Monday, August 30, 2010

Eating Out A Birthday Menu

So this Tuesday is dear friend of the of the blog, Chuck Leonard’s birthday. And happily that falls on the day of the Cooking With Pook segment. So naturally I’ve got to come up with some sort of fabulously awesome birthday mealness to kick down to the dude who lets us run wild on local TV. Nevermind the awesome cake and hangover congrats that I got from the Central Valley Buzz family this year.

And so this is my dilemma! My tools are what I can backpack in and I’m limited to about an hour and a half of time to prep and cook. Lacking a man-portable oven, a cake is pretty out of the question and I already did frosting (ganache) last week. There really isn’t time to chill anything (no blast chiller/freezer) so a pudding is out. An ice cream party would rule, but that would just be buying a lot of ice cream and making a couple quick topping sauces. Not to mention, most of the better fruits are out of season.

There’s always savory options though. I immediately thought of the good ole standard flat iron steak with some fried potatoes. Give a brother a decent base to party upon, for what is sure to be a whirlwind birthday fiesta. Mrs. EOF suggesting doing Dan’s famous Philly cheese steak. Which I must say is quite good. Maybe something fancy and French like halibut with a beurre blanc and sautéed haricot verts with a bacon jus. But somehow fish just doesn’t say “Birthday!”, no matter how fancy you dress it.

I think I’m leaning strongest toward one of the steak options. Steak and taters is yawnfully simple, but at the same time it’s really tasty. On the other hand, the cheese steak is a little complicated since you make your own cheese sauce. A little heavy on prep too. But it’s colorful, messy and insanely filling. Plus I sneak a little beer into the recipe, so that’ll keep it festive. How better to celebrate a birthday than with gobs of cheese and meat and beer? So it is written! So shall it be bumblingly executed for your edification!