Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sympathy for the Vampire

According to Keith Richards’ former bodyguard and drug dealer, Richards’ longtime paramour Anita Pallenberg was “obsessed with black magic and began to carry a string of garlic with her everywhere — even to bed — to ward off vampires.” That further nixes the vampire rumor that Richards started when he said he had his blood drained and replaced (a comment he tossed out to shut up the paparazzi).

In his brilliant autobiography, Life, Richard devotes two pages to preparing the perfect bangers (sausages) which is essentially, “Throw them on low heat and let the f*ckers rock gently.”

Although he’s been cooking bangers all his life, a lady on TV taught him that the pan should be cold when the bangers are added. “Preheating agitates them, that’s why they’re called bangers,” the Rolling Chef explains “Very slowly, start them off cold. And then just be prepared to have a drink and wait. And it works. It doesn’t shrivel them up; they’re plump. It’s just a matter of patience.”

Richards is less specific on mash -- “mash yer spuds and whatever.” So in honor of Keef (and Pallenberg), I’ve included my go-to recipe for garlic mash which comes from from Alton Brown.

3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups half-and-half
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6 oz. grated Parmesan

Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.

Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture and Parmesan; stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

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