Diary For Weekend of 2/16/2019: Loose Days, Extra Radio Hours.
Through the year, the schedules of LSU basketball and baseball have my weekend Food Show moving around, doubling up, or absent entirely. This weekend and last, I had shows both on Saturday and Sunday, making for a twenty-consecutive run without a day off from the radio. When is the last time I said how lucky I am in the job I have, involving so many of my favorite things–radio, food, writing, music, and being in the public eye!
So it was that Mary Ann made another of her omelettes de la restes. “Restes” is French for “leftovers.” It’s about time we started using that word, remembering that if you want to sound French, you would not make the sound of the “r.” (I learned that at the NPAS choral rehearsal. We’re working on a show that’s mostly in French.
The Food Show was on from noon until two, with a steady stream of callers during those three hours. If only the weekday shows were that easy! I’m grateful that I can plug that show among the WWL audience.
Then came a run to the supermarket, followed by a nap, then dinner. Just the two of us got the corner table in the main dining room at Forks & Corks. That’s the bistro-style restaurant owned by Osman Rodas, whose flagship eatery is Pardo. (Which recently moved, but we’re stretching a little too far here. Forks & Corks is the restaurant of the antique little TerraBella townlet (another word we need that I just made up). Its menu also goes back in time, with dishes that one would have had at Galatoire’s in the 1970s or thereabouts. Mary Ann had her usual gumbo, which she has long praised highly. I had the soup of the day, but I forgot everything about it except that it was good.
But the big hit of the meal was veal Vienerschnitzel. Now here is a dish I haven’t encountered–certainly not under that name–in a long time. It’s an easy concept: veal round sliced thin then panned, then finished with a light sauce of lemon butter with crabmeat and brown mustard. I think it was the best dish I’ve ever at at Forks & Corks. Which is a restaurant that I like more than the Marys do, so I don’t get to eat there as often as I might otherwise.
I spend the next morning updating the NOMenu subscriber files, a task that fits perfectly in the gap from awakening at 7 a.m. until I leave to sing at St. Jane’s at 10 a.m. After the Mass, I was drawn by some email come-ons to go to the discount department store Belk. I needed a new carry-on briefcase. I found one that was $150 until I got to the checkout, where the price somehow went down to a little over $60. Then I got some casual black trousers on a buy-one, get-two-free deal. And a stack of washcloths to replace the rags in my bathroom. (The Marys have their own, with nice new towelry. But the girls are my queen and princess. I am only the king.)
Forks & Corks. Covington: 141 TerraBella Blvd. 985-273-3663.
Today’s extra Food Show ran from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Another winner, with calls standing in line to discuss a wide range of edible matter. I went through the tall pile of emails that accumulated in the last few days. Then a nap, followed by no dinner. Neither of the Marys were interested in eating. I made a sandwich of ham, Genoa salami, Colby cheese, and 15-grain bread. And the Mary talked about how the electrician and the plumber were expected to arrive at Mary Leigh’s under-construction house. We can at last see the approach of her moving out from the Cool Water Ranch. I don’t like to think about how our lives will change after that.
Although it’s been said (I think by me, come to think of it) that even a piece of plywood would taste good panneed, that’s not the basis of this recipe. Although veal is the more common panneed meat, I prefer to use pork loin. It has all the advantages of veal with none of the disadvantages (dryness, expense, the way butchers slice veal wrong).
Panneed medallions of pork or veal (you can use the same recipe) are so easily and quickly cooked that you need to get the pasta side dish finished before starting this. Pasta bordelaise is the perfect companion to pannee anything, although pasta Alfredo is more common in restaurants.
- 2 lbs. pork loin (not tenderloin), well trimmed
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. salt-free Creole seasoning
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups freshly grated bread crumbs
- 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiana cheese
- Vegetable oil
- Fresh chopped parsley
1. Slice the pork across the grain into slices about the thickness of two stacked nickels. Pound the pork between two pieces of waxed paper until each piece is about twice its original size.
2. Mix the salt and Creole seasoning into the flour. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, and Parmigiana cheese.
3. Lightly dust (don’t dredge!) the pork slices with the flour mixture. With tongs, dip the pork slices in the beaten egg. Shake off the excess. Then dredge through the bread crumbs.
4. Heat about a half-inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high fire, until a pinch of bread crumbs fries vigorously. Cook the veal, as many pieces as will fit without overlapping, for about a minute per side, or until the exterior is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels, then transfer to a plate in a 200-degree oven to keep warm until all slices are finished cooking
Serve garnished with parsley, with pasta alfredo or pasta bordelaise on the side.
Serves four to six.
February 20, 2019
Mardi Gras: March 5
St. Patrick’s Day: March 17
St. Joseph’s Day: March 19
Easter: April 21
Many websites claim that today is National Cherry Pie Day. The problem with this is that cherries are totally out of season right now, and we must make any cherry pie with canned cherries, resulting in a cloyingly oversweet dessert. Remember when you could get a cherry pie at McDonald’s and places of that ilk? Just apple now, I think (although I’m behind on my research on fast-food fried pies.)
Great Moments In Grocery Shopping
The square-bottomed paper bag was invented by Luther Crowell of Cape Cod, who spent his spare time folding paper and attempting to make things out of it. He got a patent for his flat-bottomed bag in 1867. It would remain universal in grocery stores until the plastic sack took over.
Beer Through History
The Yuengling Brewery opened in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on this date in 1829. It’s still in business, the oldest American brewery that can make that claim. I guess that makes them a bit older than Dixie. It continued operation during Prohibition by making a nasty drink called “near-beer.” Here’s some background on the outfit, if you’re interested.
Inventions For Better Eating
A toothpick manufacturing machine was invented on this day in 1872, by two guys, J.P. Cooley and Silas Noble. One of them did the round toothpicks and the other flat. The best toothpicks are made of alder wood. Ask the next very expensive restaurant you dine in whether they have alder toothpicks. Then tell them that they should. Let’s see how long this takes to make it into the national food magazines. Most of the toothpicks made in America, by the way, are made in Maine.
Annals Of Wine Marketing
The first wine auction that we know about took place in London on this date in 1673. Amazingly, a bottle of Phelps Insignia went for almost $2,000. No, it didn’t. The wine being auctioned was entirely in barrels, and was sold as a bulk commodity.
Barbecue, North Carolina (the perfect state for a place with that name) is forty-four miles west southwest of Raleigh, where Barbecue Church Road (imagine the church fairs they have there!) branches off State Route 27. It’s in hilly country with tobacco farms interspersed with woods. North Carolina has a distinctive style of barbecue, done mostly open-pit style, with a vinegar-based, sloshy sauce that takes a little getting used to to is delicious. (*Here’s a good guide to the stuff.) The nearest place to get some is Buffalo Supply on Buffalo Lake, about four miles away.
arancini, Italian, n., pl.–A Sicilian appetizer made by rolling rice moistened with a meaty red sauce into balls an inch or two in diameter. They’re coated with bread crumbs and fried. The word means “little oranges,” an apt name. Arancini usually have a lump of cheese in the center. This gives rise to their alternate name, suppli al telefono–“telephone wires,” which is what the festoons of cheese look like when you take a bite and they stretch out from the arancino to your teeth. Sometimes meat or peas or other fillings are in the center, along with the cheese. Arancini are found everywhere in Sicily, and are slowly becoming popular in this country.
Dining In The Movies
Today is the birthday of accomplished film star Sidney Poitier. Among his best-known movies was Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? in 1967. It’s about the problems the older generation had when their children started hanging around with people with other racial backgrounds.
Words To Eat By
“The majority of those who put together collections of verses or epigrams resemble those who eat cherries or oysters: they begin by choosing the best and end by eating everything.”–Nicolas Chamfort, an eminently quotable author from the mid-1700s.
Words To Drink By
“What’s drinking? A mere pause from thinking!”–Lord Byron.