The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Adventures in Osmazome, Pt. 1

In my eternal quest for the quintessence, I make certain astonishing discoveries. It is my duty to disclose them, for the benefit of mankind. My latest, which will appear in the forthcoming Volume 5 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is

Crème Rouge Praecox (for steak): Broil or grill a steak, however you want to. Meanwhile, sauté a finely minced shallot in a pat of butter; add, oh, about 2 tsp of Better Than Boullion beef stock and a splashlet of liquid smoke, stir; add about ½ cup of red wine, reduce 2/3 or so; turn down to low heat and add about 3 tbsp of crème fraiche and stir until you have a nice pink sauce. Serve over the steak and whatever’s on the plate with the steak. Mmmmmmm … osmazome. (You could certainly add parsley to this, and/or garlic, if you wanted.)

Then, the next day, you can have

Minnesota Multiphasic Steak-and-Egg Salad: Hard boil a couple eggs and chop them up; mix the eggs with a hunk of leftover steak, also chopped up finely; moisten with Kraft Real Mayonnaise (very important—other brands of Mayo are too sweet and taste disgusting, but you already knew that), Worcestershire sauce, a splashlet of Liquid Smoke, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Here’s some other mischief I’ve been up to the last couple weeks:

Scallops of Eternal Peril: Cook 3 or 4 slices of fatty, good-quality bacon (I like Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked bacon), remove from pan; pour off all but a tbsp or two of bacon fat and saute a finely minced shallot or two in it; after a minute add a cup or so of Trader Joe’s frozen green peas (straight from freezer) and stir-fry until done; coarsely chop the bacon and remove to a bowl with the peas/shallots; sauté about a pound of thawed Trader Joe’s frozen scallops in the same pan until they are lightly gold on each side; meanwhile in a separate saucepan mostly reduce about half a cup of white wine or vermouth and mix with crème fraiche and some grated parmesan, and add about a tbsp of homemade pesto to make a light green, mildly basil-ey sauce. Spoon the peas/bacon/shallot mixture over and among the scallops and spoon the sauce over the top. Holy shit.

Crab Cakes of Cthulhu (I got this one from Ctharen McCthinstry): Whisk together 1 egg white, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp flour, and 1/8 tsp cayenne or red pepper in a large bowl; stir in ¼ of a red pepper, minced, and some minced chives (optional); then mix in 1 lb canned crab meat (“Deluxe” or “Claw” doesn’t matter, but claw you might want to chop a bit first); form into smallish flattened balls (palm sized); heat about ¼ to 1/3 inch of peanut oil in a pan over high heat; once good and hot, place cakes gently in oil with a metal spatula and fry until golden brown on the bottom, turn carefully using the spatula with a metal spoon, cook til brown on the other side; remove from oil; serve hot with Marie Rose sauce (below).

Marie-Rose Sauce of the Mountains of Madness: about 2 parts Kraft Real mayo, 1 part catsup, and ½ part prepared horseradish. Adjust until perfect (should be not too catsupey, not too mayonnaisey, but just right).


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

One Response to “Adventures in Osmazome, Pt. 1”

  • I’m impressed by your liquid smoke usage.