Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kitchen Confidential and a la Cart

Ha! Gotcha Mr. Foodie know it all!  Anybody with even a rudimentary knowledge of the food service circus knows that it is “à la cartE” Well, read on, oh high and mighty expert!  In this instance it IS spelled correctly!

One of the things that I can more or less manage is cook.  However, since our counter tops are fairly high, it is sometimes (always) hard for me to dice, slice, and prep ingredients from my transfer chair.  Well, as usual MFO to the rescue.   She consulted Carl Taylor at Beautiful Kitchens and Baths, and we communally came up with at design for a carT (no “E”!)  HA!  It is not only functional, but also a very nice piece of furniture.

The container in the upper right is a removable bowl into which the detritus of “stuff” that is generated can be scraped.  The shelves are “roll out” easily opened with one hand. 

The top is top of the line Boos Block (which is tops!), which is kept smooth and nice looking with application of their “Mystery Oil”

After a bit of use (and experience) we are in the process of implementing “Mod One”, which will bring electric to the cart for food processing, blending, using the knife sharpener, etc.  I was envisioning a clunky power strip, but no, the technology is ahead.  There’s this nifty little “pop up” power thingy designed especially for counter tops

And looky that!  USB ports.  Amazing.

Also getting drawer pulls to mount on the ends.  The down side is that it is quite heavy to horse around, so something to hang on to would help, plus they will double as a towel rack.

Sooo, no excuse not to use it.  Our first foray was to try to cook a full size pizza.  So got some dough mix from the web, and assembled stuff

We got some pork sausage from WAG (Willie A Guy) farm in Leonardtown as the only “local” ingredient.  MFO rolled out the dough and sauced it

And sprinkled the (cooked) sausage over it.

All was going well at this point, the (world’s most expensive) Pizza stone was in the oven and things looked good.   The pizza was on the (world’s cheapest) peel, and then things started to go down hill.  In rolling out the dough, it kind of stuck to the (well corn mealed) cart top so a couple of holes appeared.  Easily fixed.  But, when it came time to put the pie on the stone in the oven, it more or less refused to budge from the peel.  So with some tools, braving the 500 degree oven, we managed to coax it onto the stone.   Didn’t do anything for the shape, kind of went amoeba-like.  After ten or so minutes, it looked very nice and bubbly melty, crust appeared quite brown.   Time to extract it from the oven.  

You know those shots you see of some chef sliding a peel effortlessly under a perfectly cooked pizza?  Oh no, not here.  Again with the heat searing the eyebrows, we found the pie pretty much welded to the stone despite what I thought was correct preparation measures.  It laughed at the peel so I basically had to use a spatula like a chisel to pry it from the stone back onto the peel.  By this time, it resembled an amorphous blob covered in sausage; bearing little resemblance to what one would consider a classic pizza shape..  The GOOD NEWS if any, was that it tasted very good.

Take Two, A bit better..
Having some sausage (which was very good, by the way) left over from the Pizza wars, undaunted I thought: Hey!  I could make my own sausage McMuffin for breakfast!   So trotted out the ingredients

Formed the sausage into patties and began to cook them in the (alleged) non-stick pan

I have finally trained myself to not poke and peek at something in a fry pan, so left them alone to caramelize..well, it isn’t my week for “non-stick”; finally, with the aid of a spatula, I flipped them to find they were a tad overdone.

I put them in another (covered) pan with some Boar's Head cheese like material (probably faithful to Mickey Dee’s) and to melt, which it did pretty well

Meanwhile, I toasted the Muffin, and fried the egg in the same pan used for the sausage

And, although kind of out of scale I assembled my “Muffin”.
It was kind of messy and quite thick, but I managed, and it wasn’t bad.  I think a thinner sausage patty next time

So, that’s what a self-quarantined blogger does.  Riveting reading, eh?  But the cart is very nice.

Does this seem familiar??

And there’s not much reason these days to

One remembers flavor more than dates and times in the memory portion of the brain
Jeff Smith  

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