I went to school yesterday for the first time since my last substitute teaching gig in 1983.
Funny, I don't remember the desks being that small.
I will say this. Watching Doctor Lloyd in action at work was a real treat. He's an outstanding educator.
Doc Lloyd and his counterparts were entered in a chili cooking competition at the school. Everybody involved in the department had an assignment as to what to bring.
While others bought in place settings, linens, candles, glasses, etc., it fell on Doc to bring in the entree. With me being here that meant it would be a team effort.
Thursday night, Doc and I got to work.
Doc picked up the meat, I picked up some produce and it was "Game on!".
By the time Doc got home, I'd taken care of chopping, dicing, and mincing the vegetables.
Doc got out a sharp blade and deftly trimmed the beef tenderloin.
Filet mignon in chili?
The good Doctor and I play for keeps when it comes to ANY cooking competition.
While Doc was trimming the meat, I set about sauteing the vegetables. For the record I used five different types of peppers: Sweet bell peppers (Red, Gold, and Green), Serrano peppers, Jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, and Ancho peppers. All were seeded. Pepper seeds hold a lot of the heat, but they also can make chili bitter.
We seared the now trimmed filet chunks in a bit of garlic infused butter.
When cooking, flavor counts at every level.
Doc's secret recipe chili powder soon came into play along with the tomato paste.
A little white wine and water were added to deglaze the pot.
Pretty soon it was time for the crushed Jersey tomatoes and beans. With the pot set to simmer, Doc and I grabbed a couple of Scotch and sodas and shifted into the stirring mode.
We were pretty satisfied with the chili. The next day, at 12:15 pm, would be the acid test.
As I said earlier, the other teachers in the department were responsible for setting up the table.
They did a magnificent job.
The judges were members of the Administration. Doc wanted to make sure they understood the process, so he created this chart to aid them as they dined.
No, the sign wasn't wrong. We did indeed serve butter poached lobster tail on top of the chili. The sweetness of the lobster offset the spiciness of the chili beautifully.
You've just got to love lobster tail. You can serve it on a plate of turds and people will tell you, "Why, that's the best plate of turds I've ever had.".
We ran into one small problem shortly before the judges arrived. Not a one of us are smokers. Nobody had a lighter or matches to light the candles.
Fortunately, Jim came up with a novel solution.
Candles lit, we were ready for the judges.
The judges were extremely happy with the outcome.
The best barometer of how well we did came after the judges left. Word got out that we had a major pot of great chili in the classroom. Teachers and administration came down throughout the afternoon to have a bowl or take a container home with them.
One teacher only had a couple plastic popcorn containers (complete with the red and white stripes) she could use.
They were so full Doc remarked, "She'd better hope the tide doesn't come in or she'll be wearing it.".
Oh, and by the way.......we took first prize. Again.
That's just how Doc Lloyd and I roll when it comes to cooking, especially in a competition.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Especially my good friends in Memphis. Remember guys and gals God put the ice there, let him clean it up.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.
I Know DKDC
3 days ago