Saturday, December 05, 2009

Please Pass The Schnitzel, Wurst, & "Rinder Rouladen"

And You Better Super-Size My Lederhosen While You're At It...

Funny thing...

In my cooking adventures over the past ten or fifteen years I've discovered that in order to perfect any given dish I generally have to cook it three or four times in the space of ten days or two weeks in order to understand the process and fine tune the results.

I just can't cook something new and different once and then come back to it six months or a year later--particularly when I might be under the pressure of cooking for guests--and really know what I'm doing and have all of the subtleties and nuances of the flavors involved under control.

For instance, my basic German cooking has progressed from just slopping some canned Sauerkraut into a skillet to heat beside some unidentified sausage to today toasting Caraway seeds in a skillet, rendering some crispy bacon for the grease, and then cooking a premium Kraut down in the grease and some beef or chicken stock until it's tender and brown and serving with some nice hot seared Bratwurst and Knackwurst and two or three kinds of spicy mustard.

Moving a step further, I've been working on the seasoning and breading of Pork and chicken to produce authentic "Schnitzel" (hint...pound the meat flat with a hammer or old shoe or a meat mallet if you have one, then dip in flour, egg wash, and plain cracker crumbs and fry lightly in peanut oil.)

Hey...I think that I just wrote the shortest recipe ever back to this afternoon's oratory...

Then this week after buying some really nice looking beef tenderloins, in the process of butchering them down into 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" thick steaks I am also cutting out some nice thin "butterfly portions" about a quarter inch thick and tonight I'm cooking a dish called Rouladen (or Rinder Rouladen i.e. German Beef) for the second time in three days.

According to my Internet research it's usually made with round steak or flank steak or some of the other lower cuts of Beef, but since I'm a self proclaimed "steak snob" and I have plenty of Tenderloin handy, here's the Recipe if you want to try it and cook along with me:

German Rinder Rouladen for Two

The Bill of Materials:

2 thin fillets of Beef Tenderloin, butterflyed open and about 3/16" to 1/4" thick
3 or 4 slices bacon-cooked crisp
Dill Pickle spears, cut in half down the middle
Julienned Carrot sticks (optional)
1/4 medium onion sliced thin
1 can beef broth

Spicy mustard
fresh ground black pepper
TBSP or two of flour
1/4 stick of butter
Cooked Egg noodles, or Linguine/Fettuccine pasta, al dente

The Construction Procedure:

Cut your Bacon strips in half and toss them in a heavy skillet on medium heat and cook until they are done and as crispy as you like them, then saute your onion slivers/slices in the left over grease and reserve with the bacon on the side on some paper towels.

Now kick the heat up a little on the skillet and sear your tenderloin butterflies lightly on both sides, being careful not to cook things too done (it's not going to be rare or even medium rare unless you modify the process but still you don't want to make shoe leather out of premium beef.)

Pull them out of the skillet and add your broth and start it simmering, and spread a uniform layer of your mustard on one side of each of the beef slabs.

Add a slice of bacon or bacon crumbles (your choice) and then the dill pickle spear (and carrot slice if you want) and roll the whole thing up and pin it closed with toothpicks.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Now put it in the skillet in your broth and cook covered over low/medium low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, stopping back by to turn things over after the first 15 or 20 minutes.

When it's all nice and hot you can pull out your Rouladen and sprinkle in a little flour and butter and stir up some gravy from the left over juice.

I plan on serving mine tonight over some Fettuccine (no egg noodles in the building and I'm too lazy to go back to the Grocer) with some warm Red Cabbage slaw on the side.

Enjoy Yall...

The Redneck Gourmet

Strange New World

Snow In Eastern Tennessee...

Hey...who painted the ground white?

Pizza may be breaking out in the Kitchen tonight...

Am I A Grocery Store Junkie?

A Shamefully Short Distance Away From Wearing Sans-A-Belt Pants and Owning My Own Flea Market Booth...

The good news is that we've been eating pretty good here this week at the Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

The bad news is the freezer compartment on one of my two refrigerators and my Deep Freezer are all FULL of giant portions of meat (and some corn on the cob purchased for $0.10 per ear last fall)....I can't stuff much of anything else in there until we do some more eating.

This week the local Kroger had a "One Day Sale" featuring Snow Crab Clusters for $3.99 a pound and giant chunks of of Beef Tenderloin for $6.99/lb.

I found out about the deals on Sunday and I hate to admit that I spent the week like a kid waiting on Christmas or the Easter Bunny and ended up going to two different nearby Kroger stores in order to spend $100 on crustaceans and prime beef in a single day.

Then last night I started fooling around looking for a creative way to do "surf and turf."

It had to be something that could successfully follow Wednesday's "Chicken Fried Cube Steak" extravaganza I put on and Thursday's "Unofficial Official German Night" where I did Chicken Schnitzel and a funky German beef dish called "Rouladens" that was basically thin butterflied portions of tenderloin stuffed with bacon, mustard, dill pickles, and sauteed onions.

(Don't freak out, it was dang fine food and I know my German fare because I've spent a good deal of time studying Bavarian cuisine.)

So any way, last night I ended up just steaming some crab clusters after soaking them in some water with lemon juice to take the stink off, and then I kicked out some Mongolian Beef served over rice and based on a recipe I found which claimed to mimic the dish served at P.F. Chang's Restaurant.

I intend to write everything up and publish it here on the blogs later this weekend, but right now I'm too tired from sitting up most of the evening beating on a couple of technical problems I'm having on my pneumatic air valve rebuilds.

And don't even get me started about "climategate" and the Obamamaniacs' "Jobs Summit" BS bouncing around in the news.

In the mean time...feel free to entertain yourselves...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Best Intentions

If It Was Easy...Everyone Could Do It...

So if you couldn't tell from my earlier posting, I'm stumped in two basic areas of my current professional endeavors.

I've got a PLC that doesn't seem to want to get along with my temperature probes (or any other analogue input for that matter), and now I have a box load of fancy pneumatic valves that but for a $0.50 part moving out of the way could already be rebuilt and back in a box on a Big Brown Truck on Monday Afternoon.



(DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH...IT'S STILLL COMING OUT...) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

In case you weren't paying might wonder if I said:


OK, here's a translation...for the hearing impaired...


And here it is in authentic Chinese...


here it is in Mandarin (a variation on Chinese?):


and here it is from your lawyer:


here it is in South American (do they have an "official language?")


and here it is in lower Alabama...ian...


and all of that said, that will be ALL...


Thursday, December 03, 2009

I'm Off To See The Wizard Buy More Tools

Things Women Should Know...

I'm taking a risk here this morning making this confession, but in the spirit of the Holiday Season I think that I will tender the following insight on male thinking to the fairer sex--for those that haven't already figured it out some time ago (like the week after your Honeymoon.)

A man...rather...a real MAN...will use any given project at any given time as an excuse to purchase a tool.

Maybe several.

And given only the limitations of things like income and credit limits will the size and complexity of the tool be thereby specified and determined (specifications and determinations being beyond the scope of this discussion this morning.)

For instance, say that you are sitting happily in your new house and everyone decided that your gutters and roof need cleaning?

Why settle for this...

when you might possibly talk your wife or girlfriend (or significant other) into letting you buy this...

Or say that you want to rotate the tires on your mini-van once in a while to save $31.97 every six months?

Everyone knows your task could be accomplished with one of these and a couple of jack stands....

But wouldn't this look really cool in your garage or carport (and of course you'd have to buy the ATV's/jet skis and the vintage Camaro just to complete the is...after all...a SET...Honey...

That's exactly the position I find myself in this morning...deciding between the minimal tools I "really need", things I "have to have", and the stuff that would really be cool and if I'm doing it why not go all the way because...

"I'll just end up buying one of "ABC" at some time in the future..."

That said it's time to get moving in the shop and finish the day's "tool purchase list," then head over to Mecca Northern Tool.

(I get all a tingle just thinking about it...)

Weird Internet Stuff

Things Most People Never See...

I have to admit that I've become more than just an Amateur E-Bay Junkie over the past half decade.

Looking around my office I have to ask you who else you know other than me that in the past few years has bought dozens of early original editions of books published before 1900 (Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, a Bible and a Websters Dictionary among other titles), a real rosewood Chinese Abacus, a Remington "noiseless" portable typewriter built in the late 1930's in excellent condition, numerous vintage engineering text and reference books, and three antique radios all built before WWII (two of which work and one built in the 1920's that's battery powered and will work when I get through with repairing it)?

Sometimes packages show up at my door and I can't even remember what exactly it is that I ordered or won at auction this week.

That said, here's the header from a yahoo E-mail I received this morning from China...about some oscilloscope Probes I ordered (electronic test equipment) on E-Bay.

发件人: Virgil Rogers
发送时间: 2009-12-03 15:47:55
收件人: njlasz
主题: Got the probes

I received your shipment...and gave you a five star rating on E-bay.

Thanks for the gift also.

The guy sent me a little hand woven bangle that sort of looked like the tassel kids wear on their Mortar boards during High School or College Graduation ceremonies.

I've been up most of the night fooling with the PLC project and inspecting another shipment of fancy pneumatic valves I have to rebuild over the next it's time to hit the bed for a while and dream about a trip I have planned to Home Depot, Northern Tool, and Ace Hardware later this morning.

I don't know for sure if it's good thing or a bad thing when you reach the point in life as a man where going to the hardware store is more exciting than going to Hooters to eat wings and drink beer and ogle bawdy lasses with their extremities hanging out of their clothing, but right now I'm lusting after a digital Micrometer, a portable parts wash cabinet, and an adjustable set of snap ring pliers and I don't see much of anything or anyone being capable of deflecting me on my journey.

Regards Y'all

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

There's An Idiot In Every Crowd

I Just Try To Not Let It Be Me Each Day...

One of the coolest things about living on St. Simons Island was the pet friendly nature of the people and businesses there.

It was almost like they issued dogs when you moved there because almost everyone had at least one four legged family member and even I--having been a cat man for most of my life--ended up getting little Missy the Turbo Pup in February of 2007.

She went EVERYWHERE with us. The beach. The Condo pool. She rode in a basket on Pat's bike or jogged on her leash along side of my bike on the abundant bike trails interlaced around the island.

And perhaps the best thing was that when we got hungry and wanted to eat or just got tired and wanted a drink most of the restaurants had outdoor seating areas and everyone ended up knowing The Turbo Pup and enjoyed watching her grow from 2 lbs to her present 11 pound adult weight.

She was practically a fixture on the patio of the Sea Palms Country Club which was next door to our Condo because we could walk or ride over there in about three minutes and they had a good happy hour and specials food menu.

In fact if I went over to buy a newspaper at noon and didn't bring the Turbo Pup people came outside and inquired about her...they didn't care about me they just wanted to pet my dog.

So any way, things aren't so pet friendly here in Knoxtown, but the good news is that the state passed a law this legislative session allowing local Cities and Municipalities that regulate restaurants to decide if the outdoor patio seating areas will be pet friendly.

A story in today's Knoxville News Sentinel gives me hope of having Missy back in our dining out dinner plans by next spring/summer, but part of the story also makes my head spin because of the position of the mandatory "activist."

I think that there must be a rule or law somewhere that says that there has to be an "activist" present any time more than two people get together and try to do anything (except possibly drink beer...but even then you risk someone from MADD showing up and ruining every ones buzz.)

And you can always spot the "activist" in any proceeding because 9 times out of 10 they're the bleeding heart, emotionally bruised, bleary eyed (and possibly sniveling, booger eating, tree hugging, tye dyed, patchouli stinking) person siting in the back row intent that nothing gets done because it will adversely affect their "cause."

So at this week's meeting of the Knoxville City Council they were discussing the new "Pooches on the patio" ordinance and right on que the lady from the "Mayor's Council on Disability Issues" had to jump out of her chair (or wheelchair I suppose) and "[express] concerns that pet dogs might interfere with service animals used by the disabled..."

All I have to say is..."Give me a %$#@ing break here Lady."

I've lived in West Knoxville for almost two years and I'll swear on a stack of bibles that only once has anyone come into a restaurant with a "service animal" be it a dog or a Monkey or a Possum or a Thompson's Gazelle.

And if they did I would definitely keep our little Turbo Pup away from them because all larger dogs want to generally do is step on her or try to hump her.

You see people, it's like this with all of these "activists"...they want to spread the suffering and misery around.

A few years ago it was smoking in restaurants, today it's "service animals" being distracted in restaurants, coming soon it's 500 pound people oozing over the armrest into your space on an airliner and bitching about having to pay for two seats...

If we left everything up to the "Activists"???

No one but the "handicapped" and "disabled" and "morbidly obese" would go anywhere and do anything.

Instead of the first four parking spaces ON EVERY SINGLE ROW AT HOME DEPOT being handicapped, the whole damn parking lot at Home Depot would be handicapped only and I'd have to ride home on the bus with a load of duct tape, plywood and two by fours.

Am I wrong here, or am I just being my normal insensitive self?

Seriously, I think that if everyone within a five mile radius of our local Home Depot that really needed and deserved a handicapped parking Sticker (which would exclude all of the people that use their Grandma's permits to get good parking spaces at the mall while Christmas shopping) came out today at Noon and bought a load of lumber we couldn't legitimately fill up all of the handicapped parking spaces, yet I'm stuck parking 75 feet from the store and walking past empty spaces because some "activist" got the government to say that for every so many thousand square feet of retail space you have to have a given number of spaces designated for "handicapped parking."

Don't get me wrong here because I believe that people deserve a break and some accommodation for "disabilities," but still the trend to shove every single whim and desire of these hysterical "activists" (and I mean hysterical in a crazy sense not a ha ha funny sense) down everyone's throats has gotten just a little out of control in today's politically correct culture, society, and political climate.

I say the government should get the heck out of the way and let the RESTAURANT OWNERS...private citizens decide if people can bring their dogs around their establishments and still maintain sanitary food service conditions.

If you operate a curbside Cafe and have a large clientele of people with service animals and some guy's Pet Baboon's Purple Snout and Rosy Red protruding Anus makes the "Seeing Eye" Dogs whimper and disturbs peoples enjoyment of their Crepes and Lattes, then let THE OWNER post a sign saying "No Apes with red snouts and protruding genitalia Allowed"

Why should it be up to the government to decide? If the owner lets enough crazy crap go on he'll either develope a share of the market that enjoys the same or can tolerate it else he'll get no business at all. Instead of the government, let the owner and the customers decide.

And you know what else bugs the crap out of me?

People can CHOOSE to not go into an establishment in the first place if there are conditions which they find objectionable.

If you don't want to smell like smoke when you come home from dinner and drinks?

Don't go where people exercise their right to smoke (government's pretty well run over that right already in most states.)

You don't want to see naked women?

Stay out of the Strip Clubs and the ladies dressing room at Belks.

Don't want to see pot bellyed men walking around in tiny little Speedo bathing suits?

Stay off the beach in France or Jamaica.

Don't want to be over run by pimple faced kids blabbing or texting on cell phones?

Stay out of the school teacher business and out of the Mall and Movie Theaters on Saturday Night.

Seems pretty simple to me, how about you?

We don't need a LAW, we just all need to exercise some common sense.

Why should all of the wimps rely on government to pass laws to make every restaurant patio a "pet free zone" when they never set foot in 99% of the restaurants in any given area?

These same people that want the government telling business owners where their clients can park and where and when and if their clients can smoke are the exact same people that would never stick a gun in your ribs and demand money for their health care or food...but they have no problem electing representatives that will pass laws and come to my house and use the threat of DEADLY FORCE to take money from me and give it to them for the exact same purposes.


All I know is that it's a screwed up world we live in Ladies and Gentlemen, and I have to stop writing now and stop thinking about crap like this before my head explodes.

Y'all have a lovely afternoon...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Was It Something I Said?

Or Didn't Say Yet?

OK ...could I ask everyone to get off of Tiger Woods Ass?

So the King of Golf is reaping what he has sewn over the past few years...wild oats and whatever...and his lovely fashion model/virgin/bride come mother of his children apparently has a temper, BUT...

In my opinion he doesn't owe you or me or anyone else on the planet ANYTHING except to tell you/us to shut the hell up, butt the hell out, and get the hell out of his face, because the entire "incident" occurred on private property...

HIS property.

And the Florida State Patrol and Fox News can go to hell also.

I know that there are people out there that read this blog and complain that I'm "Sexist" and "Racist" and "whatever-ist" but I'm here to defend Mr. Woods to the end as a Gentleman and a Class Act without "acting"...the man couldn't get through 33years without stumbling if he was/is anything other than what his father raised him to be--A Great American.

Speaking from the viewpoint of having learned some really hard lessons in life, I can personally testify that a Women...good ones and bad ones and everything in between...can and will make a man do some crazy crap and I say that Tiger has only to own up to the circumstances and learn a lesson if there is one burried in there.

Everybody else just needs to keep on sweeping around their own front doors and let the man be, in my considered Redneck opinion.

Then again I like to wear black T-shirts and I listen to Pink Floyd and Bob Marley and I think George Wallace might have been a good president if some Liberal Asshole hadn't shot him in a shopping center parking lot in Maryland...

(yeah...GEORGE WALLACE...that will make everyone's head spin...)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy Weak Week Ahead

Who's Idea Was This Anyway?'s Monday after Thanksgiving...

and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but here goes...


yes YOU...

you there reading my rantings....

YOU...hurry up and GET BACK TO WORK so I can get something done today.

You see, I spent most all of last Wednesday afternoon trying to find people in "Tech Support" on the telephone and only the Horner PLC folks were on hand to answer my questions, so as a result I'm a half a week behind on my personal self-imposed schedule.

And I've learned through the grape vine that I have an additional purchase order coming in the door this week on a rush schedule and I'm in the unfortunate position of having to take their money and actually produce something in the process.


(hey...a vigorous schedule will at least help dump the five pounds worth of turkey weight we all put on while sitting around watching football...)

That will be all...for now...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh Well...

Georgia 30...GT 24

The good news is that having followed this team for 32 years, at the end of the day my heart's not broken by a late season loss to our hated cross state rivals.

And it was fun while it lasted, but in typical Georgia Tech fashion the 2009 edition of their football team found a way to sink back from a position of being considered pretty good to being just slightly above average.

Unlike some sports addicts, I know I'm the same man on Monday morning win or lose...something it took a few years to understand in my youth.