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lengua

17 Nov

beef lenguaShort days are the bane of my existence. I feel like I get fucking anxiety when the sun starts to set. And when I try to make lengua and cook it for 6 hours and I can’t manage to get it done before it’s dark so I can take pictures, then everything doubly feels like the worst. Dramatic much? Shut up. I’ve got like one month till the days start to get longer. I’ll make it. Pretty sure. At least I have the world’s best heater in my apartment. Probably illegal. A little metal box of fire.
pastured beef tongue pastured beef tongueI wanted to smoke this tongue. I told you, I need a little house to rent with a little yard that is just right for a smoker. You’re welcome to come hang out in my mythical backyard and smoke some meat with me, maybe. I hate most everyone. But needless to say, I made this the way I normally make it, which is nothing to be so sad at. But man, everything else is making me sad. Except the prospective name of my soon to happen Christmas party. Samantha is a genius. Or we just have the same stupid sense of humor. But she almost made me choke on my tea. Which isn’t too unusual when I’m messaging with her. Choking on or spitting out food or liquids is pretty much normal. My computer’s gross.
bone brothboiled slow cooked tongue There’s a place in San Antonio that my boss took me to (after making me sweat by being a damn Mexican jerk and not telling me the name for like 3 angst-ridden months) that’s a tortilla factory that also sells barbacoa and lengua. That’s it. They must have vats of cows’ heads that they then shred the meat for one option and shred the tongue for the other. I love San Antonio. I once made a cow’s head. It was glorious. The tongue inside his head was glorious. Here is just a tongue. We can dream together of the next time I can make the whole head, tongue intact.
slow cooked beef tongue lengua skinned beef tongueOnce again, I plead with you to use a good broth. Look at all the damn bones I used. Beef back ribs and pork spareribs. My apartment always smells, as do my clothes and probably my hair. Oops.

lengua

cow’s tongue
bone broth (I don’t care what kind of bones)
1 onion
head of garlic
4 bay leaves
salt

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Put the tongue in an ovenproof pot and mostly cover with broth. It’s okay if it’s not fully covered, plus it’ll kinda float anyway, so don’t get mad at it.

2. Cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop.

3. Meanwhile, cut the onion in half and peel and smash all of the garlic cloves. Add these to the pot. Add in about a tablespoon of salt (assuming your broth isn’t salty).

4. Put the covered pot in the oven and cook for about 6 hours.

5. Remove the tongue from the broth and when it’s cool enough to not burn the crap out of your hand, peel the skin off. It’ll come right off.

6. Shred the tongue with a fork and then if you want, crisp it in a pan. I usually just shred off what I’m going to eat and leave the rest of the tongue intact. Crispy tongue is my favorite, but you certainly can just pile it in a tortilla. Salt it.

Tortillas, pickled onions, cilantro, salsa, radishes, avocado…um yes.

Maybe I need a new cat. A kitten. That’ll cure my ills, don’t you think?

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thai-esque spareribs

9 Nov

thai paleo spareribsI no longer feel comfortable calling something this generic Thai, after having made several recipes out of Ricker’s Pok Pok. I just kinda feel like a dumb wife saying “oooh honey, I made Thai food tonight”, when all the dumb wife did was use ginger powder, soy sauce, and green onions. Not that that is this recipe, but you know. But considering my week, these are great.
thai marinade ingredientsI don’t really want to rehash, as I have way too many times in my head, but I got in a car-bike accident. Me on the bike. All I can think about is all the things I could have done differently, but I can’t let myself do that. I can’t even think about how lucky I am to have just bruises and scrapes and bumps and probably a concussion. It makes my heart pound and chest get all tight. Suffice it to say, I gotta be better about wearing my dumb helmet. And I gotta not bike like I drive, which I shouldn’t drive like to begin with. It was the driver’s fault, but ultimately I really only take away from the event that I won’t ever win against a car. Fuck.
pasture pork spareribs

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larb

27 Oct

paleo thai larb laarb laabLarb. Doesn’t sound so great in English. I considered titling this “laab” instead, since I’ve seen it like that before and laab just sounds so delightfully ethnic. And don’t you just feel sooo worldly and good about yourself when you eat delightfully ethnic food from oh-aren’t-they-quaint Southeast Asian cultures? It’s almost like being a do-gooder. Larb, on the other hand, sounds like an off-brand lard product, dusty cans of which line the shelves of shitty Tex-Mex restaurant kitchens. It’s not. It’s just a rather wonderfully seasoned herb-y pork-y salad that you’ve probably gotten a dozen times before and it’s all old hat. Yeah yeah, but it’s just so fun to make. So easy and I still am impressed every time I make it, or whatever variation on it. I like being impressed.
grinding toasted rice powder mortar pestle measuring toasting sticky rice I have two furry fleabags in the house. I just knew they’d get fleas. One of them escapes periodically and couldn’t be out for more than like 30 minutes before he comes back crying and flinging himself at the door. Not even 30 minutes most times. And it’s like two times per week maybe. Crap! They do go outside on the second story balcony but, but that can’t be possible for them to get fleas up there, right?! I don’t want to give them medicine wahhhh. I might try flea combing every day for a week or something and see if that helps, along with vacuuming a lot. Blast. Anyone want to come visit?? Hi!!
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coconut-braised pork shoulder

23 Apr

paleo coconut braised malaysian pork It’s done. We’re off to San Antonio. I can’t really believe it. I’m…I’m going to be a Texan. An upstate New Yorker, a Massachusettsan, a Coloradan, a Texan. Right now I’m excited about Joe having a really awesome job that will let me work more on my own crap, perpetual summer, a never ending growing season, throwing a quarter of our shit away when we pack, having a house that I can clean every surface of before moving our stuff in. So that leaves the stuff I’m not so excited about: leaving the mountains right when I am just dying to go backpacking, driving with two yowling, frothing-at-the-mouth cats, packing, loading, driving, driving, unpacking, perpetual summer, leaving a really cool burgeoning food and beer scene, leaving my new gym, leaving my wonderful friends. It’s going to be really sad. What kind of people am I going to meet there? What do they like to do?
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cilantro-lime fish cakes

27 Mar

paleo potato fish cakesI feel like salt cod is haunting me. I think it started with my blogger friend Mark’s post on salt cod that I mentioned back when I last posted about cod. Then in New York, I ate salt cod croquettes at Casa Mono. Even the Whole Foods we went to had salt cod in a bulk bin. Well, I’m sorry to announce that no, this recipe doesn’t utilize salt cod. It’s like my own recipe is jeering at and taunting me. I’ll just go hang out at allrecipes.com. Start posting there instead. Watch, they probably even wax on about bacalao there, too. User grandma_knitter64 is all about making her own salt cod and making the best salt cod croquettes, ’cause that’s just so here and now, ya know. Well screw you guys, I’m making plain old fish cakes with fresh cod and some mashed taters (and some lime zest and cilantro because, heck, I’m not in New England anymore).
russet potatoes steaming fishThere are about as many types of fish cake recipes out there as there are stupid blogs like mine with posts on them. I’m not sure I’m comfortable saying mine’s definitive in any way – either for me or in the world of fish cakes, but it’s pretty great. It’s crispy on the outside and super soft and fluffy on the inside with flecks of just crunchy enough red onion. Lime zest and cilantro make them kind of addicting and squeezing fresh lime juice on top before you eat them is just what I needed to get through yes, another snow storm. Accompanied by kale and cabbage slaw, it’s all a pretty great antidote.
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braised cod

11 Feb

paleo braised cod I have no idea how people bike commute throughout the winter. I’ve started biking to work again, after a long respite from it. I no longer go to mega-gym, I’m going to a much closer, much more down-to-earth, much more personal gym that a friend of mine opened and because of how convenient it is to work and my house, I feel alright about biking home in the dark and cold. I bought some real dorky winter biking gloves to try to keep my hands from freezing like they were at the end of my biking run last fall. Well, they don’t cut it. And neither do my snowboarding-in-0-degrees mittens. If it’s in the low to mid 20s in the morning, at about 1 mile into the trip, my fingers start to get really cold and numb and by the time I get to work I can barely feel the brake levers. As soon as I get into the office, the blood all comes rushing into my fingers and it hurts so incredibly bad I can’t help but yell and scream and grasp my hands in pain and pace back and forth around the office. My coworkers think I’m insane. I just think I’ll probably have some sort of evolutionary benefit from this. Either that or it’ll create some sort of permanent malfunction. Or one morning my fingers will just fall off with a big fuck you.
alaskan cod cod medallions The first weekend of March I’m going to New York City to meet up with the newly engaged and frazzled Samantha. See, no one could possibly replace me in Samantha’s life when I left Boston, and she doesn’t want to shop for wedding dresses herself or with any of her second-rate friends, so we and her mom are making a weekend of it. We’re not only compiling possible dress shops to go to, but restaurants of course. It’s hard to know where to start. Plus, it’ll be a week after my 30th birthday, so I think we can make the case for a birthday dinner. Oh, and we’re going to the Tenement Museum. Samantha and I both have independently wanted to go there for a long time and what a perfect excuse to go (or was it the other way around?). I really love period houses and maybe especially period houses in cities, where those people’s ways of lives are so incomprehensible today. I sure hope I don’t get lectured on the evil capitalist builders who forced those poor people to live their squalid lives in those apartments. But of course I will.
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one-pot mustard and lemon chicken

10 Jan

paleo mustard and lemon chicken and carrotsOne-rimmed-baking-sheet chicken. Whatever. This is easy chicken. Perfect weekday night dinner. Joe’s sister Louise requested a recipe of her own on here – one that would be nice and simple. This is a good example of what I might do on a weekday night (you know, because I don’t always make ridiculous dinners on a Tuesday). It’s to the point, but not lacking in flavor, and super good. And look, it’s carrots again. That’s another thing I do; obsess over ingredients.
butchering a whole chickenIt’s tough for me to settle on a recipe that’s simple like this. Should I have included onions? Other root vegetables? I guess I feel like it has to be like the definitive one-pot chicken and carrot dish. The BEST way to make them together. Or, at least the best way to make them together with a mustard lemon sauce. But sometimes it’s just nice to have a different way of making your normal weeknight meat and vegetables. You don’t want to marinate the chicken overnight, even if will make a wonderful difference; you don’t want to roast the vegetables at one temperature and the chicken at another; and on the other end, you don’t want another dinner of steamed broccoli and boring chicken. It’s shocking how many dinners I eat that are seasoned only with salt. I sure do love salt. Salt and fat. But I’ve got a reputation to upkeep here. I’m fancier than salt. I use lemon and mustard. Watch out.
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polish cabbage rolls

6 Nov

paleo golabki polish cabbage rollI can’t call this gołąbki because I felt like I sufficiently interpreted these such that I might get chided by a Pole. Namely, in that I didn’t include rice. Next time I will, I swear (but these are so good I’m not sure I want to change them…). I’ll try to make my grandma proud. I also feel funny because I’m no expert in Polish cuisine – it’s not exactly the most popular ethnic cuisine, with hipsters flocking to little holes-in-the-wall to debate the best pierogi in town. There are actually kind of a few restaurants here, but I haven’t made my way over to them yet. Most of them look kinda crappy. Like, trying to be cool when it’d just be better to be a no frills, oblivious to modern tastes kinda place and have really good, all homemade food. Ugh, that reminds me of a Mexican restaurant nearby that has an ADA-certifited heart-healthy menu or some junk. Stay the hell away from that place. Growing up, my mom used to make gołąbki all the time, but I was a kid and I was picky and I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t Polly-O string cheese. So, I’m kind of starting from scratch here, with nothing much to compare to. I’ve mostly seen these little pigeons (that’s what gołąbki means) with a tomato sauce, but both Polish cookbooks I have seemed to be sauce-ambivalent and said you could serve it with a number of sauces. So, I picked a mushroom sauce because I’ve been in the mood for mushrooms lately. Again, it’s interpreted – I didn’t want to use cream. If you happen to be Polish (or another Eastern European) and make these – what sauce do you like to make for them?
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lamb tagine

31 Oct

paleo moroccan lamb tagineAfter what I feel was a pretty damn decent representation of Ethiopian food, here we have what I think is maybe a bit of a misnomer. Not that this isn’t good, of course. It’s just…that there is no tagine involved. Like tandoori chicken with no tandoori. What other foods are named after their cooking vessel? Casserole. I don’t know. Aside from that, and maybe aside from the sweet potato, this is still a nice, long-cooked dish with lovely spices and tender meat. I didn’t take a lot of liberties. Though, I had also told myself that the next time I was to make Moroccan food I was going to have made preserved lemon. I didn’t. And I made this anyway. I’m such a let down. Lamb tagine…Moroccan lamb? Sure, whatever. Just make it.
lamb shoulder blade chopsbrowned lamb shoulder blade chopsI just realized that I thought I had only posted two African recipes in my blog’s existence. How incredibly embarrassing to admit that it was because I sometimes forget to think of Morocco when I think of Africa. I’m a bad person. Egypt, too. I don’t even know much how to differentiate Egyptian food from other Middle Eastern cuisines. I would like to be more cultured! Maybe that area should get their shit together so I can go visit and eat their food. Idiots. Oh and visit the Egyptian pyramids. Ohhhhh man do I want to do that. I used to be obsessed with Ancient Egypt. I had a Learn to Write in Hieroglyphics! set when I was in elementary school. Pretty, pretty, prettyyyyy cool.
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doro wot

16 Oct

paleo doro wot
I hurt my wrist again. The other one. Double gimp. I am so mad about it I don’t even want to talk about it. I relive the moment and my head tightens up and I want so bad to redo it. Not be such a total spaz. I slipped off a pull up bar. At a competition. That I should have kicked butt at. I’m giving up on fitness. Resorting to the safe, comfy couch. Injuries SUCK. They’re so frustrating and my right wrist still isn’t fine from last year’s stupid fall. I don’t want to deal with this stufffff. GAH. Hey look, the last time I hurt my wrist I posted about African food. My only two African posts. I should stop planning on making anything from that continent. Is that racist? Prob.
ethiopian spicestoasted spices in mortarSo Denver doesn’t have quite the amount of ethnic diversity pockets as other cities might have, but the amount of Ethiopian restaurants here surpasses Boston by about a ton, so that’s good enough for me. I first had Ethiopian food my first year in Boston at this funny little hole in the wall near my apartment called Fasika. I’d just tell them to give me a sampling of all of their veggie dishes. Those are still all my favorite. I like the meat dishes, but oh man the vegetables. And the lentils. But for some reason I chose to make this for my first foray into Ethiopian food. I really should have made gomen, using the never ending amount of swiss chard I have in the garden. But I couldn’t muster the thought of prepping all of those leaves with one hand. Plus I was still so crabby about it. I’m still crabby about it. And the stupid splint I’m wearing.
melting butter
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swiss chard and leek potato cake

18 Sep

paleo swiss chard, leek, and potato cakeI’ve just come off a long weekend of utter food debauchery. Samantha and her boyfriend Mike came to visit for what were the best four and a half days I’ll probably have until I make it back to visit them in Boston. I.love.themmmm. But wow, did my stomach not. Mostly, I screwed myself over with eating ice cream every night. Oof. But we really ate some pretty awesome food from some awesome restaurants. I love food. Joe loves food. Mike and Samantha love food probably more. It was epic. Mike kept telling me, “It’s alright, you can make it. Just another few meals to go.” Ha.
swiss chard backyard urban gardenraw milk, swiss chard, pastured eggsSome highlights included:
Chicken leg confit with collard greens full of pork chunks and some heirloom corn grits at The Universal. Best f-ing chicken ever. Holy cow. And it was for breakfast. That’s my kind of breakfast. I’d been there before and asked them to cook my eggs in bacon grease and the chef was not just willing to oblige, but excited to do so. Love that place.
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roasted poblano pork burgers with pipián

11 Jun

Oh hi! Hi!! I’m back from the Southwest. What a freaking trip. I can’t believe that I was waffling on it. Yeah, 10 days was a long time; I’m such a homebody. If I could have brought my cats along I would have been 100% happy. Hiker cats. But wow was it worth it. Now, I am obsessed with ancient Puebloan Indians. And the Fremont Indians. OBSESSED. I want to start growing heritage varieties of corn. And squash. And beans. And just to diversify my Native peoples interests a bit, all manner of ancient potato varietals. And more importantly, I want to scout out ruins and petroglyphs and pottery. All off the beaten path. Bushwhacking (cactus whacking?) please. I found this woman’s blog and we followed her instructions to this one hike up the Vermillion Cliffs near Kanab, UT (not the ones in AZ). Easily the most wonderful hike I’ve ever done – it was full of petroglyphs and pictographs and dinosaur prints, not to mention gorgeous red rock cliffs. Oh yeah, and lots of mountain lion poop. EEK.
Needless to say, I’m in the mood for Southwestern-y food. Loosely defined. I kept wanting to pick cactus leaves (leaves?) and bring them back to our little condo and cook them. Instead we ate out like every night. Barf. I can not handle that. My stomach feels so terrible doing that so often. It didn’t help that one of the people we were with has megasweettooth. And if someone says “ice cream!”, I can’t help myself. So much ice cream that week. I have megasweettooth, too… Coming home means that I can get back into the swing of cooking all of my meals. God I love that. And what a welcome surprise it was to come home to all sorts of produce in my (completely overgrown with weeds) garden! Arugula, mesclun greens, baby swiss chard (too big to be microgreens), radishes and their greens. So wonderful. I’m concerned about all the peppers I planted… I have a bad feeling I may have picked any little seedlings when I’ve weeded. I think the dirt I got from the fix and flip house two doors down was completely full of weeds. Duh, I guess. So the garden has been absolutely ridden with weeds and I’ve been trying to pull them all to give the little veggie seedlings a fighting chance, but I’m afraid I may have picked the pepper seedlings, since they’re kind of indistinguishable. Not sure. They do take a long time to sprout, but ugh. I’ll probably have to buy plants.
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lebanese beef kebabs

1 May

Man, I need to gripe. I really love a lot of things. Like, spending all this time at the grocery store getting everything you need for a while, only to come home and realize you forgot a key ingredient for one meal you were particularly excited about, oh, just the one that you happen to be about to write a blog post about! And like, trying to dig around in your literal mountain of spice jars, baggies, and all other manner of spice housings to try to find a suitable substitute for the key ingredient you forgot with spices going flying all over the kitchen floor. I also really love things like getting ready to start making lovely spice-substituted kebabs and noticing that your camera is angrily flashing its battery light at you. Then, coming to realize that there happen to only be two skewers when you were positive that there were like 6! Or even 8! And it’s really, really awesome when, because you’re a meat idiot, you really suck at forming ground meat patties and they nearly all crumble and fall through the grill grates.
The one positive thing in my life this weekend was finally, FINALLY, getting enough dirt to fill that f-ing raised bed garden. But I didn’t even have enough time to plant anything. And don’t you even think for a minute that, “well it’s okay Julie, your little seedlings will do okay for another week in their egg cartons”, because I KILLED THEM. I TOLD YOU I WOULD. I HATE MYSELF. I had been growing them outside during the day and then taking them in at night so I wouldn’t really have to harden them. But then we got some snow a couple weeks ago and I took them in and forgot to put them back outside for a few days after. During that indoor time they really started growing, so when I finally brought them back outside they were pretty much Scorching Colorado Sun newbies. Shit.
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corned beef brisket (hash)

24 Mar

You know, I’d felt kinda bad about how untimely this and my last post were in relation to St. Patrick’s Day, but really, corned beef hash is not just for March 17th. Corned beef, perhaps. Add hash? That’s much less holiday specific because it’s really freaking good and corned beef and cabbage is good, but not “I’d order this for brunch any day” good. I’d considered smoking the corned beef, but my god I’d had this hunk of meat hanging over me for a week and I wasn’t about to slave over it for another day.
So, I have a new job that I’ll be starting this coming Monday. I wish I could detail all of the absurdities of my old one. I mean, I’ve mentioned one event. That is a pretty good summation. I suppose I should have created a secret online identity when I started this blog. Then I could tell you all about the nepotism, lying, unfairness, lying, two-facedness, cowardliness, nepotism, and, oh, just some other ridiculum that went on. But I’ll be respectful, because I received so much respect there! Let’s just leave it at, when I announced that I was taking another job, the approximately 90 second conversation ended with the boss saying in a not-wishing-you-luck-at-all kind of way, “Well, good luck to you, then.” No, no, no, good fucking luck to YOU and your failing business! Love, Julie.
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carne asada brava + cumin caramelized onions

5 Mar

Things I really, really, really want for my kitchen but can’t seem to get it together to get: a mandoline and an old-fashioned citrus juicer. Not a new age-y juicer for carrots and greens and like 18 apples per tall glass of raw food cleansing juice…those things are ridiculous. It’s not that squeezing a half of a lime is hard, it’s that I’m OBSESSED with getting every.last.bit.of.juice. out of the damn thing. So I squeeze and I scrape and I moosh around until I’m convinced that there isn’t a single drop left. I just think a citrus juicer might do a speedier job and be just as thorough. Then again… would a new age-y juicer do the best job?!? Doesn’t matter. I can’t back down on my initial position now.
The night before, I made basically the same thing as this, except without the marinade, and using hanger steak. I really wish I’d saved that steak for this blog post. It’s a more interesting cut, and more typical for carne asada. I rode my bike to the grocery store the next morning, hoping I’d find some, but no luck – it’s not usually there anyway. An on-sale strip steak did just fine. Speaking of that grocery store, the past week they had avocados on sale for 3 for $1. I got so many. I think I had like 20 at one point. Or 21, which I guess is more likely. I would think up excuses to go there just to be like “oh, well I’m here, I might as well get some more avocados!…” I made guacamole with I think like 5 or 6 of them for dinner and it was gone by the next afternoon. Mostly singlehandedly. That’s a lot of avocados to eat in the span of less than a day. I impress myself sometimes. And again, woulda been nice to have that citrus juicer.
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chicken thighs with balsamic sautéed fennel and oranges

1 Mar

I felt lazy. Everything about this recipe is lazy. And, I feel okay about that. I think I deserve to write about something that neither takes a lot of time, nor looks particularly glamourous. I mean, look at the rest of my posts – faaaaancyyyy! Heh. Whatever. I wanted to incorporate fennel, oranges, green olives, and balsamic vinegar into one recipe. And since I’ve done a fennel salad with oranges, I couldn’t do basically the same thing again. I considered braising fennel in orange juice, but I didn’t feel like squeezing oranges (and no I won’t use carton orange juice unless it’s a negligible part of the recipe). I couldn’t be bothered having some components cooked and others not – like sautéing the fennel and then topping it with membrane-less orange segments. I guess the only thing left to do was make a one pan meal.
Balsamic vinegar reductions are real high up there on my list of favorite things. Roasted winter squash with it drizzled on top is awesome. I tried to think for like 2 minutes for a better word than drizzled. It’s so G. It’s like a Special K diet bar in Chocolate Drizzle flavor. Steak is pretty perfect with salt and pepper, and pretty more perfect with balsamic reduction on top. But, you know, a glaze will do the trick too. You don’t have quite the control, but it’s the lazy man’s way to make a reduction – or you can call it a glaze. That sounds way fancier. Just dump some vinegar in the pan along with whatever fish, meat, veggie, stir it around for some minutes and you’re done. No extra saucepan necessary.
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chili con carne

31 Jan

I don’t have a lot of strong opinions about chili, not having grown up in a chili-centric place at all. We had white hots, garbage plates, and custard. And my favorite pizza, which I haven’t had in many years and probably wouldn’t be my favorite pizza anymore. Then on to Boston, which yeah, not much chili. Still, I am, after all, a food snob. Pretty snooty in general, but for sure a snoot about food. And you don’t have to have chili running through your veins since childhood to be able to appreciate good chili. Any other snobs wanting to debate that with me? Well you’re wrong.
While the dearth of things like fresh seafood and upstate apples here get me down sometimes, I feel pretty happy to be readily, abundantly, and perhaps bludgeonly able to buy whatever kind of chile I want. They really are a pretty magical ingredient, and apparently a rather large segment of the population here agrees. I also can get bulk dried hibiscus flowers. (What do you do with those besides steep them, anything interesting??) I feel like anything with ancho peppers in it has got to be wonderful (better do them justice). Joe made an ancho pepper and pumpkin mole the other day. The pumpkin had been sitting on the counter for probably since like Thanksgiving. I have no idea. Good thing they’re hardy. Mole was sweet.
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green curry salmon with kiwi salsa

25 Jan

Trying desperately to pry myself away from obsessing over another ethnically accurate meal, I instead managed to produce some sort of dreaded fusion cuisine. Totally don’t care. At least I didn’t make mac and cheese-filled potstickers. Plus, kiwi salsa? You know I have an affinity for fruit salsas, and this one is no exception. I mulled over somehow incorporating coconut milk, which if you’ve got a genius idea, I’d encourage and like to hear about it. I saw some recipe that puréed kiwis with coconut milk, but that seemed a shame. Then I considered poaching the salmon in coconut milk, but ohhh the crispy skin (bacon of the sea). I dunno, sometimes I want to mash together every possible delicious flavor that I think would go well together. Best to just step it back. Like that dumb jewelry rule for ladies that I consistently flout.
I got a cold the other night. Started with that nasty drip burn in the back of my throat, then an achy neck. I felt kinda junky the next day, just real droopy and achy. But lo and behold, the following day? Good as new. I can’t definitively say any reason, I suppose, but I’m putting my money on eating so freaking well this past month. I’ve noticed in general that my cold frequency has gone way down since I started eating paleo, but duration is one thing that’s really easy to notice. I distinctly remember being out of commission for like a week with colds that I used to get back when I lived in Boston. So.awesome. I’m totally on a Whole 30 high. Probably like those fats on The Biggest Loser feel after eating well (questionable – Jennie O??), exercising the crap out of themselves, and getting off all of their meds. I think I should set a goal to become a trainer on that show. Or gain 200 pounds and use my charming personality to gain a spot on it.
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shakshouka with lamb meatballs

21 Jan

I had wanted to wait to make this until I found merguez. There are actually some promising locations that I’d like to scout out at some point, but none of them are particularly close by and the other day I was feeling frazzled about what to make and I couldn’t think of anything else but this, so I just decided to make do without driving all the way across the city. I was also briefly obsessed with trying to make this one Maharashtran Curry recipe. I just knew that if I settled on making that, that I’d spend hours hopping from one Indian grocery to the next in the vain hopes of finding obscure spices. Then I’d come home, headachey, crabby, having wasted all of my good daylight for taking pictures, and then still have nothing to show for it. I’ll just have to casually stop by if ever I’m in any of those ethnic, uh, sections of Denver. I’m sure they’re very nice. I have eaten at a few Ethiopian places to maybe know otherwise. (But OMGOMGOMG I love Ethiopian food.)
You know what else I love? Getting my hours at work cut, and finding out about it by being flippantly handed a new printed-out schedule as the last item at a staff meeting. “Oh by the way, here are some new hours, thanks everyone back to work.” New hours, what like we’re open longer? Open on weekends? What? Oh. OH. I see. WTFFFFFFFFFFFFF What boss does that?? THE WORST ONE. It’s like out of an office-based comedy. Except it’s real. I know you’re not supposed to compromise yourself on the interwebs but I hope any future employer (hello? hi!) would sympathize with me. Seriously, anyone want to hire me? I’m very nice. And I can cook. For you if you’re nice, too. I will also try extra hard not to talk about politics.
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bobotie

15 Dec

On Saturday, as part of my very successfully Christmasy advent activity roster, I went ice skating at the stuffy Denver Country Club for Joe’s company’s Christmas party. During a rip roaring raucous game of broom ball, I fell backward onto my right wrist. Did I forget to mention that I’m not the best skater? The only way I know how to stop is to run into the rink wall. I really had no business trying to play a game on the ice with some rather skilled skaters… In any case, using a knife to chop anything harder than an onion is pretty much horrible. Enter bobotie. Like the best meatloafy dish known to man, and which also includes minimal chopping. It’s an iconic South African dish that is served with this glorious chutney that I kind of cooked to a hard candy because I decided I wanted to take a bath and may or may not have completely forgotten that I was reducing the sauce on the stove top.
I don’t know much at all about South African food. I knew one guy from South Africa and I thought he was the worst person ever. But I like bobotie, so my thoughts on the country are turning a little. Not only is it a curry-spiced hunk of ground meat studded with dried fruit, but it’s topped with an egg custard. If you aren’t as poor as me, you will make this out of lamb. Or even a mixture of beef and lamb. Usually I seem to be able to find ground lamb on sale at my grocery store – the this-is-about-to-go-bad kind of sale. But there was none of that when I went shopping for this. I did get grass-fed ground beef for $3.97/lb. Thought that was decent. This will be so so so so so good with lamb. I love lamb. (PS please get me a microplane for Christmas, thanks God. And Tebow.)
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