I want you to know that I am struggling. The need within me to to make some sort of god-awful pun, relating jam (the food) to jam sessions or getting in a jam or Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis or jambalaya (which doesn’t even make sense) or whatever, is consuming me.
I should’ve called this recipe jelly instead of jam. Damn you, hindsight.4 Comments »
I’m writing about pizza again because, well, I can. And because lately I can’t shut up about pizza. Internet me is just following real life me’s lead.
More and more, I find myself engaging in these conversations about pizza making and… they’re not even conversations, really. It’s just me, impassioned, bathed in self-righteousness, and raving with the conviction of a true believer about how easy it is to make pizzas at home and how you have to try it. By the time I get to the ingredients, people are usually either genuinely afraid that I’ll never stop talking, or they’re nodding along, politely undressing me with their eyes instead of listening.2 Comments »
The first time I heard of scotch eggs, I thought ‘scotch and eggs don’t sound like they go together.’ But that’s also what I said about whiskey salad and the tursammock (turkey sandwich hammock), and we all know the genius of those… wait. Those were dreams. Scratch that. So what did I know about scotch eggs? Not much, turns out. Scotch eggs have nothing to do with scotch (whew!), and everything to do with wrapping hard boiled eggs in sausage and frying them. OK then. As a friend put it to me recently, ‘I like (expletive) wrapped in different (expletive). And fried.’
Me too.8 Comments »
This week’s post may as well be the sequel to last week‘s. At least in the sense that both recipes feature tomatoes and dried chilies prominently, and both of their names end with an appropriately festive ‘ole.’
But mole, if more common than posole, seems the more shrouded in mystery of the two. I mean there’s no real leap of faith involved in enjoying the various flavors of posole getting together, but chocolate in a savory sauce? WEIRD. (It’s not weird, I’m making a point) At some point, all of us – whether you’re a dainty food sophisticate or you have a hobo gutter palate – thought of chocolate as strictly the turf of sweets and, as such, the notion of chocolate serving as the linchpin of a pan-savory extravaganza probably seemed at first…off-putting. Not gum-mixed-with-popcorn off-putting, but still, like I said, weird.2 Comments »
Everyday lately, it’s warm, it’s cold. It’s cold, it’s warm. Get it together, nature. There have been so many cloudless days the last few weeks that look so inviting, but it’ll be like 50 out, with a wind that charges directly through your soul. Then it’s hot in the sun, arctic in the shade. I don’t know whether to wear a parka or jorts (probably both).
Weather as ambivalent as this calls for a dish that works no matter what it’s like outside, so this week it’s all about posole. Posole is a classic, traditionally pork (but in this case chicken) and hominy soup/stew. How classic is it? According to wikipedia, pre-Columbian* classic. In other words, it’s an old dish.** It’s kinda crazy that, given it’s extensive history on this continent, I didn’t get the memo about it’s existence until 3 or 4 years ago. No matter, I have made up for lost time since then.4 Comments »
It’s a tricky thing, writing about Valentine’s Day. There isn’t a whole lot to be said that isn’t well-worn territory at this point. Which makes sense, I guess, because Valentine’s Day, from the little candy hearts that say ‘be mine’ to the ubiquitous red cupids and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, seems not to have changed much in aesthetic sensibility or theme since I was a kid (minus the Mr. T Valentines, unfortunately). See, Valentine’s Day is not about originality*; so why would writing about it be different? And Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t about subtlety either. If love itself is a metaphoric ballet, Valentine’s Day is a metaphoric lap dance. With ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ playing in the background. Loudly. You can’t ignore Valentine’s Day. Tricky or not, I can’t just not write about Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day.
Um, this @#$% is good. Alarmingly good.
I’m trying to write up an intro for this recipe and all I can think of are interjections and superlatives (where are you when I need you, other parts of speech?), so a few quick thoughts, then on to the recipe…
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream"
You can tell a lot about a person based on how they react to unfamiliar meats at the grocery store. There are those that purse their lips at the sight, quickly corralling anyone in tow away to the safety of boneless skinless chicken breasts, as if chased by a drifter. There are the moderates who are less judgey – maybe they do some medium-heat Thai food on occasion, no big deal – but still not that adventurous. At the other end, there are those that hyperventilate at the sight of random meats, grab as much as they can and head for the exit, all along muttering in a paranoid growl about meats and ‘the man.’
Do I have to say it? I’m in the third group. Hell, I think I may be the ringleader. Rabbit, wild boar, sweetbreads, beef cheeks*, tripe, you name it… where do I sign? And I would like to sign something, it would feel more official that way.2 Comments »
Football season is nearly over. In a couple of weeks, we’ll have had all the big hits, wild finishes and exhaustive periods of waiting around while every scoring play gets reviewed over and over. Gone, too: the tailgating, the lighthearted Sunday binge drinking, and the wings.
Buffalo wings are as integral a part of the culinary fabric of gridiron fandom as nachos or dogs are a part of baseball’s. Same goes for hockey and, well, I whatever it is hockey fans like. Molson’s? Sushi? No idea. But there is little doubting the supremacy of the humble buffalo wing as a preferred snack of the couch-bound Sunday masses.1 Comment »
I almost didn’t do this post. Making my own bacon was a learning experience. And not the cool kind. I’m into learning experiences where I either learn that I’m immediately good at something or I learn because documentaries are educational.* This wasn’t like that.
I figured bacon makin’ would be a challenge, of course, but I also assumed that there would be a vision-quest type of aspect to it. I mean, seeing a pork belly transform into bacon – how can that not be a spiritual enterprise? I thought that through the bacon, I would connect with my spirit animal** and learn some universal truth about life. No dice. I did learn some things – many of which could safely be filed under the header “How Not to Make Bacon at Home Properly.” If only an emoticon existed to express my feelings.5 Comments »
Happy early part of January to all. I’m going to cut to the chase: I got a new waffle iron. I know; I’m as giddy as you are. Good riddance Year of Gangnam Style*, bring on the Year of the Waffle!
See, my parents, my siblings, my nephews, me, my dog – we’re a waffle eating people**. Several years ago, my brother gave me a waffle maker for Christmas. We lived together at the time, so the waffle maker was a kind of symbiotic gift. Made a lot of sense for both of us. And for awhile there, it was what academic-types often refer to as a ‘waffle bonanza.’5 Comments »
So last week, Lesley Mann Lynch wrote an amazing post about hosting a Christmas dinner, and it looked so good I’m just not even gonna go there. Instead, I’m tackling Christmas Eve dinner.
I like the idea of cassoulet for Christmas Eve for a couple of reasons. First, it has a French name, so even though it’s basically beans and meat, people will be like, “This sounds fancy, I should write this person into my will!” And second, you can feed a lot of people out of basically one large dish. People are impressed, well fed, and there’s not a ton to clean up. High-five handshakes all around.3 Comments »
Tamales seem to me a rather odd Christmas tradition, if only because I would happily eat one (or more) on any other day, any time of the year. The same can’t be said for the palatability of some of the other trappings of Christmastime. It goes beyond palatability, even – there’s a safety concern here. If you hand somebody egg nog in April, you might get punched in the face. If you jam out to Mannheim Steamroller in July*, you’ll likely be institutionalized – and for good reason.
But tamales are good all the time, and Christmas is as good an excuse as any to indulge. This recipe is about as uncomplicated (and probably gringo-y) as tamale making gets, so if you’re an experienced tamale maker…. well, why are you reading a recipe for tamales? You should really spend your time more wisely. But for the novice, this is a good place to start. These also freeze well, so if you don’t have anything to do a couple of weeks before Christmas (hint, hint)…1 Comment »
I don’t know much about quinoa. I know that, inexplicably, it’s pronounced KEEN-wah. I have also heard whisperings that it comes from South America and it’s the reigning Healthiest Grain in the World. (Suck it, oats.) But that’s it. Whether or not quinoa existed prior to 2011 is really a gray area for me. In the meantime, however, it has carved out quite the culinary celebrity.*
I’m always skeptical of these buzzed-about fad foods, but it turns out quinoa is pretty, pretty good. It’s delicious, really. It has a strong flavor for a grain (seed, technically), nutty and earthy, with a texture akin to hominy grits getting it on with couscous. All good things.
My first stab at using quinoa was a cold chicken salad with some pomegranate – a couple of so-called super foods mixing it up, no big whoop. It was bright, fresh, and delicious. For whatever reason, it got me thinking it would be interesting to desecrate a holiday favorite – stuffing/dressing – by building it around quinoa. So I did, and it rules. It does not taste like you’re eating anything nutritious, which is usually a good thing, right?
Anyway, I couldn’t decide which recipe to go with, so here’s both. Enjoy.1 Comment »
It’s an awkward week for recipe bloggists — big holiday last week, Christmas isn’t for a month. Sigh. There’s nothin’ to do, man*! What am I gonna talk about, cheeky uses for Thanksgiving leftovers? You know years in advance the kinds of depraved things you’re going to do with your leftovers; you don’t need me to remind you that tacos are in play.
Alas, there’s a job to be done here. I’m not that big into snacking**, so I wouldn’t usually get too excited about something like chips. Likewise, I try to dispense with the superlatives in regard to my own recipes. Whatever, walls are coming down today.
These are the best mother-expletiving chips I’ve ever had.
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Root Veggie Chips"
I love Thanksgiving. Food, family, not working on a Thursday, football. Food. Thanksgiving has it all.* Unless you’re planning on doing some banking, mailing of letters or fasting, in which case you’re sadly out of luck. Still, the food.
The thing I don’t particularly like about Thanksgiving is actually… some of the food. Awkward! Look, I dig turkey, mashed potatoes, turducken stuffed with stuffed jalapenos, all of that. But green bean casserole is not something I think of as being terrifically edible. Yeah, I know, that’s un-American. Fine. It’s just that I have a shaky history with green beans. We’re only now getting to a place where there’s trust.2 Comments »
Well, the election is over. Finally. I, for one, am relieved. Now we all can get back to concentrating on what’s really important: eating enough food so that we don’t starve* and watching cat videos on the internet.
I think I can help with that – the food part, anyway.
Oven dried (or sun dried) tomatoes, like pickles, are a food accessory. They’re more than a garnish, and they’re great to have around because you can incorporate them into so many things (sauces, salads, pasta, hummus, cream cheese, etc). While there are a few decent brands of sun dried tomatoes you can buy at the grocery store, the homemade variety, by comparison, is on flavor steroids, taking both the tartness and sweetness to an obscenely delicious level. And that’s just with tomatoes I picked up at Fiesta; I can only imagine how good homegrown would be.
Anyway, enjoy the recipe and – while you can – the break from the rhetoric, because I think the 2016 election cycle starts up in a couple of months…1 Comment »
Just like that, summer, the State Fair, Halloween… all gone for another year. Not to mention poor Big Tex, who’s gone forever to talking statue Heaven.
Anyway, Thanksgiving isn’t for three more weeks, and it’s a huge undertaking, so I’m taking the week off (cue Ferris Bueller music). Yep, even dudes who write recipes for leisure have to take a break from the kitchen every now and then.*
This week you get an entry I’ve been holding onto for awhile. Fortunately, it’s for croissants, which I think we can all agree are buttery, delicious, and awesome. And while this recipe is pretty involved, the intoxicating smell of a fresh baked batch of croissants coming out of your oven is worth it on its own. Enjoy.3 Comments »
I don’t know who this governing body is that keeps sanctioning food holidays, but I understand that Friday marks the observance of National Chicken Fried Steak Day. Or something like that.
I have to say that I find national well-liked food days to be a bit on the goofy, self-congratulatory* side, although I suspect that stance is exactly what got me blackballed from joining the food holiday governing body. Even still, the shame of having missed national burger day, taco day and, yes, even Denver omelette day gnawed at me. So when I got word that chicken fried steak day was a thing, I was eager to exploit it in the name of SideDish.2 Comments »
I like pork shoulder. Like a lot. I don’t know what it is… Pigs just have tastier shoulders than the other animals. Sometimes I find myself going to the store just to buy pork shoulder – not because I need it, because I’m bored.
Chili is the same way. Nothing to do for several hours? Chili-making time. Procrastinating on writing blog entries for SideDish? Chili-making time. But making the same chili over and over again is – forgive me, chili purists – dull. What makes chili interesting to me is its boundless adaptability. You can add more of this or substitute some of that. And there’s always a secret ingredient lurking about that you haven’t tried yet. The pursuit itself, whether perfecting an old recipe or figuratively rebooting the franchise, can become as much an obsession as the outcome.
Jump with me.3 Comments »