I have a six burner stove top in the center island of our kitchen. When we had the kitchen completely redone in the summer of 2008, it was one of the things that my wife & I both agreed on immediately. Four burners had never been enough because we always seemed to have more & more going on whenever we got into a cooking frenzy. It’s also kind of the way the blogs have been cooking in my head recently. So rather than subject my handful of obviously sleep deprived and in need of the literary equivalent of a warm glass of milk readers to 6 separate mundane blogs, I decided to let them all cook at once and then plate them all at once like a basket of disparate ingredients on CHOPPED.
Now if you were to look at my stove top you would see six black gas burners in two rows of three apiece. In my mind I number them one through six with the odd numbers on the bottom and the even numbers across the top.
2 4 6
1 3 5
Kind of like that. I have a cast iron grill pan that lives atop burners 1 & 2. Burners 3 & 5 mainly get used for sautéing since they are burners closest to me. Burners 4 & 6 tend to get the longer cooking items like soups or stews though burner 6 always gets the bacon on weekend mornings when I am making eggs (scrambled, fried or frittatta’d) on burner 5. Now that is neither here nor there and more likely to be considered filler than anything else so since it was quick & easy, I probably cooked up this segment of my blog on burner 5.
Over on the grill pan on burners 1 & 2 I have a tendency to grill the steaks over burner 1 and the chicken or fish on burner 2. Come to think of it, I actually grill the protein I plan on having myself on burner 1 because it is closer to me and I can keep just that much more control over it. It reminds me that the other day I grilled (outside not in) in honor of our 17th Wedding Anniversary, I found some great looking Filet Mignons and a couple of Olympic caliber Chilean Sea Bass Steaks/Chunks at our local grocery store. I combined those with a bouquet of red & yellow roses (red for her & yellow for me) and came out “Looking good Randolph. Thank you Mortimer”. (Trading Places – Google it) I grilled the filets with no seasoning other than the charcoal char from the coals and grilled the sea bass in a pineapple mango coconut tequila sauce I found at our not so local Whole Foods Market a while back. Football is back so I believe that TOUCHDOWN would be the proper vernacular to describe the end result.
The other special day this week that was cooking on burner 2 was my son’s sixth birthday. He wanted an Ironman Birthday and an Ironman Birthday Cake. Now this just happens to be the summer of Thor, Harry Potter, Green Lantern & Captain America so Ironman was not exactly a popular theme for cakes. A quick consultation & brain storming session was called for where it was decided that we would make a cake in the classic Ironman colors of yellow & red. Easier said than done my friends. The yellow cake was easy but the red icing proved to be somewhat problematic. I am sure that someone in the comments below will have a ridiculously easy method for making red icing but in our last minute drive to get it done we discovered that white icing & red food dye make pink and that white icing & copious amounts (2 bottles) of red food dye make soup. Despite the runny icing, which we stuck in the fridge to harden, the cake was a success and the birthday dinner was a hit. Toys R Us shareholders can thank me later.
Up here on burner 3 I have the quandary & conundrum of what to watch on television during my workout every weekday morning at 3:45am. Despite the advent of cable and it’s hundreds of channel offerings, there still seems to be a dearth of decent programming available at that hour. I mean seriously, how many episodes of CHOPPED can I watch ? Though I will say that CHOPPED is just about perfect with it’s viewer friendly fast forward format. You can turn a 60 minute show into 42 minutes which fits perfectly into my hectic early morning schedule. It’s just that it gets repetitive. I can’t wait until the Fall Television season starts so I can start recording shows like Chuck, Big Bang Theory, Survivor, Top Chef, Castle and multiple others which will make the morning viewing a bit more palatable than movies I have never heard of on Encore and infomercials for products I will never use. Sportscenter can only fill so much time when it’s only baseball season.
Back on burner 4 I usually keep my low slow cooking dishes like my Alligator Chili or Southwestern Turkey Soup bubbling. In this case I am keeping the DIE-t bubbling on that back burner. It’s been just about four months since Dr. Killjoy sent me to my room without dessert and told me to lose 45 pounds. I have been eating clean, eating light and working my butt off and this past weekend I stepped on the scale and discovered that I had lost 46 pounds. I quietly patted myself on the back and started to plan out how I am going to stay at this weight. I feel better and I look better (I think). It’s an accomplishment but I also never should have let myself get to that extreme.
Back on burner 6 I mentioned that I usually have some bacon or sausage cooking in the morning or some veggies sautéing at night. In this case I have a relatively new dish cooking away. I am an Allrecipes All-Star Brand Ambassador (it’s a voluntary position) and unfortunately I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertisers (haven’t been sent any yet) are only used for experienced-based reviews. That being said (hope the legal department is happy) it has also meant that I have been asked to try some new recipes and review them. Mostly the recipes have been faceless recipes so my fading camera skills have been put to use too. Only one recipe so far has been a keeper but it has opened my eyes to some different possibilities once I do land on a reality cooking show. It also means that occasionally I will be asked to shill for a contest and this month it is the Southern Menu Sweepstakes being run on the Allrecipes Fan Page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/allrecipes?sk=app_151832731549483) – in this contest you could win passes to see the new movie “The Help” , you could win autographed copies of the book and the Southern Plate Cookbook or you could even win cooking classes from acclaimed southern chef, Christy Jordan. Not a bad deal for having to choose between which you like best – Southern Fried Chicken, Meat Pie, Southern Style Pork Chop or a Chicken Fried Steak. I can tell you which one I didn’t pick. Don’t see any reason to beat up a perfectly good piece of meat and then turn it into a pseudo-bird with white paste smeared on it.
So that’s what simmering & cooking on the six top burner right now. I am sure there are several other goodies in the warming drawer under the double oven that we could have gotten to like the outrageous breakfast dishes they have at The Kneadery in Ketchum, ID but that will have to wait for another blog at another time. Come back next time when we talk about what burned on the stove top because I didn’t pay enough attention to it while fiddling around with other stuff at the same time.
Is that bacon I smell burning ?