Oh, I know Yakov, is Russian, not Hungarian, but when was the last time you saw this dude?  You need a little Yakov in your life.

Oh, I know that Yakov is Russian, not Hungarian; but when was the last time you saw this dude? You need a little Yakov in your life, and you sure as shit ain't going to Branson.

The Midwest, United States of America.  A shocked public was shocked this past week by the shocking news that beloved chef, blogger, and inventor of the HAM radio, The Chef’s Prerogative, had passed away while visiting his parents in the Midwest over the holidays.  Details were sketchy at first, and initial reports of excessive Skyline Chili consumption as the cause of death proved exaggerated, if only slightly.  It was only today that Midwest coroner, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, delivered the details surrounding the demise of the internet sensation and notorious woman-pleaser.  “Unfortunately,” Dr. Noisewater concluded, “The Chef’s Prerogative, though handsome and virile, succumbed to an acute case of ‘Holy Shit, It’s Really Fucking Cold Here.'”  Noisewater answered no questions at the press conference, but did end the proceedings with a final, cryptic, note: “One wonders,” he ruminated, “why such a handsome and virile chef, so adroit at concocting delicious and delectable fare, would not have attempted to steel himself against the cold with a fortifying dish of stew or soup.”  Then, after a lengthy pause, continued: “Well, now I’m really hungry for soup.”

"Yes, we're still looking into whether or not excessive handsomeness played some part in TCP's untimely demise."

"Yes, we're still looking into whether or not excessive handsomeness played some part in TCP's untimely demise."

Interviews with witnesses to the comings-and-goings of the Doug Beard award* winner were less than helpful in painting a picture of the chef in his final, bone-chilled days.  “I saw him in here at the pool hall the other day,” said one heavily tattooed man, “and I don’t know how that pretty-boy cooked, but he sure could play a mean game of 9-ball.”  “You know that movie The Color of Money?” the man continued, “Where that guy goes around with that broad and that old guy, hustling people?  Well, I can tell you right now that The Chef’s Prerogative was even prettier than that broad.”  When reached for comment, the people who knew him best, his parents, were introspective.  “I’m sorry, who are we talking about, now?” said his father, before being apprised of the situation.  “Does this mean we can stop sending him money?” His mother was more optimistic, and looked towards the future: “At least now he has an opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a zombie samurai.  And not one of those slow George Romero zombies, either; I’m talking a 28 Days Later, Usain Bolt-speed zombie.  With a samurai sword.”  Fans and deciples of the blogger no doubt eagerly anticipate his zombie reign.  His sweet, sweet zombie reign.


If the above scenario frightened you to your very core, then I have done my job – I have adequately warned you of the dangers of what the NOAA calls “Freezing Your Balls Off.”  Tens of millions die from this affliction every year, and while there’s no known cure, there are some simple steps one can take to ensure that one won’t end up a statistic**: (1) moving to Malibu; (2) drinking scotch; (3) if you’re a pretty lady, putting your hands somewhere warm, like down my pants; (4) killing yourself; and/or (5) fortifying your constitution with a hearty meal of meat, gravy, and meat.  Since you’re already on a food blog, let’s explore that last one in depth, shalln’t we?

Speaking from experience, living or visiting cold environments, while not without its charms, is far from ideal.  Sure you get drunk more quickly when you’re up in the Rockies, but if you pass out on your walk home from the bar, you die.  Likewise, Christmas in Chicago is a treat for the senses; or at least it would be if your senses didn’t have frostbite.  And, while Michigan gets to enjoy watching an actual college football team once a year every November, they also have to live knowing that the cold they experience is God turning its back on their terrible state.  Regardless of the location, being in the cold requires special maintenance through dress, drink, and, more pertinent to the interests of this blog, food.  A good, hearty meal goes a long way toward not only fortifying the body, but also soothing the soul weary of bone-chilling temperatures.  And, as a registered scientist, I can rightly say that goulash, of all the hearty recipes I know, scores highest on the “Food-Based Physiological Fortification” scale.

How God sees the United States.  I, too, am puzzled as to why He doesn't like Oregon.  Probably has something to do with sodomy - he hate that shit.

How God sees the United States. I, too, am puzzled as to why He doesn't like Oregon. Probably has something to do with sodomy - he hates that shit.

If you’ve ever been to Hungary, you no doubt have an acute awareness as to why goulash became the country’s national dish.  Gray skies, sub-freezing temperatures, and killing tourists for sport all cry out for a stick-to-your ribs meal at the end of the day.  And, if the cold weather and specter of Communism aren’t enough incentive to make goulash, the fact that its main ingredient is pork butt should.  Plus, are you really going to argue about food with a country named “Hungary”?***

Russle You Up Some Of These Here Ingredients:

Pork butt
Chilies and Peppers
Seasoning: smoked paprika, Nick Caraway seeds, Oregano, Salt, Pepper
San Marzano tomatoes
Red wine vinegar
Rice (basmati is good, mostly because “basmati” is fun to say)
Sour cream

Commence With The Making Warm Of The Belly:

I don’t know why I keep subjecting you to recipes which take a brillion hours to make, but it’s not like you have anything better to do, Mr. I’ve-Watched-The-ShamWow-Infomercial-Twenty-Five-Times, so maybe simmer down a little, mkay?  Make yourself a pitcher of martinis, put on some Count Basie, and while away a few hours on a cold, cloudy day by manufacturing a big pot of delicious.  The first thing we need to do is score the fat on the pork.  I give mine a “9.8,” but feel free to assess yours according to its own individual characteristics.  Once your pork is scored, season it with salt and pepper, and put it fat side down in an oiled dutch oven, all the while thinking about how dirty that sounded.  Cook for about 15 minutes on medium, then remove the pork and set it aside.  Toss in your other seasonings, along with diced onion, and cook over low heat for ten minutes.  Put the pork back in the pot and add the peppers and tomatoes.  Add enough water to just cover the pork, and bless it with a little vinegar.  Bring to a boil, put the lid on, then throw the pot in an oven preheated to 177 degrees, Celsius.

Paper towels?!?!?  What, are you some kind of motherless fucking douchebag?!?!?  You gettin' this, camera guy?

Paper towels?!?!? What, are you some kind of motherless fucking douchebag?!?!? You gettin' this, camera guy?

In about three hours or so, you’re going to realize a few things: (1)  vodka martinis are fucking delicious; (2) your home is now perfumed with the wonderful aroma of pork and peppers; (3) you definitely should not have called your ex girlfriend after all those martinis; and (4) the movie Major League is maybe the best movie ever made about the Cleveland Indians and their ex-showgirl-turned-owner, Rachel Phelps, and their improbable run to the 1989 AL Pennant.  Make some rice in a pot (unless you have one of those fancy rice cookers, in which case, go punch yourself in the face – only because I can’t do it through the internet.)  Make a flavor-packed condiment by taking some sour cream and adding lemon zest and parsley; this will not only give your goulash a nice, creamy texture, but will also make it taste like sour cream, lemon zest, and parsley.  To plate, take your pulled-apart meat, the rice, and your sour cream mixture, and throw all that shit on a plate (after all, hungary is to stylish plating as I am to not calling ex girlfriends after too many martinis.)  Then sit back with a nice big helping of your goulash, stoke the fire, and give your tummy a great, big food hug.


*James’ lesser known brother.
**Unless you’re going to be included in a statistic like “Number of People Who Died By Drowning In A Sea Of Gravure Models.”  Because that would be an awesome statistic to be.  In fact, One out of every one The Chef’s Prerogative believes that this very scenario is the best way to die.
***You’ve gotta be kidding me if you thought this blog was above such an obvious and unfunny joke.  After all, I majored in “obvious and unfunny” at blog school

Yeah, "death by gravure models" beats "death by Baconator OD" by a landslide.

Yeah, "death by gravure models" even beats "death by Baconator" by a landslide.