Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Here's something about me, which is kind of about food, because I cook and write, and got this nickname because of it.

VF has a big shindig at the lake for the 4th of July. His son JVF was bringing his band up from VA, The Chicken was going to play, and The Weathered Road was bringin' some bluegrass tunes as well. They all set up outside at the bottom of the back lawn, with the lake right behind them. Burgers and dogs, sausages, potato salads, pasta salads, etc. Tasty stuff, great tunes late into the night. All the neighbors came out on their boats to listen. Little sleep.

Two Small Asides

1. I LOVE that I have reached a point in my life where I can hop in the car and drive to the lake for a weekend. Beaches are grand, old-school uber-camping trips are dirty and fun. But to me, heading out on a Friday to the lake, the boating, the grilling, the coolers, and in this case the tunes? Fantastic.

2. Tent city was across the road from the front of the house and back into the woods. I got there late enough that my tent was set up fairly far back in the woods. I was up late on Saturday night. I could not find my tent.

Walked around for 10 minutes holding up a lighter (of course I didn't have a flashlight, silly) thinking (actually saying so all my friends could hear but I forgot that part) "Damnit. S&%$!! I can't find it. S$#%, I can't find it." After 10 minutes of that, I ended up back at the house asleep on the couch in the living room.

And yes, D and T heard my snoring from their slumber spot inside the RV, out in the driveway. Nope, no windows were open at the house. Just the awesome fury of my likely apnea.

Back to the Food Part of the Story

After the party, there were a few folks left at the house on Sunday. It was called 'family day.' I was pretty honored to be given an invite to stay.

G and JVF were going to cook for a few folks that stayed over on Sunday. I got added to that mix.

After another day of boating and swimming, the three of us headed back in to town (about 45 minutes) and hit the local uber-mart. We spent the ride talking through what we'd cook. Grilled corn was the easy part, shrimp cocktail was another quick pick.

G was on a steak kick (shocking).

I said I'd make real Maryland Crabcakes. And if you're not in Maryland and don't cook them like they do on the Bay, really...don't call them Maryland Crabcakes on your menu.

JVF was all about some stuffed mushrooms and a seared-scallop bruschetta.

G found some nice looking filets, I found the crab meat, and JVF headed for the "I will make three appetizers" aisles. All set.

JVF stuffed the shrooms with crab/cream cheese and covered them with shaved parmesean. Then he baked them. Then we put 'em in our mouths...

Next was bruschetta topped with seared scallops and accompanied with roasted corn/red pepper relish (Yes, yes, I stole my relish for the rib eye bruschettas in Iron Chef from this. But I added the heat).

G wrapped the fillets in bacon. Pay attention to that part. It's important later.

I made the real deal crabcakes (85/15 crab to other, mostly lump, some backfin, old bay, some sauteed celery/onion, some minced raw celery, breadcrumbs and egg to bind, no breadcrumbs on the outside, fried not broiled).

The steaks were pan-roasted, the crabcakes were done. I was coming in to the kitchen after checking on the grilled corn. We were three minutes from plating. And I said let's make the red pepper, mushroom, cream sauce.

So we did.

G threw the shrooms in a saute pan, JVF started prepping the peppers and getting the cream and butter out. I got an onion and a knife.

"D, how fast can you chop me an onion?"

"Rough or fine diced?"

"Fine diced."

"Here it is."

Bear in mind, y'all, that I brought a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi Paisano with me. It had survived Saturday night. It did not survive three large men in a kitchen. We were having a lovely time of it by this point.

All sauteed, into the blender.


No strainer, chunky sauce it is. Texture is a good thing.

Bacon-wrapped fillet down. Crabcake over that. Red Pepper-Mushroom-Cream sauce over all of it.

Rave reviews. Still talked about.

Most importantly, we were eating and talking about cooking and DT, who has heard me say this many times before when I've cooked for the bar staff, let's folks know that I have three favorite words in the English language...

Wrapped. In. Bacon.


JVF comes up to town about every two weeks. About a month ago he walks in and says, "Hey WIB, what's up?"


"WIB. Your new nickname. Stands for wrapped in bacon."

'Nuff said.


Unknown said...

Note to self, do NOT read the blog while scarfing down you lunch waiting for the Congressman to arrive at the DCCC, nearly snorting bleu cheese out your nose laughing at the image of Dan-o using his mighty lighter to find his way leaves the others around me puzzled and more than a little frightened

sara said...

Bacon is the one food that turns me into Homer Simpson, "Mmmm...bacon." God. I swear you are nothing more than a peddler of food porn. And I think I love you for it. (Please note: despite what the statement above may connote, you do not need to run from me the next time I see you at the bar)

redneck muppet said...

'Kitchen Geeking' or 'Food Porning.' Decisions, decisions. I think they're both good descriptions. You're safe from 'run away' fears, I LOVE people who LOVE food, 'specially mine.

I'm The Chez said...

I just like porn. Food porn that is. Ahhh, hell, who am I trying to fool?