The Rapture Omelette/Scramble

May 23rd, 2011

Sorry guys, I meant to post this on Saturday, but I got carried away. Try this for breakfast and you can be too!

  • 3 eggs
  • medium cheddar
  • 1/8-1/4 cup almond/soy/cow milk
  • 1 can skinless boneless salmon
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet, chop the shallot and garlic. Combine these things in the expected way, and let them socialize while you grate some cheese and cut the stems off your spinach. Wilt the spinach into this mix. While it’s losing its spirit, drain the juice from the salmon and get ready with that lemon juice. Usually my recipes use lemon juice to bring out flavours, but this stuff serves two different purposes: keeping the spinach from turning brown and killing the horrific smell of fish in a frying pan. Once you’ve finished wilting the spinach, add the salmon and the lemon juice and the capers. If your kitchen starts to smell like a dock, you need more lemon juice, an open window, and some incense. Mix that up a bit.

Now is the critical step where you decide your fate: scramble or omelette? For the scramble, mix the cheese, eggs and milk together and just dump it on. For the omelette, leave the cheese separate, transfer the stuff in the pan to a temporary home and do the whole omelette thing.


Where’s My Goddamn Lemon Juice

May 13th, 2011

(this recipe has been sitting around for a while, but it’s probably good)

Never, ever, ever run out of lemon juice. It sucks. Let me provide an example.

  • olive oil
  • 1 reasonably large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 bird peppers
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 bigass tablespoons of peanut butter
  • red pepper tempeh
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (try this with half lemon juice instead?)
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • colourful vegetables, chopped

Before we begin, I’m going to say that I’m serious about those bird peppers, and that it’ll be ok. The peanut butter completely absorbs the burn, and all you get is the pleasant sweet/astringent flavour of the peppers making things a bit more exciting. I suspect that my peppers were bunk this time around, but it also seems about right that there’d be very little burn. If you’re really terrified of spice, cut the peppers open and throw out half of the seeds, which will heftily reduce the capsaicin content while leaving the flavour mostly intact.

Ok, to start off,  heat your olive oil in a skillet and quarter the onion. The whole onion that I used straddled the blender and refused to puree until I tore it apart, manually, viscerally, like an enraged animal. So unless you really need a forum to express that primal violence, just save yourself the time. Grind up the cumin, coriander and allspice, and put that in a blender with the onion parts, the garlic, and the bird peppers. Hit “liquefy” for a gratifyingly savage flurry of blades, or something more gentle if you happen to be in that kind of headspace. The only important thing is to reduce the stuff to a paste.

Well, now that you have hot oil and a cold paste, it seems obvious that you should combine them. They’ll sizzle and be all lovely, and you should let them do that for a little while. After maybe three minutes, get your peanut butter out and add it. When I say bigass tablespoons, I mean you should imagine that you’re on the atkins diet, and this is the only sweetish thing you can have, so you say, “ok, only one tablespoon,” and then you try to fit the whole goddamn jar on it. Seriously, it’s hard to go wrong with more peanut butter. But I think you should fit it onto two tablespoons, because that’s more fun.  It’s also time to take that tempeh and crumble it into the mix.

Now, this is the point where you may think, “man, there’s a lot of fatty, savoury things in there; I probably want to add something tart to bring out the flavour.” And then you look for your lemon juice, and realize that you used the last of it two days ago when you diluted it and added stevia to make 0-calorie lemonade, and think, “well, fuck.” So you look through your cupboard and see a big bottle of apple cider vinegar, which you’d been planning on having anyway, since you have a cold and it’s pretty good for that. So splash some of that on there. And really, it’s probably a bit more than two tbsp, but to be precise, it’s the amount that comes out when you sort of splash it on until it looks like enough. It’s tricky with apple cider vinegar, because it has a different tartness from lemon juice and an overpowering flavour—it turns out that the flavour sits quite well here. If you have lemon juice, maybe do a half-and-half. Mix that stuff in and let it bubble and burble like some sick physical manifestation of capitalism.

And hey, now that I mention it, this does look pretty gross, doesn’t it? It’s all tan, like some kind of baby sick, or like a physical manifestation of capitalism. Let’s fix that with a bunch of vegetables. Peas, corn, carrots, string beans, broccoli: who cares! Whatever you have around, as long as it’s something, and as long as it’s a different colour than what’s in the pan. I’d been thinking of red and green peppers, but for some reason I have the kitchen of an art student, and there was only frozen stuff to be had. This is also where you’d add the tamari.

Anyway, we’re almost done. All that’s missing, after a couple minutes of bubbling, is to add the garam masala and let it bubble a bit more. Once it starts to thicken up, it’s done, and hopefully pretty great. Since it is reasonably thick, it doesn’t really play well with rice or quinoa unless you dilute it to be a bit saucier, so whatever you serve it with will have to survive on its own.

Astonishing Culinary Victory

January 11th, 2011

A while ago, after (possibly more than) a few drinks, I improvised a meal for myself that turned out amazingly well. At the time, I thought it would be a good idea to blog what I’d done, mainly so I could read it later. I verified the apparently overzealous claim in the title with the leftovers the next day.

Anyway, here it is:

  • 1tbsp safflower oil
  • 2tbsp peanut butter
  • 1tbsp wheat-free tamari
  • 125g soy-kasha tempeh (1/2 pack of Henry’s)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Thomson raisins
  • 1/3 cup unsalted cashews
  • 2tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice

Note that I’m only putting amounts on the two oils that seem like “enough,” which is a much better guideline. Nobody actually measures this stuff anyway, right? So the neat thing about this is that it combines things from four nuts/seeds—sunflowers, peanuts, cashews, and sesame seeds—with these lovely, sweet raisins. The lemon juice adds a bit of tartness that brings out all of the flavours, and the celery’s crunchy blandness acts as the lone voice of reason attempting to mediate the flavour-drama but, like a minor character in a Shakespeare tragedy, only winds up making it more poignant.

Heat safflower oil in reasonably sized skillet, medium-high heat. Melt the peanut butter into the oil, and add the tamari and tempeh. Let that sizzle for about three minutes and add the celery. After about another three minutes, add raisins and cashews. Let that go for maybe another three minutes and add the sesame oil and lemon juice. Stir it up and let it cook for another two minutes or so, and remove from heat. You see? Simple enough to do after almost any amount of alcohol. Just don’t fall on the stove, and be careful with that knife, ok?

Serve over Quinoa, maybe with spiced rum and pineapple juice. Then again, maybe you should just have water.

Unholy Channa Masala

September 24th, 2010

Check this out: I’m posting a recipe.

I just made, if I may say, a freaking awesome Channa Masala. I call it unholy because if the devil came up and said, “hey: eternity in hell, but you get a whole bowl of this,” and then offered you a taste, you’d be tempted.

Here’s the stuff you need:

  • 1 medium-large onion
  • 1-3″ chunk of fresh ginger, to taste
  • 2-5 cloves of garlic, to taste
  • 400-or-so mL can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-3 large, green bird peppers
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5-2 large cans of chick peas (I used a big Unico one and a smaller organic one)
  • 1/2-1 cup plain, full-fat goat yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 3 chunky bay leaves
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • your favourite cooking oil

This makes enough to feed 3-5 people, assuming you have one other vegetable dish and that your guests have eaten other meals within the last 18 hours.

Before we start, I want to clarify the ingredients a bit. I say 2-5 cloves of garlic because garlic is always subjective, and the local Ontario-grown cloves are titanic. I used 4; 3 were tiny, but one (the local one) was the size of a small plum. Ginger is also subjective, and I like it. With a 2″ chunk, it doesn’t stand out much, but like an Icelandic passport, it’s nice to know it’s there. Now the peppers… proper green bird peppers—the 3″ long, skinny, lumpy, curved ones—are violently hot. Since there’s yogurt in this recipe, the fat disarms most of the capsaicin and the heat is extremely muted; but the heat isn’t the point. These peppers also have a very distinct taste, like sweet green peppers but more, maybe more astringent than sweet. You might not have noticed this before, because you were trying to get to your mango lassi before your mouth ignited, but this flavour is essential to the recipe. Combined with the yogurt, it’s like meeting a ninja who has killed a thousand people, but then he only compliments you on your glasses and shakes your hand a bit too hard. I used 3, because I can take a hefty handshake (this came out as a comfortable burn level for me). 2 would be reasonable for people who enjoy some rooster sauce now and then, 1 would be pretty mild. If you can’t find the green bird peppers, get the Thai ones and use colour you like best. If you decide to chicken out on the peppers, use Serrano peppers, which are apparently similar in flavour, but much weaker. If you do this, I’d suggest using 3 (which is still weaker than one bird pepper) and then using less yogurt. Also, I really mean goat yogurt. It’s more… yogurty than cow yogurt. If you use cow yogurt, add another tablespoon of lemon juice, maybe.

Anyway, on to the actual cooking part…

Take one Tbsp of the cumin, and roast it dry in a small skillet until the colour changes, or even until it starts to burn a little. Cumin is emotionally resilient, so it will survive both the separation from the other cumin and the heat. In fact, the hardship will add enormously to the flavour of the dish.

Simultaneously, in a much larger skillet, start heating your favourite cooking oil.

Now, grind the rest of the cumin and put it in a blender with the ginger, the garlic, the onion, the bird peppers, and the tomatoes. Don’t seed the peppers; just chop off the stems. Press buttons as required to reduce all of these things to mush. Smell the result: between the onion and the peppers, you should be able to smell it with your eyes. I strongly advise against tasting it, because it will be absolutely nuclear (the yogurt will save you. Don’t panic). Once the oil is hot, pour in the paste and add the bay leaves.

At this point, the cumin on the smaller skillet is probably about done. Check on that. It should be more of a light brown than a pale green. The difference between roasted cumin and raw cumin can be subtle under some lights, so compare it against the raw stuff. If it’s starting to go black, it’s definitely done, but you’re still ok. If it’s done , grind it together with the garam masala and chili powder. Don’t add it yet. This is the Potion of Awesome +5. Let it sit, for dramatic tension.

This is also a great time to rinse those chick peas. Notice when you start rinsing them that a soapy froth comes up: those are all of the farts that you won’t have, because you’re rinsing your beans properly.

Once the paste has boiled for 5-10 minutes, add the chick peas, the Potion of Awesome, and the yogurt. Mix all of this together and reduce the heat to a high simmer. Once it starts boiling again, add the lemon juice, stir it in, and salt to taste.

The internet suggests cilantro and thinly sliced tomatoes for garnish. I usually cook for myself and for my lunch, so on the occasion that someone sees it, the presentation is destroyed by the fact that it’s in a tupperware container. But style points are like MSG, in the sense that it just makes everything better until it makes you sick, unless you’re allergic.

I’m also developing an Aloo Gobi recipe, but it still needs a few tweaks. Until then, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and will for the next two days.

My First Remix – Maneater

September 24th, 2009

Well, with considerable help from my shiny new Logic Studio 2.0, I’ve finished my first remix: a drum and bass version of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”. Enjoy!

Maneater (Reidmix)