Big Daddy’s House with Aaron McCargo
Keep me in Bed
Super-Stuffed French Toast
Eggscellent Bean and Beef Burrito
Big Daddy Parfait
Getcha Goin' Grits
Aaron’s making breakfast, something special for his wife. He’s making a bean and beef burrito. (That’s a rather substantial start to the day. If he brings her all that food in bed, he may need a crane to get her out of there.)
He puts refried bean into a bowl with a bit of sour cream and then zaps it for 2 minutes in the microwave. He shows us 6 eggs in a big bowl. He chops a small onion and a poblano pepper finely along with some garlic.
Aaron opens up one pound of hamburger meat. He heats oil in a pan and adds the meat. It hits the pan with a big sizzle. He stirs it around and adds the vegetables with a lot of seasoning.
Aaron adds pepper to the eggs and whips them, telling us the more air you whip into them the fluffier they’ll be. He snips in some chives for “hidden onion flavor and eye appeal”. He adds a little oil to a nonstick pan. He pours in one ladle worth of beaten eggs and twists and turns the pan to makes crêpes. “Eggs, like my wife in the morning need(s) to be handled gently.” He says to get the egg crêpe as close to the edge as possible and then he flips it beautifully.
“Let’s start building this bad boy.” Oh, this reminds me of an absolutely fantastic Julia recipe – I call it crêpe pie. Julia made a gâteau by stacking up crêpes in a buttered soufflé dish, alternating different fillings made from all kinds of bits and pieces. I often use leftover chicken in a white sauce and then a piperade type of thing with onions and peppers sautéed with diced tomatoes. I top the whole thing with another crêpe and then cover it with a Mornay sauce and bake it and serve it in wedges. I often use tortillas instead of crêpes or sometimes I use eggs, like Aaron is doing. It’s fantastic!
Back to Aaron, he’s making a variation of a traditional burrito. He places tortillas on a board and spoons some refried beans in the middle. Then he adds some meat on top and then Colby cheese. He brings in the sides and rolls it up from the bottom. Then Aaron rolls the whole thing in an egg pancake. He places it on a dish and tops it with more cheese. (Wasn’t there a Taco Bell-something like this, which was a tortilla wrapped around a taco?)
It goes into the microwave for 3 minutes. He puts a little salsa down the middle and a dollop of sour cream on each one. He garnishes it with some long pieces of chives. He tastes and exclaims “Baby, I know why you love me.”
I would have preferred if he had scrambled the eggs and added them to the inside of the tortilla, and just completely forgot about the meat. But I guess he knows the Mrs.
He moves on to super stuffed French toast. He starts with fresh ½ inch slices of brioche. He mixes together 6 jumbo eggs, with a lot of vanilla - 2 tablespoons for 6 eggs - ¼ cup heavy cream, a heavy teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ cup sugar and a pinch of salt.
Just a minute, here, folks. WHY is Aaron using jumbo eggs? Remember how we always have the same issue with Ina with extra large eggs? Here’s the chart again. It doesn’t even HAVE 6 jumbo eggs on it. Luckily, for this recipe the measurement isn’t critical. I would just use 7 or 8 large eggs.
Okay, this is not good…what’s about to happen. I’ll tell you in a sec. He beats the eggs. He brushes the eggs around the edges of half of the pieces of bread. He presses the center down to make a bit of an indentation. THEN, this is the bad part, he puts 3 spoonfuls of CANNED CHERRY PIE FILLING in the center. He tops it with a slice of the brioche which has been brushed with the egg. He presses the whole thing together.
He repeats the same thing with APPLE canned pie filling. Then he dips the entire assembly into the eggs to coat the outside. Aaron places them on a hot griddle. Oh, that’s a panini press type griddle. He cooks them for 6 to 8 minutes. He smears the syrup from the cans on the plate and plates the French toast. He covers them with powdered sugar that’s been mixes with cinnamon. He garnishes with strawberries and a mint leaf.
Okay, let’s get real here. Cooking canned pie filling between 2 pieces of bread is NOT what I signed up for in watching this show. I don’t mind fast. I don’t mind easy. But I do mind CRAP.
For his grits, Aaron heats 1½ cups water and 1½ cups milk with a pinch of salt over medium high heat in a covered saucepan. He places the container of instant grits near the stove to be at the ready.
Aaron dices 4 or 5 slices of bacon. He’s using it as a salt and fat substitute. He chops ½ onion very finely (and very nicely) and slices scallions. He adds the bacon to a hot pan. He renders the fat and then adds the onions. The bacon starts to get crispy. He adds black pepper.
He stirs 1½ cups of grits into the boiling liquid. He cuts a huge amount of American cheese off a huge block and dices it into small cubes. He adds it to the grits and stirs well. He adds the bacon mixture, which looks particularly good and stirs in the scallions. He pours it into a bowl. To add a bit of color, he slices some pepper rings and fits a bouquet of parsley inside them to garnish the plate.
There was a really good Scotch Brite commercial about 2 guys that have their own Iron Chef cook off and use the occasion to raise money for something or other. They were charming. Plus the food looked good (monkfish) and the loser gets to clean the kitchen with Scotch Brite sponges. Here's another really funny one.
Back to Aaron, he’s finishing up with a parfait. He grabs a huge martini glass. He drains yogurt through paper towels. I prefer cheesecloth. “This is going to be a dance party in your mouth when we’re done.” He prepares fruit, lots of fruit - 1½ pints of strawberries, blackberries, bananas and blueberries. He zests an orange and adds it to ¼ cup coconut flakes and some sugar. He chops up pineapple.
To assemble, Aaron adds granola to the bottom of the dish, then yogurt, then fruit, yogurt, granola, blackberries, yogurt and finally blueberries and then strawberries and bananas. He sprinkles over the coconut mixture. He mixes whipped cream with the pineapple and spoons that on top and tops the whole thing with a strawberry and mint. “It’s a circus” after he tastes.
Wait, there’s more bad news. I check the tape, because I thought I spied something strange. Yup, there it is. I check the recipe and it says, “1 (8-ounce) container whipped cream (recommended: Cool Whip) “ Cool Whip can only be “recommended” if you’re making a list of things to be banished from the face of the earth, not to use with 5 pounds of fresh gorgeous fruit. There is no reason in the entire world to use Cool Whip. If this trend continues, I may have to reconsider the potential of Ms. “Fine-Dining” as a cooking show host.
Aaron ends the show with, “I told you I was gonna make you want what I got, but the only way you’re gonna get it is to make it yourself.” Fair enough, but I’m leaving out the Cool Whip and canned pie filling.