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This is simple: Charcoal grills. Gas steams.

You can’t call it grilling if you don’t sear the meat. I’ve never seen a gas grill that delivers Golden Brown Delicious well. Neither have you. That’s why you sear on the stove and roast in the oven.

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— Mr. BMC


http://blog.brianmcconnell.me/post/9599159402/this-is-simple-charcoal-grills-gas-steams-you

Photo
This is a corn terrine with lump blue crab, garlic scape pesto and creme fraiche. There’s corn and crab suspended in the gel in addition to the garnish. The gel was made from corn stock mixed with agar agar and set in molds.

This is a corn terrine with lump blue crab, garlic scape pesto and creme fraiche. There’s corn and crab suspended in the gel in addition to the garnish. The gel was made from corn stock mixed with agar agar and set in molds.

(Source: burpingbrownies)

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Tacos by the Numbers

165 tacos served

80 pork

45 beef

40 vegan

18 lbs of pork shoulder

9 lbs of bulgogi beef

6 lbs of tofu

1 quart of homemade thai green curry paste

1 quart of tamarind + memphis BBQ sauce

1/2 gallon of kimchi salsa

2 lbs of pickled red onions

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The Mussels from Brussles

No two ways about it. Mussels are a pain to prep. Pulling beards, scraping barnacles, washing and rewashing.

But they are oh so worth it.

Ingredients

Hardware:

Stock pot or dutch oven or large straight sided sautee pan
Lid
Scrubby sponge

Software

1 lb Mussels
1/2 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay works but Sauvignon is better)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 TBsp butter
3 or 4 shallots minced
3 or 4 cloves garlic minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Flat leaf parsley

Instructions

Prep

Put the mussels in a bowl and cover with fresh cold water
Remove the beards from the Mussels by pulling them straight out perpendicular to the shell. Cleaning the mussels is much easier when they’re “on the vine”. You can just pop them off one by one leaving all the beards in a mass to be discarded.
Scrub the shells once over with a pot sponge.
Dice your shallots
Slice your garlic
Chop your parsley

Cook

Melt 1 TBsp butter over med-high heat
Add the shallot for a minute
Add the garlic for a minute
Add the Mussels, wine, water and thyme
Cook until all the mussels open
Remove the mussels into a bowl and cover

Turn the heat to high
Add the milk and parsley
Reduce for a couple of minutes until liquid becomes more sauce than jus
Add the 1 TBsp of butter

Service

Pour some sauce over the mussels but reserve most of it in a dipping bowl.
Serve with some crusty baguette or what have you and french fries if you got em’

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Spring Sprung

The triumverate of spring foraging are morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, and wild leeks (aka ramps). What happens when you combine these elements in one dish? A head rush of awesome.

Ingredients

Software
angel hair pasta
milk
butter
flour
morel mushrooms
fiddle-head ferns
baby leeks

Hardware
stockpot
medium sauce pot
sautee or skillet pan

Instructions

Prep
Wash your ferns and mushies.
Slice the morels in to quarters lengthwise. They look nice that way. 
Get salted water boiling in both pots. The big stockpot is for the pasta and the little pot is for blanching your ferns.
Chop some ramps nice and fine.

Building the sauce…
Blanch the ferns for a good two minutes or they’ll be more bitter than your drunk VFW uncle on Christmas. Then set aside

In the pan

1 tbs butter, Morels, black pepper, pinch of salt
Sautee the mushies over medium-high heat until they begin to turn crispy GBD around the edges.  
Set aside.

Make a roux - the BMC way.

1 1/2 tbsp butter, ramps, 1tbsp flour
I’m really impatient so I ignore the classic technique of cooking roux low and slow so the butter doesn’t foam and bubble. Screw that. That’s what whisks are for!  I put the spurs to it with high heat and stir the mix constantly.
Add the ramps and sautee them for a minute. 
Then add one tbsp of flour. 
Keep stirring until the roux is nice and toasty.

Pasta

Add your pasta to the water - it should only take 3-4 minutes.

Back to the Sauce

Turn the roux down to medium and add a 1/2-3/4 cup of milk.  Do it quickly because it’ll probably sizzle. Stir.
Add the fiddleheads.
Add salt - truffle salt if you got it - and pepper to taste.
Keep stirring until the sauce tightes up. Should be just a couple of minutes.

Finishing touch

Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. You can do this in a bowl or the sauce pan if it’s big enough. 
I like to serve the pasta and then place the morels on top instead of integrating them into the sauce.

Eat.

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Super Bowel Chili

Being a follower of the grid iron gang is not a prerequisite for enjoying the ravenous spoils of gut busting, ass-spreading, flatulence inducing, junk food that is Super Bowel Sunday. I might watch 5 quarters of football a season, including the Big Game, but I still look forward to the day with zeal befitting Old Man Parker on Christmas Day.

1. Resting the peppers over night will make the skins a cinch to peel.

I imagine that if I was a football fan I’d probably be a Jets fan. They’re from New York, “Jets” rhymes with my beloved “Mets”, they played for a while in Shea Stadium, and both teams are about equally pathetic and incompetent. The Jets team colors happen to be a heinous shade of mold green so I decided to take inspiration from that in this recipe by making chili verde for the repast.

The recipe is an amalgam of ideas from different sources. I scoured the net for recipes, queried friends for tips, and pored over my books on chile peppers and slow cooking to concoct this dish. I completed the venture with a full spread of toppings to elevate a humble bowl of pork stew into a spectacle of spicy porcine awesomeness.

image

Ingredients

Hardware

a cookie tray
a dutch oven or other heavy pot
food mill or blender
3 mixing bowls
a shitload of prep bowls

Software

3 lbs of pork shoulder meat, cubed small
4 strips bacon
2 italian or Anaheim peppers (see photo)
4 New Mexican green peppers (see photo)
3 jalepeno peppers (see photo)
5 tomatillos
2 red onions
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 QT chicken stock
1/4 cup flour for pork dredge
1 bay leaf
1 pinch oregano
1 pinch fresh ground cumin
1 pinch fresh ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
1 tbsp flour for roux
1 tbsp butter for roux

Toppings

4 strips bacon baked crisp and crumbled
1 cup+ grated melting cheese
4 scallions chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
Mexican Crema, or sour cream

Instructions

2 days before:


A charred green pepper

Roast the peppers
If you have a gas stove:
  Just sit the peppers on the open flames, turning occasionally, until the all the skin is charred.
  Place the peppers in a plastic box or bag and throw it in the fridge.1
If you don’t have a gas stove:
  You can buy pre roasted peppers in a jar or can or oven roast your peppers.

1 day before

Do your prep

Peel and chop your peppers
Chop the other onion
Crush your garlic
Defrost your quality homemade chicken stock
Toast your cumin & fennel seeds
Prepare your mise en place of appropriate herbs and spices

Let’s cook

Preheat the oven to 350’
Chop the garlic, chop one onion, halve the tomatillos, and toss all with olive oil and S&P 
Spread the mix on the cookie sheet and roast for 20 min, or until the tomatillos start to break down
When the tomatillos are done you want to blend half of them with half the roast peppers. A food mill is best, a standing or immersion blender will work as well.

meanwhile… in the bat cave…

Heat the dutch oven to about Giorgia Palmas hot.
Cut up the bacon into about quarter slices and sizzle it in the pot.
Remove the bacon after it has rendered off a good amount of fat.
Season the pork shoulder liberally with S&P. Then dredge with the flour and shake off the excess.
Piggie in the pot. Don’t touch it for 90 seconds! 
Don’t! 
Resist the urge.
Stop. It hasn’t been 90 seconds yet.
Ok.
Now. Stir it about, to brown it evenly on all sides.

You can remove the pork after about 4-5 minutes or when it’s G.B.D.
Toss in the onion and sautee for 2 minutes until it softens
Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of the stock; be sure to scrape up all the fond stuck on the bottom of the pan

Everyone in the pool!
Pork, peppers, tomatillos, herbs & spices, and the rest of the chicken stock all go in the pot.
Bring the mix to an oh so gentle simmer and walk away for no less than 1 hour. 5 is ideal.
Set it out to chill. I put it on the fire escape. You may want to use your back porch, garage or refrigerator.

Game Day

This may be the most important step. You must prepare the toppings bar.

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

Each in its own bowl:
Crema
Cheese
Bacon
Scallions (or onion if you prefer)
Cilantro

Heat your chili and present in its cooking pot. No fancy warming service here.

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Koushari. Or How I Learned to Like Vegan

Vegan food sucks. I can say this with certainty having eaten vegan for 9 months during a 4 year hiatus from consuming yummy beasties. Scientific studies have proven that 92% of all vegan dishes lack any flavor appealing to creatures other than cardboard nomming moth larvae.

My version differed from the classic recipes as I took some liberties:
- I used canned beans and tomatoes. Fresh is always better but pantry items still produced fine results. 
- The canned ingredients also allowed me to make the dish in one pan. Mixing everything before plating is untraditional, but the purists aren’t doing my dishes.
- Asian chili sauce. Because it’s awesome.
- I used a rice cooker

Be that as it may… We fixed up a vegan meal tonight at Chez BMC because the baconivorous girlfriend is out of town. Truth be told it was an accident. I forgot the butter and stock and drove right past Vegetarian and ended up in Vegantown. If “necessity is the mother of invention,” then mistakes are the uncle of inspiration. Vegan can be surprisingly good.

Koushari is a staple dish in Egypt. It’s a spicy stew of legumes served over rice& noodles and it’s a real gut buster. The people inside the TV box tell us there are shops all over the country selling this stuff as a cheap work-a-day lunch. I hope to validate this in person some day.

I managed to whip up a batch in about 40 minutes using just one pan and my rice cooker. Good stuff.

Ingredients

Software

16 oz can of chickpeas
1 cup cooked lentils
2+ big onions
1 cup crushed tomatoes (I use canned in winter)
2 cloves garlic
Rice
Thin rice noodles (or any small pasta you prefer)
Olive oil
Coriander
Cumin
Tuong Ot Toi Chili Garlic Sauce (or ground chili, diced garlic, integrated with water)
Cilantro, parsley or green paint chips

Hardware

A large deep skillet or sautee pan
rice cooker or pot for rice

Instructions

Put the rice on

Slice the onions into thin strips by halving the onion lengthwise and then cutting along the grain 
Brown the onions in some oil and a pinch of salt. (I cooked them like soupe a la oignon on medium heat until mahogany). This can take some time.
Spice it up! I used a LOT of cumin and coriander.
raise the heat to medium-high
Add the garlic for a few seconds
Add the tomatoes, chili garlic sauce, and chickpeas
simmer for a few minutes
Add 1/2 cup water and the noodles and simmer a bit longer

Serve over rice

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Captain Nemo was a Pussy!

Squid is awesome.  And by “squid” I mean whole, fresh, real mollusks. Not that nasty deep-fried frozen “calamari” shit they slop at Flingers, Red Lobster or whatever other god forsaken hellhole americans feed at. Why do people eat that crap when the real deal is so simple and so good?

1. Non-stick pans can’t get hot enough without effusing toxic chemicals.

2. The MR.BMC heat scale:
Rocket
Volcano
Campfire
Giorgia Palmas
High
Med
Low
Donnie Brasco (set it and fuggedahboudit)
Warm

3. The a la plancha method is oiling meat and not oiling the pan. It’s more efficient at executing the fat’s purpose of extending the heating surface area. It creates a better maillard reaction.  It also uses less oil all around.


Fresh squid is toothsome, juicy and delicious. It’s also cheap, nutritious, and fast & easy to make. I resolve to have it more often. All unemployed / retired epicureans should look into it.

A lot of people are a put off by the prospect of cleaning the squid. Even I was at first; which is surprising considering the grisly things I’ve done to food.

It turns out that squid is stupid simple to prepare. It might be the easiest animal to dress other than bi-valves. It takes all of 15 seconds per mollusk. Another 3 minutes a la plancha and it’s ready to eat.

Software

Squid
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon
Salt & Pepper

Hardware

Cast-iron pan or heavy aluminum griddle top. 1

Clean the squid:

1. Remove the skin from mantle. It should come off easily.
2. Pull the legs, along with the head, out of the mantle. 
3. Cut the legs off head just below the eye; ensuring you get the beak out of the legs segment.
4. Pull the pen shell from the mantle; the clear plastic-y thing.

Calamar a la Plancha

Heat the pan to rocket hot 2
Coat the squid lightly in extra virgin olive oil.3
Lay down the squid in the pan - optionally you can use a bacon press on top. 
90 seconds
flip
90 seconds
Done!

Season the squigglies with a little lemon, extra-virgin olive oil and black pepper.

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Chicken in a Pan

I hope the title didn’t give it away but this dish is… chicken in a pan! Chicken quarters seared and roasted with a pan sauce. Quite possibly the perfect weeknight meal.

1. You can’t use a non-stick or castiron pan for this. You need bare metal to make the sauce work.

2. The MR.BMC heat scale:
Rocket
Volcano
Campfire
Giorgia Palmas
High
Med
Low
Donnie Brasco (set it and fuggedahboudit)
Warm

3. I’ve recently switched to the a la plancha method of oiling meat and not oiling the pan. It’s more efficient at executing the fat’s purpose of extending the heating surface area. It creates a better maillard reaction.  It also uses less oil all around.

I love CIAP because it’s so pragmatic:
• It’s fast! (20 min)
• It has a good bit of oven time. Oven time is bank because you can multi-task other dishes on the ‘top while the chx roasts.
• It’ll work with dark or white meat.
• You can be creative with sauces and sides
• Chicken is cheap. Even the fancy, free range, organic fed, hormone free, raised & blessed by gay albino eunich monks from Poughkipsee are cheapish.
• It’s heavy on the yum

Software

2 Chicken quarters per pan (White or dark) - SKIN ON!
Salt & pepper to taste
1 shot of cognac
1 shot of bourbon
1/2 cup of stock (veal or chx)
A bit of butter
1 big shallot - minced
1tbs frying oil
1/2 tsp thickener agent
  (a roux is best but cornstarch, arrowroot, seaweed pectin or whatever with work)

Hardware

Large sautee or fry pan (uncoated & oven safe) 1
Shot glass
Measuring cup
Small prep or mixing bowl for thickener

Der chicky in da pot

Heat your pan to somewhere between campfire and volcano hot (short of rocket hot)2
Heat oven to 375/190
Season the chx liberally with salt and pepper
lightly coat the chx with the oil 3

Sear the chx - skin side down - for 3 minutes
Flip the chx and move the pan to the oven
Roast the chx for 12 minutes OR until the internal temp is 165/73
Remove the chx to a plate and cover

Sauce is the boss

Do not clean the pan! Just pour off the fat and save for later. That’s schmaltz! Cook your veggies in it.
Put the pan back over medium-high heat and sautee the shallot for a min
Add the shot of cognac - you may want to remove the pan from the flame so you don’t burn your house down.
Drink the shot of bourbon.
After you apply ointment to your burns - add the chicken stock 
Stir up all the fond and brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. They should come off easily.
Add your thickener
Add any jus that may have accumulated in the chick plate.
You can be creative here with herbs and spices. Oregano, thyme, cumin and paprika are all good choices.

Bon Apetit
Plate and sauce your chicken. I like to add rice or smashed tatters to sop up the sauce.

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Bone Marrow Risotto

They had some bone marrow at the Union Square market the other day. I jumped on that like an unemployed b-burg hipster on a half empty can of pabst.

1 do yourself a favor and get some decent cheese. I don’t know what that powdered white stuff that comes in a can is but it sure isn’t parmaggiano.

The idea of a rich, beefy, glossy risotto came to mind. I thought it was an original idea but as it turns out, any concoction you can conceive of already has a recipe online.You can read this version or go find another, but this one has more Awesome! 

I like to think that ideas exist in the ether and we simply catch them in our antennae. Just another one of those features of the human mind we don’t understand. It doesn’t matter where the idea came from because the results are outrageous. Worthy of entry into the inner echelon of the Chef BMC canon.

I digress…

Bone marrow is one of those inimitable guilty pleasures in life: warm, soft, silken, lumps of meat flavored mouth-pleasure. I thought briefly about simly roasting it and serve with parsley salad in the classic style. Instead I couldn’t stifle my urge to ruin something perfect in an attempt at making something “unique” instead.

Ingredients

Software

4 sections of bone marrow
1/2 cup arborio risotto
1 shallot minced
3/4 cup veal or chicken stock
3/4 cup water
a pat of butter
black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmaggiano reggiano 1
A few threads of saffron in tea hot water (optional)
Parsley chopped for garnish

Hardware

Large sautee pan (nonstick is ok)
Oven save pan or tray for roasting

Instructions

First you need to roast the marrow
• Just stand the bone sections on their end on a silicone pad or parchment paper. You can skip the lining if you enjoy scrubbing pans. 
• 375/190 degrees for 15-20 minutes will do the trick.  It’s done when they’re G.B.D. and your kitchen smells like a bistro.
• Next, remove the marrow from the bones. A thin flexible boning knife to work around the inside wall of the bone will help. The marrow should slide out in one piece. 
• Chop half of the marrow coarsley so it’ll integrated into the risotto.The other half should be sliced crosswise into rounds and reserved for presentation on the risotto.

Risotto
Listen. I’m not gonna explain how to make risotto. It’s rice. Billions of people live on the stuff so you should know how to cook it.

I will only say the notion that you need to stir risotto for 20 minutes to make it creamy is hogwash. Spooning it arund to knock more starch off the grains than simmering does is not validated by any hard science. It’d only make the rice gummy if it did work. No. It’s actually the parmaggiano reggiano that makes risotto creamy. Behold the power of cheese! Cheese is kinda like background vocals and alligator shoes in that it has the ability to pull a whole ensemble together into something greater than the sum of its parts.

I like to use half the marrow while sweating the onions. That incorporates nicely into the rice while it cookes.  I lay the other half of the marrow on top of the plated risotto at service. BAM! it with some parsley and you’re good.