Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dawg House Hush Puppies in Fusion Gravy!

Who is in the dawg house? ...  Gourmet Hot Pork Sausage Hush Puppies in Shaoxing Drunken Five Spice Gravy! 

     In the Dog House.  Oh, the misery and woe.  Oh, the anguish and guilt.  Oh, the dreadful thought of what awful food lies in store for the dog house dinner punishment.  
     Being in the dog house is no fun.  There are so many ways to end up in the dog house and none of them are good.  A spouse finding her hubby in a stripper club, when he was supposed to be at a holiday dinner with the family.  A family member who comes home pickled drunk from a bar.  A child that lies about stealing the cookie jar.  A boyfriend who forgets to give the girlfriend a bouquet of roses on Valentine's Day.  Even worse, a boyfriend who gives roses to his girlfriend and the Valentines Day card message has the name of a another girlfriend on the card!         
     Today in Las Vegas, betting the rent money on the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl caused many gamblers to end up in the dog house.  Because this city has no home football team, many Las Vegas residents root for local regional teams like the Denver Broncos.  As every gambler knows, wagers based solely upon team loyalty are never a good idea.  Placing a wager on the Broncos, just because an idol like Peyton Manning plays for the team, instead of looking at the statistics in a realistic way, caused many folks who "gamble like a fan" to end up in the proverbial dog house.  
     I picked Seattle today, because Manning is a pocket quarterback who cannot scramble and because the Broncos did not have their mile high home field advantage.  Those who took advantage of the Seattle Seahawks prop bets, like the "Seattle 1st score in the game will be a safety for +4000, the Safety for +550 or the chance that either team will score 5 consecutive times for +900," brought home some seriously good money today and those gamblers are definitely not sitting in the dog house!  
     One interesting item that probably was not mentioned during the Super Bowl coverage is that both of the teams in the big game were from the two states that legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Because of this, many people comically nicknamed the 2014 Super Bowl as "The Marijuana Bowl!"  Potheads got into the marijuana bowl theme and were saying things like, "May the city with the best weed win!"  
     For those of us who are in the restaurant business and those who are food vendors, legal recreational marijuana is a blessing, because marijuana causes intense cravings for munchie food.  Stoners who have a bad case of the munchies have been known to eat some really weird food.  Many chefs do have the potential to create great munch food.  With this in mind, it is conceivable that an entrepreneur chef could possibly open a munchie food vending business that caters to the needs of stoner fans at the Seattle or Denver pro football stadium.  A stadium vending stand called something like, "Stoner's Munchie Delight" that offers menu items like a "Smoked Bacon, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Spread and Pop Rocks Whole Wheat Krispy Kreme Donut Sandwich," could potentially make millions during the football season in a state that has legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Munchies equate to higher food sales and as far as munchie food creativity goes, the higher the better!

     Being in the dog is a real downer, unless the dawg food is good.  Most commercial dog food is on the borderline of being fit for human consumption, so serving real dog food to somebody is not a good idea, even if they are in the dog house.  The best that a cook can do is to create an entree that looks like dog food, but tastes much better.  Today's Dawg House Hush Puppies recipe accomplishes both of these goals.  The stainless steel dog food bowl presentation adds a classic touch.  In fact, when the stainless steel dog dish is placed on a golden doily underliner, this dawg house entree looks like a meal fit for "King!" 
     Spicy Pork Sausage Preparation: 
     Heat a saute pan over medium, medium low heat.
     Add 7 ounces of uncased spicy pork breakfast sausage.
     Saute the sausage, till it becomes fully cooked and lightly browned.  Break up any clumps into small pieces.
     Place the sausage in a fine mesh strainer to drain off the excess grease.
     Set the sausage aside.

     Spicy Pork Sausage Hush Puppies:
     This recipe makes 1 serving of about 15 small hush puppies!
     Place 3/4 cup of corn meal in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 cup masa harina.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced onion.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
     Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
     Mix the dry ingredients together.
     Add 2 tablespoons of whisked egg to the flour mixture while stirring, so the dry mixture gathers together in dry clumps.
     Add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease, sausage grease or vegetable oil, while stirring.
     Add a little bit of water at a time, while slowly stirring, till a thick heavy sticky cornbread mixture is formed.
     Note:  The batter should be thick enough to roll dough balls with the palms of your hands.  The batter should not be too dense, or the hush puppies will have too heavy of a texture after cooking. 
     Add the reserved spicy pork sausage. 
     Set the hush puppy mixture aside for 20 minutes, so the corm meal softens.  
     The batter may need more water after it sits, if it looks dry.  Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, while gently stirring, till it regains a thick, heavy sticky dough consistency.
     Heat 8" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ยบ.
     You can use the palms of your hands or a small ice cream scoop to form the hush puppies ball shape.  The hush puppy balls should be 1" to 1 1/4" in diameter.
     As soon as you form a round hush puppy, immediately place it in the hot deep frying oil.
     Work quickly, so all the hush puppies start cooking at nearly the same time.
     When the hush puppies float to the surface of the hot oil, then they are almost fully cooked.
     Let the hush puppies fry in the oil, till they become a golden brown color.
     The texture of a fully cooked hush puppy should be like pan fried corn bread.
     Place the hush puppies in a colander to drain off any excess oil.
     Keep the hush puppies warm on a stove top.

     Shaoxing Drunken Five Spice Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 serving!
     Chinese sauces are usually thickened with a cornstarch slurry.  A gravy is really a veloute sauce and it is thickened with roux.  
     Heat a wide saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or vegetable oil.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while stirring with a whisk, to create a roux.  (The roux should not be too thick.  It should look like a thick liquid.)
     Constantly stir, till the roux becomes a reddish brown color. 
     Add 2 1/2 cups of light pork broth.
     Add 3/4 cup of Shaoxing Wine.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of organic ketchup.  (Ketchup was originally created to be a cooking sauce!)
     Add 2 teaspoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of five spice powder.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese chile powder.
     Add 1 pinch of onion powder.
     Add 2 pinches of ginger powder.  
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce, till the gravy becomes a thin consistency.

     Dawg House Hush Puppies in Fusion Gravy:
     A dog food bowl gives this entree the classic dog house look.  For the dog dish presentation, shop for a new stainless steel dog food bowl, because nobody really wants to eat after a dog!.  A stainless steel surface is sterile and sanitary, even if it shaped like a dog food bowl.     
     Place the Spicy Pork Hush Puppies in the simmering Shaoxing Drunken Five Spice Gravy.
     Continue to simmer and reduce the gravy, till it can easily cling to the hush puppies.
     Mound the Dawg House Hush Puppies in Fusion Gravy in a stainless steel dog food bowl.
     Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
     Place the dog dish on a doily lined serving plate.
     Serve to whoever is in the dog house!

     If only the food that is served to those in the dog house was really this good!  Being in the dog house is not meant to be fun.  Making the bad dog in the dog house eat an entree that resembles dog food out of a dog dish can send a message.  
     For those who are not in the dog house and for those who just plain old like fun food presentations, a Dawg House Hush Puppies in Fusion Gravy dinner can be your chance to "get your dirty dawg dining style on" and howl at the moon!  Yum!  ...  Shawna