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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tomatill, Yo

So literally THE SECOND I start complaining about the rain beginning in Vancouver, we get a day like this:


It was clear, cold and ridiculously gorgeous, so I bought a fresh loaf of bread, fresh flowers, and the ingredients to make a farewell-to-summer-thanks-for-the-memories salsa verde.

For those who are not familiar, salsa verde is like regular salsa, except instead of using tomatoes, you use tomatillos, a crunchy, aromatic fruit that looks like a green tomato in a paper case. Next time you are at the market and you see these, that's what they are:


Look for hard tomatillos that have their paper case packed tightly to the skin of the fruit. Buy about a pound, or 6-8 of them ranging from large to small. Start by peeling off their paper skins and washing them with warm water, as they have a weird, sticky film on them. then slice in half, remove the core, and place them cut side down on a cookie sheet covered in foil. Preheat the oven to 350 and when ready, throw 'em in.

While they are roasting (for about 15-20 mins) finely chop 1/2 cup white onion, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, and one serrano or jalepeno pepper (WARNING: if you do not want to spend the rest of your night with your hands in a bowl of yogurt trying to get the heat out from chopping chiles and handling the seeds, either wear kitchen gloves or handle the peppers with paper towel). Mix with a tablespoon of fresh lime juice (fresh is key here, and is the equivalent of about half a small lime), salt to taste and a dash of sugar.

Take your t-bombs out of the oven, slide off the cookie sheet and let them cool on your cutting board. Please note that when I dented each half to speed up the cooling process, I inadvertently made tomatillo butts:


See what I did there? One track subconscious.

Chop the tomatillos as finely as possible and add to your mixture, put in the fridge if you like it cool or as is if you like it room temp:


I had mine with homemade garlic toast points, mixed with untoasted bread to make a medley of textures. Please also note that people who use the word "medley" to describe bread are assholes. Whatever. Dig in.

By the way, this is supercat:



Stella is my taste tester/pillow/side kick/main gal. You'll be seeing more of her (thank God, you're thinking, obv)

 Wanna pet me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Udon, Idon, Everybodydon

It's September in Vancouver, which means that everything is grey and wet and the unpaved ground resembles diarrhea. Now that summer is over for real for real (no more cocktease sunny days with a certain level of humidity), I feel it's time for soup. One of my faves is Udon, because it's rich and salty and has those big, doughy noodles. You can buy Udon soup base at any Asian grocery store, or make your own, which takes a million years, requires a sieve and sounds like a lot of work for something I could buy for a buck. So I buy the prebrewed stuff.

Boil water (follow the instructions on the side of the base, or if you made your own base, figure it out yourself, since your such a fucking Udon expert), throw in your stock, your noodles, and I like to add two chopped green onions, enoki mushrooms, button mushrooms, tofu or shrimp if you have them kicking around. Bring to a boil for about two minutes and it should look like this:


Serve screaming hot and eat in front of the TV. A great way to tune out the weather. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pastafail

So I had these big plans for an awesome Sunday dinner that I could cook then write about, and I wanted it to be something I had never cooked before. So I went to the market and got fresh pasta, garlic, onion, lemon, and most importantly, pre-frozen clams that were packed that day. I thought with a splash of white wine, this would be delish. I bought a baguette still warm from the oven with the idea of making garlic toast to go along with it. I brought the whole mess home and proceeded to cook.

Now, I don't want to sound like an asshole, but I rarely fail in the kitchen. That's not to say that I don't make frequent mistakes, but even those usually come out okay. The first thing I noticed was that the clams were taking a very long time to cook, and were getting hotter and watery-er as time went by. Also, I have never cooked fresh pasta before so I threw it in the water figuring it was like regular pasta. Wrong. So while the fresh pasta is cooking and the clams are getting weirder I put in the garlic toast. It was to become the only edible part of the meal.

I ran off some of the water that was, I thought, the problem. Things became less watery but no less appetizing. I waited a little longer then took it off the heat, and drained the pasta. I poured the clams and garlic on top of the pasta and took a bite, and it's gotta be one of the worst things I've ever tasted. I gagged. It tasted like low tide. It tasted like garbage juice. It was revolting. And because I overcooked the fresh pasta, it was like low tide on top of glue. I haven't figured out exactly what happened with those little clam bastards because I've never cooked them before. I'm sure google will solve this problem, and I will try them again, but maybe fresh ones, and after I know what I'm doing. Blah.

Fresh bread covers a multitude of sins, and after the delicious garlic toast, I dipped the still-warm baguette in oil and balsamic and watched Mad Men. Now THAT's how you salvage an evening. You have to go on a lot of bad dates to know how to do this, so that makes me a fucking expert. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Run and tell that, homeboy

In honor of the awesomeness that is Antoine Dodson, I decided to make biscuits



For the uninitiated, Antoine is the Huntsville, Alabama resident who rescued his sister from an attempted rape, then went on the local news to tell the intruder off. Q: Is there anything more awesome than Antoine? A: No there is not. Video here

Seeing as Antoine is from the South, I thought it only appropriate to make him biscuits. Traditionally in the South these are made with lard and buttermilk and drowned in gravy with fried eggs on the side. While that sounds amazing, I'm trying to lose weight. So Antoine will have to be happy with my version:

Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour or cake flour
dash of salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 5 tablespoons cold butter (cold is key)
1 cup plain yogurt


Preheat oven to 450, mix dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the butter. Mash the shit out of the butter into the mixture until thoroughly blended. Add yogurt and mix with your hands until it forms a ball. Press into a 3/4 inch rectangle and cut biscuits with a glass or cookie cutter. Bake 7-9 mins or until golden brown.

Here ya go, Antoine





Yes, they're for you!



Yes, for real



Antoine's all "they're delicious!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome!

Thanks for reading, welcome to Big Daddy's Crass Cuisine!

I am not anywhere near a chef, but I like to eat well, and cook it for myself. I like to think of new dishes and create them, win or fail. So let's eat crass. Who's with me?

Garlic = balls

I enjoy garlic because it looks like balls. Correct me if I'm wrong:



This is an unusual circumstance wherein us gals like our men to be average. Huge balls freak us out. Small balls make us think you're a wuss. Average balls are where it's at because we can take note of them and forget them, just like we like it (oh, good, normal. That's all we think). Your balls aren't exactly what we're into (eh? ehhhhhh? boom shakka lakka).

Now boys before you get testy about your testes, this post is all about celebrating food that is vaguely ball-shaped. And what could be better (or more ball shaped) than garlic?

Oh my fuck do I love this shit. I could eat whole raw cloves of it and never get overwhelmed. I could, and have, roasted dozens of cloves of it at a time, getting up in the middle of the night to eat more. Some day there will be a name for a passion as disordered as mine, but until then, let's eat more garlic:

Garlic Pasta
5 cloves garlic
1/4 white onion
2-3 oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 servings spaghettini

They say the best dishes are those that have few ingredients. I don't know about that, but I do know that it is a crime that more dishes don't showcase garlic as this one does. I like to chop my five cloves in different ways, some minced, some sliced, some mashed. Feel free to mix up garlic types too, elephant, organic purple, regular (and if you know a dude that has elephant garlic sized balls, call me. Seriously. I have to see). Fry 'er up with the onion for 3-4 mins, and take a deep breath, because this is the best smell on earth:



add the mushrooms, last add the parsley. Get it all in there together, add your pre-cooked pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. A little cheese on top never hurt anybody. Now that's ballsy.

(PS, Martha has a slightly more complicated version of this where she adds roasted garlic. That sounds good and all, but Martha can suck it)