REALITY BYTES: Who do that Voodoo that you do so… I need to get thee he-YELL outta here!
Food Network REALLY does some BIG things for Halloween week & Private Chefs of Beverly Hills was no exception. Chef Stuart & I were summoned to cook for a seance… BRILL-I-ANT let’s send the Haitian girl to the whodoo woo woo juju black magic party…. awesome sauce! Everyone keeps asking me the validity of the event & I’m telling you I was pee my pants terrified…. so not cool, not cool at ALL! BUT Patti, the Witch, was cool. When she introduced herself as a “White Witch” I quickly quipped…. well, I’m a Black one, not really realizing what I was getting myself into. She laughed & I thought ok that’s cool… she’s down… even though she’s probably really serious about this whole she bang-a-bang or clinically INSANE! The more she spoke, the more I just looked around to see where all the exits were. Then I spotted two things & felt well maybe I’m supposed to be here. I idolize Marilyn Monroe & in fact one of the pots I brought to cook the Veal Osso Bucco I named Marilyn AND I get a chance to cook on a stove I have been dy-ING for (no pun intended) a MINT… spank your Mama condition 1950’s O’Keefe & Merritt Aristocrat stove!
This baby was STACKED! 60″ full inches of hot steamy oven lovin’… 6 double burners with simmers, double oven, Grillevator broiler oven, warming oven, a WORKING power outlet, shelf, backsplash light, working clock, THREE storage spaces for your pots & pans & rollin’ on chrome Boo Boo…. CA-ROOOOOOOOME! Lawd have mercy that was a mouthful, I need a cold shower now…. HA! Now the question is, wouldn’t you go through hell or high water to cook on that beast? Damn skippy, I THOUGHT so & that’s what I did. The menu was fun & fun-ky. Cook the favourites of dead Hollywood legends… yeah this crew wasn’t picky at ALL!. Marlon LOVED Pork Lo Mein, ‘Ol Blue Eyes, Frank loved Veal Osso Bucco, The King… Elvis packed it on with the fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches & my girl kept it real. She loved Champagne Chicken & Shrimp. Fudge Pie & truffles, caviar & COCKTAIL FRANKS… gotta love even though she was a glamorous movie star she kept it gangsta with the cocktail franks.
I was blinded by all that shiny chrome at the stove, chrome to Black people is like a moth to a flame, I got cracking on the menu. Then Witch Patti showed up to ask Stuart & I to chant… now I’m Buddhist I have no problems chanting but to call dead people into the kitchen… my safe haven is so not my thing, I can’t deal! Whatever, I said the chant halfheartedly & made jokes. Pulled ketchup out of the fridge & squirted it all over my hand pretending to have cut myself to scare Stuart OH I also kept sneaking up on him with my silicone brush tickling him behind his big ‘ol ears…. he was like “Really Manouschka are you going to do this all day,…. REALLY?!?!?” (take a shot). I just had to make a joke out of this whole scenario because I was terrified. Then Miss Patti came back into the kitchen & escorted me out for a chat. She told me I wasn’t taking it seriously & it was really important to her & her guests that Stuart & I worked this out because without Marilyn & her dead homies showing up the night was a bust & she wasted her money on hiring us…. dagnabbit! I told her I was scared & I needed to make light of it or I was OUTTA THERE! She said “Manouschka, you’re scared…. you’re scared of your own power. You are a witch too”…. WELL there it is, that’s not the first time I’ve been called a Witch…. HA! She grabbed both of my hands looked deep into my eyes & asked me to tap into my power to pull through. She really needed me to be present & committed. Now there you have it… a challenge, I Never back away from those AND a Witch calling ME a Witch…. BRING IT!!!
I walked in the kitchen kept saying “I’ve Got The Power” like the song by Snap! DA-YUM I just dated myself… whatever Black don’t crack & I was determined to get those dead people there so I can get the HELL outta there (yes I can say hell on my OWN dang blog YAY). I decided for The King’s infamous dish to use brioche bread, cut thick. Use organic bananas & peanut butter… hence why the peanut butter looked so runny on camera. Cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter, dip it in tempura batter, roll it in panko crust & fry in canola oil at 375…. yes that was my pink fryer you saw… I’m a dork! Dried it & drizzled Macadamia Nut Honey I got when I went to Hawaii all over it & garnished it with edible marigold flowers. Here’s the recipe for the All Shook Up Tempura PB & Nanner Sandwiches, you HAVE to make this. For Marilyn I thought to incorporate all of her faves like truffles, caviar & cocktail franks I HAD to do a take on classic hot dog & made Mini Haute Dogs (Haute because well she was so FAB!) I used both chicken & kosher beef cocktail wieners, reheated them with black truffle oil in that FAB warming oven, sliced some truffle pate & smear it into homemade pretzel buns & served with a side of wasabi caviar cause it looks like relish & the flavor is not as strong & salty as other black fish eggs like keta, avruga or the pricey beluga caviar. I also set up a Mini Haute Dog Bar served with a side of caramelized onions, chipotle ketchup, dijon & stone ground mustard for all the guests to build themselves. Here’s the recipe for Marilyn’s Mini Haute Dogs. NOW as great as it all sounds none of the dead homeslices showed up!
Back to the kitchen Patti went & like Little Red Riding Hood on a budget in black she shows up with a basket FULL of ingredients…. AFTER we’ve already cooked. It’s like she turned herself from a friggin’ Witch into “The Chairman” from Iron Chef & since I’m a Witch myself… play on player… I’ll go from Private Chef to Iron Chef too. She handed us an extensive list. Each ingredient was attached to the accompanying Celeb’s Star sign & had a certain power so certain ingredients had to go with that Star’s dish. Now it went from me peeing my pants to Stuart pooping his…. he was SO in LOVE with the flavors he created he was NOT feeling adding things especially horseradish & mustard which he hates & he was trying to put them elsewhere. I grabbed the list & went through everything & explained to him “No, they all have to go with their star dish. Veal Osso Bucco is a meat…. horseradish & mustard go great with meat it goes with the meat…. just dab it on the side of the plate & if they choose to use it then there it is for them. He put the tiniest dabs of the stuff…. hahaha I LOVE him! I’m ALWAYS into a way to incorporate my Island culinary point of view into any dish so when I saw that coconut I hacked that puppy open & threw it into the Champagne Chicken & Shrimp. The sauce has a creamy base & coconut is such a welcome flavor to both chicken & shrimp. I had Stuart grind the hazelnuts & put the new & improved dish into a baking pan, sprinkled the ground hazelnuts on top & threw it into the grillevator broiler to add a golden crust. It was out of this world! Dandelion goes well in Asian dishes so I had it added to the Lo Mein. There was a pear so Stuart sliced it thinly & laid them out below the fudge pie & topped the pie with his freshly whipped cream & raspberry coulis. THEN there was probably one of thee BEST moments I’ve had in the kitchen in my life what to do with the roses?
Usually I crystallize, infuse water or vodka with roses & I LOVE rose syrup had I had the time that’s what I would’ve done…. but we were minutes from serving dinner & the natives were restless so I had to use one of my mottos “when in doubt…. fry it OUT!”. I had tempura left over from Elvis’ dish, the oil was still on from the tempura veggies we made for Marlon’s Lo Mein I was like BUMP THAT…. I bet NO ONE in this room has ever had fried roses…. even Stuart & I never had it so let’s bring this whole thing home & knock their Harry Potter stars & moons socks off…. let’s fry some roses!!! It’s amazing as terrified as Stuart & I were to make all of these adjustments the dishes especially the Tempura Roses made everything spectacular! I can’t believe I actually had fun AND I survived…. you know the Black girl’s always the FIRST to go in the horror movies which makes no sense to me…. we run first & ask questions later so when that light flickered after dinner service was complete I hauled tail! I’m so glad we got through that together & together made some really rad food & the guests were truly lovely people & we enjoyed them as much as they enjoyed our meal & no Miss Patti isn’t insane… she’s a Witch, a White one. HA! xo
On another note dessert wasn’t featured so here’s my recipe for fudge pie, Marilyn’s fave. It was served with Stuart’s whipped cream & raspberry coulis which I don’t have the recipe for. I’m sorry:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Unfold piecrust; fit into 9 inch pie pan. Prebake crust according to package directions. Remove from oven.
- Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F
- Beat together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, butter or margarine, eggs and vanilla in a medium-size bowl. Spoon into pie shell.
- Bake for 40-50 mins
On a side note SOOOOO funny how I have pots named after all of the celebrities I cooked for & I didn’t have to write any tags for the stars I’ve already written about in previous posts… I AM a Witch hahahaha x Here’s the clip if you haven’t seen it yet: