I Like it Like That

I need things a certain way which is something I sometimes discuss with my therapist.  If I invite you to my home and say snacks at 5:00 and dinner at 6:00 then that’s the way I would like it. I plan on things to be that way and I get quite aggravated if things don’t keep on schedule.  I’m sure the anxiety stems from years in the restaurant business.  If the door will be unlocked at 4:00 then everything must be ready by 4:00.  What if a party of six arrives as the key is turning?  Those six people will be paying the same price as those that come in at 5:30 so they should have the same experience.  That’s just good hospitality.  I also have the same rule at home where I practice good hospitality and need my plan adhered to.  I also like my food and drink a particular way.  Not having it the way I like it can cause mild anxiety to disappointment to deep agitation.  My emotional state depends on the violation but it’s generally not too bad.

Obviously I love food and drink.  I love to work with food, write about food, read about food, and watch anything food related.  I also love to eat good food and enjoy good drinks.  Lately my beverages are restricted to a lot of Polar flavored seltzer and as always, coffee. As a chef people often ask me what I like to eat and what restaurants I like.  Keep in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to enjoy the following items.  If you want to enjoy things properly then do it the way I like it, you’ll have better life experiences that way and become a happier and more fulfilled person.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Coffee – dark, strong, and a little bitter.  A bit of cream and a teaspoon of sugar.  I don’t over-spend for coffee. I never go to Starbucks and rarely Dunkin Donuts.

Steak – Tenderloin rare.  NY strip mid-rare.  Rib eye medium. I like steak seared in a hot cast iron pan, turned every 30-60 seconds until a good crust is formed then finished on a lower heat with butter, garlic cloves, and thyme sprigs until the desired temperature is reached.  A great steak needs no sauce, just some flaked salt, freshly ground pepper, good olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.

Ice Cream – I like anything that’s very chocolately and has caramel or peanut butter.  My favorite commercially ice cream made of all-time was Ben and Jerry’s In a Crunch which isn’t made anymore.  My favorite home-made is my own chocolate which when eaten causes one to have a sexual experience before the next morning.  I don’t make that one as much as I used to.  I like to pop my ice cream in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften it up a bit as it improves the flavor.

Pizza –  Anchovy and hot peppers for the flavors or sausage and mushroom for the memories.  I do however love many kinds and combinations.  The crust is vitally important.  I rarely get take-out pizza anymore as I make it far better than almost any local pizza joint.  While I’m pretty pleased with my dough recipe, I know I can improve it greatly.

Eggs – I love eggs, and I eat a lot of them over very easy, properly poached, or soft and creamy scrambled.  On a Sausage McMuffin is also acceptable.  At the point you think your scrambled eggs are done you’ve likely gone too far.

Scallops – FRESH!  Well seared on one side, barely cooked on the other and finished with butter.  Raw with a sprinkle of lime and tabasco.

Bone Marrow – Roasted marrow bone, toast, course sea salt. Also rendered and whipped with butter for finishing risotto.

Cocktails – I like classic cocktails properly made.  The bartender that pours you a glass of rye or Bourbon when you ask for a Manhattan is not “hooking you up” or doing you a favor.  Just make me a good drink, I’m not in college.

Beer – Cheap beer that’s really cold.  Good Beer that’s cold enough. I love beer.  I haven’t had beer in three months. Perhaps New Year’s Eve I’ll have one.

Bagels – I don’t like bagels much.  I don’t know why I brought them up.

Pasta – Made fresh, properly cooked, and lightly dressed.  No goofy concoctions, not swimming in garbage cream sauces, and no mention of Buffalo chicken anything.

Tacos – Every once in a while I get a hankering for very untraditional tacos, so I get hard shells and fill them with seasoned ground beef, Monterey Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream.  More often than not however I like regular tacos.  Hand-made soft tortillas warmed on a cast iron griddle and filled with slow braised pork, beef, or goat.  Add some quick-pickled red onion, a little bit of shredded cabbage and fresh-made hot sauce.  Grilled steak or lobster tacos with pico de gallo and a spicy salsa verde also thrill me.  It’s also nice to try new things and new combinations.  I like to make many kinds of hot sauces, especially when my garden is producing lots of chili peppers, tomatillos, and cilantro.

Pho – Piping hot with flavorful and moderately spicy broth, properly cooked rice noodles and tender shaved beef.  Lots of basil doesn’t hurt.

Friends – Honest and comforting to be around.  I have many acquaintances but very few friends.

I also like foie gras, fresh truffles, potatoes, wine, mushrooms, choucrute garni, porchetta, good hot dogs, cold milk and Oreo cookies.

The truth is, I like about anything as long as it’s made properly.

What are some of your favorite things, and how do you like them?

5 thoughts on “I Like it Like That

  1. Lamb chops, grilled to a medium rare, no further, Wings that are crispy, but not battered. A glass of good port with blue cheese, walnuts, pear and dark chocolate. The sound of a baby giggling/laughing. I miss the big buttery chardonnays of the past. Properly made ceviche, it must be balanced and let the protein shine. Almost any crab, as long as it’s not desecrated with lots of fillers or other flavors, the lump crab from a blue claw crab just cooked in some butter and perhaps lemon is to die for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roma sub – turkey, l,t,o, mayo (love that heavy duty mayo).

    NY style pizza – All-Trumps (55% hydration), Stanislaus, Grande.

    A loaf of French bread, a stick of butter, and a box of Maldon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bleu cheese on baguette; fall apart roast chicken, crispy crust; cassoulet: fois gras; spaghetti cacio e pepe; braciole; almond paste in any dessert; a proper old fashioned; Lilikoi (passion fruit) cream pie………….and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

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