Saturday, November 29, 2008

snickety snack

After a big festive meal like we just had the fridge is packed with all kinds of things that need to be deciphered. Some of these things will re-emerge in some transformed way while others get reheated and eaten as is, then there are the things that get added to the leftovers and snacking begins.

First off this is for you krakilette, I found your cheese - or at least the one I can get here. Its strong, its good and I like it.

Then there is tutti-frutti popcorn. Kind of a good symbol for our civilization - multi colored but they all pop the same.

Even good crusty bread is like a blank canvas.

Ready for some olives, goat brie, pear tomatoes, olive oil?
What do you do AFTER?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

back to basics

Its all the little things that make Thanksgiving special. From the cranberry relish to the herbed butter its these special touches that make the big things shine.

I made a sweet potato cheese cake since I cant get enough cheesecake and I cant get enough of the alternative cheese cake and since sweet potato pie is so good why wouldnt it be better as a cheesecake? The herbed butter is a mixture of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage and it was packed all up in the turkey, I like a 10 pounder since they seem more tender and juicy to me.

The cranberry relish is so simple it made itself while I was doing other things, fresh cranberries, a peeled and supremed mandarin orange a little sweetner and the blender - thats it - uncooked and tasty.

What about oyster stew - well we had a little appetizer of oyster stew - a creamy base with shallots and some fresh oysters simmered oh so gently.

You are probably asking yourself about the stuffing well ask no more its a pretty standard deal, a little cornbread a little regular bread a little sage sausage some giblets and some chestnuts-cooked outside the turkey.

Did I forget to mention a little appetizer idea I stole from her,

The behind the wheel chef. Cherry tomatoes with guacamole and shrimp, my shrimp were huge gulf shrimp so I chopped them up and mixed them in the guacamole so the whole thing gets popped in your mouth. How do you say tasty with your mouthful while looking really sloppy?

Feliz pavo gordo......

Baahh huuuha.....
one love and peace

You think I am lying....this is my cousin cutting the turkey. How do you say juicy in several languages?

Rememeber how good this is?

Then its Monopoly.

Look there's plates and stuff waiting all over the place.
You Tell Me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

got dough

I must be coming down with something because I am baking like a bandit lately and I dont bake! I prefer to fly by the seat of pants when it comes to matters of the kitchen and baking requires a little bit of chemistry to get things right. I decided to throw caution to the wind and just wing it. I made this bread from the water left over from boiling cranberry beans for a cold bean salad. I hope it tastes good!

This is the third rise.

It looks good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

you've got mail

I got something in the mail yesterday - and its all mine made just for me. Try looking for it, try duplicating it, try whatever you want, it is unique and uniquely mine! Beth, for being blind as a bat, can sure see as far as I am concerned.

All I did was give her a fortune cookie description of myself and she nailed it! You know how that goes - everything ends with "in bed"...well this big boy fits perfectly!

Disregard my wrinkled apron, I pulled a clean one right out of the drawer and, well, it was wrinkled; my sleepy face is just as wrinkled but I dont have a drawer full of fresh faces - oh well.
Thank-you so much Beth, you have pretty much guaranteed that you will get that chile I promised at least 6 months before anyone else....I have to or I will feel bad.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

sushi for my banshee

ho can remember the band souxsie and the banshees? They hit the scene in 76 with their first album coming out in 1978. I think they might still be performing.

Have a little listen while you nibble on some sushi for banshees.

We make sushi often since it is a kid favorite - this one has cucumber, salmon, avocado and lumpfish roe. Itadakimasu!

I can understand why some people see this and say Mazui but not us! Dragon roll, rolling.

I see this and I say Oishisou.

And most of you need to back up now -

Quail egg, lumpfish roe, rice and nori!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

posole de pollo

Thats chicken posole in english and its gonna have to stay that way since there is no english word for 'posole', in fact outside of New Mexico its called 'pozole.' When it starts getting cold outside I wanna be warm inside and posole always does the trick. I have so many 'go to' comfort foods but truth be told if its cold then I will choose posole. I can make this every which way to sunday and back. If you want to know how - I will tell you.


Ok here goes:
I altered the recipe to include ingredients you can find just about anywhere.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken legs with thighs
  • 1/2 onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • oregano, pinch
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups canned white hominy, drained and rinsed (if you dont have the dried corn)
  • 3 to 5 cups chicken broth from cooking the chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 cup canned chopped green chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 whole jalapenos, canned or fresh, chopped (optional)

Place the chicken in a large saucepan and just cover with lightly salted water. Add the clove studded onion, 2 cloves peeled garlic, peppercorns, cumin seed, and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skim off any foam that rises, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove meat and broth, reserving both.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add the remaining spices, stir for a minute. Cut the reserved chicken that was stripped from the bones into 1 inch cubes and add to the pan. Stir in the canned hominy, chicken broth, green chilies and jalapenos (optional).

Cook at a simmer, covered, for 45 minutes until the flavors have married, I usually add a few dried red guajillo chiles or dried red serranos to the boil, taste for salt, and serve in soup bowls, with some diced onion a squeeze of lime some cilantro if you want and some crackers or corn tortillas on the side. A good point to remember is this soup is way better the next day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

oh me oh my

Nobody, I mean no body gets more tired of me than me. I have to live with my coconut oil self. What is a 'coconut oil self' you might ask - well I might tell you that a 'coconut oil self' is someone who likes to put coconut oil on their 'self' - it is my moisturizer.

Ever since I saw that Eddie Murphy movie Coming to America and Eddies character says he only washes his hair in fruit juices and coconut oil I was hooked. I would bathe in warm juice if it was a convenient and affordable thing to do - but it isnt; coconut oil on the other hand is readily available in many different grades. I use it on my hair and skin in the winter, it is thick and greasy and keeps me warm. I sometimes use food grade for popcorn, it makes it taste like movie theater popcorn. Oftentimes I use food grade as my moisturizer, just this morning I was wondering the long term effects of rubbing this fat into my hair and face. So you can see how tiring I can become.

I just learned today from an anonymous person (source) who shall remain anonymous except for the initials AP - that my favorite quote "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." is by this man- Satchel Paige I further found out some interesting history. I never really knew where that quote came from - I always thought it was simply an age old idiom. Satchel Paige was like the Yogi Bera (Half the lies they tell about me aren't true. Yogi Berra) of his time. Both men said some interesting things that they must have said often because someone wrote them down.
How does this pertain to me? It doesnt and that is the beauty of the blog. Relevance is only relevant when it is looked at by someone else and we make each other relevant - all day long. I love it. I feel like the blog people I know are probably some of the most diverse and interesting people around. While there may be very different opinions and lifestyles and while not everyone will get along it is this kismet that keeps it all together.

Dang the holidays make me wax nostalgic!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

puffy, crusty, p.crusty, chicken diddy

hicken pot pie made with puff pastry is so easy you could do it accidently. Well maybe not totally accidently but with little to no effort. Boil some chicken with a bay leaf some celery, onion and a large carrot, salt and pepper till it is ready to fall off the bone. Separate the chicken from the bone trying to keep the pieces as large as possible. In a heavy skillet saute an onion with a little olive oil and toss in chicken and one bag of frozen mixed vegetables of your choice - dont like mixed then just use peas, add 3 tablespoons of flour and some of the broth left over from boiling the chicken. Fold gently to coat and pour the whole thing in a pie pan, cover with one sheet of puff pastry and bake until golden. Feeling creative? Make individual pot pies.

Thats it. Its so much better the next day or after it has cooled completely.

All up in the gravy........

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

gnocchi in color

ere they are - purple potato gnocchi with various coulis - not your typical gnocchi design, but they are soft and flavorful. A definite 'do again', remember I do experiment with other styles.

Not bad for a first draft. Did I forget to mention excessively that the flavors are out of this world?

purple gurple

Didnt think of purple potato gnocchi did you? Uh huh, didnt think so. Did you think of it with a pumpkin and carrot pesto? mmmmhmmmm. Thems some colors! The smaller potatoes have more of a yam flavor and the larger ones are more like a russet so the combination of the two will add flavor and fluff. (can you read my little 'helpers')

I have some carrots that are not like other carrots too. These 'different' carrots will go into my pesto, and as I think it will be nothing more than a couli with a parsley pesto on the side. Close your eyes and imagine a purple gnocchi, with a multi colored couli of carrots saddled with a parsley pesto.....I'm diggin' it!

This is how the magic happens. These are my thoughts, now what say ye?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

burger tricks

have a lot of tricks up my sleeve that I have picked up over the years but this burger trick has to be my favorite. Big fat burgers never cook right, by the time the middle is done the rest is charred. Here's what you do:

These are a beef and pork mixture with garlic powder, diced onions, salt and pepper, a real 'ham'burger....I crack me up!

Make them like burger bagels, the middle cooks at the same rate as the outer edge.

Another delicious burger lunch that is nothing but a memory.

Monday, November 17, 2008

say what?

You say potato I say braised pork! This must've cooked for three hours! (the pork not the potato)

Pie update - prognosis = excellent
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