Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cheesy Quinoa

I chaperoned my first bill out of committee the other day. It's not a controversial bill and it shouldn't have much of an impact on anyone's life, but it makes tax evasion just that much more difficult and it was really cool to see the system at work. Cool and scary.

Yesterday a couple state senators busted into the three-person office I work in and claimed to be maintenance workers. They proceeded to commandeer a desk to discuss finance issues. I tried to follow what they were looking at since I recognized that at least one of them was a senator, but it was beyond my knowledge level. Still, it was a neat experience.

I'm really enjoying my job. But I haven't cooked in a week since they feed us so much. When I think back at all the incredible people I've met so far, it's truly amazing. I'm a very fortunate man.

And speaking of good things, check out this excellent recipe (it's perfect for those times when you're fed a lot, because it lasts for ages in the fridge):

Cheesy Quinoa



My girlfriend introduced me to the recipe that I've adapted, but she found it here: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/06/grilled-corn-cheddar-quinoa/

1 c. Quinoa
2 c. Water
1 c. Frozen Corn
1 bunch Chopped Cilantro
8 oz. Shredded Smoked Cheddar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Olive Oil as needed.

Bring two cups of Water to a boil, add the Quinoa, and cook for 15 minutes. Then add the Corn, Salt and Pepper, and Olive Oil. After a short amount of time, add the Cheddar and Cilantro and stir until Cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fried Rice

I'm just finishing a nice weekend. I spent a lot of time with my girlfriend and attended a party with people she biked across the county (and Canada) with. Yesterday we celebrated a bunch of classmates' birthdays with them at the Crown and Anchor, and then I had the pleasure of attending one of my absolute best friend's apartment-warming parties, where I had the honor of providing a keg of (if I do say so myself, which I always do...) ridiculously good Brown Ale.

I knocked out 54 miles biking in the rain and cold with my girlfriend yesterday morning, we baked cupcakes together for the party, and also enjoyed a killer meal at Hopdoddy where I had an impressive Bison Burger and she enjoyed the best Veggie Burger I've ever had. This Veggie Burger was so good, because it wasn't trying to taste like meat. It knew what it was and was the best that it could be. I'd take that Veggie Burger over most normal Burgers, but Hopdoddy's Burgers are not normal, so what is a guy to do?! Eat meat? Yep.

This evening I got to talk to my ma for the first time in ages, iron my clothes for the week, enjoy Lagunitas' Gnarly Wine, and watch Flight. Flight was really good. All in all, I really can't complain. Like I said the other day, life is really good and I recognize it.

Fried Rice


1 c. White Rice

1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Shallot Diced
Dash Ginger Powder
Dash Garlic Powder

1 Carrot cubed
1 bunch Green Onions Diced
Handful Frozen Peas
Handful Frozen Corn

1 Egg

3 Hot Dogs cubed
0.57 lb. Shrimp peeled and diced

Splash of Soy Sauce and/or Oyster Sauce

Cook the Rice in 2 cups of Water as you would any Rice. Since Fried Rice is better with old Rice, I put  the cooked Rice in the fridge for an hour or two to cool off and get hard.

Heat the Oil and fry the Shallot and Dried Spices.

Add the cooled Rice and fry for a second. Then Add the Carrot, the harder (closer to the root) parts of the Green Onion, the Frozen Peas and the Frozen Corn.

While this mixture is cooking, shove everything to the side of your wok. Crack the Egg and cook it on the side of the Rice. Don't mix until the Egg is cooked. Then add the Hot Dog. Cook for another minute and add the Shrimp. If you feel the need for Soy Sauce or Oyster Sauce, add it now. Once Shrimp is cooked, add the remaining Green Onion.

This is pretty darn tasty, so enjoy!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chicken Mole

As is often the case with my life, I can't complain. I'm working this semester in the Capitol and am having a really great experience. Without saying more than I should, suffice it to say that some things are nothing like you thought, while others, well, are. It's the first time in my life that I have a job that demands I sit in front of a computer all day. Things will change once the session picks up a little, but I'm told that I should appreciate the time that I have while it lasts.

Otherwise, I continue to date an amazing woman. I still can't believe how good this chick is to me. She tells me that I'm good to her, which I hope is true, but too frequently I find myself crippled by self-doubt. For some reason I don't want to believe her when she tells me how happy she is with me, although I have no reason to think otherwise. It's scary how good we are together. The woman I've written about innumerable times from college still has a piece of my heart. I'm no longer in love with her- hell, I'm not even sure that we've communicated in two years- but there's a part of me that doesn't want to love after loving her. But this is the most I've liked anyone since, and I suspect that what I have now is better and stronger than what I never had then. 

My girlfriend helped me make this Mole. Actually, I basically showed her the recipe I found here: http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2012/09/chicken-with-puebla-style-mole-sauce.html and then she made it for me. I did some of it- she's a vegetarian and won't mess with the Chicken, for instance- but I can't take credit for this. We used some of the Sauce on some Vegetable Enchiladas that we made, but this, to me, was the star of the show. If you've got a solid afternoon, it tastes really great!

Chicken Mole



2 oz. Dried Mulato Chiles
1 oz. Dried Ancho Chiles
1 oz. Dried Pasilla Chiles
2 Cloves Garlic
0.5 Tomatoes
0.5 Tomatillo
0.25 White Onion
2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
0.5 tsp. Whole Cloves
0.5 tsp. Whole Allspice Berries
0.25 tsp. Coriander Seeds
0.25 tsp. Peppercorns
0.25 tsp. Anise Seeds
0.5 Sticks Cinnamon
0.25 Ripe Banana diced
0.5 torn Corn Tortilla
3 tbsp. Almonds
1.5 tbsp. Sesame Seeds
2 tbsp. Raisins
1 Slice Wheat Bread torn
1 tbsp. Canola Oil
1 tbsp. Lard
2 oz. Abuelita Chocolate
1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1 Chicken butchered
Toast Mulato, Ancho, and Pasilla Chiles in a dry cast iron skillet. Bring some Water to boil. Remove Water. Add the toastest Chilis and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the Chilis, but keep the Water. Core and seed the Chilis, saving at least a teaspoon of seeds for later. Food process the Chilis with 1 c. of the Chili Water until smooth.
Whilst doing the above, roast the Garlic, Tomato, Tomatillo, and Onion until nice and charred. Food process this mixture separately from the Chilis. 
Melt butter in the Dutch oven and add the Chili Seeds, Cloves, Allspice, Coriander, Peppercorns, Anise Seeds, Lard, and then cook until nice and fragrant. Add the Banana and cook until browned. Add the Tortilla, then the Almonds, Sesame Seeds. Next add the Chili puree, roasted Vegetable puree, Raisins, and Bread. Bring to a boil and then cook until all ingredients are nice and soft. Now puree with 3 cups of Chili Water. Be careful that your food processor does not explode. Maybe you use a blender. Maybe you do it in batches. Maybe you just clean up after yourself. (Thanks, babe!). 
Heat up the Lard in your dirty Dutch oven and then add Mole and fry slightly. Whisk constantly and then add Chocolate, Brown Sugar, and salt. Cook until everything is smooth.
Put Mole and Chicken in a Crook pot and cook overnight. Enjoy the next day with Beans and Tortilla. Maybe a little Sour Cream and some Avocado. Way too much work, but really quite nice.