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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blue Cheese Dressing, BJ's Brewhouse, Chef Josephs, The Lockerbie...

We've had a couple of really fun cooking adventures recently.  Actually, I've had more than Connie.  He played bridge while my friend, Stacy, and I fixed a German meal.  But, that's not what came first.  The truffle came first. 

It'd been another of those killer weeks.  Monday I was sick.  Like come home from the office at 10:30 and go to bed sick.  Tuesday I had to feel better since I was teaching a Social Security class in the evening.  By the time everyone left the office about 9pm I was ready to collapse.  Fortunately, we'd taken along Cobb salad fixings so we'd had a good dinner before class.  I'd used my favorite blue cheese dressing which I discovered, much to my consternation, was not on here.  Now, we first made this in 2006 long before I'd thought about blogging.  Consequently, there's an image of a recipe with no attribution.  And a REALLY old photo...  So, here it goes:

Blue Cheese Dressing

2/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1/3 c sour cream
2 T mayonnaise
1 T milk
1/2 t Worcestershire
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t ground mustard
1/4 t garlic powder


The original recipe calls for whirring all of the above in a food processor.  I prefer to take about 1/4 c of the blue cheese and hold it out so I get nice, chunky dressing.  I also tend to double/triple the ground mustard, Worcestershire and garlic.  This is so easy to make and so much better than the jarred/bottled stuff!!!

Back to our adventures...

Wednesday it was time to meet our friends Pete and Shirley for dinner.  Pete had decreed that he wanted us to try his favorite brew pub - BJ's Brewhouse.  Neither of us was excited.  It's a chain, after all.  And, it's in a mall.  But, it was Pete's turn to choose so we showed up at the appointed hour.  Were we ever wrong!!!  We had about the best mac and cheese ever.  A little chipotle and bacon and a perfect sauce. 

And, the pulled pork sandwich was almost as good.  That's turkey club in front of the pulled pork.  It was good but not worthy of a special trip. 

Let me tell you, if there's time that mac and cheese is going to be lunch when I'm in my Greenwood office!

Thursday was a wine dinner at Chef Joseph's.  We got to sit with our friends, Steve and Colleen so had a lively conversation and great time.  Joseph did his usual amazing dishes.  The most incredible was dessert.  Goat cheese flan with lemon and pink peppercorns.  Yeah, it was beautiful and tasted amazing.  The evening was also a fund raiser for Little Red Door.  They offer loads of services for cancer patients.  We wound up with tickets to Theatre on the Square and a gift basket of wine and beer to go along with some beer signs and such. 

Friday night after work we headed downtown to Goose the Market to pick up our truffle.  We splurged and spent $23 on a fresh truffle.  Home it came.  Wrapped in a paper towel in a sealed container.  We opened it and took photos and sniffed. 

Didn't smell much like truffle.  So, I shaved off a little piece.  Kind of like eating a little nibble of wood.  Not much flavor and very dry.  Hmmm, maybe it'd be better cooked...  So we made steaks with a cognac/truffle sauce and mushroom risotto with shaved truffle on top.  Again, not much truffle flavor.


So, we tried again Saturday evening and made truffled scallops and crabmeat over butter lettuce and roasted beets.  This time I put truffle oil and the dressing and viola we had truffle flavor.

Sunday we were meeting Chef Joseph and his partner, Juan, for lunch at the Lockerbie Pub.  Time for some pub grub.  Here are two photos from a couple of months ago when we flew by the Lockerbie and picked up tenderloins to go:

I took along what was left of the truffle along and handed it to Joseph.  Was it good?  Well, this time of year they are hard as rocks, he said.  If you want to get some real flavor out of it, soak it in some brandy.  Ok, now I know. 

Sunday evening we were both still stuffed from our pork tenderloin sandwiches.  I put some short ribs from Goose in the dutch oven and let them simmer away.  I'd planned to make truffled mac and cheese but decided plain old smashed potatoes would be better.  We nibbled at the short ribs and left most of it for lunch later in the week.  That's ok.  It'll reheat REALLY well.  And, with the leftover hangar steak for another lunch and the leftover sauerbraten for yet another, we'll be having some fabulous lunches!

It looks like I'm running out of time and creating a monster post before even talking about our German feast  So, let me say to be continued...

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