Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm a Yankees' fan, but...

... How can I explain this?

I'm rooting for the for the Mets.

It's not a "New York" thing - that 'If my team isn't in it, I'll support my hometown team' thing. It's a roots thing; a DNA thing. See, I have the Blue and Orange in my blood. Got it, like a lot of things, from my Dad who hated the friggin Giants so much for leaving his beloved Brooklyn, that he switched teams, but not leagues. Oooo, shudder. Never leagues. NEVER!

How, you ask can I even consider Pinstripes as an option? Well, don't tell my DH (ha! rather appropriate here!), but it really has very little to do with the Yankee-lover I married. (Get it? DH can equal dear hubby, or in the AL, designated hitter.)

My Pinstripe Proclivity has waaaaay more to do with first and lasting impressions. Though not chronologically correct - nor filled with Bombers' memories - this list was formative. 

-The summer of 1976, I went to my first baseball game - and for some reason, it was a Yankees game - and I can still how magical the grass looked to me through a sea of blue seats that stretched to the famous white frieze. And as my Mom recovered the living room sofa in anticipation of my upcoming bat mitzvah, the Yanks - Reds World Series game drowned out the staple gun;

-Reggie Jackson became Mr. October; 

-Dad called me away from my homework to watch each of Hank Aaron's at bats, when he had 714 home runs under his belt, until he broke Babe Ruth's record with No. 715; 

-When I close my eyes and see Willie Mays' famous over-the-shoulder catch as he sprinted to the centerfield wall, it's in technicolor. Can't be - it was 1954;

-And come April, the crack of the bat emanating from each of my grandmothers' television sets heralded the promise of warm weather.

Well, the warm weather is once again gone, but thankfully, baseball is still here. To 'celebrate' we had stadium-worthy hot dogs with homemade chili sauce.

Here goes:

-Sauté a medium chopped onion in a heavy pot lightly coated with olive oil. 

-Add three minced garlic cloves (less if you prefer), 1t ground cumin, 1t ground coriander, 1T tomato paste, 1T brown sugar, 2t (hot) chili powder, and a half t each of salt & pepper. Stir until very fragrant, then add 1 8-oz tin of unsalted tomato sauce and 2 1/2 cups water. 

-Here's the odd part: When the liquid boils, add 1 pound of *raw* chopped meat (beef or turkey) and rapidly stir to break it up. Yes, this works.

-Boil until thick, but if you are impatient take out about 2T of the liquid and make a slurry with an equal amount of corn starch. Stir the pot vigorously as you add it back. 

-Get your dogs cooked while the sauce thickens. Check the seasoning in the sauce; might need a bit more salt or heat. Then ladle it on your dog with some spicy brown mustard!

Regardless of the outcome, there isn't much baseball left in 2015 so soon we'll have to wait for that particular sound to herald Spring. But I'm pretty confident the Amazins will prevail - giving us something to cherish this winter.

And unlike my Grandmother Rose - who refused to cook dinner each night her precious Dodgers lost - I'll keep on cookin!
...unless the NYRangers screw up in playoffs again. Then, all bets are off!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hey ... remember me?

Good! 'Cuz it's been a while and you may've thought I lost my way. But no, I just went off in another direction. A better direction. A tastier one...


Some time ago, I declared myself Officially Retired from public relations --  couldn't stand that stuff anyway -- and commenced my second career. Or third, if you count my stint in newspapers. But, whatever...

While PR and reporting/editing are related, the only thing my new phase has in common with newspapers is the Wednesday Food Section: I'm a Chef. And, despite the name of this blog, a damn good one. Though, like any professional: even a Master can create A Recipe for Disaster!

Over the past few years I've honed my craft as a culinary instructor, baker, caterer and sous chef  - or Sue Chef as I like to refer to myself. (Get it?) I've trained on the job, at the Culinary Institute of America, and through the best teacher of all, trial and error. 
For the most part, I make my dough selling cookies. Original Wild Cookies, Citrus-Herb Shortbreads, Snickerdoodles, chocolate ones, spicy ones, rose-infused ones, fruity Kouign Amanns, rugelach... 

For a time, Suzy's Wild Cookies were for sale at Whole Foods. And while I'm always looking for new places to sell them - lemme know if you have any ideas! - I'm happily peddling my wares via mail order and at the Montgomery Farmer's Market each Saturday from June through October.  

Shameless sales pitch ahead...
Order online at www.suzyswildcooking.com

I hafta say, building my own business has been incredibly rewarding...even if I'm still working on making it financially rewarding. Every step, I've taken on my own... from researching those silly UPC codes that are on everything you scan at the market to creating valid nutrition labels to developing the recipes (natch) and creating my website ...So yes, I'll say it, I'm rather proud of myself. Mostly because I learned I could rely on only myself. Not too shabby for a validation- and buyin-seeking person like me.

So there you have it. 

It's been an interesting few years since we last spoke - full of successes and disappointments - but I wouldn't change a thing... Well, maybe just one. But success rarely comes overnight!

To celebrate, here's a fabu Curried Marinade for Chicken... It makes enough for about eight chicken breasts, but if you marinate four - AND DON'T CROSS CONTAMINATE!!! - the rest makes a nice sauce for when it's cooked.

Here goes:

-Into a blender (or bowl, if you're using an immersion blender) put:

  • 3/4 C Plain Greek-style Yogurt
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 t Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 t Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 t each ground
    • Turmeric
    • Sumac
    • Cardamom
    • Cumin
    • Fenugreek
  • 1/8 t Cayenne
  • 1 t Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 t Ground White Pepper
-Give it all a whirl until you have a paste. C'est tout!!
-Put half in another bowl (NO CROSS CONTAMINATION!!), and spread the rest on both sides of the chicken. (I like to pound the chicken breasts so they are uniformly thick and cook quickly.) Marinate covered for about an hour.
-Grill on high heat for the first side, then turn down to medium when you flip 'em.

Pairs well with a Martini...then again, doesn't everything?