Friday, January 11, 2008

Rover Rover

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Last night I went to the training session for poll workers for the upcoming primaries. dull dull dull. It wouldn't be, really, except that it's pretty much the same thing every time, and since I work every get the picture.

Anyway, for yesterday's self-portrait I put kit on the table and stuck my hand in there so it could be called an sp.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Childress Vineyards Wine

Let me apologize up front for the quality of the upcoming wine photos. They all just are...bad! But I had collected quite a few empty bottles on my windowsill and just needed to get them into the garbage.

This is a North Carolina Vineyard in Lexington. I was first introduced to their dessert wine when buddy Tambri brought a bottle of it to Thanksgiving dinner. It was a delightfully sweet blueberry dessert wine and we just about polished off the bottle that day.

Since then I have tried this Classic Red table wine and also a red blend called Pinnacle. I'm not sure which red blend I liked better: this Classic one or the Pinnacle, but I did like them all. They have just the right amount of sweetness to me. Not too harsh, like some reds can be.

I'm definitely becoming a fan of red blends. I haven't had a bad one yet.

Childress Dessert & Pinnacle

I love these new shoes

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I bought a pair of the new Ryka studio shoes to start the new year and I absolutely LOVE them! They are light as a feather, which I find with most of the shoes I buy from them (these are actually an ounce heavier than my last pair), but I especially like the heel structure.

The heels on these are rounded so you have better range of motion when dancing. Some might see that as a negative...maybe a greater likelihood for twisting an ankle. But I like it because then the shoe does not determine the angle as which my foot extends during some of the poses and dance moves.

Rare for me to write about shoes, I know. But there you have it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Switched-Up Schnitzel

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
My buddy Tambri gave me some cubed venison loins. My other buddy Sarah told me about a dish her mom made for her every year on her birthday. Mom would dredge the loins in milk, then egg, then a
mixture of saltines, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, pepper and thyme. Then she would fry them in butter. Serve with lemon wedges.

Well. This sounds like schnitzel to me, with the exception of the Parmesan. Austrians do not put Parmesan in the breading. And of course it's usually veal or pork.

Time to play with the food.

First, I decided I wanted to use Panko instead of cracker crumbs. Big fan of the Panko. Love the Panko. I also decided to raise the smoke point of the butter by adding some olive oil. Less chance of burnage that way.

Since I was using Panko mixed with Parmesan rather than saltines, I thought maybe I should not use milk as my first dip. That would add more liquid to the eggs and I really wanted more of a sticking effect, to hold onto that Parmesan and Panko. Panko being much coarser than saltine crumbs would be.

Also? At the very last moment I noticed I did not have LEMON! That, my dear foodie, is a mortal sin in the schnitzel world! I could not send someone to get lemon...Nate is down with flu and Mensa Boy was working hard at home on a big project.

So? Lemon pepper became one of the seasonings in the Panko mixture.

Here is an approximate list of ingredients:

1 # cubed venison loin

First coating:
3/4 cup flour

Second coating:
2 whole eggs

2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan (I used Parmigiano Reggiano, which was what I had, but I think it'd be better to go with something CHEAPER!)
2/3 cup Panko crumbs
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme

Fry over medium-high heat in 1 stick of unsalted butter cut with about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. (Turn to second side when the blood rises to the top) Check for doneness by prodding with your finger. Should firm up, but not become hard.

I think if the heat in the skillet were too high, and the crumbs were in danger of burning, it would be a good idea to just fry to a golden brown and then finish in the oven. Especially if you have an electric oven. A gas oven will lend moisture and keep it from being quite as crisp.

Oh. The lemon in the photo...Neighbor Mary to the rescue!

Now this was an exciting meal! The guys became more and more animated as the schnitzel cooked, although Mensa Boy was sad that the meat wasn't actually cube-shaped. uh yuh.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cellar No. 8

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
2005 California Zinfandel.

I don't know why I buy this every once in a while. I read about it in the paper one Wednesday and the reviewer liked it, and I like the reviewer, so I guess I just can't let go.

But the truth is, I really don't think much of this one. Not sweet enough. It's just too tannic for me. I really like a Marietta Cellars table wine, but sometimes I can't find it, and this one often seems to be near where the other should be.

Oh. And it had a cork. I've been wanting wines with corks. Just because I got an electric cork puller for Christmas!

Quote for today

My friend Jenny said this yesterday on her blog when she wrote about a Weight Watcher's pizza idea:

"I resisted trying this recipe for a long time because it was frequently described as a good cure to a pizza craving. You know what is a good cure for a pizza craving? An entire Papa John’s pizza."

p.s. She did like the pizza idea, which involved a "Flat out" wrap.