Sunday, April 1, 2012

OKAY then

Thar be lettuce! Nice butter lettuce at a very good price too! 
Parole Board chairman: They've got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called "recidivism."
Parole Board member: Repeat offender!
Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
H.I.: No, sir. That's one bonehead name, but that ain't me any more.
Parole Board chairman: You're not just telling us what we want to hear?
H.I.: No, sir, no way.
Parole Board member: 'Cause we just want to hear the truth.
H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that?
H.I.: Yes sir. 
Parole Board chairman: Okay then.
Okay then, Imma put up a honest to gawd real post.  Really, I am.  Just watch me.  You'll see.

Cooked lettuce.  Shit, people hardly ever cook lettuce. Mention cooked lettuce to most folks and their first reaction is WTF? Thing is, people do cook lettuce.  Minestrone anyone? People think nothing of sauteeing spinach or other greens. Hell, it's fucking trendy to sautee greens.  But you say say "lettuce" and eyes start batting.

So, sauteed lettuce.  No one makes sauteed lettuce. It's not difficult and it transforms the same old thing into something wonderful. I'm basically following Jacques Pepin on this, though it's been quite a few years since I read his recipe.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to teh burl. Put them lettuces in there, push 'em down some so they's covered. You could put a plate or something on top but I like my method, which should be pretty fucking obvious. If you have any questions, you're an idiot.

Cook it for ... I dunno, maybe five minutes?  Then drain and let cool.
While it was cooking I took a picture of our bar. It's an antique Chinese wedding cabinet. 

 Cheap mirror tiles from The Homo Depot go up with double-sided tape. I added lights but at the moment the switch is non-functional so I have to plug them in and unplug them which, as you can imagine, is something I can't be arsed to do.  

SO the lettuce has been drained (was I clever to use the colander to hold them down?) and left to cool.  Gently squeeze out as much Wasser as you can.  See why you have to let it cool?  I TOLD you didn't I?  HUH?  Don't blame me if you burn your fucking hands. And don't even think about suing me - I don't have two nickels to rub together, you'd be more than wasting your time. And money.  Hey, there's an idea! Instead of suing me, just send me the money you would have spent on a lawyer. It's a win win!  

Yeah, Hasselback potates.  I know they're trendy but done properly they're so damn good!  I like to slice them pretty thinly and push small slivers of garlic in every third or fourth slice. 

Cutting the lettuce. Slice it from end to end. Not shown, cut out the core as a V-shaped bit - otherwise it doesn't fold nicely. But hey, if you want to do it your own fucking way have at it. You can do any damn thing you like. Jerk. 

Roll / fold them up into chic little packets.

Drizzle some melted butter over the spuds.  You can't see it here but I also poured about 1/3 inch of my insanely good roasted brown chicken stock in the pan.  It's basically chicken demi glace. It is FUCKING AWESOME!

Salt and pepper. Note the completed lettuce rolls.  

The spuds get roasted in a hot oven.  How hot you ask. HOT okay? Prolly like 425 or something, I dunno. That's my setting for most things but I have a convection oven, YMMV. I really don't think it's that important either.  The important thing is to baste them several times. Oh, right, you want to know long to cook them, doncha? COOK THEM UNTIL UNTIL THEY'RE FUCKING DONE.

Butter and oil (good extra virginal Olivia works well here as we're not getting things all that hot). Put some salt and pepper on 'em too. Shit, do I really have to tell you every damn little thing? 

Them's done.  Grate some parm reggiano on those beauties.

Tri-tip was on sale and I picked up a bunch. Vacuum sealed most of it but these bits I marinated in some soy, honey, red pepper flakes, probably some other stuff, I don't remember.  Tossed them in a HOT cast iron pan for a few minutes turned them and popped into the still hot oven to finish.

Ooh, I just noticed some grape tomatoes on the counter. I like grape tomatoes this time of year - they have decent flavor, unlike most of the highly priced but bland crap at the market.  Some stores have heirloom tomatoes which are deefuckinglicious.  They aren't that expensive, not when compared to the tasteless crap right next to them but this time of year they come from far far away so I only buy them every now and then.  Gawd, how Portland of me!  So toss some into a medium hot pan with some olive oil  and cook them until they soften and just start to break.  

So there it is.  Sorry for the blurry final picture but much gin had been consumed by that point.  Don't forget to let the meat rest before slicing it.  And yeah, just a plain store bought baguette.  So sue me.

Final note - no, we didn't eat everything, there was leftovers. Delicious leftovers.

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Provider_UNE said...

Fucking Brilliant!

This is even better than I imagined.

As i never fear looking like or being percieved an idiot, one question. Did you stuff anything into the lettuce?

i will definitely have to try the potatos like you have them.

Thanks for the larfs and just so you know i am having a pavlovian response to you post.

Hamish Mack said...

Hubba hubba, that looks good. Good, no nonsense instructions also, too even though you made bunny cry.

Pupienus Maximus said...

Yo Provider_UNE - nope, no stuffing, just rolled them up.

Provider_UNE said...

Thanks Pup!

I've got some chicken thighs to roast later this week and I am definitely gonna do up the taters like that. and maybe some brussell sprouts (which i use to hate as much as liver but properly roasted i have discovered that they can be mighty tasty).

Note's to self.

Replenish the garlic and olive oil stores, more basalmic vinegar, use the whipping cream to make some butter.

bbkf said...

just fucking yum..

OBS said...

Is that an electric stove?!? Philistine!

I'm so making that lettuce and those taters.

Uncle Lance said...

Pup, this joint is classy! The Sadly Noes! will be wigging out about your blogspot. Well done, Sir. Mouth-wateringly well done!

M. Bouffant said...

If you have any questions, you're an idiot.
Words to live by.

(And pix to eat by. Mmmm.)

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

Looks like an induction - although I guess that's still "electric".

I do this thing where I break teh lettuce down into separate leaves and boil that. I few drops of sesame oil on top means that teh lettuce gets lightly coated when removed from teh pot. Goes on a plate with oyster sauce.

Nice bar - but Smirnoff? I suppose teh good stuff's in teh freeza. Anywho, I'll try to remember to pack bourbon if I visit.

daize said...

What everyone has already said and then some. I'm in love with the photos and the food.

Pup, would you consider sharing the chicken demi glace recipe? The taters look soooo fabulous whilst roasting in it.

And I guess I'm the only person on the intertoobs who hasn't seen those FAB potatoes! Thanks for the intro!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Now, THAT'S the kind of food porn I was expecting, your imperial highness! High fives all around!

If you were a lazy man, you'd just cut and paste your food porn comments from Sadly, No!

The butter lettuce is pretty robust, and seems like it's up to cooking (I'd feel weird about cooking iceberg or romaine). I'll be scarfing on foraged nettles all week.

Pupienus Maximus said...

daize - It's really simple. I buy whole chickens a lot and break them down. All the trimmings - backbone, wingtips, ribs, thigh bones if I boned them, et cetera go into a freezer bag. When I have enough for a batch - say three or four birds worth - it's time to make stock. Dump everything into a largeish roasting pan and through in a hot oven - say 425 or so. After hlaf an hour or an hour or whatever, break up and distribute the parts then pop them back in. After another half hour or so turn everything so it all gets BROWN. Really, you can't hardly cook it too long. About 20 - 30 minutes before it will have roasted enough toss a lage, quartered onion in, add a carrot or two and a couple stalks celery all of which you have broken or chopped into very large pieces. Back into the oven.

Remove the bones and veg to a large pot - a stock pot is ideal, you know? - and cover with water. Put that shit on the burner, bring just to the boil then immediately turn it down to a bare simmer.* Drain the fat from the roasting pan. SAVE THAT SCHMALTZ! Or toss the cutest doggie in the world's kibble with it and make him extra happy.

Pour some water or dry white wine into the pan and scrape all those brown bits up. Dump that into the pot. You can add a bouquet grani - a dozen peppercorns, soprigs of thyme and parsely, a bay leaf all tied up in a bundle of cheesecloth. Or not; it's gilding the lily at this point.

Let it simmer. For a day or two. Add water when necessary to just cover everything. You can stir it a bit if you want but there's no need.

After a day or two strain it. You can reduce it some more if you like - I usually do, a bit but not too much. I put it into one-cup plastic tubs and toss them in the freezer. You could just use zipper bags. I've heard of people using ice cube trays then portion ing into plastic bags but I don't have an ice cube tray and I usually use a cup of the stuff ayway.

*If you boil it it gets cloudy. That's not a big deal as it's easily clarified later but it's better to just avoid the situation in the first place. If anyoneneeds instrctions on clarifying stock speak up and ye shall receive.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Yo, Pup, save it for a post, don't blow it in the comments!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pups, loverly.
So you don't do the salt-n-pepper thing until you use the stock cooking something?Amirite?
A Lousy Cook but Devoted Eater Inquires.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Pups, serious question.
Someone gave me a nonstick pan and I want to make an omelette.Do I still have to put some butter in to melt? I mean, is the butter part of the flavour or is it just to stop sticking?
A Lousy Cook but Devoted Eater Inquires.

bbkf said...

yeah, since this post is still up, i can take the opportunity to tell you that i'm glad you posted it because this might be the only way i will like butter lettuce...also, too...also too, hubbkf gave me this book...are you familiar with it? if so, thoughts? it has some interesting stuff in it, but the cover is off-putting...i glance at it and think of a poo or a black peen...

daize said...

Pup -- Thank you for the demi glace recipe!! It looks absolutely fabulous.

I tried the potatoes with a little bit of olive oil but they seemed a bit too mushy. Still learning, I guess. Next time I will use Yukon Gold to see if they make a diff.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eva Wilson said...

Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

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