Thursday, June 30, 2011

TV cooks

This is post relating to not much, but since I've been so lazy lately, why not?  I get asked on occasion which of the TV cooks do I watch.  So here are my top 10

10.  Alton Brown-  You don't see him cook much any more, but I liked the "science" he explains on Good Eats
9.  Rachl Ray-Yes I know, she's a bit annoying, and I'm not crazy about "perky" but  30 minute meals and her newer show on Cooking channel Week in a day have good tips and recipes
 8. Paula Deen- If you like cooking with butter, you'll love Paula Deen.  her best show?  Home cooking

 7. Jaime Oliver - Jaime at Home is a great show, using alot of ingredients that he gets out of his garden       If  you're into growing and preparing your own food check him out.

6. Roger Mooking - The best chef you haven't heard of.  His show, Everyday exotic, is fantastic if you want  to kick up the routine recipes and make them have big flavor.

5.  Nadia G. - I love this show!  Bitchin Kitchen shows that you can have a ton of fun in the kitchen. Great recipes, a cool set, fun characters, how can you go wrong?  If you want to not take yourself to seriously in the kitchen and still cook great stuff  check her our.

4. Emeril Lagasse - In my view he made TV cooking shows popular again, and I still watch his old shows    to pick up on tips and techniques.  He doesn't cook much on his new show, The Originals  is very entertaining.

3. David Rocco-  I actually suprised my self putting him this high on my list, but his show Dolce Vita, does      a great job of not only showing Tuscan cooking, but the culture of Florence, Tuscany and the whole of Italy.  I love his catch phrase  "I'm not a chef, I'm Italian"

2. Giada De Laurentis - I love her show Every Day Italian, she does a great job of breaking down recipes     and making them easy to follow.  And lets be honest, she easy on the eyes!!

1. and now the much anticipated #1.....Anthony Bourdain!!  Yeah I know, his show No Reservations isn't  a cooking show, but when comes to looking at the culture of food, no one is better.  His straight forward, funny, and usually irreverant look at the cuisines of the world is magnificent. I definitely recommend checking him out....unless you are easily offended.

Honorable mention, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the chefs and shows that originally got me interested in cooking,  Jeff Smith,  the Frugal Gourmet, with out a doubt my favorite cook books, very good at telling the story of foods.
Julia Child,  I never really liked her show that much but was always fascinated with the command she had in the kitchen. And she was the original TV chef. 

There are many others and a few that I'm looking forward to that are coming out this year.  The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond is a show that I am looking forward to.  I love her blog and it's fun to see someone go from blogging to TV she is very talented and did a great job on Bobby Flay's show Throw Down for their Thanksgiving Special.

So who do like?  Or for that matter who don't you like?

Stay hungry

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wine to gladden your hearts

Let's deal with an old argument.  The one that says that the wine mentioned in the Bible is little more than grape juice.  The short answer to this is, Nonsense!  But let's take a closer look at this grape juice myth.

First the grape.  It is the most clever of creations,  natural yeast on the outside and sugar on the inside.  As R.F. Capon wrote, "All one need do is crush a grape and the juice goes on it's God given course to become wine.  Indeed something underhanded must be done to the grape to prevent it from going to fulfillment as God intended."

Next, we know that grape fermentation was very common in biblical times, and I will admit that some of it was pretty green.  However, almost all scholars that have studied the ancient wine making process agree that the wine of the time ranged between 5 and 20% alcohol.  Modern wine is controlled between 9 - 11%. So, most ancient wine was plenty powerful enough to intoxicate.   That being said, many verses in the Bible would make absolutely no sense if they referred to grape juice. Why would the good Samaritin pour grape juice on a mans wounds? (Luke 10:34)  How would drinking a little grape juice help with stomach problems? (1 Tim 5:23) Why would deacons be warned not to drink to much grape juice? ( 1 Tim 3:8)  Or one of my favorites,  The meaning of Song of Songs 1:2 just isn't the same if the Shulamite women is singing about grape juice!  The list goes on, but I'm sure you catch my drift.  Now to be sure the Bible warns about consumption of wine,   to much wine. But even that goes against the argument that the wine was little more than grape juice.  I don't think grape juice was ever a hindrance to someone's faith.

Oh, and while we are here, the "Bible refers to two different kinds of wine, with alcohol and without" argument is more nonsense.  Just another attempt by those arguing a defeated myth to distract from the facts.  Nothing in the text would lead anyone to think of two different types of drink.  This argument is so off in woo-woo land that I'm not going to waste more time on it.

Back to something underhanded.  The popular anti-wine Christian sentiment reached it's fevered pitch in America during the early days of prohibition.   When a Methodist Bishop made consumption of a wine spiritual no no and a firm doctrine of the church.  His name?  Welch, yup, one in the same, his family's company developed an efficient way to pasteurize grape juice to prevent it from fermenting and marketed it to churches to celebrate communion during prohibition.   Sounds kind of hinky to me.

To wrap this up, please do not misrepresent what my point is.  I'm not saying go out and drink yourself silly on wine.  What I am saying is that wine is given to us as a gift.  As Benjamin Franklin said, "Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."   Wine is to gladden our hearts, I suppose we could get along without it, but why would you want to?  The Creator is loving beyond all sense of reason.  So wine becomes a symbol of His creativity and love, And in the end it is our oldest and best medicine!

Stay Hungry, and Thirsty.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Grill it!!

This is one of my favorite grilling recipes.  It's easy and you can use a super cheap cut of meat.  And really, are there many more things more satisfying than putting a big hunk of meat on the grill?
First, the meat.  You can use anything for this, the cheaper the better, get a roast with lots of marbling.
Now it's time to marinade.  Here is what you'll need.
1 can of cola(the stuff in the red can works best),  about a 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and some ground pepper.   mix it all together.

Now, take your meat and stick it in a big zip lock bag along with the marinade.  Put it in the fridge and forget it for at least 3 hours preferably over night.
When it's almost time to cook, prep your grill, medium heat use lump charcoal if you can, it's not that much more than briquets and gives a better flavor. (besides it just looks cooler).  Make sure that the coals are only on one side of your grill as you'll need to do some indirect grilling later.

Remove your meat from the bag and put directly over the coals just long enough to get a good char on it. About 3-4 minutes per side.
Now move it over to the other side of the grill (with no coals under it)  close the lid and let it cook for about an hour.  Keep your heat from low to medium adding coals if you need to.  Check it to see if it is to your desired level. 
If it's how you like it, take it off the grill and let it rest for a good 15 minutes.  Slice it thin and enjoy, with a big salad and some good bread. Enjoy!!

stay hungry!!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

wow time flies

Yikes!  Two weeks since I've posted!  Visiting relatives, kid home then back to college, yadda yadda yadda.  Any way, as would be expected food played a large part in the past two weeks.  Grilling, sauteing, boiling chopping, cutting, etc.  I discovered once again that some of my best moments are cooking for friends and relatives and then sharing the meal.  Spending time planning and preparing a meal is a way that I show love.  Back in the day food was literally  a daily struggle for life.  In biblical times food could really be considered your life, so in sharing your food you were sharing your life.  For better or worse we don't really have that problem in the western world today.  Even the poorest among us have some kind of access to food, when compared to 3rd world countries, we are ridiculously over fed. 

So, I'm back!  Please contain your excitement.  My goal is to post at least twice a week............we'll see how it goes.  

In the mean time.......stay hungry!