Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cafe au Lait my way

The machine. A Senseo pod coffee maker but I bought something that allows me to use any coffee or loose tea I like to make my cup of coffee or mug of tea. This is it fully open ready to take the ducktail adapter. Push the middle button to heat the water. Button on one side for single pull and button on other for double pull, essentially cup or mug
My cafe au lait bowl with the proper level of milk. It goes into the microwave for a predetermined time to give a perfect scald to the milk. It brings it to the boiling point without boiling it over. Perfect for cafe au lait
The ducktail with two scoops of Union coffee. It is the best I have found for cafe au lait. It cost me a fortune but since I only indulge on the weekends a pound will last me at least six months. I keep it in an airtight container in the freezer.
The machine latched down and water and pressure being applied to the coffee. See the magic elixir flowing out.
Final product ready to drink. A nice relaxing bowl in about 3 minutes

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Faux Bahn Mi

So I am doing two meat markets in town for review. One makes a type of head cheese I have never seen before. It is like he grinds up the parts very fine. It makes a pate like concoction that is very good. So good I made a sandwich out of it with French bread and spicy pickles from the Cash & Carry Farmer's market. If I would have had some pork and pickled carrots and daikon it would have been authentic

Pitt Grill Prien Lake


Pitt Grill
602 West Prien Lake Road
Lake Charles LA

Seven days a week 24 hours a day $1 to $15

This new construction marks the return of this longtime establishment to the city where it started. It sparkles like only a new place can. Three things are different than most of the other iterations. First of all do not go looking for a buffet, it has none. Second it has an espresso machine so it can make most coffee drinks your local coffee shop can. Three it has a drive thru window. You order by phone and then pick it up. Convenient for some but I feel diner food should be eaten fresh from the kitchen.

First time in I went for the plate lunch, fried chicken, potato salad and dirty rice with garlic pan bread. It took awhile because they were frying to order (better than grabbing it off the buffet). Well worth the wait. Three pieces consisting of wing, drumstick and half breast arrived. It came out really crisp with the interior moist and tender. Very close to my sister’s when she used to cook for her kids. The potato salad had sweet relish rather than dill which made it a plus in my eyes. The dirty rice was outstanding also with lots of meat, not to mushy, and a hint of liver. It was all around great lunch.

Next came the Southern Breakfast. Two eggs sunny side up, corned beef hash, grits and biscuits. Eggs were perfect and the rest near perfect. I can not help but feel that the Hwy 14 operation does it just a bit better. However nothing intrinsically wrong with this one. I ate everything. I ordered a Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with Onion rings. The rings were OK but the coating a little thicker than I like. Some kind of miscommunication resulted in the burger being sans bacon. However the well griddled sweet sourdough bun, moist and succulent hand formed patty, and blue cheese crumbles more than satisfied me. The gestalt of the bites taken stood out. Good Burger

Lastly I got Chicken and Sausage Gumbo and a Hamburger Steak. The gumbo proved fantastic. Dark roux with a thin broth well spiced with sausage, and tender well flavored chicken with rice on the side, virtually my ideal gumbo. I love a good hamburger steak. However lately I have been receiving pre-fab stuff that is cooked to death (lifeless, chewy and dry). I took a chance here because the hamburger seemed hand formed. I was not sorry. The steak had a nice char on it but moist and juicy through out. I added chili and cheese in addition to the gravy and sautéed onions. That proved a winner also. The flavor profile of a bite containing all was exquisite. They offer a bake potato with it. It came out with disposable cups of butter, cheese, real bacon bits and a pouch of sour cream. A long time since I indulged it that.

I like this one for lunch and dinner. Although I think I will stick closer to home for breakfast. At first they were some minor glitches like silverware making to the table but by my last visit they were resolved. It seems to be running smoothly with a friendly helpful staff. The thing I like best is it has no buffet. The kitchen can concentrate of fixed your meal than turning out bulk food.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tomato Tart

When I go to the Cash & Carry Farmer's Market on Tuesday at 4 PM and my favorite vendor is there I know what I am going to have for supper. That is it below
A wonderful short crust filled with caramelized onions and tomato slices. The perfect accompaniment is a large glass of milk. This is a variation of one of my favorite sandwiches. White bread, mayonnaise, and tomato slices. Again with milk. For me milk is the perfect drink with this. I will never grow tired of it and I hope this vendor continues to make for a long time.
Speaking of vendors on October 26, 2010 at the Cash & Carry Farmer's Market from 4 PM to 6 PM there will be a vendor selling grass fed beef cuts. Come on by if that interests you

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

A couple of months ago I picked up a package of chopped steak in the discount meat bin of a local supermarket. A true son of my father I sometimes cannot pass up a bargain. On getting it home and thinking about what to do with it I hit upon chicken fried steak. It worked out pretty good and I now buy it on a regular basis. I like Krogers because they not only do beef but pork also which is very good. I have nailed down the process. That is what follows

About an hour or so before I take out the cutlets and soak them in milk or buttermilk with a heavy dose of a Tabasco product. Below is beef in milk with Tabasco habanero. I use what ever I have in the pantry.
Then some self rising flour with a ton of seasoning. I am using up Konriko Greek seasoning that has sage and oregano.
I heavily dust the cutlet dripping with wash and press in the flour mixture
It then goes into my deep fat fryer until cooked. Sorry no picture of that as I forgot to take it as it came out of the oil. However I did record my new twist. Deep fat frying leaves you with no gravy which is probably a good thing in my case. Plenty of calories in the crust. Below is the results of poaching eggs in my new tabletop appliance.
Final product of chicken fried steak, poached eggs, and Mrs Renfro Peach Salsa. It was delicious.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pasture Raised Chicken

You may remember a couple of Sunday's ago an article in the American Press that talked about a unique way of raising chicken called pasture raising. That farmer comes to the Cash & Carry Farmers Market. I bought one of his chickens and here it is below ready to be cooked. It is about 4 lbs I seasoned it very simply. Some Cherchies Lime n Pepper mix with a little oil is the base.
I rubbed this all over the chicken, inside and out, then lifted the breast skin and massage it into the breast meat
This is after 30 minutes breast side down in my new tabletop appliance
Below is the fully cooked bird after 30 minutes breast side up
Dismembered half chicken on the plate with au jus
I found this bird to contain less fat than supermarket chicken. Also the skin and what fat there was lily white not yellow. The yellow indicates that the bird has been finished off with feed corn. While I could perceive no difference in the taste (sort of bland without seasoning) between this and supermarket chicken I know for a fact that this chicken is healthy with no antibiotics involved. If the chicken is healthy it is healthy for you. At this point in time the chicken are not available at the market because it is in between growing cycles. However he will take down your name to reserve you a chicken without a deposit. He sells small, medium and large ones. Come on down to the market at the corner of Enterprise and Broad on Tuesday from 4 to 6 PM and check them out


Sometimes inspiration is right in front of you. As you may know I love sweet but I also love sweet, savory and spicy. This morning I made waffles. For me that means Bruces Sweet Potato Pancake and Waffle mix. I usually chop up two strips of thick bacon to render the grease and make the lardons crispy. I use this as the oil for the waffles and to have something savory in the waffle. I then looked around to find the sweet. Before me was some honey from the Cash & Carry farmers market. Also the remnant syrup from some sweet and spicy jalapenos I had bought there also. Finally some leftover sauce from a Richards Shrimp and Garlic Linguine that was too good to throw out. So I mixed them altogether and had a really great syrup to put on my waffles. Backnote of garlic, butter to melt on there, nice spicy and vinegary taste to cut the sweetness of the honey. It went well against the sweet potato and bacony waffle. Hmm next time I think maybe mixing in butter and Cochon's Habanero Sweet Potato hot sauce

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rocky's Cajun Kitchen


Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen
211 West Prien Lake Road
Lake Charles LA

Seven days a week 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM $1 to $26

In the other former Mama Rosa’s this Cajun fry house from Eunice has opened a branch. First time in I ate an impressive Seafood Gumbo. Not only was the roux nice and dark it contained shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish with a boiled egg, something that reminds me of my mother’s gumbo. The Soft Shell Crab Po Boy proved great with decent bread and two well fried crabs. The French fries were great also and you know how I am about French fries. Only complaint is that there seemed to be a crabbier taste than I am use to. The topper was the in-house Sweet Dough Blackberry Pie. It was delicious and something I have never seen in a restaurant setting. My mother’s sister made fantastic ones but at home.

Second time in I was with two of my group. My food board friend got a superb Fried Shrimp Po Boy. Lots of fried just right shrimp dressed just right with again great fries. My baking friend’s combo of Shrimp and Catfish showed the same attention. The six jumbo shrimp were in a flour coating and the filet in a corn flour one as it should be. Both fried perfectly. My Chicken and Sausage Gumbo showed the same attributes as the seafood one, delicious except for the undercooked rice. The plate lunch of Shrimp Creole suffered the same fate. While the shrimp were perfect, the sauce was thin with no discernable vegetables. I expect big chunks of tomato, onion and bell pepper in my Creole. The rest of the plate lunch meet the standards of such things.

A lot of the appetizers that I had here were not to my taste. Both the Boudin Balls and Crab Cakes had a thick crust that had been fried rock hard. While the interior was ok, the crust and the side of Etouffee dipping sauce proved problematic for me. I found the sauce thin and acrid. The Onion Rings also suffered from over coating, more breading than onion. Although I liked the Prawn and Crab Cocktail I found it contained small shrimp and surimi. What brought it over the top was the excellent mustard based Cajun sauce.

The fried chicken however was well worth the 15 minute wait. Fresh from the fryer the pieces were crisp on the outside and tender moist on the inside. They remained so until the last bite. They seemed to have been marinated and well seasoned before being coated in flour and fried to a T. Also the built up Bacon Swiss Cheese Burger I got proved excellent. Nice juicy patty with melted cheese and crisp bacon along with onion and tomato (I do not care for lettuce) on a nice soft bun reminiscent of backyard grilling of yore.

During the course of my visits I had Sweet Potato and Lemon sweet dough pie. Both were delicious. However of the seven desserts on the menu only cheesecake and these pies were available. The others sounded homemade and delicious and I would have liked to have tasted them.

While I had problems with some of the menu, I would whole heartily recommend any of the fried seafood, fried chicken, gumbo, or burgers here along with the sweet dough pies. I called it a fry house for good reason.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fat Boyz

While over across the river I decided to check out Fat Boyz that took over the former Sabine Pass Shack. This is their cheeseburger which turned excellent. While on a standard Holsum type bun with American cheese the burger stood head and shoulders over several I have had recently. Nice and thick with a good char and not over or under cooked. Nice and juicy with great meat flavor. The only minus is that you have to get raunchy french fries and a drink with it to the tune of $7. If they would put bacon I accept that prize without a blinking. It was an excellent burger


Back across the river for some genuine Mexican food. This is the ceviche shrimp tostada. Get use to seeing this as I will be ordering as an appetizer for awhile. I love the combination of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy with the lushness of the avocado and mayo. It is almost an Indo Chinese dish because of all those flavors coming together. As you can see I am so much into it that I almost did not take a picture.
Below is their Coctel de Camaron. I got because they did not have the other one with all the seafood in it. The tomato base is thicker, sweeter, and spicier than El Tapatio. They use a lot of serrano peppers here and that is what is used here. It was just as delicious and sweat inducing as what I am use too. I look forward to have the seafood one.

Fast Food Monday

Stopped by Popeyes to try out their S'awesome nuggets. Not so much in my opinion. They are Ok. Nice flavor and all but they pre-toss them in the sauce so the crust is soggy. To tell the truth I much prefer Wendy's. As for the andouille cornbread dressing it is everything I hate in dressing. Wet and soggy with an odd texture and taste. My advice do not waste your money.