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April 2011 Archives

Beastie Week: Red Curry Falafel with Basil-Carrot Raita

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Ey yo what the falafel, you got to get up awful, early, to fool Mr. Furley

It's been a long week of Beastie Boy recipes! I've really been enjoying it. I have one more for you all, a red curry falafel. I was inspired to make falafel with red curry as the seasoning because I have eaten red curry with chickpeas many times and the flavors mesh really well. I also had the idea because a couple falafel ingredients overlap with red curry ingredients. The falafel came out great, served with a basil-carrot raita each bite was perfection.

Beastie Week: Pear and Goat Cheese Pannekoeken


Sometimes I like to brag, sometimes I'm soft spoken, and when I'm in holland I eat the pannekoeken.

Even though this is the 4th day of Beastie week, this is actually the 7th recipe I have made inspired by their lyrics! If you want to check out the companion pieces, they are: Cold Soba, Chicken Tikka, and Baked Alaskan.

When I was in high school and first heard 'Hello Nasty' I was always intrigued by Mike D's mention of the mysterious pannekoeken. Any time I knew someone who was traveling to the netherlands I always urged them to try it! But alas, I would call my friends on their return from Amsterdam excitedly asking about pannekoeken, and all they wanted to talk about was coffee shops and the red light district. Weird! I finally had my chance to make it this week and I really loved it. This recipe would be perfect for brunch because of the salty sweet play of the goat cheese, pears, powdered sugar, and thyme.

Beastie Week: MCA's Pasta with Pesto


I'll be in the paper, the news with Ernie Anastos, They'll even print my recipe for pasta with pesto, now here's another special of the day, you see I've got more spice than the frugal gourmet.

This recipe comes strait from the source, MCA himself! He wasn't bluffing when he said his recipe for pesto would be printed. I'm not positive, but I think this recipe is from the short lived Grand Royal Magazine, put out by their own record company. It is a straightforward pesto recipe, but the ratios are perfect and I love the carefully described technique. So I'm gonna shut up now and let today's guest blogger talk a bit!

Beastie Week: Mint Julep


Yo, we be making mountains out of Cool Whip, Pass me the mint for the julep!

The Beastie Boys are streaming the whole new album, high quality and uncensored, on their website right now, and it doesn't even come out till next week! Make sure to check it out while it's still free. (Then of course, buy it next week). I am busy analyzing the lyrics for food references so I can update my old post next week.

So what about these juleps? I was a big fan, but I generally like any whiskey drink. Some of my friends who I drank them with, weren't as impressed. Some said too sweet which surprised me for 2 reasons. First, because I don't like overly sweet drinks, and didn't think this was too sweet. Secondly because they like whiskey with coke, which I think is crazy sweet! Others said it was too whiskey-y, which to me, isn't a problem!

Continue reading Beastie Week: Mint Julep.

Beastie Week: Spicy Sauteed Cucumbers

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Well I'm as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce, You've got the rhyme and reason but got no cause

I've been a huge Beastie Boy fan for almost my whole life. They are one of the few musical groups I liked growing up that I can still get behind being the jaded snobby hipster indie music nerd that I am today. They come out with albums about once ever 100 years, so you can imagine that it is an exciting time to be a Beastie Boy fan right now! Since their CD comes out next Tuesday, I decided to dedicate a week to cooking recipes inspired by them. They are food nerds after all! Cooking today's recipe, I quickly realized that cucumbers DON'T stay cool in a bowl of hot sauce! This recipe was spicy!

Asian Chicken Salad in Crispy Wonton Cups

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It's been a crazy busy couple weeks for me, but I can finally sense things returning to normal around here. Normal is still busy, just not the no sleep never home type of busy it's been. I am very excited about next week on TFIMB, but you guys will have to stay tuned to find out why! For now, you can check out my recipe for Asian Chicken Salad in Crispy Wonton Cups on tablespoon. Very tasty and actually pretty easy.

Crispy P.B.L.T.

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The PB stands for Pork Belly. But in that case, all BLT's are PBLT's because bacon is made from pork belly. I saw a Crispy pork belly sandwich in Food and Wine this month, and that same day passed some beautiful pork belly at the Asian market. I knew it was a sign. I didn't really like their recipe however, so I decided to make it my own. Slow cooked in a slightly Korean BBQ sauce, then fried in it's own fat until crispy, this pork belly was fantastic on its own. When placed on a fresh ciabatta with more of that bbq sauce, and some lettuce tomato and mayo, it really became magical.

Continue reading Crispy P.B.L.T..

Cuban Sandwich Style Rouladen

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While coming up with a recipe for german rouladen, I realized that many of the ingredients coincide with the cuban sandwich. So I decided to stuff the rouladen with cuban ingredients like pickles, mustard, ham, and swiss. Check out the recipe for Cuban sandwich style German rouladen on tablespoon today.

Caprese Summer Rolls


Why didn't I post yesterday? Well it may be somewhat often that I have a rough weekend and am unable to get a post up on a Monday, but this weekend was different. That's cause here in Boston, Monday was a holiday! Officially, it's called Patriots day, but everyone knows it as Marathon Monday. I was lucky enough to have the day off and hang out with some really good friends, touring the race route and patronizing many local establishments. A few weeks ago my sister and I jokingly mentioned mixing Vietnameese and Italian foods, and finally brought them together yesterday morning with these caprese summer rolls.

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Ras el Hanout Rubbed Beef Back Ribs


Ras el hanout is a spice blend. It's name literally translates to "top of the shop", meaning a blend of the best spices that you have to offer. The recipe varies not only by middle eastern country or region, but from shop to shop and home to home. My ras el hanout sits in a jar, hidden in the top corner of my spice cabinet. Every time I grind up a spice blend, I add what I need to the recipe. 4 out of 5 times, I use it all, but that fifth time, I decide I have made too much and put the leftovers into my ras el hanout jar. After a few of these occasions, I am left with a unique little spice blend! The top of my shop.

Ghost Farmer


I love when I get to use my sweet farmer Dan graphic! This is the 4th year in a row that I have planted food, and each year has been very different, from where I lived to the types of things I grew. I am taking it easy this year, mostly growing some herbs, but with one wildcard. I ordered some Bhut Jolokia (ghost chile) seeds from the Waiema Bay Chili Pepper Company and am currently trying to germinate them. I have them on a heating pad because they need a temperature of around 80 degrees to germinate. I have my fingers crossed and I check on them every day, but it could take as long as a month according to the instructions! I think with 20 seeds, at least one should pop, right?

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Red Velvet Battered Onion Rings


This post is the behind the scenes DVD commentary for my Tablespoon post yesterday on red velvet chicken tenders.

Awhile back, a friend emailed me a link to an article talking about red velvet fried chicken on a menu at a restaurant in San Fran. The link was accompanied only by the text "I want". This idea was in the back of my head for awhile, but the recipe seemed clunky to me, Fried chicken needs to fry for a long time, wouldn't the red velvet burn? Soak the chicken in the batter, then dredge with cooked red velvet crumbs? There had to be a better way.

So when Tablespoon was looking for unique "batters" for the start of the baseball season, I decided to go for it (you know how much I love cheesy puns, baseball, and fried things) and try out my take on the recipe. I thought chicken tenders to make the fry time quick, and also decided I would make onion rings so Tablespoon wouldn't get all the fun, and I could post some pics here on TFIMB too.

The plan was to have the friend over who initially suggested the idea and finally make these crazy things, but unfortunately time got away from me and at the last minute I had to just make them on my own. This was a good thing because my first attempt was a complete disaster and I am glad no one was around to witness it!

Red Velvet Battered Chicken Fingers

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Whoa! Red velvet coated chicken fingers? Yep. Sounds crazy, but it just might work. And it did work, very well in fact. Check out the recipe for red velvet chicken fingers on Tablespoon today, and be sure to come back tomorrow to see the behind the scenes trial and error that was needed to create this recipe.

Strawberry Marinara


Hello friends and lovers! Have you guys seen the show Food Party on IFC? It's pretty much the best show of all time. Think Pee Wee's Playhouse, meets Aqua Teen Hunger Force, meets Food Network. Really. Anyway, Thu Tran generally cooks gross, inedible things on the show, but on one of my favorite episodes, she off-hand mentions using strawberries in place of tomatoes for their acidity and sweetness. This sort of stuck in my head and now that strawberry season is imminent, I finally got around to making a marinara sauce replacing the tomatoes with strawberries. The flavor profile is borrowed from the popular strawberry salad that features basil, balsamic, goat cheese, red onions, and walnuts. It was almost shocking how well the flavors came together. It tasted like a simple 10 minute marinara... and strawberries!

Continue reading Strawberry Marinara.

Visual Pasta Lesson


I make fresh pasta often on this website, but I usually just sort of brush by that step in the recipe, giving a link to my pasta making post from the stubble section. One reason is that I don't feel like explaining the process a million times, but the other is that I often make complex stuff with the pasta, and don't want to fill up the post with the pasta basics portion. Last weekend though, I was just making a simple fettuccini and was inspired by the beauty of the flour and eggs and decided to really get in there with my camera. These are the results!

Continue reading Visual Pasta Lesson.

Spring Beer Cocktail


A tasty alternative to beer for your next springtime gathering, this cocktail uses my favorite beer, vodka, lemon, ginger, and mint to make a refreshing drink with a kick. Check out the recipe for a Spring Beer Cocktail on Tablespoon today.

Rice and Bean Tart


What makes a tart a tart? Is it the pan? Or is it the crust? If it's the pan, then this is most definitely a tart. If it's the crust, then this isn't a tart at all! This tart uses rice as the crust, instead of the shortcrust pastry most tarts are known for. To get the rice to form a thin solid crust, I prepared it the way I make sushi rice, added a few spices, then spread it out on the bottom of the tart pan. After it cooked, the edges were crispy, and the middle was gummy, but in a good way, like an Asian rice dumpling. The final dish exceeded my expectations. It was fun and different, economical yet elegant. (But anything cooked in a tart pan seems elegant)

Continue reading Rice and Bean Tart.

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Mint Chimichurri

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Despite the half blizzard half rainstorm that is happening in Massachusetts right now, I have spring on my mind. That's because I am looking through these pictures from last Sunday when the weather was much nicer and a bunch of friends came over for a lightly planned but somewhat improptu BBQ at my place. What a great time, and a signal of the awesome season ahead. Lets do this every Sunday!