Thursday, November 18, 2010

Treacle Tart: Harry Potter's Favorite......Yes, I get it! I'm a nerd.

©2010 John Houser III
If you are ridiculously obsessed with enjoy the Harry Potter series as I do, then you know that J.K Rowling created lots of imaginative foods for the kids of Hogwarts to eat. Foodstuffs like Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Cockroach Clusters and Nosebleed Nougat are just a few of the sweets enjoyed by our wizarding wunderkind. One item that is often thought of as made up but is actually a real dish (before the books) is the Treacle Tart.

I can hear you now "Treacle? That's totally a made up word?" Nope, it's real alright and its recipe is as old as Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem.

The Treacle Tart's predecessor was a mixture of honey and "medicinal" herbs and spices that the Romans used to fight sickness. Over time, as industrialization took hold, the recipe switched out the honey for the more affordable Treacle. What's Treacle you say? Tell us now goddammit you say? Well, Impatience McGhee, Treacle is a syrup that is left behind after sugar is processed. We call it Molasses here in America.

That's it? Yep. Kind of disappointing isn't it. Treacle sounds like it's something that is made by House Elves in the kitchens of Hogwarts castle, or at the very least an Oompa Loompa or two. But alack, no, it's just fucking molasses.

There is no reason to be disappointed though, molasses makes for great pies. The Shoo Fly Pie is made from molasses and people travel far and wide to find a place that makes a good one. Treacle Tarts and Shoo Fly pies are basically the same thing with slight differences. Let's just say that they're twins and The Treacle Tart is the evil twin.

It is evil because at some point in its development, the Treacle Tart got a bit sweeter with the addition of golden syrup (light treacle) and the subtraction of the regular Treacle. Some of today's modern recipes even leave the regular treacle completely out. This is not the recipe we will be going over today.

I have put golden syrup (light treacle) in my version but used black strap molasses (black treacle) to give it a deeper flavor. Yes. I'm using it because it sounds dirtier than regular molasses, but it also balances out the golden syrup in a way as to not make it cloying. Confused yet? Don't worry I'm here to help. I'll even teach you how to make a sweet pie crust.

*I do want to point out that the photos were taken during the first test run of the recipe. The final product will be a few shades lighter than the tart pictured. I know you are shocked, but I do test my recipes.

Treacle Tart
Recipe makes 2 pies
©2010 John Houser III
Sweet pie dough (Pate Sucree):
12 oz Flour
3 oz Sugar
zest of 1/2 of a Lemon
8 oz frozen butter chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 eggs
pinch of salt

1. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to mix together.

2. Add the butter and pulse until the flour mixture looks like cornmeal. See the picture below.

©2010 John Houser III
3. Add the eggs to the flour and pulse until combined. The dough should keep together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. If it doesn't stay together, add a teaspoon of water, pulse, and try again.

©2010 John Houser III

4. Turn out the dough and fold it over a few times to combine.

©2010 John Houser III

5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put the dough into the refrigerator. Let it sit there for at least an hour. While in the fridge, the flour sucks up the egg and hydrates making it sticky and bonding the dough together so when you roll it out later it doesn't crumble apart. Letting the dough sit is important.

©2010 John Houser III

And now, while the dough is chilling in the fridge..........

©2010 John Houser III


28 oz Golden Syrup (I used king syrup, but feel free to find whatever golden syrup you can find)
4 oz Blackstrap Molasses
6 oz Country Bread (baguette, Italian loaf- something dense) cut into cubes
3 Eggs
2 1/2 oz of Cream
8 oz Butter
1 Lemon- zested and juiced

Special Equipment:
Tart Pan
3 cups of dried beans
rolling pin
aluminum foil
bench scraper - not essential but great for dough cutting and clean up

1. Preheat your oven to 325°

2. Put the cubed bread onto the food processor and pulse until your bread crumbs are around the size of peas. Set them out to dry out a little more. There will be smaller and bigger pieces throughout, it's not a big deal.

Add caption

©2010 John Houser III
©2010 John Houser III

4. Now that you're all cleaned up, take the pie dough out of the fridge and pierce the bottom with a fork to create holes so the air will come out and not dome your crust.

©2010 John Houser III

5. As another precaution, rip off two pieces of aluminum foil and crinkle them up and open them back up. Place them on top of your dough as a barrier for the beans that you will use to weigh the dough down and keep it from doming up and ruining your beautiful crust.  

©2010 John Houser III

6. Lay your foil pieces criss crossed over the dough and fill with the dried beans.

©2010 John Houser III

7. Put the crust into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Set it on a cooling rack and don't touch it until it is completely cool. Keep your oven set on 325°.

©2010 John Houser III

8. While the pie crust is baking, melt the butter and cook it until the solids brown. Be careful here and watch the butter and keep it from turning black. Set it aside to cool a bit.

©2010 John Houser III

9. Mix your syrups together then add the warm butter, salt, lemon zest and juice. After they are combined, add the cream and then finally the eggs. Whisk together until homogeneous.

©2010 John Houser III

10. Toss the bread crumbs into the filling and stir until mixed through. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes so the bread crumbs can suck up the filling a bit.

©2010 John Houser III

11. Place your tart pan onto a sheet pan (it might bubble over), and then place your pan onto the top rack that has been pulled out. Fill your tart crust while it is on the rack. These kind of fillings are a pain in the ass to fill and walk across the room without spilling it all down the front of your shirt. Looks lovely doesn't it?

©2010 John Houser III

12. Let it bake for 1 hour. It will look something like this by the way.

©2010 John Houser III

13. Let this cool for at least 20 minutes. I find that it is best served a little warm. When it is warm, it's a bit of a pain to cut, but if you lightly (lightly!) wipe some grapeseed or vegetable oil (something neutral) on the blade of you knife before cutting, it will not get as gummy with treacle. Always wipe your knife off on a damp towel after every cut.

©2010 John Houser III

14. This is not a super sweet pie. I have found that it is complemented wonderfully by a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 Dobby and Winky can kiss my ass. They never made a Treacle Tart as good as this. Enjoy muggles!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's the great...... somethin?

 ©2010 John Houser III

So this recipe is something I'm posting because I posted a few pictures on my Facebook and Twitter pages and there has been a bunch of people asking what it was and how to make it. Well dear readers, don't say I never gave you anything.

The pictures in this blog are the originals I took last with my phone week when I made this, so please forgive their quality. They are not my usual step by step pics, but this recipe is so damn easy that there is no need for such rigmarole.

This dish is an interpretation of a general recipe by Dorie Greenspan that is outlined in her new book. She got this recipe from a friend and it's one of those recipes that is super versatile and open to many types of interpretation. I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to make a version of my own.

The original recipe called for a medium to large size pumpkin and that seemed a bit too bulky and precarious for me. All I needed was to pull this big ass pumpkin out of the oven and have it collapse on itself when it was moved for the baking tray to a serving dish. No thanks. So I've scaled the pumpkins down to mini guys that you can find easily in your local grocery mart, or farmers market.

You can use pumpkins or squash, either will be fine in this dish. I used these crazy little guys called red curry squash and a Siamese twin looking butternut squash that we got from our C.S.A. but any regular mini pumpkins or squash would work just as well.

So lets get to it. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Makin Bacon!

There are few things in this world as fun as smoking your own meat..... and then there is making Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon is one of nature's most expensive meats ($25 a pound) and a luxury that most people only have with Eggs Benedict when they go out for brunch. Also known as Back bacon or Irish bacon, Canadian bacon is actually unbelievably easy and cheap to make. Just like our friend Gravlax, Canadian bacon is a great first step into the world of charcuterie. Charcuterie, as previously mentioned, is the art of curing meats or vegetables. As with most curing techniques, Canadian bacon is cured with salt but there are also other flavors you can add that you will not find in the commercially made versions. This recipe will also call for you to order a special ingredient, but don't worry we'll get to that later. It's cheap and it will last forever and that's all you need to know now (hint: It's the Pink Salt).

Unlike Mr. Salmon that we cured in a dry rub, this pork loin will be cured in a brine. At its basic a brine is a saltwater solution that helps preserve meat, fish, or vegetables. When you add spices and herbs to it, a brine becomes an unlimited source of inspiration and an unstoppable way to add flavors to your food. The salt carries the flavors of the herbs and spices into the meat through osmosis (nerd alert!), penetrating deeper into the item being brined than just salting alone. The osmotic process also plumps up the cell wall of the meat with salt water making your meat almost impossible to dry out by over cooking.

There is no crazy technique needed in making back bacon. It takes care of itself and is pretty hard to screw up (unless you let it sit in your brine for longer than described). It really is all about patience. Most of the time, your bacon is will be out of sight and out of mind. The recipe takes 3 days to complete, and while this sounds daunting, it really means nothing more than your meat is chilling in the fridge. Even when it comes to the actual cooking, the pork just sits on your grill and soaks up smoke. You will do nothing more complicated than adding more wood chips to your smoker. So your total active time of cooking will be around 30 minutes over three days and it will yield you over 8 pounds of Canadian bacon. That works out to $200 worth of bacon for basically drinking beer and watching TV. I think that sounds pretty fucking awesome and if you do too then read on and let's get on with the bacon makin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yes, I wrote "going to the dogs"

Stuggy's Baltimore

Here is a link to an article that came out last week. I had fun researching it until I felt the need to puch anyone who uttered the word hot dog. Needless to say I will not be eating a hot dog anytime soon but my pain becomes your reading pleasure.

On a sad note, we had to leave out one of the places I covered in this article becaseu they closed. It sucked because they were by far the best hot dog shack in Baltimore. R.I.P. Weenie World, you will be missed.

After the jump I  have a few more photos of some of the "creations" I had to eat. Some were good, some were bad. Try to figure out which ones were which. Click on them for a bigger photo view. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baltimore Beer Week.

Hey kids, how've you been? I've been drunk. Want proof? Well then, here is a link to my article for B Free Daily about Baltimore Beer Week. They cut a bit out for the online version but you'll get the idea. Let me know what you thought. I'll have a new post up soon now that my blood alcohol level is back down to it's normal .13 .


Thursday, August 26, 2010

New (to you) article by me!

The link above will take you to an article that I wrote that came out 2 weeks ago. Yes, it's two weeks old, but nothing has changed. It's a round up of what our readers at B Free Daily think are the best crab items in Baltimore. Check it out. I hope you like it. Talk to you in a bit.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corn Pepper soup

So we're more than midway through summer and I know we should be bummed out, but I think this is the best time of the year. You might be saying to yourself "This fucking guy is crazy, nobody likes this time of year", but trust me my friends when I say that there is a lot to be happy for.

One of the greatest parts of this time of year is the unbelievable bounty from all of the farmers around us. There are so many amazingly good fruits and vegetables rocking right now that if you're not going to a farmers market you are seriously missing out. The weekly trip to the local supermarket has made us jaded to seasonal items that comparatively taste a million times better. Look, I'm not one for peacing out the Safeway, but when given the choice of the two, it's easy to pick the farmer's market when we're talking about buying meats, fruits, or vegetables. Seasonal foods are something we should all take advantage of while it's here. Why wouldn't we want to eat a tomato from some dude that lives 20 miles away and just picked it 7 hours ago? It's a hell of a lot better than from a big conglomerate that has had those tomatoes picked before ripe, shipped for days on a refrigerated container, and then piled up neatly at your local supermarket to sit for a few more days. That's not to say that I don't take advantage of the supermarket in the winter, but now, it's all about the local shit.

And this is what this recipe is all about. Right now there are two thriving crops for the local farmer: tomatoes and peppers. They grow like mad at this time of year. Ask anyone that has a small crop growing in their backyard.

Corn is ubiquitous this time of year. Farmers have tons of the stuff and sell it cheaply. This is good since most of us don't dare try to grow corn in our backyards. It would look a little odd in my small city backyard.
It goes without saying that peppers are easier to cultivate in your backyard. If you own a plant, then you know that they just grow and grow....... and they don't stop growing until October (which is when you make hot sauce) but at this time of the year it can become daunting to figure out what to do with all of the peppers that you have. That's what the recipe is for.

1 stick of butter (not pictured)
1 tablespoon cumin mix* (see recipe later) (also not pictured)
1 medium onion
5 Anaheim peppers
5 ears of corn
2 poblano peppers
1 quart of milk
2 cups of stock (I used chicken, but you can use vegetable)
2 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 small bunch of thyme

Now this may seem to be a pretty complicated soup but trust me when I say its not. It's not fancy, it's not technical, but it yields flavor that yells summer and makes you want to get into a fire hydrant (if you grew up in the city that is).

The hardest part of this recipe is the prep, and the hardest part is burning your food. What???? Yes, burn your food! It will make the dish smoky and deep. Burning your corn and peppers brings out a flavor that is vital to the dish and easy to do. "But I don't have my grill set up" you say. Well that doesn't matter. It's all done on the stove top. It may get a little smoky in your house, but it's a small price to pay for greatness.

So let's start:

1. Put your largest burner on high. Set two of your ears of corn across the grill of the burner and let it char. Once it's black, then you will flip it to a virgin side and let it get dirty as well. Repeat until all sides are charred. If your have an electric stove (I'm so sorry), you can char your corn under the broiler.

2. After your corn is charred, it's time for your poblano to get the fire treatment. All you have to do is the same technique that you used on the corn. Pepper plus stove top fire equals hell fire charred pepper.

But unlike the corn, what you want to do with the peppers after they are burnt up is to put them into a plastic zip top bag. Leave them there until you are actually cooking. This way the skin that you charred on the pepper will have separated from the flesh thus making it easier to peel off. When they are cool to the touch, peel and seed them. Chop them roughly.

Now that you have napalmed your main ingredients, you're ready to actually start your regular prep.

3. Grab your ears of corn and after they have been shucked, take your knife and cut the kernels off of the ear. A great trick to this is to cut your corn over a kitchen towel. If you've ever tried to cut corn on a flat surface you will know why I'm saying to cut it on a towel. Try it both ways if you want; and then send me an email about how you didn't want to listen to me and how you think I am a genius

Now that you have cut all of the kernels off of the ears, its time to scrape. It might seem like a trivial chore, but scraping the corn ears will get a lot of the corn essence into the dish. Just scrape your knife from one end of the ear to the other. Do it over a bowl and then wipe it into the corn kernels that you have masterly cut off.

4. Now that your corn cobs are spent, it's time to throw them away right? Wrong!! You want to cut up your cobs into thirds and toss them into a pot and cover them with your chicken stock (use a small pot!). Once submerged, turn your burner up until high and bring it to a boil and then turn down to a simmer (bubbles popping every few seconds). Let this simmer until you need to pour it into your vegetables.

5.  In a pot, (I use an enameled pot) melt your butter until it is bubbling and separated. Watch it until it turns a deep brown and gets a nutty smell.  

6. Throw in your onions, anaheims, and corn. Sauté the hell out of them until the onions are translucent. Once they are, you add your herbs, spice mixture, and chopped up roasted poblanos. Breathe easy, the hard part is over. Congratulate yourself with a cold beer.

7. Now it's time to add your corn infused stock. Pour your stock through a strainer to catch any corn cobs that will want to go swimming in your soup. Bring it to a boil and then turn it down to let it simmer for 10 minutes. .

8. After ten minutes it's time to add your milk. After the milk is added, DO NOT bring this soup up to a boil. It will make the milk separate ....... we don't want that. Just heat it up enough to be hot.

9. After the veg is soft you will want to take 1/4 of the veg mixture and puree the shit out of it. This will add body and a more "soupy" texture. You can skip this step; you will get a more "rustic" Yet, less flavorful soup.

Ladle out your beautiful soup into a bowl and sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top and then add some crushed tortilla chips. Finish it off with a bit more cheese and dig in. This is a great, cheap and hearty summer soup. It can also be made in the fall to help with feeding a lot of people for tailgating.

I hope you dig it. Cheers!!

You thought I forgot about the cumin mix didn't you. Here is the recipe.

2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed

Place your whole seeds into a hot pan and toast them until you can really start to smell them, or they start smoking. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Pulverize until it is a fine powder. It's now ready to use.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back from the dead!!

Yes, yes, I know..... I'm a bad blogger. Trust me when I say that I have a good reason (and no, it's not VD). I'll hip you to the secret in a few weeks, so don't worry that I'm lying to you. Until then, I have some great news. I am a food write for B the site. It is an entertainment site that is part of the Baltimore Sun. I'm currently working on a new article, but in the meantime you can check out my first article for them that came out on Friday (7-23-10). Here is the link:

I hope you like it. If you don't please let me know. That way I can find you and make sure you will never bother anyone else with your dumb opinion   make sure to please you with food you will love.

I will be blogging hardcore in the next few weeks so get ready to cook some kick ass food.

Like the phoenix I have risen, unlike Dumbledore who is still dead. Hopefully I can do better than a dead guy.

Talk to you in a day or two,


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unsavory Culinary term of the week: Gustation

                                ©2010 John Houser III
There are some food terms that when you hear them for the first time, you can sort of understand it without knowing exactly what it is. Meat emulsion is a good example. It obviously has to do with meat and emulsions, so if you know what those words mean then you can piece together a rough understanding of the term. Pretzel dog would also be a good example (I just added that because I like pretzel dogs).

Then there are food terms that unless you have a dictionary or a cookbook explaining it,, you would have a hell of a time figuring out what it meant at all. Gustation is one of those words. The first words that come to mind are gestation and disgusting, of which the latter is actually an offspring of our ugly word.

So now that we have those words in our head, we're thinking that gustation mean "gross fetus" right? Wrong! The word gustation means the act of tasting things. So something that at first brings to mind Rosemary's Baby turns out to be just an out of date word meaning taste. But taste is the most important part of eating. The physiology of taste makes up how we define food. The sensations of bitter, sweet, sour, salty, and umami make an onion taste like an onion and a big mac taste like.....well, shit.

The actual word gustation might be a bit anachronistic now, but its children live on in the terminology of modernity. Words like the aforementioned disgusting, which primarily describe things as repellently inedible or abhorrent, are used by most English speaking people on almost a daily basis. Similarly associated words such as gusto and gustatory are still in use but they are not used as much as in the past. Gustation may not be a word that you would use everyday, but it is definitely worth knowing if you care about food and cooking. Gustation is the basis for why we strive to prepare food in a way that is palatable to us.

So there you go. Another odd food word described. I know that in the age of Google it is easy as hell to just look the damn words up for yourselves, but I'm trying to use this as a forum to broaden your food terminology with words that you night not normally hear. I hope you enjoy this new segment in the blog.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hot Chocolate

Look…….. we all know that the great snowgasm of 2010 is coming.  The way it looks now, the eastern seaboard will be officially called Hoth by Sunday. We’re all going to either freeze to death or learn to tame Tauntauns to get around for the rest of the winter. We have no choice but to embrace our frigid overlord... or do we?

There is one way we can keep the Wampas at bay for a while (that's it for the Star Wars references, I promise). It is to drink a beverage that is universally loved by all. Be it a 5 year old kid, or a 49 year old hausfrau, everyone loves hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is such an iron clad staple that it even tickles the cockles of 23 year old hipsters (although they imagine its unicorn blood for irony’s sake). When the "HC" is made well it is that good.

Especially when the white stuff is falling, hot chocolate can just make the world seem like a postcard from a more innocent time. Life seems to slow down and get a little more important. We're talking full on transcendence here Jack!
With that being said, hot chocolate really is a study in simplicity. At its base you could have only two ingredients: cream and chocolate, but if you wanted to get fancier, there could be over twenty items in your recipe. Luckily for you, this one only has six and none of them are particularly hard to get your hands on. My version of hot chocolate is based on some of the better flavors I have tasted in recipes over the years. I have always found chocolate and orange to be really good friends, and lately I have found that chili pepper goes great with both. The combination of the three is like a power trio for the senses. Chocolate works as the drummer, holding down the groove. Orange as the guitarist plays its citric power chords while chili pepper heats up the performance with its undeniable bass chops. When they're mixed correctly, get ready to get your face rocked off!

This recipe is done in two parts. The first part is to steep your aromatics in milk. Once they are strained out and you have flavored milk, its time to add the chocolate; but there is a catch. I have never liked trying to whisk cold chocolate into hot milk (it never combines properly), so I went with pouring hot cream onto the cold chocolate and letting it sit until soft. Then when the cream and chocolate are whisked together they are mixed into the hot milk mixture and then you are ready to go. It’s that easy. Now don’t get thrown off by the presence of the chili pepper. It will not be really fiery. As long as you do not break up the peppers and keep them whole, you will be fine.
Hot Chocolate

1 pint (2 cups) Heavy cream
6 cups of whole milk
20oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao, or at least 60%). I use bar chocolate, but you can use chips.
1 orange
2 dried arbol chili peppers - They are usually easy to get at you local supermarket.
1 stick of cinnamon

• Peel the zest (skin) off of your orange. You don't need a fancy microplane or zester. You want big strips of zest so just use your vegetable peeler.
• In a saucepan, combine the milk, orange peel, cinnamon, and chilies. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) and turn down to lightly simmer this spicy goodness for 15 minutes stirring occasionally (DO NOT BOIL!). Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

• After sitting for fifteen minutes, strain out the solids into a new pot and cover to keep the heat in. If you don't think you need to strain it, just look at the picture below. You sure as shit don't want that gunk in your hot chocolate do you? Well do you?!

• Using a serrated knife (bread knife), shave your chocolate off of the bar in chunks. Basically you want to start in a corner of the chocolate and keeping the knife tip on the cutting board, chop down into the bar a 1/4 inch at a time. You do not need to put all of your body weight into it. The knife blade will take care of it for you. And you said that you never use your bread knife. If you are using chocolate chips, put them in a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin (it's good anger release).

 • Transfer your lovely chopped chocolate to a heat proof bowl (metal or glass is preferable).

• Put the cream in a small saucepan and set in on medium low. You want to just bring this up to barely a simmer. Once it starts to move around (just watch it, you'll understand) it will be hot enough to melt the chocolate. If you want me to give you a temperature for how hot it should be, I would say between 190 and 200 degrees. Hey, it's cool; I like to use my digital thermometer as much as possible too.
• When the cream is hot and ready to go, pour it over the chopped up chocolate. Let it sit untouched for 3-4 minutes
• After the chocolate has sat in the hot cream, start mixing it together to combine the two. You can use a spoon, whisk, broadsword, or whatever you generally are comfortable stirring things together with. Once it is combined thoroughly, pour the cream and chocolate mixture into your still hot milk.

• Whisk, stick blend, or stir this mixture until it is smooth and looking like the best hot chocolate you are about to ever have. You will not need whipped cream (yes, I'm talking to you).

• Drink and enjoy!

This is not weak ass hot coco, or that Swiss Miss shit. This is a thick, rich, flavorful, and creamy hell broth. This is the kind of liquid love that Willy Wonka killed Augustus Gloop over touching, so enjoy it.

Now if you're like me you're thinking "how can I get some booze in this motherfucker?", don't worry I have you covered. This hot chocolate goes well with most brown liquors (whiskey, brandy, cordials), but my favorite is rum. I like to use a little bit of the spiced rum from a certain sea faring fellow who never does anything except stand around smiling with his leg cocked up on shit. That is just my preference feel free to use whatever rum you like. One great rum is a peanut rum that my friend John at Bad Decisions hipped me to in his hot chocolate. I don't know what it's called so I guess you're just going to have to go there and ask him yourself (and drink as much as you can afford as payment for his wisdom).

Let me know what you think of this recipe. I know that everyone who has had it loves it, but feel free to make adjustments, that's what cooking is. If you think it's too thick, put more hot milk into it to thin it out. If you think it's too spicy, pull out one the the chilies. This is not set in stone, have fun with it.

Now get out there and fight for that last gallon of milk. It's going to be a madhouse out there anytime it snows, but trust me; this hot chocolate is worth punching old ladies for.

*Edit- If you have leftover hot chocolate and refridgerate it overnight, you will need to thin it out when you reheat it. Make sure to blend until totally incoporated.