Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Perfect Dinner

Why does it always come down to food and drink with me?

Well, it does.  I 'spect it does with a lot of us.  So I'll give you a preview of my tomorrow's show, and tell you about the ultimate comforting dinner.

Did you see the thing in the NY Times about blender cocktails being OK again?  I was beginning to think they might be, as we make a couple of them that aren't spring break swill, and here on top of the Potter Building, we are very very cool.  So I made the Cherry Flip out of that article. Twice. It's dern good: fresh cherries, bourbon, bitters, lemon juice, and just a little sugar.  Blend with ice, garnish with mint.  We did it for Tom Jones (check out HIS show on Rando--a true delight!!!) last night, but tonight, we realized what the author of that Good Grey article had neglected: a splash of maraschino.  Cut back on the sugar if you do that, and maybe amp up the lemon juice just an eensy bit.  You've heard me go on and on and on about maraschino on the's not the juice in the cherry jar, etc. etc.  'Tis a clear, not overly-sweet liqueur found in a well-stocked booze store, or on the net if your place of residence allows you to buy alcohol that way. 

I'm here to tell you that Cherry Flips rock.  I'll have more to say on my show.

And here's (believe it or not) what I made for dinner:

From scratch Tuna-Noodle Casserole (mostly organic ingredients and shut up 'till I explain), and...

Salad from our garden with homemade pseudo-Thousand Island dressing.  Pseudo-Thousand Island is mayo, a little buttermilk to thin it, ketchup, horseradish to taste, and a shake of dill weed.

From Scratch Tuna-Noodle:

1/2 pound decent pasta in a penne, rotini, or macaroni shape (can use Dreamfield's if you're low carbing it)
A big handful of chopped mushrooms--can be exotic or plain old
A smaller handful of finely chopped celery
5 tablespoons sweet  butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk warmed in the nuker
a pouch of mass market tuna (better than the cans)
about four ounces of grated cheddar cheese
a small handful of decent grated parmesan cheese
a few shakes of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
worcestershire sauce to taste
a shake of sweet or hot paprika

In a good-sized saucepan over low heat, sweat the onions and mushrooms in the butter, which you will have melted.  Add the flour when the veg are soft, and stir with a rubbermaid spatula until evenly distributed.  Cook a minute or two, still on a gentle flame.  Add the warm milk, turn up the heat to medium, and stir until thickened.  Add parmesan, tuna, & salt & pepper. Season with worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta.  Drain when just short of being cooked.

Mix the pasta and the white sauce mixture  in the pot in which you cooked the white sauce. Turn into buttered casserole dish, sprinkle with grated cheddar, add a shake of paprika and maybe another grind of black pepper. Bake in a 350 oven, covered (with lid or tin foil), for about twenty minutes.  Serve hot with salad.

OK, sneer.  It's middle 'murican food.  But the trick here is no fake ingredients--no cream of mushroom soup.  We fake that by making what the soup was in the recipe to fake in the first place: a white sauce.  It's easily enough made.  But it's so tasty I defy you to not eat thirds.
And a Cherry Flip is just the thing before it--sorta like a Squishee from the Quickie Mart, only really really good.  

I'm not heavily into irony unless you can eat it.

See you on the internet version of the airwaves tomorrow.


T J said...

sounds yummalicious to me... but then again, I am biased. I've eaten MANY a good meal w the Pottaz. I highly recommend the experience. They are gracious hosts.

Rando Music Madman said...

Chris, your Cherry flip brings to mind a fav drink of my youth! Bourban, Bitters, Ginger Ale, with a nice fat wedge of Lemon. I think I may have to re-hatch this tastey treat while I tune into Cocktails with Chris!

Ken Pearson said...

MMMMMM...Sounds wunderful...I'll have to try!