The Neelys presenting on the big screen.
I attended the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show yesterday. I attended two Presentations.
The Neelys had a good crowd and took questions; someone gushed about how great it is to see an example of “black love” on TV. They are an awesome couple. The Neelys worked together well and are a great example of a healthy and playful married couple. They also asked Neelys trivia and gave the trivia contest winners bottles of their BBQ sauce.
At one point, six or so women had asked questions, and Pat asked “Where are the men?” and there I was, next in line to ask a question.
Pat: “Where’s you wife?” (I look around playfully like I’m looking to find a woman to marry.) “Do you cook?”
Me: “Yes and I’m a food writer.” (He looked suitably impressed.) The women were asking a lot of “touchy feely” type questions so I went the more logical route with “What are some ingredients you feel are underutilized in the home kitchen?”
Gina: “Tofu. Oh, you didn’t mean a meat did you?”
I don't remember what he said that got her mad. They play around like that a lot.
Me: “That isn’t meat.” (I gave her a big smile and she smiled back.)
Gina: “Right. It’s vegetarian.”
Pat: “Hickory. And, paprika, which we love so use a lot, but I don’t think is used much in people’s homes. People should cook what they like. We cook what we like.”
He isn’t into broadening his taste buds as much as I would have expected.
Gina (to me): “Hey, were you in Miami?”
Me: “No.” (I didn’t realize this was a routine of hers and had started to leave the question line.)
Gina: “He’s walking off.” (So, I got back to the mike so she could finish her routine.) “I was dancing on tables in Miami and someone taped it and put it on Youtube. Was that you?”
Me: “No, but the second I get home, I’m doing a web search.” (She laughed.)
They were awesome and I had a great time talking to them. They make you feel like part of their family.
The birthday girl next to me had been invited to the stage for samples and she returned with three; she brought back one for her, one for her sister, and one for me. It was a cheese fritter and was crispy, but under seasoned. It must be difficult to cook and perform before a camera at the same time.
Mike Hanratty of "Mie n Yu" all set up and ready to cook.
I also watched Mike Hanratty of Mie N Yu doing a presentation at another cooking stage. He made a Moroccan beef dish with vegetables and a fruit sauce. It was delicious and he was nice enough to email me the recipes to share with you. He said that he uses a variety of cuts for this dish including short ribs or brisket.
Moroccan Style Braised Beef
4 lbs. boneless beef chuck cut into 2” wide pieces
2 quarts water
1 lb. pitted prune
½ cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
½ cup ginger, chopped
1 bunch parsley
1 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ cup sherry wine
2 teaspoons garlic, sliced
1 bunch oregano (or 2t dry)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine onions, garlic, ginger, herbs, and spices in a blender. Blend until the mixture is pour-able. In a deep dish or pot, pour mixture over the beef. Mix beef into the marinade with your hands to make sure it is well covered. Let stand in the refrigerator overnight. The next day remove the meat from the marinade, scraping off the excess. Save the marinade. Heat a large bottomed pot, add the oil and begin to brown the meat on all sides. Add the water, marinade, and prunes and simmer on the stove top, or in a crock pot for 2 ½ hours. When the meat is tender, remove it from its cooking liquid and lay it out on a baking sheet or plate. Allow the liquid to cool and return to the blender. Blend thoroughly and then pour the liquid through a strainer. Re-combine the beef with the finished sauce. Serve with roasted vegetables, fruit and sliced almonds.
Moroccan Roasted Vegetables
1 pound potato
1 pound carrot
1 pound turnip
2 ounces olive oil
½ bunch cilantro
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Cut the vegetables into pieces about half inch wide. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and toss together with the vegetables. Line a baking sheet with paper and cooking spray. Spread the vegetables evenly onto the sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. When finished the vegetables should be slightly brown and tender enough to pierce with a fork.
1 pound golden raisins
1 pound dried apricot
1 pound pitted prune
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup honey
1 ½ cups white wine
2 cups water
¼ ounce saffron
2 cinnamon sticks
Place the fruit in a medium sauce pot. Add the water, wine, sugar, cinnamon, and honey. Bring to a simmer. Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes. Add the saffron, check to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more water if needed and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. The finished product should be plump pieces of fruit with golden yellow syrup.