Culinary Compost Boycotts Penzeys Spices


Hello fellow foodies. After reading recent commentary from Bill Penzey, the author of Culinary Compost is officially withdrawing all references to Penzeys Spices on this food blog. While I’ve always known that Bill overtly inserts his political opinion in monthly mailings to his customer base, (which, in its own right is wrong on so many levels,) I can no longer stand by and let this man spew his rhetoric of hate to conservatives, and to people who support and voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, by labeling them “racist.”

I am not a racist. I never have been. And I resent being called one.

This is extreme-left socialism, and this kind of bigotry has no place in America.  Make no mistake — my observation is not one of Conservatives vs. Liberals. It is simply a stance of the author not supporting an individual who wants to further divide this country through hate by means of his product.

Shown below are a few articles and a link to Penzey’s official Facebook page:

http://truthfeed.com/owner-of-penzeys-spice-co-trashes-trump-supporters-calling-them-racist-and-saying-they-must-be-punished/39315/

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2016/11/21/penzeys-ceo-comments-ignite-backlash-praise-and.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/23/bill-penzey-ceo-trump-voters-just-committed-the-bi/

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/bill-penzey-spices-trump/

http://modernfarmer.com/2016/11/penzeys-spices-condemns-trump-attracts-rage/

https://www.facebook.com/Penzeys/?fref=ts

 

You be the judge.  Last time I checked, America was still a free country. And my readers, of course, are still allowed to shop where they want and exercise their right to free speech, which I will always respect. However, pitting people against each other in the guise of “Love” is a ruse by Bill Penzey, who’s only concern is making as much money as he can over a very contentious election.  Funny thing is, he’s pissed off a lot of his customers, and I, for one, will not be coming back.

Invariably, comments by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke say it best:
https://twitter.com/SheriffClarke/status/800088603422380033
“This typical hate-filled white elitist lefty doesn’t live around black people or have stores in black neighborhoods.”

Bill Penzey can be reached at bill@penzeys.com

#boycottpenzeys

 

In the interest of an open discussion, leave your thoughts below – none will be censured.
—Mike from Culinary Compost

Bill Penzey's Socialist Sea Salt

Penzey’s Spices announces new product.

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Creamy Mushroom Risotto


Creamy Mushroom Risotto | Culinary Compost Recipes

Carefully cook the Arborio rice until al dente, so it retains a firm, creamy texture.

This is a comforting, hearty Italian recipe loosely based on several by Mario Batali and Ina Garten. You’ll note that in my version, the process and ingredients are simplified. This recipe makes a wonderful side dish. It can also be served as a main course meal with a nice, crusty Italian bread and butter or XV olive oil for dipping.

You don’t need to constantly stir the risotto in order for it to turn out correctly. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 tbs. XV olive oil
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 small white onion, diced
1 strip bacon, diced
1/2 pound sliced and stemmed crimini mushrooms
1.5 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
48 oz. chicken stock
1/2 stick salted butter
2 tbs. minced flat-leaf Italian parsley, OR  4-6 stalks minced fresh summer chives
2 leaves fresh Italian basil, minced (optional)
Kosher salt to taste, about 1 tsp.
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh-grated hard Parmesan cheese (plus a bit extra for serving)

 

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the chicken stock until simmering. In a large, heavy, 5-qt. cast-iron Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the diced bacon. Saute for two minutes until the fat starts to render out. Add 2 tbs. of the butter, the onion, garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute, until the onion is translucent, about five to seven minutes. Do not carmelize the onion or scorch the garlic.

Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat. Continue to stir for two minutes until the rice is very lightly toasted. Reduce heat on the Dutch oven to medium-low. Add the white wine, salt and pepper and continue to cook until reduced. Next add six ounces of the heated chicken stock to the rice and stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated. Continue to add stock in six-ounce increments, stirring occasionally, and cook for at least 25 minutes. At this point the rice should be cooked al dente and appear creamy.

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the remaining butter, parsley or chives, the basil and the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well to incorporate. Serve immediately in large bowls with more grated Parmesan cheese on top, as a garnish.

Serves 6

Creamy Mushroom Risotto | Culinary Compost Recipes

Adding the Arborio rice to the mushrooms, onion, garlic and bacon.

Sauteing the mushrooms, garlic and onion and bacon.

Sauteing the mushrooms, garlic and onion and bacon.

Wok-Seared Mongolian Beef


Wok-fried Mongolian Beef

This is a recipe based on a personal favorite from P.F. Chang’s Asian-Bistro restaurant, copycat’d by foodie genius Todd Wilbur.  I thought the amount of brown sugar was way overdone, so I reduced it to a half cup, and I decided to add a healthy kick of Thai chili.  Quick and easy preparation makes this a home run for busy families. It is also very economical – my total bill for the ingredients was $14.00. It will easily feed three people.

Enjoy—

Ingredients:
1 pound Angus top blade or flank steak, sliced perpendicular to the grain in 1/8″ strips
1/4 cup corn starch, packed and leveled
1/2 cup peanut oil for wok frying
2 Thai green chilis – stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced.
4 stalks scallion, trimmed and cut into 2″ chunks, then split lengthwise
2 cups quick-cook 5-minute white rice

For the Sauce:
1″ chunk fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
4 huge cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbs. dry Thai chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed and leveled
2 tbs. peanut oil

Preparation:
Slice the steak into 1/8″ strips and place in a shaker bag with the corn starch. Shake vigorously to coat the meat, ensuring the corn starch is evenly distributed.  Set aside.

Prep all of your ingredients so they are ready to go when needed – wok cooking is very fast – the entire cook time takes less than 7 minutes.

Prepare the sauce ingredients by heating 2 tbs. peanut oil over medium heat in a heavy pot – then add the garlic and ginger. Stir constantly to avoid scorching the garlic for three minutes.  Add the 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, soy sauce and dry Thai chili flakes. Increase heat and simmer for three more minutes until reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat an outdoor charcoal grill with enough coal for a medium-hot fire. Leave the coal in a center mound for direct heating under a cast-iron wok.
When the coals are white-hot, place the wok directly over the coals on a grilling grate. Add the 1/2 cup of peanut oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the sliced steak. Stir for three minutes with a Chinese spider strainer. Remove the steak and drain in a bowl lined with paper towels. Discard the peanut oil.

When drained, add the steak back to the wok – Stir for another two minutes until lightly browned. Add the sauce. Cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the scallion and green chile. Stir for one minute and remove from heat. Serve immediately over hot white rice.

Serves 4

Wok-fried Mongolian Beef

Wok-fried Mongolian BeefWok-fried Mongolian Beef

Savory Rice with Sautéed Carrot, Onion and Mushroom


This is a super-simple side dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and is very inexpensive. Pair it with grilled chicken, pork or salmon. Use real butter or it will not turn out.

Ingredients:

2 cups instant white rice (5-min)
2 cups water
1 heaping tbs. chicken base
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs. butter
1 small 4oz. can mushrooms, pieces and stems (with juice reserved)
1 medium carrot, washed, peeled and diced fine
1 small onion, minced
1 stalk scallion with greens, trimmed and thinly sliced

Directions:

In a sauté pan, fry the minced onion and diced carrot in butter over medium heat until tender, but not carmelized. Remove and put aside.

In a covered saucepan, bring the water and reserved liquid from the mushroom to a rolling boil, then add the chicken base, parsley, mushrooms, sautéed onion, carrot and the rice. Season to taste with black pepper.

Stir, remove from heat and let stand covered for five minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but not overcooked.
Before serving, add the scallion and gently fold in.

Serves 4.

Sticky Chicken


This savory recipe is from Emeril Lagasse. I’ve made it many times and my kids love it. The sauce is what sets this dish apart.

 

Ingredients:

1 three-pound fryer chicken cut into 8 pieces (or 4 large breasts)
3 tbs. Essence (Bayou Blast)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sliced yellow onion
1 cup sliced bell pepper
1 cup sliced celery
1 tbs. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed dry thyme leaves
12 oz. dark beer
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock (you may use up to four cups total)
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Steamed rice for serving
Chopped scallion as garnish

 

Directions:

Season the chicken generously with 2 tbs. Essence. Add the other tablespoon of the Essence to the cup of flour. Place the flour in a 1-gallon plastic bag and add the chicken to the bag. Shake the bag well to thoroughly coat the chicken with the flour. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on a plate to dry. Reserve the flour.

Heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a large iron skillet or Dutch oven to 320 degrees F. Brown the chicken in two batches, cooking 4 minutes on each side. Reserve the chicken on a clean plate lined with paper towel.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, pepper and celery to the hot oil and cook covered, 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 tbs. of the reserved flour to the pan and stir well. If the vegetables still have an oily appearance, add up to 2 tbs. more flour. Cook for 3 minutes and stir to prevent burning.

Add the beer and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves and chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and cover, simmering on low for 30 minutes or until the chicken begins to pull away from the bone and the sauce is reduced.

Using a slotted spoon, place the chicken in a serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately over steamed rice. The sauce should be very thick. If you need more stock, do not add more than two additional cups.

Cajun Fried Rice


Tabasco is a great all-American brand — which makes this Asian-inspired recipe even better.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced ginger
3 tsp. Tabasco sauce, divided
1/2 pound shrimp
3 eggs
1-1/4 tsp. salt, divided
3 tbs. peanut oil, divided
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cups cold cooked rice
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
3/4 cup frozen green peas
black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil, garlic, ginger and 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce. Mix well, stir in shrimp and set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs with 1/4 tsp. salt, remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce.

Heat wok or large skillet until hot; add 1 tbs. oil. When hot add the shrimp mixture. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes until shrimp is done. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add another tbs. oil to wok and when hot, add onion. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes and remove.

Heat the remaining 1 tbs. oil in wok; add egg mixture. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add cold rice and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, onion, bean sprouts, peas, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy Tabasco.com.

Wild Rice & Mushrooms


I was messing around one afternoon and came up with this recipe. The perfect side with a pork roast.

Ingredients:

2 cups long grain wild rice
4-1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (any kind)
1 clove mashed garlic
3-4 scallions, washed and chopped – with greens
1 tbs. fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

In a 2.5 quart dutch oven, bring the beef stock to a boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered.

While the rice is cooking, in a heavy skillet saute the mushrooms and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add the chopped scallion. Sautee until just tender. Do not overcook.

Combine the mushrooms, scallion and garlic with the rice, heat through covered for another ten minutes and serve.

Serves 4.