Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Menin aede thea . . .

If you like the Iliad then you will be gripped by Ernst Junger's memoir of his experiences in the First World War, Storm of Steel. It takes the reader up in a whirlwind and hurls one on the terrible, breathtaking billows of fire that was trench warfare and merciless bombardment in the 20th century's first dreadful experiment with modern armed conflict.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Creme Brulee with Grand Marnier

1. Beat 8 egg yolks with 2 T. sugar until thick, pale and lemon color.

2. Heat 1 qt. heavy cream in sauce pan til edges form bubbles.

3. Gradually beat into egg yolks the cream, pouring in a steady slow stream.

4. Beat in 1 T. orange zest grated, 3 T. grand marnier, and 1 T. vanilla.

5. Pour through a sieve into a flame-proof dish, and put the dish in a water bath (reaching half way up the top of the dish with the cream).

6. Bake about 50 minutes to an hour at 350 til knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

7. Chill at least 4 hours, then sprinkle 4 T. sugar on top, and broil 4-6 minutes.

8. Chill 2 more hours and serve.

EAT FAT!!!!!


Monday, November 21, 2005

No postings today . . .

Out of respect for the passing of L. Vorenus' wife, Niobe, there will be no postings today.

There will be a cena novendialis for any interested parties, check back then.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

The War on Christmas: The nuc-u-lur option . . .

Okay, your recommended reading for over Thanksgiving is Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version. Truth and Fiction in the Bible, a deconstructionist approach to the Old and New Testament and to the field of biblical archaeology in general.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Chopin and the Boss

There are few pieces of music more beautiful than Chopin's Nocturnes (of which Oscar Wilde said, "After listening [to the Nocturnes] I feel as though I've been weeping"), and few Springsteen albums (yes, I AM old enough to still use that term!) better than "Devils and Dust".

Buon Weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evil, is your recommended reading for the weekend. Arendt sat in on Eichmann's trial and was struck by how this ordinary, thoughtless individual could oversee the slaughter of 6,000,000 of his fellow human beings. No cloven hooves, no pointy ears, no sinister little goate, just horned rimmed glasses and a bored expression.

Read it!


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mein Krieg

An outstanding - OUTSTANDING - German documentary of, in essence, home movies of Germans who were on the eastern front in the Second World War.

It tells the tale of men who were made to commit the most atrocious deeds, and decades later have lived to tell the tale and get on with their lives. It's a grim grim view of how war crushes the human spirit, dehumanizes the individual, and, most hauntingly of all, how societies then send such individuals back into society.

The movie, while about the war between Germany and Russia, could apply just as well to numerous societies - modern Bosnia and Kosovo, Rawanda, Chile, Greece - America. The monster lives among us.


Verbum de rebus civitatis

Epistulam hodie accepi in qua auctor me mentiendi in hoc situ accusavit, de dicendis rebus civitatis non voluptatis, sed si legis verba quae hunc situm incipiunt, notabis me verba magni philosophi nomine Aristotilis scripsisse, qui de industria otii dixit, et certe pars industriae otii est res civitatis, sic nuntium de legato qui cras hic dicet.

Et si tibi non placet hic situs cum compositionibus lautis cenae, cum libris notatis qui legendi sunt omnibus, cum spetaculis sine quodam magno stulto Germanico qui solum dicit "Ego re-de-o!", cum rebus pertinentibus ad humanitatem et vitam bene actam tum . . .


Mille Basia . . .


Abdul Rahman-Munif

. . . and his Cities of Salt trilogy is what Homo Edax is reading for pleasure these days in his (little) spare time. It's a grand three part novel about the impact of American oil companies on the Middle East running from the 1930s-1970s. Pulling no punches about the pathologies of both American and Arab cultures and written by one who knows the oil industry and its impact up-close-and-personal, it makes for a timely read.


Zee Sanks-giveen iz, how yoo say, veery Frwanch!

Normally homo edax rebels against the Norman Rockwell Americana vision of Thanksgiving and cooks a fine FRENCH rack of lamb in an herb and wine sauce with a fine Pouilley-Fuisse, with a salad of mixed greens, gorganzola, pears and candied pecans in a raspberry vinegarette, topped off by creme brulee or chocolate mousse, but this year - instead of just dining with his wife and his own Promethean culinary talent - he is stuck, with family coming in and expecting dinner with all the trimmings.

At the very least this worst case/nightmare scenario dinner, mainly featuring various tasteless tubers drenched in varying amounts of butter and sugar (or gravy), can be redeemed by a turkey done properly.

"We start off our feast by stuffing the turkey with a bottle of giiiinnnnn!"

- Tim Russell as Julia Child on
A Prarie Home Companion

It will start with a fresh 12-14 lb. turkey. The day before cooking it he will take 1.5 gallons of water, 1 c. of kosher salt and 1 c. of sugar, and put the turkey in a bucket in the brine.

He'll then refrigerate it for 12 hours, then take it out of the brine and dry it off with paper towels. He'll then put it on a rack and let it stand in the regrigerator uncovered to dry for 4-6 hours, breast side down.

He'll then stuff the thing with a mix of thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, 3 coarsely chopped onions, 2 carrots coarsely chopped, and 2 stalks of celery (all of which are tossed in 2-3 T. butter)- 1/3 of the mix goes in the turkey, the remaining 2/3 gets spread at the bottom of the roasting pan.

H.E. will then cook the turkey at 450 for 1.5-2 hrs, adding 5 c. mix of water and wine before roasting; turn it 180 degrees half way through cooking and add more (even as much!) liquid as necessary.

Be sure that your thermometer registers 170 when inserted in the thigh and let the turkey stand for 30 minutes.

Meantime, to make the gravey:

Take the giblets and neck and cook in 1 T. oil till browned, then add 2 coarsely chopped medium yellow onions with the skin on and sautee with the giblets about 20 minutes on low heat til everything releases its juices. Then add 2-3 sprigs thyme and 6-8 sprigs parsley and 4 c. low sodium chicken broth (free range organic) and 2 c. water; simmer til you have about 5 c. liquid, strain and set aside (you can make this stock for your gravy the night before when you put your turkey in brine). Reserve and chop the giblets (discard the neck though) to add to your gravy.

When you take out the turkey, let it stand at least 30 min. on a cutting board or platter for carving.


In a separate burner, slowly cook into a roux 3-6 T. butter and 1/4 c. flour. Cook until a deep rich brown, with a nutty fragrance (about 15 minutes). Slowly whisk into the roux the reserved turkey stock until it is thoroughly mixed, and simmer for several minutes.

Put the roasting pan on a burner and over low heat (initially) scrap off the veggies at the bottom of the pan, deglazing the pan with 1 c. white wine. Remove contents of the pan and push the liquid through a strainer, return to pan, add gravy stock, simmer for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Au Revoir (ya'll)!


Zucchini fritters with tzadziki

Soak 3 small zucchinis (= about 1-1.25 lbs) in cold water for 20 minutes and then grate them. Remove excess moisture by squeezing gently in paper towels.

Mix together 2-3 large cloves crushed garlic, 3/4 c. grated parmeasan cheese, 1/3-1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs, and 3 small eggs. Add a grinding of pepper and the zucchini and stir.

In a skillet heat to medium high about 1/8-1/4 inch olive oil.

Taking small globs of the zucchini mix in your hands, roll in a plate of fine dry bread crumbs and flatten into a small cake.

Gently place two or three cakes at a time in your oil. Be careful not to cook either on too high or too low a heat so as not to burn the fritters OR the oil.

Sautee on each side til golden brown.

This recipe consistently makes 8 fritters. Place them on a hot plate in the oven on warm until ready to eat or serve at once.

I serve them with tzadziki: Take one quart of whole milk organic yogurth, line a sieve with paper towel, and place the yogurt on top of the paper towel in the sieve.

Let it drain for about 8 hours over a bowl in the refrigerator.

Mix with the yogurt 2-3 T. olive oil, 2 t. dried dill, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 t. salt, and a generous grinding of pepper.

Great as a dip, and I like it with the fritters.

Buon appetito!

Crab risotto

Sautee a medium minced yellow onion in 2 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil.

Heat up 6 c. chicken broth to a simmer on the stove.

When the onion is translucent add in 1 c. arborio rice and sautee til shiney.

Add a ladle full of broth and reduce to the next to lowest temperature.

Gradually stir the rice and add in ladle after ladle of broth stirring slowly and constantly (for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender).

Take off the heat and stir in 1 & 1/2 - 2 c. crab meat (preferably backfin meat).

Stir in and then add 4 T. butter and 1/2-3/4 c. parmeasan cheese.


Monday, November 14, 2005

eo ipso loco aliquando pistrinum fuisse . . . .


Risotto con pomodori

Peel and chop 2-3lbs. of tomatoes.

Finely chop a large onion.

Boil 6 c. of beef stock on top of the stove, cool to a simmer.

In a large pot (at least 2-4 quart size) sautee the onion in 4 T. olive oil til translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook with about a half t. of salt and some grindings of fresh pepper.

Stir in 1 c. of arborrio rice (risotto rice) and cook til glistening.

Turn down the stove to the next to lowest setting. Stir in a ladle full of stock and stir. Do this repeatedly, for about 30 minutes. You will need to stir the rice constantly and add ladle after ladle of stock until the rice is done.

(The key to a good creamy risotto is constant stirring and assessment of the level of moisture in the pan.)

When the rice is tender and all of the stock (or most of it) absorbed, take off the stove and stir in 1/2 a stick of butter and about 1/2-3/4c. parmeasan cheese.

Serve at once.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

How Homo Edax Gets His News.

Below are some sources - besides the New York Times and Washington Post (which as of 7:48 on a Saturday morning has NOT YET arrived - GRRRRRRR!) that Homo Edax recommends for news, both on the web and on the radio:




These first three are news consolidators. Dailywarnews brings together local newspaper stories about the war from around the country and has a daily round up of casualty figures, as well as providing commentary. Antiwar is primarily commentary from U.S. and U.K. newspapers, while the last, watchingamerica, consolidates and translates news from around the world offering the world's perspective on U.S. foreign and domestic policy.




Juan Cole is one of the country's leading experts in the Middle East and, best of all, can read Arabic and has lived in Arab countries; his analysis is generally excellent and I would not dream of stating my day without him and a strong cup of java. Riverbend is the blog of a woman who lives in Iraq, hence your dose of daily life straight from a non-filtered source (hey, what a unique idea - an IRAQI talking about IRAQ'S future, instead of some clean cut know-nothing American defense or intelligence analyst on Fox or CNN). Tomdispatch is a national treasure - stories and voices you won't hear anywhere else.

On the radio there's:

WPFW 89.3, Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, weekday mornings at 8:00-9:00 AM (repeated from 6:00-7:00 PM).

Amy Goodman, quite simply put, should get the Medal of Freedom for her expose of U.S. sheenanigans from Haiti to Niger, from the corportate board room to our corporatized prison system. She recently covered (to cite but one example) Shell Oil's implication in the violent death of a Nigerian political and environmental activist.

Need a laugh? Try the Wall Street Journal editorial pages - there are few things more amusing than small children with knives and matches pretending to be adults with high opinions of themselves! (Victor David Hanson's ad hominem attacks on the French dressed as genuine political opinion are particularly humorous in a puerile sort of way). It would be a riot were those pages not taken so seriously by the Establishment.



Friday, November 11, 2005

The only person who ever said anything that made sense about God to me

was Aeschylus, when he said, hapant'epachthei plein theoinesi choiranein, eleutheros gar outis esti plein Dios.

"All things are brudensome, except for the gods to bring about, for none is free, save Zeus."

A book of poems for the weekend . . .

The Dead and the Living, by Sharon Olds.

This is one of the finest books of poetry to come out (I think) in many a year, and anything by Sharon Olds is wonderful. Favorite poem of the collection? That's easy: The Connoisseuse of Slugs.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

For your reading pleasure . . .

Some recommendations come to mind today . . .

Don't know much about the First World War? Start with Barbara Tuchmann's great work, The Guns of August (which was actually made into a documentary movie in the early 60s). Her lead up to the war, The Proud Tower, is another excellent peice of historical writing, though she also delved into Medieval history and wrote an outstanding work about the 14th century entitled A Distant Mirror.

If Medieval history is your bag, then you should have a look at Steven Runciman's three volume history of the Crusades; it is sure to give you a good perspective on current events in the long view!


Rub your ribs . . .

This is a truly barbaric recipe, one that, I suspect, could bring even vegans over to the dark side . . .

Make a rub of: 1 T. brown sugar, 1 T. chili powder, salt, pepper, and 1 T. sweet paprika (you may increase it IF you use more meat.

Rub it over your favorite type of pork ribs (you may brine the ribs in a solution of 1c. each salt and sugar in 2 gallons water if you wish for several hours - if you do this pat the ribs dry).

Slowly cook the ribs in a 300-325 degree oven for three hours.

Slathering with your favorite barbeque sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays), put the ribs on a medium hot grill for about five minutes to a side, copiously basting with the sauce - be careful that your meat is not SO tender that it falls apart on the grill - you'll need to babysit the meat periodically in the oven - also be sure that it doesn't burn on the grill!)

You can also do this same thing with beef brisket (skip the brining).

I have tried it too, with excellent result, with a pork butt shoulder cut. However if you do this to pork butt rather than put it on the grill at the end, simply break the meat apart, slather it with the sauce, and put it under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the sauce develops a nice bubbly glaze. Presto - Carolina Pig Roast!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

For your viewing pleasure . . .

More movie recommendations:

The Vikings with Kirk Douglas (strictly a popcorn and soda affair, with Ernie Borgnine as Ragnar the viking chief and Tony Curtis as the long lost king turned slave!)

The Hair-dresser's husband (strange, passionate, wonderful and sad).

La Passione di Beatrice (haunting).

The Vanishing (the Belgian version - perhaps the most claustrophobic horror film ever).

Judgement at Nuremburg (oh that scene in the beer hall with Marlene Dietrich and Spencer Tracey).

Downfall (a German version of Hitler's last days).

Mein Krief (a German documentary about those who served on the Eastern front).

Das Schreckliche Madchen (The Horrid Girl) - an excellent German film about a woman who reveals some nasty secrets about her villages role in the Holocaust.

Europa Europa (a Jewish boy goes in hiding from the Germans).

Tout les Matins du Monde (which reminds me: any CD of Saint Colombe or Marin Marais by Jordi Savall is FABULOUS).

Beckett AND the Lion in Winter (view in THAT order, be sure the later is the 1968 version with Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn.

King Rat (life in a Japenese prison camp - oh that scene in the cell with the mystery meat stew!)

A Thousand Clowns (Jason Robbards: "A psychiatrist once did an analysis of my sister and found her just slightly to the left of whoopee!")

On the Waterfront ("I coldabennacontendanstedaabum!").

Twelve Angry Men & The Grapes of Wrath (two of Henry Fonda's greatest films).

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ("Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, wa wa wa, umph thumpth").

The Searchers (John Wayne as a racist looking to kill).

Spartacus (skip the slave scenes and decide whether you want to eat oysters or snails - oh, and Tony Curtis in yet another slave boy role! And that scene between Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton!)

The Cain Mutiny (hey, anything with Boggey!)

Baxter (be warned, real violent, real depressing, but excellent).

A Taxing Woman (H.E.'s favorite Japanese flick).

The Seventh Seal (good for your daily dose of existential angst).

The Virgin Spring (fantastic early Max von Sydow).

Sighs and Whispers (a woman dying of cancer faces the abyss: "the dog died - at least we had meat").

Jonny Stechino (an Italian comedy about a mafioso look-alike).

And a couple of t.v flicks ala the BBC if you can find them:

I, Claudius (great Roman soap!)

The Jewel in the Crown (probably THE best television drama of all time, it chronicles the last five years of British rule in India - with Timothy Pigot Smith as a fabulous villian).

Your reading recommendation for the day: Baghdad Diaries by Nuha al-Radi

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chocolate Pate

1. Take 1 stick of butter unsalted, 1/2 c. Karo corn syrupo and 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate (block form for baking, not chips) and melt it in a double boiler.

2. Take 1/2 c. whipping cream and 3 egg yolks and beat together.

3. Cooking at the lowest temperature on top of the stove, vigorously stir in the egg mixture and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Take off stove and let cool to room temperature.

4. Beat together 1 & 1/2 c. whipping cream, 1 t. vanilla, and 1/4 c. powdered sugar. Stir into cooled chocolate mixture, folding gently until there are no more white streaks.

5. Pour into a small loaf pan that has been lined with plastic wrap, chill for at least 5 hours.

6. Puree a 14 oz. bag of frozen raspberries (thawed), and force through a sieve to remove seeds. Stir into puree 1/3 c. Karo corn syrup.

7. Invert loaf pan onto plate to serve pate - cut into slices and serve with the raspberry sauce.

This tends to become an instant favorite dessert of any who make it. Men take note: mastering this dessert is probably the best weapon we've got!

Not Tested . . .

Just a warning. None of the recipes at this blog are professionally tested. They are all from recipe books originally, but from books long since vanished so that I now do the recipe by heart. Just a warning.


1. In your biggest pan sautee 1 lb. sliced smoked kielbasa sausage and remove.

2. Add 3-4 T. olive oil. Sautee 1 chopped green pepper, 1 c. chopped green onion, 1 c. chopped celery, a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and 1 c. chopped parsley.

3. Throw in 2 large cans chopped tomatoes (28 oz.), 2 c. or so chicken broth.

4. Add 1 T. creole seaosoning, 1 t. thyme, 2 t. oregano, a hefty dash of cayenne pepper, 2 bay leaves salt and pepper.

5. Rinse and stir in 2 c. uncooked white long grain rice (I rinse it LOTS to get the starch off).

6. Add back in the kielbasa, cover, and cook on low heat for half an hour.

7. Stir in 2 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp, add 1 small pack boneless skinless chicken thighs that you've precooked and chopped.

8. Bake in the oven in a pan covered for at least 1/2 hour.


Food for the mind.

Homo Edax has been asked to offer some food for the mind and spirit as well as the body, so here is the first of a series of his book and movie recommendations.

Ancient Classics:

Greek Essentials: All of Homer, Plato, Thucydides, Pindar and Sophocles; Plutarch's Lives; Euripides' Bacchae, Trojan Women, Hippolytus, and Medea. You will be off to a good start if you read these Greek Classics. I've no particular preference for translations, but I do like the Fagles for Homer, and Nisetich for Pindar.

Roman Essentials: Virgil (all), Caesar's Gallic War, Tacitus, Horace's and Juvenal's Satires.

Need a movie? Try:

Manufacturing Consent
Swimming to Cambodia
Hearts and Minds
The Fog of War
The Girl with the Pearl Earring

More recommendations to come!


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Andra moi ennepe moussaka . . .

A lost work of Homer's, the Moussaka, is an ancient epic about the legendary gastronomical delight found on the mythical kitchen island of homo edax. Your palate will invoke the muses when it mangias this!

To start: Go to a therapist and get over your fear of eating fat.

Next: Peel and then slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices BOTH 2 eggplants and 6-8 big russert potatoes. Fry them in olive oil til a nice brown and set aside.

Then: Fry up about 3 lbs lamb and 2 big yellow onions in some olive oil with about 3/4 t. of cinnamon, and 1 t. oregano. Add in 1 small can tomatoes (chopped) and 1 can of tomato paste (2 if you like it more tomatoey), and simmer.

Meanwhile: Make a white sauce of about 1/2 a stick butter, 1/4 c. flour (fry with the butter to make a rue), and 2 c. milk; add in 1 wedge (about 6 oz) fresh grated parmaesan cheese, and stir in 6 eggs (very fast after the sauce has cooled down so as not to cook the eggs).

In a pan, set down a layer of meat, then the potatoes, then more meat, then the eggplant, any more meat, then spread the cheese sauce on top and bake for about 45 min. at 350. I recommend getting a deep dish foil pan that you can throw out when done with the dish (if you do that, be sure to put the foil pan on a cookie sheet while baking). You can sprinkle it with extra cheese if you like.

Serves 1 (OK, 5 or 6, but when I make it I eat the whole darned thing!)

Easy Cherry Almond Cake

This is a simple recipe that makes a rich, dense, buttery desseert, offset by the tartness of the cherries.

1. Butter and dust with flower an 8 inch springform pan.

2. Cream together 1/2 c. softened butter, 1 & 1/4 c. sugar, and beat at high speed for 2 minutes; add in 2 eggs and 2 t. almond extract. Cream until blended.

3. Sift together 1 c. flour and 1 & 1/4 t. baking powder.

4. Beat into the butter mixture.

5. Drain 1 can (14 oz.) unsweetened canned red cherries.

6. Spread the batter into the springform pan.

7. Spread the cherries on top.

8. Bake for 1 hr. at 350/375 depending on how hot your oven is.

9. Cool and put on a plate - the cherries will sink to the bottom.

This is REALLY easy and always a big hit!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nasty Things You Can Do with Pilsbury Crescent Rolls

Okay, I know I said cherry almond cake, but this just occured to me:

First Nasty Thing you can do:

Divide the dough into two sections, wrap it around a brie, and bake it.

Second Nasty Thing you can do:

Beat together two three ounce packs of cream cheese with about 1/2c. powdered sugar and 1/2t. almond extract. Take one pack of crescent rolls: instead of pulling them apart into 8 triangles, shape the dough pieces into four rectangles. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mix on half of each rectangle, roll like a cigar and seal, then roll the cigar into the shape of a snail and seal the edge. Bake til golden brown, cool, and drizzle with a basic sugar frosting made from powdered sugar and milk.

These are a family favorite.

Meat 'n Badadoes

Okay, I know that they are spelled p-o-t-a-t-o-e-s. But I'm not talking baby reds here, nor Idaho russerts. I'm talking the mother load that is (drum roll please!) the YUKON GOLD! Small with intensely sweet flesh, I prepare them the following way:

1. Get the SMALLEST potatoes you can find, maybe the size of medium plums or large walnuts.

2. Do NOT wash them, simply peel them and, if necessary, wipe with a paper towel, cutting them lengthwise into 4 wedges (each about 2 inches long).

3. In a large skillet add in 1/8 of an inch of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Let it get HOT.

4. Drop in the potatoes - make sure the pan is large enough to accomodate all of the potatoes on the bottom.

5. Let them sit in the oil frying about 4-7 minutes. After 4-7 minutes, shake the pan, turning them over if necessary. Keep repeating several times, always letting them sit (after the intial sitting) for 2-4 minutes.

You may put a lid on after the first two initial turns if you want. At the end of the cooking time you now have TWO options.

Option 1: You can lift them out of the pan with a slotted spoon, salt and pepper them and let them sit in a warm (250-300 degree oven) until you're ready to serve them.

Option 2: Drain off the excess oil, salt and pepper them, then add 5-6T of butter - less healthy, but divine.

At the end, if you are half-way competent, you should end up with potatoes that have a lovely crisp deep brown coating but with sweet, soft, luscious flesh inside.

Now homo edax likes to have these potatoes with skillet fried steak or chops. But homo edax, you say, how can I cook steak or chops without drying them out? What is the best method?

Simple: But you need a caste iron skillet (you can pick a nice big heavy one up at Target). First, preheat the oven to 475. Preheat the skillet with a layer of olive oil on the bottom of the pan (3-4 T), and heat to a very high temperature. Then take your steak or chop (you should be able to fit two in a pan) and sizzle it on each side for 3 minutes (your kitchen will be real smokey). You will know when to turn a steak or chop by lifting it with the tongs - if it has some give and doesn't stick to the pan, it's ready to be turned. After the meat has cooked, put the whole pan with the chops/meat/etc. in the oven 5-7 minutes (depending on size - if you have a real big bone in rib-eye it may take longer, though I've done it with sword fish which requires only 3 minutes or so, while a half chicken will take at least 30 minutes, maybe 45). When you take the meat out of the oven let it sit for 5 minutes (this allows it to cook a bit longer and the juices rise to the surface of the meat).

While cooking,you may want to put a lid on the pan to prevent a mess in the oven, and can even do it on top of the stove to prevent excess splatter - I always do both.

I prefer to get my steak and chops from Whole Foods - they're spendy but they know how to cut the meat to a proper thickness, and it makes a big difference. A pork chop cut to thinly will dry out and have a lousy taste and texture; you need that thick cut for the juices to properly flavor the meat. Supermarkets all cut their pork too thin, that's why I say Whole Foods is best. Veal chops, any cut of steak, and as I said swordfish will work. I've also done this with half a chicken and with chicken thighs.

You can also add all sorts of flavoring JUST BEFORE YOU PUT THE MEAT IN THE OVEN. For fish I like lemon and tarragon or parsley. For pork and chicken I use sage leaves from the garden.

If you want to be over the top, you can add butter at the end as well, something I am not above doing!

A hearty red wine is a must with this dinner. A warning though: I generally avoid Italian imports - I find them too thin and sassy. Homo Edax likes to taste the grape, likes it even more if he has the sensation that recalls the first time he tasted wine. Thus, the hot exotic and robust flavors of Spain and South American, the seductive accent of the French, and the bawdy earthiness of Australian reds suit his taste more (but more on that later!)

Those of you who know Homo Edax know that he LIKES Italian wine very much - when drunk in ITALY! But, as Italian is a difficult language to speak and to translate, so too the flavor of the grapes born in the earth of Vesuvius, Latium, and the Veneto, loose something between here and there: not that there aren't some great Italian whites and pro seccos you can find . . . but more on that later!

Coming up next: Cherry Almond Cake!

Mangia bene!

Homo edax

Flagging Posts

I notice that there is a thing on eblogger called a flag whereby you can notify the powers that be about obscenity on a post. Homo edax readily confesses that all of his recipes are rife with obscenity, so please do not bother to notify me or eblogger. It wastes my time, your time, and worst of all keeps me fuori dalla cucina!


Pig meat and truffles

This is an old Roman recipe:

1. Take a 3-4 pound pig loin roast (must be WHOLE, not two pieces tied).

2. Lay the meat out and start an incision along the length of the meat - cut it so that if you were looking at it from the little round side you would be cutting it like a jelly roll. You should end up with a single long piece of meat in the shape of a rectangle. You may want to pound it with a mallet between wax paper to flatten it.

3. Mix together some chopped truffle and 4-5 T butter and take 1/2 lb. of mortadella, thinly sliced. Spread 1 T of it on the meat, put a thin layer of mortadella and lay it on top of the butter and meat. Take another T. of the truffle butter, spread it on the mortadella, then lay another layer of mortadella on top. Top off with 1 T. of the butter. You will use all the mortadella to do this.

4. Roll the meat like a jelly roll and tie it securely with string (I prefer the round cooking elastics that stretch).

5. In a mortar and pestal grind 1 T. pepper corns, 1 t. kosher salt, 3-4 large cloves of garlic, and 1 T. REGULAR butter. Spread it on top of the meat.

6. Cook on a rack in a roasting pan so that the drippings fall into the pan. You may want to add some red wine in the bottom of the pan so it doesn't get smokey. Cook at 450 for the first 20 minutes, then at 375 until the meat registers 150 with a thermometer.

7. Peel and cut into small wedges about 3-4 lbs yellow (I prefer Yukon Golds) potatoes. Par boil for about 2-3 minutes. Toss with some olive oil (2 T.), salt (1 t.) and some pepper grindinigs and 1 T. fresh chopped rosemary.

8. Half way through cooking, add the potatoes to the bottom of the pan with the pork dripping, stirring occasionally.

9. When the meat and potatoes are done, let the meat stand for 5 minutes, then carve. Arrange the potatoes around it.

10. Deglaze the pan with some broth (1/2 c. beef OR chicken), and stir in the remaining truffle butter. Cook til reduced.

11. Slice the meat, and cover with the sauce, and serve.

Note: Sorry Homo Edax is not more precise about how to prepare this dish. He knows recipes like he knows Rome - by his senses and not through his head! (Per sensus, non cum sapientia!)

Homo Edax's First Blog

Welcome to homo edax (the Latin adjective for gluttonous, greedy or voracious). Here you will find recipes occasionally posted that would do Trimalchio's porci most proud! Enjoy!