Friday, July 20, 2012

Crawfish Po' Boy

I'm moving a week from tomorrow which means that I have to consume everything in my freezer. I haven't bought groceries in two weeks. Life is sweet. Also, I want to vow to never have so much food in my freezer again. Will I actually make this vow? No. But I want to. Anyway, it's like Christmas... or, wait a second... I move in 8 days. That's 8 days of edible presents to myself. My mother's Jewish. That means I'm Jewish. Oh. My. God. 

It's Hanukkah in July!!!!!!!!

...with the minor exception that my freezer is full of ham and bacon and shrimp and everything that is strictly forbidden. On that note, here's my Crawfish Po' Boy!

Crawfish Po' Boy



14 oz. Package of Crawfish Tails
Iceberg Lettuce
Tomato Slices
Pickle Slices
Onion Slices
Mayo
Bread
Stuff to fry with.

Alright, so this is a weak explanation of my recipe, but if you've ever seen me deep fry, then you'll understand the way nothing is important. 



I made the Homemade Mayonaise that I wrote about a couple weeks ago, but added some Cayenne, Ground Sage, and Pepper to spice it up a bit for this Cajun dish. I used cheap French Bread from Wal-Mart. I saved the Egg Whites from the Mayo to give the Crawfish a quick egg wash before coating in a mixture of Flour, Cornmeal, and Cajun Seasoning. Fry the Crawfish Tails, coat the Bread with Mayo, and then fill with all the ingredients. This makes about 4-5 decent-sized sandwiches. 

On a final note, the new Batman movie premiered last night and a dozen or more people were killed along with another few dozen who were injured in a shooting during the movie in Colorado. I find myself more and more affected by things like this as I get older. I just don't understand how people can so readily take each others' lives. I wish there was some sense of community- some sense that we are in this together and that rather than waste what little we have by murdering each other we could instead work to create something better. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jambalaya

I had an eye appointment today so that I can get new glasses and contacts before grad school... I went to the wrong eye doctor. Yep, I'm ready for grad school. Fortunately, they took care of me with little wait and were cheaper than the place where I apparently set up my appointment. 

In other news, a now-former coworker and I saw Spiderman in XD-RealD 3D. Why so many D's? Who knows. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but in the same was that I completely loved Captain America; it wasn't a good movie, but it made me happy anyway. I guess that's what people mean when they call something a guilty pleasure. Here's my short review:

The Amazing Spiderman needed to be in 3D, but they wasted the potential with one or two pointless shots that involved 3D and little else. Andrew Garfield was alright, but too cool for Peter and I don't believe that he was as smart as he's supposed to be. Peter's supposed to be a quiet bookish nerd who happens to be in shape (because who wasn't in the 60s) and then gains the confidence to be a hilarious smart ass after realizing his potential as Spider-Man. Relationships changed for no apparent reason all throughout the movie. Take Aunt May and Flash Thompson, for example. Aunt May has a list of reasons to be frustrated with Peter, but then he brings home eggs and everything's cool. With Flash, the bain of Peter Park's high school experience, at the end of the movie they're suddenly buddy buddy. Why? I would've enjoyed more corny one-liners, too. And while I'm at it, why is Gwen Stacy, a 17 year old high schooler, the head intern or whatever at Oscorp Industries? I don't buy it. But, Stan Lee had an awesome cameo (as usual) and Emma Stone was super sexy (as usual), so all in all: B+. I'm an easy grader and it's Spider-Man, so I'm going to love it just because. ...even if it is just filler between the Avengers and the Dark Night Rises. 

And yes CBS, I am free for a starring role in the Big Bang Theory. 

Jambalaya



1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders cut into small pieces
14 oz. Andouille Sausage cut into small pieces
14 oz. Crawfish Tails
2 Tomatoes diced
1 Green Bell Pepper diced
4 Celery Stalks diced
5 Cloves Garlic minced
2 small Onions diced
1 c. Chicken Broth
1 tbsp. Oregano
1 tbsp. Dried Parsley 
2 tsp. Tony Chachere's Original Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp. Cayenne 
1 tsp. Thyme 
5 Bay Leaves

I was in a hurry to get to my eye appointment, so I prepared everything in about 20 minutes. I cut the Chicken and Sausage by hand and threw it into the Crock Pot. Then I diced the Tomato, Green Bell, Celery, and Onion in my food processor one at a time and added that. I used the food processor with the Garlic and added that along with the Spices and Seasoning. Next, pour in the Chicken Broth, mix, and let the Crock Pot cook on high for 4-5 hours. With about 30 minutes left, add the Crawfish Tails and then serve over a bed of Rice. It's not perfect, but it's super easy and was well-received by my former coworker and I. 

The recipe was adapted slightly from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/colleens-slow-cooker-jambalaya/. Good luck and enjoy! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Corn Dog Muffins

I've begun thinking about my move to Austin. I mean logistically- after all, I've been thinking about this move for the past 3 years. Things are coming together nicely. I have to go to the dentist, have an eye exam, and take care of a couple other odds and ends- Manly Board Game Night, Man Day, Spiderman, the new Batman movie, you know, important things that all happen to have the word "man" in them. I'm listening to Ace of Base right now.

Ace of Base is very significant for me. I remember 5th grade... the Sign was huge and I hated it. All I listened to back then was classic rock and oldies- real oldies like Earth Angel and everything that Buddy Holly and the Beatles did---- none of this Tainted Love and Karma Chameleon (both of which I love) that pass as oldies nowadays. Anyway, I convinced myself that I hated Ace of Base (along with Britney Spears, *Nsync, and most other pop bands that I now enjoy) and refused to listen to them. Then one day I was at a garage sale and found the Sign and bought it for fifteen cents or something ridiculous like that. I haven't stopped listening to it since.

What made me buy it, you ask? That's a great question. I grew up in a suburb of Dallas and by the time I was in middle school and high school I was hip enough to listen to the alternative rock station 94.5 the Edge... in addition to the oldies and classic rock station. This was also about the time that I started staying up late for homework. On Sunday evenings the Edge played the Adventure Club with Josh. It's still on if I'm not mistaken. Josh would play new bands and songs that were more or less never played anywhere else and I enjoyed being able to say that I'd heard it first, so I listened while doing homework. 

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with Ace of Base... oh, but it does! After the adventure club- at 10 pm, if memory serves me correctly, the Adventure Club ended and Red Square Retro began. The horrors, the horrors. What sane human could ever enjoy 80s music?! Not me, that's for sure. I always changed it immediately back to classis rock or oldies. But after a while it wasn't so immediate. It wasn't that I liked the music, but there were a couple decent songs and occasionally they came on at the beginning of the broadcast. After a few months I was shocked to discover that the only 80s songs I enjoyed always came on at the beginning of the broadcast. By my junior year I was listening to the whole thing every Sunday. It was one of the high points of my week. 

It wasn't until the last week of my freshman year of college while we were packing up our dorm rooms that I heard my friend rocking out to the Cure. I was drawn to him like an Appalachian baby to Mountain Dew and discovered that everyone in college loved 80s music. The next year I started going to 80s parties and felt like I'd finally found a home. It hasn't gotten me laid yet, but I can't imagine being with a woman who doesn't appreciate the genius of the Smiths. Still, I know it's a fad. The 80s are back, but already I feel like they're slipping from the mainstream yet again. It doesn't matter, I'll listen to them until they're cool again, and then I'll keep listening to them.

So how does this relate to Ace of Base? When I realized that I adored a genre of music that I'd once always thought I despised, I began to take a second look at everyone else... including Ace of Base. Aqua, Madonna, Backstreet Boys, TLC, Salt-N-Pepa, Creed. 

Holy crap, no. Creed is and will most likely always be the band I consider the worst ever. Nickelback's a close second, but I truly believe that without Creed there would be no Nickelback. They're more or less the same band anyway, but, to paraphrase a band and a song that I really love, y'all don't want to hear me, y'all just want to know how to make Corn Dog Muffins.

Corn Dog Muffins



1 c. Yellow Cornmeal
1 c. Flour
1 c. Milk
1 Egg
3 tsp. Sugar
4 tsp. Baking Powder
0.5 tsp Salt
0.25 c. Vegetable Oil
1 can Drained Kernel Corn
2 pinches Smoked Sweet Paprika 
1 pinch Oregano
1 pinch Marjoram
1 pinch Cracked Red Pepper Flakes
1 pinch Pepper
7 Hot Dogs diced

Mix all the dry ingredients together then add everything else and mix well. Bake for about 20 minutes in cupcake tins at 425. Cool and enjoy. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gazpacho and The Hangover Part III

Oh my gosh, this past week was spent visiting family and friends on South Padre Island. It was a blast, but the island kicked my ass. I woke up on the morning of July 6th in a penthouse hotelroom tired and sore, and unaware that I was about to star in the Hangover Part III. 


Here's the backstory: I was there to hang out with my family, but was going to see some friends who were on the Island for a wedding. On the 5th, my cousins and I proceed to get completely and totally trashed. Shot-gunning beers on the beach. Yelling at hot girls in bikinis. Playing volleyball and diving around unnecessarily, becoming immortalized in the sand. We were drinking Turbos (amazing drink that I'm going to have to attempt to recreate soon) and Coconut Rum out of the bottle. It was a mess to say the least- and all the more so, because my phone broke (for no fault of my own- it's messed up a few times since I've had it and I finally went in to the T-Mobile and my replacement is in the mail as we speak). So after dinner we're pre-gaming with some chicks we met on the beach- friends of friends of cousins or whatnot and I'm being an ass, because I don't care at all for these chicks and just want to meet up with my friends who I can't even call, but know are at a particular bar. I guess I could've walked, but in the end everyone headed out and I find my friends. Awesome! We drink and chill and then go to the Whataburger. Shortly after we arrive, dumb bikini chick arrives from the pre-game. We're all making fun of each other until my family surprisingly (or not) shows up. Party! For a few minutes, at least, until my teacher friends and I head out. We picked a good time to leave, too, because apparently all hell broke loose after we left. Whatever, while the Whataburger was doing whatever we find a hotel with a $300 a night penthouse suite that hasn't been rented, so they give it to use for $69, but we're too tired to enjoy it, so we just sleep.


In the morning we get breakfast tacos and then a friend drops my Doctor friend, who shall henceforth be known as Doc, and I off at my aunt's condo where all my stuff is. Literally all my stuff other than my wallet. She has my (broken) phone, keys, clothes, glasses, toothbrush, everything. Also, I'm wearing my cousin's way-too-tight shirt. I'm hung over, and I don't understand why nobody's at the condo. 


Doc's following me and I have no clue what's going on, so we start walking down the beach towards the bar where everyone seems to congregate. She has my cousin's number in her phone, so we talk to him and he has no idea what's going on, but he gives me a couple numbers and I start calling relatives- none of whom answer. According to Doc I was leaving messages along the lines of "Hey, I don't really know what's going on... I'm just trying to figure out what happened last night, and you know, where everyone and everything is. What's going on?" 


So you can see why the Hangover is becoming an apt analogy. 


Finally we get to the bar and I hear my name. Heck yes, it's my aunt who has all my stuff! Score! "Cousin said you were leaving the island?" I say.


"We are," she says. "We had to check out of the condo, but we wanted to enjoy the beach a little more."


Right on, I think. She tells me about the previous night's drama and then I ask her where my stuff is. Don't worry she tells me, you cousin has your phone and your other cousin has your things. I'm relieved. Where is the cousin with my things? Back at home. Home? You mean on the island, right? Nope. She meant an hour and a half away. 


WTF family. Seriously? You guys know I'm on the island and despite there being three or four condos/hotel rooms on the island and a half dozen cars all of where you could have put my stuff, you decide to send it an hour and a half away. Dammit. This is about the time, a la Hangover, that my cousin takes out her camera to show me pictures of the previous night. Thanks. This is also around the time that it becomes clear that I"m covered in bruises- or blisters, really of unknown origin. My whole left arm is covered. I have a giant blister over my left peck (boob). It's really quite gross. They're still there, but improving. I don't want to be seen like this! But anyway...


Doc and I borrow a car and drive out to get my stuff. When we finally arrive my cousin's she's all like "oh you came back for your beers?" 


"No, I didn't choose to drive 3 hours roundtrip to grab a couple beers that you took. Are you out of your freaking mind!!!" I didn't say that, but seriously. Wow. 


So Doc and I get my stuff (and leave the beers) and we look at each other and say we might as well drive the extra hour to West Valley where we used to live for dinner. We ate a Pirata at Tacos Aka, a Raspa, and a Papa Loco from El Jarepeo (which we had to save until the next morning). Neither of us could believe how much we used to be able to  eat.


We drive the now 3 hours back to the Island and decide to camp on the beach. The weather's perfect for it; warm, but cool enough to sleep comfortably. The gentle roll of the ocean against the shore. A huge moon and stars above. We get our tent up around midnight and have just finished talking and enjoying the scenery around 1-1:30 when, as we're just beginning to drift off, some damn fools start blasting Corridos. For 45 minutes I kid you not they played the same damn song. They continued playing until well past 3. Around 2 some idiot frat boys join in the fun, pull right next to us and start blasting rap. I'm only 27, but get off my lawn. Damn.

Waking up the next morning sandy, bug-bitten, blistered, tired, not-hungover, but feeling like I might as well be, and then cracking open a Papa Loca on the beach made me realize how good my life is. I have the best friends and family I could hope for. My body will recover, after all, I'm just 27.


Gazpacho






9 Vine Ripened Tomatoes
1 Large Cucumber Seeded
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Red Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
1/8 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 c. Vinegar
1/4 c. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I made this entirely in the food processor.

Liquify 5 of the Tomatoes in the food processor. Most recipes call for Tomato Juice, but this is the same thing and you know exactly what's in it. Salt this to taste. It may require more salt than you're used to, but that seems normal for Tomatoes, as it is with Beans and a couple other Salt-intensive foods. Set this liquid aside in a large bowl.

Now chop the Garlic as well as you can. Slice the Onion in small chunks and then let the food processor cut it coarsely. Add this to the Tomato Juice. Do the same with the Red Bell. Then with the Cucumber. Then with the Tomato. Stir in the Vinegars and Oil, add Salt and Pepper as necessary, and enjoy.

I thought there was a little too much Vinger in this and I might cut it down a little next time or else juice more Tomatoes. Otherwise it was really quite good. It's more or less just  a non-spicy Salsa or Pico de Gallo in Tomato Juice, but it certainly makes a fresh and refreshing summer soup!