One Down (and 3.6 to go)

My cooking friend, Mark, emailed me a few weeks ago with a list of questions, reading recommendations, and an update on the North Carolina snowfall. He was practically snowed-in, with 8 inches in one day, and spent his time making stock. Me? I probably would have made cookies, or pie. But stock’s good too.

He recommended I read some of Andrew Dornenburg’s books such as Culinary Artistry, or What to Drink with What you Eat, or The Flavor Bible. I own the latter two, and read them frequently. They’re perfect for making your own recipes, or for substituting ingredients, and especially for determining what to make for an Iron Chef battle. Apparently, he often asks chefs:

If you were going to Antarctica for 2 years, what 10 ingredients would you take with you?

When I answered Mark, I wasn’t sure what those top 10 ingredients would be. My mind immediately wandered to my favorite foods, and not those ingredients I would need to survive and stay healthy. I mean, the more fat, the better, right? When in Antarctica…..

But in light of my “Bloggiversary” (yes, it’s officially been 1 whole year! And to believe, it all started with chicken pastry), I’ve decided to share my (somewhat revised) picks with you. It seems only fittin’ to make a top ten list for this special occasion, rather than a recipe from last week’s cooking. Consider yourself forewarned – these picks are neither logical nor viable and in no way reflect what I’d really suggest taking to the South Pole. Or are they? So, in no particular order, here they are:

1. Potatoes. Primarily of the sweet and orange variety, but I’m being slick and generalizing. Mashed, biscuited, gnocchied, baked whole, fried, and pied. You name it; I want it.

Baked French Fries
Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Andouille & Sweet Potato Pie w/ Tangy Apple Salad

2. Pork. I’d get all cuts of meat; can’t limit myself to ‘da butt! I gots to have my pork – bbq’d, stewed, ribbed, rolled into balls, grilled-hot with a stuffed pepper. And with all the fish in Antarctica, it’s the only other meat source I think I’ll need. Maybe I’ll find lamb there? hmm…

Ancho Pork & Hominy Stew
Char Siu over Sesame Noodles
Eastern NC Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork
Pork Chops w/ Chile Rellenos & Ancho Sauce
Stuffed Pork Chops w/ Creamy Grits

3. Malbec. Because a girl gets thirsty, and the ice just wouldn’t cut it, although it’s great for sangria. But maybe I shouldn’t discriminate, since I clearly like all kinds of wine, from Michigan to Napa and all points in between and around. But Malbec, that’s choice #1.

Spiced Sangria
Napa Wine Trip, March 2009 (post 1 of 4)
Michigan Wine Trip, August 2009

4. Grains. I needs my carbs; and rice is boring, unless it’s red. Plus, farro’s not only pretty, but it’s so damn good for ya. I have to pick something somewhat healthy, right?

Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto
Dried Fruit & Oat Bran Muffins
Farro & Veggie Salad w/ Goat Cheese
Quinoa-Arugula Salad w/ Apricots & Pistachios

5. Cake. I might settle for cupcakes rather than whole cakes, but I would definitely need some stocked in my Antarctic freezer. Wait; do they have freezers, or do things just sit outside?

Brown Sugar Pecan Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Chocolate Basil Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Cake
Tropical Gingerbread Cake

6. Goat milk. But I have to figure out how to make cheese first, because that’s the main reason I want it, and to mix it with the farro. If I do milk form, I can drink it too. Did you know I was smart?!

Strawberry Pizza w/ Goat Cheese, Watercress, & Pistachios

7. Molasses. Oh, I don’t know. Things just taste better with molasses. And I’ll get tired of drinking wine :).

Easy Granola Bars
Homemade S’mores

Triple Ginger Cookies
Beef Burgers w/ Peanut-Chipotle BBQ Sauce

8. Arugula. Because I just noticed I had nothing green on this list.

Quinoa & Arugula Salad

9. Citrus. I’ve eaten whole lemons since the 70’s. Well, not the 70’s, but at least for a long time.  I couldn’t imagine going 2 years without a lemon wedge or a fresh squeeze of lime, or even some orange supremes.

Dark Chocolate Grapefruit Cake
Lime Shortbread Cookies

Salmon with Agave Nectar and Citrus Salad
Meyer Lemon & Blueberry Pancakes
Lemon Blueberry Buckle

10. Saffron. Because every girl needs to take a little somethin’ fancy with them when they go on a trip. It doesn’t have to be jewelery, does it?

Seafood Paella
B’Stilla:  Moroccan Chicken Pie
Cod with Chorizo & Mussels
Moroccan Lamb Tagine

What’s your top ten? As a “bloggiversary gift”, you can share yours with me! And thanks, everyone, for reading my ramblings of the past year. It’s been an absolute blast.

Thanks also, to Bens Folds, for the title inspiration and the amazing song.

2 thoughts on “One Down (and 3.6 to go)

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