Friday, December 05, 2008

Wake Up a Kitten Stew


mix a pound of stew meat with flour, salt, pepper, and other seasonings. set aside to come to room temp

chop a large white onion and a large yellow onion. put in a large pot with hot oil to cook down. season the oil with garlic powder before adding the onions. let them cook down a bit until you finish chopping hte sweet peppers and carrots, which should go in together.

chop sweet peppers. Add.I used six ounces, .

chop carrots. add.

chop red potatoes into quarters. add.

add amber ale and apple cider. Stir and cover. (For cooking's sake, use a microbrew and a cider that you like the taste of. I don't enjoy Fat Tire, but I only tasted it from the bottle and I knew it'd be good with browned beef in a stew - I'm not the first to do it. My cider is amazing local Iowa cider, which is like getting your throat massaged by a Pink Lady. (it's an appple, look it up.)

Brown the beef and two good pork chops, chopped and floured like the meat, in a separate skillet, then add to the main pot. then add apple cider or beer to the saute pan and scrape off the brown stuff, cook it down a bit then add to the stew. Stir. If the liquid looks like it's getting low, taste it then add beer or cider or water. Fuck water, but that's just me.

there are a couple secrets to great beef stew - time, great beer, basic ingredients, and long slow cooking.

Most people use beef stock in beef stew. Fine by me, but this recipe used a 22 oz bottle of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a few generous pours and a pan-cleaning quick reduction of the meat saute-pan of gorgeous amazing local Iowa apple cider. The meat, always floured and seasoned befrore all being browned, benefits from slow-cooking. Two hours after I set this on low and let it bubble gently, the beef has gone from five chews to three. THe pork is tender, juicy and tastes throughout the chewing process.

Potatoes should be roughly equal size, of width that you'd hold your thumb and forefinger apart to indicate somone has a very small penis. Larger if you're cooking it longer. Carrots can be any size - I chopped up a bunch of baby carrots with this chopper thing in my friend's house. Only knifework was chopping hte onions in half so they fit in the chopper.

I spiced everythign perioudicially with lawry's seaoned salt and some random cajun seasoning that was on the counter. stuf was salted and peppered. the goal is layers. It worked out well.

If you were to sneak some halved carrots down to the bottom while it's finishing, you'd be rewarded. I see why people cook with Fat Tire. Didn't really enjoy the taste, but man it goes great in gravy.

I used red potatoes.

The onions were cut rather large but more or less disappeared. Pearl onions would be delicuos in this, as would fingerling potatoes.

Also, there's some cheap whiskey added midway through cooking. I'm not sure why. But there's a little extra smokiness at the end I can't place.

Don't sweat burning some of the onions at the very beginning.

Good apple cider is worth it. Pay extra for local if you can. The fruitiness will get more complex and bring all the flavors together.

Damn, how could I forget.. After you get all the ingredients together, crank your burner to high and let it bubbble away madly. when it's super=hot, add enough flower to cover the top and let it cook for a bit, then stir in. Give it five minutes on high and then drop to a low simmer, and give it two hours, stirring occasionally.

I would eat this on brown rice cooked in chicken stock with trader joe's soycutash and garlic salt. my favorite fake fried rice.

Speaking of stock, sure you can use stock in this. I would have, but I forgot to buy it - yay fucking up as the mother of invention.

As for how much cider I used? No farking idea. But it's great with whiskey. Gonna have some now. And a little more stew. g-dspeed.

p.s. Why "Wake Up A Kitten Stew?" I put the dish down next to a sleeping kitten to shoot for this post, and the kitten jumped up instantly and began lapping away.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

I love whiskey in watermelon juice

But whiskey in Iowa apple cider is even better.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dead-Simple Candied Sweet Potatoes

Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. You can cook as many as can fit cut side down in your pan. Try to match thickness.

Heat two cups good maple syrup and four tablespoons of butter in your pan. Bring together, then add salt and pepper before putting the potatoes in, cut side down.

Cook on medium heat until the mixture reduces down. Flip the potatoes onto their peel-side, add enough whiskey to cover the potatoes halfway, swirl to combine, and cook down.

Then add enough Senorial bottled sangria to cover the potatoes. Switch to high, flip the spuds one last time, and cook down until you've got a savory syrup with a fruity aftertaste. Potatoes are done when a fork penetrates them more easily than a squirming virgin on prom night.

Alternate version. Same thing, but baking pans. Preheat your oven to 350. Rub the sweet potatoes lightly with evoo and add to the oven, cut-side down. A glass pan won't get yummy browning, but will otherwise work fine.

Bring enough maple syrup to come 1/3rd of the way up the potatoes and butter to heat in a pan, stirring frequently. (Half a stick of butter was enough for 13 halved large sweet potatoes)

Open the oven, avoid the initial whoosh of steam, and add the syrup to the pan. Do not lift the potatoes - the syrup will bubble under on its own.

Set the oven timer for 20 minutes and reduce whiskey in the same pan on the stove. The goal is to cook out enough alcohol that your oven doesn't explode. I used half a bottle of Crown Royal (yeah, yeah, I know) for this one.

Pull the potatoes and put them on your stovetop. Flip them peel-side down (if you peeled them, die in a fire, the peels are the best part) with a fork and add the whiskey. You should have enough to go halfway up the potatoes.

20 minutes later, open the oven door, avoid blinding yourself with steam, and remove the pan. Add enough apple juice (cider would probably be great) to almost cover the potatoes. Return to the oven.

You may need to crack the oven, turn on the hood fan, or open a window. Ridiculous amounts of steam will result after this step. It looked like I'd hotboxed the entire apartment.

The potatoes are done when they're done. Probably another 20 minutes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What I'm going to eat at Good Stuff Eatery tomorrow

Spike's Five Napkin
onion rings
black and white shake.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Damn good sandwich

1/3rd of a kielbasa, split.
a tangy-sweet onion/pepper condiment
an onion roll, split and toasted.

brown the kielbasa on both sides. this breaks up the casing and develops flavor.
put the halves of kielbasa into the onion roll. Hollowing it out might help.
Spoon condiment over the sausage. Eat.

Yeah, I want another one right now.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Down With The Sickness Chicken Soup

I feel like crap. Body aches, swollen sinuses, congestion, and a sore throat. And my head's swimming so much that typing is challenging.

Time for soup.

1 rotisserie chicken
1 bag eggless egg noodles
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (i use free range organic, you should too)
4 cups water
vegetables in the fridge that are too gone for salad but still edible (in my case, one green pepper, one red pepper, one cucumber, and one zucchini)
one pound mixed frozen vegetables
one pound frozen broccoli ends.
lots of garlic.
garlic salt

put on water for noodles
debone chicken.
put chicken stock on to heat. Add garlic and garlic salt, along with vegetables. Cook on high.
Add shredded chicken.

If I were feeling better I'd make this complicated by reducing two half-boxes of stock by half in separate pots by half, and then adding the other half, and then reducing further. Then addding the chicken. And using tortellini instead of egg noodles.

Time to go back to bed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bone-in Ribeye with Trashed Red Potatoes

1 inch-thick bone-in ribeye steak. Mine was .8 pounds.

a pound of new red potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
garlic powder
a quarter-stick of butter.

Pull the steak from the fridge half an hour before cooking. Salt and pepper liberally on both sides. (you CAN overdo this) Rest on paper towels to absorb moisture. Pat dry every so often as it rests.

Cut the potatoes into semi-identical pieces, slather with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper and garlic powder. Put on the bottom shelf of your oven at 350 for half an hour, move them around, then return to the top shelf for another half hour. I used an enamel casserole dish for this, but anything that's deglazable will do. I wouldn't use cheap nonstick, but then again I almost never do anyway.

Rub butter on the bottom of the pan you're using for the steak. Use something heavy. Make sure it's big enough for the steak. (mine wasn't really, sigh) You only want enough to coat. Heat thoroughly at 3/4 power (for me, anyway) until butter shimmers.

Add steak, laying away from you. Once that side has a good sear, flip the steak and add an eighth of a stick of butter. swoosh it around the pan to make sure it distributes evenly, and lift the steak so it can get underneath. This is not enough butter to baste with.

(It is, however, enough butter to set off the smoke alarms in my house. In the time it took me to run outside, put the pan down, and open enough windows to kill the alarms, the steak went from medium to well-done. If you live in a New York apartment, this may not be your dish.)

Pull potatoes from the oven. Deglaze the pan with milk, rubbing with a silicone spatula until all the brown bits are off. Occasionally poke at a potato chunk to break it up, but just keep stirring - the heat will bring everything together. Add butter to taste. I didn't want any more salt or pepper. Mash until as creamy as you want.

When the steak's gorgeous on both sides (may need to flip again to brown the top) serve it on top of the mash. Yum.

So why are the potatoes trashed? Because they're baked and mashed! At least they're not fried. *rimshot*

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stuff I want to try next

brining the pork shoulder first. ideally in apple cider.
more variations on baby carrots baked with soyiyaki and chicken broth.
cooking steak in butter

Tailgate MexiMac

1 family size box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for Americans, or Kraft Dinner if you're not.
1 pound chorizo
2 pounds cheddar cheese
buckwheat flour
onion powder
garlic powder
ancho chile powder

Cut the cheese into small pieces or grate it. Uniformity is unimportant here. I only rough-chop, though grated cheese is needed for one of the last steps.

Boil the noodles in water spiced with the onion salt and garlic powder. drain, and add onion powder and garlic powder. Toss and let rest.

Brown the chorizo on both sides till dark. Remove, scatter a handful of buckwheat flour spiked with ancho chile powder (toasting is tasty!) in the pan, and mix with a silicone spatula before adding milk.

The fattier the milk, the faster this will come together. You can do it with skim milk, but it'll take longer. Whole milk is best. 1 percent will take longer than 2 percent and so on. If it really isn't coming together and it should be by now, add flour or coat the chorizo with flour and add them.

I would not recommend using buckwheat flour with skim milk, but it's feasible. Whole with all-purpose is WAY faster. Don't cook the roux too long - you want it as blonde as possible, and remember like Emeril says, you don't know total thickness potential until it boils. With less fat in the milk, until it boils for a while, the same applies.

Stir constantly. If left unattended, this will froth over and destroy things. Like your hand if you grab the wrong part of the pan to move it to a cold burner. Ow.

(Ironically, while I was finishing this dish, my housemate's cocoa bubbled over just like my sauce did.)

Once it gets thick enough to pass the "draw your finger through the middle of the back of a spoon coated with the sauce, if it stays clear, your sauce is thick enough" test, add the cheese and don't fucking stop stirring. Failure to maintain vigilence now is an error exclusively for the weak-minded.

Once the sauce is tasty, balance its flavors. I added some more of that divine Gettysburg barbecue sauce because I always want vinegar and tomato in my mac and cheese, even if it's not coming from ketchup. Two dollops balanced an aggressive saltiness, which happened because I added the stock cheese packet as well. So if you do that, use some type of tomato and vinegar, be it ketchup or someone's homemade apple cider barbecue sauce. (Must go see Bill again.)

Fresh black pepper would be nice right here, and its flavor won't be wasted especially if you add it right before serving.

Top with breadrumbs and grated cheese, and put under the broiler until pretty. Let cool until non-molten. This isn't as thick as my other macaroni attempts.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Pork shoulder part 2!

the wet rub

ground coriander seed
acho chile powder
hungarian hot paprika
hungarian sweet paprika
garlic powder
onion salt
two forkfuls goya orange blossom honey
Torchbearer Sauces #11
grade b amber pure maple syrup
Mist of Gettysburg Apple Grilling Glaze (apples, sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, onions, herbs and spices) If you don't live in PA, you're SOL on this one.

annnd one pork shoulder. I used a Smithfield Paula Deen-brand bone-in model. About four pounds, if I had to guess - and I do because I threw the packaging away hours ago.

score the fatty part of the shoulder with a knife. cut through the top part only.
rub all over the bone-in pork shoulder
put in a part of your oven that gets indirect heat at 275 for...well, it's 4 now. we'll say six hours and check it at five.

I would normally add mustard to the glaze, but it had so much flavor my mouth nearly exploded.

After an hour, I wanted to do something else to the pork, so I spread baby carrots along either side of the pork, dropped a little water on the bottom of the pan, and then spread a Nance's sweet-hot mustard/light brown sugar/Mist of Gettysburg/onion salt/minced garlic paste all over everything.

Photo at my non-food blog, The Noodle Incident.

UPDATE: Seven hours later, I pulled the pork from the oven. The carrots were perfectly flavored (I stole the mustard glaze on carrots from my dad's significant other) and the pork fell apart on the way out. Good thing I took shots first.

Then, take the liquid you've got at the bottom of the pan, and toss it on high in a saucepan. Cover until boiling, then add more light brown sugar and a slice of butter. Reduce until one-third of its original size.

Add garlic powder and steak rub at the very end for garlicky heat to offset the sugar. Add pork to the saucepan, break apart in sauce, and bring to heat. Then remove and find your white bread, it's eatin' time.

Friday, April 25, 2008


There is nothing like a bowel movement consisting entirely of Cheez Whiz.

That fucking hurt.

As if I needed any more reasons to never enter a cheesesteak-eating contest, ever.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Paste-poached pork shoulder.

So this is something a little bit different. I have been obsessing over Mark Bittman's pernil recipe for months, and finally bought a big hunk of pork and did it like he said.

The result was good, but not great. Reason? I used the picnic ham, not the boston butt.

This time I made the paste like so.

A few heads of garlic
two large white onions (Vidalia would be lovely)
two Pink Lady apples
orange juice
lemon zest
juice of one lemon (watch the seeds! fishing is painful)
whole black peppercorns
kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper
one habanero, ribbed and seeded (wear gloves.

Chop and otherwise prep everything. Core but don't peel the apples - their peels are the best part. If you have extra peels, this is a perfect use for them. Cook for a couple hours on low until soft. Blend until it's paste. Make sure the blender has enough liquid to process the fruit - precooking makes this much easier. A food processer would let you skip the precook and that's how I'm doing it next time.

Then rinse and pat-dry your pork. Put it and the paste in a zipper-seal bag overnight

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pork shoulder!

Take a pork shoulder. Rub a paste made out of an onion, ten cloves of garlic, some red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper (ground and peppercorns), cumin and chili powder onto it, poke some holes, and park it in a bag in the fridge overnight

the next day, pop it on a roasting rack, put a little water in the bottom of the pan, and roast at 300, turning once an hour until it's done. mine took five hours.

it's mostly mark bittman's recipe.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cubano's tasting notes

different dining areas done in different bright colors - red, yellow and lime green.

got a weird look for ordering in Spanish. Order in English - they're assimilated here, even though all waiter-waiter conversations are en Espanol. pricey. top entree eighteen bucks. empanaditas (hardly diminuitive) in either picadillo beef or chicken are 5.95 for two. I ordered one of each, and got strange looks.

They brought us bread anyway. It was delicious inch-thick hunks of French baguette with a nice toast and subtle garlic on one side. One piece of the bowl survived.

After a decent wait for what was supposed to be an appetizer (probably because it's all we ordered) out came two plates of golden brown empanadas. Fried, dusted for some reason with parsley and covered in little bubbles, burst and not, from the frying.

I hate to make the sloppy joe comparison again but the beef has the nubbly texture and mildly tomatoey sauce, as well as a little onion and a nice vinegar tang. My notes read as follows: "beef red pepper chili vinegar yum." The beef empanadita had more of a thick, crunchy snap to the crust especially on the edges, while the chicken didn't hold its crunch through the trip home until the writing of this article.

fried empanadas for the win!

served on doilies. they didn't know what to make of us for just ordering two of the same appetizer. worth it to Metro it. Nicely refined, but now i want the best possible.

crunchy crust that comes only from making your crust with lard and then frying it hard. why the fuck was there parsley on these?

The chicken empanada, filled with shredded poultry, a little more onion, and a yellow (adobo?) tint, was equally as good. Bits of red pepper highlighted the tangled mess of chicken threads.

3 blocks from Silver Spring Metro.

white paper on white tablecloths.

light wood floors in the dining areas, big rustic red tile in the bar. They sat us near the cachaca. You haven't known temptation till you've sat near the cachaca.

The crust tastes like there's pig fat inside (a good thing) and is still crunch after six hours sitting on the counter. as I finish up the leftovers for this post and these notes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Patrick's Day with a Jewish girl who doesn't eat cabbage

so we made a fusion potato pancake. a couple parts boxty, a couple parts latke, and a gigantic mess - of the kitchen, that is. the pancakes turned out great.

Most of a five-pound bag of cheap white potatoes
three pounds corned beef
one large red pepper
two medium purple onions
vegetable oil
extra virgin olive oil
two egg yolks. (no white, goddammit)
four cloves crushed garlic
one squeeze deli mustard
matzoh meal, standing in for breadcrumbs.

The night before, toss the unrinsed corned beef in a crock-pot, add the sesoning packet and extra black peppercorns, cover, and leave on high until simmering, then turn to low, and cover with something heavy to weigh the cover down.

Peel and shred the potatoes in a food processor. Salt and pepper immediately after shredding and spread on a paper towel to drain (or use a colandar - no lo tengo). Moisture is death in this recipe.

Process the veg next, chopping everything as small as possible. Salt it a little (kosher salt, btw, as if you'd use anything else) and set on towels or in another colandar. Salt helps draw out water. The problem is that your corned beef is salty too and you need salt at the very end. Salt to your leisure.

De-fat (relax, it's all on the top) and shred the corned beef and then chop it so it's not stringy. Add to a large bowl with the veggies and potatoes, along with the mustard and garlic. Cover, in a colandar/on paper towels, for half an hour. Go take a nap. Cooking is tiring.

After you wake up, pull the pancake mix and fuck with it a little. Make some balls. Stir it around. Have extra liquid? Add matzoh meal. You'll feel when it comes together.

Get enough oil into the skillet to cover the pancakes most of the way. You're not going for thin and crispy here. Make patties, squeeze out as much liquid as you can over the sink so it doesn't glom up the rest of your mix, and fry. For easy adding to the pan, use a metal spatula with a little oil on it. Slap the patty onto the spatula, and slide it into the oil with something that burns much less than your hand , for which you will be grateful when the oil spits on you. It will. Believe it.

Have paper towels or a drying rack ready. About eight minutes on each side, but keep them going until they're deep golden brown on both sides. You want a molten exterior, and that's harder the thicker they are.

Serve with car bombs. Boom.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Pennsylvania eats list

1 Neato Burrito, likely buffalo with chili.

Chinese food at Ho Wah, who somehow manages to do takeout Chinese just a step above every other takeout Chinese place on earth.

Nosh at the farmer's market in Lemoyne. The amazing sandwich place is so long gone I can't even remember the name, but I still remember the sandwiches - hooray the Nuclear Waste, six kinds of cheese stuffed into a styrofoam go cup and topped with turkey, nuked, then slapped onto a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and a squirt of ranch. It was brutal. It was heaven. There's still really good sausage there and crazy Amish specialties. You haven't lived until you've seen bacon-wrapped chicken livers in a hotel pan.

a bubba's takoeut sub, white bread, mayo, tomato, provolone, turkey. with onion rings. cause no one does it better.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Farking amazing.

The best meals I eat aren't in restaurants, but private homes. Today was one of those days.

I'm nibbling on a Puerto Rican empanada which in most other cuisines is a pocket pie, but in Puerto Rico is the best fucking chicken-fried steak ever. got a rough recipe too.

marinate pounded cube steak in garlic, adobo, and a little cilantro. (Safeway has good cube steaks, my source confided) Bread with...she didn't tell me, but it tastes like bread crumbs, via the method where you put egg on the meat first, and fry in corn oil. an electric skillet is your friend here. you want dark brown.

yum. just fucking yum.

...many thanks to the daughter who breaded and pounded and the mother who fried. double thanks for the leftover unfried one, roughly the size of my calf. it'll feed me three or four times. sometimes life really is awesome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shepherd's Pie!

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Fry ground beef in it with pepper. Drain, set aside. add thai chili sauce to ground beef. mix throughout. don't add too much.

Drop a hunk of butter into the skillet. Let it brown. Add finely chopped sweet peppers, tomatoes and half-moon carrots. Let it brown, then add a handful of flour. Cook the flour, and add red wine.

Cook the red wine down to a third of its previous state. Add a fruity wheat beer, like Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat, and reduce to original height. Then add the ground beef, and stir to combine. Then add one Guiness, stirring continuously throughout. Once it's reduced again, add more flour and stir throughly until at proper thickness. You want it mega-thick.

if you haven't already put a pot of water on for potatoes, do so now. boil them. then run them through a food mill, along with a chunk of butter and a good amount of milk that have been microwaved in the same glass.

beat potatoes until creamy. add salt. Put in piping bag. Pipe potatoes over meat mix, that's been placed in a pan, and fluff with a fork before popping into a 350 degree oven until the top's brown.

Monday, January 14, 2008


one small white onion, peeled, chopped fine
one medium red pepper, deveined, deseeded, chopped fine
four small sweet yellow and orange peppers, deseeded, deveined, chopped fine.

enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I used organic extra virgin.

kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
garlic powder


i used 88% ground beef - it came in a six-pound block from Costco and I used...fuck, maybe a pound and a half..

heat the olive oil in a pan. once it's warm, add the dry seasonings and let them flavor the oil. then add the finely chopped veggies and saute them down.

meanwhile, dose the ground beef in garlic and teriyaki (i used Trader Ming's Soyaki) and work it in with your hands, which will need washing immediately afterwards.

once veggies are done, toss two handfuls of breadcrumbs into the pan and stir until the oil disappears. add this to the meat, stirring first with a spatula, then your hands.

spread the mix into a 9x9 pan, and top with leftover pineapple hand glaze after stabbing holes in it with the pointy bit of the spatula.

if you don't have the most awesome glaze in existence, top with more teriyaki mixed 50-50 with ketchup. Top that with bacon.

bake at 350 for an hour. use a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches 160 in the middle. leave out to cool, then chill for storage. Eat within a week.

I want to eat this as a sandwich with mozzarella on fresh laffa, but my current location is much, much too far from Pita Plus and Liora's awe-inspiring Israeli flatbread.