Friday, September 15, 2006

Language skills, utensils, and beer

Hi folks! I'm really here, did you all miss me? Ummm, going by the DEAFENING silence I'll assume that my readership is a big, fat, goose-egged f*cking zero (at least for now). Hey, that's cool. However, for those of you who have found me four years from now and are going back through the archives... "HI!" Hey, the archives are, like, time-travel dude (or dudette).

Ok, try this one one:

Dude (guy) Dudette (girl)


Babe (girl) Babette (still girl)

Isn't the english langauge great?


Before giving you your first recipe (actually, it's MY recipe that I choose to share with you, but whatever, eh?), I thought I'd put a post here about kitchen essentials. Sooo, in no particular order, here's what you should have:

One (or three) good chef's knives --NO stainless steel (that junk will go dull while you watch it). Make sure you test it in the store before buying (not in the annoying person behind you) so that the handle is comfy and your knuckles don't bang on the cutting board. Shape: I prefer the shape of a french style knife, but to each his/her/its own. NO serated blades!!!! Key-Rist, tell the damn ginsu people I'm not trying to cut a bleedin' can!

Something to sharpen the knife with. Chuck out the cheap sharpening steel that came with your knife set and get a good stone. Better yet, use the bench grinder in your hubby's (or wifey's) garage.

WOODEN cutting board (I like using caps for emphasis, does it help?) I saw disgustingly overpriced wooden cutting boards and almost puked on the store floor... Then I went around to the local hardware shop and bought a cheap piece of pine (1 foot by 2 foot by 1 inch) and have been using it ever since (ask me how to keep it from warping. See, I'm already begging for comments and questions).

Good thick-bottomed saucepans (not aluminium (aluminum)).

Food processor (processer). Mine holds less than a third of a litre (liter) and if I don't have a great big ole one under the yule tree this year then I'm going to do some kitchen knife sharpness testing...

From here, I'm going to assume (yes, I know the joke) you have a blender, whisk, beaters, fry pans, roasters, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, some type of cooking device, etc.


I got the original version of this from a book called Real Beer and Good Eats. I had originally bought the book as a pressie for a friend, then I saw how good it was and decided to keep it. I bought him a drink-mixing book instead and he was happy (we both were, it was a great party).

I modified the recipe to make it a helluva lot easier and quicker, so I think it counts as one of mine, eh?

Dave's beer and bleu cheese toasted croutons:

What you need:

Croutons (duh) --check out this footnote **

Olive oil (without poppy (popeye) seed --did you get it? nudge, wink)

Bleu cheese (double duh)

a beer --light lager or light pilsner is fine (that means cheap crap)

**Make your own croutons, any flavour (flavor), it's easy. Take a slice or two of fresh bread and cut it into crouton sized pieces (don't use a serated bread knife for this, you'll only end up tearing the bread if you do). Chuck in whatever seasonings you want (salt, white pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne powder, ground coriander (cilantro) and so on). Toss it all in a wok, add some olive oil, crank the burner up and lightly toast them suckers. Poof, instant croutons.

What you do:

Crumble 50 to 100 grams (gms) (1 1/2 to 3 ounces (oz)) of bleu cheese in a bowl.
Add a tablespoon or two of beer. Mix and mash the concoction. Then nuke (microwave) in 20 second increments (stir between increments) until you have a thick (or thin: more beer=thinner sauce) bleu (blue) cheese goop (sauce).

Lightly coat a baking tray with olive oil, then spread croutons on the baking tray. Drizzle the bleu cheese goopy sauce over the croutons (the ones on the tray, dummy) and chuck that tray in the oven. Hmmm, 200 C (392 F) for around 12-15 minutes (720-900 seconds) should do the trick. They'll be done when they are crispy and lightly browned.

Drink the rest of the beer and eat the bleu cheese croutons (you could have figured this step yourself, eh?).

So, like whaddya think? Easy stuff, right? Don't worry, they get more interesting... I promise!

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