Friday, September 18, 2009

Steak & Stuff 9/18/09

Well the week was a week. It seems like I never catch up now that football season is in full swing. FCT was good, but could be better. I had a warm fuzzy happen on Tuesday. Giving good news is always a good thing. Anytime you can make three ladies going to Alaska happy you are going to have a good day. Are you ready for some Steak & Stuff? One of the nights that we stayed at Jim & Jean's while we were in Troy, we experienced one heck of a meal. I mean an awesome meal! Chef Jim & Chef Jean are awesome cooks, so I got to watch and take pictures. This also allowed me to drink a little more than I should have. That was ok because it also allowed my camera to stay in focus even though my eyes were not. Our evening started off with this incredible fried calamari appetizer with a crazy yummy oriental style dipping sauce. Jim & Jean have a restaurant in Clearwater, FL that they know one of the chefs at. They buy their calamari from him in 1 lb packs, but 10 lbs at a time. Iron Chef Jim took the honors and was frying some golden goodness. I have to tell you the calamari was to die for. It was crunchy and oh so tender. Did we talk about the dipping sauce? Oh my! We had some wimps with us who would not eat calamari, so there had to be specially prepared items for them. Actually I think it was only one person who would not eat them and he has the same name a s mine. We had caught a few small bass earlier in the morning with our guide Jimmy. Jimmy (Jim & Jean's son) worked on fileting them and smoked them on a vertical smoker during the day. They brought out these smoked bass fillets and I am not kidding you, these little guys were the bomb. In the water in the morning and in my belly later that day. Dinner would have to wait a bit so we could rest and make a new adult beverage. Three ladies a chopping would start making the salad stuff. They did a good job and the salad items were consistently chopped the same size. This salad had 15 items in it. It was a meal in its self. I was quite impressed after watching them drink a few pink lemonade adult beverages. Let’s see. Pink lemonade vodka and pink lemonade sounds like something that could affect your knife skills. Chef Jean was up next with her famous sweet potato chips. There were a lot of sweet potato chips to fry up. What an awesome partner to go with the king of meats. Filet Mignon was the meat of choice. It was butchered and made its way all the way from The Villages, FL. The person with the same name as mine who would not eat calamari was the delivery man. Each steak was carefully placed in the pan and the doctor would go to work prescribing all sorts of ointments to help this meat live up to its name. The medicine had been prescribed and the waiting game began. That left us a few minutes to prepare another adult beverage. Chef Jim had one more recipe to go before the meat hit the fire. Here is how the recipe goes. Take a pan, add 2 sticks of butter, garlic salt and as much garlic as you can chop. Turn the fire on low and let the butter and garlic become husband and wife. A marriage made in heaven. This would become my last treatment before the filet hit the grill. Each filet would be double dipped in the butter garlic mixture and gently placed on the grill. Gently would be an understatement, as when butter hits the fire it becomes war. This is how you lock in the prescribed flavors and get a good char. The filets are now all on and the cooking instructions start flowing. They sounded like instructions but I think it was the adult beverages that were flowing. You know everyone wants to be a grill doctor. After we came to an agreement as to which doctor was in charge of working with the patients the meal all started to come together. Chef Jean was completed with the sweet potato chips and the filet's were resting awaiting their surgery. The wine bottles are opened and the conversation gets lively. We all take are places and fill our plates with this wonderful meal and most important the amazing company that we were all part of. The food was really awesome and all of the flavors married well together. As the meal comes to an end I take time to reflect on how blessed we all really are. Family and friends are what makes the world go around. I just want to say thanks again to Jim & Jean for letting us invade their incredible home as we get ready to go see Matt play at Auburn. You already know that I am crazy when it comes to food! I hope you too will one day get to share your Steak & Stuff with your family and friends! Find something you enjoy and just do it! Have fun and smile! You never know what tomorrow will bring! Until next time, "Cookin' with John" will be playing with some more food ideas to share with you!