A salute to the Union Jack!

To start things off, the OU just announced that bags of Laffy Taffy candy were accidentally labeled Kosher Dairy whilst in reality they are Kosher Parve. I thought some of you might like to know this, as taffy is nummy in anyone’s tummy! I’m writing this a bit under the weather. There’s a summer flu going around, so I’m relaxing, resting, and getting better.

I’ve also been looking into many culinary scholarships in the world, and trying to figure out HOW to pay for schooling. It’s amazing that there are MANY Jewish grants and scholarships, and not a single one for Kosher cooking that I’ve found! Note to myself, when I’m a famous chef… I’ll START one, darnit! I’ve been also trying to contact Kosher companies, seeing if any of them have cash set aside for those wanting to get into the Kosher industry. See, this is just one of the many reasons I want to hit Kosherfest.

I don’t know, though… I know I can become a chef – and a Kosher one at that! Many readers tell me via e-mail that WHEN I finish school, I should get onto one of the cooking reality shows. Thus by making a name for myself, also making a name for Kosher cooking. My worry is since my style is VERY different from normal kosher cooking, I might not be the best choice for such a thing. But then again, $100,000 or so & a kitchen full of new equipment COULD go a long way towards opening my dream restaurants.

See, I have a rather basic idea, really. Buy or build a LARGE complex in Seattle with a 24 hour Kosher coffee shop (Except on Shabbos) on the corner, and then TWO separate restaurants: One Dairy/vegetarian/Vegan, and one a Kosher Steakhouse. In between them both would be a bar in the center where people in both restaurants could, if they choose, mingle and chat. Possibly even a covered outdoor garden patio for smokers or those that enjoy the night air as they eat. And above it all, a loft for the wife and I to live, raise a family, and live out our days happily.

Already I’m finding rare meats and foods, and starting negotiations and pricing. I know I want Kobe Beef, and I know an American distributor that would be willing to sell me cattle & ship it to Kosher slaughter houses. I also am always researching vegetarian and vegan cooking to find ways to cook it without it being bland. Just because it doesn’t use animal products, it doesn’t have to TASTE like you’re eating twigs & berries.

But, this is several years off. At least 3 years, minimum… For now, I just plan, store ideas, and try to figure out the best way to design and decorate the place, as well as how to best run it. I mean, I will do everything in my power to ensure my employees have insurance from day one. I also am choosing Seattle because I not only love the city, but part of the year we’ll be open until 10 PM or so on Fridays, while other times in the year we’ll be opening at like 4-5 PM Saturdays. Either way, the staff and I will get at least ONE weekend night off, thus making them even more happy! I mean, being able to DATE and LIVE on a weekend night whilst working food service! Who knew it could happen!?

But I do digress… We’re here for recipes and cooking, not listening to a foodie like myself ramble on about his restaurant plans. And cooking we shall do, too! You see, I feel a bit of a British flair is in order. While Irish-German, I’ve always felt a kinship to the British. I call the restroom the W.C. (water Closet), I know the proper usage of ‘bloody’ and ‘bollocks’, and have always seen the British cuisine as overlooked by many. So stop waiting for the bowler to pitch at you, it’s cooking time!

First off, I want to mention that both these recipes were a bit of a request to me. To start with, a friend in London felt bad that she loved to drink at bars, but felt guilty when eating her favorite dish: Bangers and Mash. Now, Bangers & Mash can be both the simplest and most complex dishes you’ll ever make. In essence, it’s mashed potatoes and sausage covered in gravy, and then with a side of peas or brussel sprouts. I prefer the sprouts, myself, but peas are the norm. Either way, what SEEMS like very simple and cheap ‘pub food’ can often become your worst nightmare in the kitchen if you don’t cook it right. Either the potatoes are lumpy, the sausage explodes, or even the gravy burns. This is why I think that Bangers and Mash gets such a bad rap. Someone made a mistake on one small part, and it all goes to pot. But fear not! It’s time for your favorite Renegade Kosher Cook to come to your rescue!

First off, we need to look at sausages. If I don’t want to MAKE my own sausage, I’ll order it from Jeff’s Gourmet Kosher Sausage in Los Angeles, CA. Also, if you want a non-meat route, Tofury has some Vegan Sausage Links that are surprisingly good. I know, Tofurky is, in essence, scary stuff. I remember the green tofu molded to look like a turkey, complete with a faux wishbone. It’s no longer as frightening -or- as disgusting as it used to taste. But then, the Vegan market has come a LONG way in improving flavor and taste.

Now, I like to start with 6 to 8 sausage links for cooking. Now, I use beerbrauts, myself, which means that it’s cooked IN BEER. Now, there are several Kosher beers out there: The top ones would be Coors and Miller products, which are overseen by the OU. Also there’s a nice microbrew company I’ve plugged before, Shmaltz. Nice and heady with a robust taste, I’ll drink it when I can AFFORD it. But, since I am poor, I stick with Miller, myself.

Now, to cook the sausages, we start by warming a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, then pouring one bottle of beer into the skillet. Opening another bottle for the cook to nurse on, set the sausages into the beer before covering with a BIG lid. Now, just let the sausages rest there in the beer for about 5-7 minutes. The good thing is that right now the sausage is getting all the flavors from the beer, but the alcohol is cooking away. Remember, with most meats alcohol can be your friend in cooking.

After waiting the 5-7 minutes, you want to take off the lid (Careful of steam!), and then flip them over. The sausages should be getting plump, and the smell should be delicious in your kitchen right now. Recover and continue to cook the sausages for another 5-7 minutes or until browned LIGHTLY all over. We want them cooked, but not burned. Another way to cook the sausages is to set them in a glass casserole dish with a bottle of beer and 1 onion, diced. Just cover with the lid or foil, and then bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and continue. The bonus of this way is if you like onions, you can serve them over the sausages!

Now, we have our cooked sausages. Turn off the heat, remove them from the beer, and discard of the used beer. It’s given its all, and has nothing of value left. Or does it? There’s still lots of flavor there, and with the added meat juices from the sausage, we COULD make a gravy! YES! Let’s do that! Keeping the beer in the skillet or casserole dish (With the onions if you did it the casserole route), Now, gravy is EASY! What we want to do is keep heating the beer over low heat and SLOWLY whisk in 1 teaspoon Cornstarch to start with. If it has trouble thickening as it cooks, slowly continue to add cornstarch in 1/2 teaspoon increments every 2 minutes until nice, thick, and bubbly.

Now, scoop 1 cup mashed potatoes onto each plate, cover with two sausages, and then ladle the gravy over the sausages & potatoes. Finally, add a heaping scoop of peas or brussel sprouts and serve with a nice beer. Mmmmm, just the thing to enjoy after welcoming in the shabbos or while watching some new episodes of Doctor Who! Now, in Great Britain there’s a variation of this known as a ‘Banger Clock’. This is 12 sausages arranged like the points on a clock on a LARGE mound of mashed potatoes before being SMOTHERED in gravy. Eating a whole Banger Clock is a major bragging feat, and some pubs even have contests to see if someone can even manage the feat in one sitting.

But, none the less, we leave Bangers and Mash for ANOTHER British treat: Spotted Dick. I’ll let you all giggle for a while before I continue…

Okay, it’s not THAT funny! Stop it now! Jeez… Now then, funny name aside, Spotted Dick is quite the delight in Britain. And no, it’s not what happens after spending an evening with a Madam of Ill Repute! Well, it is, but… You know what I mean!!! Gah! Anyhow! Food! Let’s make this before my readers’ minds go permanently into the gutter…

First we need to mix 1 1/4 cups self rising flour, a pinch of Kosher salt, 3/4 cup bread crumbs or Matzos Meal, 1/2 cup fine sugar, the zest of one lemon, 6 oz. by WEIGHT of raisins or currants, and 3/4 cup shredded vegetable suet. If you can’t get vegetable suet, I suggest using 3/4 cup shortening. It’s not the SAME, but… It works well in a pinch. Now, mixing all the ingredients together, we want to scoop the ingredients out to the outside of the bowl and slowly add 5 Tablespoons of Milk or soy milk to the center. Then fold the dry goods into the milk and knead until a nice dough is formed. I recommend flouring your hands first, to keep the dough from sticking.

Next, flour the counter before plopping the dough out of the bowl. Flouring your rolling pin, you want to now roll out the dough until about 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Now, taking some cheesecloth, take the dough and wrap it loosely in the cheesecloth before tying off the corners and edges atop tightly. Now, taking a LARGE pot, fill it with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Taking your bag of dough, drop it into the bubbling water and boil the bag for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When it’s done, take the bag out of the boiling water, unwrap, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Then cover with your favorite custard and enjoy warm!

Okay, so now you have a delicious British dinner all hot, ready, and waiting to eat! I hope you enjoy! I’ll be back next week, once again, to bring you more food and thoughts from my demented mind. Shalom and Good Cooking!

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August 18, 2006. dessert, main courses, recipes, Uncategorized.

6 Comments

  1. Suicidal Mickey Mouse replied:

    Mmm, soymilk. Silk is the best. It’s rather expensive for soymilk but if you can buy it once or twice, it’s definitely worth a try.

  2. WebKittyn replied:

    He’Brew! I absolutely love that stuff and I love the whole idea of it!

    I’m really enjoying this place, you are all around top of the line.

  3. Renegade Kosher replied:

    I do agree! Silk is the best! And thanks, WebKittyn! I take that as a very high compliment coming from you!

  4. LaDonna replied:

    Congrats on the Best Blog award for the blogathan! Yay!!!

  5. Binary Blonde replied:

    Congratulations on your Blogathon award! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Alan replied:

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze open that Kosher eatery in Seattle! I’m planning to move there this summer, and I’m a little spoiled being from NY and all.

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