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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Oct 24, 2012

Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 9

You know I'm not a big fan of chicken...especially whole chicken...especially two whole chickens.  However, I do like a challenge so I psyched myself up and thawed out the two Hutterite chickens that The Big Guy had so thoughtfully put in the freezer when he saw the Bon Appetit October cover.

Ewww, that's just sick and wrong!
All was going well until I took them out of the package and I saw that Hutterite chickens have the LONGEST necks of any chickens in the world.  Raw chicken triggers my gag reflex, like only cat shit can, and raw chicken with freakishly long necks sends me running for the toilet. I left them in the sink to gross me out until Big came home and cut that nasty thing off.

With the dirty work out of the way I made the rub and stuffed some thyme down their throats. Apparently Hutterite chickens also have unusually small butts and I couldn't go in from the rear so I put the thyme in the other end. I gotta admit, they did clean up pretty well and when I sent them to the refrigerator for the night they looked almost like something I would possibly be tempted to eat.


I followed the recipe to the letter and when I pulled them out of the oven at the designated time they were brown, really brown on top...and white, really white on the bottom and nowhere near done.  Even though BA didn't mention it, I flipped them over and gave them another 20-30 minutes so they could finish cooking. I also pulled the potatoes out of the pan and put them on a baking sheet of their own because they were not browned either.  

Our official taste testers, the Buttertons, were over and thankfully Karen had made the Butternut Squash Tart which was from the same issue. It was awesome! We noshed on that while we waited for the chickens to finish cooking.

The Lowdown on the Throwdown:

In a word....Yuck! There was not a lot of flavor in this dish. The chickens were moist, although basically bland. What flavor there was was on the skin, but that only amounted to a small fraction when you compare it to all the meat that came with it.  
     The good news: The tart was wonderful and I will make it again. That, and I have a stray cat who is going to be a very happy stray cat because he or she will be eating A LOT of leftover chicken for the next few days. If you want the recipe and I don't know why you would, you can find it here. 


Enough with the birds Bon Appetit!                          


Oct 17, 2012

On the Couch with Celebrity Chefs

Ladies, do you ever have those days when you feel kind of like a big fat toad? You know, all puffy and bloaty and in need of a really good fart? Don't tell me you don't. On the days when I do, I don't really mind feeling like a fat, farting toad because it kind of validates my reasons for wanting to hang out on the couch all day in my leopard jammies, munch on pistachios and eat Valbreso Cheese straight out of the can, and watch the Food Channel.

Unbeknownst to me I must have went off of my diet of butter and cream and did three or four days of cream and butter because all of a sudden I had the "old bad belly," if ya know what I mean, which luckily landed me square on the couch in my jammies, eating pistachios and high-end cheese. It was just the twelve hours that I needed to catch up with all my celebrity chef friends.

Here's the scoop from a cranky bitch that hasn't had a good BM for a few days. EXCUSE ME PEOPLE!...BM is a "BOTTLE of MERLOT!" You sickos...I know what were you thinking!

As I said, here is the recap of my day watching celebrity chefs:
I pretty much love Rachel Ray. She's cute and perky, seems genuine and has good hair. I like that she can make the simplest four ingredients look tasty, even if three of them came out of a can. Plus I like the fact that she is type A.

I really like the buff guy with the accent who does Dinner Impossible, especially if he is wearing a black T-shirt. I like him a lot because he cracks the whip on those candy asses who think that you can't feed a thousand people in an hour, but mostly I like him because he is bossier than me.
See what I mean? He looks bossy, huh?

Then there is Guy Fieri, the guy with eyes glasses on the back of his head. I'm a big fan of Diners,Drive-Ins and Dives and I make notes in my iPad of some of the places that I want to try someday. But Guy, I gotta be honest here, I love your tats man, but I have a hard time really liking a dude who wears a thumb ring.  The fakey bleached hair I can deal with but I find myself wondering if you wear a toe ring too.  Wait, don't answer that....Question for MY Big Guy:  Honey, if you had a gun to your head you still wouldn't wear a thumb ring would you?  Please say hell no.

  I think he should be fired for wearing a thumb ring and being homophobic. (Read about it here.) I'd gladly replace him!

Paula, oh Paula. WHAT THE HELL IS SO FUNNY? I love ya like a sister and you are the only person I know who looks really stunning with grey hair and who, besides moi  cooks with so much butter and cream. But what the hell are you always giggling about???  Seriously? Are you smokin' the doobie? I watched you twice today and only laughed once and that was when the dogs jettisoned off of the couch and gave me a dirty look because my stomach, yeah my stomach, I swear it was my stomach,  was making weird noises. It had nothing to do with you Paula, but you were laughing your ass off too. whatev...keep making those brownies and rockin' the grey girl, it works for you.

Giada: she is so freakin' pretty and has the best smile, and her hair is perfect and her food is so pretty and she makes it all look so easy. I hate her.  Have ya all noticed that the producers can't seem to keep the camera on the food because they are too busy shooting her cleavage?  You see more boobies than basil on her show. I think she has good boobs too, but give me one hooter shot at the onset and then let's get to cookin' some damn Italian, can we?
Hey, that's exactly how I look when I make homemade tomato sauce. Well, except for that big smile.

About Mario Batalli: He's a genius and I've eaten at his restaurant in Vegas, the B&B Ristorante and it was ahhh-mazing and soooo exxx-pensive.  It was also the first time I ever ate a ramp. Before I turned all foodie a hundred years ago, I used to just call it a green onion. Anyway, his Chicken Parmesan recipe is still my go-to Chicken Parm recipe today. (It's posted here, under the "Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab.)
     The truth is I like to listen to Mario but I hate to watch him for the following reasons:
1.  He loves orange, I don't. It reminds me of an inmate and I'm pretty sure inmate chefs do not have recipes that I would raise minimum bail for.
2.  I'm not a fan of scraggly, balding guys with ponytails the size of one spaghetti noodle. Shave it dude ~ bald is beautiful!
3. I HATE Crocs!!! Ugliest shoes EV-VER. If you want me to haunt your ass just bury me in Crocs and I'll be rattling chains, slamming doors and breaking dishes from the afterlife. Especially orange Crocs!                              
I own these beauties. They are my idea of Crocs.
'Nuff said.

Bobby Flay:  *sigh* I love everything about the man! His recipes, his smile, his hair, his humbleness and it dosen’t hurt that the man can cook! His "Bold American Food" cookbook is still one of my all-time favorite cookbooks and I have been cooking out of it for years.
     If he ever knocked on my door and said he was here to do a Throwdown with me because he heard I make killer jambalaya or a mean mashed potato I would just lay down and die and let him win this one. ♥ you Bobby Flay!
Bobby Flayvor ~ Rawrrr

OK where did  the Neelys come from? And why do they have their own show? Cute couple, all playful and lovey-dovey but so are the Muppets and they don’t have a show, do they? (BTW, "lovey-dovey" is my all-time favorite word)

And The Pioneer Woman? She seems so sweet, like she could be your best friend, and she has a hot cowboy husband and cute kids. I hate to add a “but” here….buuuut, I swear to God her soothing voice and the lullaby music on that show could knock you out like only Propofol can; and I'm thinking long enough to endure a limb amputation by coyotes. Ree, please, PLEASE kick it up a notch for us type A’s!

Gordon Ramsey is a bully and if he hollered at me, "MADAM, WHAT THE #@$% WERE YOU THINKING? YOU CAN'T SERVE THAT, NOW PISS OFF,  I would either a) cry or b) chamber a round in my .38.  I'm going with b).

I can't forget Emeril...I used to fantasize that The Big Guy, The Know-It-All, and Hates Everything would pony up and send me to his show for my birthday.  I saw myself all cute and stylish, wearing killer boots and some gaudy jewelery, sitting at his little six top bar and being one of the chosen few to eat his red beans and rice, crayfish etouffee and po'boys, all while drumming my fingers to Doc Gibbs' cool jazz. Never happened. Never will. Never forgive them. BAM!

So I finally switched over to the Travel Channel and to that weirdo Andrew Zimmern. (not a's not Zimmerman) I don't care how much you pay me I will not eat armadillo, sea cucumbers, cow placenta, fruit bats, squirrel brains, or pygmy goat testicles. Dip them all in chocolate and cover them in 18K gold and diamond dust and then put them inside the glove box of a new Maybach with my name on the pink slip and I still ain't touchin' that shit. Andrew, you are one sick bastard and I have food standards so that Maybach better be leather and loaded.

That's pretty much how my day went and now I'm getting my butt off the couch and going to have a good bottle of Merlot, yeah a bottle of, you know.....

Here is one my favorite Bobby Flay recipes:  Click here for Grilled Sea Scallops with Avocado-Corn Relish on Crisp Tortillas.  


Oct 12, 2012

Mushrooms: Not The Ones That Grow In The Yard

This blog is about food, right? And here I am ~ at least two or three cooking classes behind in posting about THE FOOD. I'll blame Bush.
      Anyway I do have some good grub to talk about and a really good recipe to share, so here's the scoop on the Mushroom Class.

The Beef Wellington. 
So.....I featured mushrooms (duh) and the menu read like something from a Michelin Five-Star Restaurant:
                              Wild Mushroom and Fontina Tart
                              Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce
                              Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce
                              Bacon and Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Tell me I didn't just make you hungry.

I have this bad habit of planning my menu and then going in search of the  ingredients. Any sane person who pretends to be a chef would tell you that this is a bad idea. You gotta work with what you got....and Sugar, I barely got a baby bella here in Podunk which means that there is not a mushroom that isn't the white button variety within a hundred miles.

The Chefs, Karen and Becky serving up the Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, so I called up the guy who delivers our truck parts and who lives in a big city, one with a population greater than 15,000 and asked him if he knew what a "shiitake mushroom was." Turns out he did.
     "I need about a pound of them ~ by tomorrow," I told him. This guy is golden....he made six phone calls and hit up at least four grocery stores before he was able to score sixteen ounces of shiitakes.  I love Wayne! He delivered them in a plain brown paper bag, along with a couple of oil filters, some wheel seals, and marker lights. Then I got some damn good tuna from the guy at Sheridan Meat Market and the tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce recipe was now covered!

Kevin and Jeannie about to sample the tuna.

Now for the tart.  OK, so I did have a flame out when I couldn't find anything in Podunk that resembled "Wild Mushrooms," and I wasn't about to go with the dried variety. No matter what you do to them they just aren't the same as fresh. So I ordered these crazy varieties off the internet and paid about $100 for shipping some $50 worth of shooms, none of which were hallucinogenic by the way. I got Trumpets, Chanterelles, Hon-shemeji, Hen-of-the-woods, White Beech, and Velvet Pioppini; most of which I had never even heard of, much less cooked with. (P.S. while I was at it I ordered a veal demi glace for the sauce and some of their amazing sausages too. Check out their online store, D' Artagan, the have a lot of great food, from game to Foie Gras to cavier. They did NOT pay me to say that.) The funky mushrooms arrived the day before the class in perfect, fresh condition and I used every variety in the two tarts I made. We noshed on them while prepping the Wellingtons and the tuna.

Wild Mushroom and Fontina Tart
So no matter what you may have heard, I'm not stupid. I'm not about to pay $240 per ounce (that's $3600 per pound! and that's just crazy, people!) for real truffles to put in with my $2 worth of mashed potatoes, so I sucked it up and ordered two different kinds of truffle cheeses from igourmet, for a fraction of the price.  They have the best cheeses and they didn't pay me to say that either.  I didn't get a picture of the Bacon & Truffle Mashed Potatoes but they were a great side to the steak and Madeira Sauce.

Anywhoo, my budget was shot and since I don't charge squat for my cooking class I had bought the cheap white button mushrooms for the Beef Wellington. Luckily I still had about 27 pounds of the crazy variety left over so I dressed up the buttons with some of the cool shrooms. The Big Guy didn't get to eat with us because he went trucking so I could afford to spring for thee best tenderloins one could find within a 25 mile radius. Everyone then made their own Wellingtons, which was a first for most of the SdJ chefs.
     Our next class was Seafood, so later I'll put up my recipe for "Shrimp Scampi in Crazy Water." Stay tuned. And keep on truckin' honey, shrimp and Ahi tuna are exxx-pensive.

Click on the "Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab above to get my recipe for Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce. 

Oct 7, 2012

The Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 6

You may recall that I had to postpone the Rib Throwdown, not because I had nothing to wear, but because of a major deck construction project. Well the deck is now party worthy so it was time to fire up the grill and have a rib feed. We invited about 25 or 30 taste testers and The Big Guy and I had our own Throwdown of sorts.
     He did his thang to his ribs and I got dressed up in something cute and covered Bon Appetit's July cover recipe, which billed their ribs as "Amazing," and the "Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs." 

 (Editors note here:  If I am praising or complimenting BA's recipe I will refer to them as "my ribs." If I am criticizing or saying something other than complimentary about them I will refer to them as "BA's ribs." Got it? Good.)

The day before the BBQ I made BA's rub of dry mustard, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper and then gave them a good old massage. It was simple and uneventful. Per the recipe I baked them for almost three hours then put them to bed in the refrigerator for the night. I should add that I did sample them and I thought my rub was pretty tasty.

The next day Big gave his ribs a good mopping with sauce and then (because the wind was blowing and kept jacking with the grill temp) he baked them in the oven for a couple of hours. I took a chill pill because I was waaaaayyyyy ahead of the rib game.  

My Ribs. Ummmm, I mean Bon Appetit's ribs. Nothing to write home about, I know.

I then stuck to Bon Appetit's recipe and made their sauce, which was thin and runny.  Tempted as I was to doctor it up I stuck with the recipe, as would any good recipe critiquer worth her sea salt, even though I was having a personal problem with the soupy sauce. At any rate Big and I both finished our ribs on the grill. His for about 2 hours and mine for about 1 hour. Here are the results.

Big's Ribs, looking all hot an saucy.

The Lowdown on the Throwdown:

Yes I was wearing a cute outfit, but that had no effect on the fact that my ribs were more falling-off-the-bone tender than The Big Guy's ribs, however...HOWEVER I did like Big's saucy ribs better than Bon Appeitit's dry rubbed ribs.  BA's cover picture had sauce on theirs so I sauced mine up, specifically for the photo shoot. See picture above.
    The official taste testers were divided in a 60-40 split, in favor of Bigs.  I'll note here that according to my unbiased poll, the male constituency that I personally interviewed voted for MY ribs. Did it hurt that I was wearing something cute and maybe showing some cleve?  No. Anyhow the consensus was that MY ribs were leaner, more moist looking and tender feeling, and the guys liked them better.

     Personally I voted for The Big Guy's ribs. They had a more meaty feel and a much more macho flavor than Bon Appetit's shitty (*wink*) ribs.

The Big Guy's Ribs.

Next round we are cooking some chickens...again. Heaven help me!