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    Monday
    Nov172014

    Limoncello - Excerpt from the Man Meets Stove cookbook.

    Soundtrack:  The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin

    12 lemons                                          

    One 750-ml bottle of Vodka or Everclear

    2½ cups sugar                                   

    3½ cups water

    Bottles

    Italians make some pretty good stuff.  This includes, but is not limited to:  fast cars, Italian women (fast optional), pasta, sausages, and of course, booze.  Limoncello is amongst their finest, right after the women. 

    This is going to require either a microplane, or a cheese grater on the fine side.  You can also use a vegetable peeler or paring knife, but it will be a real nuisance/ headache/time consumer.  Take a lemon and zest[1] the skin of the entire lemon into a bowl.  The trick is to get all the good yellow part of the skin peels, and none of the bitter white “pith” beneath the lemon skin.  If you get very much white pith into the bowl, trim it off the skin, and trash it.  Pith on it.  Zest all 12 lemons, and set the zest aside.

    Get a glass 1 gallon container, preferably with a lid.  Put the zest/peels into the container and pour the bottle of hootch (vodka) over it.  Cover with the lid or plastic wrap, and let the liquid mixture steep for four days on the kitchen counter. 

    On day four, put the water and sugar into a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.  Let it cool down, and then pour the sugar mixture (which bartenders call “simple syrup”) in with the vodka and lemon zest mixture.  Cover and let the mixture set for one more day.  Bust out either a big bottle, or a lot of small bottles, and pour the limoncello into the bottles through a strainer to catch the lemon peels as the liquid goes through.  If you do not have a strainer, use a CLEAN cheesecloth draped over the bottle, but pour VERY slowly, or you’ll spray sticky liquid all over your kitchen.  Probably not the first time you did that, but that was hopefully not in the kitchen...[2]

     

    Once you have successfully transferred the limoncello to bottles, seal them up and refrigerate.  It should keep for a month. 

     

    Fire up the Godfather, serve her a meal of pasta with one of our fine sauces, and pour her the limoncello in a shot glass after the meal.  This stuff is potent.  Hopefully so are you. 

     

    Variations: use oranges, limes, grapefruit, or a mixture of the above for more hootch-y fun.

     


    [1] Zest = finely grate using the tool you have.  No not that tool, the microplane or grater.

    [2] If it was, well done.  Now disinfect that kitchen.  With soap. 

    Saturday
    Nov152014

    Book - Excerpt - Apricot Chicken, or, How to Get Laid

    Soundtrack:  Always on my Mind by the Pet Shop Boys

     

    4 Chicken breasts             Olive oil                                      

    Garlic cloves ½ cup apricot or white wine

    24 dried apricots               2 teaspoon Dijon mustard            

    ½ cup soy sauce                ½ cup brown sugar                         

    6 Tablespoons honey

    Optional – ½ cup apricot nectar

    Optional - ½ teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (add in for extra heat) or a pinch of Cayenne.

     

    Go get yourself a date.


    In case we didn’t mention it, we do like breasts.  This is pretty much universal, but is also true with regards to chicken.  Set up your gal-pal in the next room with a romance novel and get your cook on.  What, you don’t have a romance novel?  Riiiiight.  Okaaaay.

    Read the instructions for handling raw chicken safely on page 10.  Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of your chef’s knife (carefully, keep the sharp edge down! Do NOT cut yourself, lest your date associates your ability to wield a knife with your ability to wield something else), peel off the dry skin, and slice the cloves.  Four garlic cloves or so should be sufficient. 

    Wash the breasts in the sink.  The chicken breasts.  Don’t get distracted on us now.  If there is skin, remove it with a short, sharp paring knife or filet knife.   Cut the breasts into strips, removing any excess fat as you go.  In a large frying pan, add olive oil and place in the chicken.  Using medium heat, cook the breasts until the strips are no longer pink, but still moist and soft, turning occasionally to ensure both sides are cooked.  Remember, control your fire, we know there’s a girl in the other room, but now’s not the time to get all excited and lose your cool.  Add oil occasionally, if necessary, to ensure things stay moist in the pan.  Add drinks occasionally to ensure things stay moist in the other room.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place it onto a temporary plate.

    You are going to make your apricot teriyaki in the same frying pan, so don't clean that pan!  Add the garlic to the pan, with a little oil, and sauté the garlic for a few minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.  Pour in the soy sauce, wine, optional apricot nectar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, bay leaf, apricots, and honey.  If you are using lite soy sauce (!) add 50% more soy sauce.  Stir and scrape the chicken bits off the side of the pan into the liquids.  Keep stirring occasionally while cooking.  You want to cook and reduce the liquids until they turn into a thick sauce, called a glaze.  Reduce the heat once you have your glaze, since you don’t want to burn it.  Remove the bay leaf, and add the cooked chicken back into the glaze.  Stir the chicken around for a couple of minutes until well coated with the apricot teriyaki glaze/sauce and then plate it.

    This dish has always been popular with the ladies.  We like to eat it over rice with a side of broccoli.  Serve it up with a nice glass of wine, and wit.  If you haven’t got the latter, well, give her more wine.

    Thursday
    Mar062014

    Green Soup from the Man Meets Stove cookbook.

    Soundtrack:  It’s Not Easy Being Green by Kermit the Frog

    The chopping in this recipe is quite a bit of work, but what man doesn’t enjoy playing with knives? The great soup makes it worth the work.  If you have a vegan or vegetarian lass, this should at least get you to second base.  Probably farther than that, assuming you’ve been paying attention to what we say here.

    You’re gonna need an hour or two to do this, so throw “The Notebook,” “You’ve Got Mail,” or another happy chick flick into the player while you cook.  Remember to occasionally bring her a glass of wine for lubrication, and a blanket to wrap up in. Set the stage for the bliss to come…

    2 large bunches Swiss chard (or spinach)

    6 cloves garlic, finely chopped   

    2 bunches kale (green leaves only)                        

    9 cups water

    3 cups cilantro, loosely packed                                

    3 large potatoes

    Salt                                                                          

    4 onions, chopped                          

    Olive oil                                                                  

    Freshly ground black pepper

    6 cups vegetable or chicken broth[1]                         

    Juice of one lemon juice, more to taste

    Dash cayenne pepper                                                                                   

    Optional: Heavy cream, Feta cheese, wine

    Wash the greens thoroughly, then cut the chard and kale off their stems, and slice or tear the leaves into 2” chunks. Combine the chard, kale, and cilantro in a soup pot with the water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Peel the potatoes, or just scrub them well, cut them into big pieces, and add to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce 

    the heat, and let the whole mess simmer for about half an hour.  Don’t forget to keep your date properly wined while she’s been waiting.

    Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the chopped onions and a sprinkle of salt and cook them over low heat until they are golden (caramelized) and soft. This will take up to 45 minutes;[2] don't hurry, you only need to give them a stir once in a while, and it's the slow cooking that develops the sweetness. If you are really bored, go play with your date, just don’t get too involved (if you know what we mean) and burn the onions.  If you like, you can deglaze[3] the pan at the end with a generous splash of Marsala wine or sherry. Increase the heat to medium, and add the Marsala booze. Return it to the stove and cook the onions, stirring for 1 minute. Add the onions to the soup.  Give your date some leftover Marsala you set aside.

    Put another splash of oil in the skillet and cook the garlic over low heat, stirring continuously to keep the garlic from burning, until it sizzles and smells great.  It will probably take 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic to the soup pot and simmer everything for a few minutes more.  Give more wine to your date.

    At this point there won't be much liquid in the soup, so add enough water - up to an additional  3 cups - to make the soup…a soup. Puree the using a hand blender. You can also use a regular blender, if that is what you have, doing a little bit at a time, as much as your blender will handle.  Start the blender slowly and then speed it up, lid tightly on, or you will have hot burning liquid shoot out the top.  Wine, date, repeat.

    Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer and taste. Add salt as needed, grind in a little black pepper; add the cayenne and the lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Now you're on your own; correct the seasoning by adding a little salt, broth, or lemon to taste, and then serve these big steaming bowls of green soup piping hot.  By now she may not be able to taste it for the wine…

    We like to garnish this soup with feta cheese. Croutons are always good as well, especially if they're home made from rye or pumpernickel bread. Garlic croutons are da bombe, as the kids say. And of course, there's always sour cream, but because we like the low-fat quality of the soup, we use a spoonful of yogurt instead.

    Now take those bowls out to your lady friend and pop a tasty crouton into her mouth as you do.  We recommend rounding out the meal with a fresh loaf of crusty bakery bread. Use real butter slathered all over the top of it. Tear it with your hands to serve. Butter slathered fingers are a good beginning…

    [1] Like most things, homemade is better, of course

    [2] If you pay close attention, you can do this in much shorter time over higher heat, but keep it stirring.  Don’t burn!

    [3] A fancy word for using a liquid to remove and dissolve the tasty brown caramelized bits of food from a pan to make a pan sauce.

     

     

    Monday
    Jan272014

    Hot Pepper Comparison from the Man Meets Stove cookbook.

    While you are out gathering spices, you really must get some; not that, we mean hot peppers.  As Real Men™ we know you’ll be shopping from the bottom of the Scoville Unit table below.  Wilbur Scoville came up with a scientific test to measure hotness[1] by diluting pepper extract with sugar syrup until a panel of five people couldn’t taste the pepper.  The more sugar syrup needed, the hotter the pepper.  15 million is “pure” heat.  Pepper spray is an average 4.5 million Scoville Units.  Pepper heat, while important, can actually make food unpleasant to eat, so if you want to impress her, you may want to focus more on the flavor of the pepper and less on competing with your buddy’s ability to drink shots of “Scorched Ass Hot Sauce.”  If you use anything hotter than a Scotch Bonnet, you deserve to be shot for excessive dick waving.  Flavor is found towards the top of the chart.   We roll with Thai peppers, but then we are trained professionals.  You should stick to Bells.  Remember it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.


    [1] Measuring hotness in women, requires eyes and a review of the Periodic Table of Hotness.

    Thursday
    Jun062013

    Spicy Bacon Candy from the Man Meets Stove cookbook!

    Spicy Bacon Candy

    Soundtrack: Candy Man by Christina Aguilera

    Bacon is all the rage right now. Bacon Vodka. Bacon Chocolate Bars. Yeah, we get it; bacon is like the gods’ way of showing us they love men. That, and redheads that match on both ends.

    So how does one improve upon the best food on earth? This is why you are hanging with us. Add hot pepper. Yeah.

    Bacon, thick or thin cut

    Brown sugar

    Chili Flakes

    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Get a clean plastic bag, and pour in a little brown sugar in the bottom. Drop the bacon into the plastic bag with the brown sugar. Close the bag, and shake until the pig is thoroughly coated in brown sugar. Open bag, repeat with more pork.

    Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to allow for grease drainage. Crinkle the aluminum foil as you lay it in the baking sheet so that there are hills and valleys to lay the bacon on. The idea is to have the bacon sit upon the ridges, and fat and oil to drain into the valleys. The other way is to get a grill/rack to put on top of the aluminum foil. You want to make sure that the air circulates around the bacon and that the fat drains off. Lay out the bacon on the aluminum foil, making sure not to overlap bacon pieces.

    Bust out the chili pepper flakes. If you’re a girlie-man, you can skip this step. If you like to eat spicy food until you can’t sit down the next day, you’re one of us. Sprinkle some pepper flakes onto the top of the bacon strips. Use your sphincter judgment as to how much is too hot for you. If some pepper flakes miss the bacon strips and fall into the tray, no big deal.

    Bake until the bacon is crispy. Remove the tray from the oven, and using tongs (Caution: VERY hot), place the bacon strips onto paper towels to cool and harden before serving.

    Break the dried pieces, when cool, into 1-inch squares, or break them into much smaller pieces of bacon candy to use as a garnish (add-on) to salads, especially spinach salad. It also makes a kick-ass ice cream topping.

    Now for the real fun. Melt some good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in a pot, and when melted, stir in the candied bacon pieces that you have not already eaten. Spoon the chocolate porcine mixture out into little blobs onto some wax paper. Allow to cool. Now you have little bits of heaven, hell, and bacon.

    Enjoy!

    Wednesday
    Mar062013

    Start 'em early!

    From our designer Mythangelo



    Thursday
    Oct112012

    BUTTER. 

    Friday
    Sep072012

    Goodness Gravy - New How-to Video

    Tuesday
    Jul242012

    Hollandaise Sauce - Video and Recipe!!!

    Heart Attack Hollandaise

    Soundtrack: Heartbeat of Rock ‘n roll by Huey Lewis and the News

    3 Eggs
    1 1/2 Tablespoons Water
    One stick butter
    3 to 4 Tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
    Salt and Pepper

    Start by filling a sink (or a pot larger than the one you will be cooking in) partially with cool water.  You’ll use this water to rapidly cool the bottom of the pot later.

    Melt butter in a pot over medium heat (or nuke it to melted).  Completely melt the butter, but not so it’s burning hot. Crack open the eggs and place them into a bowl.  Add water to the bowl and whisk the eggs and water together very well until they are one color throughout.

    Now comes the hard part.  Turn the heat down on the butter pot.  If you look at the flame, you want it to be a 2 on a 5 scale, the 5 being full flame, 1 being almost no flame.  Low heat, but not too low.  If not sure, go lower, not hotter, until you get the hang of it, lower heat will simply take a little longer and your whisk arm may fall off.  If you go too hot, the eggs will become little bits in a butter mix, not a sauce.  You can recover this by blending the hell out of it.

    Pour the egg mixture into the melted butter and start whisking the pot gently, or faster if you see visible egg bits starting to float around in the pot.  Do not stop whisking.  The goal is to keep the eggs from forming a thin omelet on the bottom of the pot.  You want to keep stirring until the eggs "go off" and thicken the mixture from a liquid to a gravy-like sauce.  When you see it turning into the desired thickness of a sauce, immediately pull the pot off the fire and put the pot bottom into the cold water in the sink so the bottom of the pot is immediately cooled off and stops cooking the sauce.  You may want to keep whisking a little bit while it cools.

    Now here's the thing - we are told that people use lemon for Hollandaise Sauce.  Why?  We have no idea.  It tastes a bit like dessert that way.  We like tarragon vinegar and like it much.  Once you cool the pot a little, take it out, add two tablespoons of vinegar and taste the sauce.  If it is strong enough for you, excellent.  We usually add at least two more tablespoons of tarragon vinegar, or more, to taste.  Sometimes we make it light for guests and "Rip your face off strong" for ourselves in a separate small pitcher.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Sometimes people use just the egg yokes in the sauce.  The sauce will be really thick and tasty if you do it that way[1].

    Now all of this involved process, we are told, can be avoided by the use of a double boiler to even the heat out and cook the sauce slowly, but that is cheating and we will not give you your Girl Scout chef merit badge if you do it.  Actually, we have never had a double boiler when we needed it, and see them as somewhat of a unitasker (bad) unless one makes candy a lot, so we do it our way.

    You can also do much the same thing in a blender or a microwave.  How embarrassing.  Don’t talk to us.

    We generally make 2 to 3 times this recipe and eat it on broccoli cooked al dente.  Please do NOT overcook the broccoli, American style.  Limp broccoli is a vile abomination unto the gods. 


    [1] Screw your cholesterol.  This is cooking.

    Wednesday
    Jul112012

    Man Meets Stove Cookbook Introduction

    We will be posting our cookbook in it's entirety, periodically, one section at a time. Enjoy! Check back in for additional sections and please tell your friends!


    introduction

     

    Do you like to eat?

    No, do you REALLY like to eat?

    Do you like to get lucky?

    Because, my man, it is this last question that should inspire you to read on.  Babes like men who cook.  That’s right, it gives them shudders to have you cook them a great meal.  Ecstatic shudders in places you want.  If you like to eat, all the more reason to read on, because frankly, you can cook stuff that tastes way better than that worthless drive-through burger you’re sticking down your blow hole. 

    Are we being too harsh?  Deal with it, Opie.  You think bad-ass chefs like Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Anthony Bordain got there by holding hands and singing Kumbayah?  Hell no.  We can tell you how to make a girl gasp with ecstasy with nothing more than a spoon.  With or without food on it.  So, listen up, and let’s get started…

    First, you’re going to need to start off with something simple.  If you’re reading this, you probably have been mostly fed by your momma, girlfriends, or wife your entire life.  Maybe they could cook like Julia Child (may she rest in peace); if so, lucky you.  On the other hand, perhaps the women in your life can’t tell a hand mixer from a vibrator.  The days of “Home Economics” and “Miss Priss Cooking for Ladies” classes are long gone.  Your female sidekick may also cook mostly with a can opener.  This is unacceptable.  Let’s show the world how real men do it. 

    Tip: Read all recipes through BEFORE you start. Seriously.