First in a long time. Picanha is my friend!

Working as a meat manager I have been introduced to cap steaks, or in other words, Picanha.

I thought, until last night that it was a cheap, tough cut that was a last resort on the sparse shelf of the store or that it was just a way to get rid of the sirloin cap of fat. I was extremely mistaken.

This was one of the most succulent and flavourful cuts I have ever had.

The trick I found through talking with the Brazilian gentleman that buys it once a week from me was to go hard and fast on it over fire and keep it medium rare so it doesn’t toughen up.

This has to be my best steak of the year. Just salted (heavily) and let to rest for about an hour at room temperature before introducing it to the flames it was a send from the carnivore gods. Served with a chimichurri sauce and some quick pickled scotch bonnets it was a hit.

It just goes to show you that there are no bad cuts. It’s just how you treat them. Kind of like people.

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If food is life….

(no discussion there), then this is how we started the New Year.

Drooling aloud and expected…

Cast iron seared sirloins (rare for my mine), broiled lobster with garlic and parsley butter, seared scallops with a vermouth butter drizzle, potatoes au gratin and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

It’s going to be a glorious year.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.“ Henry David Thoreau

Another year, another Turkey Shoot. If your counting that makes 27 in a row.

As a family we value Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Ours is a weekend long festival of togetherness and love. Souls and loved ones have passed and new blood has joined in to keep us passionate about life and resilient to the scars that the years can create.

My children have never known a year without this gathering and hopefully never will. Time spent in front of the fire talking about what has transpired in our separate worlds and gathering strength from sharing thoughts and stories.

This year a new soul graced us with his presence. Asa, the happiest baby in the world brought his smiles and laughter to the table while Alex and Nicole shared their engagement news with the family. Love reigned abundant as always.

Thanksgiving is always a gift we treasure. Thank you everybody for standing against the tides of time in which we could have lost this experience. Be well for 365 days till the next one.

 

Papa Tait

 

 

“To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;” William Shakespeare

I’ve been putting together rub concoctions for a project and thought I would share some of them with you.

As always, recipes are like stop signs. They’re just suggestions.

Have fun with these.

Rubs 

Memphis Dry Rub (Pork or Ribs)

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dry oregano

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. black pepper

Carolina Dry Rub (Pork or Ribs)

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4-cup paprika

Texas Rub (Chicken. Beef, Pork)

1/2-cup chili powder

1/2-cup brown sugar

1/2-cup salt

1/2-cup fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup dries mustard

1/4-cup ground cumin

Cayenne to taste

Rosemary Garlic Dry Rub (Chicken)

1/4 cup dried rosemary

2 tbsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried sage

2 tbsp. dried garlic flakes

2 tbsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. black pepper

Jamaican Jerk Rub (Chicken, Pork, Fish)

2 tbsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. ground all spice

1 tsp. crushed dried hot pepper

1 tsp. dried chives

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Dry Pork Chop Rub

1/3-cup paprika

1/4-cup sugar

2 tbsp. dry mustard

3 tsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. cayenne

1 tsp. white pepper

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

fireI’ve written about this before but lately it seems to be the predominant thought in my mind. Words like simple, basic, and grounded echo like a drum that wont stop its beat.

Life for me has changed in the past years. I remember sitting down in March and planning vacation time, summer camps and how we were going to occupy the kids for a two-month period without school to monopolize their world. The Christmas planning of gifts and family time divided equally so no ones time or present was greater than the others. Negotiating suppliers, salespersons and senior managers so I proportionately distributed my time to the task that was at hand. It was tiring.

Now I find myself reveling in basic things. The world no longer commands me. My time is my time and I find myself fascinated with what for years I have neglected. Myself.

Yes there are still demands and time needs to be made terms with, but the hurried pace has left me. Some might deem this growing older but I see it as finally maturing. Life gave me the chance to see and appreciate what’s important and appreciate it. The deals can wait. The travel itinerary is a thing of the past. I finally see what’s important.

Leaving the corporate world and filling my life with what I like and what I enjoy has created a framework of joy and independence. I miss the salaries from days gone by, I’m not going to lie, but creating a sense of fulfillment in life far outweighs it.

It may seem that I am about to contradict myself now, but having many small jobs gives me satisfaction that I have never had and gives me the time to do what gives me joy. Simply put, writing and cooking.

The deadlines are mine and not imposed by others. The ideas and concepts come from my mind and the words are the results. Simple, basic and grounded.

Elaborate items have no part in my world, especially when it comes to food. We have taken to hiding basic concepts and tastes with sauces, bacon wraps and wild presentations on plates. The phrase we first eat with our eyes is true, but no matter how beautiful something looks on a plate it’s your pallet that has the last say.

I take stock in Marco Pierre White’s stance, giving up his Michelin stars and going back to simple recipes and styles. The Food Network has made the simple complex and given us the impression that we need to do things their way. I’m here to say that’s a fallacy and marketing ploy.

Simple, basic and grounded. Let the food talk to you and tell you what to do. Walk around the market or grocery store and see what excites you. Be creative, not bound by what others do. Recipes are guidelines not laws. They are to be used to start your journey not be the journey.

That’s what food and words give me: a journey and lessons that I now live by. Look to what’s in your heart, what you like. Make your life and your meals yours not someone else’s.

Be well and eat well

Scott Tait