I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bread Pudding ala Emeril

Someone sent me a great cookbook called Emeril's Delmonico. I made his recipe for bread pudding tonight.

Jitterbug's Bread Pudding with Rum Creme Anglaise

6 slices white bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 T butter, melted
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 T dark rum
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 cups whole milk, heated to just before boiling
2 cups sliced canned peaches, drained
1 cup chopped or crushed canned pineapple, drained (I left this out)
2 T butter, cut into 8 thin slices

Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread crumbs with butter in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet until toasted, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 7 X 11 inch or similar sized baking dish.
Beat eggs in a bowl. Add rum, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk.
Arrange fruit over the toasted bread crumbs. Pour the cream/egg mixture over the bread and fruit. Evenly space the sliced butter over the top and bake until the pudding sets, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Spoon pudding into bowls and ladle 3 to 4 T of the rum sauce over each serving.

Rum Creme Anglaise

4 egg yolks
2 T cornstarch
6 T sugar
2 t vanilla
2 cups milk, heated to just before boiling
1/4 cup dark rum

Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla and sugar together in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens. Place in a bowl and add the rum, stirring. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Cuban Inspired Beef Stew

I have been on a Cuban food tear lately. This is not ordinary beef stew. I based it on a recipe from Hemingway's boat captain Gregorio Fuentes. Hemingway was a real man's man and did all sorts of outdoors stuff. He camped, fished and hunted all the time. He also enjoyed good food, and wrote about food often. He had his characters eating all sorts of things. There is a book called The Hemingway Cookbook.
Someone actually went through all of Hemingway's books and went to the original restaraunts if possible to get recipes. Just without the Hemingway interest, this book is an excellent cookbook. Towards the end of his life Hemingway had a boat called Pilar. Remember the old woman from For Whom the Bell Tolls? At any rate his captain also cooked quite a bit and was an excellent chef. One of his best recipes is this beef stew. I adapted the recipe just a little to make it work in the dutch oven. I make it when I go camping.

My recipe makes enough for 4 hungry men and cooks well in a 12 inch dutch oven. You can also make it in a covered caserole dish in the oven. One alteration is the use of bacon grease and bacon. I also added a chipotle pepper.

Gregorio Fuentes Beef Stew

4 strips bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
2 cans pimentos with juice
1 cup sherry or other wine you have on hand
1 Chipotle pepper
1 T crushed dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 pound stew meat
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

Get some coals going and heat a dutch oven from the bottom. Fry the 4 strips of bacon, leaving the grease behind. Let the bacon cool and then crumble. Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon grease. Next add the pimentos and wine and cook until it reduces a bit, stirring occasionally. Next add the beef, spices, tomato sauce and tomatoes. The beef goes in raw. Add the crumbled up bacon as well. Cover the dutch oven and load down the top with coals. Let it cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is soft. Taste the sauce and add a little salt if needed. Finally add the potato chunks. Cover again and cook an additional 1/2 hour or until the potatoes are soft. Serve over rice.

If you are making this in the oven, just preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then add the potatoes and bake 1/2 hour more.

Real Mexican Red Rice

1 cup short grain or medium grain rice
2 cups water
1 1/2 t onion powder
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1/8 to 1/4 cup tomato sauce, just enough to turn the water pinkish red

Put a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and heat it up. Add the rice and cook it for a little while to 'parboil' it. Some of the kernels will puff up like popcorn.
Dump everything together into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat and let sit 5 to 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ellen's Raisin Pudding Cake

When we lived in Temple Texas there was a lady who lived across the street that made this great pudding cake. The other day I was rummaging through a cabinet and I found the recipe written on the back of an envelope. It was actually a piece of mail that is postmarked September 1st 1978. Imagine that!

Ellen's raisin Pudding Cake

Combine in a bowl and beat until smooth:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 t soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
1 T butter
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts

Pour batter into a 9X9 inch ungreased cake pan.

Next boil 2 cups water and add 2 T butter and 1 cup brown sugar. Pour the boiling mixture over the unbaked cake batter.

Bake in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Cuban Sandwiches

As it turns out I have been making a version of Cuban Sandwiches that are peculiar to Key West. I guess it isn't suprising because that is where I first ate a Cuban sandwich, and it is the only place I have had them made with lettuce and tomato. Everywhere else I have had them without lettuce and tomato and they have been served hot and pressed like a panini instead of cold.

I decided to use some of the pork to make Cuban sandwiches the real way. To do that you just take a relatively flat piece of bread like ciabatta and cut it in half, leaving a little bit so the sides stay connected. Then layer pork, ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle slices and mustard. Next press the sandwich in a panini maker or a sandwich press.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yet another Cuban Roast Pork Method

We had Cuban Roast Pork again this past weekend. I was thinking about poor Fidel, and how nice it is going to be to get Cuban Cigars in the States again. I have had a few cigard from Cuba. I think the cigars from the Dominican Republic are very very close. In particular I think the Ashton Churchill is an excellent cigar. Back when I started enjoying cigars, the Ashton Churchill was one of the more expensive cigars, at about $3.10 a piece. As such I would only smoke them on very special occasions. I think I had one when I got into medical school, got engaged etc. Now they go for anywhere from $160 to $180 for a box of 25, which is between 7 and 8 bucks a cigar. Yet another reason to resent popular culture.

Cuban Roast Pork

4 pounds of pork
juice of 3 limes
1 t sea salt
1 t ground oregano
1 t ground cumin
2 bay leaves, ground
1 t black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine everything and marinate in a gallon ziplock bag overnight.

This time I decided to make it on the grill and finish it in the oven. Here is how to do it:
Get a flute of charcoal going. Put the charcoal on 1/2 of the grill and leave the other half vacant.

Next put a piece of tinfoil down to shield the pork like this:

Put the lid on the grill and roast the pork for about 3 hours. When its done put it in a roasting pan and roast it in the oven at 325 for about another hour, until the temperature of the pork is 190. You really need to use a meat thermometer for this because it turns out best if you heat it to 190.

When its done it should look like this:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Upper Midwest Music

I got a couple CD's in the mail today from our man in the field in Ledyard.

They are AWESOME polka music CD's. I was lucky that my wife made goulash tonight because it fit a little bit with the food. Of course, as our man in the field writes, there is nothing that goes better with this kind of music than bratwurst and cheap beer. I am planning on doing a special on it very soon.

For you deadheads out there, this is your chance to hear a Dead tune done polka. See number 7 - Fire on the Mountain.

It is full on summer in most of the country right now. Today a cicada fell out of the tree dead from the heat. Ever wonder what one of those loud buzzing insects looks like up close?

I have been doing a lot of cool cases lately. One of the scrub nurses shot this photo of me studying a skull modeled after the CT scan of a patient I was working on. I thought it was kindof neat.