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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Favourite Recipe - Charlie Hickmott

I recently asked a few good friends and family members to furnish me with their favourite recipe. The one they always do that's absolutely guaranteed to work every time. The standby, go-to recipe that will not let them down.  And I today present to you the first in that series (at least, I hope it'll be a series), from my own flesh and blood - my son Charlie.

Ready to cook up some tasty jazz grooves.

Charlie lives in Portland, Oregon and works in a taco joint. He's a very smart young man (if I say so myself), an accomplished musician (he's drummed in punk bands and jazz combos alike), is well-read, sophisticated, smart, funny, and a good cook. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? Eh?) It is an honour for me to reproduce here his favourite recipe, partly because it makes me look good and partly because it's less work for me to do I'm extremely proud to be his Dad. So I'll quit waffling and hand over to Charlie.

As my girlfriend Allison would say, my favourite recipe is to walk into a kitchen and use food I find to make a meal, ad lib and without any more thought process than, "Hey, that looks tasty, put it in the pan." But I was asked for a single recipe, not just an amalgam of every recipe. So, after long deliberation, I have settled on not one, but three recipes because 
(1) I couldn't decide after all and 
(2) This makes a charming meal when served all together. 

Part the First; Make The Steak

Okay, I'll not bore everyone on how to make steak. There are a hundred different cookbooks telling you how to cook the perfect steak. I'm sure you can handle it if you are reading a food blog. But my absolute favorite marinade is the simplest you can get. Acid plus oil plus herb equals yummy beef. I recommend lime for this particular meal, and that will be a theme. Grab your steak, whichever you prefer (make it a cheap one so I don't waste your money) and slap it in a roasting tray, Tupperware container, anything you have laying around. Then go wild with that lime. I humbly suggest zesting the peel of the lime onto the steak, then use about half of a lime's juice on each piece of meat. Follow that up with a glug of olive oil and whatever herb you prefer. Let's say cilantro (Coriander) for today for a slightly south of the border theme. Now, the fun part. Rub said ingredients vigorously into your steak and let soak for 15-20 minutes before grilling to perfection.

Part the Second; Potatoes

Potatoes are brilliant. I love them to death. I can hardly live without them. Not many other foods (besides eggs) are so versatile and fun to work with. The next recipe is easy and healthier than what you might find under a sign of golden arches for example, and tastier too. Take your potato (stroke it, caress it) and slice it in half lengthwise, then slice that half lengthwise about seven times or so to get vaguely french fry type shapes out of it. Once you have as many as you like, put them all on a baking sheet that has been covered with aluminum foil (trust me, you'll want it.) To prevent sticking you could spray the sheet with cooking spray or oil or what have you. Be liberal, as potatoes tend to get sticky. Take the time to now pre-heat the oven to about 425 Fahrenheit. Once your potatoes are on the tray, sprinkle them with just an inkling of corn starch, then a good squeeze of lime and some more zest. Maybe Parmesan cheese if you're feeling up for it. Some whole cloves of garlic would not go amiss here, or simple garlic powder if you don't have the real type. Bake these suckers for about 30 minutes or until they're soft. If you can't wait that long, feel free to parboil them first for about ten minutes. 


 Part the Third; Avocado Crema

This last recipe brings it all together. If you live in an area where you can find Crema Agria, then feel free to use that. Otherwise Greek yogurt will do the trick, or creme fraiche, or even sour cream in a pinch. Chop up a good handful of cilantro (coriander) and set it aside. Then, in a Tupperware container, peel and pit two avocados per four cup batch of Crema. Add the cilantro and stir, making sure to get all the avocado off the bottom. Add another lime's worth of juice and this sauce will tie the steak to the fries and make a meal out of it all. Hope you all have fun trying this dish. I take no responsibility if it fails miserably.


Thanks Charlie for that great recipe combination! I'm trying this as soon as I get a chance, and I'll post the results right here on the blog for all to see. 

If you would like to see your favourite recipe printed here in glorious Jeff-O-Text™ on the ol' blog, then send it to me via my Facebook page or my email  jeffie2k@gmail.com with any pictures or back story to go with it, along with a short bio, and I'll get it up here asap. 

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