Wednesday, November 14, 2007

postal scrotum: Curtis taunts me

Reader Curtis S writes in:

Big Ho',

This is my third annual October Wood Cutting Taunt in tribute to you and the entertainment you provide me year round. So before I disappear for another year into the cyber woods, let me warn you: the following pictures may turn your tongue into a salivating phallic appendage.

My recently retired good friend Larry lives in the middle of nowhere in the high plateaus of Arizona. He grows/slaughters most his own food, uses solar panels for electricity, has a well, satellite TV/internet and pretty much tells the world to stay outside his fence line. He does however need wood to heat his house and we have what we call Wood Cutting Celebration (WCC) once or twice a year. In my area we have ample wood to harvest and he comes over to cut wood, visit his good friend, do hard labor doing prepping for winter, and share his culinary prowess of which he is quite proud. An educated man he is, with a B.S., M.S., and is a BMF besides. So here it goes:

Friday was his day to cook. On the menu-- Fried chicken, corn on the cob with chili and lime butter, grape, tomato and gorganzano (SP?) salad.

Recipes follow.

Before the bath in oil...

Temp. must be 375f.

Friday dinner.

Saturday on the way to cut wood.

Here we are. We spent 5 hours here sawing and lifting hernia inducing loads.

Yours truly driving wedges into a big mutherfucka'.

Larry tackles the beast(s).

Leftovers for lunch in the woods.

Saturday P.M.: Curtis Time. Braised Beef Short Ribs. (Galbi Lovers don't know what they are missing.)

After cooking reduce the broth. See ingredients to understand the beauty of this.

Not much to be said of potatoes that await their fate as garlic mashed.

The Saturday Night Post Wood Cutting Spread. That is homemade bread courtesy of my friend.

Up close and personal.

That is it for this year, Big Ho'.

Talk to you again in October '08.

Curtis S.

Happy Jack, Arizona



Brine-- use large bowl to cover up chicken pieces by 1/2 inch. I used 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt and let set for 24 hours.

Chicken breading-- About 4 cups of all purpose unbleached flour.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of kosher salt
3/4 tablespoon of pepper
Paprika-- use enough to turn the flour a hint of pink or so.
Onion powder-- 2-3 tablespoons
Garlic powder-- 2-3 tablespoons
1-1.5 tablespoons of cumin
1-1.5 tablespoons of curry

I would mix all the spices together and then see what the flour smelled like. You should be able to smell the paprika and the cumin.

Pour off brine and dry pieces just a little. Take piece of chicken and dip in buttermilk, then spiced flour, back into buttermilk, and then back into spiced flour. Lay pieces on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and let flour dry out a little, then deep fry in large pot in 375-380-degree peanut oil. Fry only three or four pieces at a time. Make sure pieces are covered when in the oil. Fry for 10-12 minutes or cut into pieces and see if liquids run clear and there's no blood (especially legs and thighs). I used bone-in pieces; boneless would cook quicker.

Corn butter-- I used 1/2 stick of butter at room temperature. Add about 1 tablespoon of chili powder. This will turn into spice to suit yourself after you make it one time. Mix butter and chili powder and then add zest of one lime, and mix. You can then cut the lime into 8 slices to use as garnish, or squeeze lime juice over ear of corn.

Corn-- was left in husk and oven roasted at 350 for 35 minutes and then 375 for 10 minutes. Peel back husk and give a twist, leave on (optional). Steam should come out of ear of corn when you peel back the husk, which should turn from green to brown when it's finished cooking.


(Compliments of Esquire Magazine October 2007 "What Men Eat")

"Green with envy" doesn't begin to convey what I'm feeling. That "up close and personal" picture of the ribs was gorgeously rendered; you could submit that one to a food magazine.

I just ate, but now I'm hungry again.

By the way: the word you're looking for is Gorgonzola.


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