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    Not his real name, but a public servant who cooks like a real pro. The man who calls himself Slim Oakheart recently caught my notice on social media with his fantastic food posts. Not only did everything he made look really delicious, he also described it all so beautifully, almost poetically. Some of the recipes appear to be originally his, insofar as culinary inventions can rightly be attributed to individuals; others he freely acknowledges as test versions from clearly cited sources. Chef Oakheart seems to love cooking and writing about it as much as I do... so rather than stew in my own envy, I requested his permission to re-post his reports here at Danny's Table. Here is Chef Oakheart's recent suggestion for BACON BLISS TURKEY LOAF made from Thanksgiving leftovers: Turn your leftover turkey into a flavor-packed masterpiece! Bacon Bliss Turkey Loaf is a simple and satisfying recipe that combines shredded turkey with savory herbs, a hint of Parmesan, and a mouthwatering bacon topping. No need for fancy equipment—just mix, shape, glaze, and bake! Perfect for a quick and delicious family dinner, making those leftovers the star-of-the-show. It's comfort food with a crispy bacon twist! I take the turkey on a journey through the food processor to get the right texture and then proceed to the stand mixer. Ingredients: 3 cups shredded leftover turkey 1 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried sage 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 large eggs, beaten For the glaze: 1/4 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Topping: 6-8 slices of bacon Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shredded leftover turkey, breadcrumbs, milk, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and beaten eggs. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined. Be careful not to over-mix. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a greased baking dish or on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard to create the glaze. Spread the glaze over the top of the turkey loaf. Lay the bacon slices on top of the glaze, covering the entire surface of the turkey loaf. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Allow the turkey loaf to rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve slices of the turkey loaf with your favorite sides. * * * * * * * NOTES: I look forward to sharing more gems from Slim Oakheart. Public Servants understandably need to protect their anonymity, so please refrain from posting his name if you know who his true identity.


    Just in time for Christmas Season! Those of you who've been following for a while know that the quest for the perfect Prime Rib has been a priority of mine. I recently reached a plateau of excellence in this endeavor that I consider worth sharing. FOR STARTERS, BUY THE BEST. One of my favorite online meat purveyors– Snake River Farms – recently introduced a new line of products. They've long graded their Wagyu beef as either Black (significantly richer than Prime-grade) or Gold (WAY richer than Prime.) They now offer Wagyu "Silver," which is equivalent to prime grade and notably less expensive than Black and Gold. From Snake River's website... "BMS" is the Japanese "more is more" system of beef grading according to fat content. For the fat content of steaks, more is generally considered superior; but with a Prime Rib Roast, I have found that fat content above a certain level simply converts to more liquid fat in one's roasting pan. And so Snake River's "Silver" Prime Rib hits a nice sweet spot at the intersection of optimal flavor and texture at a more affordable price. But make no mistake... this roast is still quite expensive, at least as compared to the offerings at Walmart and Costco. HERE is a Snake River Silver Boneless 5-pounder for $250.... and if you just coughed up your coffee, consider the following: that by purchasing a boneless roast, you avoid paying top dollar for bones; with the rich fat content, you would prudently serve more elegant (i.e. smaller) portions, meaning that this 5-pound roast would easily satisfy the appetites of six adults; and that this roast is surely about 100 times better than even a nice restaurant version for nearly the same price per person. THEN COOK IT PROPERLY. Google "Prime Rib Recipes," and you'll likely find quite a variety of temperatures, cooking times, and techniques. Spoiler Alert: They ALL Work. But from my experience, I chose the following method: Thaw the roast. (If you ordered from Snake River Farms or any other online purveyor, it arrived frozen solid.) I thawed mine overnight in a large pot of cold water. My faith in the imperviousness of the plastic package to water was duly validated.) Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then sprinkle (noticeably but not heavily) with kosher salt. Place it on a rack over a pan, high enough so that air can circulate all around it. Put a small fan on it, and occasionally re-position the fan to various angles in order to form a uniform crust. The blowing air will accelerate the essential crust-forming process that many recipes accomplish with a 24-hour stay in your fridge. Few refrigerators have that much extra space, and 6 hours of the fan treatment means that you won't need the "allow to warm to room temperature" step found in most recipes. Pre-heat oven to 475ºF. During the Fan Phase, cook a half-dozen or so onions until nicely browned. (See Cry, Baby, Cry for some Grumpy Old Mansplaining about onions.) Add chopped carrots, celery, and garlic to the nearly-cooked onions and stir until all the carrots are slightly browned. Place the browned veggie mixture in the bottom of a small roasting pan (like THIS one) along with a half-bottle of red wine (tips HERE) and an equal amount quality commercial beef stock. Put the roast on the rack, the rack in the pan, and the pan in the hot oven. 20 minutes at this high temp will get the crust started while the veggie-wine-stock mixture with catch the drippings to help make a fabulous sauce. Remove from the oven and drop the temperature to 200ºF. (An open oven door will of course minimize the transition.) Insert into the thickest part of the roast a proper monitoring thermometer (like THIS one.) As the liquid in the pan diminishes, replenish periodically wit stock, wine, and/or water. Allow the temperature to reach 115ºF for rare, 120ºF for medium-rare. Your results may vary slightly depending on the dimensions of your individual roast, so keep in mind that under-cooked is better than over-cooked. Allow the roast to rest on a cutting board while you strain the liquid from the pan. Use a Fat Separator to isolate the natural nectar that results from roasting. If you took my advice of several months ago and made a season's worth of Faux Jus, this is where you put it to great use. I combined some faux jus with the de-fatted pan juices, touched up the flavor with dashes of liquid aminos and Worcestershire sauce, and thickened it with potato flour roux. The result, served with Heavenly Mashed Potatoes, was fantastically, ridiculously delicious. And yet... I figured out something important: this meat was so delicious the next day that I might consider making it a day ahead next time we have this. (Gently reheating slices in clarified butter did the trick beautifully.) Please let us know how your Prime Rib turns out, and feel free to reach out with any questions. * * * * * * * NOTES: Snake River Farms frequently offers discounts and special pricing. I never pay full price for anything. While charcoal-grilled manly-man steaks cry out for big, powerful reds with high alcohol and rip-roaring, full-frontal fruit, rib roasts pair nicely with a somewhat tamer tipple. Old-World wines (from France, Spain, Italy, & Portugal) work just fine. I like a nice Californian Pinot Noir, but really any red wine you like is okay. Don't overthink it.


    It's that time of year again. Let's do this. Basting might seem like a useful thing, but its effect is only skin-deep. We covered a lot of ground last year in a 3-part series on Thanksgiving. (See Part I, Part II, and Part III.) I have just a few notes to add for this year... most of which are related to the fact that The Turkey As We Know It Is A Culinary Abomination. Wild turkeys are avidly pursued by hunters, and yet they aren't particularly prized for their edible flesh. I'm reliably told that most successful turkey hunters return home with only the breast meat and perhaps some feathers and claws for the trophy shelf. Meanwhile, the domestic turkey cultivated from the wild version is a flightless and comparatively flavorless freak that seems purpose-built to dry out when roasted. This tendency is commonly mitigated (in cheaper birds, anyway) by the injection of a salt, sugar, & chemical solution. (Always, ALWAYS read the labels on anything you eat.) But you can usually find supermarket turkeys at various stages of naturalness, e.g., with labels indicating "no added solution," "antibiotic- and hormone-free," "organic," "heritage breed," and even "raised on a vegetarian diet." (As designed by God and/or nature, turkeys are omnivorous.) Unfortunately, the more "natural" the turkey, the greater its tendency to toughness and dryness. Some people have come to simply not bother with the bird and opt instead for ham or even prime rib, both of which seemingly cook themselves to perfection with little effort from the family chef. But if you MUST have a bird this November 23rd, here are some pro-tips: BUY TWO SMALL TURKEYS INSTEAD OF ONE HUMONGOUS TURKEY. Moms out there, what would you consider preferable-- giving birth to two 6-lb. twins, or to one strapping 12-lb. baby? The same reasoning applies here... it is WAY easier to maneuver the two smaller birds in and out of your oven. BRINE YOUR BIRD(S). Brining is an easy process that makes the bird more flavorful and moist... which is why those cheap turkeys are pre-injected with the aforementioned salt/sugar/chemical solution. But by purchasing an un-injected bird and brining it yourself, you assert control of two key variables: the length of brining time (24 hours is good) and the composition of the brine itself. I'm not bothering to list a specific recipe here because hundreds of them will appear in your google search; they will all contain salt, some will contain one form or another of sugar, and still others will include herbs and other seasonings. I recommend perusing a few and then picking one that strikes your fancy. CONSIDER COOKING THE TURKEY IN PIECES. White meat and dark meat cook differently... so why not cook them differently? Much of Thanksgiving cookery revolves around the contradictory challenge of thoroughly cooking the thighs without turning the breast meat dry and stringy. It is perfectly okay to quarter your bird and then cook each part to individual perfection. In a related story... CONSIDER POACHING THE BREAST. It is downright difficult to dry out a turkey breast if you gently simmer it in a flavorful stock as the thighs roast. Just make sure to keep the temperature safely below boiling, which will toughen it. If you can poach an egg, you can poach a turkey breast. (It is best to poach it on the bone.) START A POT OF TURKEY STOCK RIGHT AFTER DINNER. This integrates nicely into the cleanup process-- Fill your biggest stockpot halfway to the top with water (along with the breast-poaching stock, if applicable.) Glove up and pull all the remaining turkey meat from the bones and pack it in zip-lock bags. By simmering the bones and scraps for an hour or more, you wind up with a healthy bone broth that makes a killer soup. You can also cook it WAY down, freeze it, and use it for future sauces and braises. * * * * * * * And then there's the touchy topic of Thanksgiving wine. While Pinot Noir from California and Oregon remain perhaps the single greatest choice to pair with the bird, decent versions thereof aren't getting any cheaper... quite the opposite, actually. But wanna know what IS getting cheaper? Australian Shiraz! That's because Australia and China are presently engaged in a little trade spat that is causing an unexpected glut of wines from Down Under, and great values abound at every price point. Aussie Shiraz is noteworthy for its crowd-pleasing, rip-roaring fruitiness that can stand up to the tartest cranberry sauce like no other wine. Those clever kangaroo-keepers even make a sparkling version of Shiraz that is worth a special search. Whatever you drink, however you cook your bird, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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  • Danny's Table | Home of the Grumpy Old Mansplainer

    Advice & Companionship for Living in Style Along the Path to an Increasingly Uncertain Future Food & Wine Survival in Style Rants How can I make a steakhouse dinner at home? When is Champagne not Champagne but just as good? How come I can’t buy a decent shovel? Why should I own a crossbow? Your grumpy old mansplainer DannyM is here to answer these vexing questions and many more while offering more advice than you ever thought you would need. Is he highly knowledgeable, or just plain opinionated? (Yes.) And he’s a walking set of contradictions— a sommelier-turned-truck driver with a knack for solving puzzles and a love of language; an ardent anti-elitist who equally appreciates roadside barbecue and classic French cuisine. He is (somehow) a skeptical positive thinker who doesn’t automatically accept the official explanation of anything. Instead, he strives to examine every important issue from multiple perspectives and then arrive at his own conclusions. A TABLE serves many different functions. Along with dining, we use a table for such activities as writing letters, playing ping-pong and billiards, negotiating international treaties, conducting business meetings, and contesting the world chess championship. DANNY’S TABLE is a home for essays about a broad range of topics united in the purpose of making life in these increasingly challenging times more livable, more enjoyable, and more interesting. Read More at The Table Can a restaurant exist only in cyberspace? Why not? (If you’ve ever managed one, you’ll surely appreciate the advantages.) The CAYUGA LOUNGE was born in DannyM.’s short fiction, THE CA-LO SIGN . While the restaurant is imaginary, the recipes are real— click HERE for an ever-expanding compendium of Continental-American Comfort Food from half a century ago… the era of muscle cars, bell bottoms, and avocado-colored appliances. Stop by The Lounge There’s a smarter way to shop for groceries . What’s the best exercise machine in the world ? Good Merlot is still good wine , and potatoes can be heavenly . Hunting for vintage sweaters is fun and rewarding . And yes, you CAN eat oysters year ‘round . Join us at The Table and you shall be regaled with all this and more by grumpy old mansplainer DannyM and his contributing cohorts. Recent Essays at The Table DannyM 4 days ago 7 min SUPER BOWL LVII (57) PREVIEW Game On!! Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, February 12th at 6:30PM EST. Here are a few pre-game nuggets worth sharing. DannyM Feb 1 4 min WORTHLESS CRAP ALERT! Life is school, pain is tuition, and some lessons cost more than others. And for some really tough lessons we must part with cash.... DannyM Jan 30 3 min THE JOY OF KALE An oxymoron, I know, because I hate kale… and yet I figured out a way to make it delicious. DannyM Jan 18 1 min Our Favorite Spice Mixes For DannyM.’s January writing breather, we’ll post some brief shopping tips & cooking hacks. Here’s a quartet of favorites for your pantry. DannyM Jan 16 9 min P-P-PLAYOFFS!?! The NFL playoffs are indelibly associated with January. Our suggested rule changes– which would surely improve the game– will NEVER happen. DannyM Jan 11 6 min DINNER PARTY TIPS, PART THREE: The Menu In parts 1 & 2 we discussed strategy and tactics. Now, as promised, we present some actual dinner party menus and the reasoning behind them. Get your seat at the table! Subscribe today for exclusive updates and notifications. Email Join Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify. Subscribe "A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth more than ten years’ mere study of books." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "If I am more Fortunate than others I need to build a longer table, not a taller fence." - Tamlyn Tomita "If you're not at the table, you might be on the menu." - Way Too Many People

  • The Cayuga Lounge Cookbook | Danny's Table

    The Cayuga Lounge Cookbook The Cayuga Lounge is where it's always 1971, but... 50-Year-Old Recipes?? Yes… because our gastronomical tastes naturally evolve, but true greatness outlives arbitrary and fleeting fashion. We’ve found that many of the classic dishes of yesteryear can be updated to modern sensibilities with just a few tweaks, such as eliminating flour and using superior ingredients that were unavailable nine Presidencies ago. Table of Contents French Onion Soup Onion Jam Chicken Alfredo "Bouillabaisse Sauce" Vongole Cassini Gazpacho Coquilles St. Jacques Trout with Almonds Autumn Menu, Part 1 Autumn Menu, Part 2 Autumn Menu, Part 3 Butternut Squash & Apple Soup Nantucket Chowder NANTUCKET CHOWDER Cutesy names, whether for boats (i.e., “Pier Pressure”) or recipes (“The Big Chili”), are often annoying. And yet sometimes they’re dead-on. BUTTERNUT SQUASH & APPLE SOUP Few things this side of Pumpkin Spice Shampoo betoken autumn like Butternut Squash & Apple Soup. But please don’t call it “Autumn Bisque.” CHEF ASTOR'S AUTUMN MENU, PART THREE The twist-rich third and final installment of DannyM.’s tale about Chef Astor and his 1971 Autumn Dinner Menu at the Cayuga Lounge. CHEF ASTOR’S AUTUMN MENU- Part Two In early September of 1971, Chef Astor continued working on his new Autumn Menu… adding new dishes and removing or updating old ones. CHEF ASTOR’S AUTUMN MENU, Part One In August of 1971, Chef Astor worked diligently on his new Autumn Menu– the culmination of all his experience, his Culinary Magnum Opus. TROUT WITH ALMONDS Whatever we call it, boneless rainbow trout filets and almonds make a really great combination. 1 2 3

  • Partners & Favorites | Danny's Table

    Check out our Partners & Favorites When we find products or services we like, we're happy to share them. These are NOT paid advertisements, just good advice. A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge I went in search of a REAL shovel (not some flimsy piece of crap made overseas) and I found it at A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge— a heavy-duty 12-gauge forged head securely riveted to a sturdy ash handle. In addition to shovels, hey offer a broad range of high-quality hand tools. ​ ​ Visit Holy Grail Steak Co A sibling company to De Négoce. They sell fantastic steaks as well as other meats and even some seafood. My go-to steak is their grass-fed prime ribeye. ​ Visit Excalibur Crossbows In contrast to the complex and intricate actions of the super-expensive compound crossbows, Excalibur RECURVE Crossbows are simple to use and maintain as well as incomparably sturdy and reliable. Multitudes of successful hunters can also attest that they are deadly accurate. ​ ​ Visit Red Newt Cellars A hip winery & bistro a short drive north of Watkins Glen in the hills above Seneca’s eastern shore, Red Newt bottles a broad range of outstanding, single-vineyard Gewurztraminers and Rieslings. Don’t leave without buying a set of their cool glasses. ​ Visit TAG Safari Great safari jackets and other sporting wear for those of us who love outdoor adventures. TAG’s motto— “Helping Africa Through Trade, Not Aid”— reflects their commitment to improving lives and conditions in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa. ​ ​ Visit Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Winery “Hermann the German” established his eponymous winery in 1979 and was the first in the region to plant Riesling. Though the winery is famous for consistently excellent versions thereof, the Burgundian-style Chardonnay and hand-crafted methode champenois sparkling wine are likewise superb. ​ Visit Ekone Seafood/ Taylor Shellfish Farms Your source for delicious, top-quality smoked (Pacific) oysters (available in convenient 3 oz. cans) and other tasty morsels from the sea, including the rare and highly prized geoduck clam. ​ ​ ​ Visit Porter Road Talk about role reversal— how about BEEF Bacon and PORK Brisket? We are proud to include PORTER ROAD in the small handful of online meat purveyors that we are happy to recommend. Whether beef, pork, or chicken, PORTER ROAD has plenty of pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free options. ​ ​ Visit De Négoce This is where you can get $80 wines for $20. They do this by purchasing surplus wine from super-premium wineries and then selling it under their own label. Visit Andrea’s Foot Care & Nails A powerful combination of extensive training and a gentle touch affords safe, effective care for your precious feet. Andrea provides advanced foot care in the comfort of your home with techniques based on German Podology. All implements are sterilized in a medical-grade autoclave. ​ ​ Visit Meat N’ Bone A Miami butcher shop that offers an affordable Wagyu-Angus ribeye as part of a broad array of products ranging from elk roasts to alligator tenderloin. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Visit M Grills These are military-tough, commercial-grade smoker-grills built to order in Texas from the heaviest gauge steel in the industry. M Grills can burn firewood… so in the event of complete societal collapse, you can feed your whole cul-de-sac with one of these and an axe. ​ Visit Henry Repeating Arms Henry is the leading lever action manufacturer in the USA. Their goal is to manufacture classic, well-crafted firearms that every enthusiast can afford. The passion, expertise, and dedication of their employees embody the company’s motto— “Made in America Or Not Made At All.” ​ ​ Visit Restaurant Depot “Where Restaurants Go To Shop.” Want to up your grocery game and shop with the pros? Stop by a Restaurant Depot Depot near you— they’ll issue you a Day Pass and turn you loose in Wholesale Foodie Heaven. (Maybe their motto should be “Go Big Or Go Retail!”) ​ Visit Shadow Hill Maple Syrup There’s “Table Syrup,” and then there’s REAL Maple Syrup… absolutely no comparison. Likewise, there’s ordinary Maple Syrup, and there’s SHADOW HILL Dark Amber (My personal favorite!) This fantastic artisanal production facility is also an owner-built architectural masterpiece that serves as one-of-a-kind wedding venue. Visit Snake River Farms Another great premium meat supplier, and an especially good place to look for holiday roasts. Double R Ranch is a sibling company accessible from this site. Visit Domaine Chandon Many French Champagne firms now produce bubbly in the US, but it was Möet et Chandon that blazed the trail. Established in 1973, Domaine Chandon successfully combined Old-World expertise with Californian sunshine to produce of line of affordable and fabulous sparkling wines. ​ ​ Visit Win Herne Photography & Design A full-service grapic designer and web developer. It has been a great experience working with WHP&D and Danny's Table is pleased to have her as our webmistress. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Visit Red Tail Ridge Winery A top quality, cutting-edge Finger Lakes winery, Red Tail Ridge offers estate-bottled favorites such as Chardonnay and Riesling, as well as lesser-known Northern Italian varieties such as Teroldego and Lagrein. The pure and precisely-made bubblies are the best in the region. ​ Visit Concept2 Concept2 makes top-quality exercise equipment that gives you a great workout in your home or gym. Check out the RowErg rowing machine, the SkiErg ski machine, or the BikeErg indoor exercise bike. Buying directly from the manufacturer saves you money. ​ ​ Visit Hope Dealers BTC Inc A great all-volunteer organization helping people, including their friends and family, who suffer from substance use disorder, mental health issues, and homelessness. They are always accepting donations and volunteers. ​ ​ Visit

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