Still Life

November 13th, 2008

Pre-Obama Salad Days, Only Without Salad

This is what every man’s dining table should look like.

You’re looking at a ham hock, collard greens, Vidalia slices, a hothouse tomato, cornbread made with bacon grease, and fried apples.

I should lie and say that’s Red Rose tea, but it’s not. I ran out yesterday. It’s GATORADE.

Still.

Here’s how to enjoy a ham hock. Eat the meat parts as is; they taste fine without help, because they’re ham. Eat the fat with a little hot sauce on it. It’s good without sauce, too, but variety is nice.

It seems like the Roegelein’s bacon scraps have a somewhat more subtle flavor than the strips. The cornbread–made with grease from the scraps I bought–tasted almost refined. I kind of prefer the stronger taste of the strips.

That tomato was surprisingly good, for a store tomato.

If you’re not from the South, you may wonder why I have a disassembled rifle on the table, and why I would eat that odd-looking food.

Pickled Pigs’ Feet: Highly Questionable

October 6th, 2008

When I was a kid, my mother told me she loved pickled pigs’ feet. And she was an honest person, so I assume it was true. I never saw her eat one. I always wondered what they were like.

In addition, I have always had a burning curiosity about S.W. “Red” Smith products. These are the pickled items you see at convenience stores and gas stations. Soaking in what looks like transmission fluid. In big jars.

This weekend, during a visit to Gordon Food Service, curiosity overcame me. I bought a gallon of pig’s feet, and today I managed to make myself try one.

 

I am going to be straight with you. I have no idea why people eat these things. I found one piece of meat in it, and it was the size of an olive. The skin was soft and edible, but the taste reminded me of the smell of permanent-marker ink.

I’m wondering if hocks would be better. Hocks contain actual meat, and the fat is tasty, too. I could make a vinegar and brine solution, dump some smoked hocks in it, and add a blistering-hot Trinidad Scorpion pepper.

I have not tried the “Big John” sausages. I don’t know what’s in them,  but it can’t be any worse than a pig’s foot.

You should thank me for sparing you this ordeal.

Nice Review in San Diego-Area Paper

October 3rd, 2008

Finally, a reviewer intelligent enough to understand the book: where did this guy come from?

I will never forget the agent who said it would be a good cookbook, if not for “the off-topic banter.”

Perhaps there is hope for the human race after all.

Website You Need to Visit

October 3rd, 2008

Found this via a reader’s forum comment: Bacon Today.

Why didn’t I think of this?

Pizza That Will Make You Cry

September 27th, 2008

It’s very sad, but I can’t stop making pizza. I’ve gotten so good at it, there is no way to control the urge. Mike warned me about this. He said that once he figured it out, he made it nearly every day for five years.

The advice I gave in the book is fine, but I am getting incredible results these days, so I wanted to offer a quick recipe. You’ll need a can of commercial sauce. I prefer Stanislaus Super Dolce, but get what you like. Just make sure it has no ingredients other than tomatoes, basil, salt, or citric acid. It doesn’t have to have all of those things; just make sure it doesn’t have anything else.

INGREDIENTS

1-1 1/4 cups bread flour (I like King Arthur)
1 level tablespoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 oz. water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Warm the water in a microwave until it’s somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees. Dissolve the sugar in it. Stir the yeast into it. Wait until it foams up.

Put the other stuff in your food processor, with the regular cutting blade. When the yeast is ready, stir it, turn on the food processor, and dribble the yeast into it slowly until it starts to form a coherent glob. Don’t wait for a perfectly solid glob. You probably won’t need to use all the yeast.

When you have a glob, keep processing for one minute. Feel the dough. You should be able to handle it without too much sticking, but it shouldn’t be mushy. If it’s too dry, it won’t toss without ripping. If it’s too wet, it will be too fragile to handle. You can make corrections by adding tiny amounts of flour or the yeast mixture and processing for maybe ten seconds.

I like to take the dough out at this point and fold it several times with my hands. Mash it into a dish about an inch thick, oil it, and put it in an oiled, covered dish to rise. If you put nonstick foil under it, your life will be easier. If not, it may stick when you take it out, but that won’t hurt it. Just scrape it out without tearing it up too much.

Dump it onto a floured surface and flour the top side. Use just enough to keep it from sticking. Toss it until you have a 12″ disk. You know what to do, from here.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup commercial sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
water

Here is the crucial thing: when you mix the sauce ingredients, use just enough water to make the sauce lie down. If you can make peaks in the sauce by taking the spoon out, it’s too thick. Don’t be afraid to water it down. It’s made to be diluted. It should be considerably less stiff than ketchup. About like canned spaghetti sauce.

You should use as little sauce as you can get away with. Just use enough to turn the pizza red. You’ll have leftover sauce. This is a thin pizza, so you have to be careful not to press it into the screen while you add the sauce. One good way to avoid this is to spread it with your fingers.

Use 4 ounces of cheese (by weight) for a regular pie. For heavy cheese, use six ounces. I have had great success with Costco bagged mozzarella as well as sliced Boar’s Head mozzarella from the deli. You may have a favorite cheese. If so, use it.

Bake as usual, at 550. I’ve tried lowering the temperature a little, but it’s not quite as good. This pizza may be done in 6 minutes, so be careful.

This will blow your mind. Just about any pizza you make using my book will be good, but this one will make you see visions. Cheese pizza does not get any better than this.

Play around with it. Fresh garlic is good. Try oil in the dough. Try adding gluten. Eventually you’ll have your own personal recipe, and you’ll be a hopeless addict like me.

Costco New York Strips

September 13th, 2008

Because I am a diehard Costco Commando, I eat a lot of Costco steak. I buy entire rib eye roasts and age them. They run a little over five bucks a pound, and the meat is choice. They’re pretty good, but they have a lot of fat you have to discard. So last week, I decided to try their strip steaks. I bought an entire roast; same per-pound price as rib eyes.

I dry-aged the meat for six days, and today I decided to try it. I cut off an inch-and-a-half-thick steak and cooked it on the cast iron griddle, and I served it (to myself) with a beautiful baked potato and garlic butter.

The verdict? Very nice, but I still had to throw out a lot of fat. I would say a third of the steak had to be discarded. At five bucks per pound, that’s not a big deal, but it’s not optimal.

The flavor was fine. It was very much like the center of a rib eye. Personally, I like the flabby bits around the rim of the rib eye better. I know of no steak that can match a rib eye’s flavor. The steak was juicy, but not quite as juicy as a rib eye.

The texture was very good. Not as good as prime, but the aging was well worth the time.

Provided you age it, this is a perfectly fine everyday steak. But when you want to go all-out, you’re going to want prime. And a good choice bone-in rib eye will be better every time. I sometimes see them here for six  bucks per pound.

Eat Like a Man and Win Olympic Gold

August 15th, 2008

A lot of foolish and irritating people have criticized my book. They make ridiculous, unfounded suggestions that eating huge quantities of refined carbohydrates and animal fat will cause readers to gain weight and lose physical conditioning. I get so tired of their ignorance. I eat this stuff, and I am nothing if not a trim, toned he-man Adonis.

For some people, my incredible buffness has not proven convincing. I can’t understand that. But now I have an even better role model for you. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps confesses…no, proudly BOASTS…that he eats 12,000 calories per day!

There is your proof. Eating like a man will make you lean, muscular, handsome, potentially rich, and also young; Phelps is 23! Case closed. Disagreement will not be tolerated.

In other news, a newspaper wuss in England has tried to emulate the Phelps diet. His name is Jon Henley, and he works for The Daily Guardian. The article is pathetic. This guy comes from the island that gave us trifle, haggis, and the deep-fried Mars bar, but he isn’t man enough to finish a fried-egg sandwich. It reminds me of that pansy, Morgan Spurlock, who went to McDonald’s, tried to finish a hamburger, and blew lunch in the parking lot.

I don’t want to sit here belaboring an obvious point, when I could be having a healthful bacon-grease-and-grits smoothie with whipped cream. It’s very clear that if you’re not eating 12,000 calories a day, you can kiss your dreams of Olympic gold goodbye. So warm up your electric obesity cart and careen down to the nearest warehouse shopping club for a few pallets of random bulk foodstuffs. Then get to work. With determination and persistence, you might find yourself racking up medals in 2012.

 

Our healthy food blog provides a lot of quality information to our readers and our new section will be devoted to the treatment of the ed problem and you will be able to see the best Cialis pharmacy for buying the quality ed medications. You will be able to treat your ed problems with ease and you will live the way you are used to.

Research Proves Costco Bagged Cheese is Perfect

August 12th, 2008

I have been writing about my great experiences with Costco cheese on pizza. I made another test pie, and I have another chapter to add to the story.

I started out by combining Costco bagged mozzarella with sliced provolone. I figured the whole-milk provolone would add fat and keep the mozzarella from burning. And it worked. But I got a lot of oiling off. So I reduced the provolone. And it was better. But I still got some oiling off.

Today I made a pie using just mozzarella. And guess what? At 550 degrees, it didn’t burn at all, and it wasn’t too oily. So apparently, the folks at Costco are the only people on earth who have figured out how much fat to leave in their part-skim mozzarella. Ordinarily, part-skim is worthless, because it burns so fast. And don’t get me started on the texture.

This is great news. You don’t need to mix Costco part-skim mozzarella with anything to make it a good pizza cheese. You can lay off the provolone. My only suggestion would be that you grate something like parmesan or romano over the pie before you add the mozzarella.

Another small item: remember to add a lot of water to your commercial sauce, and don’t always use the same amount. Some sauces are heavier than others, so you have to dilute them more. You want the sauce so loose it won’t hold a peak when the spoon comes out. Otherwise, it’s a lot like eating ketchup.

If only Costco sold decent sauce.

On the Grill Radio

August 9th, 2008

Just had a great interview with Tony Fatso, in Tampa, Florida. He does a weekly show called On the Grill, and you can visit his website here.

There are a lot of recipes on the site, and some look great. He even has a recipe for cheeseburgers with potatoes mixed into the meat. You can’t argue with that kind of thinking.

Angry Squeak from Disturbed Food Nazi!

August 7th, 2008

Here is a great example of the kind of person who drove me to write the cookbook. Some sick individual left this comment here: “You fat slob, you WILL have a massive heart attack.”

Don’t you love it? People think I’m kidding when I use the term “Food Nazi,” but you can tell this nutcase would not hesitate to vote for laws that tell the rest of us–the mentally healthy majority–what to eat. The Food Nazis may seem harmless and funny right now, but a day may come when these hate-filled neurotics have enough power to tell us what to do. So take it seriously when politicians talk about taxing good food and banning certain types of restaurants. The new Nazis are subtle. They say they’re looking out for kids, or they’re protecting the environment, or they’re undoing social injustice. But the end result is totalitarianism.

Actually, Hitler’s Nazis would have felt at home with these folks. Hitler was a vegetarian, as were many high-level Nazis, and they were obsessed with the environment and organic food and gun control. And they thought they knew how to raise other people’s kids.

When you eat biscuits and gravy, you’re not just having wonderful food. You’re thumbing your nose at dangerous control freaks.

Great Pizza News: Costco Cheese WORKS

August 4th, 2008

I usually make pizza with cheese from Gordon Food Service, or from cheese I get at the grocery deli counter. You can’t trust shredded mozzarella, especially if it’s part-skim. Usually, it has no flavor and the texture is like naugahyde.

Today I went shopping at Costco, and I noticed they were selling Belgioioso provolone for about $2.50 per pound, sliced. And their price for bulk shredded part-skim mozzarella was only a little higher. I had to give them a try.

I made a 16″ pizza, using Bonta sauce and the dough recipe from my book. I chose to add a tablespoon of gluten to the dough, and although I didn’t put any fat in it, I coated it with olive oil before I let it rise. I find that oil on the outside of the dough and extra gluten make for a great crust that’s easy to toss.

I put sauce on the dough, and then I sprinkled what I guessed was about six ounces of mozzarella on it. Then I tried to apply the same amount of provolone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention, and I caught a few double slices, so I ended up using more provolone than I wanted.

The nice thing about thin slices of provolone over part-skim mozzarella is that the high fat content of the provolone makes it hard to burn, so you end up with a pizza that isn’t scorched. Part-skim mozzarella burns very quickly.

The pizza was excellent, except for the overabundance of provolone. Because I used so much, the pizza oiled off in places. And this brand of provolone is pretty salty. I put a few anchovies on the pizza, and wherever an anchovy coincided with a double slice of provolone, the salt was too much.

Nonetheless, it works if you do it right.

This is a great discovery, because it’s so cheap. With ten pounds of cheese, you can easily make thirteen or fourteen pizzas. Your cheese cost will be around two dollars per pie. If you use top-quality commercial sauce, like Stanislaus or Bonta, you’ll pay something like thirty cents for sauce. For three dollars, you can eat yourself into a coma.

My book is mainly intended to make people laugh, but the recipes work, and if you’re trying to feed a family on a shrinking food budget, this recipe could be a lifesaver. If you’re uptight about nutrition, you can replace half of the white flour with whole wheat, and you can top it with all sorts of vegetation. Imagine serving four people their favorite meal for six dollars. The key to making it work is to freeze the sauce in small portions so it doesn’t spoil. A vacuum sealer will do it.

Sorry I didn’t take a photo. The pie didn’t last long enough.

Give Costco cheese a try. And while you’re at it, consider the weirder cheeses they sell in wedges and blocks. They may be too strong to apply all over a pie, but a few pieces here and there can be really tasty.

More

I made another pie today (Tuesday, August 5). This time I weighed the cheese. It turns out Costco provolone weighs one ounce per slice. I use 12 ounces of cheese on a pizza, so I used six slices plus six ounces of Costco mozzarella. It was wonderful. Still some oiling off, but you’re not going to be able to avoid that unless you get provolone in thinner slices, and that means forget the Costco price.

Candied Bacon?

July 28th, 2008

Is this for real?

This Boo-k is About Health Food

July 27th, 2008

Here is a wonderful comment from a reader. It was posted on my main site:

I’m a skinny guy who needs to gain weight….doctors orders. I’m on a high fat and high calarie diet.

My Dad gave me a copy of your book. My goal is to cook every recepie in your book and gain weight. Currently, I’m 164.5 lbs ( 8 weeks ago I weighed 150.5). Last week I made your chicken fried ribeye, stuffed in a huge biscuit, covered with gravy and it was awsome.

Next I’m making a 1/2 pound cheese buger (with egg and bacon) on home made texas toast, and double fried french fries.

Where do can I get some beef fat?

Is that fantastic, or what?

I gave him the same information I provided in the book. Most grocers will set aside beef fat for you and let you have it for nothing, if you ask. It’s free! FREE!

I also pointed out that you can buy canned goose fat and duck fat. Duck fat is supposed to be great for frying potatoes. They used to sell it on Amazon.

I wasn’t really trying to help skinny people when I wrote the book, but if I did, I’m glad to hear it.

Blueberry Cornbread Refinements

July 26th, 2008

I made another pone of blueberry cornbread, but this time I replaced some of the milk with cream cheese. It’s even better than the first recipe, and even less healthy!

I had a problem, however. You have to adjust the amount of milk so the batter isn’t too watery. Otherwise, the blueberries sink. I ended up with a layer or blueberries in the lower half of the cornbread. So I’m going to keep working on it until I get it right, and then I’ll post the results.

I’m also planning to try it with raspberries.

New Recipe - Blueberry Cornbread

July 24th, 2008

This is pretty horrible.

The other day I wondered if it would be possible to turn cornbread into a giant blueberry muffin. With bacon grease in it. So I bought some berries, and today I did the deed. It’s REALLY good.

Photos:

Sliced:

 

I ate that with a load of butter.

It’s basically the same thing as my cornbread recipe, with a few changes.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups Martha White corn meal mix or self-rising white cornmeal of your choice
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. bacon grease
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup blueberries

Put your 9″ cast iron skillet–the one you only use for cornbread–in a 450-degree oven. Get it hot. Pour the bacon grease in. Warm up the milk so it’s warm enough to melt butter but not warm enough to cook an egg. Melt the butter. Put the corn meal, flour, sugar, egg, milk, butter, and salt in a bowl and mix it up. When the bacon grease starts to smoke, empty it into the mix and stir it in. Then stir the berries in. Pour the whole mess into the skillet and bake for around 22 minutes. If your skillet is seasoned right, the cornbread should flop right out.

This stuff is great. Maybe I can improve it, but I have no complaints.

Inspiration

July 21st, 2008

I have corn meal. I have blueberries. And I have a sick idea. Blueberry cornbread, made with bacon grease.

Think about it. It’s just a giant blueberry muffin.

Made with bacon grease.

You know I have to do this.

Listen to me as I Corrupt the Public

July 20th, 2008

Here is a guy who gets it. And who may die at 50 as a result. Listen to WLW radio host Mike McConnell as he interviews me.

CLICK HERE FOR PODCAST.

I love this guy. He UNDERSTANDS.

Not Without Honor

July 20th, 2008

I got a wonderful email today from my second cousin Wade, who is also a writer. Wade is my dad’s first cousin. When I was a kid, I didn’t know my father’s people very well, but I am getting to know a few of them now.

Here is part of what he said, with some stuff redacted:

Steve … enjoying the hell out of your book. I shall die like a man; you’re writing about the stuff I grew up on and refuse to give up. You mention newsom’s country ham … are you referring to Col. Bill Newsom;s ham emporium in Princeton, KY? If so, you are a man of impeccable taste and bodacious discernment. Col. Bill’s place is some 15 minutes (sooner if I am salivating and I usually am when contemplating country ham) drive from my front door, and the only place on this planet where I drop to my knees upon entering the door. If, at this moment, it wasn’t 15 minutes of one in the AM I would be on my way to Princeton to grovel at the shrine. I don’t know whether to kiss you or kick your ass - you’re killing me. You never saw them hanging, but when I was very young there were ranks of hams hanging in Granny ______’s smokehouse - at them no longer used for smoking but had morphed into the the Most Holy Church of The Cure. Granny would fry a large platter of that tasty thing, feed some out for breakfast and place the remainder in the wood stove’s warming oven. ‘Bout 10AM I would streak through the kitchen, grab a couple slices, couple sill mildly warm biscuits, go to the garden, pull up a couple onions and pluck off a morning sun warmed tomato. Sitting flat on my ass in the garden (didn’t want to be too removed from seconds) I ate. That stuff was so damned good …

How about that? I had no idea he knew about Col. Newsom’s hams.

My grandmother in Wolfe County, Kentucky, used to cure unbelievable hams. And they came from normal hogs, which means they weren’t the pathetic, skinny, half-starved runts we eat now. The hams had plenty of fat on them, and they made beautiful gravy.

When Granny got too old to cure hams, I found Gatton Farms on the web. But I believe they’ve shortened their curing time. No ham is worth a damn unless it has hung for well over a year. I quit ordering their hams, and I found Col. Newsom’s. I also hear good things about an outfit called Peanut City. I refuse to eat Smithfield hams. They’re crap.

Great coincidence. If you’re not eating country ham once in a while, you’re missing out on a real American delicacy.

HERESY!

July 19th, 2008

I have a terrible thing to admit. I have betrayed each and every one of you.

Although the book is called Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man, I don’t really want to die right away. So I don’t eat this stuff every day. It really will kill you, and if you overdo it you can look forward to fun things like sleep apnea, arthritic knees, and diabetes. So my usual breakfast is primarily…salad.

Yes, I said it. Salad.

When I was young, I lived on a kibbutz for four months. Every morning and evening, they served the same meal. Fresh vegetables, boiled eggs, dairy stuff like sour cream and yoghurt, and hummus. And a few other items. I really liked this stuff, so it shaped the breakfast I now eat most mornings. I am trying to avoid eggs because my gall bladder is a little funny, and eggs cause gallstones. So instead of eggs, I eat sardines, which I actually like. Apart from that, breakfast is like what they served on Kibbutz Geva. Homemade whole wheat pita, cucumber slices, carrot slices, tomato slices, red bell pepper slices, homemade hummus, sour cream, and cottage cheese.

It’s actually very good, if you like vegetables. I’m a Southerner, and one of the paradoxes of Southerners is that we like fresh vegetables almost as much as we like biscuits and gravy.

I’ll give you the recipes I use. Don’t think of it as eating healthy. Think of it as banking health points during the week so you can eat brownies and entire hogs on the weekend.

First, pita. It’s a lot like my pizza dough. I cut the whole wheat flour with white flour, but you may be able to get away with a hundred percent whole wheat. Or you can omit the whole wheat and just use white.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. gluten, if that turns you on
1 tbsp. dry yeast
6 oz. water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Nuke the water in a Pyrex cup for 20 seconds to warm it up. Dissolve the sugar in it. Dissolve the yeast in it. Wait for it to foam up.

While you wait, put the other ingredients in your food processor with the standard blade and give it a few turns to mix them. When the yeast is happy, turn the processor on and add the yeast mixture slowly until the dough forms one more or less coherent glob. After it reaches that point, process for one minute. Check it. It should be wet enough to roll, but not sticky. It’s okay if it sticks to your hand after you hold it for a little while, but you don’t want it to stick the instant you touch it.

Mash it into a puck and put it in a covered, oiled dish. Let it double in size. While it rises, preheat your oven to 400. You should have a baking stone in there, on a lower rack.

When the dough has risen, cut it into six wedges and roll each one into a ball. It won’t really work, but try to approximate balls. Put them back in the dish for 20 more minutes, if you want super-perfect results. Otherwise, roll each one into a very thin disk, less than 1/8″ thick. When you have three rolled out, flop them onto the hot stone and bake. They should be done at 3 minutes, but you may want to turn them and bake the top side. If you did a good job, they’ll poof up and form pockets. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world, since you’re not going to stuff them. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

This stuff is a thousand times better than store pita. Don’t ask me why. I have never been able to understand why almost all store bread is bad and nearly all homemade bread is great.

I’ll give you my hummus recipe. I don’t claim it’s the best on earth, but I like it.

INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 15-ounce can butter beans
1 or more cloves garlic - if you want, press them into the olive oil and nuke until cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 3 lemons
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 seeded habanero - I like it hot.
2-3 tbsp. tahini - the sesame paste, not the prepared dressing

Drain the water from the beans and set it aside. Put everything else but the lemon juice in the food processor and give it hell. You want it super smooth. If it’s too dry, add some of the water you set aside. Add lemon juice until the taste of the hummus suits you. That’s it.

I only eat one piece of the bread at breakfast. If you eat two or three, you might as well give up and eat Cap’n Crunch, because you are sucking down a lot of carbs.

You can slice your vegetables twice a week to save time. They make special chemical-impregnated containers now that keep them fresh. They sell them at Bed, Bath & Beyond. If your gall bladder is tougher than mine, you can boil ten or a dozen eggs on Sunday, peel them, and keep them all week.

This makes for a huge breakfast, but it’s not all that high in calories, so don’t expect it to keep you going all day.

Eating stuff like this during the week will help you live longer so that, in the long run, over a lifetime, you get to eat more biscuits and cheesecake. Not such a bad trade.

Now, don’t expect me to put any more healthy recipes up.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake?

July 18th, 2008

I was interviewed by Mark Reardon at KMOX in St. Louis, and he wanted to know if I had heard of St. Louis gooey butter cake. Apparently, you take a pound cake and bury it in horrendous goo and bake it. I think I need one.

Anyone heard of this?

What YOU Could be Eating Right Now

July 18th, 2008

This is incredible. Readers tell me they’re afraid they’ll screw up when they try to cook my recipes. Let me show you what can happen if your’re brave enough to try.

Longtime reader Wormathan sent those photos last night. It’s my recipe for blueberry cheesecake. Not only did he succeed; it looks a lot better than the cheesecakes I usually make.

Think Sara Lee is good? Think the cheesecake from your local bakery is good? Wait until you try this one.

Summon your courage and COOK. You know no one else will do it for you.

Scones Made with Cream Cheese and Rum-Soaked Raisins

July 16th, 2008

I often forget which recipes are in the new version of the book. I am old, and the arteries in my brain are full of pudding and bacon grease.

Today I realized I took the scones recipe out. This is tragic. Nothing is worse for you than scones, and they’re very good.

My publisher doesn’t like me taking stuff from the book and putting it on the web, but I can put unpublished items up. So I’m creating a page on this site for them, and I’ll also post them in the Manly Grub forum.

Here’s the scone recipe. I hope to God there are no errors in it.

PORK-CONTAMINATED RAISIN SCONES
I thought I was a badass because I published a recipe for biscuits made with bacon grease. I wasn’t pretending to be original; bacon grease has been the biscuit lubricant of discerning cooks for centuries. But I felt brave for admitting it. There’s no end of gutless cookbooks that will tell you to use Crisco.

That was before I thought about scones. A scone is what a biscuit would be if you could put it in a pen and feed it cream for a month. And they’re bigger than biscuits, and they have sugar in them. As an American, I find that they make me feel totally inadequate.

More so than usual.

By the way, I’ve checked with various kilt-wearers and soccer hooligans, and I have determined that “scone” is pronounced “scon.” Or maybe “scoon” or “scoan.” Even in the UK, no one knows for sure.

I felt insecure enough before I learned what the British use to top their scones. “Clotted cream.” That is not a typo. And I fully realize how disgusting it sounds. Evidently, you take double-thick cream, which is extracted from special obese cows who eat nothing but suet and Skittles, and then you heat it for hours until a thick layer of crud accumulates on top. And then you scoop it off and eat it.

I like to think of America as the greatest, most technologically advanced country in the world. A country where even the toasters are computerized. Yet somehow, we have fallen behind the UK in the crucial area of fatty food. We eat pizza. They eat deep-fried candy bars. We eat doughnuts. They eat desserts that are essentially piles of sweetened lard. We’re getting thrashed in the cholesterol race. And in the UK’s arsenal of fattening treats, clotted cream can only be described as an ICBM.

I decided our country needed to make a serious entrance onto the scone scene. I just know that somewhere out there, there’s an American dimwit—almost certainly female—who has humiliated us all by proudly publishing a pathetic scone recipe containing vegetable grease or, worse, no grease at all. “Use apple sauce! You’ll never know the difference!” I know the difference, you cow. And I am here to undo the damage you have done our prestige as a nation of fat-lovers.

I won’t lie. I started by farting around with published recipes. And while I managed to find one I respected, when I tried it, the scones were inedible. It called for two cups of flour and one and a half sticks of butter. Now, whoever wrote this, I respect where you’re coming from. Believe me, I do. But your scones taste like buttered sand.

Right away, my instincts told me pork was the answer. Funny how often they tell me that. I knew that all butter and no pork makes Jack a heavy, greasy scone only a dog would eat. So I made a substitution. Bacon grease. Much better. Lighter and flakier, yet still sinfully rich. But it seemed a tad dry. So I added a little cream cheese to the dough.

“Cream cheese,” I hear you squeaking, as if you knew what you were talking about, “there’s no cream cheese in SCONES.” There is now, bunkie. Cream cheese is what gives rugelach that delightful texture that makes you eat the whole box while driving home from the bakery.

Now, I needed some sort of fruit. The recipe I started with included a few dry little raisins. Screw that. I doubled the raisins, and I soaked them overnight in Haitian Barbancourt rum. And I took some of the runoff and added it to the dough.

NOW, I had something I could work with. Now I was starting to catch up with the Brits.

I still needed a gluey wash to coat the biscuits before baking them. But as all good cooks know, ordinary egg wash is puke. It turns brown as soon as you put it in the oven, and it tastes like dried leaves. I don’t know why cookbook after cookbook says, “beat an egg and add some milk.” It makes me want to bring back public stocks, so we can hurl foul-tasting pastries at the people who write this crap.

I made up my own wash. A little butter, a little bacon grease, a tiny bit of vanilla, some cream, and enough egg to make it stick. You slosh it together and brush it on each scone before you bake them. And then you dust them lightly with confectioner’s sugar, so it’ll be just a little sweet.

The big problem with these scones is how hard it is not to rip open the oven door as soon as you smell them baking. The smell is glorious. And when you finally open the door to take them out, it jumps on you like a big wave of mustard gas and causes delightful hallucinations.

They’re flaky. They’re moist. They’re raisiny. And there’s just a hint of rum flavor. Although you can also use Scotch or brandy. For that matter, you can use currants. Good luck finding them. They’re probably on the same shelf as the clotted cream.

Anyway, now I feel like American scone technology is at least competitive with the UK’s.

But they’re still beating our ass on the fried candy bar front.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups self-rising biscuit flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt (optional)
2 tbsp. sugar (4 if you like sweeter scones)
2/3 stick butter
3 tbsp. bacon grease or lard
1 egg
¼ cup heavy cream (including two tablespoons liquor)
2 oz. cream cheese
½ cup raisins soaked overnight in brandy, rum, or whiskey with a tablespoon of sugar added – I prefer dark rum.

Put the flour, soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. If you like sweeter scones, use 3 tbsp. sugar. If not, use 2. If you’re fussy and you want perfection, you can mix your own leavening into the flour instead of using self-rising.

Warm or melt the butter and lard and add them. Add the cream cheese. It should be soft. Blend it all in with a dough blender. If you like rustic-looking scones with crumbs hanging off of them, blend until you have pea-sized clods. If you want your scones to look neater, blend until you have something that looks like sawdust.

Drain the liquor out of the raisins. Save two tablespoons. If you don’t have time to soak them all night, heat the raisins, liquor, and sugar together in a microwave until boiling and let them steep for half an hour or more.

Place the egg and cream (chilled) in a bowl with two tablespoons of the liquor used to soak the raisins and whip well with a whisk or mixer. Pour into the dry ingredients. Pour in the raisins. Mix everything using a large fork or your fingers. Only mix until all the flour is wet and the raisins are distributed.

You can roll the dough out into a big circle and cut it into wedge-shaped scones, or you can roll it out and use a biscuit cutter, or you can divide the dough into a dozen or less equal-sized globs and roll each one out separately. However you do it, you want to roll it out to half or three-fourths of an inch in height. Rolling separate globs will give you nice irregular-looking scones.

WASH INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. melted butter or 1 tbsp.melted butter and 1 tbsp. bacon grease or lard
1 tbsp. cream
½ tbsp. beaten egg
several drops vanilla extract
dash of salt

Make sure all the ingredients are warm and mix them thoroughly. Brush onto scones with pastry brush. Put confectioner’s sugar in a strainer and shake it over each scone. Don’t let so much sugar accumulate that it will not melt into the wash in the oven.

Place in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Scones Made with Bacon Grease, Cream Cheese, and Rum-Soaked Raisins

Now, watch Richard Branson pump millions into a scone-development team to kick my ass.

Unfortunately, This Book Really Works

July 16th, 2008

When my friend Mike was helping me learn how to make pizza, he told me that once he mastered it, he had to eat it every day. And it took five years to get over that.

It’s absolutely true. The power to make your own pizza quickly and well will completely corrupt you. It’s no joke. Look at this testimony from reader Jake:

That pizza recipe needs a surgeon general’s warning or something. I made one for the first time last Tuesday when I got my food processor, another on Friday, another on Sunday, and another today. At least right now I’m restraining myself to half for dinner and half for lunch the next day, but who knows how long that will last.

Another problem: the good commercial sauce is hard to find in anything other than gallon cans, and the same principle applies to Grande cheese. It’s hard to find it in one-pie quantities. So you find yourself with enough materiel to make fifteen pizzas. It’s just THERE. In the fridge. Waiting. Beckoning. Singing its siren song.

Think hard before you try this recipe.

Manly Grub Forum Up

July 15th, 2008

As threatened, I have created a forum. I am not sure I’ll be able to keep it going, but I’ll keep it up for at least a week to see how big a chore it is.

Here’s a link. Look around, and sign up if you want. Check out the “Say Hi Here” board and read the house rules. Because I have limited time to police the boards, I had to make a set of guidelines, but I am hoping I won’t have to watch over people.

Also, the gallery has bee restored. Regrettably, the stats were lost.

Gallery Kaput

July 14th, 2008

The photo gallery has to be rebuilt. Have patience, and you will be rewarded. If you cook anything using my recipes, email it to me and I may post it.

Fellow Degenerates Praise Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man

July 11th, 2008

I guess my book makes it obvious that I am a horrible person. Nonetheless, the tiny sliver of heart which I still possess after eight years in the legal profession is moved when I get positive responses to what I have written. I’m so glad there are people who get it. I thought I’d post a few of the comments I’ve received, with my thanks.

Mark had this to say:

Our great nation was founded by brave men eating manly food. Imagine it’s the night before George Washington crossed the Delaware River. Did Washington say, “OK men eat this lowfat yogurt and rice crackers to give us strength !” Hell no he didnt. He said “Men, eat this rasher of bacon, fried eggs, and potatoes fried in lard. We will need all of our strength to defeat the Red Coats.”

Lead on General of Manly Grub. Your country is depending on you.

That is a heavy burden to bear, Mark. Fortunately, after eating my own cooking for decades, I am very used to heavy burdens. I will strive to serve with honor. And when possible, with gravy.

Greg says:

My paternal grandparents roasted a whole pig (open-pit) every July 4th. Grandpa was Navy in WW2 and Grandma’s birthday is the 4th. Some of the best family/food memories I have.

I think there are two types of heirlooms that are truly special to a man. A fine firearm, and a good pork recipe.

I have cooked for years for large groups and my family. My wife has always told me “You need to tone it down no one is going to eat that, or that is too filled with fat.” Of course I always run out of food and everyone wants my recipes. (I dont have any I just throw things together.) The point is You are my justification. Thank you. I will be buying your book!!!!!!!!

God bless you, Mike. And remember, when you cook with pork, you contribute to the industry that supplies pig valves for human hearts. So it all sort of makes sense.

Camille says:

This woman loves manly grub. David, I’m not a heifer, either. My family and I love your style of cooking. Steve, your cookbook will be added to my collection and used very soon.

You have to love a girl named after a hurricane.

David says:

Just heard you on WLW. Everything sounds great and you are right. It is no one’s business what I eat. Can’t wait to get the book.

Thanks!

By God, if that’s not the truth…I cannot believe there are sour little people out there who think their input regarding my diet has any value whatsoever. Go ahead and raise your kids as vegans and give them rickets. I’m a grown man, and I eat dead pigs, and there isn’t one damn thing you can do about it.

“Commander Salamander” says:

Steve H. Graham is the greatest cook among American humorists. (Which, admittedly, is sort of like being “the hot one” at a Rosie O’Donnell impersonators convention. Not that hard to pull off, considering the competition.) But Steve’s a real master at both humor and cookery, so don’t let that clumsy compliment slow down your enthusiasm for this product. I got my copy in the mail yesterday, and, after three meals, my wife’s trying to put together an intervention for me to kick the habit of Steve-inspired recipes. I drove 75 miles out of my way to buy a griddle because of this man’s work. That’s the kind of awe that these recipes can inspire.

First of all, let me point out that no one confuses me with Rosie O’Donnell, as my breasts are substantially bigger than hers. Second, I’m glad to see a fellow Eastern Kentucky product benefit from my hubris.

Jennifer Ash says:

I purchased this book back when it was self-published, and it was good enough that when this version came out, I had to get it again. This isn’t just a humor book with a few lame recipes thrown in; the recipes Steve provides are delicious, down-home, completely unhealthy and wonderful. If you’ve ever eaten cornbread out of a cast iron skillet, this is the book for you!

I always love it when a female reader doesn’t hate me. Because it’s so rare. Women CAN develop a sense of humor. It just takes practice and dedication. Like teaching a man not to play “pull my finger” at funerals.

Thanks again, everybody. For God’s sake, email me if you have any problems with the recipes.

One more thing: I’m putting up a “Recipe Errors” page on this site. I already know of one typo–the cornbread recipe is supposed to call for a cup and a half of milk–and there may be others. Check the error page when it appears.

 

The photo is timpano. It’s ziti with tomato sauce, Italian sausage, butter, and cheese. Baked inside a tasty crust.

Contact me for Interviews

July 9th, 2008

This book is turning out to be fantastic fodder for radio/TV interviews. I’m available! Contact me via comment or email, or call Kensington Press in New York.

Photo Gallery Up

July 8th, 2008

Nothing explains this cookbook like pictures, so I created a photo gallery. I’m afraid I don’t have a huge number of photos, and it’s hard to make food look good in pictures, but I’m going to do my best.

Here’s a link to the gallery, and you can also find it in my sidebar. Enjoy.

Pig in Apricot Glaze

Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man commande viagra

July 3rd, 2008

The Food Apocalypse Arrives

It occurs to me that I have readers now who may not know much about my cookbook. So I thought I should tell you a little about it.

I can’t remember when I had the idea. It was probably in the Nineties. A little voice in my head told me to write the world’s unhealthiest cookbook and call it “Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man.” I coined that phrase, regardless of where you may have seen it since. I thought people were getting too damned self-righteous and contentious about food. People actually get angry when you talk about meat and lard and eggs and so on, and that’s insane. A person who can get angry about the food another person eats is a controlling person with no sense of boundaries. It’s nobody’s damn business what you eat.

Steak!

Aside from that, the Food Nazis are attacking our culture. We accumulated a lot of food knowledge over the centuries, and these self-appointed dictators are erasing it from our memory. Want to know the real way to make a fried egg? You fry bacon in a cast iron skillet and fry the egg in the grease. Want to know what kind of shortening real biscuits are made with? Bacon grease. Or lard. The best pie crusts are made with lard. The best fries are cooked in beef fat. People have forgotten things like that, because of the damn Food Nazis. There are many dishes that simply can’t be made well without unhealthy ingredients. There is no such thing as a good, healthy cheesecake. There is no such thing as a good, healthy brownie. There is CRAP which people PRETEND is good. But it’s not.

Cooked to Perfection

I get sick of hearing people who don’t know what good food is, perpetuating the tired, transparent lie that you can cook just as well with healthy ingredients. And it irritates me that they’ve managed to get their awful vegetable grease and lowfat milk and so on into products like ice cream and cookies, which exist solely to taste good. It’s like putting a Prius engine in a Ferrari. It does not work.

 

Obviously, you shouldn’t eat fattening food every day. But what if you do? Isn’t that your right? Of course it is. You have a right to eat what you like. What you don’t have a right to do is to tell other people what they can put in their bodies. It’s a horrifying encroachment on a person’s most basic rights. Today they tell you you can’t drive an SUV or own a gun or eat a pizza. Tomorrow, they tell you which books you can read.

Once in a while, just for the experience, you should eat really good food, and sometimes that means food that’s loaded with fat or sugar or white flour or salt. And I can help you do that.

Stuffed, Marinated Pig

Even though all this is true, the food isn’t really the point of the book. The point was to have an excuse to write humor essays. I really let loose. I had a ball. I wrote a macaroni and cheese recipe in the voice of Hunter S. Thompson. I wrote doughnut recipes in the voices of Al Franken and Bill O’Reilly. I wrote a French fry recipe in the voice of Christopher Walken. Here’s a taste.

Soon we’re in Steve’s living room, and I’m sipping my Campari—which is a little strong, but I say nothing, because Christopher Walken is a gracious guest—while a couple of my boys hold Steve’s head under the water of his fifty-gallon fish tank.

Steve has tetras. Tetras and those other little—what do you call them?—dwarf cichlids. Little pansy fish that don’t even fight. I realize it is a matter of taste, but me, I always went for the heavy artillery. Oscars. Piranha. Small sharks. Some people feed their carnivorous fish goldfish. I fed mine Yorkies.

I cannot abide a small defiant dog that looks like a Slinky.

I give him a few minutes of that—in, out, gasp for breath, in, out, gasp for breath—while I check out his CD collection. I’m an LP man myself. Gotta have vinyl. Gotta. But he has some good stuff there. Hot Fives and Sevens, remastered. Sweet. Needs a little Bobby Vinton, of course, but maybe his tastes haven’t matured to the extent where he can fully appreciate the subtleties of “My Little Neon Rose.”

When the time is right, I have my boys pull his head out and sit him on the sofa and get him a towel and some Bosco. He has Bosco in his cupboard. I respect that. That bought him some points. I’m a Bosco man myself. Some guys like Ovaltine. That’s okay, I guess. I shot a guy in the face for drinking Ovaltine. Once. But I was young. Full of hormones. Exuberant. I would never do that now. Today I would be satisfied with slamming his head on the counter a couple times.

So I sit next to Steve and put my arm around him, and I ask if the Bosco is to his liking. And of course, it is. I showed my boys the right way to mix it. None of that business with the dark smear around the bottom of the glass, with spoon marks in it. The key to a good Bosco is thoroughness. The KEY, amigo.

I have a rule. If I see streaks of undissolved syrup in my Bosco, I got to snap somebody’s pinky toe. I don’t care whose. Finding the culpable toe is not my department. They can draw straws if they want. But somebody’s toe is going to snap. When they hear that snapping sound, it really drives the message home. Call it a mnemonic device. Snap two or three pinky toes at one shot, and you’ll be drinking well-mixed Bosco for a good five years before you have to snap another one.

“Steve,” I said, “it’s not that I don’t like your work. Truly, I am nothing if not a patron of the arts. Especially my first true love, which is the dance. I think you know my history.” And I got up and gave him my best Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Lovely man, Bojangles. Got that monicker because he ate a lot of fried chicken. I prefer Popeye’s. But let’s not reopen that can of Pandora’s worms.

That’s the kind of thing I wrote. I’m thrilled with it. This is what I wanted to publish, back when I was only able to sell the Nigerian spam book and the caveman book. I wrote those books because I had to. I wrote this one because I wanted to.

If you bought the self-published version of this book, I thank you, but I have to tell you, you still need the big-time version. It’s longer. It has more recipes. The recipes are better. And the writing is better. The first version doesn’t compare.

Apple Cobbler With Cream Cheese Crust

I hope you’ll give it a try. I believe in this book more than I believed in anything I put on bookstore shelves in the past.

Just for reference purposes, I’ll close with a list of the chapters.

Chapter 1 – Ribs
Chapter 2 – How to Smoke Your [Boston] Butt
Chapter 3 – BBQ Beans, Texas Toast, & the Inevitable Blazing Saddles Reference
Chapter 4 – Breakfast as a Mind-Altering Drug
Chapter 5 – Chicken-Fried Rib Eye on a Huge Biscuit
Chapter 6 – Grease Burgers
Chapter 7 – Cornbread and Navy Beans
Chapter 8 – Turducken: Flight of the Hindenbird
Chapter 9 – Aged Prime Steak Cooked on a Propane Griddle
Chapter 10 – Champagne Chicken With Fettuccine in Cream Sauce
Chapter 11 – Smoked Pork and Andouille Jambalaya
Chapter 12 – Pizzeria-Style Baked Ziti With Sausage
Chapter 13 – Stuffed Hog With Apricot Glaze
Chapter 14 – Unauthentic White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Chili
Chapter 15 – Super-Giant Fried Patacon Tacos
Chapter 16 – Deep-Fried Chinese-Style Honey-Garlic Chicken
Chapter 17 – Rotis and Jamaican-Style Goat Curry
Chapter 18 – Doro Wat - Ethiopian Chicken Stew
Chapter 19 – Hash Brown Casserole with Cheddar and Sour Cream
Chapter 20 – Dreadfully Fattening Macaroni and Cheese
Chapter 21 – Twice-Fried Fries Cooked in Beef Fat
Chapter 22 – Perfect 10-Minute Street Pizza
Chapter 23 – Peach Cobbler
Chapter 24 – Yeast-Raised Fried Doughnuts With Coconut/Banana Sauce
Chapter 25 – Coconut Flan
Chapter 26 – 540-Calorie Brownies
Chapter 27 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hot Fudge Dessert/PMS Remedy
Chapter 28 – Blueberry Butter Cheesecake
Chapter 29 – Baklava With Cheesecake Filling
Chapter 30 – Red Lager and Room-Temperature Brewed Ale
Chapter 31 – Five Greasy Pieces: Quick Recipes for the Hopeless

Bon appetit.