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Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to eat the perfect bite

 I have been teased about being a meticulous eater all my life.  When I was a kid, my dad would always tease me about having a “scraped clean” plate. So my fascination with food, I guess you can say, started when I was a kid.  My mom was always big on having every food category on the plate: starch, vegetables, protein and usually a dessert after, (even if it was the left over rice to make rice pudding).   Another thing she ingrained in us, was to eat what was put before us and chew slowly, which sad to say, the last one did not stay with me into adulthood.  I never felt forced to eat my food, I think it taught me to appreciate what I had and what made eating what was put before me even easier, my mom is a damn good cook. 

So with this well constructed plate of edible items that compliment each other, I assumed they would be best eaten together.  The first step of accomplishing a perfect bite, is cutting a small piece of the offered protein, second, a piece of the chosen vegetable, both skewered onto the fork.  Try to get them both close in size so nothing is dominating in flavor and are able to fit an etiquette amount in your mouth.  Then comes the starch, which usually are potatoes or rice, which would have to go on top of the fork, and last, the best part, is the sauce or juices, that usually accompanies the protein.  Run the well constructed fork of perfection through the sauce. 

When you bite into this equally portioned art piece, your senses explode, you taste every flavor that is so beautifully melded together for this dish and you realize, how could you have enjoyed a bite any other way?  So now that the perfect bite has been perfected and it's toward the end of the meal, what is left is a "scraped clean" plate. 

Now there are some exceptions to the rule, for example, spaghetti, which is a dish already melded together for your enjoyment, just sop up the rest of the sauce with a piece of french bread.  The all amazing casserole dishes that includes everything but the kitchen sink.

If you want to try this at home or even better when you go out to eat, generally chef's will have equal amounts on your plate. Get equal portions of each item on your plate, try to construct your perfect bite and let it rock your world.  Another bonus to this way of eating is it will slow down your eating and make you fuller faster.  It's an all around perfect meal.    

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who said eye balls are gross

Who can't say that they have turn their nose up or at least made a face that makes the brow scrunch up, head shakes vigorously and maybe the tongue sticks out when a unfamiliar part of meat is on the menu? We avoid it like the plague and resort to a familiar dish we have had before, because it's what we know.  We are creatures of habit, the unfamiliar scares us and we want something we know, for sure, we will love.  When that dish comes out and is put under our nose, our senses are open and it brings us to a comfort level and we can't wait to scarf it down.  We already know what that first bite will be like, there are no surprises. 

So who started this idea that meat that comes from certain areas of the animal are so good to consume and other parts are a big No-No!  How did we become so disgusted when we see pig ears or tongues at the supermarket that we quickly move on to beef shank or pork chops?  I am mostly talking about Americans, because in Europe or even Mexico, this is not the case.  They look at a pig hoof just as good and beneficial in their cooking as a stuffed pork loin. 

The interesting thing is there are positive quotes everywhere, on cards, facebook and websites about taking chances, "live your life to the fullest", "Think out side the box." Then when it comes to going to a restaurant where the chefs can make food taste better than you might be able to at home, we tend to not trust them when they put "cow tongue" on the menu for our consumption.

I am thankful I we raised with the thought "Always try something once."  Thus far, this has stuck with me and I have to say, I am rarely disappointed.  Another thing that follows trying something for the first time is an enhancement of your pallet, you will want to venture out more and get excited about the new "big thing" in food.  So I encourage you to step outside the box, once in a while order something you have never heard of and have a positive thought that you are excited about venturing into a unknown territory of the animal.