Brett Food

May 18th, 2013

Tom Kha Gia

amongst other foodstuffs

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Sausage Sandwich
Ribs w/ Cherry Balsamic Sauce
Mustard Bok Choy with Sausage
Cherry Toast
Tom Kha Gai
Sausage Sandwich Mach II

Sausage Sandwich

Me, I cook things differently every time.
However the mood strikes me.

Raw sausage on cutting board with stainless steel bowl and clear pie plate
Above, cut Italian Sausage in a stainless steel bowl. I do lots of cooking in these bowls, as you shall see.

Sausage cooked for an hour at 350f
An hour later at 350 and it looks done to me. Probably should use a food thermometer, but I don't. I do, however, save the juice in the bottom for later.

Balsamic vinegar and jelly makes the most awesome sauce
Above are the fixings I used for a sausage sandwich. The key ingredient being the balsamic vinegar; jelly just makes it more barbecue-like to me. I substitute jelly for most/many sweet sauces these days.

Probably should mention that a spoonful of jelly and a shot of balsamic vinegar is about as precise as I get. When I was a child, I think I must have read a recipe that said ‘salt to taste'; and I guess, I took it to heart -- everything's to taste. That's why they call it Brett Food. I suggest you make You Food. But then, it's just a suggestion.

Sausage slices, cooked, on hamburger roll, with generous slather of barbecue vinegar jelly
Not really much to say. It either looks good; or it doesn't.

Sausage with Cherry Vinegar sauce, the close up
Looks good to me. Tasted most divine. Highly satisfying.

Ribs w/ Cherry Balsamic Sauce

To me, the trick with ribs is not drying them out.

Raw Baby Back or more likely adult back ribs, spaced out, single layer, filling a large stainless steel bowl
Here the ribs are cut apart into what I consider to be single serving portions; and placed into one of those stainless steel bowls that I've been talking about. I Just might have to photograph my bowl collection one of these days.

Ribs with Cherry Balsamic - after 1hr at 250, not close to being done, but they are starting to look good
After an hour at 250, the ribs aren't quite done yet in my opinion.

So, back in the oven with them.

3hrs at 250, the cooked version of ribs
Three hours total at 250 and the ribs look good to me. At $1.99/lb, I might have overpaid, as Baby Backs were on sale at Target a few days later, oh well.

Slow Cooked Ribs, more pictures of ribs in bowl, some for later, one for now
I find that slow cooked meats tend to give off plenty of juices, which I save. The bulk of the ribs, I froze.

One Rib in bowl, sauce ingredients to the side, balsamic, salt, jelly
A small amount of jelly, call it 1-2 teaspoons along with an equal amount of balsamic vinegar; I shake this up in a bottle, spoon it on the meat; and finally, sprinkle plenty of salt over the top.

Broiled for a few minutes to finish, sear in the juices, cook the sauce, just sort of do it right, this looks awesome, ribs in a bowl
I ate this the day after I precooked the ribs, so I warmed the rib up for fifteen minutes at 250 and then broiled for a few minutes more to finish it up and give it some color.

Juicy ribs with a sweet and tangy sauce. It's good eating as far as I'm concerned.

Mustard Bok Choy with Sausage

This is the sort of dish I make in order to use up the juice from cooked meats (and to feel good about myself for eating my vegetables). In this case, the juice comes from the Italian sausages. For whatever reason, it gnaws at me to waste food. I blame my grandmother. (Somewhere she's smiling.)

Bok Choy, sausage, ingredient shot, fish sauce, mustard chinese, soy sauce, ah, yes, that stuff in the bowl is sausage juice
Quantified ingredient lists aren't too important to me. I used the drippings from the Italian sausage, all of it; some of the sausage, call it a dozen slices; two heads of bok choy, mainly because that's how much I felt like eating; a spritz of soy sauce, to taste; half as much fish sauce, because it seems to be the thing to do; and a teaspoon of hot mustard, because it sounded good.

Looks like soup, good broth that sausage juice, bok choy with sausage in pie plate, clear, funky spoon I got as a promo for buying a case of ramen like noodles, and soup is one
A few minutes in the microwave, and it's time to eat. Add a fancy spoon and it's just like eating in China Town... or Taiwan Town... or wherever it is they make food like this... maybe Brett Town.

Truthfully, it took me longer to photograph this than to do anything else. Fast and easy and it tastes... well, just like Brett Food. Love it or leave it.

Cherry Toast

If we're going to go with the conceit that this site is to make my girlfriend jealous of all the good food she's been missing, I should actually post something she likes to eat.

How about toast?

Toast ingredient shot, bread, butter, jelly, salt, most folks forget the salt
I feel compelled to post an ingredient shot. Yes, that's right. I use bread to make my toast: French Bread in this case.

Buttered french bread, can you just smell that butter, oh, it is good stuff
In my ever so humble opinion: the secret to good (nay, great) toast is not toasting the bread properly or using plenty of butter, as although these are requirements, they are not secrets. No, the secret is the extra salt. (Consult your doctor). Two-three twists of the grinder per slice, oh, it is heaven. I know, it's hard to see the salt in the picture; but up top, with the extra smeared butter (that I pre-microwave to get soft, while the bread is in the toaster) are a few stray crystals of NaCl -- the good stuff.

Toast, jelly, water
Add a glass of water (not that I count calories; but I do watch my weight) and it's snack time.

Close up of the jelly, glistening in the light
Can you see the butter oozing up the side of the jelly? That's where the flavor is. So, what do you think? 750 calories? Probably. I knew there must be a reason I never could see fit to count the stupid things.

Tom Kha Gai

Believe it or not, this next one includes a can of coconut milk (at something just shy of 800 calories); but with all the other inclusions, I consider this diet food. Of course, I may not ever post any pictures of myself, so you may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. But then, compared to the toast, this has got to be diet food. But even if it's not (probably because it's not), I find it highly satisfying.

The ingredient shot, rice, meat juice of some sort, lemon juice in a bottle, coconut milk, red peppers, thai fish sauce, frozen peas, frozen corn, bits of sausage in a bowl with shrimp, frozen bock choy, probably three different other types of frozen meat, got no idea what the big bowl is for at this point, probably to mix it all up in after the rice is done
The ever popular ingredient shot: brown rice (however much I cooked); two 1lb bags of frozen vegetables (Fresh & Easy has them on sale, yeah, I thought about not mention brands, but it's easier to simply go with the flow; I'm buying my Peas Q's at Fresh and Easy for the present); the pink packet is the magic sauce (Tom Kha sauce from AROY-D, 59c at 99 Ranch Market; I buy them by the case); a can of coconut milk (99c for 60% milk/40% water; $1.29 for 70% wasn't worth it to me); some shrimp and sausage to liven it up (the shrimp is worth it; the sausage was not); the stuff in the bowl down in front is the drippings from the ribs (that's a half inch of fat on top, which not being suicidal, I scraped off; I really can't imagine eating anything with that much fat in it or on it); the stuff wrapped up is frozen chicken pieces (more on that later, I believe); and that leaves the lemon juice, hot peppers, and fish sauce.

I find the lemon juice to be crucial. I added 1-2 shots of the stuff to this pot and it rounds out the taste (fills the mouth with flavourful fun). Some folks go on about how there are five basic tastes (and let's see if I can remember them: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and mushrooms; it's got a different name, but I can't remember it: MSG, I believe, that one). Anyway, the lemon juice just pops for me in this dish. It's just not the same without it.

For me, 1-2 teaspoons of hot peppers is a requirement.

And then, the fish sauce. This is where the umami comes from. (Had to look it up, as I couldn't remember the name.) Maybe I'll add mushrooms next time and see what that does to it all, because I'm pretty sure mushrooms are the big natural provider of umami.

Almost all mixed together in a pot, a great big pot of taste sensation
Chicken pieces: some diced, some not. And the pot warming up on medium heat.

Chicken leg smothered in a generous portion of Tom Kha Gai sauce, with mixed vegetables, gots to be good for you
Everything being precooked, by the time the sauce boils, I figure it's ready to eat.

Sausage Sandwich Mach II

I eat repetitively. Back in the day when I was young and... well, when I was young, I'd just eat the same stuff day after day after day, seriously, weeks on end. If hamburger was on sale, that's what I was having that week. But alas, no longer. My stomach can't take it. But once a day is fine. So next day, same dish, made slightly differently for variety's sake.

Sausage and sandwhich, jelly, basalmic
This time I nuked the sausage with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Oh, now this looks good.  The close up shot of a mound of sausage, covered in cherry jelly sauce, just waiting to be eaten, boy, did I eat good sometimes
I also remembered to toast the bread this time around. And then, instead of mixing it all up, I added the jelly straight to the bread. Sounded better than it tasted; but then, still oddly satisfying. The kind of food that just sticks to the ribs. So, not quite a bullseye. But, man! Doesn't that just look tasty? Does to me anyways. It's probably the most appetizing shot on the page to me.

Well, almost...

Stilletto, Stiletto, seriously, have a hard time spelling her name, but my favorite cat in the whole wide world, looking hungry, what about me, mister
Here's my cat, Stilletto. Can't say she was interested in any of the stuff I prepared this week. Guess she knows food when she sees it... and when she doesn't.

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© 2013-2016 Brett Paufler

This is neither advise nor guidance. Anyone will tell you I'm no chef. If you want advice on cookery, find a cook. In short, if you are a visitor, I presume you know how to cook and so are just looking for tasty ideas... and perhaps to gaze on a pleasing picture of a cat or two.