photo by Donna
I have two big big projects that are both due this week and they’re unfinished and I’ve been feeling buried and basically, after this winter and summer everything sucks, and I’m depressed and bitter and sad and angry, and my thirteen year old is moaning about how UNFAIR everything is, which is exactly what I’d like to be screaming right about now but can’t because that would be childish, so I can’t pay attention this week to this blog no matter how much I love the dialogue that goes on in what is becoming a blog.salon, which is so surprising and good.  But there is news.

—Consomme follow up:  If you missed his shameless self-promotion in the comments on the previous post, Chef pardus, inspired by the post, filmed making a consommé.  What’s important for those who haven’t made consomme is seeing how the clarification works and what it looks like.  I like to simmer mine a little more than Pardus does, so that the stock bubbles over the raft and filters down through it, and the video doesn’t capture the clarity that results, alas; also Pardus doesn’t get into the controversial waters regarding tomato and acid in the consommé (which Pardus used to espouse as useful for clarifying and del Grosso is violently opposed to) but the technique is … well … it brought me right back to skills (which changed my life, so I have an affection for the video that is difficult to describe to those who didn’t have Pardus for a teacher).

—He’s also posted a duck breakdown demo, sparked by the consommé discussion and is important for its plea for total utilization of our food.

—Timothy Hollingsworth, a French Laundry sous chef, won a competition among worthy chefs, judged by their peers, to represent America in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, a victory that includes $15K—not bad.  His commis or assistant, Adina Guest, won best commis (importance of teamwork in a kitchen cannot be overstated). Download bocuse_dor_usa_winner_announcement.pdf

Bocuse, a master at public relations, called on two of America’s most respected chefs, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, to help him to elevate the quality of America’s Bocuse d’Or team.  Clearly they have.  Congratulations and good luck to Timothy and Adina.

—The food network has put out the call for next food network star contestants.  This is one show that I’ve always supported and enjoyed (fascinated by television-cooking-as-entertainment dynamics).  This following arrived from the FN's Jennifer Dubin in an email yesterday:  “To give you a breakdown, essentially, we are looking for people who are passionate about cooking, and knowledgeable about food, to meet us in person at one of our Open-Calls. Most people think, for some reason, that they do not have what it takes to be on TV – but those are sometimes the best candidates for the show.  We do not know who or what we are looking for until that person comes to us with their story. Please help us spread the word to any and every culinary enthusiast who might be interested in becoming the host of their own cooking show on the Food Network!”  List of open call cities are here, scroll down.

—And last, oh, god, the epitome of horrific pr and a perpetuation of what is wrong with the what publishers think people need in the way of cookbooks. …. No, on second thought, it’s too important to tear off on this…in my frazzled deadline state.  Will have to wait to quote the most unfortunate cookbook pr I’ve read.  And I wouldn’t be half so angered by it except that we keep getting it thrown it at us….

Oh, and that shot of the meat pounder—it's for no good reason except that I love this meat pounder.  It's one of those tools that is both useful in the kitchen and a beautiful object.


73 Wonderful responses to “Food Notes 9/30”

  • Stephanie

    I keep the meat pounder in the freezer to pound the ice out of the dysfunctional icemaker in my freezer so I can have my Mike’s Limeade every evening as my daughter is grousing about her homework. My parent’s call this their “4:17”. They are retired so an hour earlier in retirement time zone when they have their Brandy Stinger. Gotta love it!

  • Dana McCauley

    Did I just write that first paragraph and not realize it? Seriously, if it helps to know that others also feel like almost everything sucks, then this note is for you. If on the other hand, you find lone martyrdom more comforting then ignore my comment. : )

  • Rob

    The last season of Next Food Network Star was actually kind of disappointing, especially since I haven’t really been able to get into the winner’s show this year. Also, looking at the list of open casting calls locales, I’ve noticed they’re pretty much ignoring middle America, keeping themselves on the coasts. Guess there’s not any good cooking going on in places like Chicago, Cleveland or Minneapolis.

    Maybe I’ll just stick to Top Chef instead…

  • Chris Walker Versus


    I think you need to go down the VTR, have a Manhattan, and take a deep breath. Then get back to business.

    I do hope whatever you’re working on somehow includes the Chicken and Waffles recipe from Bouchon. But that’s just wishful thinking.

  • Kate in the NW

    Psychonanlysts would have a field day with your choice of photo and the paragraph following. I think it’s utterly appropriate. Maybe you need to pound the living sh*t out of something – preferably a cut of meat, not people – though I can relate to the urge sometimes.

    I hope things go better for you soon, and know that for at least one person, this “blog.salon” is a blissfully distracting refuge in times of trouble/frustration/simple procrastination.

    Take a break. Lord knows, we can talk amongst ourselves for a while! 😉

  • Matthew Kayahara

    Sorry to hear that things are rough, Michael. Hope they improve soon!

    Every time I make duck confit (and I’m about due to make a new batch), I buy whole ducks rather than paying the premium for just the legs. This gives me duck breasts as well, which are delicious in their own right, and I make stock out of the carcasses. Usually I use the stock in risotto, but duck consommé sounds delicious. Must give that a try.

  • tokyoastrogirl

    Hope things get better for both you and the next season of the Next Food Network Star. Is it just me or do way too many contestants end up in tears on that show? Last season was like a cryfest. I guess it’s a lot of pressure but jeez…suck it up and grasp onto the opportunity that is right in front of you. Work for it, take it and run with it! I know it’s my stoic Japanese side talking but I have little sympathy for those people and sympathy is certainly not what would make me tune into whatever show gets created for the winner.

    Imagine if Mario Batali cried after losing an Iron Chef battle. Oy.

  • Adele

    I’m with Kate; don’t worry about us, we can read and chat without you for awhile. You’ve had a very rough several months; it’s not surprising that you’re depressed, angry, and find it hard to keep up — btw, you still do more than most people. Good luck with your deadline.

  • beaniegrrl

    I scrolled down the list of cities for the FN open call. Amazing that everything between Philly and LA is just a vast wasteland, filled with tumbleweeds and folks who eat Swanson dinners.

    And this year? Yep. Total suckage.

  • tokyoastrogirl

    PS- do you have any idea if there are any plans for some vehicle for the amazing Aaron Sanchez? I recently caught a rerun of Hot Off The Grill with Bobby Flay where Sanchez made some margaritas loved it, I also loved him on the Next Iron Chef. Seems like a natural for a cooking show, no? In a sea of Sandra Lees and Sunny Andersons, Sanchez would be a welcomed addition.

    Ok, I’m done ranting. Sorry to come across as so cranky.

  • Russ


    One of your BEST posts ever…. no time to think… just write.

    Perfect !

  • Natalie Sztern

    Well since you rarely answer on commenter’s questions, it is downright polite of Chef Pardus and Chef del Grosso to take part in your blog and answer all those that you do not have the tme to.

    After having lost your father the way you did, depression and anger is just about the stage you should be at now.

    Deadlines do not get in the way if work is the priority and everything else takes a back seat – this from a wife who has seen her husband prepare for a litigation case 24/7 sometimes for two weeks at a time including weekends.

    And as for the 13 year old…it just gets worse and even worse and then worse than that. My suggestion: make sure they don’t have their own cell plans and that u get to see all nos. called and received on their cells : the only way to have a good nite sleep with pre-teens into college-age is to know their friends, and only allow them to keep those you like. Monitor, monitor, monitor

  • Marlene

    All I can tell you Michael, is that it gets better. I know that’s hard to believe right now, but it does. Take some time for yourself as you can.

  • Katy Kafantaris

    Hi Michael..so sorry to hear you are going through all that overwhelming stuff lately (I can definitely relate..nowadays, I think EVERYONE can relate! >;O)..sometimes you need to just say “F*** IT ALL” and go take a “mind break” for a few hours, few days, or whatever it takes and then get back to finishing things in baby steps…it’s good for your sanity…thanks for the latest interesting (as always) info!

    LOVE the meat pounder image–that’s ART!!! 😉

  • Greely


    When in doubt, you can hit it.
    When you are stressed out, just go hit it.
    When people mess you up, don’t you hit them.

    Sorry for the lame rhyme to Whip it. I can sympathize and hope that things get better for you. As far as teen’s go I don’t have one yet but I just got told by my wife she thinks she’s pregnant so soon I will be marching down the road you are.

    Thanks to Chef Pardus for making the consomme video which definitely should lighten your workload some and gives some “clarity” to the visual side of the process.

    All the things that you are feeling right now are totally appropriate to what has been happening in your life these past few months. I know that you are behind but you do need to find some time to do something you enjoy to vent. For you Michael, I think it’s writing or cooking or spending time with your family.

    Some people say that work is therapeutic. I prefer to think that cooking is. I love coming home after a hectic day and just losing myself in the kitchen. So my prescription to you oh Gifted Writer and Chef is, Take a day and go visit a kitchen somewhere and lose yourself on the line.
    Let yourself soak in the heat of a kitchen and drink in the odor’s of different food being prepared as the orders come and go, then go home. Turn the phone off and make a simple special dinner for your family. Take a look around and rejoice in the memories that you had, have and will have.

    The “Provider of the Feast” may be gone but he lives on in your memories and in your heart.

    If that doesn’t work, I suggest the following concoction created in the early 80’s when I was helping bartend at a nightclub on my days off in Germany.

    Take one pint glass and fill with ice.
    Add one shot of Seagram’s 7 and then
    one shot of Bombay or Tanqueray Gin.
    Fill the remaining glass with 50/50 Sprite and OJ.

    It’s called a Mischief and I don’t generally recommend consuming more than two at one seating because they go down so smooth. I would recommend more than two if you’re giving them to Bourdain though and you want to paint his toenails.

    Take care Michael. You are a Gifted Writer and Chef. You will get through whatever challenges you are facing now.

    “The greatest failure is the failure to try.”


  • Lynda

    The meat pounder is one of my favorite kitchen utensils. Along with my mortar and pestle. There is something supremely satisfying about the smashing and hammering one can do with these. Perhaps a helpful outlet these days.

  • Christine in the 'Nati

    Hello Michael,
    Just a quick note to say hang in there. One of the unfortunate truths of life is that it is not fair, and it’s downright shitty sometimes. You’ll make it through these trying times, and there will be sweet times again.

    In the mean time, smack the shit out of something with that mallet…restraint is highly overrated.

    Prayers and best wishes sent up to the universe for you and your family.

  • luis

    It’s amazing how a simple blog turns into a lot of thinking and that can be taxing on a heavy schedule. YOu need to chill and focus on your deadlines. No distractions. Let someone else cook for a while… You can do it Michael.

    Great consomme video Chef Pardus. There is another one very similar in video jug. Remarkably similar down to the brule onion.
    Only diff is they use ground beef instead of hearts. Using the leaner beef from cow hearts chef pardus consomme is sure to contain very little fat. Ground beef 80% means 20% fat into your consomme which is not a good thing.

    For my level of confort and style of eating I think I will start with a good restaurant base and flavor it with the mirepoix, onion brulee and other veggies and this way I avoid the gelatines and fats etcc which may creep into the real consommes. I know there he goes again……..

  • Kate in the NW

    I just noticed this and it’s apropos of nothing, but the mallet handle in the picture looks just like a bone. It’s beautiful.

    Simple pleasures…. (I guess sometimes they’re the only ones to be had).

  • Bob delGrosso

    Acid (low pH) makes consomme cloudy

    The most clear consomme is pH neutral or slightly alkaline.

    Tomato adds flavor but makes clarification more difficult.

    Now you get some rest and we’ll fight about this some other time.

  • mike pardus

    Hey – BDG – I just had a thought…if the most clear consomme is pH neutral and egg whites are alkaline, maybe the acid in the tomatoes pushes the equation to 7…since most eggs are “old” and older eggs are more alkaline, would this not make sense? It’s not the acid that’s making it clear – per se – but the acid is balancing the alkaline in the whites.


  • LosGatosGirl

    Dude, you just lost your Dad. Go easy on yourself.
    We’ll still love you tomorrow, never fear.
    And buy your books. And the books that you recommend. When you feel like writing & recommending. No prob.

  • june-baby

    Michael, What you need is a long earned VACATION. Take your lovely wife somewhere get a sitter for the kids (not Bourdain he would corupt the children. LOL.), and let your worries go away.

  • Bob delGrosso


    I’m sure that the tomato does bring the pH down in the way you describe. However, if I gave the impression that best clarity is achieved at pH 7 I erred. The clarity (and color) actually improve with increasing alkalinity. So ph8 looks better than pH7. Of course, you don’t want to make consomme that alkaline because the taste will be horrible (bitter).

    If memory serves me correctly, pH 6.5-7 gives the best balance of color, clarity and taste.

  • Greg Turner

    My eleven-year old daughter is lately also bemoaning the _unfairness_ of everything. But when she says she likes my made-from-scratch spaghetti sauce better than the jarred stuff, all can be forgiven.

    Hang in there. Do what’s necessary to keep food on the table and let the rest slide for now. We can keep ourselves entertained.

  • rockandroller

    Just a note to say hang in there, Michael, take things one day at a time. Remind yourself of what you DO have, what you love, what makes you lucky every day, even if it’s just the ability to look out the window at a tree or hug your irascible teenager.

  • Greely


    No reason to apologize. You weren’t whining. You were being a human being who has been through a lot and has a lot on their table to do. Given the circumstances, it’s called venting which is perfectly fine in a blog and with your admirer’s here.

    Here’s a chuckle. T-shirts anyone?

    Good cooking comes from the heart. (Front)
    But it helps if the cook knows what they’re doing. (back)

    “The greatest failure is the failure to try.”


  • JoP in Omaha

    Michael, lots of good wishes to you. Hang in there.

    A previous poster wrote “I sure hope Carol Blymire takes her shot at the show.” referring to the casting call for TNFNS. I thought of that, too, but then I though no, just give her a show. The demo she posted on FLAH shows she can do it.

    Thanks to Pardus for filming the making of consomme. When reading “Making…” I had a tough time envisioning what a raft is. I finally caught a glimpse when someone on Iron Chef America made a consomme. Prdus’ demo asnwers all my question. Now, I’m motivated to give it a try.

    I’ve enjoyed watching previous Bocuse competitions on FN. Congrats to the new team. I hope FN films it again…I’d love to see it.

  • carri

    My husband is obsessed with his meat pounder…must be a guy thing! And, hey, at least you don’t work on wall street!

  • Natalie Sztern

    I am not good at reading people…but the sarcastic banter tween bob and pardus tells u just exactly how important u are to them….lots!! LOL

  • Becky and the Beanstock

    Hooray for you for writing on the blog even when it’s near impossible — I understand those feelings wholly. Thank god for meat pounders (even vegetarians use them sometimes!) and dough in need of kneading… Can’t wait to hear the most unfortunate bit of PR — way to leave a cliff hanger. Even morose, you’re captivating. : ) Feel grounded soon, and good luck with the deadlines.

  • brozy

    Hope things get better for you soon. I love the things you post here–thanks for keeping a blog.

  • tokyoastrogirl

    No need for apologies except from me, The Tool, who didn’t even realize you experienced such a great loss in addition to the stresses you listed in this post. I’m sorry and hope you take all the space and time you need to feel better.

  • amber

    eek! hope everything works itself out. hang in there.

    on a slightly off-topic note, i was in vegas this weekend enjoying a nice meal at a crappy table at bouchon when i got a call from my friend. apparently, boulud was in vegas and they walked right past him strolling through the wynn. they thought we might have been dining at his brasserie and wondered if we saw him. talk about a crummy night to choose bouchon over boulud. :/

  • MadFud

    The acrid shadow of looming deadlines can be the catalyst to some of your finest work as well as the bane of any writer’s existence.

    One of my journalism teachers once told me that getting there might be half the fun but deadlines will always suck.

    Know that this, too, shall pass – be kind to youself, let those who love you take care of you and if all else fails, there’s always chocolate – right?

  • Kate in the NW

    Bloomberg? BLOOMBERG?????!!!!!
    Oh, FL@H….. (shaking bewildered head…)
    Bloomberg can’t even COOK….

  • Rashena

    I actually enjoyed this post because here I think you have this perfect Jhirmack bounce hair, literally picture perfect DOPE fucking life, perfect foods and perfect famous friends to cook it with…and I’ll be damn! You’re human. It gives me hope. LOL

    Hang in there. You know we love you and definitely can’t wait for the cookbook!

    TOTALLY agree on Carol being The Next Food Network Star. Let’s get it, Carol!!!

  • Michelle

    Hey Ruhlman,
    Sorry to hear you are so down. Hang in there, dude. It’s got to get better.
    I was just wanting to say… and before I go into this little disclosure, please let it be noted that I am not one of those sentimental hearts-and-rainbows kind of gals who likes to think a few kind words will make things better. Because it won’t.
    But it is nice to be needed sometimes – and to know that you have made a difference.
    So here goes …
    I was raised a poor Okie in the 60’s and 70’s by nutcase parents who seldom bothered to cook, much less grocery shop. Raw macaroni was a common afterschool snack (really.) Luck to have it, I did have grandparents who grew most of their own food, so I was introduced to the joys of fresh food on occasion. Jump forward to today: I am now a middle class Okie (didn’t go far, huh?), often feeding my kids homemade lasagna from scratch for an afterschool snack. (It doesn’t take Freud to figure that one out.) We enjoy food and cooking and watching cooking shows on TV – and you and Bourdain are household names (in our house anyway.) One of my biggest problems is finding fresh, quality food in this ubiquitous Walmart state. I sent you an email once concerning this problem, and you kindly emailed me back. You said that I had “hit on a subject near and dear to your heart.” Well, it may as well been an email from a rock star, for my kids were certainly impressed. Impressed that you, Ruhlman, really do take what you say and do seriously. And impressed that you bothered with us ersatz foodies. Much of what I’m hearing and reading about in todays slow food world seems a bit out of touch with our predicament, and your kind response was inspiring. I cannot tell you what a struggle it is just to find, prepare, and pay for proper food in this part of the country. This again is where you come in: After seeing you on TV and reading your books, I visited your blog last Thanksgiving where you issued a post on how to make stock. You were adamant about not using the store bought stuff. And, since I have a daughter who is an absolute SOUP FIEND, I decided to give your way a try – and the results were nothing short of miraculous. It’s changed our lives. Really! Homemade stock is the only way to go. In fact, when my soup addict daughter comes home from college on Friday nights and I’m still at work and haven’t had time time grocery shop, she just grabs some stock out of the freezer and whips up her own little concoction of a tasty noodle soup. (Way better than that raw macaroni stuff.) You see, I truely believe people today want to eat, live and cook better but they just don’t know how. So it’s nice to have people like you to help teach us and steer this food phenomenon in the right direction. Everytime I add stock to a reduction, or whip up a nice pot of soup, the eyes of my family gleam and they comment on how Ruhlman’s stock changed my cooking. So hang in there. Stay cool. And try not to use that meat pounder on yourself.

  • mike pardus

    Michael is a close friend of mine and I know he’s going to be fine – just needs some time to catch up and take a breath. I know him well enough to say that your note will go a long way toward making him feel better. Thanks, yours is the kind of food for the soul that we all need now and then. Have some soup tonight with your kids.

  • Karin (Grew up in Cleveland and miss it in VA)


    Read the post 10/1. Couldn’t think of anything appropriate to say. Thinking a lot about those 5 stages and my 13 year son who also thinks life is unfair. (Having pushed the girl through those years, it does get worse before it gets better!)

    Then last night, it was finally the night to open that bottle of “The Ripper” Shiraz I ordered upon your recommendation. In large gold letters the name of the vineyard caught my eye – Hope.

    You have a lot of it, it’s just a little buried at the moment.

    As you see from the above, you are and what you do here is appreciated.

    As for the meat pounder, love mine. Couldn’t make the family recipe schniztel without it.

    How fortunate you are to have Donna to help you express a dark moment so eloquenly with a lowly kitchen tool.

  • craig

    Carol, you ignorant sl**!
    Now you are in heat for Pardus? Remember, it is not the size of the spatula, but how cute his figure eights are. His videos are great, but then so was your “pig-head” audition. This whole “salon” of Ruhlman’s has become quite addictive. Good ideas by many folks, and some pretty cool methods of sharing data. I have learned more about butchering dead critters in the last couple of weeks from Pardus and Blymire than I thought possible. Pass the saw, please!

  • jscirish27


    I am a little late to the party, but I wanted to offer my best wishes. I understand loss (not to get too personal, but I have lost a few people who were very close in the past two years) and how the feelings of frustration and depression can be overwhelming. Sometimes work is not a bad thing in these situations. It is a place where you can feel comfortable, isolated and in control. It can be therapeutic. I know that sometimes cooking on the line is my best medicine when the world feels crushing. I am a huge fan of you as a writer, but more of what I know of you as a person. Judging from the many friends you have here, I will assume my assumptions are accurate. Take care and I’m sure everything will work itself out. I understand how hard it is to let go sometimes . . . regards, James.

  • MessyONE

    Mr. Ruhlman,

    I am sorry things have been so rough for you lately. I think a lot of us can empathize. The only thing I can recommend right now is kitten therapy. We adopted two last week, and it’s kind of hard to be morose when you have one kitten in your lap, eyes glued to the computer screen and another who’s been roaring around “killing” Post-It notes that she’s been stealing from the desk.

    I used to teach kids in your daughter’s age group. Rest assured that the “it’s not fair” stage isn’t permanent. It’s hard sometimes to see the adorable toddler that you thought you had about 15 minutes ago turn into a semi-surly teenager. There are times when you will sincerely want to trade the kid you have in for the one you had, but it’s all right. She’s just starting to get interesting.

    It’s a sad age for their parents, too. The kids are finally starting to realize that it’s true, life ISN’T fair and they can’t change it. We all went through this and we know how much it sucks, we wish we could just take it away, and we know that there’s nothing we can do to keep the kids we care about from having to live through it.

    It’s tempting to try and shelter them, but at the same time, we know that there’s nothing we can do. They’re going to have to come to terms with life on their own.

    I was once told that the hardest thing we all have to do in our lives was to grow up. No one ever warns us that the process goes on for our ENTIRE lives. Now we’re the adults we thought were so together and so smart and we realize that those adults had the same doubts and stresses that we’re contending with. That REALLY isn’t bloody fair.

    I hope this hasn’t depressed you. It wasn’t meant to be upsetting. Feel free to tell me I’m full of – um – something unpleasant. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that. There is something you could try with your daughter, though. Tell her. Tell her that she’s right, that life isn’t always fair and that it’s all right. You make your own “fair” where you can and count on the people around you to help take the sting out of the times when things are bad.

    Sorry about the length of this post. It seems that I am uncharacteristically reflective these days. It seems I’m not ready to be my usual smart-alecky self just now.

  • Rhonda

    Alright, Blymire — that’s enough. You can’t have Bloomberg, bacon AND Chef Pardus. Hands off sister, we need to share…

  • french tart

    i think a lot of folks, probably me included, put you up on this demi-God pedestal; so when you permit us a glimpse into what’s going on in your head, it makes you seem more human, more “one of us”, because everyone has dark moods.

    thanks for letting us see a side of you not normally hanging out out there in the open.

    don’t know if that makes sense or not.

    good luck with your stuff you’ve got due.

  • Michelle

    Mr. Pardus,
    Glad to know my note may be some small help. I am one of the few suburban moms I know who actually cooks. So I am always reaching out, looking for great resources to help me be a better home cook and Michael has certainly aided in this quest. I can certainly empathize with the thirteen year old kid thing. Been there done that. A note to all parents out there: It does get better. And once those kids are grown and away at college, if you manage to throw together a few simple meals on the weekends, anything better than the crap they serve at college, those kids do return home quite pleasant. In fact, some of them refuse to leave. Which is another problem all unto itself. Think I’ll go whip up some soup now.

  • kanani

    Sorry about this –I know your Dad passed away, and I think I mentioned in a few months, you might feel kind of swamped and unorganized. Don’t worry, this is normal. The whining 13 year old, the looming deadlines, and words that just aren’t coming quickly dispel the notion to outsiders of the existence of an ideal writer’s life.

    But you’ll dig in and write your way through this. After all, it’s what you do (and well!).

  • Teri

    way off topic: ARE YOU A

    planned shopper/dinner or craving shopper/dinner

    does the weather of the day and your mood dictate what will be for dinner tonight or do you plan well in advance that monday is baked chicken tuesday is…

  • Bobby Dean

    hey Brother,

    I think you need to fetch yourself a big block O Velveeta, crack open a big OLE bottle of Colt 45, forget about the blog for a month and comeback when you feel a bit better.

    You got plenty of hambones to write copy for ya including Big Stretch Bourdain and this Del Grosso feller.

    Burnout ain’t cool. Chill a bit and write when you feel like it.


  • Rhonda

    To Michael Franco:

    This is a “salon” after all and I just wanted to thank you for the Negroni recipe! I am on my way out for supplies. Speaking of Negronis, where the hell is Tony?

  • Tags

    You’ll feel better after the Brownies start winning again. I figure 12-4 should get them into the playoffs.

  • mike pardus

    Carol, I’m blushing, I can be in DC in about 5 hours…hold that thought.

  • Natalie Sztern

    Michelle you remind me of a couple I met once on vacation..their kids could do no wrong; they even placed phone calls to their parents every nite they checked into their cabin…we only found out days later their curfew was midnight and we used to see them in the casino at 2 a.m……my kids, however, had no curfew and still I saw them at 2 a.m. the only difference is that I did not make demands of them to eat breakfast with us

    It is the kids that say ‘yes daddy, yes mommy’ that u have to worry about…LOL

    Oh and daughter is 26 and lives a city away and there is not one night I go to sleep without worrying if she got home okay…but I also know she has ‘big city smarts’

    Michael Ruhlman had a bad week cause this is an industry where if you sleep an hour too long you are yesterday’s news….Truly not kmowing how he managed his father’s passing – I know full well the toll that kind of cancer takes on a person; let alone a son.

    If I cross a line I apologize in advance….and Mr Pardus how far are you from Montreal?????? with that kind of talk u are goin’ to get the ladies awful jealous..(wink wink)

  • luis

    Progress Report Michael…. yeah… The topic was brinning. I thought lower salt.. then I worked and worked on various hits and misses on poultry. Since I kept some notes I can now brine poultry in much lower salt than most would prescribe but with other ingredients in the mix. My poultry remains very moist due to one thing. I sear it before roasting it or steaming it or whatever technique comes after. Sear poultry after brinning.. then usually roast it works for me.

  • luis

    From another blog, littl bro dropped by today with an actual basil plant. Said it was “Sweet Basil” or something like that. Tomorrow I will examine it and make sure its potted right and with the right light.
    Dying to have a huge plant I won’t feel bad snipping a little pesto off of it once in a while……Damm I have high hopes for that plant.

  • luis

    Got a brown lager brine working on some top round. I want to see if the lager brine is effective and what the top round will look like after its grilled and cut into fajita strips…. Pot Luck thing….going on.
    I am aiming at a meat roll sushi style in bacon NOT NORI..which tastes like…nori.
    Thinking top round fajita, Poblano strip, Sweet Onion and a sliver of Zuchinni seeded or guerkin???… still trying to tie this all up. BBQ sauce o’course inside/outside roll.
    I am combining my flavors right? If you top guns have a suggestion for the stuffing… please let me in on it. I plan to grill the top round medium rare…~130 in a hot grill pan then let it rest and chop it and create the roll with it. I expect if I get that far that an oven of 4-450 and a hot grill pan will do the trick in 10-12 min… to a crispy bacon and a fajita temp of ~ 140 to 145 ..no more by the time I bring it out. I am testing today to make sure this is doable and comes together for next Sunday.
    Suggestions… folks jump in and thanks in advance.

  • luis

    Shit, now I am thinking red peppers, green peppers, onions and fajitas with…..bbq sauce? guacamole sauce?.. inside a puff pastry. Who needs bacon? and who needs puff pastry???? I am thinking Calzoni type thing. Bread is healthier than puff…anything. It cuts well…hmmm…..This one I need to test really really well. I know flank steak, skirt steak….make fajitas… Top round is just for testing purposes… unless it really works out well. The key is the meat. Nothing should distract from the meat and the meat needs to be superb. I can make burritos with flour tortillas….Burritos are great because I can add cheese…everyone loves cheese. They are neat. Puff pastry gets all over everything when you byte into it… Hate puff pastry. Hate bacon…too greasy. I am seriously considering authentic fajita burritos in guacamole sauce. Better guacamole than bbq sauce… A crisp oven roasted burrito with steak fajitas and veggies….That is money bro!!!!!!!

  • Tyroniusoftopeka

    Buck it up Ruhlman. I love your books but damn man, I am a Kansas boy cooking Kansas Bison, and they aren’t as stessed as you! We are all in tough times and here in the capital city we have a saying, “Don’t sugar coat a turd, because it’ll never be a snickers!”
    What I would really love to know from you is where you think the election is going,(not your vote) and how it will affect our* lives as cooks, chefs, waitrons, and dishwashers?
    *all nationalities and legalities included!

  • Tyroniusoftopeka

    not to mention that my dishwasher just lost a couple of his family members in juarez and tijuana, we all have much to be thankful for this fall in the estado unidos, so lets all focus on what we cook, how we cook and the smiles it brings. I’ve catered three weddings off of recipes and ideas I have found off of links or this website. We are COOKS first, We love our family, We love our Food, and We love our patrons. It can be so damn tough working these long days, hardly seeing light and just hoping that the guy on saute will pick up his slack here, not to mention the other positions,(my bussboy just got my expo pregnant!) In the next year I hope to focus on three things…
    2-labor, which means better managing and owning on my part! Because I am now paying for three babies, two fingers, a dui rehab, a fall by a drunk and a partridge who fell out of our pear tree!(I do love my damn irresponsible yet hardworking employees)
    3- Love….because when I started washing dishes in the seventh grade and glanced at the fryer man who burned his fingers and said “Wow, Fuckers! This is one hot bitch!” I somehow grasped the meaning!

  • luis

    I think a “Pot Luck” event should reflect you the cook. It should say who you are and how you cook and eat to the world. It must never be so pretentious that you eclipse your fellow cooks.
    After working so hard on chicken and turkey brines and producing really super stuff….. I see most folks are already bringing poultry dishis….
    So not a big meat eater here….. I am pushed into this world of Q. Not owning a Q is a challenge but I have worked it out to a grill pan a stove top and a broiler.
    Piece of skirt, piece of round…and I will probably get some flank will make up my dish.
    4 or 5 lbs should be plenty.
    I do have a marinade that by all accounts will kick ass… Maybe as much as 24 hrs… but probably less time.
    Presented and served with a deconstructed fajita ensemble… should do the trick. YOu know, poblanos, red peppers and green peppers and sweet onions… with a tortilla wrap if they wish to go there….along with guacamole bbq sauce, salsa and sour cream. What the hell is not to like…..???
    Any suggestions ? …. oh sure….. you top cats with big chops…are not impressed enough to jump in… It’s the Bourdain effect!!!!!!!!!. Whatever… life is short and it’s all good.
    Sure hope Michael is getting it together…