Deviled eggs

Tonight is French class. It is also my birthday and so as une petite fete de mon anniversaire I am making a little repas. Deviled eggs are delicious and generally a pain in the ass to make but I like an undertaking. I bought new eggs since I’d used all the eggs making other stuff, most notably the mushroom bread pudding, and new eggs are often hard to peel but I simmered them for 12 minutes, then dropped them in ice water and they peeled like a dream.

I add mayonnaise, mustard and Miracle Whip to the mushed up yolks. Once that’s whipped smooth, I add sweet relish, chopped capers and green onion. Lookit how perfect those waiting whites are.

The olives in the center are just using up space.

Watermelon

I love watermelon. Any melon really, except for honeydew, which I totally don’t get. Growing up we had muskmelon in our garden. They were always the best, if you could get to them before the raccoons. The problem I have with melons I buy now, well, I have a few of them. You never know how it’s gonna taste, I hate getting one home only to discover it has no taste. They are huge in the refrigerator, and some of them make the refrigerator stink.

At least I have solved the problem of the crappy tasting watermelon. I put it in salad. Even lousy watermelon is good when you put vinaigrette on it. Last night, being lazy, I used vaguely passable bottled Italian. But when I made my own shallot, caper vinaigrette and used pretty good (as opposed to really good) olive oil it was AMAZING. Full disclosure, it is Karen’s vinaigrette recipe but I have made it mine.

Shallot caper vinaigrette

1 shallot chopped, about 2 TB

2 TB dijon mustard

2 TB wine wine vinegar

Whisk this all together and slowly

add while whisking:

6 – 10 TB olive oil

Salt and pepper

Once you have the vinaigrette to a lovely rich consistency add;

2 TB brined capers and a little brine

This stuff lasts for a while in the refrigerator, let it sit at room temp 

for a while and re-whisk before using.

Impossible to open, part 2

Seriously, WTF? Why is this ridiculous, unopenable protective cover on MIracle Whip (yes, Miracle Whip, I love the stuff) they don’t have it on Hellman’s mayonnaise, why does Kraft have to go to these idiotic lengths? There’s just no point to it and, as I’ve said, doesn’t anyone at Kraft use these products? What you are looking at is the top of the jar, the protective cover torn and opened, but not completely removed. And yes, my chip dip was exquisite.

The produce of France

I no longer have my apartment in France. But I think of it all the time, as you might imagine. I can’t say I miss it all that much, but like I said, I do think about it. I miss the way the food is there. I wish we could have it like that here in the US. But we don’t. We do have good grocery shopping in Milwaukee. As good as anywhere in the US. It’s just not as good as it is in France.

Dirty bread pudding

I love dirty rice, in particular, Paul Prudhomme’s dirty rice. Peppers, onions, celery and an entire panoply of herbs and spices combined with ground pork, pork sausage and chicken livers. So when I had to make food for book club I wanted the make dirty rice but it seemed more like a side dish and I adapted it for bread pudding so it seemed like a breakfast strata. One of the members doesn’t eat pork so I used beef and turkey breakfast sausage. Of course I also added like a pound of cheddar cheese. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

And the winner is

Thursday night I had dinner at Lake Park Bistro. Ashish, my sister Ann and her boyfriend, Jay. It was very good. It cost $356 with a 20% tip. The service, which I usually find lacking at LPB was pretty good we did not have the 2 server—(which means each of them think the other is looking after you and hence, no server)—waiter situation they generally have. I had gnocchi and it was OK. The brown butter, if in fact it was brown butter was a little too browned. If it wasn’t supposed to be brown butter, it was burned. No matter, I ate it and it was fine.

Next night, 5 people at Las Botanas. The place was packed, we had no reservations, they said a 20 minute wait but seated us immediately. Margaritas were great. I had plate lunch. It was awesome. Service was good and the bill was $108 for 5 of us.

Saturday Ashish and I ate near the airport in Chicago at Carlucci’s since he was on his way back to Belgium. We had reservations for 6 pm which is early and dreaded eating in an empty restaurant but when we arrived it was reasonably full. By the time we left, an hour and fifteen minutes later, it was packed. The bread was awful. My meal was edible. I should know better than order cinghiale. Wild boar is not something we have here. Service fine. It was $120 for the 2 of us.

Give me Las Botanas any day of the week.

Remains of the day

Last night I took the scraps from the chocolate malt cake I’d made a week or so ago and made bread pudding. I cut the leftover cake into cubes, toasted them lightly, then put them in a malt custard. I topped it with the malt crunch filling that was also left over. I served it with vanilla ice cream. It was over-the-top-delicious.

Impossible to open

Does the person who invents these things ever try to use them? Doesn’t anyone at Kraft use their own products?

I’m not infirm. I can run 3 miles with ease, I lift weights and work with a personal trainer. I take Pilates. I cannot open this. In the end I resorted to using a knife. But, as it turned out, the stuff was filthy. Sweet artificial raspberry. Disgusting. Which is probably why no one at Kraft uses it.

Cakes

I love to see the cakes in the display case at the Metro Market. They never fail to make me smile. I wonder though, who buys these? I certainly would never. While I think they are beautiful 

the thought of all that frosting, particularly on a cupcake, is nauseating.