Sunday, January 26, 2014

Black Drum (Fish) with Purple Rice and Carrots

Long weekend including KUTX's first birthday party featuring Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Iron and Wine, and Neko Case. Iron and Wine was fantastic, Thao was awesome, and Neko was... not my favorite of the three, but what a voice! Normally I could care less what people wear, but Neko Case wore a normal shirt with the pants from a skeleton Halloween costume. For some reason I found this disconcerting. Went out afterward and then read all day today. Had a terrible run yesterday that was amplified by allergies and Whiskey from the night before. Needed to eat healthy food today. Made some Black Drum with Purple Rice and Carrots. It was good.

Black Drum with Purple Rice and Carrots

5 pieces (about 1.25 lb.) Black Drum (Fish)
~1/3 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Variety of Spices

Purple Rice

Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

I leave the Spices up to you. I've never made Black Drum before, but it was one of the cheaper Fish at Central Market ($10.99/lb.--- admittedly, Central Market is a relatively high quality and expensive grocery store) and I wanted to try it out. I had five pieces. Each one had some Lemon Juice squeezed over it along with Salt and Pepper. One piece had nothing else added- it was probably my favorite. Another had "Lemon Pepper" (don't ask, it was at my girlfriend's place and wanted to try it). This was fine. Another had Parsley Flakes added on and this was probably my second favorite. Another had Smoked Paprika. I put a little too much on, but I think it was an excellent addition and would've been fantastic if I'd used slightly less. I recommend experimenting. The last had a small amount of Ancho Chili Powder. This is overpowering and does not belong on this Fish. Regardless, cook for about 15-18 minutes at 350 until the Fish is flakey and white. It's a tremendously good.

Make the Rice as you would any other Rice- twice as much Water as Rice. It took a little longer to cook than normal White Rice, but was worth the wait (35-40 min). It benefitted from Salt and Pepper.

Slice the Carrots into small strips and mix with a small amount of Honey, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. Bake at 350 for ~30 min and it's delicious. Take them out while they're still slightly crunchy for a real treat.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Veggie Burger--- a First Attempt

Google e-mailed me to tell me that they debited my account for another year of the Gourmet Apartment. So I guess it's our anniversary. It's nice to see how the Gourmet Apartment and I have changed over the past couple years. There's much less meat on this site than there was a couple years ago, for one. Also, I'm a much happier person than I was before. I love my new city, enjoy the work I'm doing in my master's program, and am in a happy relationship.

Two years ago, I couldn't imagine making a Veggie Burger, but there I was last night trying to think of something delicious to make that my girlfriend could also enjoy, and this is what I thought of:

Veggie Burger

15.5 oz. can of Whole Black Beans
3 oz. Tomato Paste (only because my girlfriend's roommate needed about an ounce of a 4 oz. container and was going to throw away the rest...)
0.75 c. 4-Color Quinoa (cooked in 1.5 c. Water)
1 bunch Parsley
3 Cloves Garlic chopped
0.5 Onion diced
Pinch of Ground Rosemary, Thyme, Cumin, and Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper

Boil off as much liquid as you can from the Black Beans and stir in the Tomato Paste. After about half of the liquid has been boiled off, add in the chopped Garlic and half of the diced Onion. Meanwhile cook the Quinoa. Chop the Parsley in a food processor and then add the Bean mixture once the remaining water has mostly boiled off. Pulse a couple times and then add the cooked Quinoa. Add in the Spices and remaining Onion and pulse a few more times to mix everything up. Form the mixture into patties on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until the patty is more or less hard and slightly crusty on the outside. The mixture should make 5 fairly large patties (with a couple spoonfuls left over to eat unbaked) or 6-7 smaller, but still sizable patties.

The patty is not supposed to resemble Meat. I do not believe in Veggie Burgers that are supposed to trick vegetarians into believing they are eating Meat. These Burgers are their own thing- earthy and flavorful and happy in their own shoes. Still, I put them on a good Bun with Ketchup, Mustard, a tad of Sriracha, and the usual Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion triumvirate. Also, cheese. Unfortunately, I had no Pickles.

For a first attempt, though slightly overcooked, they were really satisfying and delicious. I ate a leftover burger this morning for breakfast- well, lunch since I woke up late- and was still pleased. But next time I want to try using fewer Beans and adding some Sunflower Seeds and Sprouts of some sort.

***The mixed drink in the background was made with 2 parts Tequila to 1 part Aged Rum, with a dash of Grenadine Syrup and topped off with fresh squeezed Orange Juice. Pretty good.