Month: July 2008

Garden Mac™

I have discovered a new toe-curl, and oh, darlings, are you ever gonna love this. Are you ready? Roasted tomato bechamel. “What are its uses?” you might be asking yourself. “What aren’t its uses,” I retort! The first is mac n chee, of course! With […]

Good Taste Noodle House

See also Stuff White People Like #71. I am totally guilty of this, by the way. I can eat completely mediocre food in a slightly dingy joint, but if Scott and I are the only white people, it’s Fucking Amazing, and The Best-Kept Secret in […]

Cazuela de Chorizo y Queso

or Mexican Lasagna

…or Lowering the Bar

This time of year, I usually have to make a concerted effort to pull shit out of the freezer ahead of time so we have some dinner options. Once in awhile, though, I get too ambitious (really, just once in awhile), and pull 5 meals’ worth of meat out of the freezer and then just, oh forget about it for a week. Then it’s a harried scramble of profanity to cook it all in time. These are the times when I either have stroke of utter genius, or completely phone it in with this Hamburger Helper-esque abortion. This meal was the latter.

This time we had a venison backstrap, some ground turkey, and about 18 inches of Mexican chorizo in the mix. Whoa, turns out the carnicería near our house has really fucking good chorizo! Unfortunately, this was discovered after I already turned it all into a red-headed stepchild of Bolognese, using some leftover green and yellow bell peppers, some roasted jalapeños (from the freezer) and some onions. Diced it all up, fried it in the delicious orange chorizo grease. Added some Mexican oregano and a bit of cumin. One more run through the fridge – oh, here’s a little container of sliced black olives, a half a can of black beans and one more sad kohlrabi (peeled and diced). In they go. I threw in a can of El Pato Mexican tomato sauce, and to cut the heat, I added some regular ol’ stewed tomatoes.

I had a package of Trader Joe’s no-boil lasagna noodles, a package of shredded cheddar/jack, and a hunk of cotija that had about ten minutes left on it. I had a tub of expired (but not-yet-sour!) cottage cheese, which I blended with some cilantro scavenged from the garden, and it was a reasonable facsimile for ricotta.

Gah, even the photos came out bad!

Oh god, what an embarrassing mess this was. A fucking mess! But oh, hey I almost forgot? Greasy, spicy sausage, sheets of pasta and gooey cheese all fresh from the oven ALWAYS TASTES GOOD. I win. Take that, Creepy Anthropomorphic Talking Glove!

Kedjenou with kelewele and collards with green peppers in tomato-peanut sauce

God, this post is gonna be long. I finally got a little time to post this African food I’ve been threatening to make! But let’s back up a bit – why would a little white bitch up in the Pacific NW be interested in making […]

Steak Berbere with celery remoulade and panmolle

…or Perfect Summer Dinner v2.0 Today is (hey shorty, it’s; we’re gonna party like it’s;) my birthday! The hubz, some homies and I decided to let me cook last night instead of going out – I know that sounds like Opposite Day, but I was […]

Grilled squid and kohlrabi salad with lemon-garlic vinaigrette

Man, it’s just been too nice out! How could anyone sit in front of the computer when there’s a vegetable garden to water, or a praying mantis egg sac to check for hatchlings, or white wine hangovers to nurse? Can’t beat Portland in the summer.

Scott had to attend a work-dinner thing with the uppity-up-mucky-muck of his company this evening (business cazh in 90+ heat, poor guy), so I had my sweet friend from small times, Jason, over for dinner. Jason and I used to cook and eat together once in awhile a looooong time (when I was still vegetarian), when I was really into perfecting tuna casseroles and tweaking a pack of ramen. I’ve come some ways since then, and so has he.

I had some squids thawed in the fridge and was craving sunshiny Mediterranean flavors. I really needed to eat some of the kohlrabi in the garden, had some lemons and a bag of mixed greens. I’d been tossing ideas around all day (I also have an ungodly amount of Nero di Toscano kale and collards, both of which are the size of a 3rd-grader), but settled on a nice salad at the last minute. The “last minute” was determined by coming home to the chagrin of open windows on a really hot day.

I rinsed the squids (pre-cleaned, thank goodness) and dressed them in lots of chopped garlic, the juice and zest of one lemon, a coupla tbsp chopped fresh marjoram, an ample drizzle of good olive oil and some S&P. I cut a kohlrabi into matchsticks and added them to the marinade, which was by now turning my squid into ceviche. A little sliced red onion was the last touch.

Hot grill pan to get some marks on the vedge, then remove to a separate bowl and hit the squid to the heat. It was too wet (and already cooked in the acid of the marinade) to get any char, but it only took a second to heat it through. I added the cooked squids to the grilled kohlrabi-onion and reduced the dressing with a hit of leftover cheap chardonnay (thanks for the hangover, Bear’s Lair!) to soften the garlic.

Cool for a minute or so to tepid, then top a plate of mixed baby greens with warm handfuls of the squid-kohlrabi-onion mixture, top with a drizzle of the warm vinaigrette. Serve with sliced baguette (copiously buttered with good Dutch butter) and my ubiquitous heirloom tomato salad. After we devoured our squid salads, we lazily pecked at open-faced sandwiches made from the salt-and-peppered tomato and cultured butter on that wonderful, soft sourdough (still bakery-cozy). Commence eye-roll and toe-curl.

Salmon burgers with sauce gribiche

…or, Perfect Summer Dinner v. 1.0 I have a feeling there will be more of these “perfect summer dinner” posts, what with it only being the first week of it or so, so I thought I’d just preemptively number this and wish it well. So […]

Crawdad Sliders with Hot Sauce and Fennel Frond Mayo

…or, ZOMG! Crawfish Boil 2008! Now! With updated soundtrack! Our good friends Jeremy and Alicia have an annual crawfish boil, since Jeremy is from New Orleans and they have what might actually be a full acre in North Portland. Okay, this wasn’t really my food […]