Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My 6 Hours as a Vegetarian

Despite my intentions to honor Saint Larry (see yesterday's post) with a grilling session, the weather did not cooperate. Just about the time I was starting to do the prep work for a few beer steamed grilled brats, I heard a banging on my patio. Looked out and saw my patio furniture flipping across my back yard. The wind was howling and the storm clouds were gathering. While I picked up my furniture, I snapped a shot of the gathering clouds. Sadly, the drama of the impending storm does not translate well, but I think I saw old Mrs. McCartney (my kindergarten teacher) flying by on her bike with a little dog in the basket. It was going to be nasty.

Sure enough, about 20 minutes later, the skies opened up and my evening on the grill was a wash out. So I started to think about other plans...

First question I had was... For the purpose of a grilling specialty blog, does it count as grilling if you cook brats on a George Forman grill???

I decided that in the middle of the summer, calling that grilling is a sin (can't do that to Saint Larry on his special day). Maybe in the winter I will bend this rule, but for now, grilling means fire and outside.

So, what to do...what to do??? And then it dawned on me... yesterday, Girlichef did a post with some beautiful pictures of homemade potato chips with Black truffle Sea Salt (Flavored sea salt...where do I find that???). I loved that look, and I bookmarked that page in my "I want to cook this" folder. Someday. But I also made this comment in her blog...
"Homemade potato chips with BLACK TRUFFLE SEA SALT... are you kidding me, how can I cook these on a grill? Pray for rain so I can justify making this indoors. They look fabulous. I want your photo skills so bad."
So there you go, the gods have spoken, my prays to Saint Larry were trumped by the power of Girlichef's prayers. Who am I to argue with such power...look at the terror she brought on Kansas City...

Don't screw with this power.

I followed her very easy directions, and came up with my own batch of taters...

Only change I made was to use my blade setting on my food processor to cut the slices.
The black spots were from an experiment, I added some garlic salt and some chili powder to the oil, wondering what the taste change would be. Nothing, but the black spots added a certain look that I did like.
Sadly, no Black Truffle Sea Salt, but these came out fabulous. Thanks Girli for watering my lawn and the inspiration.

But man (and MRS. My Year on the Grill) does not live by Potato chips alone, and I decided to save the brats for another day, when they could be properly grilled, what to do for dinner...

With a crack of thunder in the background, and a pile of potato cuttings in front of me, it dawned on me...Potato Pancakes ...Latkas to those of us in the know. these little beauties are so good. It is my traditional Christmas morning meal. Since I was making plans to move Girlichef up a few notches on the Deity list (she can make it rain in Kansas, she ought to fit in that list somewhere), my Christmas morning meal seemed appropriate to honor her.

I always use the recipe from "The Joy of Cooking" cookbook, and they never fail.

3 cups potatoes
1 cup flower
3 eggs
1 small onion
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

run the taters and onions through the shredder blade on the food processor (in addition to honoring my new rain god, I already had all the appliances out and dirty to make these. So, it begs the ecumenical question... Am I making these because I am lazy and didn't want to dirty new appliances, or in worship of a new god?).

Combine all the other ingredients to make a mush

form into patties and cook in about 1/2 inch of oil heated to 350 degrees.

flip after about 5 minutes, or when you see that pretty golden brown color.

serve with sour cream (or apple sauce if you prefer something sweet)

So there you go...Me a vegetarian!

Tonight is date night, me and the little woman are heading to a movie and dinner out. Just like the kids do. HMMM... dare I ask Girlichef to use her powers to pray for a happy ending to the date?


  1. Your tators look delicious and rather addictive! The chips look great, but I really love the potato cakes.

  2. Nice job. The chips look great. And the old George Foreman is totally OK when the weather is crappy!

  3. Yum - we got a deep fat fryer and it was like "what can we fry next!"

    I've made yucca root chips and I almost liked them better than potato chips!

  4. LOL!!! That's awesome...your prayers were answered!! They look delicious, too :D As for flavored sea salts...click the Green button on my sidebar that says SALT...you'll find more than you'll know what to do with (I'm sort of a sea salt freak)!!!