This was one of the worst dinners I’ve made in a while. Worst technically. I don’t really know if it was the cookbook or if it was just me but OH boy. Halfway through cooking and half burned I was ready to chuck it and order a pizza. I have had pretty good luck with Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff cookbook in the past, whipping up burgers and a wedge salad or two. I have noticed an error or two in the writing, notably the cheese sauce measurements and the lack of sauce for the mac & cheese but they were fairly easy catches for me as a home-cook. I’m not sure everyone would be so happy when they tried the cheese sauce and it’s way over population of flour. I can usually spot errors quickly and compensate. I don’t know if this recipe just got me on a bad night or what. Fried Chicken sandwiches and honey mustard sauce. Seems relatively easy right? RIGHT?!
Ok, the honey mustard, I halved because I couldn’t imagine needing two cups of honey mustard …Ever. But, I reduced as stated and ended up with a thick mass of ginger and mustard flavored honey. I used about 2 Tablespoons and dumped a cup down the drain after dinner. That was kind of a messy waste. I made the patties and chilled them, as stated, before dredging in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Those breadcrumbs burned before the chicken was anywhere close to being done. I ended up throwing the whole thing in the oven to bake so that we could actually eat the way underdone chicken. Not my best effort. While I like a few of the burgers in this book, particularly the ‘Prez Obama‘ the whole thing is a bit overwrought I think. If you are in DC it would probably be better just to go to the restaurant. What’s the worst thing you ever made?
I have made something that could rightly be called – Pie-l (Pile for the uninitiated. ) I call it a hot mess. I flipped through The Pioneer Women Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl trying to find something to add to our week and found this pie Lately I’ve just wanted to eat pie for some reason. It seemed like it would be a quick recipe and I had a pie crust in the freezer so I pulled it out and picked up the Granny Smith apples at the store. It is an easy recipe—sort of. In an ideal world I’d be like Ree Drummond and make my own crust and make enough to serve my cowhands and a pack of kids. She might be accidental but she learned the rules and is living it up! I just made a skimpy one pie that had holes in the crust through which all my butter and and sugar leaked out onto the pan. Thank goodness I had lined the cooked sheet with a hunk of parchment because I don’t think that pie would have come up otherwise. All my goo leaked out leaving probably what would have been a healthier baked apples in a tiny bit of crust but I scooped up what was salvageable and drizzled it on along with pouring on a small stream of salted caramel Torani that we had in the pantry to fill in for the part that was now charred onto the pan… Ree’s cookbook is good if you don’t mind lots of butter and cream. I’m not saying either of those are a bad thing but they work it off on the ranch. Our sofa isn’t nearly as …strenous. I’ve made a few recipes from the book, a creamy spaghetti, some brisket and such. My sister made the mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving and I think she halved it to serve like 10 people. Good hearty midwestern cookin’.
We celebrated our anniversary on Friday night – February 28th. Technically we don’t have one this year because it isn’t leap year. We still managed to get out for an amazing dinner at our favorite, Cask & Larder: A Southern Public House. Each bite is so good. I know every time I blog about it I feel like you’ve already heard it but if you are in Orlando, you should eat there. We started out with brisket hand pies and a new flavor-sorghum. Sorghum is derived from grasses and has a whole lot of agricultural uses. We ended up having sorghum molasses in two of the dishes last night, as a dipping sauce for the hand pies and as a sauce with Arbol chile on fried brussels sprouts. Wow. Carmelly and deeply flavorful and something else i can’t identify. It was amazing in both preparations, with the bbq (maybe just smoked?) brisket and with the fatty heat of the arbol and fried sprouts. Southern food can be so vast and exciting and complicated when you take a deep look at it. I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface. Z had a hanger steak with blistered tomatoes and this ridiculously sweet corn pudding. I can’t even imagine how to make that pudding. It was like cornmeal with a crunchy top and pieces of corn and all baked in a small cast iron dish. I had the Nashville Hot Chicken, which is significantly different from the brunch hot chicken I’ve had here before. This was I think a grilled and roasted/basted half a bone in chicken rather than a fried chicken breast that they have for brunch with eggs or waffles. It was spicy with a side of creamy and mustardy Alabama white BBQ sauce and some mellow flavorful macaroni & cheese on the side. I had a fun cocktail that was really nice for cutting through the flavors, a Jealous Monk, which included Anchor junipero gin, green chartreuse, lime juice, celery bitters and champagne vinegar-what?! so good. It was like the freshest limeade you ever had. Z finished off with his version of a cocktail, a malted milkshake. I ate the rich clearly housemade cherry on top. Cheers!