Friday, April 16, 2010

Hey Brothah What's For Suppah?

I may have mentioned this a time or two, but my brother, his wife, and their two doggies live with us.  Just about a year ago we decided it would help both of our families out if we combine households. 
All families have ups and downs getting along
I realize that not all families can do this. Past grievances, personality differences, and sibling rivalries can run deep and be difficult to get past.  Family tension can make a once-a-year holiday dinner unbearable, let alone every meal, every day. 
For us though, living together has been working out fabulously.  I attribute our success partly to our easy-going personalities and partly to the fact that my sister-in-law does floors.  But the best perk of our commune-like lifestyle is that my brother loves to cook.
He watches Paula Dean and Bobby Flay and The Neelys, scours the internet for recipes, and is fearless when it comes to trying something new.  Hubby showed him a recipe he found online for Roman burgers.  Those are burgers made the way the ancient Romans did. 

I didn't know Romans ate burgers, but I'm no history buff.  Apparently they soak french rolls in white wine, mix that with hamburger and fish sauce, shape it into patties, and poke pine nuts and green peppercorns into them.  Then they bake them in reduced grape juice.  No, really - here's the website.
I was instructed to go to the party supply store and buy little plastic Roman swords to garnish the Roman burgers (which would be served on ciabatta bread by the way).  My brother warned me, "Don't buy pirate swords because pirate swords in Roman burgers would be lame." 

I confessed I didn't know the difference between a Roman sword and a pirate sword.  As a result, I was immediately relieved of that duty.  As it turns out, the party store didn't have Roman swords. 

We made the burgers anyway, with ceasar salad on the side.  For me, they tasted a bit weird, but hubby and the kids liked them.
Most of my brother's concoctions come out delicious.  He made a crunchy coating for baked fish from Captain Crunch cereal once that was wonderful.  His chicken and meat marinades thrown together from whatever he can find in the fridge are always tasty and he is an awesome barbeque-er.
Southwestern eggrolls with black beans and corn
Sometimes I come up with the idea for the concoction and he carries out the execution.  A couple weeks ago we were trying to think of ways to use our Easter turkey leftovers.  I said Southwestern style eggrolls made with turkey instead of chicken sounded good. 

His eyes lit up and off he went to the computer to look for recipes.  He combined two into one and the result was eggrolls made with chopped up turkey meat, corn, black beans, cumin, chedder and cream cheese.  They were scrumptious with the avocado dipping sauce. 

We're going to do the same thing with Thanksgiving leftovers and I'm thinking some kind of cranberry dipping sauce.  Yum, right?
Once in a while he makes a culinary faux pas. He was making hubby's favorite bean dip with refried beans, cheese, sour cream, and salsa. He found a container in the fridge that looked like it held leftover refried beans.  Being not a food waster, he dumped it in, mixed it up, and served the dip to hubby and the kids.

Hubby came upstairs with a nasty grimace on his face and whispered to me to taste the bean dip because it tasted "funny."  I tasted.  It tasted like fish.  Definitely not bean dip. 

We discovered the unidentified leftover contents that my brother thought was refried beans was actually salmon dip.  That explained the fishy taste.  Furthermore, it was salmon dip bought back in January.  That explained the runs.
A pan simmering on the stove
I have to say, I am getting spoiled (in a good way...not like the salmon dip) having a personal chef living with us.  Sometimes when I'm in my office, stressed out and working late, the smell of garlic and onions browning, or of chicken baking, will waft upstairs and comfort me.  The cooking aromas remind me to stop, come downstairs and enjoy being home with family.  The day's problems will be back tomorrow and cocktail hour is now.
Who knew that the same brother who, when we were kids, used to say, "Open your mouth and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise," then shoved blanket fuzz in my mouth, would turn out to be such a blessing now?

My brother just came in and said he's barbequeing  pork chops with sweet and sour sauce.  It's time to go downstairs and have a cocktail.  
My Bro
Mouth-wateringly yours,


Fred J said...

I hereby attest that everything the Redhead just said is true. Despite the Salmon paste (and the runs), if anything ever happens to my Lori I'm gonna propose to Tom - he's the best bro' I never didn't marry!

Hmmmm... I wonder what state we'll have to move to? It'll have to be one that allows polygamy for that Aladdinsane angle to pan out.

Tree said...

LMBO I love it! It's funny how growing up changes people. His recipes sound awesome...I am definitely going to try the captain crunch coated fish! LOL Can't wait to see what other recipes he comes up with. :)

Tree said...

Ummm....oh yeah. I also watched Hee Haw! tee hee

Unknown said...

Hahaha. Send him to my place, Lord knows we need a chef. What the hell is Hee Haw?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a great bro! Experimenting with yummy recipes and you get to taste test? How divine! Can't wait to see what he comes up with.

aladdinsane12 said...

i couldn't read the whole post because i started drooling uncontrollably and my stomach was grumbling! seriously. those roman burgers sound pretty interesting, though- an acquired taste, perhaps? :)

Susie said...

I'm wondering if I could just move in with you...although I have no idea what I could contribute that would compete with doing floors or being a chef!