I think most of you know that I have a special place in my heart for pork products. I think most carnivores do, actually. As a cut of meat, it is highly versatile, lending itself to many different cooking styles and flavor profiles. As a cooking product, it is invaluable. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have started saving my rendered bacon fat and I keep it in the fridge in a little container. Much to my dismay, that container is getting frighteningly low; a reality that I must remedy soon. In fact, I would say that saving my rendered bacon fat is one of the most eye-opening culinary experiences I have had at home in a long time. Using it is such a fantastic way to impart amazing bacon flavor into nearly anything. I especially like cooking eggs with it, because it’s like having bacon and eggs without having to cook bacon in the morning.
Moving on to more pressing matters, I ate out at a nice newish restaurant in Orlando this weekend called the Rusty Spoon. It’s a gastro-pub, which is a gussied-up bar with fine dining food. I was only slightly let down by the food, mostly because of what I ordered. The service was kinda stinky, too… but this isn’t J Lethal’s Talk About Service blog.
That right there was my dinner. Prior to that, we were given an amuse bouche of two little cheesy dough balls served with the restaurant’s take on an aioli sauce (basically a garlic mayo, but this one was heavier in lemon juice and parsley.) We also ordered an appetizer, the “Haystack:” A pile of thinly cut and fried french fries, lightly dusted with a parmesan-rosemary concoction. They were served with 3 dipping sauces: homemade ketchup, bbq sauce and mustard. The bbq sauce was both my mine and my wife’s favorite as it had a real depth of flavor, and a nice smoky note to add. For the entrees, I ordered what was pictured above. It was a smoked ham hock, served on top of German potato salad, peas and..oh yeah.. BACON GRAVY! Do you see why I started out this post talking about the virtues of pork? The gravy was amazing, the potato salad was very good, but the ham kinda let me down a little. It was so incredibly fatty, that there was very little lean on the bone. It was tough to eat, I’m not gonna lie. The fat basically coated the roof of my mouth and kinda just hung out. It did have a very rich and deep flavor, but maybe they could have paired it with something that could help kill the fattiness.. or serve a different protein. My wife had the “55.” Their version of the burger, and it was fantastic. It was a large grass-fed beef patty, cooked perfectly, with the Rusty Aioli, heavily caramelized onions, bacon, cheese and pickles, served on an absolutely gigantic roll. Lucky for her, the bun was easily punched down and was soft so it was easy to eat. And it was really great. I would certainly order that for myself with no hesistations (and I think you all know my love affair with a good burger.) We then finished up with dessert, we had their three puddings: a really nice chocolate pudding, a perfect butterscotch and a “meh” honey tapioca.
Furthermore, I recorded a new video this weekend, too! It will take me some time to edit it down and hopefully I can get to it tomorrow, but I’m not gonna make any promises. I would hate to fall back on a promise, but it will be coming soon, that’s for sure. I think you’ll all enjoy it very much.
In other news, school is school. It has been 3 full weeks of classroom crap. Which isn’t to say I’m not learning anything, because I am. I am in this cost control class which could easily be re-named “How to run a succesfull business.” They are teaching us about very important math formulas on how to price out menus, and how much a recipe costs, and all manner of different things. It’s really useful. I’m also in a nutrition class which is kinda boring, I think mainly because I had certain expectations, and they were not correct. I’m looking forward to my week off at the end of the month and then I get to cook again. Baking and Pastery class. My Foundations 3 chef basically told us it’s a cake walk (pun intended) and that we wo’t have any problems. I still think it will be nice to bribe my co-workers with delicious baked goods every day.
I’m also trying to make a concerted effort to eat at more (nice) restaurants. Hopefully that will translate into more content here, and a full stomach here (I’m pointing to my stomach region.) I’ve been scouring the online deal pages looking for nice restaurants that are offering discounted certifcates and such. Also, in September, many of the nicest restaurants in town participate in Magical Dining Month, in which they offer a Prix Fixe (Price Fixed) menu of 3 courses for $30-35 depending on the restaurant. We have already vowed to go to 2 or 3 of these deals. As a culinarian, it is my duty to eat as much amazing food as possible! Especially if it’s cheap(er).
But that’s it for now. Hope you found this interesting at least, and I will try my darndest to get that video edited down and post a vlog tomorrow (but no promises).Stay positive, love your life and play with your food 🙂