Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire


As a cooking freak, this looks soo good!  I mean, really?  A grilled cheese with ham, bechamel AND a fried egg???!!?? I feel a post and a meal coming on……


April 6, 2014 Posted by | Main Dish, Sandwich | Leave a comment


When I rashly decided to start up this blog again, I figured out why it’s actually good for an amateur cook to have one of these things once so aptly explained as, “Never have so many with so little to say said so much to so few” – It keeps us cooking.  I haven’t thought about, tried or looked for new dishes in the past year more than I have in the past week or so.

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Random Blather | Leave a comment


Bill Buford talks about this and gives his recipe in his fantastic book, Heat.  He’s fairly specific, not perfect with the recipe, but close enough to make it at home.  I did the requisite Google search for the recipe and what others have done.  NEVER EVER did I find someone who followed the recipe from the book – not even the German page I had to translate.  Look for a post soon where I do the AUTHENTIC Tuscan-Buford recipe.

UPDATE: 8:20 PM Friday night.  It’s in the oven.

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Main Dish, Random Blather | Leave a comment



So this is my BLT Salad.  Sure, it looks just how you would expect a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad to look like – Bacon, Lettuce & Tomatoes.  Of course, the obvious choice to capture the bread component of a BLT is croutons, summarily added.  But what about the mayonnaise?  As any self-respecting sandwich lover knows, most sandwiches are really just mayonnaise delivery vehicles.  For a BLT salad, we need a mayo based dressing, of course.  But, what kind of mayo dressing?  How about a mayo dressing made with BACON fat?

Stop.  Just stop.  We should all take a moment of silence and contemplate that.

Bacon Mayonnaise.

So, with a 1/3rd of a cup of bacon fat, another 1/3rd of canola oil and a fresh, free range (honest free range, I know the supplier by name) egg yolk, – I went to Mayo-town.  Whisking away like taste depended on it (and it did) I created a bacon mayo.  So rich, so creamy…so rich!  I added some whole grain dijon mustard and champagne vinegar to thin it out.

The next day, I composed the salad and added the dressing.  The dressing was soooooo rich and filling, I couldn’t finish the salad and like I said, I was bloated and sick all afternoon.  I think I’ve found veggies I like.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Bacon, Salads | Leave a comment


Oh, so many years ago when I was an micro-popular blogger, my best friends introduced me to blogger who had left us prematurely.  Her name was Sherry.  Seeming fairly wonderful, there was a “Cook a Sherry Special” I missed because of familial obligations.  I gave my marker and a few days later, made good on that marker – with a kids alphabet soup!  Enjoy a blast from my past – I did and I will, too.

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Random Blather | Leave a comment


Dare I say it’s the first salad that left me bloated and sick?  My motto is when you eat at my house if you don’t leave bloated and sick – I didn’t feed you enough.  This salad fed me enough…..

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Salads | Leave a comment


OK, so I tried some BLT recipes,  I was thinking about a BLT stuffed tomato – I mean, how could that be bad?  Well, it wasn’t, that’s for sure, but maybe it needed a bit more umph than I added.  I cut off the top of five tomatoes and scooped out the guts.  I then squeezed the guts to get as much juice as possible and then strained the mix to just have the juice.  The last time I added this to the stuffed tomato mixture, it made it too wet and the stuffing was like cement.  So, I reduced it down over medium heat until it was just half of what I started with.  I had some day old rosemary bread I made into bread crumbs, mixed them with the tomato juice and a bit of olive oil.  Oh, I had also cooked up 1/3 pound of bacon and chopped it into small pieces – that was added also.  I then stuffed the tomatoes with the bacon/bread mixture.

I also made polenta – Corn meal cooked in water for hours.  So good…..I added Parmesan cheese and salt at the end and it was just corny yummyness.  Of course, my family hated it – their loss.  Add some roasted chicken legs and this is what it all looked like


Yeah, it was great.  I made a sauce of caramelized onions, sweet vinegar and reduced chicken stock.

Tomorrow – BLT salad with a bacon mayo dressing!

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Side Dish, Vegetables | Leave a comment

Preserved Lemons – iliketocook

Preserved Lemons – iliketocook In one of my past lives, I was a food blogger…and a pretty good one, for a while.  Before that, I was a political blogger and a pretty good one at that, too – but that was like two or three lives ago.  In my past foodie life, I was just a piker until I found a fantastic lady from Canada who inspired me and along the way I harassed her into recognizing me as a human being/blogger.  That got her friends to see me and then, for a short while, I was a real food blogger.  I let life get in the way and dropped out.  She, on the other hand, let life get in the way but had the tenaciousness to hang on and she is still a darling in the bloggy world I once inhabited.  And the blogosphere is better off for it.  This is one of her first blog posts that mentions the pest from New Hampshire….

March 28, 2014 Posted by | Appetizer, Best Friends, Side Dish | Leave a comment


OK, thinking BLT stuffed tomatoes. The filling has to be loose when cooked and this is what I’m thinking:

• Bread crumbs
• Cooked Bacon
• Cheese (dare I say optional?)
• Mayo or Olive oil (Mayo gets a bit gross when warm)
Served on a bed of lettuce (maybe with mayo on the lettuce?)

What do you think?

March 25, 2014 Posted by | Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish | Leave a comment

Two Fat Ladies

So sad this week when I heard of Clarissa’s death.  When I first found the Food Network in 1999, one of the shows that inspired me was Two Fat Ladies.  Really, how could you hate a show like that?  I guess if you’re one of those unhappy joggers that we see on the road, maybe they wouldn’t like it – I mean, the girls are happy, overweight and cooking good food.  May God wrap his arms around Jennifer and Clarissa – and I hope he has a nice dinner, too.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | Random Blather | Leave a comment