Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eating Out the Other White Meat

I'll bet you're already sick of that cloying, slightly farty odor thats rising from that gallon ziplock in your meat drawer.  The idea of another cold (or worse, tepid) cranberry, mashed potato, turkey sandwich is enough to make you disavow the same thing you were eagerly raking in the compliments for, scant days prior.  And at this late stage in the game, does anyone really need a recipe?  They need advice.  Feed it to the cats, if they'll have it and start the harvest feasting anew.  And what cleanses a palate batter than pork and chilies?  So how about some black bean, pork chile con carne?

Black Bean Pork Chile con Carne

2lbs pork steaks cubed
1 shallot minced
3 cloves garlic crushed
6-8 tablespoons of our fresh chile powder
4 cups chicken stock
1 can of black beans or 2 cups of prepared black beans
4 sprigs thyme
3-4 fresh minced sage leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons olive oil

First, sautee your shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Once they're glassy, add 3 tablespoons of the chile powder and cook together for about 2 minutes on low.  Meanwhile, toss your cubed pork steak in the remaining oil half the remaining chile powder.  Once your house smells wonderfully of chile and cumin, add in the pork and bring the heat up to medium.  You can add a little more oil if it becomes too dry for proper browning.  Once the pork has taken on some color, add in the chicken broth and the remaining spices and bring to a simmer.  Allow to simmer until reduced by about a quarter or it appears to be thickening up a bit, then add in your prepared black beans and continue to simmer until thickened to your liking.

Serve up with some cornbread or some heated corn tortillas and you're all set for a deliciously non-nutmeggy change of pace.  Although, I suppose if you're truly, truly deperate, you can always just do the shallots and chile powder, then add the stock and reduce, then add the black beans, and finally add in some of that dreaded bird that's taking up all of your refrigerator real estate.  I won't tell the spouse if you won't!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eating Out A Brief Pause

Belated greetings and apologies dear readers.  In case you hadn't noticed, I've had a little bit of the writer's block of late.  Coupled with a fairly tight economic situation, there hasn't been as much to write about.  Especially since it's not terribly interesting to read about grabbing fast food on the fly or making favorite, but already covered recipes.  Still, last night's spaghetti was quite nummy.  And here's hoping that you're enjoying your own variations on the recipe.

Just checking in and promising that we're not dead in a ditch somewhere with hobos picking us over for the choicest bits.  Just at a low simmer creatively.  But worry not!  With the colder weather comes soup season, plus we've still got a final garden harvest to look forward to (hopefully soon) before we winterize our pepper plants. 

Until then, we hope that November finds you well and that you're all getting your waistlines stretched out for some seriously hedonistic Thanksgiving type celebrations.  Remember, the pro eaters expand their stomachs with water a couple days before and take a light fast before the debauchery begins.  I know I'm showing up this year wearing elastic.  Bringing sexy back to the dinner table!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Eating Out Your Words

Man! So I’m guessing a lot of you heard about the plagiaristic whirlwind surrounding Judith Griggs and her magazine the Cook’s Source. I’m not sure where the story popped up first, but I’m stealing my lead from an NPR story link on Facebook (feel free to check against other articles for theftery). What a slap in the gob for poor blogger Monica Gaudino! Sure, you can say it’s supposed to be flattering to get your typery into a published magazine, but when you realize they’re turning a dime on your skull sweat, you might get a tad indignant. And it was a fairly classy move, rather than seek actual damages, she just asked Mad Madame Griggs to print a bit of a confession and make a donation to Columbia’s journalism program. But the BALLS on ole Griggsy! That’s like a burglar not only snatching your big screen TV, but leaving you a note criticizing how messy your house is! If you haven’t checked out the preceding articles, it boils down to: Not only did she lift the blogger’s article wholesale, after being confronted about it, Griggs essentially said the article was crap and needed heavy editing and that Gaudino should be happy for the free edit! THE BALLS!

To steal from Bill Hicks, this lady has Officer Stacey Koon class balls. Giant, iron clad, need two tractor trailers to get them to market, sized balls. How big you ask? So big that she’s even tilting at the internet windmill of popular opinion on Facebook. It seems that their initial fan page became so inundated by new, angry, “fans”, posting their good wishes and general admiration for her savvy A&R style, that they may have decided to abandon it entirely for another, with stricter posting guidelines that only allow fans to comment on existing posts. That may seem less ballsy on the surface. However! I would point out that this wild internet hero has been making sure to rattle the Facebook cage with regular updates, screeching at the world wide wubby hourly and tossing around fun words like “libel” and “hackers”, surely with the intention of whipping up a Class 4chan drama llama storm of epic proportions. And it coming to light on Guy Fawkes day? Maybe she’s just planting gunpowder under her own Parliament; for Great Justice! Yet, is it possible that all of the latter fan flaming came from a faux Griggsian impersonator? Only the interweb knows.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eating Out A Dead Relative

Feliz dia del los muertos!  Or All Saints Day or whatever reason you employ to extend the costume and makeup wearing season.  And a rather busy season it has been!  (These are what I call excuses to prevaricate on why I don't have a well thought out foodly post)

Indeed!  So we're fresh from the festivities at the beloved City Arts Gallery in the Tower.  Fresh off of several hours of standing and slinging of drinks.  And I discovered a new and interesting aspect of recipe making and general taste creation.  You're only truly creative when you are lacking in the optimum components for your art.

It's something I have been experimenting alot with on the Central Valley Buzz with our food segments and other types of culinary endeavors.  I grab or invent on the fly, entirely foreign recipes or dishes, that I read up on the style and technique, but have never attempted before except NOW on live webish TV.

I guess in a way, that's my own special cheap thrill.  Lacking the urge to break many bones attempting to ape the Jackass crew, instead I offer up my ego should I ultimately fail in making a fairly simple, yet new dish in my given 15 minutes.  So far, I'd say I'm 50/50 on ultimate success.  Of course, you keep smiling for the camera, but I often notice a forgotten ingredient or the rare outright screwup that I have to backpedal quickly from, since I don't have "back up food" or one of those handy dandy proper chefs to cook offscreen for me.

And really, where I am now in my foodventures, I wouldn't want all of that theatrical artifice.  This is where the actual fun lives, in these moments of discovery, while you're still trying to produce banter.  Gabbling madly about this or that, that you know by rote while your upper brain is going "FUCK!  I'm burning this!  Crap!  The other burner is too cold!  Shit, do I add the cumin now?  What fucking camera is on screen at the moment?"

Oh yeah.  I promised to kick down that coconut green curry soup recipe.  Well, I'm thinking it's time to make it again sometime this week, so not only can we enjoy it again and not waste all of the green curry paste, but I think it'll be mighty tasty again once we snag some lemon grass and figure out what galangal looks like.  If we're going to rant about it, might as well fake it as right and proper as possible.  I hate to make promises, since they're easily broken.  But expect a double post this week, I need me some Thai penicillin.