Put an Egg on It. Breakfast sandwich.

One of my all time favorite things to eat are eggs.  Scrambled, poached, fried, with fish sauce, a Spanish tortilla, and on and on.  Well, microwaved eggs are questionable for me. Another childhood trauma maybe.  I learned to scramble eggs in kindergarten.  My Mom was not afraid of us hurting ourselves.  I think we wanted to cook so bad that we didn't want to screw it up by getting hurt.  That's how life was.  You wanna do something and you get hurt. Well, you better shut the hell up or you'll never get to do it again.  We were with little tears and crying when it came to pain or blood as kids.  I don't recall a cooking accident growing up.  Maybe some oil splattering, but that's it.  We got hurt in many other ways though.  My Mom kept a first aid kit under the sink in the bathroom so we knew where to go without attracting attention from Uncle Nha or my Mom.  We couldn't escape the big bumps on our foreheads or the swollen lips though. The four loco amigos.  The good old days.  Scrambled eggs, Chinese sausage, and rice with soy sauce and black pepper.  Our staple cook yourself food since the age of 6.  

Jennifer Bryant and Scott Robertson  eggs.  They are so orange and incredible!  This one of the best breakfast sandwiches.  French bread lightly toasted.  Spread canned French butter.  Once you have this butter you'll never want to eat any other butter.  Its almost like a cheese with so much more depth than regular old stick butter.  Spread a layer of mayo on the other side.  Add arugula, tomato and a fried egg slightly runny.  Yum Yum!  Once you close the bread up, the egg pops and soaks into the bread.

Bon app├ętit!

Steak Caesar Salad and a Vodka Gimlet with Basil

The heat is back, but that won't stop us from remembering when we had it good. I looked back at what we were doing in July last year.  It was incredible what I found!  Pickled pigs feet breaded and fried and served with a citrusy salad, smoked ribs, crab legs, pastas, egg plant parm, and so much more.  Nice to go back and see what kind of food phases we were in.  

We celebrated our last beautifully cool summer evening with a steak salad.  This is a flat iron steak seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne.  The potatoes were seasoned the same way.  Served with a salad with romaine hearts, home grown tomatoes, arugula, and was dressed with Matt's caesar dressing.  We sat outside and it was delicious.

I practically live outside when its nice.  Even when its not nice I'm still out there.  Not only cause I have to, but because i LOVE to.  I LOVE being outside.  

A celebratory drink for our new father to be Thomas Bowman!  He's in town for a few days and its always a celebration when we get together.  A vodka basil gimlet. 

Cheers!  To new life and the summer!

July...Coq Au Vin? Oui Oui!

I must continue raving about the weather.  It was a high of 66 degrees!Yes, I have to pinch myself and remind myself its July in Oklahoma and I'm LOVING it!!!!!!!!  I purchased a whole chicken thinking we'd smoke it and have it with some summery salads.  Oh no.  The weather is cold and drizzly in a wonderful Pacific Northwest kinda way.  Coq au vin s'il bout plait.  We used a Julia Child's recipe as our base.   The recipe was altered just slightly to cater to our tastes.  

3.5 lb chicken, cut up into 8ths or quarters
1/4 cup bacon fat, or 1/2 cup chopped bacon
1 large onion cut into large chunks, or 20 pearl onions
3/4 lb crimini mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons tomato paste 
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cognac
2 1/4 cup Cotes du Rhone
1 quart chicken stock
salt and pepper

First we poured the bacon fat into a nice pot.  Next, season the chicken and then brown it really well. in batches.  This is the first steps to your flavor development.  That should take about 10 minutes.  Afterwards, add all the chicken into the pot.  Pour in the cognac and let the alcohol burn out by letting it simmer for a few minutes. Toss in the onions, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic.  Lid it and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  After 5 minutes stir it.  Next, add the flour the flour and coat everything with it.  Lid it, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Now add the wine, tomato paste, a little salt and lots of pepper.  Let that simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.  Your chicken should be cooked through at this point. You can check by piercing into the breast to see if any blood comes out.  Now you can add the mushrooms.  Simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes, and then simmer with the lid off for another 5 minutes.

Served with a baguette.  Incredible stuff.  It was wonderful with the wine used to cook it with.  
Coq Au Vin ladies and gentleman.  Delicious!  Just as great as the weather.

Bon appetit!

Vietnamese Ca Kho, Seabass with a Caramel Fish Sauce

I can't contain myself.  It was 70 degrees today!  70!!!!!!!!!  I must remind you that it is July as well.  Since we have one more wonderfully chilly day tomorrow, I may have to take advantage and make something warm to enjoy outside.  I had to put a sweater on to take Debo on a walk.  I wore fuzzy house slippers in the studio.  LOVE LOVE LOVED today.

There are advantages to the summer despite my dislike of extreme heat, Veggies!  This is my dad's batch of tomatoes and okra.  Matt can eat tomatoes like they are delicious plums.  Biggest tomato lover I know.
When Debo was a wee boy, about 1, we had a small tomato garden.  Every morning he tended to just one tomato.  He nudged it with his nose every morning.  So finally when it was red and ready to pick, we let him have it.  Surprisingly, our four legged boy ate it right up.  He also ate all the strawberries before we could get to them.  He's a real cutie.

This is how we came up with our meal.  I asked Matt if he thought Ca Kho would be good with sea bass, he thought it sounded great.  He didn't want rice because we had a horrible rice experience at Mamasitas.  So instead we serve this wonderful Vietnamese dish with mashed potatoes and blacnhed spinach.  The flavors in Ca Kho are strong, so the veggies are a perfect pallet for it to be matched with.  

This is  0.75 lbs of Chilean sea bass, spear caught!  

Sea Bass Kho

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
5 thin slivers of ginger
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of green peppercorns, or about a tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
about .75 lbs of sea bass, or catfish, whatever you like really.

Put the sugar in a pan with just a tad of water to wet it.  Over medium heat let it simmer until it turns to a golden brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about a minute.  Coat the fish with the sauce, and then put it a lid on it.  Let it lightly simmer and cook the fish through.  Should be about 5 minutes.  Optional, Matt put halved okra in it and it was AMAZING!  Almost stole the show.

Fish was cooked perfectly.  The sides were a perfect companion for the fish and the sauce.  LOVE this dish.  Its been a while since we cooked, but I think we have made a pretty good come back.  We were setup to sit outside, but it started to sprinkle.  Instead we had the doors and windows open.