The Grillmaster has decided to periodically share with you what goes on behind-the-scenes in the Diabetic Foodie kitchen. Here’s his first installment. Read at your own risk.
The Grillmaster’s Wrap-Up
What did we eat last week? Let’s see…
- Bikini pancakes
- Grandma’s one-piece apple pancake
- Purple mashed potatoes
- Corned beef & cabbage
- Oat bran cereal with goji berries and golden raisins
- Turkey sausage and wheat spaghetti in red sauce
- White wine, red wine, Blue Moon beer
Not all of these were prepared by the DF; some were done by the GM. (And some were only consumed by the GM.)
Number one in interest is bikini pancakes. DF asked me if I wanted bikini pancakes. Now men, let me ask you… if your woman tells you she is going to slip into a bikini in March, are you going to tell her no? So I said “sure, I’d love bikini pancakes.” That’s when she said “zucchini, not bikini.”
Well, okay. But it’s nowhere near as exciting as thinking about her cooking in a bikini what with the hot grease and the splattering and all. How were the pancakes? Think of crabcakes with an interesting stuffing, but no crab.
Next is Grandma’s one-piece apple pancake. I mean, if you made bikini pancakes one night and you’re making apple pancakes the next morning, what does that make you think of? Grandma. With her hair in a bun, wire rim glasses, cooking in a one-piece swimsuit with a little skirt. Gotta have the skirt.
How were they? Or rather how was it? I say this because there was one pancake, made in a small cast iron pan. Didn’t look too interesting when it came out of the oven. DF cut it in half and flipped each half onto a plate (the flip side looked much better than the top). I classed mine up with a variant of the “eggs funny face” shot, using bacon and vitamin pills.
How was it, you ask again? Good, very good, very adult. What do I mean by very adult? I mean it was filling, but not overly sweet. We’re not talking IHOP with whipped cream and gobs of caramel. How did she accomplish this? By making a few modifications. For example, instead of four tablespoons of butter, she used one plus one tablespoon of olive oil. Sugar? It called for four tablespoons, she used a half of one. One egg? She used egg whites instead. Bleached white flour? She used whole wheat pastry flour. How did it taste? Rich, filling, slightly sweet, delicious. [DF comment: I'll be posting the apple pancake recipe in April.]
Purple mashed potatoes – okay, you can get those little Peruvian guys, which are very good or you can combine mashed potatoes and purple cabbage like we did. How was it? Good. Hearty. Purple. A little gassy on the third day of leftovers.
Corned beef and cabbage – What’s not to like? DF used leftover corned beef in a soup with barley. Hey, it’s all good.
Oat bran cereal – I got this to feed to the plants in the garden. Never made it there, so I decided to try it as a cereal. Water and oat bran two or three parts to one, then cook it on the stove. Looks like cream of wheat, which I think is disgusting. I snazzed it up with some goji berries and raisins, then I tried it. It was really good! Not like that cream of wheat with its little grains of grossness. This had a nice thick, rich consistency. The goji berries, once plumped in water, give a little burst in your mouth, not that they have much taste. It’s more the surprise of the burst, kind of like those soft candies with the liquid centers.
Okay, you non-cooks out there, this is a meal to have at the ready when the cook in your life says they don’t feel like cooking – spaghetti and some sort of meat. My version featured turkey sausage, which I defrosted in the microwave, then cut into chunks and browned in a frying pan with a little canola oil. Meanwhile, I made a sauce. How do you do that? Easy. Cut up onion and brown. Make sure that the flame isn’t too hot after the onion hits the pan; you can start out over medium heat but then you need to cut it back. You can use canola or olive oil. I usually start with canola and if I have to add a bit more I switch to olive. (Olive oil has more flavor but it burns at a lower temperature.) Then I add garlic. You can use some from a bottle of crushed, you can use some fresh and put it through a press or you can cut it up and smash it with the side of your knife. A neat trick for peeling garlic is to break the cloves apart and place in a large metal bowl. Turn another bowl on top of it and shake the dickens out of it. You’ll feel like a rock star cook.
Okay now add either that jar of spaghetti sauce or a can of some kind of tomatoes to the frying pan, stir. While all this is going on, get your water boiling – a lot of water in a big pot. Once boiling, add salt and olive oil. Bring to a boil again. Add spaghetti. When I add in my pasta, I break it into thirds – sacrilege probably, but I’m tired of the errant strand of spaghetti whipping tomato sauce on me. Whatever you do, after you add the spaghetti don’t second guess yourself as to whether you added enough spaghetti. As soon as you’ve added in the spaghetti, stir it. Then add a few more pieces to overcome your self-doubt. Once it begins to boil again, turn it down and set the timer. I use whole wheat spaghetti and time it for 12 minutes.
While the spaghetti is cooking, stir your sauce, add in the turkey chunks and set the table. I made a quick salad too. We had baby spinach leaves and strawberries in the refrigerator. Wash the spinach, spin or pat dry, arrange on plates, slice strawberries and place on top. Serve with a dark rich balsamic vinegar and olive oil – not too much.
Drain spaghetti, place in serving bowl, add sauce, toss.
Take off your pants, call your wife and tell her dinner is ready.