Friday, May 28, 2010

Old Scratch Update

Creating a great sandwich isn't like blowing 'Taps' on a bugle. It staggers and is unruly like a drunken Japanese businessman in an alleyway on a Tuesday night. But then again a drunken Japanese businessman could probably blow a staggering, unruly version of 'Taps' on a bugle if called upon.

I'm pleased to announce the following wins:
  1. I've made two lightning batches of pickled jalapenos thanks to my good fried M@t. His recipe I've made twice and have alienated many with the sheer tonsil-searing heat behind an otherwise motherly concoction (a pinch of dill). I can barely eat them by themselves, but when I do it makes me feel alive and real. Sliced thinly on tacos is a delight.
  2. I've made two Cajun roast beef(s). I've got this part down. Rub a 5 lb. Eye Round roast with olive oil and cajun spices (any combination of white, red, black pepper, thyme, salt, and paprika). Put in a 500 degree oven for 25 minutes, then reduce to 300 degrees for another 25 minutes. The internal temp should be 125 degrees. Done!
I am sad to announce the following failures:
  1. I tried to make mozzarella from scratch and it bombed. I didn't have a thermometer and the milk might have been ultra-pasteurized. The curds separated from the whey, but the curds wouldn't stick together. It should have binded and stretched. Too many variables - I'm using more rennet next time and sticking to precise measurements on my new thermometer.
  2. Two weeks ago I got a branch of raw horseradish in the fridge to make a nice horsey-mayo. It may not last much longer--it was soggy today.
I'm proud to announce --much like San Lazaro-- a resurrection of my baking capabilities. I baked a chocolate-almond cake from my wife's birthday, which was well received. I've also been reigning down the knowledge of pizza dough on the children. I'm more than confident in my ability to create a great ciabatta roll for these damn sandwiches.

If only these elements can come together. Where's the project manager for Old Scratch?

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