Guy Food

Guy Food

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No Brainy Guy Could Refuse A Good Brisket

I've been thinking, maybe because its Spring, that it is time to do a Brisket. Now, what is that? This is a cut of meat beef or veal coming from the lower chest 'breast'. I prefer the veal as it is incredibly lean, tender and juicy. I also like to marinate mine and broil, some like their blackened and some like it smoked, others like just grilled.  The key is truly to sear it on both sides and then slow cook in the oven covered and then in the broiler on high for a last and final sear.

I am not going to tell you how to do it in terms of seasoning. Sometimes the basic salt, pepper and garlic is perfect. I like a traditional marinate, which is fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, seat salt olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and of course dried herbs - overnight or at least 2 hrs. minimum.

As side, potatoes and I am good. If my sweetie wants a salad, I won't stop her from contributing. Personally, I really love a wilted spinach salad with feta and strawberries. What do you know, that's her favorite. So, if she asks me "Would you like a spinach salad?"... I will say "Yeah, works for me."

Ahh, she knows me by now.

I be taken peace to you and yours this Passover and Easter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Brainy Guy Doesn't Do Raw Food ~ Cause Then He Would't Be Brainy Anymore!

Did you know that eating meat and cooking food made us human! Studies suggest, that cooking food enabled the brain of our ancestors to grow dramatically over a period of time. 

At the core of this research is the understanding that the modern human brain consumes 20 percent of the body's energy at rest, twice that of other primates. We now know that meat and cooked foods were and are needed to provide the necessary calorie boost to feed a growing brain.

The Fire Diet ~ by Nancy Sherer

While cooking destroys some vitamins, it leaves plenty behind that are more available to our digestive system. Raw vegetables have more vitamins, but our teeth and digestive system can't efficiently digest the plant matter that contains them. Consider how your teeth and jaws have to work to chew a raw carrot. How long would your teeth last if they were stressed that way at every meal? 
Fruits are softer, but they contain sugars and acids that destroy tooth enamel. Digesting raw vegetables creates enough excess gas to cause lots of discomfort. Fruits cause even more severe gastrointestinal problems. Grains also must be processed before they serve as the ‘staff of life.’ Without pounding, grinding, dissolving and heating, wheat, corns, rice, most legumes and seeds are virtually indigestible- to humans at least. 

Cows, birds, and mice can eat grains right off the stalk along with the stalk itself. Although humans require vegetation as a source of nutrients and calories, we did not evolve to eat them raw. But that doesn’t make us carnivores. That tender steak in the upscale restaurant has been hanging around ‘tenderizing’ for many weeks before it melts like butter in your mouth. Most cuts of meats require marinades, stewing, grinding, or pounding with a mallet before they can be chewed, but chewing is only part of the problem. 

Eating raw meat of any kind is risky for humans. Unlike predators such as lions or wolves, our digestive systems did not evolve to eat unprocessed meat. Internal organs, such as livers, brains and intestines are protein rich and easy to chew, but we still never eat them raw. I’m not sure why we cook internal organs, but if we prefer to not eat raw innards is it reasonable to assume that we evolved on a such a diet? Try to get a two year old to eat liver, raw or cooked.

Humans need protein, and lots of it to develop our big brains. Most of this brain growth takes place before age five. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria in raw meat are deadly to infants and toddlers. By age three, children are weaned, but they still need a high protein diet. Something happened long before we were Homo sapiens that enabled toddlers to get enough protein to feed a growing human brain. 

We need animal sources of protein. We need vegetables for vitamins. We need to eat what our teeth can’t chew and what our stomachs can’t digest. There are some exceptions.
We can eat raw sea food without much risk. As long as the water isn’t contaminated, and the fish is fresh, sushi is a healthy source of protein. It also is easy to chew and easily digestible. However, our bodies can't manufacture most of the vitamins that are required for good health, so our teeth and digestive systems didn't evolve solely on 'sole' fish.

It is possible, and even very likely, that use of fire to alter food played an important part in our evolution. Unlike other animals, we are mesmerized by fire rather than terrified of it. Cooking food removes hazards of bacteria and parasites, allows us to exploit food sources that we otherwise couldn't use, and even begins the digestive process for us. Did our hominid ancestors move down from the tree tops to walk or to cook? The idea at least is something to chew on the next time you sit around a campfire.

Get smart ~ cook!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jambalaya and Boudin

Cajun food is spicy and hot. You just can't go wrong with jambalaya because its just so creative; and boudin sausage which is just so yummy. The boudin, I buy in a ready to cook and eat state. The jambalaya I buy all ingredients separately if I don't have on hand. As I said, jambalaya is what you make it - creative.
Get the boudin sausage going in one skillet and in the other - the basic for any creative jambalaya. I like it juicy and so I advise you to cook your meats (using either pork butt, pork stew meat or even beef/lamb ground and used as meatballs, and even some roasted chicken and or turkey breasts) first and then add water and your seasonings which you can buy prepared or use your own combination... and that I do. First, brown your meat in some olive oil and chopped garlic and onion. Then add 1/4 cup of whatever stock you have on hand. Now, since I like my jambalaya spicy, I put in lots of red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika and dried herb seasonings * rosemary, oregano and basil. Simmer all this on the stove til your meats are tender. When nearing the finish, put in as much fresh (out of shell and de-veined) shrimp as you like.

Rice is always cooked on the side til tender and never added to the jambalaya. Pour out onto larger serving platter and top with your jambalaya.  Toss on some fresh chopped green or dried parsley and Ahhh eee!

The boudin can be set out as a side dish... why not.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Makes a Good Cook?

You know that your tongue basically has only two taste detectors = sweet and salty. A good cook knows how to use and blend sweet and savory in a dish and on the plate. That means, in my opinion, having a kind of sixth sense about what goes with what and which foods are best sweet and which are best savory and how to blends those two to get a combination which works with some foods but not all.  Now, I know that smell and looks also play into the cooking process and final product, but there are times when something does not look that good but tastes great - like my gooey cheeseburger and super thick mac and cheese.

I read this comment by chef Jim Berman on chef talk - ...a really good cook can anticipate the outcome of the dish and, subsequently, can make changes to keep it on track or improve upon it. Just a 'cook' on the other hand, will follow the process and procedure regardless of the outcome. We often fail to focus on flavor and maintain a "get it done" approach. A really good cook can get it done and make the flavor worth the effort.

Yeah, totally Agree!

So what's my best 'chef'  experience? The day I cooked for the first time, my famous gooey cheeseburger for my sweetie who did not understand the process as much as she understood the flavor!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Always Good to Cleanse after a Bold and Brave Weekend

Aside of eating what I like on weekends, I also spend the weekend the way I eat- boldly and bravely either hiking, biking or watching college ball. Since its March, of course, that meant I had to have chips and salsa as in 'super nachos' while watching this Sunday's Wisconsin vs. Michigan game. Which... by the way, was the most incredibly 'Boldly' played college game I ever saw!

I like to keep the salsa on the side. If you don't make your own, I can suggest your local deli; mine always has fresh made.

Now, as you may already presume, the nachos weren't bold enough for one weekend; before the game, I had a super awesome delicious afternoon dinner of wild caught salmon and fettuccine with my sweetie made by my sweetie - the incredible brainy gourmet.

Today, cleansing... using this one I found online some time ago, its simple and tasty!

Tomato Lemon Parsley Cleansing Detox Juice

5 tomatoes
1 lemon
1 bunch parsley
Process the tomatoes into a puree, add fresh squeezed lemon and chopped parsley Pour into a glass and stir well before drinking. Supposedly, this is a very cleansing juice that will detoxify your body and boost your immunity to illness and help your skin glow. Never felt any glowing of my skin but certainly felt refreshed.

*P.S. makes a great Bloody Mary starter.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Steak Chimichanga ~ Not For the Faint of Heart!

I like it hot from time to time but sometimes, even hotter. Today's post is as about as far as you can get from the previous post on a good Christian's diet. Not that rich, tasty, hot food isn't Christian or unhealthy. I think if you indulge once in a blue moon... it's ok. I also think it is wise to take time for cleansing the system and or time off from rich, hot tasty food.

As you know everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial - 1 COR 10:23. And, I take that to mean not everything all at once. It would make sense then, that a little oil, grease and hot sauce would be ok...even like a good cleansing.

I never preach that diet is supposed to be or has to be to be rigid. Nor do I advise to throw your life away. Life is to be enjoyed, as it will be in the hereafter. So, when I get a taste for hot Mexican food, we head for the local Taco Patio (owned by Greeks?). My sweetie, she likes the chicken taco dinner with rice and beans and I have to have the Big Steak Chimichanga. I dress it up with a layer of sour cream and lots of hot peppers in oil - giardiniera.

Definitely, not for the faint of heart!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Guys need Bran and Grams!

Jelly - "You should get more roughage in your diet doc. A bran muffin in the morning would help that"... 

I did not know that the idea of eating healthy as the way to well being belongs to Christians who more than any other group in this country had/have consciously considered and practiced controlled diet as a means for a longer and a more virtuous healthy life. As recorded... It began with Sylvester Graham a Presbyterian minister who lived from the early to mid 1800s. He spent his adult life trying to convince Americans that white bread was weakening the nation. Reverend Graham's solution, instead of white bread, was to eat a coarse brown bread and or whole-wheat crackers - Graham Crackers!

I like bran muffins, so yeah... I eat one from time to time. As for 'gram' crackers, best as a s'more...
or better yet~ Golden Graham Macaroni Cheesecake!  That's 'kilyn' two birds with one stone... think I misread that blog recipe. But hey, every cheesecake has a graham cracker crust! Now, the brainy gourmet makes the best creamy dreamy cheesecake I ever had!

*Source ~ Advertising in America: The First 200 Years. Harry N. Abrams. Inc. publishers NY

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Intuitive Eating

I've heard that intuitive eating is the healthy way to eat. I think it means that you use your inner being 'a sixth sense' to determine what is good for you and what is bad. I like to use my eyes and nose. If it don't look good or smell good, it isn't going to be good. Now, looks mean alot to a guy. If the food does not look  good as in gooey or juicy or thick and sticky or hot and tender then forget it... yeah, I can tell. Its like a piece of meat that just stands there on the plate looking like a hunk of leather, it won't be tender. Smell is very important. So, if it smells bad like cooked broccoli and cabbage does, then I won't be eating it.

Some people these days get all bent out of shape about eating meat, fat and carbs; but Hey, they just go together. When you put those things together, let me tell you that you are gonna have a cheeseburger on a kaiser that will knock your socks off. That's part my intuition and my experience.

You know my grandma ate everything and had a glass of wine too (every night) but nobody back then was countin. She lived into her 90s. I guess she ate intuitively... I think that the stress of dieting is enough to put you away. Relax, enjoy your food. I do!

Afterwards, I hear that this veggie drink is a fat burner... so there ya go. Gonna have my cake and eat it too!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I don't mind gettin my hands around a good sam

Guys like to get into what they are eating, and I don't mind gettin my hands around a good samich...

I was just reading that the fork is a late comer to the civilized table though used for different purposes much earlier on...i.e. weapons for hunting  and as symbols of power such as in Poseidon. I always wondered about that especially since knives and spoons are a lot older. Perhaps, it was such a strong symbol, as in 'trident' that its presence at the table appeared anti - social... LOL!

Only my sweetie the sociologist would know better than me when it comes to social reality. I think that the greater question is to ask how we came to use such utensils and table etiquette. Well, I have read up about that and can tell you it was largely Catherine de Medici's doing. She introduced the use of the fork at the table and its etiquette going back to the 1600s.  Perhaps, that is how royalty set themselves 'socially apart' from each other (at the table)... and from servants and peasants who used knives and spoons. I hear that sociologists take such things as social hierarchy into consideration; but, I am just a guy... who has to admit, still gets confused when sitting down to a table laid out for a king.

Mmm mmm that looks yummy but something in that picture does not look right... I am definitely sure I could get my hands around that one

at least try or start out layer by layer

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cactus Bloom Onion and a Pulled Pork

What would the weekend without a little indulgence in some yummy yummy food? 

Well, I like things gooey and I like things fried too. So, deep fried onion and a pulled pork 'out' seemed like a nice treat for me and my sweetie who is a great cook and blogs about it and I brag about it. 
We headed to the roadhouse with a couple we know and to have a real good time.  I like to order things that I don't make at home either because I don't like the mess that goes with it or because it is time consuming or I just like when someone else makes it for me and the mess is theirs. Deep friend onion and pulled pork are two of those things. We both agree, me and my sweetie, on that and so we when we go out we like to rate different places for the best of these.

Cactus 'Bloomin' Onion ~ I never did this myself but have watched and here is what it looks like.

Now, as for a really great pulled pork, its got to be gooey and juicy at the same time.

FYI ~ Still Prefer and Love Eatin at Home! It's always cheaper and you are not rushed. I call cookin at home ~ slow foodin.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Guy Guacamole

A lot of guys don't dig guacamole but I do. And I like it rich! Give me some onion, bacon bits, olives, chiles, finely chopped cilantro and lime juice and I"ll give you the Guac!

That's the way I like mine... but all you really need for a good guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, a little lime or lemon juice. For those that like adventure, but are not as willing as I am then try some chopped cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato, if you want. The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Goin All Out Paleo!

Sausage and Beef Jerky ~ definitely Paleo!

So, I am gettin my bad on and goin all out Paleo. What guy doesn't love beef jerky, sausages, and kabanos.

Beef jerky is dried meat.
Dried meats are an ancient food. American Indians dried buffalo meat and I read that they even mixed fat with berries, spread it on the meat rolled it and dried it that way. Sounds like what we might call today - Fruit Roll Up.

I am sure I don't have to explain what sausage is. This ground meat is bought in a casing and is a large part of an everyday American Guy 'like me' diet. There are many kinds and lots of different ways to cook em up. Grilled sausages make a great sandwich and some 'Andouille' go well with penne and tomato sauce or with shrimp and rice as in ~ Jambalaya.

and forgot to mention how well sausage goes with meatballs.

Just about every ethnicity makes some kind of sausage. I just love going to the Polish Deli and drooling over the variety of smoked and uncooked sausage links. I like blood sausage too which is a poor man's as in peasant's sausage. Cajun and Louisiana folk eat a wonderful sausage called Boudin; the noir is a blood sausage and the Boudin blanc is without blood. Most sausage we get in the store comes from pork. But, I have had some of the best sausage ever coming from venison.

Boudin ~ noir

Boudin ~ blanc

Lastly, you are probably wondering what is kabanos. It is a long thin dry sausage made of pork or veal. They are smoky in flavor and can be soft or very dry in texture. In Poland, they have some that you can buy soft or very dry. I like it when they are very dry and shriveled on the outside; then when you bite in, they just ooze with juicy fat.

 And, who doesn't like brats roasted over an open fire.

Bacon and Eggs ~ Gotta Love em!

Have you heard? Bacon and eggs are all the fade, rage, and or fashion of pop foodies. Some of us oldies just like to say "Hey, bacon is back". I am not surprised that bacon is now welcomed back in the basic food groups, but if you are of my generation, it was always there. I think it is wonderful that both bacon and eggs have been raised from junk food status to health food extraordinaire - getting the Paleo flag of approval.

You can buy bacon these days in other meat varieties: pork, beef, buffalo and venison = deer and even other wild game if you are adventurous.

Don't get me wrong, I love bacon and eggs but I also love steak and eggs... sometimes I just can't decide.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Top 10 Brainy Guy Food!

1- Philly Steak
2- Hamburger

3- Roast beef
4- Chimichanga
5- Monti Cristo

6- Grilled Cheese

7- Pizza (any kind)

8- Mac and Cheese
9-Combo with Giardinara
10-Pulled Pork with Cheese Fries

All of that does not seem to fit in with today's gluten free nor Paleo, nor free range, free GMO, free Trans fats etc. But I say, it could if you want it to. Many food products exist for those who watch what they take in ~ like I do. That is why I take in seriously the One who said "Be not afraid, for I am with you." Gen. 26:24

*Whoa, I totally forgot meatball sandwich, and super nachos and I even crave meatloaf, quiche!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Left Overs Interacting = Comfort Foods

I always feel good when I can make something out of left overs. Today, left over au jus was used to make Swiss Steak which definitely goes with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. I like things to be compatible... Yeah everything exists in compatibility mode. When left overs are in the right combination as in many worlds interacting, you get comfort food. That's how I think of it. To begin, sauteed onion in olive oil, sliced thickly some lean top round steak, and added au jus and then some tomato paste to let simmer.

I love mashed potatoes, in fact I think I could eat a mountain of them. Making mashed potatoes is as easy as pie - though don't ever expect me to do pie crust. As for taters... it is just a matter of peeling, boiling and mashing. Your simmering steak should be getting into a nice red gravy. Mmm, that aroma was overpowering me. Its tough cookin and being hungry. Anyway, I am so glad I had farfalle yesterday, cause that left over pasta is tonight's mac and cheese. I just pour on heavy cream, lay on some butter and slices of cheddar - microwave.

There you go! Many worlds interacting = Comfort food.