danistrulytheman

I'm STILL a self confessing, self professing know-it-all, or so I think!


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My Killer Bolognese!!

… and, I’ve made many variations, today’s was extra killer! It hit me? I haven’t been food bloggin’ for quite some time. And, knowing it’s cyclical (people come, people go), it made me realize many newcomers to danistrulytheman don’t have a clue about me, especially when it comes to my cooking skills. I really have neglected this part of me, my blog … and I also realize, no one can be bothered to peruse a blog that extends 4 years+ back, just want you newcomers to know, I do have exceptional (Italian) cooking skills. So much, that lately, things I see on other blogs that would make me cringe, now elicits a friendly “like” … lol! I could go on ad nauseam about it … in fact, I MAY have previously. I kept it basic for today … I think that’s been my problem of late; too lazy … can’t be bothered to teach y’all! typically, I use minced veal, today my market had gorgeous beef (cheaper too) … was an easy decision. normally, I put my tomatoes (San Marzano) through a food mill, but at a dinner party once, a non-foodie commented that she used an immersion blender … her thinking was that any tomato skins/seeds contained nutrients, and she didn’t want to waste any of it. I’ll never forgot her words, and it made me rethink my method, and to this day, I use her approach. BUT, today pressed for time, went sans blender, dumping the cans into the browned meat, breaking up the tomatoes with my wooden spoon … pulling out any obvious tomato skins. here’s a pic of my bolognese (chunky) simmering …

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and here’s my pasta boiling away. notice the high boil? plus, I don’t use ANYTHING but pasta from Italy (sorry, another topic, for another day). when the water comes to a boil, I dump in about 5 tablespoons of salt; the pasta water should taste like the ocean ( again, another day – oh, and kosher/sea salt too).

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and, finally plated … my bolognese linguine piccolo w/Romano Lupa and OMG’s focaccia. and, please believe me; this pic doesn’t even begin to give the meal justice – it WAS more awesome than you can imagine!

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Boy Wonder’s Been Bustin’ My Balls ‘Bout His Homemade Hot Sauce Birthday Present!

… ok, that’s COMPLETE BULLSHIT!! Just like the flow/sound of it is all, lol. He texted earlier asking my thoughts, had to fess up I hadn’t tried it, Had to fess further I was a teeny-tiny bit scared to try, lol. Looks like those ultra hot sauces from the Islands I told him – but promised him I’d crack open the mini-mason jar and give it my best Trinidadian whirl when I got home.

… ok again, yep, it’s Hotter Than Hell … but I love it, and I love the effort/thought. What a beautiful birthday present … now excuse me as I rub my watering eyes and wipe my runny nose …

Homemade w/ Love …

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Served w/ roasted garlic, black bean tortillas …

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potatoes and collard greens

… completely made this up. Had a Lock & Lock container of leftover homemade tomato sauce w/ chopped collard greens (was from my baccala holiday meal) in my freezer, and a 20 lb sack of spuds sitting chilly in my root cellar (ok, I don’t REALLY have a root cellar, but my parents did when I was a kid, lol). I defrosted the collard green tomato sauce (put the ice chunk in a sauce pan on low heat), peeled  6 or 7 potatoes into large chunks … oh, for added flavour, thinly sliced a Spanish onion and sautéed till translucent … then combined everything thoroughly and dumped it all into my Le Creuset Stoneware dish to bake for an hour … voilà, danistrulythemakingshitupman … 💡

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homemade bbq sauce

… sorta!! I did cheat a little by giving myself a bit of a boost, saving time AND achieving what I set out to accomplish – win win. My goal was to create an Asian, Hawaiian, Caribbean inspired sauce … something sweet and packing heat!! My two essential ingredients; pineapple and scotch bonnet peppers!! To start, I wanted a good, solid base, and I chose SWEET BABY RAY’S bbq sauce (award winning, lol) … I use it often when I bbq, I love its neutrality … not smoky, not too sweet … a perfect pleasant balance. Before I go any further, a reminder of my method (& madness) of cooking, building recipes. I don’t use exact measurements, I typically use the amount I feel right, AND I’ll vary ingredients depending on my pantry and my mood. Call me the whimsical chef, lol!! Go ahead Food Network … steal that one too, lol!! With a bottle of Ray’s in my saucier, I incorporated brown sugar, cinnamon, soy sauce, orange juice … along with the stars of this show, the pineapple and scotch bonnet …oh, a word about scotch bonnets. These tiny peppers are hot beyond hot – you take a bite and bonnie bites back … a 300,000 Scoville unit chomp!! I rough chopped (seeds and all) and whizzed it in my spice grinder (tip: added a bit of brown sugar making puréeing easier, facilitating homogenization). I grilled (indirect method) plump chicken breasts (skin on, bone in) slathering them with my sauce right before taking them off the Weber, letting them get all glisteningly glazed and caramelized. It was spot on, the citrus tang & sweet combined with the fire of the pepper married beautifully, neither one was overpowering, rather complimenting each another … it was sublime. A few pics, enjoy y’all!! 😉

The Sauce is the Boss!, lol …

Baby packs a wallop …

Puréed …

All the ingredients in the pot before slowly simmering …

An hour later – looks great eh? I know, lol!! …

Mopped with ma sauce … a few minutes more …

A close-up (LOVE LOVE that char) of my efforts …