Part VIII: A Short Time Later

23 Apr

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A tip, romancers.  Don’t make it a one-night stand.  Eat some damn brunch.  I know the prevailing wisdom says to kick the lucky recipient of your advances out the second you can actually see their questionable face, but I say tradition’s a bad excuse to do something stupid.  If you’ve been inside them, then you can get a Denver omelette with them.  ‘Nuff said.  If you really want to be a player, don’t worry about getting that number.  Worry about serving up some Shrimp and Grits and Sticky Buns.  Who knows, maybe you might actually give a shit by the time you’ve finished pummeling that breakfast Prosecco.  Or maybe you’ll just realize she really was a racist.  Either way you’ll get some deliciousness on those plates.

Here’s what you need:

Sticky Buns:

Dough:

-2/3 cup whole milk

-5 tablespoons sugar

-1 1/4oz envelope active dry yeast

-2 eggs, room temperature

-2 3/4 cups AP flour

-1 teaspoon salt

-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

Sticky Part:

-1 stick unsalted butter

-3/4 cup packed brown sugar

-3/4 cup heavy cream

-1/3 cup honey

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Filling:

-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-1/8 teaspoon salt

-AP flour

-One egg

Shrimp and Grits:

Grits:

– 1 cup yellow grits (not instant)

– 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar

– 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

– 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

– 1/4 cup heavy cream

Shrimp/other meat-related things:

-1/2 cup whatever breakfast meat you want, I went with breakfast sausage

-3 garlic cloves, sliced

-1 tablespoon unsalted butter

-16 large shrimp (about a pound), peeled and deveined

-1/3 cup beer

-1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock

-4 eggs

-1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

Ok, I know that’s a lot.  You’re gonna have to do some reading.  Maybe even write a thing down or two.  Let’s not panic, people.  Just make one or the other if it’s too hard.  I won’t judge you.  At all.  

1. Dough

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First, pour your whole milk in a small saucepan.  Put your burner on medium and leave it for about 3 minutes.  If you’re special enough to have a candy thermometer, take it off when it gets up to 110-115 degrees.

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Pour the milk in a measuring cup, add your sugar and yeast, and whisk it up.

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Let the yeast foam up (science!) and whisk a couple of eggs in.

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Pile all the dry stuff in your stand mixer (or…the floor I guess?  I’ve told you how amazing stand mixers are, you should have one by now damnit.)

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Add all that foamy stuff in, put on a dough hook, and turn it on.  Then cut the butter into one inch pieces, and add them in one at a time.

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Once all your butter’s in, mix it on medium for a minute, then on medium-high for about 3 or 4 more, until it looks like dough.  If you’ve never seen dough before, go find an old encyclopedia and look it up.  You don’t deserve the internet today.  Idiot.

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Brush a bowl with some melted butter, put the dough in, and brush the top with more butter.  Then refrigerate the dough overnight. Technically you only need to put it in the fridge for 2 hours, but we both know you’re not gonna get up early enough for that.

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Once the dough’s chilled out, take it out and let it rise for a couple more hours. See kids?  Science all over the place.  Even the little ones can enjoy some Fresh Beats.  Just don’t let them read…most of it.

Time to make the good shit while that’s rising.

2. The Sticky Part 

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Heat up your oven to 350, and melt some butter in a small saucepan, on medium. Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients, bring ’em to a boil, and then bring it right back down to medium again to simmer.

Give that 3 minutes, then pour about half of it in the bottom of a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  That’s how you get that nice caramelized bottom instead of a lame microwaved cinnamon brick from the Panera around the corner.

Save the other half for later.

3.  Filling

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Get out your trusty electric mixer again (or…sigh…a hand mixer) and beat all the filling ingredients for a couple minutes.  Don’t worry too much about this one, it’ll all melt together in the oven anyway.

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Once your dough’s risen, put some flour on something flat (and your hands) and roll out your dough into a rectangle.  You want it to be about 1/4 in. thick, but don’t tear your hair out over the millimeters.  Mainly because your hair would get in the buns, and that’s gross.

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Spread the filling out on your dough, roll it up, and cut it into slices.  Then whisk an egg with a 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush the tops of your buns with it.

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Throw them in the oven for 50 minutes, and rotate halfway through.  Make sure you cover the tops with foil, or you’re gonna get them pretty crispy like I did.  This is one of the few times I’m gonna tell you not to be like me.  Savor it.

4. Grits

While the buns are baking, get those grits on deck.

Photo Apr 15, 1 15 15 PM

Bring 3 cups of water to a simmer in a big-ass pot, then whisk in your grits.  Turn it to low and keep stirring once in a while for an hour.  Add a little water if it starts to look too thick.  You want to do this about 30 minutes before you start up the shrimp, otherwise you’re gonna be staring at the wall while your grits finish cooking.  And that would look stupid.

5. Shrimp

Photo Apr 15, 1 14 14 PM

While that’s gettin’ tasty, heat a skillet up on medium and toss in your meat.  And no, I’m not gonna make a joke here.  C’mon people. We’re better than that.

Photo Apr 15, 1 19 10 PM Photo Apr 15, 1 20 58 PM

Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and a tablespoon of butter.  Stir it til it’s melted, and throw in your shrimp.

photo-apr-15-1-25-57-pm Photo Apr 15, 1 27 29 PM

Once the garlic’s looking brown, add all the liquid stuff.  And drink the rest of the beer damnit, we’re in a recession.  Go for something dark and stout-y, none of that thin stuff in here.  If you can read a pamphlet through your beer glass, it’s too light.

Photo Apr 15, 1 28 49 PM

Simmer that stuff up for a couple minutes, until your shrimp is opaque, then take the skillet off the burner. If you timed everything right, your grits should be finishing up right now.

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Stir everything that’s left in your grits: butter, jalapeño, cream, and cheddar.  Crack a little pepper and get some salt in there too.

Next, make a few eggs, sunny side up.  You know I’m not gonna tell you how to do that; this ain’t amateur hour.

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Now if you want to be all top hat and pipe about this, you can make a well in the middle of your bowl of grits and spoon the shrimp goodness in the center.  But unless you’ve got a yacht sitting out back made of space mahogany, just mix that shit in, and put an egg on top.  Throw a little tarragon on there too.

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And remember: there’s no better way to keep things fresh than serving up some fresh fruit.  Get yourself a bowl of blackberries and cara cara orange, and sprinkle on a few pinches of sugar.

Now that you and your unfortunate man or lady-friend have gathered up the courage to make eye contact, it’s time to shove some food in your faces, and that means you need some beats to go with it.  Here’s one for you if you got lucky last night: Mr. Lucky, from Vince Guaraldi:  

Keep that door locked next morning, people.  You flopped all over another human being last night, and probably made a damn fool of yourself.  At least be decent enough to cook up some grits when the sun rises.  Consider it a public service announcement.  See you next time.

Recipes this week are from Epicurious and Bon Appétit:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/04/the-ultimate-sticky-buns

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shrimp-Grits-367141

3 Responses to “Part VIII: A Short Time Later”

  1. Brooke May 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    ” I know the prevailing wisdom says to kick the lucky recipient of your advances out the second you can actually see their questionable face, but I say tradition’s a bad excuse to do something stupid.” … Genius, Hooks. Fracking genius.

  2. thewholepictureso May 25, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    good god man. you are out of control. and damn, it’s funny.

    • mforangeslice May 31, 2012 at 4:10 am #

      Appreciate it, man. Share the goodness with some friends, I’m not saying I only have like 5 regular readers but that’s totally exactly what I’m saying.

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