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Good morning folks.
The trip to San Diego was a blast and I’m happy to report that my family is all well and happy.
I did make it back in time to bring you a new episode of Sunday Gravy although this one is going to be, let’s just say interesting. Normally I cook the week before I post but today I’ll be cooking less than 12 hours before post time. I’ll even give a time stamp as we go.
In a strange turn of events it was warmer in San Diego than LA so we’re all a few shades tanner than before. Apart from wasting a pair of shoes – stupid water rides – everything went perfectly.
This is fucking insanity but here goes.
We’re heading into the home stretch! The NFL preseason has started and the regular season is just down the road. For you newer readers Sunday Gravy is an off-season feature here at DFO headquarters and once the NFL season starts we will be having live blogs-o-rama to bring to you on Sundays and I will go on Winter break to watch the games along with everyone else.
Just for the record, of course I will be cooking weekly during the NFL season. It’s what I do. What it does allow me to do is cook old favorites and allows me to remake some of the dishes that I’ve already covered for you. It’s equal parts taking it easy, going back to the well for old favorites and some experimentation for next season’s recipes.
I really am THAT insane.
Since I guess this is my origin story, let’s start by giving you the history of when I learned to cook and when I learned to love to cook. I’ll let you decide if it makes sense or if I may just be a deranged fuck. I can’t make up your mind for you.
The first time I prepared a full 3 course dinner was on my 10th birthday.
I told my parents that this is what I wanted for my birthday.
There were 6 of us.
I guess if I think about it, that is a pretty goddamn strange request for a birthday present but dammit it’s what I wanted.
And just what was the meal I wanted to cook for my family?
Braised beef over mashed potatoes.
The Sunday Gravy moniker was not just a random choice for my ramblings. I really fucking love gravy based things over potatoes, rice, noodles, grits, hell, pretty much any starch item.
This also explains why I work out 7 days a week to maintain my super model inspired figure.
*note – does not possess super model figure but dammit I try.
Have you ever had brown gravy over white rice?
The idea for braised beef and mashed potatoes came from my favorite grade school cafeteria meal. Their version featured ground beef in a brown gravy served over “whipped” potatoes (buds). I fucking loved that shit even as a kid.
When I approached my Mom with the birthday meal idea she dug out her old cookbooks and sought out something that would be comparable. While Ma knew her way around a pot roast I don’t think our family had ever had this particular meal before. Since we were a family of 6 I’m pretty sure my mom bought me a slab of chuck roast or something similar whereas today I would use a slow braised short rib. You know, a mire poix, some thyme, garlic and red wine? That type of shit?
This recipe was from 2015 way back in the primordial days of DFO.
What really stayed with me though was the reaction of my family. When I saw EVERY member of my family go back for seconds I was hooked. Even better was the commentary. Being the youngest member of the family at the time I wasn’t always used to positive feedback but everyone complimented me on the meal.
An internal switch was thrown.
A cook was born.
After that I wanted to cook everything.
I helped my parents when they grilled in the backyard. I learned how to start and maintain a charcoal fire, I helped my Mom in the kitchen as often as I could. I learned to chop, julienne and peel vegetables.
So tell me, is that deranged behavior for a 10 year old? Fuck man, I didn’t know any better. To me it was just me being me.
I’ve cooked ever since.
I guess I should state for the record that we are not making braised short ribs today.
For you novice cooks and bachelors out there, my first suggestion to start you on your culinary journey is learn how to make breakfast first.
Shit, everybody should be able to make some eggs, fry some bacon and make some potatoes and toast. That’s just basic subsistence right there.
Then if you want to step up your game you can build from there.
One of my first infatuations became eggs.
First scrambled then…
Which is my long winded way of saying let’s break some fucking eggs and make an omelette or two.
Time stamp: 7:08 PM Pacific daylight time. The bulk of the cooking took place within the last 2 hours. Let’s do this shit.
First thing I wanted to feature were fresh herbs from my herb garden.
Left to right you have rosemary (stay tuned for next week’s feature), chives and basil. I wanted to really highlight the fresh herbs and chose omelette ingredients to reflect that.
Let’s clear the air on egg preparation first.
Do you add milk or cream to your eggs?
You really shouldn’t. All it does is act as an extender. You miss the real eggy action and it actually dilutes the taste. Please consider this moving forward. Eggs, salt and pepper are your base.
I had the idea to feature two omelettes today. The first would be as close as I get to vegetarian. That means it had bacon. Sorry.
The second would be a crazy as fuck escalated version of my favorite omelette. The ham and cheese.
Did we take liberties with our version of “ham and cheese?”
Here is my version of “ham and cheese.”
Proscuitto de Parmi and this crazy funky Swiss cheese called Scharfe Max which means EXTREME FLAVOR! Cuz you know the Swiss are all about EXTREME!. It’s actually goddamn delicious and has a funk, a nutty thing, an almost meaty thing. Shit dude, this is a tasty funky stinky cheese. Right up my goddamn alley. I hope you good folks have ignored the sticker shock and fucked around with proscuitto de Parmi. Holy mother of god is it delightful.
This shit is sliced soo fucking thin. My word. The flavor is salt forward without the smoke of an American style ham. Don’t get me wrong! I love the smoke!.
/Takes timeout to smoke.
But yeah. This shit is gonna be good.
So let’s go!
/looks at clock. 7:33 PM PDT.
Let’s go. Two omelettes. No waiting.
Omelette number one is bacon, mushroom, onion garlic.
Tonight we will be using fresh chives and basil for our two omeletts.
Let’s start with…
This is a really nice locally produced thick cut peppered bacon. I bought three slices from my butcher. Chop this shit into “lardons” and get that pork up in the pan.
Jesus!. It’s 7:42 PM! T-minus 8 hours and 18 minutes before post time.
Where’s my editor?
Get those eggs in the pan dammit!
No No No!
Crack the fucking things first then get in the pan.
This is easy. Three eggs and some salt and pepper. Place a pad of butter in a non-stick pan and add the eggs. You’re gonna want to move the pan around to cook the liquidity out of the eggs.
We’re going to add some mushrooms, onion and garlic
that we pre-sweated earlier.
When that egg mixture starts to tighten up add in the mushrooms, onion, bacon and garlic.
Is there anything on the planet that can not be improved by mushrooms, onion, bacon and garlic?
There is not.
Add it in now.
I am going to show you two different but distinct omelette folds. This one is called the half fold.
I finished with the fresh chives and the last of the crispy bacon bits.
Now let’s get after omelette two.
This one has the…
Oh shit. Let’s go.
Can I just get a fork and…..
In summary, the fresh herbs are the big star. The basil really punched through even with the salt of the proscuitto and the funk of that cave aged Swiss.
The omelette is quite possibly the single cleanest, simplest delivery system of flavor.
Rich, dense, while still remaining light. Simple as scrambled eggs or as challenging as a benedict sauce.
Just don’t dismiss the power and the simplicity of the simple egg.
Thanks for reading folks.
8:08 PM PST less than 8 hours to post time.
I need a drink.
And a bowl.
B well people.