Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Decent Recipe

Okay. So today was a continuation of yesterday, which was not all that great. My little green truck has a new clutch but cannot pass inspection on emissions at the moment. Italo has changed several things to the tune of a few hundred bucks, cost, and it should pass. But the last time we took it to the inspection place, a couple of months ago, before I left for Peru, we were stopped by the police for an out of date inspection sticker and fined $245. A judge whom I've written some not great things about in the past said he basically forgave me and then lowered it down to $225. Thanks.
So I'm intimidated about trying to get the thing passed again, particularly if they're gonna sit right next to the inspection station--where I also change oil--and wait for guys like me to come in with late inspections.
And then about 10 days ago the clutch began going on my other green truck; the new one, 1998, which only has 184,000 miles on it--the other one has 299,994--and I had to rev that baby way over the top to get her to move off the red light line. Once she got to 60 she was fine: The problem was she spent a gallon of gas and was burning out the damned motor to get there. I'd asked her to last till I had a free day to fix her and she did: Italo got hurt playing soccer and had to take a couple of days off of work, so he was free to drive with me in his car to the mechanic to drop it off yesterday. I love my mechanic. I hate my mechanic. For years every bill was $473. The last two years, every bill is between $700 and $850. He's good but who knows? I believe in people but don't trust human beings, if that makes sense.
So I called Rick and asked if he could do a new clutch in one day and he said he'd try. We dropped the truck off this morning at 8:15 and it was done at 3:45. $741.43. Damn.
The clutch works but that's a lot of dough. Darnit.
Here's the thing: Rick's is about 5 stoplights past Walmart, which is where I shop daily. I shop elsewhere too, but that's where I check blood pressure, walk a couple of miles around the store a few times, say hello to people and so forth. But I don't go back to Walmart if I'm already past it. So today, picking up the truck, I was past it and just continued on from Rick's with the new clutch and light wallet to Two Bucks, where I got my four minis of bourbon and then headed home.
Home, I checked sales of my book and saw I was down 10 for the month. So if you're gonna buy it, buy it now and get me up to a reasonable $500 monthly royalty check, okay?
Then I asked Madeleina what she wante for dinner. The fridge held chicken breasts, short ribs and a couple of pieces of farm raised Atlantic Salmon.
She opted for the short ribs. So here's the meal:
Turn on oven to 325.
Heat heavy saute pan. Put in a little oil, Flour the short ribs, braise at high heat with salt and pepper.
Transfer braised ribs to glass corning ware. Add a bit of water/chicken stock to meat bits in pan along with 1/2 red onion, sliced into half rounds. Pour over meat in corning ware and place in oven.
Fill small pan with cool water. Add a little sea salt. Slice 4 medium red potatoes and place on heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil with minced garlic (if you know how I cook you'd know there is always a small cup or jar of chopped garlic sitting in olive oil for just such occasions. Add 2 cups of good chicken stock that you happen to have in the freezer, left over from the last time you made a good chicken stock--at least once a week, okay?
Put another pan with salted water on: Put in florets of broccoli, cauliflower and chopped asparagus. Heat, cook, drain.
When the ribs are done, about 45 minutes, take them out of the oven to cool. Pour juice into saute pan with earlier drippings. Add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic--drain the olive oil as you have enough oil--, heat. Add one whole diced red onion. Add a whole diced organic beefsteak tomato when onions and garlic are done. Add one diced poblano chile if in season. Add the kernels of one ear of sweet summer corn left over from last night and cut from the cob nicely.
Sautee all veggies in juice. Add 3 or 4 ounces of extremely reduced chicken stock--just chicken jello, really--and reduce while cooking veggies. When veggies are close to soft, add your favorite barbeque sauce and mix. This is the lazy part. Then add salt/pepper and whatever else the sauce needs.
Drop meat into sauce and slurb it all around for about 15 minutes until the meat is entirely inundated with the crispness of the sauce.
Serve meat.
Drain and serve potatoes.
Put cooked veggies in what's left of pan drippings and saute for a couple of minutes till the veggies are hot and flavorful.
Serve with fresh watermelon slices, very cold, and good water and a glass of champagne.
Wear a bib. It's messy but good.
Have a great night, everybody.

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