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Monday, January 22, 2007

Last Meal?

What if you knew that your last meal was the next one, what would you eat? Of course not many people have this insight, condemned prisoners do and many of them settle for the meal that had brought to them their most pleasant dining memory from hamburgers to steaks and everything in between. But what if your not a criminal at all what if in fact you’re a hero what do you want for a last meal, the answer is the same the most pleasant dining memory, take for example legendary hero Kit Carson, a man so was supposed to have killed two bears before breakfast, who has over 16 different places that bear his name, a true American hero, it is rumoured that his last words were "I wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili". Now give yourself over to some thought on these last words, who’s chili, perhaps his wife’s Josefa (Josephine). What was in the recipe that left a dying man longing for just one more bowl, we’ll never know but surely it had to be very good. Thus is the power of cuisine, wether simply fare like chili or that which may take a little for time to prepare food has the power to stay with one foe their entire life, this can only be a good thing. Dying people don’t remember a bad meal, just the one that gave the most blessed memory.
My friend Gail Riddall is reason the lesson, no she is not dying, but she is blind and it is amazing to me how she experiences her food. Whenever she would come to the restaurant she would order her meal from a menu which she could not see (I should have had it translated into braille) her husband (let’s call him Rick, for that’s his name) would read the menu item description to her giving her a mental picture of the meal. When it was presented to her she always commented "look at the presentation" allowing to visualize what the menu had entertained her with. One taste and she would define the colours upon the plate and no matter what she ordered she never once left disappointed, for in her mind and before she even arrived at the restaurant she had decided that this would be a dining experience worth remembering. We live in a world of food critics whose life work is to find fault with what they see and taste, how much better off we would be if we could be Rick and Gail’s food lovers. Here’s looking at you kid’s.

Almond Fried Shrimp
12 very large prawns
1 cup seasoned flour
pinch of salt
2 cups cold milk
4 eggs
1 ½ cups almonds
1 ½ quarts safflower oil

Peel, devein and butterfly the prawns, leaving tails intact. Line large baking sheet with waxed paper. Place flour in medium bowl; add salt. Whisk in the milk and eggs in large bowl. Dredge shrimp (not tails) in seasoned flour; shake off excess. Dip shrimp (not tails) in milk mixture. Press almonds over shrimp, coating all but tails. Place shrimp on prepared sheet. Curl tails up over shrimp. Freeze until firm, about 1 1/2 hours. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover with foil.) Heat oil in heavy large saucepan to 350~. Loosen shrimp from paper. Fry the frozen shrimp to oil in batches and cook until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using slotted spoon. Let drain. Divide shrimp among plates. Serve with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and lemon wedges


1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 pounds
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cherry preserves

Cut tenderloin crosswise into 8 medallions, about 3/4-inch thick. Season both sides of medallions generously with black pepper and set aside.Melt butter in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat; sauté onion until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add medallions, brown on one side, about 3-4 minutesMeanwhile, in small bowl stir together brandy, broth, cherries, mustard and soy sauce. Turn medallions, add brandy mixture to skillet, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook undisturbed for 6 minutes. Uncover, stir in preserves and cook and stir until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve medallions with pan sauce.


2 Tablespoons Shallots -- chopped
2 Cups Mushrooms -- sliced
1 Cup Dark Rum
1 Cup Port Wine
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
2 Cups Bechamel Sauce
3 Pounds Veal Cutlet (3 - 2 Oz Pieces Per Order)
1/4 cup Olive Oil -- as needed

Saute SHALLOTS & MUSHROOMS in butter.Reduce Rum, Port & Dijon by 1/2, then combine with Mushrooms & shallots Add BECHAMEL and check consistency.Saute Veal in Olive Oil, add sauce to pan and heat, serve at once


4 Boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients; season with salt and pepperAdd chicken breast. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from marinade and grill on a hot grill until cooked throughout.

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