me a PM.

More tomorrow,

Al

Hey, I gots no problem with you finishing, ya hear?

Besides, been wondering how you or Tommy would sound like in a blog.

I do think someone outside the US would be nice.

Europe outside England. I don't know offhand about any posters in Latin America.

Russia would be awesome and Eastern Europe as well, but same problem.

Hawaii. That might be interesting, although a longer wait might be better, to

contrast with Shiewie and Torakris.

There's probably a few parts of the US that aren't touched yet. Only one in Canada was Vancouver.

You're requesting volunteers? I'm out. I already did mine.

Jenny, I'm not really saying it's your fault.

Although you are supposed to badger, heckle, and embarrass the next one into blogging.

That's how Ronnie Suburban and Ling got me to do one.

Kicking and screaming. All in all, it was okay.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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edit: oops

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Looking forward to the blog.

You must have a lot of dinner invites if you bring the food! :biggrin::biggrin:

What do you do for a living?

What do I do for a living? Good question, I'm not so sure. They tell me I'm a Client Relations Manager for a company that provides electronic payment processing (read: credit cards) services to the hospitality industry. Basically we have a help desk that supports the software on point of sale systems and a network by which the transactions go from those systems to the various banks. I know, it's some pretty exciting and glamorous stuff. :blink:

I do get a fair number of invites to cook. I really enjoy heading over to someone's place and cooking. Provided their kitchen is bigger than mine. Given the square inchage of my kitchen, it isn't hard to find someone with some decent counter space. The only thing I don't like about cooking in a strange kitchen is figuring out where everything is and using an unfamiliar stove and/or oven. I often cook at my best friend's place, my brother's house, and when I head home to visit my dad and stepmother.

That last kitchen reminds me of something. They have a beautiful kitchen with great appliances, plenty of counterspace, and a good sink area. But, they have horrible pots, pans, and knives. I usually bring my own. My stepmother, and my dad to some degree, are both pretty decent cooks. The problem though, is that my stepmother is an excellent baker-- all kinds of homemade breads, sticky buns, quiches, pastries, the whole shebang. The one area of cooking I've never tried out very much is baking. So the kitchen is a baker's kitchen-- it just doesn't work for me.

Does anyone else have any "impossible kitchen" stories?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Had some pretty good carry out at a friend's place up near Cleveland Park in DC. Delhi Daba (sp?) ain't bad. Vegetable samosas in a deliciously flaky crust, a bit too sweet chicken tikka masala, an assortment of pickles (the kind that takes the enamel off your teeth), and an onion chulcha.

Breakfast this morning? My usual, coffee and cigs. Told you I have some bad habits. :hmmm:

I don't think I'll make it into the office today-- I have sciatica that kicks in every once in a while. I think it may have started after carrying my Le Creuset dutch oven into my friend's place to make that short rib dish. :laugh: Anyway, I can barely stand or walk. Nothing makes you feel older than having a bad back. Gotta get in to see the chiro for a torture session.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Does anyone else have any "impossible kitchen" stories?

Ha! You mock me.

Not for long! :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Does anyone else have any "impossible kitchen" stories?

Ha! You mock me.

Your soon to be old kitchen isn't without its charms.

Speaking of Mr Varmint, if you ever get a chance to make it to an event at Chez Varmint, do so. I've been to two fabulous feasts there so far-- the big pig pickin and a Mexican dinner party. He has a pastafest coming up soon-- be there!

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I don't think I'll make it into the office today-- I have sciatica that kicks in every once in a while. I think it may have started after carrying my Le Creuset dutch oven into my friend's place to make that short rib dish. :laugh: Anyway, I can barely stand or walk. Nothing makes you feel older than having a bad back. Gotta get in to see the chiro for a torture session.

Back pain. Yuck. Glad to see it doesn't affect your typing. :laugh:

Hope you feel better.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I'm off to the chiro soon. On my way back I'm gonna stop to pick up some lunch. A while back there was a thread on Chipotle-- seems people either love it or hate it. I love it, so I'm picking one of these babies up:

i2326.jpg

I like it with the Niman Ranch pork (carnitas) with the hot salsa:

i2327.jpg

This might be my only meal today. What with the 27,000 calories and all.....

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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YUM!

I just finished my leftover half (chicken, hot salsa, extra black beans, no lettuce EVER) from yesterday when I introduced my visiting friend to the wonder of Chipotle. She enjoyed carnitas with mild salsa, and is looking forward to checking out the new NYC locations.

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YUM!

I just finished my leftover half (chicken, hot salsa, extra black beans, no lettuce EVER) from yesterday when I introduced my visiting friend to the wonder of Chipotle. She enjoyed carnitas with mild salsa, and is looking forward to checking out the new NYC locations.

This chain does not appear to be in Canada yet (at least western Canada). I have followed the Chipotle thread with interest as authentic Latino cooking is a rare phenomenom in our general area (Taco Time, ugh or rarely available Taco Bell, equally ugh). Can't imagine proper Latino/Mexican fast food. I thought that the purpose of all fast food was to bastardize real food. Do they serve burritos only? What do Latino people think of their product?

I had my first real tamale while travelling in California a couple years back. It was a true work of art and I could finally understand why people rant and rave, steamy soft masa with green chile and cheese or spicy savory pork. Mmm... :wub: A local couple (Canadian male married to Guatemalan/Venezuelan female) make tamales for sale: hideous, grainy, stiff masa with ground beef and mixed vegetable (truly peas, carrot, corn mix from the frozen food section) filling - they ought to be ashamed! :angry:

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Do they serve burritos only?

At Chipotle you can get either a burrito, three soft tacos or a bowl, which is everything served (duh) in a bowl (presumably for the atkins people).

Bill Russell

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I do get a fair number of invites to cook. I really enjoy heading over to someone's place and cooking. Provided their kitchen is bigger than mine. Given the square inchage of my kitchen, it isn't hard to find someone with some decent counter space. The only thing I don't like about cooking in a strange kitchen is figuring out where everything is and using an unfamiliar stove and/or oven. I often cook at my best friend's place, my brother's house, and when I head home to visit my dad and stepmother.

...

Does anyone else have any "impossible kitchen" stories?

Looking forward to your blog, Al/Mike! Not only because I used to live on-and-off in DC years ago (from reading eGullet, sounds as though the food scene has improved considerably), but also because I, too, am kitchen-impaired, and often cook in other people's kitchens! (For those who followed my own blog, I STILL don't have a range -- long story which I won't relate here.)

I have learned to always take my knives. :cool:

Cheers,

Squeat

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but also because I, too, am kitchen-impaired, and often cook in other people's kitchens! (For those who followed my own blog, I STILL don't have a range -- long story which I won't relate here.)

Ah, another kitchen impaired eGulleter. I don't feel so self conscious now.

I've had one outside the U.S. volunteer for the next blog. A newbie from down under. I'm interested, but (and no offense to our Aussie friend), but how bout someone in Italy? Spain?

My plans this week-- dinner at some point somewhere worth reporting about. Any local eGullet types up for such a thing? Ms Uptown? Since you're to blame.

I will cook at least one meal this week, and I'll try to fit in a few good lunches at work. I work in Silver Spring which is quite the culinary wasteland.

But, on the good news front, I'll be heading to NYC this weekend. I hope to make it to a few good restaurants, and a trip to Arthur Ave would be cool. I'll be there from Friday night until Monday afternoon.

I'm going to write my food biography in the next day or so. Kinda let you in on the role food has played in my life and how I got interested in cooking. If I can write it down eloquently, it shouldn't be without its charms.

So, Uptown did a great topic with food memories. My query is similar. When did you realize you had an interest in food? When did you know you had a certain flair for cooking (if applicable)? Has anyone raved about a dish you made? If so, whom? And why? Were you at all suspicious they were just being kind (I know I have)?

Well, have a great night, and I hope you had a delicious dinner tonight.

Al

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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