Baked Potato, Where Art Thou?

I love spuds.  You know, the tater, the grand potato, the ever-elegant potato chip.  I love potatoes in almost every form. 

French fries and baked potatoes are mmm good.  They are also non-essential carbs but worth it, if DONE CORRECTLY.   You would think french fries would be hard to screw up.  You’d be wrong.

The early french fry was a potato cut into slices and tossed into boiling hot oil and spattered with salt.  They had that smooth crunch on the outside, that fluffy white oh-mama-yes puff inside.  They were fabulous. 

They were so popular, people experimented.  Covering them in gooey cheese, sprinkling them with pepper, and god-forbid paprika.  Yes, someone tried to make me eat paprika fries.  Disgusting.  Then comes the subtle treachery.   The limp fries sitting under the heat lamps all day.  The health Nazi’s complain about the deep fry oil until it’s replaced with a veggie crisper mix that leaves a grainy lard taste to the outside of my fries.   Been to Burger King lately?  I’d rather lick the counter than eat their fries.  The new oil is repulsive.

Then, the resturants that claim to be ‘home-cookin” felt left out and came out with home-fries.  Home-fries are chopped up little squares of potato which have been fried on the grill with 10 other things and then served wilted.   Uber bland.

What I’d love to eat is some good fried potatoes.  Fried potatoes are not french fries and they are not home fries.  There are about 100 different versions of fried potatoes.  My SIL makes the best ones.  She slow steam fries them in pure bacon grease.  They have crunchy edges but are soft inside.  They taste of that perfect swirl of bacon and potato.  Like really great sex, even when you’re full, you don’t want to stop because it’s so good.  You’ll never see these potatoes in resturants because they aren’t good cold and don’t do well reheated.  The bacon grease, it’s your friend and your enemy. Plus, you’ll poop out your brains.  Still, it tastes good.

If you just want a plain old fry, may I suggest McDonalds.  On a good day, fresh from the fryer with a loving sprinkle of salt, their fries are a cheap, quick potato fix.  Don’t eat them cold.

Potatoes just aren’t all that good cold or reheated, no matter the form.

When I joined WW to lose weight, the leader (as in take me to yours) suggested replacing fries with a baked potato.  This is wonderful in theory.  Only you can’t get an edible baked potato in a fast food resturant.  You just can’t.   I eat my potato plain, maybe with a touch of salt or a dip of ketchup but no toppings.  This is why a Wendy’s baked potato is vile.

It’s been baked, microwaved, put under a heat lamp, and served.  This potato has no flavor, no hope.  If it were a movie, that potato would be the mindless zombie, hoping for a shovel to the head.  It’s bitter to the tongue, glassy to the eye.  It smells vaguely ‘green’ in a metallic way.  They taste like burnt paper.  Bad potato.

Steak resturants aren’t any better. They rely on the topings to cover up the heat lamp taste.  When it’s naked, there’s no chance of fooling me.  IF you want a good potato, believe it or not, go to Red Lobster. 

Red Lobster serves  small baked potatoes.  They soak them in a water overnight, salt them and slow bake them.  The small size assures that they get done all the way through.  The salt gives you texture and tang.   The skin is tender and tasty enough to eat.  My mouth is watering.   My computer may short out from all the moisture.

Sometime in the future, I have to tell you about my ideas on potato chips but tonight we’re out of time.

Eat something and be happy!

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

The Pickiest Eater In The World

Okay, perhaps pickiest eater in the world is pushing it but I’m definitely in the top ten.  I’m a chubby girl who doesn’t like food but who does love to eat.  After hearing my daily rants on why something tastes bad over the years, my good friend, Heather, suggested I write a blog on what does and doesn’t work for me food-wise.

Plus, she thought it hilarious when I started Weight Watchers, when I detested salads.  I will never eat salad.  I don’t like salad.  Salad is not a friggin’ meal.  I don’t feel fulfilled when someone sends me a cheesy bowl of lettuce covered in drippy sauce and stale bread.  Ugh, no thanks.

The first time I did Weight Watchers, I lost 90 pounds.  Yes, 90 pounds and I didn’t eat one salad, not one.  I did fall off the wagon for a bit, went back to eating my favorite, potato chips, and gained a large portion of my weight back.  Not all of it, thank God, but a chunk of it.  So now I’m back in WW and the new leader is salad this, salad that.  Carrots for a snack.  What normal, non-anorexic person eats carrots for a snack? 

My last leader told us to only make changes you can live with.  That’s my goal this time, changes I can live with.  So, screw salads for lunch.   Just the thought makes me want to start purging so I can get a chunk of nice, well-cooked meat.

Yes, meat.

I know the vegetarians are cringing.  I have a few vegan friends, I  understand the idea behind the thought.  But have you ever met a chicken?  A live chicken?  There is nothing noble about an animal that walks on its own crap, poops in its own food, and will try to peck out your eyes with very little provocation.  Geez, I only walked through the yard.

Not only are the mean and dirty, they are ever so slightly stupid. So while I don’t relish the idea of killing one, I don’t mind eating one as long as it was killed humanely, and massively disinfected.

I guess that’s what the cannibals would say about the missionaries but its all I can give you.  I like meat, so I eat meat.

Now, back to eating chicken.  Grilled or baked chicken in restaurants is always a nightmare for me.  Like pork, chicken asorbs the flavors of what you cook with it.  So restaurants cover it in lemon, powder it with pepper, rub it in non-disclosed seasonings, or kill it with garlic.

I like chicken.  I don’t want to taste the seasonings.  I didn’t order a plate of garlic and pepper. I ordered chicken and that is what I want.  Restaurants also want their chicken to be ‘tender’ and ‘juicy’.  I’m shuddering now.  If I don’t need a knife to cut it, then it isn’t cooked long enough.  Anyone who has had food poisoning and vomited from both ends, knows that tender meat is scary.    If you cut into the chicken breast, and juice pops out like you stabbed a juice box, put the damn thing back on the grill.

So to get around this, I don’t ordered grilled or baked chicken in resturants.  I save that for when I’m cooking at home and I can cut the meat into tiny pieces to inspect it for pinkness.  I order my chicken in fingers.  Tacky, I know.  Classless even, but the great thing about chicken fingers is that a person can cut it up with  their fork and see each piece of perfectly white meat. 

Although, I will warn you, never, ever order chicken fingers off the kid’s menu unless you’ve seen them first.  Compressed meat is a favorite of kid’s menus.  Compressed meat is when the regular meat packing plant has scraped all the meat it can from the chicken bones.  The bits it can’t use are then scooped up, packed into patties or fingers, dipped in batter, and sold to kids everywhere.  These are one of the foulest things you will ever eat.  Some of them are GRAY inside.   The meat is GRAY.   This is not the chicken finger you want.

You want a finger that when you pull it apart, you see long strips of real chicken breast, beautifully white.  The meat should tear in strips.  This is real chicken breast.  If it looks uniform inside, push your plate away or push out a couple of kids to eat it for you.

Another consideration of the chicken finger, over-breading.  Some places feel that they have to make the chicken seem larger by dipping it in 4 pounds of beer batter.  Ugh.  I shouldn’t need a chisel to get to the good stuff.   Second, the batter shouldn’t never stain the meat.  If it turns your meat funny colors, just say no.  Sorry Popeye’s, the yellow is hard for me to look past.

Others get carried away with the pepper.  Some pepper is good, just a dash of that and salt in the crunchy batter makes you go MMMM.  To much and that’s all you taste. 

Others have the opposite problem.  Blandness.  The batter has no flavor at all, the chicken is tasteless, almost rubbery.

Longhorn Steakhouse has good chicken fingers most of the time.  Just enough seasoning for flavor, the chicken is from the breast, and they have a hearty portion that will fill you up.  Those of you on WW, they are about 3pts a finger so eat carefully, okay?

Another bonus is that Longhorns has a decent baked potato.  I hate a shitty potato.  But I will talk about that next week.

So the pickiest eater in the world is signing out.

Good luck and good eating and remember…don’t take a finger from just anyone.

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 1:39 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,