Category Archives: The Frying Pan and The Music Man

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Oils are an integral part of cooking. Regardless of what you are preparing, it’s likely you will incorporate a fat, unless you are in a time machine going back the SnackWell 1990’s.

Oils are purposeful. They add flavor, they lubricate, in some cases they elevate ordinary things to spectacular dishes.

They are also malleable, and take on the flavors compounded with them over time.

So, I offer you The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil. This is good for salad dressing and finishing. It can be used for cooking as well, but because of the labor involved and the subtlety of the product, it’s best for dressing and finishing.

What you need:

  • 4 cups of grapeseed oil
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 4 tbsp peppercorn (black or mixed)
  • 4 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 4 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • the rind of a lemon

In a sturdy pot (I use a cast iron skillet), measure out your oil. Cut the heads of garlic to expose the insides of each clove. No need to peel. Place in a 250 degree oven for about an hour and a half.

Allow this to cool.

Choose your bottles or jars. I chose 1 bottle to accommodate 2 cups, and then 2 more to accommodate 1 cup each.  Wash them diligently. Make sure whatever vessel you use can attain a solid seal to prevent leaking and contamination.

Combine your ingredients. For every cup of oil, you will want 1 tbsp of chili, 2 lemon peels, 1 tbsp of peppercorn and a sprig of rosemary.

Allow to sit for 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Enjoy!

Other interesting combinations include:

  • star anise and fennel frond
  • raw garlic by itself for a very garlicky oil
  • fresh basil leaves and roasted garlic
  • fresh lavender and thyme

This is The Gentleman Caller signing off.

For the PDF click here: Infused Oil

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The Gentleman’s All-purpose Pork BBQ Rub

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Ahhh, barbecue, that most polarizing and satisfying culinary endeavor.  I have gone to great lengths and waited in great lines for delicious barbecue, and have rarely regretted it.

However, sometimes you aren’t in the mood to fight the blue hairs, screaming children of others, and if you’re in Texas – the heat – just for some ‘cue. Sometimes it’s validating to take matters into your own hands.

Now, I am a Texan… well, a New Yorker from Texas… and generally beef is the Bible of barbecue. But I have strayed. Brisket is still generally the king for The Gentleman Caller, but dammit if I don’t love some pork barbecue as well.

We are going to do this step by step. This here is the rub. The perfect dry rub for a pork butt or ribs. This also works brilliantly on pork chops… really any kind of grilled meat. Note that it doesn’t contain any spices that BURN.

Adjust quantities as you need to achieve the yield you want, and let’s go!

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Mexene chili powder
  • 1 tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 tbsp all spice
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin

**For a sweeter meat, you have the option of incorporating 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. I prefer to pour liquid molasses over the meat as it cooks. That way you can control whether or not it burns. Sugar BURNS.

When I am making my own rubs and blends, I prefer to use bulk spices. My favorite bulk spice purveyor in New York City is International Grocery, 543 9th Avenue, NY, NY 10018. It’s easy to miss, but has been in the same location for decades. They also make hummus and baba in house and it’s spectacular. www.internationalgrocerynyc.com 212-279-1000

If you are in Texas, HEB Central Market sells bulk spices. That’s where I go when I am down South. www.centralmarket.com for locations

Rub this on your meat with total abandon!

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

 

Sugar Free Paleo Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

Well, kiddos, Yours truly, The Gentleman Caller, is on a CLEANSE. Yes, a CLEANSE. I know, it sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?

It’s actually not that bad. I usually encourage the 80/20 philosophy in life. 80% of the time you eat properly, healthfully. The other 20% GO HOG FREAKING WILD.

Most of what I present to you here are for the 20% times. So while I am on the CLEANSE, I am offering you some healthy alternatives to favorite food items.

A good many people are turned off by the notion of “healthy” and turn their noses up at the mere insinuation of “sugar-free.” Or “fat-free.” Or “gluten-free.” Free your mind from those negative connotations. Would The Gentleman Caller lead you astray?

This bread is not super-sweet. If you want a sweeter bread, use 1 1/2 tsp stevia. The way I am presenting it is more versatile; it’s not necessarily sweet or savory. You could make croutons, or an egg sandwich out of this.

Now go wash your dirty mitts and let’s get cooking!

What you need:

  • 2 very, very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground stevia
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp arrow root powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cup chick pea flour

*This would be extra delicious with 1 cup of golden raisins. My CLEANSE does not allow raisins, but if yours does, by all means!

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toast the pecan pieces on a hot sauce pan. You’ll be able to smell the nuttiness ever so slightly. Watch that you don’t overdo it!

Mash them bananas. Mash them to a smooth consistency, and stir in the applesauce. Add eggs, vanilla, and molasses.

Combine salt, stevia, baking soda, baking powder, arrow root flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and chick pea flour in another bowl.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Spoon into 4 greased loaf pans. These would also make great little muffins!

Put a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet; place the pans on the foil. The foil is prophylactic. It’s there in case the batter overflows.

Bake for 25 minutes in the 375 degree oven. Checking at 20 minutes won’t hurt. It will probably take 25.

Allow to rest until the pans are cool enough to deal with.

Slice and ENJOY!

If you are dieting or low-carb-ing, this really will take the edge off your cravings. It’s very satisfying and very tasty.

Also, you all know I like to make my own jam, BUT if you want a little more satisfaction, Smuckers makes a very nice sugar-free jam sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). It’s really not bad.

Enjoy this healthy “bread” treat!

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Eats Chili

 

The Gentleman Caller at The Lion King Broadway’s Annual Chili Cookoff with fellow judges Rema Webb and Eric Heger

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Hello, friends. Happy Super Bowl Eve. What an exciting time. It’s like the sports world’s version of the Tony Awards. Probably with the same amount of performance enhancing drugs. I’M KIDDING.

Today I had the distinct honor of being asked to adjudicate at The Lion King on Broadway’s Annual Chili Cookoff. This yearly event is a staple of Super Bowl time.

And instead of having to COOK, I got to sit on my ass and have delicious, hot food brought to me.

These were some creative entries. One that I especially salivated over was a sparerib barbecue style chili. Ooh, it was rich. So good.

The most creative entry was my old friend, Jon Jordan’s. Jon and I met on Hairspray and he had his mits on my scalp quite a bit. He is the man who makes sure all the hair and makeup at The Lion King are on point. He entered an adorable Asian-style chili with Chinese five spice, served in a Chinese takeout box with green onion. So creative.

The winner was a spicy turkey (we found out after the fact) entry called Hello, Chili! Hello, indeed! Congrats to my new friend Jelani Remy for his victory.

In honor of today’s festivities, I offer you The Gentleman’s Favorite Spicy Chili.

What you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • half of a white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-10 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1-8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mexene chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cayenne, or more if you’re adventurous
  • 1 cup of Mexican beer, such as Corona
  • 2 tbsp masa harina (corn flour like you use for tamales)
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans (YES, I am a Texan and I say BEANS), drained
  • finely chopped white onion, to top
  • chopped de-seeded jalapenos, to top
  • chopped cilantro, to top

Note: if you happen to have a can of chipotle peppers open, a couple of spoons of sauce from the can is going to only make this more delicious.

Yields 4 realistic servings. 

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven. Heat it up a little, and throw in the onions. Allow them to cook for a few minutes; add the beef or turkey. Brown the meat.

Throw in the garlic.

Drain the fat off the meat if there is standing renderings. Add the Rotel and tomato sauce. Stir together and add all the spices. Stir, cover, bring to a low simmer.

Allow to cook for about 25 minutes covered. Add 1/2 cup of beer. Simmer 25 more minutes, then add the remaining beer.

In a small bowl, mix the masa with 1/3 cup water (or more beer if you like). Bring it to a smooth consistency and pour it into the chili pot.

Taste it. Assess the salt and spice level. Add more water, beer, or masa to bring to the consistency YOU like.

Add the kidney beans and allow to cook about 15 minutes. Allow it to rest before you eat it.

When you place the chili in a bowl to eat, top it with finely chopped raw onion (or scallion would be nice , too), finely chopped jalapeño, and cilantro. Yeehaw!

Enjoy this one.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

Judging is very serious (with Rema Webb and Eric Heger)