Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Best Baguette in Paris

Ahhh, what I wouldn't give for a good baguette...

Every year there is a contest in Paris to see who makes the best baguette. The video below is of this year's winner. The video is in French, so apologies for those that don't speak the language. And worse, no subtitles.

But I think you'll get the gist of it, and the passion of this man.

He is of Senegalese decent. Growing up his father worked in a French bakery, and as a kid at night after closing he would go into the bakery with his brothers and play. When he graduated high school he was asked what he wanted to do for a living and he said baker!

He also talks about the art of baking, the components that make a perfect baguette, how it is a constant "creation" and the magic of bread and what you can do with such basic ingredients, the art of finding the exact right ingredients, and how every day you need to adjust to the temperature, humidity and other conditions.

Don't you wish this bakery was around the corner from where you lived?


Bon appetit,
Le Capitaine

P.S. Thanks Fabrice!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texas Cowboy Steaks

When you want a kick a— BBQed steak, here is a simple formula.

Throw the following spices in a bowl. Quantities are per 1lb of rib eye, porterhouse or t-bone steaks:
1/2-tablespoon oregano.
2 pinches salt
1/4-teaspoon chili powder
4 good shakes of chili flakes (crushed red peppers)
2 shakes of paprika
1 shake of white pepper
1 shake of black pepper
1/4-teaspoon brown sugar

Mix the above ingredients well. Rub abundantly onto all sides of steaks. The longer it sits with the rub the better – such as overnight – but it is not required. You can rub the steaks down and cook them immediately if you have to.

Cook steaks on the BBQ at high temperature. Ideally flames should be licking the steaks as they cook. Serve blackened on the outside but medium rare inside. Err on the side of undercooked, as they will continue to cook after you take them off the fire, and you can always throw them back on the fire for 30 seconds or a minute if you have to.

Serve them hot off the grill, with something cool to counter point, like a salad or coleslaw.

En’joy’em partners,
Le Capitaine