A CoyoteBlog First -- Foodblogging!

OK, I am not a foodie.  I enjoy good food, but have never really appreciated sophisticated food or food that takes hours of preparation.   The steak on the grill is at least as appealing as the veal dish that took all afternoon to put together.

I know other bloggers often publish recipes.  If I were to do so, it might look like this (from an, unfortunately, actual experience)

1 bowl of Cap'n Crunch

Substitute 1/2 cup cheap vodka for milk

Preparation notes:  Never, ever do this again

That being said, we had the opportunity to have a world famous chef and writer, Hugh Carpenter, over to our house last night.  Hugh is a friend of my wife's from his summer cooking school and was kind enough to help us host a dinner party for some friends when he was in town in exchange for his room and board.   The fun part was he agreed to whip up a dinner with whatever we had in the house, which was pretty amazing.  Sort of an Iron Chef Arizona, with everything as the secret ingredient.   I would still be agonizing over how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon in the first recipe item in the time he whipped up a couple of sauces and some appetizers.

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Here is Hugh with my wife.  Our guests are chipping in to help make the wontons  (Hugh actually is a big believer in this, and often advocates getting the guests to chip in on the preparation like this - its fun, a great icebreaker, and reduces pre-party stress on the host.

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The list of folks Hugh has cooked for is amazing.  I find his cookbooks to be easy and down to earth and have good food in them.  They are here, and he has a new book entirely dedicated to chicken wings which may actually get me in the kitchen.

What people like my wife who are really into cooking really rave about is his cooking school in the Napa Valley.  There is a lot of cooking and wine drinking, of course, but the venues are great, often in the private homes of many of his friends and associates.  Highly recommended if you are into that sort of thing.

Oh, and since I am foodblogging, I guess I should tell you about our meal.  We had these pork wonton thingies in some sort of brown sauce.  We had black cod in some kind of chutney stuff with some sort of mixed rice thingie and this other vegetable deal.  We drank some sort of white wine except when we were drinking some sort of red wine.

Rachel Ray, watch out.

batter-blaster-can

PS-  OK, I was actually able to introduce Hugh to a new food product.  He asked what I usually made the kids for breakfast, and I said "spray pancakes."  He had never heard of this, and so I proudly showed him my spray can of pancake batter (from Whole Foods, no less).  I couldn't tell if he was shocked or amazed.

  • O Bloody Hell

    > The fun part was he agreed to whip up a dinner with whatever we had in the house, which was pretty amazing.

    My aunt is kind of like this, too. I look through her kitchen and see nothing much to eat that wouldn't take hours and hours to fix, she goes in and a half hour later there's a four-course meal waiting...

  • O Bloody Hell

    > he has a new book entirely dedicated to chicken wings which may actually get me in the kitchen.

    LOL -- Nothing would be more guaranteed to get me out of the kitchen.

    The guy who managed to take the most useless, undesirable part of a chicken, containing almost no meat whatsoever, and fool everyone into thinking they were somehow not only worth the ridiculous time spent trying to actually get at that tiny little bit of chicken meat, but actually something people would pay ridiculous money for, has got to be the greatest salesman in all of human history.

    The man could sell snow to Eskimos in a blizzard.

    Literally.

    ---- > My US$.02, and worth every penny. < ---- ;-)

    .

  • Craig

    I agree wholeheartedly, OBH. Chicken wings are way too much work for the amount of meat you get. Crawfish are another such food. Unpeeled shrimp are right on the borderline.

  • http://hertzlinger.blogspot.com Joseph Hertzlinger

    You bought something organic?

  • http://www.e-dot.com NikFromNYC

    The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (“Phisiologie du Goût” 1825)

    Cookery has become an art, a noble science; cooks are gentlemen. – Robert Burton (“The Anatomy of Melancholy” 1621)

    You know, if I could only get really strong soup, it would do me good immediately: it’s preposterous, but I can never get what I ask for, even the simplest things, from these people here. And it’s the same everywhere in these little restaurants. But it is so hard to bake potatoes? Impossible. Then rice, or macaroni? None left, or else it is messed up in grease, or else they aren’t cooking it today, and they’ll explain that it’s tomorrow’s dish, there’s no room on the stove, and so on. It’s absurd, but that is the real reason why my health is low. – Vincent van Gogh (letter to Theo van Gogh, 1888)

    I am the emperor, and I want dumplings. – Ferdinand I

    Bad cooks – and the utter lack of reason in the kitchen – have delayed human development longest and impaired it most. – Nietzsche (“Beyond Good and Evil” 1886)

  • http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/ Ironman

    PS- OK, I was actually able to introduce Hugh to a new food product. He asked what I usually made the kids for breakfast, and I said “spray pancakes.” He had never heard of this, and so I proudly showed him my spray can of pancake batter (from Whole Foods, no less). I couldn’t tell if he was shocked or amazed.

    Don't rule out "dismayed!" More seriously though, how do the spray pancakes compare to the more traditional variety made from Bisquick?

  • stan

    "We had these pork wonton thingies in some sort of brown sauce. We had black cod in some kind of chutney stuff with some sort of mixed rice thingie and this other vegetable deal. We drank some sort of white wine except when we were drinking some sort of red wine."

    Now that's funny. Damn, I love that description. Wish I'd written it.

  • Siberian Khatru

    I tried Batter Blaster a few months ago and wasn't impressed. The pancakes had a funny taste to them -- probably all the preservatives in the can. Neat idea, but just didn't like the result.

  • me

    ROTFL! Thank you Coyote (even though I nearly spit my coffee all over the keyboard on reading your recipe ;), this made my morning :)

  • http://myweeklycrime.blogspot.com Elliot

    The "pork wonton thingies" wouldn't happen to resemble gyozas (a/k/a "potstickers")? Having guests assist in prep sounds reasonable. I made gyozas once (with pre-made wonton skins) and it was quite a tedious chore to seal each one individually. Now I buy the frozen ones.

    When my family was stationed in Japan in the 60s/70s, a seamstress my mother hired showed her how to make them. My siblings and I were always bugging my Mom to make them years later, but she only made them once or twice, that I recall. After taking the time to do them myself, I understand why.

    Sounds like a great time you had.

  • sometimethinker

    Seeing your wife, I am even more impressed by you.

    Loved the recipe, loved you post.

  • enoriverbend

    Dude, I love your blog. But...but...pancakes in a spray can?

    Clearly your comparative advantage is *not* in cooking.

    P.S. The Cap'n Crunch recipe, on the other hand, is definitely something I ate as a hungover 21-year-old. Once.