Thursday, February 9, 2012

fries! because i haven't fried enough stuff yet...

yep. after the deepfrystravaganza the other day, and an incredibly long week.. i felt like attempting french fries. because why buy them, when you can spend way too long making them?

because they're delicious, that's why.

and easy... ish? okay. a little messy, but worth it.

you'll need (per good-size serving):
one fist-size white skinned potato
a good amount of canola oil (1/4 cup or so)
leftover bbq rub from the wings. just saying.

first, slice your potato into french fries. yeah yeah, i know, my world was rocked when i read this too. you can do this by slicing length-wise, so you have long sheets of potato, then slicing thinly. thin means crispy, and crispy means tasty. no giant steakfries here.

then, put in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil for a while. this gets rid of excess starch and cooks them through, leaving you to just crisp the suckers up. strain, and leave them to steam off excess moisture.

then, fry the suckers. while they're drying, heat up your oil on medium-high heat, and add in a single layer at a time. try not to overcrowd the pan. i did batches, like so:

fry until crispy, then toss on a paper-towel lined plate, season immediately, then in a 250 degree oven to stay warm.

eventually, you'll have lots of delicious fries!

what to do with these? well, i made breakfast-for-dinner, and ate it like so:

the red stuff on the eggs is sriracha. the orangey-yellow stuff (damn iphone camera) is sriracha mayo for the fries. don't judge me, i was once like you - not eating sriracha mayo. it sucked.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

fire up the deep fryer, it's super bowl time again.

Now, those of you that know me know that I don't really follow football too much, but love to do a superbowl party every year. This year, some friends graciously hosted, so I did what I did last year (regrettably unblogged) and deep fried the hell out of some good eats for dinner. Even if your man-crush (or just crush-crush) Tom Brady didn't make it happen this year, you can drown your sorrows in some good food and company.

first up though, WINGS.
I'm pretty particular about my wings, so I just learned to make them and called it a day at that. These got some rave reviews this year (thanks team!) and were actually a snap to put together.

You'll need:
As many wings as you want to make - I did a good solid six pounds here.
Montreal steak spice (trust me) or your choice of a spice mix.
A cup of flour
A cup of corn starch
Two eggs, and a bit of milk.
Franks Red-hot
Lots of oil (sorry dieters. it's the superbowl)
A big cast iron skillet or something similarly heavy duty

and for your safety, some kind of fire extinguishing apparatus juuuuust in case.

The night before, mix your wings with a generous amount of the spice rub. Leave these in the fridge overnight.
When ready, fill your pot/pan about two or three inches high of oil. I used canola here, peanut is good too. Heat on medium high. You can check this by tossing a bread cube in and seeing how it reacts - if it bubbles up nicely and evenly, it's good. if it goes crazy, it might be a bit high. You're looking for about 425 degrees, if you have a thermometer.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, and some more spiceage. Toss your wings in this until they're all dusted and dry-feeling (they'll be white from the flour, aim for complete coverage).
Whisk the eggs and a splash of milk together, and toss the floured wings in this.
THEN do the flour step again (you might have to make more of this). This is key. Gives you ridiculously crunchy, tasty wings.

Here's the intimidating part.

gently, place the wings in the hot oil. If you have a spider or similar device it's much easier. Just don't drop in, lots of splashing and potential oil-on-hot-element may ensue.

See the joy up there? Do that for four minutes a side, then put on a paper-towel lined plate in the oven at 200 for as long as you want. They won't dry out unless you leave them forever.

I swear before I took this picture, the pile was three times bigger than that. While in the oven, melt equal amounts of butter and franks together to make buffalo wing sauce (the secret is out!). Toss the wings in it or set aside for dipping, whatever you prefer. Serve with blue cheese dressing if you want, or just mow on its own.

Veggos - I'm currently figuring out some reasonable substitute for this. I have a vegetarian friend that has some ideas, I think. Will stay on it.

BONUS extra...
A friend was making pizza too, so we had a lot of mozzarella left.
First, make a quick beer batter. A cup of flour, an egg, and a bottle of beer should do it. Add flour as needed for consistency (a thin batter, but not liquid totally). Spice if you want (oregano, chili flakes, salt, pepper)
Make mozzarella-stick shapes out of grated cheese, like so:

...and dip in. Drop these in, and act fast (or it will end poorly). Drain on paper towel and serve with marinara. Yep, you just made mozzarella sticks. And yes, it was that easy.

See? First try. Don't think too much about the oil on the paper.

Slice some bananas and toss in the batter. Deep fry THOSE and serve with maple/pancake syrup. Uh, yeah. More of those.

BONUS BONUS BONUS two-part extra (this is exhausting)
First, I saw a shout-out to my favorite redneck beer in a hipster Toronto paper:
Which I feel somehow legitimizes my love for that and Molson Ex.

Second part: there's a German word, kummerspeck, which relates to the weight you gain from over-eating when you're sad. It translates to "sad bacon". If you're a Patriots fan, hopefully this blog post will help you out there.


Monday, January 30, 2012

oh no-reos, it's homemade oreos

okay, that was pretty shameful. whatever, puns are fun.
what else is fun? oreos. fun and damn delicious. made at home, they are freaking huge! satisfying my childlike craving for an oreo the size of a cd.

best part? they're damn easy to make, and make lots of - perfect for guests, or co-op jobs where the tradition is (apparently) that the students bring in baked goods every friday.

here goes..
for the cookies, you'll need:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (i used kosher here, got a neat little salty/sweet mix going on)
1 cup sugar
one egg
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp buttah

blend the dry, then the butter and egg. make this into tablespoon-size balls, and chill. then mash those suckers down till they're flat and oreo-cookie like. bake at 375 for five minutes on both sides on some parchment paper. cool it down, and make the good stuff.

the good stuff:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups (yes, that's correct) icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

blend the butter and shortening together, then the sugar and vanilla. find someway to introduce between two cookie halves, push down and EAT.
(if you're looking for a methodical way to do it, put it in a ziploc bag and snip off a corner. presto, instant piping bag!)

enjoy! and thanks to the star for the recipe - big hit at christmas.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I think it's time..

I've been coasting on this blog for too long. Time to get my shit together and bring it back!

Without further ado, I present:
"the engagement risotto" (because I've been propositioned a couple times after making it)
You'll need:
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups any kind of stock (I prefer chicken with this)
1 large red union
A slice of good bread
A jalepeno
Half a cup old cheddar, or some other stinky nonsense

To start, finely slice and caramelize that onion. Get a deep brown on it, which will take forever and smell wonderful.
Then, add your rice. Toast it, somewhat.
Slowly add stock to it, waiting until it absorbs the liquid between passes.

Toast then chop your bread up. Fry it up with a chopped jalepeno. Wusses, don't take the seeds out. They complete the fun. Get it all crispy.

When your stock is all used up, add the cheese. You now have risotto, or some reasonable facsimile. Then toss in the breadcrumbs nonsense (pangratatto, it's called).

Eat, and be prepared to fight off your friends and family for seconds.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marinated Tofu Goodness

Hey all,
Yet another long-time-no-post, but I just hit upon something that I definitely had to share with you. Particularly since I've been advised at the recent unveg-friendly posts as of late, something to remedy. After all, I don't eat too much meat either, so it's probably good to make some good stuff.

This recipe is for marinated tofu - I've found that marinating and searing gives a whole mess of flavour to tofu, and definitely mitigates the blandness a lot of people associate with it.
Here's how.
You'll need:
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (I used my trusty rooster stuff here)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of chili flakes (just because)
  • 1/2 lb tofu, cut into squares about an inch across and half thick.
  • Optionally, some cooked rice and more soy sauce
First, mix the soy, hot, lemon, and chili together in a sealable container or plastic bag. Then add in the tofu cubes. Let this sit for a while. I gave it about three hours before the first batch, and the second batch later tonight will probably be even tastier.

Set some rice to cook, read a book, write the great american novel, whatever you want to do. Shake it up once in a while to make sure it's evenly marinating. When the three hours or so is up, heat up sesame oil in a pan on medium to high heat, and cook the tofu, flipping when it's nice and crispy.

This was probably the best tofu I've had in my life. Just had a lot of flavour, and great texture thanks to the marinating. You'll want to use either a firm tofu (with maybe some draining) or an extra firm tofu, so it takes in the flavours.

On the side, I tossed some cooked rice with some of the marinated, and fried it up in the leftover oil, adding a good dose of soy sauce. This also picked up some of the flavours, and crisped up some of the rice.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coffee crusted lamb, and other adventures in cooking

Howdy y'all.
Let me start off this post with a quick apology to the veg-heads out there. This one is not for you. I keep meaning to do more vegetarian cooking, but my knowledge is limited. That said, there's a block of tofu in the fridge waiting for me, so hopefully I'll make some use of that. One other note - due to the distraction of cooking, this is a little less picture-riffic that my previous posts, so I'll try and be nice and verbal about the food.

Good? Good.

Anyways, for this, you will need:
  • 1 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 rack of lamb ribs, frenched, crown or not (I prefer not, really)
  • Good salt
  • Canola oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme, taken off the stems
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Start by oiling up your lamb, and preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Proceed to salt it, then rub it (really dig the spices in there) with the four spices/ingredients. It helps to just blend these up beforehand so you don't get messy lambey hands all over your spice jars

If you're not made of dolla dolla bill y'alls, you can do this with a beef roast or pork tenderloin, but adjust cooking times appropriately.

Heat a cast-iron pan with canola oil up, and sear the lamb on both sides. Toss it in the oven, and cook on both sides for 10 minutes each.

Give it a ten minute rest, and cut into it. Depending on done-ness (if you like rarer, serve it), carve into lamb lollipops and sear for about 1 minute on either side in the pan again afterwards. Let these rest for a few minutes, and in the meanwhile, stir in the butter, thyme and garlic into the pan and make a sauce. Dose your chops with this, and serve with a giant bottle of beer.

The pictured beer is Mill Race Mild, from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge. Absolutely delicious, especially from a growler. Need to refill it soon.

What's that on the side? Well, it's some veg-friendly food after all.

You'll need:
  • 1 head (not just a clove) of garlic, with a layer of the top sliced off to expose the cloves
  • Olive oil
  • time.
  • 2 russet potatoes, chopped coarsely
Add about a tablespoon of oil to the top of the garlic, and wrap in aluminum foil and roast at 400 for 30-35 minutes (or 375 for 45 minutes, or 350 for 1hr)

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water, and when tender, mash with copious amounts of butter and possibly some milk or heavy cream. Only do this when the garlic is ready, because you're going to add all of the delicious browned roasted garlic in, and you'll have all of the omnoms you'll ever need. Makes a good side dish to roasted lamb, obviously.

See what I mean?


Monday, June 14, 2010

back on topic: mac and cheese!

Hey folks,
So after reviewing some six year old insight below, I decided it was high time for some comfort food.

Also, I had bechamel sauce lying around. Who does that?

I guess for starters in this post I should teach you how to make Bechamel.
As follows:
- Melt two tbsp of butter in a wide saucepan, and when fully down (or even browned slightly, yum), add in an equal amount of flour. Whisk this together to make a roux, which is sort of a looser paste. This can be browned, but for this purpose, leave it till it gets golden.
- Add in 2/3 of a cup of milk (I used 1% like a heretic, but you can use any kind really), a little bit at a time, whisking as you go. Heat this over medium heat until it thickens up. Season with salt and pepper.

That wasn't so hard now, was it? Here's the fun part.

You'll need:
  • some kind of pasta (about a little less than you'd normally eat)
  • the sauce from before
  • bacon, salami, and/or vegetables (wuss)
  • about 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • a crushed up stale bun for breadcrumbs
Really, it's just an excuse to use up fridge stuff. anyways.
Cook the bacon or whatever till nice and crispy (or done) in a cast iron or oven safe pan, and in the meanwhile, cook the pasta till a little before al dente.

When all is said and done, drain your pasta and leave a bit of the water in (very important.) Add the bechamel to the bacon, and stir around. Soon after (like, a minute), add the pasta and water. You'll notice I added a bit much - this will cook down quickly on the higher heat.

Then, you have two options. Both begin with topping the whole mess with breadcrumbs and the cheddar cheese. You can either: broil it to brown the topping, or bake it (around 325 for 20 minutes) to encase it in a shell of brownage (that sounds so gross). I was hungry, so I did the broil.

Voila. Probably best to be prudent and remove this to a bowl or plate, and mix around all the crispy and soft parts to have good textural contrast. Also make sure to have your copy of Romance Bloody Romance standing by for the dance party you'll have shortly after.


PS: welcome additions include hot sauce, chicken, or other goodies for a flavour mixup. This is good, but can be a bit bland on its own.