Archive for beef

Tuesdays With Dorie – Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by uglydudefood

I’m learning to bake through the power of Internet bloggery.  The gist is, every Tuesday I will post about a different baked good from Baking:  From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  This is all part of the wonderful Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll.  You’ll see my disasters and far-less-frequent triumphs at the oven.

I started out by picking up a few kitchen items I didn’t own–namely a food processor and a pie plate.  My parents have all of this stuff, but I’m imagining someday I’ll be gainfully employed, out of the house, and in need my own versions.  As that annoying guy from Rage Against the Machine says, “What better place than here?  What better time than now?”  I get most of my baking advice from Rage Against the Machine, by the way.  With a pocket full of shells.

I didn’t see any 9″ pie plates at Target (which was the extent of my lazy shopping), but a 9.5″ pie plate would fit the bill just fine, right?  RIGHT?

I had some free time while my girlfriend was driving into town, so I made the crust on Thursday evening.  Pretty simple ingredients–vegetable shortening, butter, flour, sugar, salt, water.  Food process the beast, wrap it, and stick it in the refrigerator.  Easy peasy.  I was given a little boost in confidence when my dough actually came out looking like dough.  Is this baking?  Baking is easy.  All of those Keebler elves need to stop their bitching, because they are living the life of kings!

After refrigerating the dough during a dinner date, I came back and rolled it.  The recipe had a suggestion of freezing the dough into the pie plate, and that appealed to me.  That way all I’d have to do was fill the crust and bake.  Simple stuff.

Here’s where my stupid, oversized pie plate came into play.  Apparently 0.5″ is a lot of room when it comes to pies, you see.  I was supposed to have a fair amount of overhang with my crust, but my crust barely came up to the top of the plate.  I tried to make up for it by squeezing the crust a little thinner, but how thin is too thin?  Something told me that having a nearly translucent layer of pie crust holding a pound of sugary-sweet blueberry goo wouldn’t exactly work out.  Furthermore, the second half of the dough (the top of the pie) probably wasn’t big enough to drape atop the pie.

All the same, I didn’t have the time or ingredients to make another crust, so it would have to do.  I froze my crust and went on to do weekend things with weekend people, fancy-free of all the pie woes that would later befall me.

Flash forward to Monday evening, where I was free to pie the pie that must be pied.  I had bought a 2-quart container of blueberries at Costco earlier, so I had enough berries to fulfill the recipe and gorge myself while I waited the hour for the pie to finish baking.

I mixed the ingredients together (as Dorie says, “gently stir”), but my pie filling didn’t look too much like pie filling.  It looked like salt and sugar piled below a bunch of berries.  It didn’t come together until I started smashing a few berries.  “Gently stir” must have a wide variety of interpretations, because you’re going to want to mush some of your berries to get a decent filling.

I filled my frozen pie crust with unflavored breadcrumbs and the sugarberry mix.  I placed the frozen top atop my pie.  It just about fit over the whole thing, which I took as a small victory.  With some fork-smashing, I managed to seal the top of the pie (although the “crust” looked pretty dismal).  As a result of having to finagle the crust, the pie wasn’t necessarily the prettiest thing in the world.  Thankfully, my website had the word “ugly” in the title twice.  Paydirt.

OH CRUD.  Twenty minutes into the hour of baking, my crust was brown and soon-to-burn.  Too thin.  Way to go, Mike Spoodles.  Way to make a pie. I moved the pie up to a higher rack in the oven, and I turned the heat down to the “second thirty-minutes'” temperature early.  I tented some tinfoil loosely over the pie, as Dorie recommended.  I had no idea what this would do, but I was flying on my feet.  I had to use all the instincts I had honed through twenty-three years of microwaving everything I’d ever eaten.  Oh dear.

I finally swallowed my pride and went to my mother for help, who told me to put the pie back on the bottom (where it is less likely to brown, apparently), and to stop running around screaming like a little ninny.  Apparently pie is pie, and pie is good.  One of life’s lessons.

I crumbled off a lot of the offending crust.

The final product?  Ugly, of course.  The taste?  My mom says, “Mmmm!  This is good.”  She specifically liked the crust.  I liked it just fine, too.  The fact that it came out tasting like an actual dessert damn near brought a tear to my eye.  My dad and brother did not eat it, but they probably would have if I had replaced the blueberries with ground beef.

A bit of a madcap first week of Tuesdays With Dorie for me, but I can only imagine that things will get smoother from here (they won’t).

So, things I bought:

Black and Decker PowerPro II Food Processor ($40)
Pyrex 9.5″ Pie Plate (“Grip-rite”)
(approx. $10)

Things I learned:

Use proper-sized dishes, or adjust recipe accordingly
How to make a pie crust
How to use a food processor
How to make a dang pie
Pie crust tastes good before you bake it

Here is nutritional information for 1/10th of the pie (which is less than Dorie’s recommended 6-8 servings, but COME ON LOOK AT THOSE CALORIES.  Haha.

Serving Size 212.2g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

593
Calories from Fat

279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

31.0g
48%
Saturated Fat

16.8g
84%
Cholesterol

80mg
27%
Sodium

482mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates

74.9g
25%
Dietary Fiber

3.7g
15%
Sugars

35.3g
Protein

6.4g
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“And it was the best thing I ever done!”

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2008 by uglydudefood

I was perusing my non-food blogroll, I stumbled across Hump Day Stories, which had a wonderful, food-relevant post this morning in regards to the late, apparently-great Williams Smoke House ribs.

I swear to God, [the rib] was so good that I dropped it and stared at it. My eyes were wide. I was looking at the rib like I just watched it punch my mother in the face, like I was angry at it for what it had done to me. In a sense, I was, but only because I equate pleasure with anger due to my damaged childhood. The bite of meat was already starting to melt in my mouth, the sauce mixing with fat and salt. Simply put, it was the most perfect bite of food I’ve ever taken.

I read this and just knew. Back in my younger, fatter, meat-eating days, I had one goal in life: to recreate my first Tony Luke’s experience.

I must have been in middle school. We were just settling down to a warm winter’s intolerable Philadelphia 76ers basketball game (intolerable not because of the fact that the Sixers were playing poorly, but because watching organized sports makes my eyeballs want to bleed).

With not much time before we had to hit the nosebleeds, we stopped by what looked like a rinky-dink shack under a bridge–Tony Luke’s. My father and brother grabbed Philly cheesesteaks (or as “Philly cheesesteak” as my family gets, which is to say that they were simply beef and American cheese, topped with far more ketchup than any one bun can hold), and I opted for the Roast Pork with Sharp Provolone.

I’m not sure what did it for me. Was it my first-ever taste of sharp provolone cheese? Fresh, tender pork? A big old white bun full of fat? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I had my first-ever orgasm then and there. From that moment on, it was my goal to recreate that heavenly experience in my own kitchen.

Problem number one: I was thirteen years old, and without a source of income or outside food. Problem number two: we never had pork just plain-ol’ lying around. I was stuck with Steakumms. The cheese situation was slightly–but barely–better. We usually had a block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese sitting in the refrigerator. It was close, but clearly not the same, I chopped up four-to-five Steakumms and melted upwards of a quarter pound of fatty, delicious cheese. They fried in their own fats and juices until the whole thing was one congealed patty of cheese and low-grade cowmeat.

Needless to say, I had no success in recreating that first Tony Luke’s moment. In fact, the only success I had was in the weight-gain department. These experimental cheesesteaks brought me from a plump 260 pounds to a morbid 300, which in turn caused me to take control of my life and become an obsessive-compulsive, anorexic, vegetarian freak.

Thanks a lot, Tony Luke’s.

So I would like to ask the readership (which is, at this point, nonexistent): what is the absolute best meal you’ve ever had? Did you have a transcendent experience like Geth over at Hump Day Stories? Do you find yourself “chasing the dragon” to relive a certain food-type experience that will never come?

Mememmeme

Posted in food, health, meme, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2008 by uglydudefood

I was not tagged for this meme! Instead, I stole it unceremoniously from one of the three hundred food blogs I read, iheartfood4thought.

It is like a MySpace vanity survey, except I have invited it into my food-related house and OH SCREW IT this is a MySpace vanity bulletin.

On Culinary Arts…
Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. Nothing. If I want to eat veggies, I’d like to taste the veggies. In a pinch (such as particularly rancid lettuce), a quick squirt of white-trash yellow mustard is the cure for what ails you.

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Back when I ate meat, the answer would unequivocally be Wendy’s. Their beef tastes like actual meat, which is in turn enhanced by the condiments. McDonald’s is too much like a condiment sandwich, and Burger King’s Whomperoo tastes like a bottle of liquid smoke. Nowadays, I am a connoisseur of Taco Bell, which surprisingly offers a fairly healthy option that tastes good–Pintos n’ Cheese.

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. Red Robin offers a Gardenburger (which criminally costs $7.99, the approximate cost of 2.5 boxes of the same damn thing). More importantly, they offer a fairly comprehensive burger customizer which offers nutritional information based on your selection from a wide variety of rolls, condiments, cheeses, and sides.

Q. On average how much of a tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. 20% is my bare minimum. I’ve been known to tip 100% for exceptional service and 50% for more-than-adequate. I also have a special form of white-guilt that springs from ordering nothing but coffee. In turn, I will generally pay the price of an average meal for a cuppa.

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. This is a bit of a loaded question because I ate the same food every day for nearly three years. If I had to choose my absolute favorite from those days, it would probably be the vegan Boca Burger. You can eat it plain and bland (a personal favorite). Crumble it into any random, lazy-ass recipe. Use it as a vessel for sauerkraut or delicious, delicious mustard.

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. I don’t need clutter in my life. Plain ol’ cheese. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a classic Margherita or a big, floppy, greasy triangle of dough, sauce, and cheese from a local pizzeria. The old adage remains true; keep it simple, slutface.

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Bread is a nonentity in my life.

On Technology…

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. Marshmallow Peeps lollipop.

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. Embarrassingly enough, at least seven.

Q. What kind of cell phone do you have?
A. LG

On Biology…
Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right-handed.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Nothing that didn’t start its life outside my body.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. Groceries–Kashi GoLean, broccoflower, canned tomatoes (diced and stewed varieties), zucchini, eggplant, sugar-free gelatin, Jones Soda, ricotta cheese, and tofu.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. I had a fairly serious bicycle accident almost two years ago. Without the helmet, I would have most assuredly been kaput. Otherwise, I just cracked my head open but-good and concussed myself in the process.

On Psychology…
Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. If it were possible, I would choose my deathday.

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. Cornelius “Spoodles” McGoof

Q. what color looks good on you?
A. Black and brown

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. No, but I’ve surely swallowed non-food items on purpose to amuse friends and emergency-room-doctors alike!

Q. Have you ever saved someones life?
A. I save hundreds of lives a day simply by driving on the correct side of the road.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. I can name a few friends that have almost ended my life, but I don’t believe they saved it.

Truth or Dare (or a Bribe)…

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. A hundred dollars? I would kiss the wiener of a member of the same sex for a hundred dollars.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. Yes. Yes I would.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. For fifty thousand easy dollars I would throw my computer out the window.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. I came damn close to posing nude in college just to have a story to tell.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. I probably have already done this merely to amuse my miscreant friends. It couldn’t be any more difficult than eating a bowl full of jalapeños.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. This I would not do. I’ll inflict any manner of pain, torture, punishment, or fruit-pie upon myself, but when it comes to harming another living being that doesn’t have chlorophyll running through its veins, that’s a big N.O.

On random stuff…
Q: What is in your left pocket?
A. Who says I am wearing pants?

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. Napoleon Dynamite is an entertaining movie with an irritating fan-following, much like Borat, The Boondock Saints, and Dirty Dancing: Havanna Nights .

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A. Throw-rugs over what I’d imagine to be dirt floors.

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A. I squat.

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A. The realist in me says, “Yes.” The socially-retarded blogger in me says, “Not on your life, Froderick.”

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A. I own one pair of well-worn size-18 flip flops, which will never be replaced due to the relative rarity of their size.

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops
A. I am a friend of the law. My natural look of fear and respectful awe keeps the po’ on my side.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. A palindrome.

Q: Last person who called you?
A. My lovely girlfriend, Rachel.

Q: Person you hugged?
A. My lovely mother, Mom.

On Favorites…
Q: Number?
A. 19.

Q: Season?
A. Summer.

Q: Holiday?
A. Halloween.

Q: Day of the week:
A. Thursday, simply because I base my enjoyment of life on television.

Q: Month?
A. July.

Current Events…
Q: Missing someone?
A. Somewhere in the past twenty questions, this food survey has taken a turn for the lamer.

Q: Mood?
A. Hungry.

Q: Listening to?
A. Food Network

Q: Watching?
A. Iron Chef: America.

Q: Worrying about?
A: Blogs and/or frogs.

In conclusion…
Q: First place you went this morning?
A. The terlet.

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A. Discover some new food that fits my obsessive lifestyle.

Q:What’s the last movie you saw?
A. Horton Hears a Who, which was surprisingly good. Jim Carrey has officially Robin-Williams-ed himself out. He is no longer entertaining when he is trying to be funny. However, Steve Carell, a decent adaptation, and an as-respectful-as-possible animation style make this a worthwhile venture.

Q: Do you smile often?
A. Whoever says “it is easier to smile” has never frowned their whole lives. The smiling, it hurts my face.

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A. I’m barely a person.

Numbers

Posted in food, health with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2007 by uglydudefood

Self-Inflicted

Posted in fiction, food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2005 by uglydudefood

THE BEEFSTEAK CHRONICLES: One if by land, two if by BEEFSTEAK

Posted in fiction, food with tags , , , , , , on October 4, 2004 by uglydudefood

For the past five days, I’ve felt like a new mother, getting rid of that ten pound bulge in her stomach for the first time in nine months. This mission, Operation Beefsteak, was my offspring, the combination of my hard work and semen. After Chef Trey broke the news to me gently and erotically last Wednesday, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t eat; I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even touch myself at night. Postpartum depression had set in. I realized I would have nothing to bitch about anymore. Today was to be…THE DAY OF BEEFSTEAK!

Or was it?

As soon as I arrived to dinner, I sprinted to the line of tasty treats. It announced the arrival of Beefsteak on the menu, although the name had been slightly changed to protect the innocent. “Breaded Beef Steak,” the menu proclaimed in bold letters. Simultaneously my stomach both grumbled and dropped. I would behold the holy grail of dinner meats–Beefsteak. However, with a bite of the mystery meat, my mission would come to an end.

OR WOULD IT?

As I got closer to the bundle of hairnet and frump I like to call a lunchlady, something struck me as odd. There was no Beefsteak to be seen. “Perhaps,” I thought to myself, “perhaps they are keeping the Beefsteak in a seperate compartment for ultimate flavor explosion.” And then I popped the quesion.

Or did I?

Could I have Beefsteak?” I asked the grey-haired maven of the food service industry. And then from the heavens, or perhaps the smoke-scarred throat of the cafeteria worker, came a gravelly voice that put my day in a spin. “We don’t have any of that today.

OR DO THEY?

In the end, I finally realized what mattered most in this world. I had been selfishly worrying about the loss of great articles at the expense of Beefsteak. I immediately became ashamed of myself. What mattered most was Beefsteak, and perhaps my shenanigans ruined that for everyone. The evil consulate of A.B.O.L.I.S.H. got everyone’s hope up for Beefsteak, and when they took it away, they sucked the pain of the masses into their massive bloated guts with a crazystraw. The masses would surely be broken up about this.

OR WOULD THEY????!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?!

Chef Trey waited outside the kitchen with a bloody smock over his white tunic to hear the moans of dispair from the students.. “That’s a noise,” grinned Chef Trey, “that I simply must hear!” So he paused. And Chef Trey put a hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low, then it started to grow. But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY! He stared down at Kriner Diner! Chef Trey popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! Every student in Kriner, the tall and the small, Was singing without any Beefsteak at all! He HADN’T stopped Beefsteak from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And Chef Trey, with his club feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!” And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore. Then Chef Trey thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Beefsteak,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Beefsteak…perhaps…means a little bit more!

And what happened then…? Well…in Kriner they say that Chef Trey’s small heart grew three sizes that day! And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight, he whizzed with his load through the bright morning light. And he brought back the toys! And the sweet apple cake! And he, he himself, Chef Trey carved the Beefsteak!

OR DID HE?

Okay, so none of those last few paragraphs were true. No Beefsteak today, despite the promises of those evil bastards at A.B.O.L.I.S.H. Our National Beefsteak Warning is flatlining. This will be continued.

Until then, all hope for future Beefsteak has faded…

OR HAS IT?

FIN

THE BEEFSTEAK CHRONICLES: A BEEFSTEAK in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Posted in fiction, food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2004 by uglydudefood