Monthly Archives: November 2012


for those of you lured here by the promise of christopher walken cooking videos, look no further. the rest of us will be down here, gettin’ serious…

see…now…these pears look verrry nice.





leftover turkey from thanksgiving? sure, we all have it. leftover nonsense that you wouldn’t reheat and eat if you were tom hanks on a desert island? yep. the stuff is looking a bit wonky now. i mean, it’s sunday. TG was 3 days ago. most of you chumps will pull that crusty fowl out of the fridge at 3am and slap it on some bread with a bit of mayo and choke it down. no need to harsh your L-tryptophan buzz, yo. too soon for turkey jokes? it’s never too soon for turkey.

I used to work for a company that was affiliated with howard johnson hotels. Hojo’s had a line of frozen foods as well as their road-side eateries. Imagesomehow, along the way, the company i worked for absorbed the recipe for hojo’s chicken croquettes – a truly ubiquitous crowd pleaser. and guess what peeps? all that leftover TG nonsense taking up room in the fridge can easily be made into this tasty, toasty, christopher walken approved dish.

first, get all the crap your inlaws/mom/neighbors gave you to take home. every little doggy bag and tupperware, get ’em out on the counter! this is a potato-based dish, so if you have no potatoes, stop reading. chumps. 

take your mashed (preferably) potato and crack an egg in a mixing bowl. combine. add: corn, green beans, sweet potato, creamed onions, carrots, etc, etc, etc. whatever you have left from the great feast, toss it in the bowl. mix thoroughly. hands and whatnot…get dirty. now, take your turkey ( i like the dark meat best…) and chop and add to the mix. start to form small cylinders in about 5oz portions. once combined, pour panko breadcrumbs onto a plate and roll the cylinders in the crumb. for that retro hojo feel, shape the cylinders into a conical form. 

now, we fry…

heat some canola to 350. 325 will make your croquettes soggy and 375 will burn the eff outta them. invest in a decent kitchen probe people – c’mon! once up to temp, carefully lower your mini pyramids into the oil. fry for about 7 minutes. roll them around to ensure that all sides are browned. NB: the more croquettes you fry at the same time, the more you reduce the temp of the oil overall. only fry 2-4 at a time, tops. once crisp and golden brown, remove and let sit on paper for a few minutes.

i served mine up with some haricot vert and a bit of gravy.

christopher walken would be proud.

I’M BAAAAAAACK! Also, espresso dusted seared sea scallops with a burnt orange cream sauce

so, i’ve taken waaaay too much time off from this blog. not that anyone reads it (it’s secret, so if you know about it, you’re one of like, 2 that do). after commencement happened in may, i lost my will to do ANYTHING at all that resembled work. i’ve often said i like the schedule of academia, but they do try to cram so much junk into 1 weekend – hence 14 events during two days. i guess i took the summer off people, and what of it? that’s what i thought. sit down. i was initially going to try and recap commencement weekend with a bunch of pics and posts, but i never got around to it. perhaps i still will at some point. and then, you will be able to see one of my crowning achievements: a catered luncheon for the prime minister of Belgium, yves letermeImage. well, have you ever served lunch to a Belgian PM? no, you have not. once again, sit down. however, an outsider nudged me about this blog, so here i am to revitalize it to it’s once former glory. eh..or something. short story: worked a 4am shift last sunday, so i hunkered down with some netflix and seafood for an early night in. i had this really super awesome stonewall kitchen espresso dry rub that i picked up at their store in portland, ME a year ago that i’ve been really meaning to try out, however the opportunity never arose. well, last night it did. whilst internetting, i saw a side sauce for a burnt orange sauceImage and it struck me that coffee and oranges are perfectly opposite on the color wheel of taste. it seemed perfect. oh, and it was. i picked up about 6 “meh” sized sea scallops from the store down the street and a can of OJ concentrate. the rest, per usual is winged. sauteed some shallot and garlic then i took half the can of concentrate, added savory herbs like oregano, bay leaf, parsley and let simmer for an hour. you want this to reduce, so get it on the gas and let it go.Image however, i also wanted to build this over a risotto base, which is equally time consuming. being in the restaurant industry, we have some wicked good shortcuts for a lot of menu items. one that i will totally stand by is uncle bens instant risotto. this stuff is already cooked off in a sealed foil pouch and actually makes a great risotto. alas, i had no UB’s instant, so i made mine the hard way. NB: making risotto is a bitch. straight up bitch, fo’ realz. step 1.) agonize over the fact that you are about to launch a 2 hour process that you cannot step away from (go pee now!). step 2.) put some butter (2tblsp) or EVO into a heavy sauce pot and heat on a medium flame. step 3.) say goodbye to everything for the next 2 hours. step 4.) toast your aborio rice for about 2 minutes. I add shallot/onion and garlic at this point. let it get translucent and add your stock.Image Oh wait! yeah, you need stock! i use a base i get through a supplier, but you can find a really good base on the shelves out there. keep that quart of stock warm, otherwise it will slow down the absorption process. step 5.) painstakingly add 4-6oz of stock to the rice as quickly as it can absorb it. you can see that when you draw a spoon through the rice, it leaves a clear trail. that is the time to add more stock. also, i like to toss in a cup of dry white wine and a squirt or two of lemon juice. also, i add a few dashes of orange bitters. there are numerous brands, so don’t stress about that. this is also a perfect moment to throw together an old fashioned, seeing as you have the bitters out and all. Imagemy holy grail recipe is stolen straight from the menu of the citizen wine, chocolate and cheese bar. dash of OJ bitters, cube of sugar, three drops of lemon oil. ice and your rye of choice. hold the salad. ok, so we have our risotto and sauce simmering. time to multitask. sip your old fashioned and get your scallops out and smear with the espresso rub. fire up a heavy pan (cast iron if you have it) and add a couple tblsp of EVO. let the pan get to smoking and then place your scallops in the pan. if you don”t get smoke and spitting oil, you’re doing it wrong. Imagesear those little mollusks!!! i would say about 1 minute per side (yeah, gotta flip ’em) and then they’re done. at this point, your risotto should be all set and the sauce as well. 5 minutes before you plate, add a couple oz of heavy cream to the OJ sauce. it will thicken it and add a creamy texture to boot. spoon the rice and place your scallops, then drizzle the sauce. and ya know what? that’s it peeps.

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