A day-long session of gluttony

July 10, 2010

I love it when foodie friends come to visit.

We start the day with a trip to the bakery and the Farmers’ Market, followed by an impromptu breakfast picnic of tamales and coconut macaroons, in the national park by a creek.

Don’t knock it if you ain’t tried it.

Then there was lunch:

We don't NEED no STEENKIN' lettuce!

We did not have any lettuce. We did not care.

And then there was dinner, which was steak and lobster and garlic mashed potatos and a slab of tomato and a slab of mozzarella for my fifth, I think, caprese this week.

We do not have photos of that, because, well, it was just too good to wait long enough to take one. Not to mention the plating lacked something.

And then there was this:

New pound cake recipe. Good stuff.

And a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola Rosso with dinner, which followed a couple of Yuengling Lagers during the cooking process.

We are replete.

We are freakin’ pigs, is what we are. And we love it.

Farmers’ market continues to be wonderful, more vendors every week. Today I got purple hulled peas, bitter melon, squash, cucumber, corn, tomatos, peaches, blueberries. And tamales, and my PJF beef order.

The tamales — can’t recall if I mentioned them last week or not — are Gusto’s Gourmet Tamales, and that, indeed, they are. There are four choices chicken ancho, pork ancho, pinto, and — are you ready for this — proscuitto, artichoke hearts and feta.

Those things will make you weep, they’re so good.

And en route to the FM, we’d stopped by Ambrosia bakery to get challah, so I can make French toast tomorrow. And because it was Saturday morning and because I could, I got a dozen coconut macaroons, because Ambrosia makes the best coconut macaroons since the old Federal Bake Shop in downtown Memphis closed in the late ’70s or so. We ate half a dozen of same en route from Point A to Point B.

And then after browsing the FM, and going BACK to the FM from the car because I left my keys at the tamale stand, we decided we’d picnic for breakfast. After all, we had tamales. We had macaroons. A stop at a stop-n-rob yielded Diet Coke and a Slim Jim for the dawg. Breakfast of champions. 

So after that, it was midafternoon before we wanted lunch, which was a BAT. No lettuce.  Avocado was all the green we needed. On sourdough bread.

Included in the PJF order this week were a pair of beef tenderloin filets. Two inches thick. Which, after residing on my grill for about 6 minutes on one side and 4 or so on the other, yielded perhaps the best steak I have ever cooked at home, and one that surpasses many I’ve had at pricy restaurants. Those two set me back about 20 bucks, and were a good pound apiece; they fed four of us, with a grilled lobster tail and garlic mashed potatos on the side.

First garlic mashed I’ve made in a while. Boiled the redskins, pummeled a couple of cloves of garlic with salt with the mortar and pestle, added butter, sour cream, a shot of half and half. Can’t complain.

But oh, that steak. Buttery tender. Great grilled crusty exterior. Wonderfully flavorful (I used Spade L Ranch seasoning, but I contend the free-range, grass-fed beef has a better flavor, anyway.

Wasn’t anything wrong with the lobster tail, either.

The pound cake is an Epicurious recipe, which styles itself as “Aunt Rose’s Pound Cake.” Aunt Rose, whoever you are, I salute you. This is some good stuff.

  • 2 1/3 cups self-rising cake flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch (3-quart) bundt pan, knocking out excess.

Sift flour. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar, flour, and vanilla and beat on low speed until just combined (mixture will appear dry and crumbly). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture will form a batter as eggs are added).

Pour batter into pan, smoothing top. Bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

And then top it with the rest of yesterday’s strawberries and some creme fraiche.

I may die. But I’ll die full and happy.

Little cooking tomorrow; it’s a road trip day. Got a funeral to go to. Back late Monday night; if I’m not too wiped out, we’ll cook Tuesday. Meanwhile, you and y’mama ‘n ’em keep it between the ditches.

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