Monday, January 31, 2011

il tomate poscena

elegant. sophisticated. too beautiful to hide in the shadow of a capital.

this is the essence of il tomate poscena. are these real words? shh, mi amore, just open your mouth and let the absurd delight.

half c. flour
quarter c. sugar
one egg
fifth c. milk
two tbs. butter

mix together. pour into small glass pie pan.

one tomato

slice into seven circles and place on batter

half bunch mint
third c. pecan
spoon honey
splash vanilla extract

pestolo en food procesoro. top tomatoes with mint pesto.

sprinkle brown sugar on virgin batter. bake twenty five min. at three fifty. cool only slightly. devour while still hot.

i dedicate this dish to j, the verified originator of the tofu juice rice tip. i love you for three more days.

and ever after.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mussels in Spiced Coconut Milk

What was originally supposed to be mussels in black bean sauce quickly became this when I discovered that I had no black beans in my apartment. Gourmet my ass, right? What can I say, I'm only human, but it was a good dish nonetheless and I licked my plate like the dog that I am. Had I had cilantro, it would've been even better.

1 Shallot
4 Jalapenos
5 Cloves Garlic
Cube of Tamarind Pulp with 0.75 in sides (approximately) (I can't believe I'm a math teacher, FML)
1/3 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 man-sized pinch of Dried Lemongrass
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1-2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
Salt (I just toss it in- maybe a teaspoon, maybe less)

1 15oz can of Coconut Milk
3 Tomatoes Diced
1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
Dash of Sriracha
10 oz. block of Firm Tofu rectangular prismed (haha, math joke. cube them) (save the juice for the rice- why waste good protein? I learned this tip from an old housemate... I think... or was it Sarah?)
1.5 Onions Diced
1.5 Red Bell Peppers Diced
1 lb. Mussel Meat
Jumbles Thai Basil
Juice of 1 Lime
Handful of Bean Sprouts

From shallot to salt pulverize in the a food processor or something and simmer in coconut milk. Stew the tomatoes and tofu. Put in the soy, oyster, sriracha and fish sauce. When properly stewed (anywhere from 1 min later to 20, who cares) put in the onion. A few minutes later, put in the red bell. A few minutes later put in the mussels and basil and lime. When serving, grace with bean sprouts.

Serve next to, but never over, white rice. Like a n00b, I used Basmati even though Jasmine would be more appropriate. But unlike a n00b, I knew this and have disproportionately too much Basmati and also prefer Basmati. It doesn't matter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Garbanzo Journalism

Mother fantastic! Last night when I should've been enjoying the loneliness of my apartment, but was instead so high on having purchased my first domain name that I couldn't stop thinking about what to cook next, I came up with the idea of making hummus and baba ganoush (Around the World in 80 Meals, anyone?). After about two minutes of thought I came up with the idea of titling today's entry (entree?) "Garbanzo Journalism". I googled it just to make sure I was being original, and... I don't remember what the results were. Well f-you every other clever person in the world! I came up with this name on my own and I've actually read "Fear and Loathing" so it's mine! And with these recipes it is also yours:

Roast Red Pepper Hummus

1/2 Red Bell Pepper
2 Large Cloves Garlic
2 teaspoons of Tahini
Olive Oil
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
10 oz. can Garbanzo Beans (you can call them chickpeas... but only if you must)

Toast red bell pepper and garlic in toaster oven or grill or whatnot. Destroy all ingredients in mini food processor until nice consistency. Enjoy with pita bread (or corn chips if you're half Mexican).

Baba Ganoush


Who am I kidding? My baba ganoush was pretty bad (or at the least not terribly great). Don't worry, I like this stuff too much not to come back to it.

The slices on the plate in the photo are pickled turn-up. I bought it. One day I will pickle my own turn-ups (among other foods), but not yet.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Freedom Fries and State of the Union Wings

I like theme dinners, so in celebration of the State of the Union I pulled out the big dog, my deep fryer. I don't use her often, but tonight was America's night and I was left with no choice. So, without further ado...

Freedom Fries with Spicy Sriracha Ketchup

1 Large Russet Potato


Cut Potato into French Fry-like slices.
Deep fry at very hot temperature for about 7-8 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

For the sauce: squirt some ketchup on a plate. Squirt some Sriracha onto the ketchup. Mix. Enjoy. I personally like about 4 parts ketchup to 1 part Sriracha. I love spicy food and can handle a fair amount of heat, but too much Sriracha will overpower your sauce and it'll be out of whack.

State of the Union Wings

Chicken Wings

BBQ Sauce

Don't buy pre-cut wings unless you're a baby and/or have crappy knives. Separate the wings from the drums. It should be an easy cut between the joint- if you're struggling then you're going through bone. Take your time and be gentle. Cut off the tips and toss them- I find the have too little meat anyway. Deep fry the wing and drums on high (375 in my fryer) for 7 minutes. They can touch, but don't put them on top of each other or they won't cook evenly. If you wait too long (9 minutes or more) you're going to get dry tough wings. In a large bowl mix a spoonful of honey with a slightly larger amount of BBQ sauce. I use H.E.B. brand BBQ sauces. You can't buy that around Dallas, but when I'm in Austin and not too hungover I make my pilgrimage and load up... but it doesn't really matter as long as you're using a decent tasting BBQ sauce. Toss the cooked wings in the sauce and enjoy. I didn't have any blue cheese, so I used some of last night's tzatziki sauce as a dip... it wasn't ideal, but the act of dipping really completes the package.

All in all, what a wonderful way to enjoy the State of the Union!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lamb and Feta Burger

I don't mean to brag, but before this photo could load onto Blogger I'd already eaten half the sandwich. I probably could've eaten the whole thing, but I said "whoa, buddy, calm your britches, because what're we gonna talk about if we're done?!" Trust me, as you'll find out in the upcoming weeks and months, there'll be plenty to talk about... but that's beside the point: this sandwich is good. Rather than type out the recipe (which I will do from time to time), let me just say that I googled "lamb and feta burgers" and the first link was to and it's awesome. Don't get me wrong, I care about my cooking and I teach math, but I'm not the type of person to care about the difference between 3/4 teaspoons oregano and a whole. I may be young (and single, ladies), but I've got enough experience to know whether my dinner's going to taste like crap or not- except when using mushrooms, but that's for another day.

Point being, if you've got some ground lamb (I bought mine for $4.99/lb at a Kroger in the Dallas suburbs) and some feta cheese, then mash them together with some spices (the oregano is great, but I'm sure mint and any number of other spices would be nice too- if you try it with thyme let me know because I feel like it's either going to taste like Heaven or shit), salt, pepper, and pop'em on the grill (or your cast iron skillet as I had to do, damn apartment!) and let're rip. The tzatziki (or whatever this recipe makes) is great, but you don't need the vinegar (I used red wine vinegar- without measuring an exact amount and it's still awesome, but I don't see much of a difference).

Well, I'm done eating and I'm finishing my third beer, a delicious, though slighly syrupy, rye pale ale that I brewed a few weeks back and I think it's time to read (Freedom by Jonathan Franzen) before going to bed. In case you're wondering, I spend entirely too much time in my kitchen- be it cooking, baking, or brewing. It's not my job, but I'm beginning to think that it should be.

Anyway, welcome to my kitchen, my apartment, and my life.