This is a shout-out to anybody for whom I wrote a book review published on MadHat Drive-By Book Reviews. Sometime last year, that site was hacked, taken down and everything on that site disappeared.
I felt such a sense of loss and helplessness because I felt like I’d somehow let everybody down, and that my reputation was irreparably damaged that I went into a prolonged tailspin. I was so dispirited, discouraged and crushed that I dropped out of the entire scene for most of the past year. I’m finally contacting everyone to apologize, because I never forgot you. It took me a while to pick myself up, dust myself off and to stop feeling sorry for myself. I had enough in my personal files to reconstruct the reviews to a reasonable degree, with working links and photos. Some minor formatting issues I’ve tried my best to address, but I’d need coding skills to totally resolve them.
Go to :
Hit the menu tab titled: “Published Works: Book Reviews Published On MadHat Drive-By Book Reviews.”
or try this link
In any case, my intent is to restore an online presence for the reviews of your literary works and to honor the writers and publishers involved.
Sorry this took so long.
The Lunch Lady Cookbook – Trout Amandine
Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddy comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace and in your face with another sumptuous recipe from The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Today’s recipe draws from a time honored culinary tradition that can be traced back to New Orleans and France. It’s trout season in New York State and the Lunch Laddy had the good fortune to be blessed with a monster filet of Lake Trout from Lake Ontario. It seemed only fitting that this wonderful fish be respected with special treatment. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is honored and proud to present to you Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine.
I actually received a bit of an education as I pondered this gustatory mystery. I found that I was one of the legions of kitchen hacks who misspelled the name of the recipe as “Trout Almondine” when it is actually spelled “Trout Amandine.” While I am no longer flexible enough to insert my foot in my mouth, I seem to be getting better and better when it comes to acknowledging my mistakes. So Mea Culpa. Trout Amandine it is then. Even though The Lunch Laddy is an old dog, he can still learn new tricks.
This recipe is pretty basic and there’s probably not much that is new and different from other Trout Amandine recipes, but it is new to me and thus, a new addition to The Lunch Lady Cookbook. The most important ingredients are fresh trout and almonds. This is NOT a recipe that would work by substituting fish sticks and beer nuts.
Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine
Here we go. Marinate filet of lake trout in fresh lime juice, salt and pepper for an hour or so. (Can be longer in the fridge) Lightly sauté chopped garlic and scallions in 2 tbs. butter. Dredge trout filet in flour and add to skillet. Brown both sides and lower heat to medium or lower. Cook each side for approximately 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer fish to plate and keep warm. Melt 2 more tbs. butter in skillet and sizzle away until it starts to turn brown. Add slivered almonds with cracked pepper and cook on low heat until crispy and brown. Pour over fish. Garnish with fresh herbs. The Lunch Laddy used curly parsley, chives and sweet basil from the Lunch Lady Herb Garden. Drizzle fresh lime juice and serve on fresh slices of lime with rice and vegetables.
Beverage pairing: Bollicini 2014 from Damiani Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes.
Prosecco style, bottle fermented, sparkling wine with hints of citrus and pear. Weighing in at 1.85% residual sugar, Bollicini is clean, fresh, fruity, DELICIOUS! Serve really cold. To truly realize the medicinal qualities of this wine it is important that you drink all of it.
Music pairing: Drive By Truckers, Ryan Bingham and Old Crow Medicine Show on shuffle.
Until next time, Bon Apetit from The Lunch Lady Cookbook!
The Lunch Lady Cookbook ~ Chicken a la Fausto
Hey there Boys and Girls! This is The Lunch Laddy, comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace, with another, long overdue installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook.
I’ve been away for a while, but now I’m back and I’m bad; and bringing you a mouth watering recipe for a dish that has become a go-to in the Lunch Laddy’s cucina. It is my gustatory pleasure to present to you “Chicken a la Fausto!”
Even if you are vegetarian, or vegan, or gluten free, there are still plenty of delectable delights in this dish for you. Just avert your eyes during the chicken part. Why “a la Fausto?” you may ask? Well, my friends, THAT is an excellent question. It is named after an unforgettable character we knew who called himself by that name. He passed through our lives like a tornado a few years back. He was a drifter, a grifter, a classic flim flam man. He pretended to be many things. He claimed to be an Italian prince, a doctor, a professional photographer, an opera singer, a bicycle racer, a wine distributor and a luthier, among other things. He had a magnetic kind of charm, and very expensive tastes, but never seemed to have his credit card with him or any cash on him. There were also just too many inconsistencies in his convoluted stories and it soon became apparent he’d steal the shoes right off your feet if you’d let him. He was eventually banished from the kingdom and was last reported to be posing as a diamond merchant in Lower Manhattan. Good luck with that. However, he did leave behind a bit of a legacy by way of of a couple of really good, rustic recipes. One was a recipe for baked chicken and vegetables, which I named Chicken a la Fausto.
Here is the variation I made today for The Lunch Lady Cookbook.
Chicken a la Fausto
Place 4 chicken quarters in a baking dish. Season with Worcester Sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, barbecue sauce. Tuck in brussels sprouts, yellow summer squash and top with sliced red onion. Oh yeah. Don’t forget. Pour a healthy dollop of dry red wine into the mix. It’s a colorful dish. You got yer basic flesh tones, complemented handsomely by red, yellow, and green, all in one dish. Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and voila ~ Chicken a la Fausto! Serve with salt potatoes on the side. Let rest and cover with aluminum foil (tin foil) which you can use to make a tin foil hat to wear while you watch Ancient Aliens after dinner.
Music pairing: Lazy, laconic, lilting tunes by The Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch and Eilen Jewel seemed to fit the mood of this early summer afternoon.
Beverage pairing: I recommend a sassy and splashy little Spanish red called Laya. Vintage 2014. A brash blend of garnacha tintorera and monastrelli grapes that yields a fruit bomb that explodes on your tongue like the 14.5% alcohol bad boy that it is. I have photographed it on my kitchen floor because I figure if you’re gonna end up on the floor, you may as well just start on the floor and stay there.