Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough Bread Pudding

Many, many moons ago, long before ever-ubiquitous preservatives were employed as means to keep food fresher longer, and when humans typically smelled as though they messed themselves on the regular, food had a relatively short shelf life.  Refrigeration wasn’t widely regarded as a useful tactic outside of the convenience of bitter cold winters, so dairy, meats and other treats went sour faster than you can convince a rational-minded person with a halfway decent comedic meter to watch an entire episode of NBC’s Whitney.

Given the state of those economically hard-hit and unhygienic times, food was not a commodity that was easily discarded.  Given this, the people had to come up with ways of serving food long after its point of ripeness.  Meat corrupted by time was covered in rich, heady sauces; softened, near-spoiled vegetables were thrown into soups and stocks; and breads…well, stale breads, it seems, were the belle of the tainted food ball.  Their uses included stuffings, sops, and, easily the best use for this crusty comestible, bread mothereffin’ pudding (or puddin’ for my backwater and/or five-year-old readers).

If you’ve yet to have bread pudding, let me give you an idea of what your sadly deprived mouth is in for: it’s akin to eating tequila-soaked, opera-singing fairies while bathing in a thick sea of happiness.  That is the perfect taste description. Bravo, me.

Continue reading

Sole Meuniére in Lemon Thyme Sourdough

“Perfectly browned in sputtering butter sauce” is how she described it, and I knew before I even tried it I was in love.  By “she” I mean Julia Child and by “it” I mean the meal that changed her trajectory forever: sole meuniére.

No food blog is complete without some mention or homage to THE Julia Child.  I won’t make it excessive or eulogizing, because even though I love the woman, there’s hardly anything that hasn’t been said about her already.  And if there’s one thing I hate it’s being redundant.  And close talkers, but that’s beside the point.

Gentle Giant Julia began cooking because she wanted to impress her new husband and became especially vigilant about mastering her techniques after failing her first meal for him: brains simmered in red wine.  Now I’m not shy about eating unconventional foods and I’m willing to eat about any part of an animal that’s edible, naughty bits included. But there’s something about eating a purpley-greyish cow cerebrum and serving it with a classic Port that feels more Hannibal Lector than it does “gormet”.

Continue reading

Beer Ice Cream with Homemade Peanut Brittle

Beer Ice CreamBeer. Ice. Cream

What better way to celebrate the football season than with a big bowl of frozen lager suspended in a dense, glacial cloud of cream and sugar? And what better way to kick off this post than with a lie alluding that I actually give a deep darn shit about football?

These three words are enough to pique the interest of even the most prudish of drinkers.  In fact, I expect that hordes of AA members will opt to throw away their 30 day chips in exchange for a heaping spoonful of of this stuff, because it is really that good.  It’s a dessert sweet enough to appeal to the daintiest of daisies, but packed with enough deep, yeasty beer flavor that even the most macho of menfolk would do all but think twice to shamelessly curl up on the couch with a bowl and sob uncontrollably while watching Toy Story 3.  Or maybe that was just me.  Either way, the masses will be pleased once they set their palates on go and shovel this ice cream into their beer-depraved gobs, this I can promise.

Beer Ice Cream

Continue reading

Kerry vs. The Cheesecake Factory: a Tuxedo Cheesecake Showdown

Tuxedo CheesecakeI am a firm believer that any time is a good time for cake.  This is especially true first thing in the morning before tastebuds have been doused and ruined by unhealthy cereals and juices, and when close talking is always strictly prohibited.  I’ve been known to shamelessly slice myself a piece or two before the toll of 8AM.  However I have no sense of restraint, so my early morning cake eating is akin to riding through a bad coke binge, or so I’d assume.  I will take one lick of frosting, then by 9AM my lips are coated in a thick, sticky film of chocolate,  half the cake is missing and my pants are somehow missing.  Make no mistake, I fully endorse well-balanced meals, but I also believe that if you don’t allow yourself a slice of cake to welcome the dawn while donning Mr Bubble pajama pants, then really, what’s the point of anything anymore?

Cake mix a-mixin'The totem of all cakes is, of course, cheesecake.  There’s no contest.  Like many sweets aficionados, I am drawn to cheesecake with the same propensity and amorous delight that wild mares are drawn to raging stallion boners.  Only my estrous cycles run much longer, and the only cure is more cheesecake.

Continue reading