Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eating Out the Hot'n'Creamy

You know what I hate about me?  I promise something totally doable at the end of a post, and a week later I'm all "I don't wanna do a recipe!  Waaaah!"  Which usually dovetails with an utter lack of photos and a week of doing everything but cooking something new.  Or if so, then so burnt out that I can't muster clever words of entertainment to describe what went down.  Plus I whine alot...

But follow through, this time we shall, said Yoda to his batting coach.  Plus you've already got awesome pictures of the dish just 2 posts down!  I'm only kicking out the recipe for the sauce because I was a total cheater and used a chub of polenta from the grocery store.  Just slice it 1/2 inch thick, kick some olive oil in a cast iron skillet and lightly fry on each side until browned and a little crusty.  It's pretty pretty easy to keep an eye on while you're building your:

Basil Garlic and Aji Lemon Pepper Sauce

1 tablespoon AP flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 dried Aji Lemon peppers (or other semi-mild light pepper)
1/2 cup basil chiffonade (finely sliced) well packed
5-6 cloves of chrushed garlic
3 cups chicken broth (more if needed to thin out sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

Start off by tossing your dried peppers into a small, dry sauce pan or pot and heat them through without toasting them.  Then build a thin roux by heating the olive oil on medium heat, then slowly adding the flour while whisking constantly.  Your want the roux to be runny, but milky white all the way through.  Lightly cook the roux (small, slow bubbles) for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly.  Crush your heated chilis after they've cooled a bit and add them and the garlic to the roux.  After they've been well combined, slowly whisk in the chicken broth.  Start with 2 cups and adjust the thickness after you've simmered the sauce for a minute or two.  You want a consistency similar to a thick gravy, but whisking thouroughly will ensure you don't have any lumps.  After you've adjusted to your preferred texture, add in the fresh basil and stir to combine.  Simmer for another 3-4 minutes to finish thickening.  Serve over  medallions of fresh fried polenta.

And there you go!  You too can cook like the Dusty Buns in your very own home.  Just make sure you still hit up Fresno's lovely bistro truck.  We don't want that lovely duo to go the way of the Iron Bird and recent sadiocity of Tower Dog potentially shuffling off it's mortal capitalist coil.

On a lighter note, here's some pictures from a recent trip out to Oakland for the Tourettes Without Regrets show.  It's like the Gong Show was deflowered with a chainsaw by the Jim Rhodes Freak Show and the Def Jam series of shows were shakily holding cameras one handed, while furiously shouting out directions.  It was a real eye opener.  And it reminded me that Fresno has really come a long way, but we've still got quite a ways to go.  A greatly inspiring evening all around.  But with a dirty haiku competition, poetry jam, rap battle on top of sword swallowing, beat boxing, comedy and the wildest audience participation games this side of canasta night at the old pornstar's home.  If you ever find yourself in the lair of the Superdope Homeboy from the Oaktown, go on in and find your own inspiration.  Or just kick it and try to catch hotdogs in your mouth, thrown from 20 feet away for a free drink.