Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gourmet Worthy: Weekly Wal-Lah

     Have you been mentally mouth watering in anticipation for your next flavor packed tastyness for your buds? Well get ready for a new rumble worthy combination. This dinner will make you think you just dropped an easy $100 at a fancy steak house. You'll soon notice I use seasoned cast-iron skillets A LOT. They are one of the best kept secrets of the south. You can cook virtually anything in them, and the difference in flavor between them and a non-stick skillet are huge. Non-sticks, stainless steals, and cast-iron's all have their place in life and knowing how to use them is an important part of flavorful cooking.
Dish #1 Chilli con Butter Corn on the Cob: Fresh corn is so cheap right now, so let's take advantage of it, while preventing it from the being same-o same-o by spicing up the topping. You know how to make corn on the cob. I don't doubt it. But just for kicks, I'll start of the begining. You should always prepare it first, to give it pleanty of time to soak in the water for a much more juicyer result. Peel off the husks and the silk and place the corn in a pot of water. I let it sit for about an hour before dinner and then bring the water to a boil, allowing it to cook until the rest of dinner is ready. In the mean time, get out a small dish, placing a couple of spoon fulls of soft butter (I only keep soft spread butter), blend in some chilli powder and cumin until the butter is nice is colorful---don't be scared, it will change the consistancy of the butter a little bit---- and then add a spoon full of minced garlic (I always keep a large jar minced garlic in my frig. I use it weekly!). Mix it all together and place to the side at room temperature. You will spread this on your corn when dinner is ready!

Dish #2 Sweet and Heartily Fresh Lamb Shoulder: Season your lamb shoulder with Lemon Pepper and Montreal Steak Seasoning, then place in a container to marinate, coating the meat with honey, sprinkling on a generous amount of fresh mint leaves and fresh rosemary -----be sure to cover both sides in everything---- and finish by pouring in enough lemon juice to cover about half way up the thickness of the meat chops. Halfway through the marination process, don't forget to turn your meat. Preheat the oven to 500F and place the cast iron skillet in until it's the same temperature, take it out of the oven and sear the chops on both sides for 1 minute each side, then place skillet in oven for 3 minutes each side, or until the meat is medium rare (varies slightly for thickness of meat).

Dish #3 Stand alone edible Caramelized Onions: Quarter a large yellow onion and place in a large baggy. Pour in the Balsamic Vinagarette dressing we made last week (Mix Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive oil 1:2 in a shake-able 4oz container, add about 1 Tbs of brown sugar and mix the heck out of it), then slosh around until onions are completely coated and let marinate, sloshing every so often. About 10-15minute before dinner is ready, pour entire baggy contents into a cast iron skillet (I'm sure it would work in a regular skillet, but cast iron makes everything taste better and if you don't have one, you are missing out!), cook on high until the onions are good and caramelized. Don't be scared to let them burn a little, it just adds more flavor (but if they are burning too much turn the burner down to medium heat).

Dish #4 Undescribably delicious Asparagus with Holladiase Sauce: Place 4 egg yolks and 1 Tbs of lemon juice in a small pot, preferrably stainless steel, and whisk rappidly until it's about double it's original size (Get out your big muscles ready for this, it takes a few minutes). Then hold it over a larger pot of simmering water (like a homemade double broiler) and drizzle in 1/2 cup of melted butter while continuing to whisk until your arm falls off (or until your new combination is about double it's size). Make sure your mixture doesn't get too hot or you'll have scrambled eggs. After your sauce has formed, set it to the side in a warm place, and sprinkle in Cayanne Pepper to taste and a tiny bit of Sea Salt. Wash your fresh asparagus, cut off the fibrous bottoms, and place in a cast iron skillet after drizzling olive oil on the bottom (or non-stick if you're still stubborn about purchasing one). Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning and cook on medium high until tender but not mushy. Now it's ready to be drizzled with the Holladiase Sauce, topping it all off with some sliced almonds!

     The small preparations required for this meal may seem like a bit of work, but when a fork full of this dinner hits your lips and proceeds onto your tongue . . . . . . . . you wont regret the effort. This, my friends, has been your Wal-Lah moment worth stuffing yourself for!

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