Saturday, September 29, 2012

Santa Barbara Etiquette, Prickly Tongue & Space

I sip from a stoneware cup, my coffee has notes of chocolate and nearly as silky smooth as a brick of Valhrona Majari.  I am at peace in mind, body & spirit in this quaint beach town of Southern California.  My stomach, wrestling with its traditional early bird hunger (partial due to my daily reappearance at the gym?), and my eager mind decided to wake me at 6am.  The comforting chinchilla like blanket enchanted my weariness to stay in bed yet somehow I mustered an effort; disrobing like a Galician Prince and headed for the patio.  The cigarette still wields power over all else, but who cares – I made it through another day of no alcohol.

I arrived in Santa Barbara at approximately 2pm in the afternoon, just enough time to shuck the LA vibes from my very cobb . . each kernel representing a percentage of true self – I might be at 60% and hope to return to the city of lost angels with no less than 86%.  I embarked on a journey through State Street, watching the potbellied homeless, hippy-high-noted college students, European tourists of various dialects & origins as well as the local residents working or patronizing anyone of the sophisticated to surf’s up establishments.  After scribing an article for Rage Magazine’s October issue, I meandered for a bit of R&D (for my next big business adventure) before contacting my host and arranging a convenient time to meet (RULE #1: Don’t show up unannounced & keep your host informed as to your touchdown time).

There are certain rules to being a house guest; at least I was raised to understand as much and beaten with a sabertooth, leather belt  should I have forgotten my lessons of “proper” and “polite”  I greeted my friend Paul with a large bottle of Cointreau and a bag of fresh coffee beans (RULE #2: Always arrive with gifts).  After the introductions to his fully feng-shui’d townhome we set-off for a gander up the hill . . a big, big hill (no, I don’t huff & puff despite my adoration for fumigating my lungs).  The reward revealed at the tip of the hill proved to be worth every stride as the sun crested the Northeastern mountains reflecting down upon this peculiarly perfect & tame village . . almost admiring her and casting just the right amount of light.  (RULE #3: Don’t set your own schedule or clarify upfront any time bearing events so as to avoid confusion or unwarranted obligation).  Our conversation both up & down was pleasant and intriguing if not for the prickly pear cactus thorns that were stuck to my lips, index finger & thumb and yes . . my tongue (some stories simply can’t be repeated).
Truly a veteran host well versed in the pleasantries, Paul put out a light spread of olives, hummus, chips and almonds all carrying the Trader Joe’s brand before informing me that he had made reservations for us at the prestigious Stonehouse Restaurant built in 1889 (originally serving as the packing house for a citrus farm) nestled in the hills of Montecito.  We arrived to smell of burning wood, dewed evergreens and freshly strewn mulch, shadow dancing ambiance and wait . . . is that Oprah over there ravenously noshing on a dessert hare?  No, maybe a gelding minotaur or a reincarnated Andrea the Giant . . much too light to be Oprah.  Dinner was superb, the menu neither radical nor bland sported organic and free range ingredients as well as a plethora of freshly cut herbs & gathered produce from their gardens.

Farmers Market was a blast, I think I was quiet enough this morning so as not to wake Paul (RULE#4, #5, #6: Don’t wake up your guest, be respectful & quiet, make your bed & assist with cleaning as deemed appropriate).  We had a great lunch (RULE#7: pay for a meal your host has already saved you a hotel room) at the Boathouse restaurant and now, now . . . . I have to bust out a dinner from all of farmers market acquisitions (and it has to be vegan – so I got’s to go!)

With Culinary Blessings,
                          Chef Scotty

Friday, September 28, 2012

After the Date, Panch Puran & Heading North!

Yesterday was one of those "good days" and by that I mean, everything seemed to be aligned.  My farmers market treasures of lemon verbena, lemon basil, petite melons, cherry tomatoes, honeycrisp apples, dill, pink peppercorn all contributed to an truly unique menu that I entitled "the Fall of Summer" (get it?  fall starting, summer ending themed cuisine).  The paired proteins of Marys Free Range Chicken, Line-caught Swordfish, Barramundi, Coho Salmon, Oregon Pink Shrimp & Baja Bay Scallops, lest its sufficient to say they all were honored for their sacrifice. This eclectic menu inspired by our seasons and local ingredients transformed into:


“The Fall of Summer”

1)      Free Range Chicken Taco with Organic Honeycrisp Apple, Mint, Late Harvest Viognier Aioli
2)      Sesame Wok’d Shishito Pepper for those that Despise Meat
3)      Galvanized Fig-Plum Jam with Disciplined Fromage, Crostini, Organic Fig
4)      Panch Puran encrusted Swordfish, Pomegranate, Opal Basil, Litchi-Rosehip Popsicle
5)      Wild Coho Salmon Tartare, Candy Cane Beet, Spearmint, Persian Cucumber Snow
6)      Kung Pao Beef Shu-mai Dumpling, Scallion Curl, Caramelized Peanut, Ancho Chile
7)      Passionfruit Bay Scallop & Pineapple Shrimp Ceviche in Organic Baby Romaine Cup
8)      Earl Grey Tea candied Barramundi with Pickled Kiwano Melon
9)      Organic Assorted Melon Sorbets by the Slice & Lemon Verbena Shortbread
We made quite the culinary impression at the Copper Willow "Graffix" open house http://www.copperwillow.com/ and I think I made an impression on my date last night as well:)  While Chi Cuisine is ready to take it's place amongst LA's top caterers, I am ready for balance and perhaps romance.  Not likely to be with my date last night (great guy but I'm no fresh chicken and he is only 25 years old), but with someone deserving of my passion and vice-versa.  I am drinking my coffee black (refraining from any dairy), taking vitamins, brushing my teeth, daily visits to the gym, day four no alcohol, writing regularly and most definitely ready to make my move.   The Queen is strategically positioned.  It is time that Chef Scotty lives up to his God given talents.  Now off I go to Santa Barbara for the weekend!
With Culinary Blessings,
                       Chef Scotty
What is Panch Puran?
  Literally "Five Spices", all of which are seeds. Typically, panch puran consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts

Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran

If you want a more assertive panch phoran taste, grind an additional 1/2 tablespoon of it and add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking.  I like to serve this with harissa date fritters - all vegan, all vegetarian and nearly fat free yet full of flavor!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masoor dal or red lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon canola oil (or canola oil spray)
  • 1 tablespoon panch phoran
  • 2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 1 tsp. minced ginger)
  • 16 ounces diced tomatoes (or 1 can)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Pick over and rinse the lentils and add them to a pot with the water and turmeric. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the dal is tender, about 20 to 35 minutes. When done, add salt and set aside.
  2. While the dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Heat a large, deep skillet, preferably non-stick. When hot, add the canola oil and shake it to spread it around. Add the panch phoran and stir. (You may instead use oil spray; spray before and after adding the panch phoran.) When the first seed pops, immediately add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, and ginger paste. Stir and cook until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower, and water, and stir. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. When the dal and cauliflower are both done, add the dal to the cauliflower mixture. Stir well, and check seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot, over rice if desired

Saturday, September 22, 2012

She-Rah, 75% OFF with the Underwear, Thanks Mr. W.


She-Rah has left the couch folks!  A rather unpleasant, selfishly embroidered Armenian-American, overtly bitchy, gay "friend" of Mr. Wilson’s who has occupied the better half of this house for more than six grueling weeks.  I have had moments of insanity, wishing to graft my wrists with a Ballpoint pen rather than listen to his insistent, meaningless chitter-chatter about Pink’s “cute little baby Willow” or the latest developments in his lawsuit against his landlord.  A vortex of negative energy has been lifted from Mr. Wilson’s residence (I do inhabit what was once considered to be the attic) and in spirit of celebration we went shopping last night followed by a few cocktails with the gorgeous Ms. Whitney (yes, I did dance & it felt good).

Sporting some of my new threads, I sit here at the main hub WEHO Starbucks watching the meanders, the bodybuilders, the hawkers and  such.  This is a town of characters with more Estrogen than a Tammy Faye Clinic.  Deep breath – yes, spending that money does very much mean that  I have to earn more . . . but I got more than a few plans in motion and with the absence of Darth Serbiat I can finally get back into the groove.

I really haven’t properly acknowledged Mr. Wilson’s consistent and constant assistance over this past year.  Of course, none of this was meant to be permanent, I was to have won my rightful compensation by the hand of judicial righteousness; I was to have a stable base of income with 24 Carrots; I was to have catapulted my career forward as an accomplished Chef debuting on ABC’s “The Taste” . . .but at last, I got under served, over diverted & handed an unflattering  life lesson invoice.  Mr. Wilson isn’t perfect, much like a hobbit clinging to the hills of past both clutter & virtual memory; but he is a true friend through and through.  He is a peculiar blend of analytical rationalization and untempered sensitivity and often perceived as being a bit negative . . .  he really isn’t once you get to know him.  I think he just needs a pet to love him unconditionally and a bit of a cleansing from some of these quasi-evil “friends” such as She-Rah.  Here’s a recent conversation to give you an idear of our relationship:

“So . . . it has been long and painful, and I feel like I need to be shriven, and smudged, and .  .  I ddon’t know what else.”  Wilson (referring to She-rah finally leaving)

“Don’t be whipping your card out. You had charges dated 9/21 for $315.38 and $247.48 that I hadn’t seen receipts for.  Am Guessing those might be food bought Wed???  Touch base when you get the chance” Wilson (referring to my frivivlous spending habits)

“I will take a looks and try and make some semblance of my expenditures” me

“There are two bulldogs here and a really cute beagle mix!” me (nipping at Wilson's heals)

 Any word from you lawyer . . what!  No pets!  Ozzie is as much of a dog as I need.” Wilson (Ozzie being the neighbors dog)

“They are letting me take both and we can return whichever dog we don’t want” Me

“You had better be jerking my chain.  If not you can return both now.” Wilson

So, I never went to the Pound and I did ring another $360 at a clothing store . . . I am a torturous, reoccuring wart to Mr. Wilson’s life . . defiant to nearly all of his logical requests and cosmetic applications. The man has suffered along my side, I owe him more than a dog but he’s just going to have to settle for more fleas, barking & wandering walks as I haven’t quite crested the my state of impermanence.   I am getting closer, enlightened a bit and leaning towards action that will ultimately turn this grayscale sketching into a bold Miro depiction of borderless dreams.  Thank you Mr. Wilson for being the footing beneath my wandering ways without you I surely would be ever more aloof.

 a relieved & very grateful,
Chef Scotty

Saturday, September 1, 2012

FACE FORWARD GALA//White Trash Squirley Q's


Quote: “Why drop from the sky, when you can spread your wings and fly.  They are there just as the air.  Remove the limitations, excuses and procrastination . . . dream, believe and jump!” -chef scotty 

My neck is soar, stiff and all too riddled with iron like clumps that I can only hope to be knots rather than tumors.  A diet of black strap molassess, garlic, organic greens, freshly pressed grapefruit juice and unfiltered apple cider vinegar would likely be the cure all.  That and the absence of alcohol, coffee and cigarettes from my daily diet . . . perhaps go so far as to refute white flour, granulated sugar and honor my lactose intolerant genetic predisposition?  Nope!  The gym exists only as a noun in my life.  I’m fat, less sassy and likely to undergo a complete metamorphosis into one of the deep fried fritters that I made for the kids this morning.  Sprinkle me with some powdered sugar and that just about sums up more current vitals.  Doom spindling away in the web of Scottydom . . . God save the Queen!

Something about children breaks the icey barriers of bullshit and rakes ones reality beach until it resembles something of poured concrete – the microscopic, calcified shells no longer individualized.  My beach needs more combing but I feel like my hands are tied behind my back and I’m left to operate with a toothpick clenched between my teeth.  Nonetheless, I’m much better today than earlier this week with a profound sense of stability, a predictatory feeling of relief and a descent dose of “get your ass in gear!”  I got up at 5:14am this morning, so I guess that’s a start.

I have to tell you – there’s always somebody who has it worse . . way, way worse.  Two of the charities that I have supported (through the catering services of my catering company, Chi Cuisine) happen to work some miracles for those very people living a nightmare of disfiguration.  Both Face Forward & the Children of War Foundation share the honorable mission of remedying such atrocities, flying these folks to a venerable, board certified plastic surgeon  and providing accomodations throughout their  free treatment and recovery.  It is unfortunate circumstances, most often abuse by some unrelenting loved one or in the case of COWF – reckless warfare fighting over ownership of land, control of resources, greed & control.  Aren’t we just a marvelous world of disrepair?  For all our worses, our faults and our selfish tendencies . . . at least we possess the will to be better, the possibility to help one another and rectify that which we created, dissemated and disturbed.  I urge all of you to check out these organizations at:  http://facela.net/ & pass along an open invitation to participate in caring at the upcoming gala for Face Forward this September.

If you’re not giving, you are only taking.  Share some of yourself with the world and you will find yourself all the better for it! 

*I am back in LA after a night at Sister Mary Cleo’s, my back feels a bit better as I took a nap and as I wasn’t certain of what recipe I would post – it literally fell before me, or at least Lewis did.  Two baby squirrels fell out of the now trimmed Date Palm tree that soars above a poorly fabricated fence that divides Mr. Wilsons property from that of his neighbors.  I’ve named them Lewis & Clarke with hopes that they will recover – they seem to be a bit more than just dazed from their fifty foot drop on to concrete.  Poor little guys.

With falling squirrel blessings,

                                     Chef Scotty

 

RECIPE: White Trash Squirrel

Now the story from my childhood cooking adventures would tell you that I grew up in the backwoods of Wisconsin.  The story would also tell you that Prince Arthur (my Brother) was a fairly descent marksmen who felt great joy in killing squirrels and that we had a whole chest freezer full of em.  It’s basically a tree rat that eats a varieties of nuts so . . . the flavor is a bit peculiar.  I don’t care for squirrel but when I do . . that’s right – beer braising! (the story would also tell you that my first adventure hunting I killed a squirrel on my first shot, despite it’s efforts to leap from one Butternut Tree to the next . . . after it fell and I held it’s warm body in my hands . . I balled my eyes out.  I never hunted again)
INGREDIENTS:
  • squirrel legs, front or rear, amount depends upon how hungry you are
  • 2 beer cans (preferable a porter or deep lager)
  • 3 Tbsp worchestshire
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 2 lbs hickory smoked bacon
 
DIRECTIONS:

Soak the legs in beer/worchestshire for  2 – 3 hours. Remove and drain.

Sprinkle to taste with garlic powder, pepper, salt and the minced onion (or if you have a favorite spice mix for grilled squirrel you can use that instead).

Wrap each leg with bacon. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.

Place on hot grill (charcoal grill recommended for a nice smokey flavor, although a gas or electric grill will do the trick). Cook over medium heat until cooked through, tend to the meat as your cooking to make sure you do not over cook.

Serve with your favorite sides.

 

 

    

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rewritten, Rewired & Rattlesnake meets Maracuya

Tunes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prKR8PxuHWY
If my words could speak from a song maybe this would speak of the spirits be thee tequila, tempest or snakebite . . it really is sort of awful/be-warned.

Quote: "Kit Kat, Snickers, Whoppers oh my . . . whatever is more clever, the shiny wrapper no better, mincemeat of the mind . . step off the latter no better the blind"  -anonymous

This week has blown past with such urgency that I think I forgot to lift my eyelids enough to see through the shitstorm that would move across my mentality.  ABC didnt' call, Eden's sign torn down and a new business(?) already opening in its place, massive consumption of fermented grains albeit the San Diego Spirit Festival where I participated as a judge for the bartending competition and a rattleless rattlesnake showcasing its diamondback pattern as I descended from the peak of a 5 mile Iron Mountain hike.  I don't like snakes, or shall I say - they give me the willies; nonetheless I shall take heed of this animals totem and symbology of: warning, inevitable change, healing through dis-ease and illness, shedding of burdens and new skin.  Appropriate?  LOL, Yes, all too appropriate!

My liver is attempting to excrete the copious amounts of gin, tequila, vodka, rum and god knows everything else.  I feel like a dump bucket swirling with leftover straws, bruised and beaten citrus fruit, a tattered black cocktail napkin or two, some over chewed watermelon bubblicious gum and several unidentifiable floating objects.  Coffee isn't exactly helping things and bacon has already failed in its traditional ability to line ones gut with rendered grease . . . hopeless only for the brevity of this fine Sunday afternoon . . my spirits are lifted even if my body feels like ass. 

So, the day is now wrapped up.  I've picked up a book but no BF.  Wined & dined with Mr. Wilson at a new joint in WeHo named Laurel Hardware . . Beef Tongue with Green Barley Risotto, a Tat Soi Salad with something of a tahini-dijon dressing and some amazing feta cheese, a perfectly crisp eggplant & burrata pizza and well, yes if you insist - a tequila concoction with habanero, apple & thyme sous-vide, fresh lemon and lime (as if I really needed another drink?).  The food was great, the service on point and atmosphere both comfortable and rustic as you would expect of a once iconic hardware store on Santa Monica Boulevard.  On a lasting note - Chef Mario has the first menu that I've seen with fresh Marcuya on the menu (which is really just yellow passionfruit but somehow it tastes different in Costa Rica).  I feel an inspiration coming on . . . or is it a memory from my first restaurant adventure in Murietta?  Sour, Bitten, Shaken, Stirred . . . that is yet another chapter that we've yet to backlog to.  For now, cuban marinade meets the rattlesnake.

with Culinary Blessings,

                    Chef Scotty

Mojo Rattlesnake a la Marcuya

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a serrano chile, seeded, deveined, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, fresh ground, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small jar, cover and shake for 2 minutes.
  2. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and let rest for at least 24 hours.
  3. Use as a marinade for rattlers, rabbits, doves, turtles & possum - I prefer to grille and serve this tails over some yucca frites topped with freshly shaved manchego or parmesean and a side of freshly sliced cucumbers with a shake down of rice vinegar & sea salt.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Break the Bread & Back with Banshee

Tunes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBw25CrUS-o&feature=branded  (for you Nick - Happy B-Day!)

Quote: "Foes may judge plenty, Friends may fall needy.  Fear not the maker, just keep your brow stearn and follow steadfast thems toes, as they be the wishtaker"  - me


Never mind her blemished, dusty coalminer meets looming stratus cloud appearances . . the bitch screeches like none other!  Lest I not be thankful to my beloved Sister Mary Cleo ("Maria to the Shabaaz" would be the rest of that name - or just plain, Lisa) for loaning me the Banshee.  I've had the privilege of rolling down La Cinenga in this most dilushious relic of a Nissan Pathfinder before.  Lets face it, when the going gets tough the bus sucks just that much more.  Wheels are an improvement on me and a badly needed necessity with the burden of business startup costs, living costs and then those little nippity nugget of almost vanishing legal costs (The tombstones for Eden & ChileCo Catering have long since been picked out but I'm stuck wrestling with "he who's name we shant say" to pick a plot and put the entire affair to bed).  Money.  Got's to whittle some wheat soon if you know what I mean; earn my keep.

I'm lucky and unlucky in many more ways than one.  This little adventure of uncharted life has taken me to such great heights and such dark gallows I've often wondered what ordinary, average or status-quo feel like.  In fact, I am more than  a bit jealous of those that find boredom to qualify as a daily activity. 

Lucky, yes perhaps that's what it is or is it that the same characteristic of "unlucky" happens to channel some of the most amazing experiences imaginable.  Spontaneous action being the catalyst that has probably contributed to more esoteric shifts in my self-righteous path (hereby destiny) than any other cause.  Take Nick for example.  Nick is twenty's something aspiring chef that I just so happened to meet while taking a break at the Remi-Martin events up in Bel Aire this past month. (Cigarettes do have a way of opening up dialogue in rather peculiar settings - not all bad!).  It wasn't planned, just polite conversation and his extension of services should I (the company) ever need them.  The boy was tall, thin as Pensylvannia pushpin, dressed in that little valet outfit that is typical for concierge services and trained monkeys.  "Well, we'll see if something comes up - I'll put your name in with the 24 Carrots director of staffing" 

I ain't at 24 Carrots anymore, but Nick certainly has evolved into one of those ever fortifying realisms that indeed, one should take a chance.  He entrusted himself as I, the mentor took it upon myself yet again - to take upon a pupil, a protege if you will.  Burned at the stake I've often found myself . .  but this kid has it.  The work ethic, the desire, the patience and the persistence . . accumulating the skill.  It matters not if he stays by my side, only that I honor my time and commitment to him as much as he to I.  I think that's how any relationship is really meant to be.  It's as good as it'll get until the balance is thrown off by expectations and the imminent state of disappoint.  Mistakes be made by all, but it is the those who chance that gain the most . . or that's how I'm rolling with it.

Gratitude expressed to all in the matter of thanks - I have said it time and time again.  I wouldn't be nothing without it all - the good, the bad, the lucky and unlucky . . now if only ABC would call.

with Culinary Blessings,

                      Scotty


No recipe - just a menu . . .  This will be Nick's first Lead Chef at one of my events. "Trust I have in you young Skywalker!" Likely to be as shaky as the swamp scene  but I've got faith the boy will pull through.  It's just food afterall and a pretty easy menu at that. 


“The Ashton Martin”

Champagne Sangria of St. Germain Liqueur induced White Peach, Cantaloupe & Citrus



“Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

 Jello Jive

Passionfruit drunken Jello Pink Shrimp Ceviche with Mango, Cucumber, Thai Basil, Mint


Monty Python

Monte Cristo Imposter of Grilled Black Forest Ham, British Cheese & Wild Strawberry Jam


Kashmiri Eggroll

Northwestern Indian marinated Chicken Salad with Psychedelic Red Pepper Sauce


Cubic Aquarian  

Jasmine green tea salt-cured Opah with Pickled Mango




“Culinary Tasting Display”

Cuisine to be Predominately Stationary with Petite Plates & Silverware 



Amber Fields & Green Things

Chef Scotty’s 22-spiced Hummiso, Taziki, Artichoke-Olive Tapenade with Cucumber Coins, Artisan Olives, Pita & Crostini

 Bamboo Shu-mai

Avante Garde Dumplings including Chipotle seduced Pork & Filet Tip-Fennel

 Avo mi Cado

Forked Organic Fallbrook Avocado, Fresh Lime, Crisp Won-Ton Chips


Shephards Redemption

Kosher Lamb indulged with Seasonings & topped with Rosemary Mashers


Chopsticks-n-Cheese

Organic Elbow Macaroni & Cheese with Fontina, Mozzarella and Provolone


Zen Zushi

Steelhead Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Futo-Maki, Tobiko, Cucumber Shi-shi



Pastry & Caffeination



Staying Awake

Organic & Sustainable Guatemalan Coffee & Premium Teas


Peaches-n-Cream

Cinnamon Custard soaked Challah Bread with White Peaches


Munchies

Lavender Shortbread, Orange Blossom Cannoli, Rice Crispy Treats


Ecstasy of Chocolate

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Pudding, Crumbled Brownie, Whipped Cream

I

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where you Endup? Peach Peaks

Tunes: Found a Cure by Ultra Nate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a0tPxpJqFc
Many a night on the dancefloor, one of the those songs that brings it all back . . . with a smile:)

Quote:  "Did that wall move or did we just experience an Earthquake" - A lit-up fool

Subject:  A trip back to memory lane as I reconnect with my best friend from San Francisco

Some trips you simply can't plan or maybe, it's you simply can't imagine what would happen in that moment.  Such was the case when I picked up and flew into San Francisco to follow my dreams of becoming a chef.  I had little more than a thousand bucks in my pocket but more will and passion for my cause than a my stomach has to fight the battle of lactose intolerance (as I sip my evening Guatemalan roast with a solid splash of whipping cream).  "Take me to the cheapest hotel, nearest to the Castro" I beckoned of the emboldened taxi driver.

The year was 1999 and the Twin Peaks Motel would be my home for the next month or so - great roommates including a Mexican transvestite, countless heroin addicts, prostitutes of both male and female gender (mostly) . . and then of course there was Abdul who was the kindly caretaker that would buzz you in through two sets of doors to access the stairwell that would take one to their appropriate 9ft x 9ft cubicle.  Abdul smoked more weed than sandalwood, and that's a lot of bud folks (note: my Mom believed that Abdul was my only roommate & did not know that I was staying at a sleazy hotel with 28 rooms to a floor & one municipal bathroom).

Eventually, I landed my first job at MECCA and started school full-time at the California Culinary Academy.  It took too long, but eventually I managed to scrape up the $450 to move into a lovely establishment that we shall call "Casa Revueltos"  This place that would be my home for the next 3 years sort of fell into my lap . . as did Lizzie.

Many of you, most of you, some of you probably don't have the slightest clue as to the alphabet of illegal substances utilized to create various euphoric effects on an individual. There's G, K, E . .  and so on and so on (each an abbreviation for the official name such as GHB, Ketamine, Ecstasy) and these elements would be as much a part of my diet as would the spices that I was fixing pots of sauce with at school.  You see, "Casa Revueltos" had it's share of entrepreneurs (lest we not forget Beau and his Purple Haze #5, or Samantha and her consortia of Pharmaceuticals & Polvo).  Lizzie did fall into my lap, quite literally and that is how we met.

This little blog (aka Chef Scotty Journal) is supposedly PG-13, so y'all have to wait for the book to come out before reading up on the every detail of my most very, very adventurous past.  I must dearly thank Lizzie for being such an amazing addition and forefront character to my San Francisco years. I should also mention, that her phone call tonight, our first time reconnecting since 2001, saved my blog from another metamorphic trip down Eden lane. My proud past has shaped the "Sco" in "Scotty" (I've got to give the "tt" to my parents and the "y" well that's something I haven't quite figured out yet) . . you can't fully enjoy the cake if you don't take enjoyment from sharing it, let alone baking it!  Oh, hell . . let's forget the damn cake and go with cobbler, can't muster a slice anyway you cut it!.

with Culinary Blessings,

                    Chef Scotty

RECIPE: Lizzies Oatmeal Cookie-Peach Cobbler
*something sweet, tart, nutty, cruncy, partly burnt
*note: Lizzie was a full fledged pastry chef when I met her
*choose your own fruit if you like - it's the topping that really holds this dish up to super-stardom

 Ingredients
  • 14 fresh peaches - pitted and sliced into thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup of cream of sherry (or you can sub. white wine)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground canela (mexican cinnamon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (I use arrowroot)
Oatmeal Cookie Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 1 cup of walnuts, pieces is fine
  • 2 tablespoons of canela (mexican cinnamon)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lbs of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (add to milk)
  • 1/4 cup milk (add more as needed)
  • optional: Buttermilk Ice Cream by the Bounty

  • MIX TOGETHER:
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, sherry, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon canela, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, oats, raisins, crunched walnuts, canela, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in vanilla-milk until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.



 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Midsummer's Night Dream & Watermelon Gazpacho

Tunes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahb7kQoLTTA
Prince, Stevie Wonder, now Jimmy Cliff . . I swear this is not premeditated - maybe the next tunes will at least fall into the new millennium?  For now, enjoy the leather and clear sight.

QuoteIf you fall, it is not a question of how deep, but ultimately a question of when you choose to look up and recognize how much more you have to gain.  Chef Scotty

Subject: One last run. My Easter Sunday, turquoise colored, second-hand purchased Adidas got a bit of work last night as I meandered Santa Monica Boulevard with one purpose in mind- Should I stay in LA?

A quest, a purpose, a destiny foretold.  Action is undoubtedly the necessary catalyst inherent to an epic journey.  The results realized from ones decisions, choices & considerations.  I am a dreamer; a man elected to some sense of virtue and with it comes open subjection and interrogation (often in the form of jealousy, lust, or dependence).  It's unavoidable or at least my experiences and tampered past have delineated such a verdict.  I've rendered myself from victim to a role of optimistic hero . . . and resided back to that first step in evaluating the "who am I."  I've also had flashes of anger and resentment "f'k you and your glorified judgement of me," but in all seriousness; I can lame blame to nobody but myself.  Hell, they are probably better off for guarding their ego and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I have found myself envious of their chameleon-like, socially modified performances.  Ignorance & conformity is obviously an easier path - I just can't walk it.  Never could, never will.

The night felt like my younger years as an adventurous, free spirit pacing State Street (Madison, WI), sipping cappuccino's at Michelangelo's Cafe, canvassing the Sharma store for inspired readings of Thomas Moore, Eastern Religions and other physic medians of various sorts.  I was riding the wave of uncertainty and pubescence exploration.  I would travel alone, often scribbling in my journal, most often the source of consideration being none other than my questionable sexuality.  These times were an investment in discerning my emotions and more or less sustaining a complete conversation with the fourteen personalities comprising the persona of Scotty Wagner.  The Chef being only one'em! 

Weho - spoke to me tonight; or perhaps it should be referenced as Los Angeles for the homosexual elements had little to do with the humidity, the reflective lights, the rise of possibility and the absence of loss or need.  I felt free, not in a an unbounded way but a hummingbird seemingly floating from one blossom to the next.  I let myself go, dreaming of possibilities and watching the visions bloom before my eyes.  Then I'd blink and find my feet planted in front of an empty storefront. 

You see being a dreamer, you enevitably have to wake up?  The reality that you wish to create exists only in your own world.  Is it possible to merge the two?  I think so.  I hope so.  I believe it to be evident to the very existence of my own nature.  But here again, I am as much part of the problem as I am the solution.  Freud might have the answer, but I haven't read him up good enough to the know the difference.

with Culinary Blessings,

                     Chef Scotty



Recipe: Scallop Sashimi with Watermelon-Cucumber Gazpacho

  • 1 3-pound seedless watermelon, diced (about 5 cups), divided
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 small jalapeƱo chile, seeded, minced
  • 3 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh scallops (wash in a bit of champagne or white wine for added panazzle!)
  • ½ cup fresh origins pea shoots

Preparation

Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with freshly sliced scallops & fresh pea shoots.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chefsitting & Artichoke/Artibloke

Tunes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r92A7ndnZk
I'm not sure . . but I think Lily needs this boost - lovely?  hmm she's a bit of a piece, a manic diva - now, sunshine - that's Kylie, all smiles.  Logan - well, he's using the toilet for number 1 . . . mostly.

Quote: All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it.
Harry S. Truman

As my little one year old niece, Kylie (otherwise known as Nugget) was roaming around in that four wheeled basket contraption it occurred to me - I am dosh-garnet-good at babysitting in part due to my skills as an experienced chef.  That being said, I can multi-task on ethereal levels (although I would highly refute the idea of yielding a serrated knife whilst having a conversation albeit i-phone wedged to ones ear and simultaneously stretching  counterclockwise to gage the status of a simmering bechamel - the outcome just might hurt like a mofo!).  I know what you're thinking right now!  "Geeze-Louise, anybody can babysit and everybody has it one point or another- get off your high-horse Scotty!"

Oh contrail, my sister has two year old twins and an almost one year old roadruner with an infectious grin.  Count it - three, tres, trois!  That's six little feet running in twelve different directions.  When one is ready to eat, the other is pissing on the couch. When one is peacefully watching the latest edition of Olap & Evie, the other has crashed into the concrete and screaming like a disgruntled banshee.  These little people are work!

Aside from our chalking of the patio, our little game of "pick up the 130 loads of dogshit", practicing ABC's & playing catch (in between clean-ups) I did manage to get them all down for a nice mid-afternoon nap allowing Uncle Scotty the opportunity to tackle the foreboding artichokes that had caught my eye earlier.  The bag of ripened, home-grown tomatoes was a no-brainer, "I'll make some marinara of sorts"  But those damn artichokes - who in the hell ever decided that eating an unbudded flower that resembles some prehistoric contemporary cactus to be "a good idea."  Personally, I like the flavor just fine, but it requires to much work for too little yield in my petty little mind.  Still, I cleaned'em up and made a sexy little farmers basket sauce - I left before dinner & returned to La La Land to . . . hmmm, unrest - let's leave it that.

my friend, "You ok"

me, "Mostly solid, partly flakey, nearly collective to a cause and bound to a belief system that might be considered agnostic"

my friend, "In other words . . you're ok?

me, "more O, less K - fine with IDOKEY"

On that note, I'm heading out for pious walk under the nurturing to starscape with an unknown destination that perhaps, might end in a few margaritas.

with Culinary Blessings,

                       Chef Scotty

RECIPE: Childsplay Artichoke Marinara 
 

2 cloves garlic, minced 
3/4 cup finely chopped onion 
1 1/2 tablespoons minced drained bottled pepperoncini peppers (Italian pickled peppers) 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup dry white wine 
1 (32 ounce) can plum tomatoes, chopped (or fresh as I like to use!)
2 (5 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained well and halved (or fresh if you're insane)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olive (I prefer oil cured olives)
1/3 cup minced fresh basil if you got it - or raid the Italian herb rack
OPTIONAL: wine be white or red - it makes things sexier
 
Directions: 
 
1 In a large skillet cook garlic, onion and peperoncini in oil over moderately-low heat, stirring, until onion is softened, add wine and boil 3-5 minutes, or until wine is almost evaporated. 
 
2 Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. 
 
3 Stir in artichokes and olives and simmer sauce for 5 minutes and stir in parsley and season to taste. 4 Enough for 1 lb of pasta, such as penne.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Kiss of Consideration & Lemon Verbena

It's time we got back to my original format for the Word of Chi . . y'all know I love music & dancing, poetry and the such . .  and that I may or maynot be a bit of a laughing, walrus freak to funk type of guy so here:
http://www.pp2g.tv/vYXx-ZHM_.aspx

"I'm working on the why"  Chef Scotty

If that doesn't take you back, I don't know what will?  You don't have to be cruel or rich to rule my world cause there's no room at the alter for your preconceived notions or forbearance of my crown.

Alter . . hmm, so I was exhausted this Saturday morning; I slept till 11:30.  And with belated sleep, I have a tendency to dream very deep - rocking the core of my own subconscious reality. Most often I am able to remember my dreams as was such the case today . . ..

Dressed in vain robes of the Roman Catholic Church, I took up arms against my fellow priests.  I had been transported to my old church of adolescence, The Holy Mother of Consolation and yet Father Shumacher was no where to be found and the church itself and been completely remodeled.  The oak & marble having been replaced with steel and concrete; this place reeked of nonconformist Christianity. I can't recall what I was fighting for except that it was something fundamentally wrong; I simply couldn't stand for it.

I lost my i-phone, I can't recall why or where but I did.  Perhaps that is relative to losing contact with so many people in my current life.  My mom, Mother Mary Cleo, was there by my side and as we were departing the sanitarium I massive earthquake rattled the edifice.  Gripping the sidewall and steadying my balance with each bolt & quiver, I heard Emily (my childhood best friend) shout "everyone get down below!"
I could see several people already in the basement; huddling together in a state of fear.  I paused.  The stucco was breaking free and falling and just as I was about to continue my decent down the starwell towards the safety of the basement - the ceiling fully collapsed, burying those poor souls beneath the church of their suppressive Church.

The dream does goes on, but I believe its sufficient enough to say that my world has equally been rocked and riveted.  I am no priest - that's for certain!  But I've held my ground to my beliefs and barely escaped with my own skin.  Stripped of all possessions and most often without full communication.  Is this dream a representation of the mental mind muck that circulates throughout my cerebral shack?  Quien sabe?  I hope it is closure whatever it is.

In keeping with the theme of my Holy Mother memories, there of course were many a bake-sales and after-mass treats as a reward for attending any given sermon.  I give you something comforting with a twist of Chef Scotty spirit in the form of Lemon Verbena . . perhaps one of my favorite herbs.

With Culinary Blessings,

                     Chef Scotty

.    

Lemon Verbena Shortbread Recipe

 3 dozen cookies from the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped lemon verbena

Directions

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until just combined.
2. Sift the flour and salt together, and stir in the verbena. If you are using whole leaf verbena, and not tea verbena, you’ll want to run it through the food processor to get it very fine. Add the dry ingredients into the wet in three batches, restarting the mixer on low speed, and then raising it to medium. When everything is just combined, stop mixing.
3. Roll the dough out on greased & floured half sheet pan and refrigerate until cold throughout, about an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take the dough out of the fridge.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly golden then remove from oven & pre-score in 2 inch by ¾ inch “bars” about 1 cm deep into the dough.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to stand for 1 minute then finish cutting (all the way down and across) allowing to cool completely before moving/transfering