I’m a little allergic to some things.
And by “a little” I mean “anaphylaxis”, and by “some” I mean just about anything most humans think taste good.
For those lucky enough to not know what an anaphylactic reaction is like, lemme fill ya in.
If you’re lucky, it’s only the usual “stopped breathing, bring me the epipen” variety. That’s what I get when the smell of something allergy-inducing invades my space. Like black pepper. Or coriander and it’s counterpart, tarragon. Or … well, let’s just say I could do this all day.
Now, some of the other wonderful smells that make me stop breathing are things that used to breathe underwater. Like shrimp, scallops, and other theoretically yummy shellfish.
Imagine the joy of eating in a restaurant and the guy in the booth behind ya gets blackened scallops. Might as well call 911 when putting the order up for the cook.
Or better yet, blackened steak. See …
There’s the “other end” of anaphylaxis. Took doctors decades to acknowledge that this is real. Then suddenly it happened to one of their kids or something like that.
Let’s say someone with one of these protein-based allergies somehow ingests some of that stuff. This can happen in a myriad of ways … some accidentally ends up in your food, probably because the chef didn’t clean the grill as asked. Or when you think you’re safe by ordering smoked pork chops, the restaurant pours beef au jus on top for tenderness and flavor. Or my personal favorite, some of it just happens to be flying through the air because your roommate or family member cooks using high temperatures to sear the meat and leave the inside juicy rare.
Again, if you’re lucky, you just swell up and can’t breathe. Or you could be like we unlucky few, who get “gastrointestinal anaphylactic reactions”. Basically the body goes into purge mode from both ends for about 24 hours. In this case, I’ve had as much as 20 minutes before it starts, or somewhere under 10 seconds.
Let’s just leave it at the notion that I’m never allowed at that hibachi restaurant again, shall we?
Wasn’t that appetizing, and getting y’all ready for a fantastic recipe?
See, I wasn’t always allergic to beef. I used to love beef. Like quickly pass it over the fire, kinda like dancing through the flames for a few seconds, and I’d consider it cooked.
Until my thirties, I could pre-medicate and enjoy some of these delightful foods.
But then suddenly those days were over. Remember the dry socket story in the pain scale post? Before those !?#% dry sockets, beef was f’awesome. After them, well, things got messy.
So there are a few things I miss. One of them is corned beef.
Meaning I had to come up with substitutes for some of the beefy things I miss most.
So here’s how I make cornless and beefless corned beef hash …
- 1/2 pound Butter
- 1-2# Ham
- Deep pot
- Put the butter in the deep pot, on medium-low to melt but not bubble or separate.
- Dice 3 good-sized potatoes, like the size of lumberjack fists.
- Put the taters in the butter, mixing around every five to seven minutes to keep the taters from mushing while getting them to cook to a beautiful “translucent” state. This takes about 40 minutes.
- While that’s happening, dice the ham. The extra is because I know you’re going to eat some. I certainly do. That’s the fun part of being the cook!
- When the taters are translucent, turn the heat up to medium-high, moving them around the pan frequently to turn crispy brown on the outside. The butter will also start to brown.
- This next step is why you need the deep pan … lots of messy spluttering and spilling will happen if you use any pan shallower than about 5″. Six or 8″ is better.
- Quickly toss in the (remaining) ham, and move everything around in the pan quickly to get the meat hot throughout, covering it with the brown butter, and melting some of the fat so it quickly coats the taters. This takes 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, pass out the spoons, and enjoy. Maybe your family is fancy enough for bowls at the table with napkins and such, but when it comes to this stuff, sometimes (usually) we ain’t.