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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Something about the holidays, or maybe it's cold weather, just seems to recalibrate the human carburetor (mine, anyway). The summer mixture is just too lean when the mercury starts staying in the bulb at the bottom of the thermometer to huddle with itself, jumping in place to stay warm.

So I made pork chops the other day. I experimented with breading them by dredging them in flour, then dipping them in buttermilk and then dredging them in bread crumbs.

I also experimented with bitter as a pan fat, and the results are pleasing, great color, flavor and texture, but once it finally does start to brown it seems to lose all the properties fast and begin scorching. Canola oil is much more predictable and longer-lasting, though without the great initial performance.

A few nights later I made tempura chicken on the way to doing a General Tso's chicken. I forgot to add the corn starch to the sauce to thicken it before throwing the chicken in, resulting in pretty soggy General Tso's, though the girls enjoyed the tempura chicken straight up.

Then I got some 'bistek suave' from El Bonito Michoacan, the taqueria y carniceria with the buck taco Tuesday special the Poet Laureate of Lobster Land turned me on to.

The 'soft steak' was indeed tender, but it was also cut so thin you could almost see through it. This is, I think, a good thing, but it'd have taken me six years to bread it all for the chicken-fried thing.

As it is, I fried about half, dredging in corn starch, then dipping into an egg/buttermilk wash, then dredging in crushed corn flakes before frying in canola oil.

The other half I simply browned with some garlic and salt as fajita meat.

The orange hot sauce from El Bonito Michoacan made a fantastic addition to the chicken fried steak, much better than gravy. Served it with a side of bleu cheese slaw.

Seems a lot of fried food, especially considering the month has been one continuous food orgy between work and home and relatives' houses.

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