I am marking this vegetarian, even though we used pancetta. The pancetta isn’t necessary, but it added a nice flavor. You could just use olive oil instead, and maybe a dash of red wine or balsamic vinegar. This idea came to Mandi in our usual 3pm what do you want for dinner email discussion. She said she wanted to make vegetable lasagna, but use the veggies as the pasta and even as the sauce. We brainstormed for a bit and this is what we came up with. I love giving you guy’s original recipes, so PLEASE let me know if you like this and if you ever cook it!
Secret beach is not so secret anymore. Mandi and I are moving across the island, so we decided to let all our friends know exactly where secret beach was since we wouldn’t be going as much anymore! We did this by having a party there and inviting everyone. I sent out a treasure map with an X on secret beach, and anyone who could find it was welcome to come and party. As usual, the grill was fired up and people brought things to cook.
Nooshin was up this past weekend so we decided to cook Persian food again for her. For one, cause we liked it last time but weren’t 100% satisfied with the outcome, and two, because Mandi never ended up cooking it when she went out to visit Noosh in LA. This meal was awesome despite the fact that we did not have 2 major Persian ingredients; dried limes, and fenugreek. If you have access to these things, you should use them to make this dish even more authentic! Another great thing about this meal is that it is easy. It does take a bit of time, but it isn’t hard and you are greatly rewarded for your time.
As the tomatoes turn red on the plant with each passing day, I wonder what ways I can purely taste the tomato flavor. Aside from just popping a tomato in my mouth, how can I get the utmost taste of the fruits of my labor? Salsa is a pretty obvious choice, but at the moment I could probably make enough salsa for only 3 chips or half a taco. I came up with this idea randomly and made them after work today.
I sent this article from the New York Times to Mandi and Amy on a Monday at work. Minutes later they were planning on getting together that night and making them. The blaags have been a buzz with avocado recipes and also avocado drinks, so I thought I would join in the fun and post one today. I should also note that posts in the coming weeks will become a bit sporadic. I have tomorrow and Friday off work for Bermuda’s cup match, a 2 day cricket game that is a holiday here. Then after that I will be moving into a new apartment so my stuff will be all over the place. The kitchen is a huge upgrade though so that will be nice when all this is over.
Broke account so I broke a sweat
I’ve bought some things that I sort of regret about now – Modest Mouse
I’m not really that broke, but a few things happened that caused me to have to be creative for a few days last week with my food. Last Tuesday, Mandi and I ate really well all day without spending a dollar! Luckily, because I cook all the time there were ingredients lying around my house, but even if there weren’t, these would still be really cheap meals to make.
SIDE RANT – we have been watching the next food network star and enjoying the show somewhat. I take it for what it is and realize that no one on this show could ever touch anyone on top chef. But it is a different show and they are looking for something different then Tom and Padma. Last night I was completely disappointed with the winner and I can’t imagine that anyone liked Aaron. He sucked the last 2 weeks and I didn’t even think he could possibly win. I was trying to decide if it would be Lisa or Adam the whole episode, they both had way better pilots and are way better in general. I wanted Lisa to win from day one and I am going to be making it my personal goal to contact her and interview her or post one of her recipes. I don’t care if it is a year from now and no one even remembers her! YEA LISA GARZA! Mandi and I have sworn off food network before, once when they stopped playing Molto Mario, the first time we saw ultimate recipe showdown or down home with the Neely’s, and who could forget the holiday dessert iron chef debacle. This time we really mean it food network! Its over! Well maybe after Jamie and Anne this weekend, THEN it is over.
I was planning on posting a post I’ve been waiting a while to do today, but it requires a clean house. Every night this week I had planned to take the pictures, but my house was never clean enough, so today I present to you, a post I like to call “what I ate for dinner last night.”
I was craving cauliflower all last week and was excited to see that Jamie would be focusing on it on his upcoming episode. We decided to make the cannelloni dish with a few changes. For one, we just watched the molecular episode of diary of a foodie and wanted to try making the tomato powder. Another was the strange fact that Jamie used canned tomato puree instead of making a sauce for this dish. We had some leftover sauce we had made and decided to mix that with puree so we would have enough. I also thought it odd that Jamie did not pre cook the pasta before stuffing it, I was doubtful it would cook properly in the casserole but wanted to try it anyways.
I make breakfast every day that I don’t go to work. This means Saturday and Sunday most weeks, and random days sprinkled in here and there. When on a diet, the usual bacon and eggs doesn’t really cut it for both weekend days. Neither does the leftover taco ingredient omelet, the breakfast pile, the McDonalds steak egg and cheese clone, or the sausage sandwich with pancakes as bread smothered in high fructose corn syrup also known as fake maple syrup (Figure 1, After click-through) I decided this week to go light for breakfast and make some blueberry buckwheat pancakes. There is a recipe with yeast right on the bag of buckwheat, but I decided to go with an Ellie Krieger recipe I saw her make a few weeks back. Another quick pancake anecdote – I used to hate pancakes all my life until about a year ago when I first made them without using a box, then I realized its pancake mix that I hate, and not actual pancakes.
For some reason soup was the topic of the day. Our normal email group was emailing about soup for like an hour. Didn’t anyone realize it is the middle of the summer? It’s hot and humid. I don’t want soup! But Mandi did. So we compromised on one chilled soup and one hot soup. We had a cayenne ripening in the garden so I thought we could spice up a gazpacho. This made me laugh… hot cold soup. That’s when I thought, how can I make the hot soup cold? Mint is a “cool” flavor and I had heard of people using mint with lamb and peas in ravioli/wontons. That’s how I came to the finalized dinner of the night. Duo of soups: Hot cold (spicy gazpacho), and cold hot (mint lamb wontons in chicken broth). Food sounds classy if you say “duo”.
Summertime. This is my first summer with the blog and it is kind of an interesting situation. On one hand, it’s great. I’m making new things all the time and enjoying them with a variety of people who are also sharing awesome food with me. I am being creative about what I cook with regards to how well it can travel and where the actual cooking will take place. And im having a lot of fun! All things that should translate to great blog posts right? Well here is the problem. Going straight from work to a mid week BBQ? whoops! Forgot my camera. Trying to prep a pasta salad in a half hour with guests on my couch? Those pics aren’t getting taken. Blogging a friends artichoke fritters? No one likes someone hanging over them taking pictures while they are trying to cook. I’ve found that I have to be satisfied with what I can get. Most blogs don’t take pictures of the whole process, but I do because I love it. I think the food looks great during all stages and I think it is helpful to people to see the different steps. But I have to accept that some days, the pics wont be top quality, or the whole process wont be there. I can still show some great shots and explain the recipe for people. And I can always write some cheesy paragraph explaining why.
In my never ending quest to prove to Mandi that she likes burgers, I came up with the idea of a thai curry burger yesterday. Then Mandi said: “don’t you realize that by making taco burgers and curry burgers, you are not proving to me that I like burgers, you are just reminding me that I like tacos and curry.” Click below for more pictures and the recipes.
I have always been interested in the scientific elements of modern cooking, what many people would call “molecular gastronomy”, but I never thought I would do any of it myself. Recently after cheering for Richard in the latest top chef, and reading playing with fire and water a lot, I have had the itch. It was actually Mandi who pushed me over the edge to finally buy some of the stuff. One day she was bored at work and kept sending me cool pictures of different plates people had made. It was her who originally found playing with fire and water and she really wanted to start trying some stuff. Finally the packages came in the mail, methylcellulose, sodium alginate, and calcium chloride. A few new salts and a syringe. The first thing we were going to try was sphereification. This is kind of old news and sometimes considered a gimmick these days, but it is one of the easiest methods in this modern cooking world so I thought it would be a fun place to start. Also, even if it isn’t quite as cool in the food world anymore, I feel that it still has a place in the emerging “molecular mixology”.