We're Back! The First Meal Home: Buffalo

We are back!  2 weeks of biking, eating, drinking, and discovery.  What a life.  What did we miss most?  Debo of course!  What I didn't miss was being around people on their cell phones all the time. I fell in love with every country we went to, and it may be because people were interacting with one another.  None of that awkwardness where everyone at the table is all looking down at their phones. Its as if they are really busy, but in reality, all they are really doing is flipping through Facebook or Instagram. I never even saw a phone laying on the table.  It was magnificent!  Besides the cell phone observation, the hamburger is everywhere.  Hamburger craze has swept the world! I hear even Malaysia is getting weird with it.  Let's take a gander at some of the eats we had.

I forgot to photograph my food half the time.  But here's a tiny glimpse of some of our food finds. While there,  I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful uncle in Paris.  He cooked us a memorable French meal, and served amazing wines and desserts as well.  I ate so much French bread that I think I might have given myself TMJ.  My jaw is still in pain.  That won't stop me!

Hello Brussels!  Thank you for having Beerfest when we arrived!  They also had Comic Book day with a festive parade.  Yes, the frites are oddly terrific and the chocolate really is deliciousness.  We also met up with some Slovenian friends that have been living in Brussels.  Wonderful couple that hosted us with homemade Slovenian schnapps and Slovenian wine.  

In Amsterdam we biked all over town and discovered the best hotel on ever and found an incredible Chinese restaurant.  We were seated in the festive basement area and drank fresh and wonderful Heinekken.  Yes, it really does taste 100 times better there.

Copenhagen received three collages.  We ate fresh seafood and canned seafood.  Goodness! It was good.  Yes, the Danish hotdog may be one of the best out there.  I think the fried shallots are key.

Best canned squid I have ever had.  Or, the best squid I've ever had.  It came from a jar, and it was incredible.  

Then we fell upon the "best restaurant in the world".  It was ranked the best in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Normally its a 2 year waiting list, but we got a reservation in less than 24 hours!  If you'd like to have the overall experience of how we spent part of our time in Copenhagen, watch Anthony Bourdain's Part Unknown: Copenhagen and you will see.

Now that we are home, you couldn't even guess what would be the first meal that comes out of our kitchen.  Matt unintentionally made a very American meal.  Slow roasted Buffalo rare roast.

Its covered with salt and lots of black pepper, garlic, rosemary, and oregano.  Covered and baked at 250 for about 45 minutes.

Added seem flour while whisking to the drippings to make a gravy.  Added some chicken stock to thin it out some.  Served a few thicker slices with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.  Oh my oh my.  It was really really good.  I want some of that right now!

Welcome home to us!  

Escargot and a Vietnamese Breakfast

What does Matt and D do best right before they go on an adventure?  Cook and eat a lot.  Since we are but a wink away from being in France, isn't just suitable for Matt to make escargot for Labor Day?  He ordered a nice big box full of giant snails.  Although, not the most attractive looking thing to eat, the dish is divine!  Magnifique!

Escargot with Herbed Butter

1 stick of room temp butter
2 large shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
about 4 tablespoon finely minced parsley
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Pop those lil snail either in shells or this lovely dish. Top with a nice dollop of butter.

I'd like to thank Alain Buthion from the restaurant La Baguette in Okc for giving us this great escargot dish many years ago.  

Stick it in a 400 degree oven until nice and bubbly.  Served with French bread that had the herbed butter spread on it and toasted.  Its REALLY good!  

We did a couple of rounds during this Labor Day weekend.  We grilled some escargot appetizers on the Green Egg at Maison de Seikel in Outabounds!  Matt's all time favorite and highlight of the apps was the escargot pizzas.  Smothered with butter, topped with his homemade pickled chanterelles, escargot, and cheese.  Seaside English aged cheddar and parmesano reggiano.   

Yum YUM!!! Amazing!!!

The day before the Labor Day Matt grilled up some pasteur raised steak and we made a balsamic dressed cucumber salad.  I love balsamic and beef.  
By the way, our Labor Day feast at Ma and Pa Seikel's house was wonderful!  I forgot to photograph it because I was so excited to eat the perfectly grilled beer butt chicken,  French soup inspired rice pilaf, tomato basil salad, and grilled corn.  Wowzas!  

Moving backwards to my breakfast this morning.  Perfectly fried farm egg with Golden Mountain soy, homemade smoky sriracha and toasted French bread.  One of my favorite breakfasts!

Next stop, Paris!  Bon voyage!  

Vietnamese Crepe, Okra, and Eggs

I wonder if my favorite places to visit have a form of a crepe.  Matt and I will be headed to France soon and I'm hoping I will fall in love with the crepe and France.  I haven't had many crepes I've liked, especially in Oklahoma.  Actually worst crepe I ever had was in Oklahoma.  Kinda traumatized me from wanting any.  Best crepe I ever had was by my friend Eileen Papero in upstate New York.  We had just finished a 2 month journey across the country and she made a crepe filled with blueberries, strawberries, cream cheese, a lil cinnamon, and honey.  It was amazing.  Now she's an incredible baker in Oahu.  

The best Vietnamese crepe I have ever had was in Vietnam.  Of course it was. The market vendor had a big pan that was slightly curved and wide. She poured it without hesitation, ease,  and skill.  She was very entertaining to watch.  The crepe was served on a short little plastic table with tiny little stools that made everyone look like a giants.  It was crispy and perfect.  Filled with pork, shrimp, yellow mung bean, bean sprouts  which was served with a side of lettuce, herbs, and fish sauce.  Amazing.  We made some sizzling crepes and I gotta admit, although very good,there needs to be some tweaking with the batter.  So...no recipe for this today.  Gotta hit up my Mom or my Aunt Nhi for this one.    

My parents have a monster okra plant.  The seeds were from Heirloom Seeds.  The okra they grow are amazing.  I feel like if you found a human that didn't like okra, fed them the ones that my parents' grew, and voila!  You'd have an okra lover.  Of course, you can turn anyone into an okra lover from frying it too.  I roasted some okra thanks to an article in the NYTimes.

Its delicious.  It brings out the sweetness in the okra and has a perfect smokiness to it on the browned areas. 

Stewed okra with a roasted okra over rice and sausage.  The okra is stewed with homegrown heirloom tomatoes, onions, and garlic.  Light on the alliums.  A dash of soy sauce and a few sweet peppers from the garden.  Yum!

I'm gonna toss in a couple egg dishes we ate.  I threw together a fried rice t get rid of some meat and veggies.  A great go to in order to rid the fridge of food and its just tasty and hits the spot every time.

I made a make shift bun rieu, which is a Vietnamese tomato soup.  I poached an egg in the broth and put it in the bowl before serving the broth.  Look how perfect that lil guy is.  Might be the acidity in the soup that kept it together so beautifully.

That's it!  Our fridge is almost empty besides the insane amount of pickles and condiments that dominate.  Have a great Labor Day weekend!!!  

Bread Bread Bread and National Dog Day!

First off, I don't know when National Dog Day started, but I'm all for it.  Anything that puts our four legged babies on a pedestal, I'm supportive of.  I don't know how people don't adore and love animals.  You've got to live with one to know what its like.  Its the best feeling ever!  Knowing they will always love you as long as you love them.  Same goes with humans, but they can talk back and say some weird things and it makes you all heady.  

Matt made another pet that he feeds every so often.  Its the live starter you use to make bread.  It gives homemade bread a little more depth and I feel like it gives it a longer shelf life.  He started it all natural.  1 lbs of grapes wrapped up in cheesecloth and beaten.  Toss it in a bucket of equal parts of water and flour, about 4 cups each.  In about a week it should start separating with the liquid on top.  Then it should bubble up and thats when you know its ready to use.

We keep it in the fridge and Matt feeds it every time we make bread, which is once a week.

Matt has also taught me to bake bread with soul.  Don't use a cook book, just go with instance and gut.  We both made a different style of bread.  I love baguette and rustic breads so mine is very simple.  Starter, yeast, flour salt, and water.  Let it rise until doubled.  Shape and let it rise again.  Matt's is a loaf.  It has starter, yeast, flour, water, salt, honey, milk, and olive oil. Both delicious.  Baked at 400 degrees until the interior reads 215 degrees.

Matt's first bread with his starter is this focaccia bread topped with oven dried tomatoes and roasted hatch chillies and also chunks of parmesan .

Delicious!  Served with French butter and also a balsamic and olive oil dip.  Serve it with some bulbs of roasted garlic, butter, and spreadable cheeses.  yum!

This post is dedicated to our pup Debo Seikel for being the best thing and being in our world.  Little super man makes every day funner and funnier.