Friday, September 9, 2011

Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday from Chuck, an engineer by trade but really a passionate foodie.  Chuck and I used to have endless conversation about The Food Nework tv shows and their hosts as well as the food...I'm sure everyone around got to know about The Food Network whether they wanted to or not!

Name:            Chuck Papineau
Affiliation:     Coworker & Fellow Foodie
Occupation:      Studio Engineer
Location:        Mission Viejo, CA
Birthplace:      Detroit, MI

1.) What recipe do you consistently make at home?
When I was single years ago, soup was a constant in my kitchen.  My two favorites were split green pea and beef barley.  I loved the heartiness of these two soups, particularly in the winter.  I always enjoyed adding choice ham and beef pieces to each recipe.  These soups made for easy warm-up meals during the week.  I think I still have my “vat” that I cooked my soup in!  It was huge.

2.) Name three items you have in your refrigerator?
When I was single, I always had skim milk, cheese and half & half for coffee.  Jan has helped me become a much more refined foodie so I would now substitute fresh spring greens for the skim milk and keep the cheese and half & half.

3.) Tell me about your most memorable meal.
I have two most memorable meals, one good and one bad.  The good one was with my girlfriend (now wife) Jan at a small Italian trattoria in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.  All of the food was of the highest quality and very fresh.  It started off with a spring greens salad with heirloom tomatoes that were so sweet you could eat a bushel of them.  It continued on to a beautiful pecan encrusted piece of sole and was finished off with a piece of tiramisu that almost floated on its own it was so light.  The coffee with the tiramisu was fabulous as well.  The meal was followed with a long walk with Jan down beautiful tree-lined streets looking at some of the most beautiful older mansions metro Detroit.  The bad meal was a Valentine’s day dinner with Jan at the Van Dyke Place, a five star restaurant in Detroit that was converted from a French chateau style mansion.  Jan ordered an appetizer of Chinese Pot Stickers.  After eating part of the appetizer, she became violently ill and was stuck in the bathroom for an hour.  Jan has a nut allergy and it was determined that the pot stickers were sealed with peanut butter.  Although the food was very good, Jan’s horrible experience made this the worst meal I’ve ever had.

4.) What are your favorite restaurants and what do you order there?
Italian restaurants.  I always order the eggplant parmesan as a first meal.  It is my benchmark.  Otherwise, I tend to order seafood as I love fish cooked in a Mediterranean style.

5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
Some of the seafood I’ve had in Korea.  I would say that much of it I didn’t know what is was.  Their vegetables can also taste unusual as well.

6.) Of all the places you have traveled, which has the best food?
I have not traveled internationally much but I would say that I enjoyed seafood in Alaska the most.  Talk about fresh!  I will never forget some of the halibut I had there that was just caught earlier that same day.

7.) What is your drink of choice (alcoholic)?
That depends on the meal.  Most meals I tend to stick with a simple iced tea.  However, I always enjoy a wonderful Chianti with Italian food and a margarita with Mexican food.  A high quality hamburger usually demands a nice beer or ale, preferably Killian’s Red if it is available.  A Mediterranean seafood dish, like salmon, gets paired with a medium dry white wine.

8.) What is your ultimate dessert?
A kiss from my wife!  For a “food” dessert, I have moved away from heavier, calorie-laden items and go for something lighter.  Tiramisu that is on the light side is good.  I also enjoy miniature cannolis.  If a pecan pie is available, that is hard to turn down.  I just make sure to get a small piece.  Of course, dessert must be accompanied by coffee.

9.) What is a food/dish that reminds you of your childhood?
Stuffed green peppers.  My mother is part Polish and loved to cook certain traditional Polish meals.  The stuffed green peppers were simple yet very flavorful.  This meal, along with beef stroganoff, were cooked for me when I came home from college.  Nothing made me feel more relaxed!

10.) What is your go to meal for a dinner party?
I have never cooked for a dinner party but I can tell you what I like.  I’m a bit of a “grazer” so I enjoy small bits of everything.  My favorite foods at dinner parties are typically various cheeses with fruit, crusty bread and a nice white wine.  I absolutely adore cheese!  I tend to prefer chardonnay or pinot grigio with these foods.

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