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  1. Licking Your Elbow–Tongue Po Boy

    February 13, 2014 by David Bridges

    It sure has been a long time since I did a post! In my pursuit of getting this book published I accumulated many recipes and essays. As I sit here and they sit here we both need to do something. Forgive me for having no pictures. BUT, I can always add those later. I will have some free time for a while or more likely forever. The Voice still drives this site. That will never change. As a reminder, you’d be a fool to not read the recipe methods.

    Growing up in New Orleans has more advantages than disadvantages. Your taught an appreciation for fine foodways at a very early age. I remember going to City Park and eating Roast Beef Po Boys. The warm gravy and beef would mix with the chill of the mayo, tomato and lettuce to form a lush nectar that would literally run down your arm as it succumbed from the weight of your bite into the crackling and chewy French bread. It was instilled in me at the age of 8, that if the gravy didn’t run down your arm, it wasn’t a properly dressed Po Boy. Thanks to the Po Boy, I haven’t been properly dressed since.

     

    Tongue and Gravy Deep Fried Po Boy

    Serves 4 People for a Lunch Date

     

    1 Beef Tongue about 2.5 pounds

    1 Yellow Onion peeled and roughly chopped

    2 stalks of Celery roughly chopped

    8 cloves of Garlic

    1 medium Carrot roughly chopped

    2 Bay Leaves

    2 teaspoons of freshly ground Black Pepper

    8 sprigs of fresh Thyme

    1 quart of Beef Broth

    1/3 cup Butter

    1/3 cup Flour

    1 loaf New Orleans French Bread

    Mayonnaise

    shredded Iceberg lettuce

    slices of Tomato

    slices of pickle

    Sea or Kosher Salt

    For the Frying Batter:

    2 cups Flour

    2 teaspoons Baking Powder

    1 teaspoon Sea or Kosher Salt

    1 Egg

    2 cups Milk

     

    Get a medium sized braising pot with a nice fitting lid out of one of your cabinets. Put the tongue, onion, celery, garlic, carrot, bay leaves, pepper, thyme and beef broth into your pot. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover your tongue with the lid and lower the heat to very low. Let the tongue bathe in the broth for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn off the heat and let the tongue ponder life in the pot for 20 minutes. Remove the tongue and set aside. Strain the stock into a container and place the pot back onto the stove. Melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour until they are unified and agreeable to the task at hand. Pour the strained broth into the roux and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, taste the gravy and season it with salt and pepper to your delight. Trim, peel and discard the outer tough layer of the tongue. Slice the tongue thinly and place it into the gravy. Hold aside and keep warm with love and attention.

    For the Frying Batter:

    Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and hold aside until someone screams “Show Time”.

    To Assemble the Po Boys:

    Pre-heat your fryer to 375 degrees. Cut the French bread into quarters. Then cut each quarter horizontally 3/4 of the way through, so that it will open like a clam shell. Spread an enjoyable amount of mayonnaise on the inside of the 4 sandwiches. Divide the sliced Tongue amongst the sandwiches equally or unequally, it is up to you how you want to treat your friends. Place the lettuce, tomato and pickle into the Po Boys. Close the “clam shell” up and insert 2 toothpicks into the lips of each Po Boy to keep their mouth closed while in the fryer. Have someone loudly proclaim “SHOW TIME”. Then dip each Po Boy into the batter and dip the Po Boy so slowly into the fryer that it is literally starting to fry while still in your hand. This will help the Po Boy not to stick to your fryer basket. Just watch what you are doing and try not to be too inebriated to the point of burning yourself like an idiot. Fry God’s favorite sandwich on both sides until golden in your fryer.

    Take it out and repeat for everyone else. Cut each one into two and smother it in what you call Gravy but I prefer to say Amber Justice.

     


  2. Campari: Life’s Bitter Kiss

    April 9, 2012 by David Bridges

    Has love ever turned a bad eye on you? Your mate took and took until the last thing left to take was your heart. Tossing it aside like one would a peach pit when there is nothing sweet left to taste. The emotional drain guides you through a bevy of feelings until one day there is nothing left but bitterness. But is Bitter something that should be shunned and pushed away?

    We are all brought up with a false notion that La Dolce Vita is an attainable and desirable Utopia. Since it doesn’t rain in Utopia, every day would be considered perfect by waking up to the warmth and glory of the sun. You would eat confections with no consequence. Even love and be loved without ever feeling heartbreak. It is at this point that you are left with no genuine measure of ecstasy. Having expelled all the bitterness from your life, how could you ever measure the brix of pleasure? Heartbreak and bitterness give value to both pleasure and love. Without the downs of life there cannot be the highs.

    Campari to me is beautiful. Every time I sip on the bitterness of what surely are the red tears of some poor tortured Italian souls, I am reminded of just how sweet my life has become. I believe my body craves Campari to correct the injustice of my life being too sweet. Don’t get me wrong; the hardships of my existence are many. One of which has even shown it’s self to be a cruel brain tumor. But on the sweet side, I have a crazy hot wife with a love for me and I for her that will far outweigh any medical problems leaving them with a weight that is trivial at best. It is in fact this requited love that forces Campari into my life and across my palate. I want to taste the sweetness in mywife’s kiss and a heavy measure of bitterness is just the counterbalance that my heart desires.

    Unlike Love, finding bitterness is almost effortless. It peddles into my glass in the form of a Bicyclette. The old men that partake in this drink are known to haphazardly teeter on their bikes as they precede home, hence the name. Harry’s bar in Venice even refuses to serve it. It is just a simple mix of inexpensive white wine, since we would never drink anything that was “cheap”, a few well placed ice cubes and Campari. You may ask how much of each? Let the current amount of passion in your life be the guiding counterbalance to the Campari. My glass will of course be deeply imbued as red as a Ferrari from such a heavy pour of Campari. The graces of my wife’s lips are just that sweet.


  3. I may be Tuscan, but Im no Virgin

    April 3, 2012 by David Bridges

    I am definitely not one to to post anything that doesn’t have a bit of mental sustenance. But a few weeks ago I became a contributer to www.underthetuscangun.com   It is the love child of the Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin. Gabriele and Debi do not don gender neutralizing clothing and rehearsed insincere smiles. I relate to their philosophies and agree with the way they choose to live and cook. Gabriele may very well be the most natural cook I have ever run across.

    My first piece may appear to be on bread. But as always, it runs deeper than that. Take a look at the virtues of an underapreciated and often taken for granted ingredient of life.

    The Significance of Bread


  4. Chicago Tribune

    March 31, 2012 by David Bridges

    Go to Sunday’s Chicago Tribune and check out the great article on Up and Coming Food Writers. Yes I am included!

    7 Food Writers You Should Know

    Then get your computer/phone ready for a Q&A with all the writers on Tweetchat.com Thursday the 5th at noon Central Time Zone. Go to tweetchat.com and type in #PRJchat.

     


  5. Home Is Where The Hooker Is: White Bean and Confit Gizzard Cassoulet

    March 27, 2012 by David Bridges

    One of the most significant things we do in life is travel. Absorbing the smells, sights, sounds, noises and tastes of a foreign land during a sojourn can only be rivaled by sex. It all translates into a hand that completely guides the subconscious into slicing the onion that is our palate, revealing more layers than we thought we possessed. Show me a man that does not leave his immediate vicinity and I’ll bet his cooking is garnished with chopped curly parsley, he drinks Beaujolais nouveau in June and has quite the collection of tube socks.  A joke has a head and a butt, which are you?

    For every positive, there is obviously a negative, for every action, an equal and opposite reaction. The Yin and Yang if you will. That’s what life is about, balance. I have been fortunate to travel extensively in my post adolescence. That ability to travel was exactly how professional cooking got me drunk, lured me into her arms and took advantage of me—and still does. I must admit when it comes to traveling, I am a complete whore. I’m talking the nasty, addicted and living under a bridge type, not the cute Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s Pretty Woman kind. This addiction has transformed me into a better man and cook by ten fold!

    But there is a dark side to it all. What connection do I have to any particular physical place? I am very connected to my wife and Rooter and Tooter. I love and feel connected to cuisine and all that it represents as well the ideals held forth by The Southern Foodways Alliance. If I am indeed anything it is Creole. My food, demeanor, hospitality and liver all denote Creole. Just like Creole, my personality is a gumbo of many different values all put together out of a necessity to survive in the most practical and yet pleasurable way possible.  It’s that whole Yin and Yang thing again.

    Would I feel a sense of place or home in Barcelona, Provence or Bali? Probably. But New Orleans is a well-traveled Madame herself. I, like her, have become the sum of all my experiences. When you sit at either of our tables, your palate and your heart will savor all of our exploits. Traveling has built a piano for us to play that just happens to have a few more keys. You don’t really want to be considered a man that cooks with flat musical tendencies. After all, isn’t it our goal to “play” the piano like Richard and Julia?

    Cassoulet of White Beans and Confit Gizzards

    This recipe is simple, prepare the gizzards from this link: http://www.therootertothetooter.com/?p=161

    Then Prepare the beans from this link: http://www.therootertothetooter.com/?p=298

    Place the cooked beans in a proper cassoulet vessel and top with the gizzards. Sprinkle with some bread crumbs, I use brioche, of course. Bake until brown from the warmth of your friends and your oven at 375 degrees.

     

    “Only after 20 years of devoted professional gluttony can I possibly have an actual opinion”  ME

     


  6. Me, Myself, I and Marco Pierre White: Roasted Bone Marrow and Escargot Bordelaise

    March 15, 2012 by David Bridges

    Cooking goes far beyond melding relationships with friends, family and Earth. I often use it to reinforce a relationship with myself. The level of mental peace that I attain from the simplest things such as cutting a piece of Tuna with a sharp knife or making biscuits can not be matched by laying on any Psychoanalyst’s coach. Maybe if said analyst had a better collection of vintage Madeira and cave aged unpasteurized cheese, then this ramble would be headed in a complete other direction. But such is life. You can never expect the ones around you to hold forth such high standards of living as you do yourself. In that reason alone you can take comfort and even find another bit of peace in knowing that you are indeed BETTER.
    My idea of thinking you are better than the individual standing next to you may come with some of your own personal resistance. As kind and upstanding individuals, we are brought up with the theory that we are all equal. That is it wrong to assume you are above anyone or anything else. If in fact you do wander from the confines of these sociably acceptable parimeters you will be sentenced with a heavy penalty of guilt and ridiculed by the shaking fingers of society. Well maybe instead of judging us, they should take those nasty unmanicured fingers and use them to trim some of those nose hairs they all have.
    Ask yourself a few questions. Do you not deserve better than the person next to you? Do you not know more about the joys of the table and the pleasures it presents than the person next to you? Would you really wear those shoes with that coat just like the guy standing next to you? Point Proven
    All that being said, I know for a fact that I am no better than a post 40 year old Marco Pierre White. But maybe one day………..
    Strife bangs at my door often and my wife, a midnight stroll with Rooter and Tooter and slathering a savory beignet with bone marrow and snails is how I rise above society to realize I really do have it good.
    Snails, Green Peppercorn Bordelaise, Roasted Bone Marrow, and Rosemary Beignet
    Disclaimer: If you stare at the picture, I’ve imbedded a subliminal message into it that states “You Are Better Than Everyone around You except DAVE”
    Escargot with Green Peppercorn Bordelaise, Bone Marrow and Rosemary Beignet

    Serves 4 people sitting down to enjoy a few bottles of Burgundy on a Tuesday

    For the Beignets:

    ¾ cup water

    1 Tablespoon yeast

    1 egg

    1 5oz can evaporated milk

    3 ½ cups flour

    1 Tablespoon shortening

    1 Tablespoon sugar

    pinch of salt

    1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

    For the Bordelaise Sauce:

    2 Tablespoons of olive oil

    2 shallots minced

    3 cloves of garlic minced

    1 cup of mushrooms minced

    1 cup burgundy wine

    2 Tablespoons of green peppercorns

    1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

    1 bay leaf

    1 cup veal demi glace

    Butter

    2 dozen snails

    4 marrow bones

    To make those wonderful pillows of fried dough, mix the luke warm water with the yeast and let the yeast wake up for 5 minutes in the warm throws of the waters hugs. In a separate bowl introduce the egg and evaporated milk to each other with a firm whisking. In yet a third bowl, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the milk to the yeast by mixing. Then add the whole liquid mixture into a nice well formed in the flour. Stir the liquid around the well collapsing the walls of flour until a dough starts to form. Add a touch more flour if needed to keep the dough cohesive onto itself and not the sides of everything it touches. Knead the dough with the palms of your hands never opening your fist. The dough at this point is a young and impetuous thief and will snatch any ring right off your finger the moment you let it seduce you into opening your hand. Show your steadfast rules of discipline until you poke it and the dough springs immediately back at you. Cover the dough letting it rest, mature and double in size while you turn your attention to the sauce pot.

    For the sauce, place the olive oil into a small pot over a medium flame. Sweat the shallots for a few minutes while seasoning them with a pinch of salt the way any decent cook would. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for another minute. Place the mushrooms in the pot and cook while stirring every few moments for as long as it takes you to open the bottle of burgundy and taste a little. Be confident in your choice and confirm it with another taste. After satisfying your thirst for better things, add the wine to the pot along with the green peppercorns, rosemary and bay leaf. Let the sauce reduce moderately by 2/3rds. Stir the veal demi-glace into the pot and season with salt to taste. I have omitted the Tablespoon of Balsamic syrup from the above ingredient list. But I do indeed add it for many reasons. Just curious to see who is paying attention?

    To validate your friend’s adoration of your skills as a cook, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and turn the fryer on to 350 degrees at the same time. Season the marrow with some salt and pepper. Place the bones into a baking dish and roast for 10-12 minutes. The marrow should be brown and starting to slightly bubble. While the marrow is roasting, roll some of the beignet dough out to a ¼ inch thickness and cut into whatever shape fits your mood. If you have had enough Burgundy, that mood should yield whimsical and slightly abstract shapes. Fry the dough until golden and puffy delicious and set aside to stay warm with a sprinkling of salt. Place a pan over high heat and add a nice pat of butter. Swirl the bubbling butter around and add the snails. Saute for a minute and add the bordelaise sauce. Bring your pan to a simmer while you take the Bones out of the oven. Place the bones onto 4 plates and smother with the sauce. Creatively toss around some beignets with their wonderful aroma of rosemary. Present to your loved ones and toast the survival of yet another Tuesday. I pray that we all have enough couth to one day own marrow spoons.


  7. We don’t call it SUNday for nothin!: Bloody Mary “Bubble Tea”

    March 13, 2012 by David Bridges

    In my 6 or so month stupor from the blog, some of it being voluntary and some involuntary, there have been many fine creations to come out of my kitchen, bar and mouth. I have been reluctant to share with everyone due to involuntary reasons. But today, I have decided to volunteer my time back into the redevelopment of mankind to his former glory.
    We don’t call it Sunday for nothin! If you gaze towards the sun peeking from the crest of the horizon onto our souls, I will be standing with a beverage for all to spike a sense of invigoration back into your lives that have been drunken with a plastic liquor bottle full of insincere smiles, gender neutralizing clothing and cookbooks with yet another meatloaf recipe from a famous chef who “cooks at home”. Our sense of intelligence has just been slapped. Here’s a little secret: CHEFS DONT COOK AT HOME. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year. But for the most part, we are going out to eat. After serving 100s and even 1000s of people a week, we want and deserve for some one to attend to us for once.
    The quintessential Sunday late morning hang over breakfast. The Bloody Mary has legions of fans and just as many variations. The devotees swear by the medicinal and almost black magic properties that the beverage possesses in exercising the demons from your head. It instills a vigor back into one’s step and gets you ready for yet another day of reveling right when you thought another day’s worth of sin was too much. Feel free to substitute into the garnishes any number of vegetables and pickles or even a boiled shrimp, a crab claw and a raw oyster for that extra potency that one might require in the latter era of HIS life.

    Bloody Mary “Bubble Tea”
    Serves 4 people not ready for another day of Mardi Gras Parades

    1 bottle Fine Vodka
    1 bottle Tomato juice
    1 bottle Tabasco
    1 bottle Worcestershire
    1 jar prepared Horseradish
    2 Lemons cut into halves
    Sea or Kosher Salt
    Fresh cracked Black Pepper
    Firm Veal Demi-Glace cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 jar of each Pickled Okra, Pickled Green Beans, Pickled Quail Eggs, Boiled Shrimp, Crab Claw, a raw oyster
    4 stalks of Celery

    Pour 2 ounces of vodka into a highball glass that is over flowing with ice. Add 3 ounces of tomato juice to the glass with 4 dashes of Tabasco, 2 dashes of Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon horseradish, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a long spoon and stir very well. Stir in 1/3 cup of your veal demi jewels. Impale an okra, a few green beans and a quail egg with a cocktail pic. Place the highly decorated pic into your beverage and plant the celery stalk down into the ice. Place a large mouthed straw into the libation so that the luxury of the demi-glace and tickle your tongue. Serve and repeat as needed to help your guests revive their sense of good taste and exercise the demons of bad food media.


  8. Here Comes the Sun

    September 3, 2011 by David Bridges

    The sun has finally come back out. You would think after spending so many of my past summers in Alaska that I would be used to being in the depths of a soul less day. But the crest of the sun has pierced the horizon and it’s rays have begun to reinvigorate my life and warm my soul.

    First and most importantly, I traveled to Sonoma and was married to the love of my life at the Madrona Manor among 20 friends and family with a meal that could have surpassed the 1 Michelin star already held by the venerable mansion. A massive Raw Bar was served during the cocktail hour. I know it took every ounce of will that my friend Bill could muster to save me just ONE local oyster. Then we partook in a seated dinner outside under the trellis that overlooks the gardens and vineyards in full bloom. We had carpaccio with truffle, gnocchi with clams and bacon, Pasta with uni, Beef strip loin with tongue and Wedding cake with layers of currant. A 3 litre of Fred Sherrer’s best reared its head at one point too. I really cannot express how happy I am to be married to Mrs. Stephanie Parkman Bridges. She is by far the most incredible woman I have ever met and the only person I have ever loved more than myself and I am one SELFISH MF!

    Second, after traveling far and wide across the country, I have been offered the job of Executive Chef of the Upperline Restaurant in my home town of New Orleans. It is a great fit for me, my new family and The Rooter To The Tooter. There will now be a venue to physically experience the lifestyle and cuisine for which I have been preaching.

    I will see you here and hopefully I will see you there.

     


  9. Sense and Sensibility: Crostini of Peaches and Home Made Ricotta

    July 22, 2011 by David Bridges

    After satiating my lust for the rich joys of Chinese black chicken, I decided to actually be sensible for once in my life. Being sensible falls solely on one’s point of view. There in lies the beauty of being sensible. It is only regulated by your own system of justification. It is completely sensible for ScottyRockYourBody to live in the Abacos and be forced to wrangle food from the ocean because he is broke and it is illegal for him to work there. Why does he insist on living a “sensible” lifestyle where he must tie a twine around his hand and pray a fish engulfs the lure he has set forth? Love, that’s why. To drop all for love could possibly be the most sensible thing that I have ever been witness to.
    Well, I love not being broke. So my next recipe took into account what was fresh and inexpensive. It serves as a great Hors D’oeuvres for some friends or a bedtime snack to share with who you are in love with. Unfortunately, you will need the slightest bit of income for this dish. Since it can’t be wrangled from the sea. How unromantic!

    Crostini with peaches, salumi, home-made ricotta and balsamic syrup
    Serves 2 in bed or 10 as an hors d’oeuvres for celebrating a military promotion

    For the Ricotta:
    ½ gal whole milk
    2 lemons juiced
    1T white vinegar
    kosher salt
    1T fresh chopped rosemary
    1T extra virgin olive oil
    For the balsamic syrup:
    12oz bottle of balsamic vinegar
    2T dark brown sugar

    1 loaf crusty sliced bread
    Olive oil
    A few local peaches
    High quality salumi such as Armandino Batali in Seattle
    Baby arugula

    To make the ricotta, place the milk in a pot and adjust your flame to medium heat. Raise the temperature of the milk to 170 degrees. Pour in the lemon juice and vinegar with a pinch of salt and stir for a brief second to just let it know that you haven’t abandoned its needs. Let the milk sit for a few minutes as the curds and the whey separate. Gently ladle all the curds into a cheese cloth lined colander and place that over a bowl to drip. Put it in your refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight to continue to drain a bit more. Remove the ricotta from the cheese cloth hammock and stir in the rosemary and olive oil. Taste the cheese and add some more salt as needed.
    For the balsamic syrup, place the 2 ingredients into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the vinegar by half. The bubbles will turn large and thick. Set into a jar until needed.
    To assemble the Crostini, pour a generous amount of olive oil into a skillet and heat it on medium high until it starts to smoke. Place a few of the slices of bread into the skillet and brown on both sides. Keep repeating until all the bread is gone. Maybe drink a little wine to keep your constitution happy while you preform the mundane act of repetition. Pile all the crostini onto a plate and set aside. Peel, core and slice the peaches. Set them aside and lick your fingers confirming your sexuality. Slice your salumi as paper thin as possible and dress your arugula with some olive oil and salt. There is nothing sadder than a dry green that longs for a kiss of olive oil. Lather the ricotta onto the crostini, lay a peach slice or two, a salumi slice or two, some loved on arugula and a drizzle of the balsamic syrup. Repeat as much as you like or at least until you get bored b


  10. June Contest Winners

    July 8, 2011 by David Bridges

    This month’s winners were selected my a random lick from Rooter and Tooter, the official pups.
    Congrats to:
    craigtouchstone
    fusion.com
    davidfabrycki

    An email will be sent for delivery instructions. Good luck to everyone in July.