Month: November 2011

The long and short of it…

All things considered, I’m not a a slow-cooker kind of guy. I like having my hands on and in whatever I’m doing too much. It’s always seemed a bit of a cheat to throw a bunch of stuff in a crock pot, crank that baby to a sweltering 160 degrees, and come back in 8 hours to something.. well.. stew-ish. Which is fine if you’re making carnitas which need to cook to the point of deconstruction. Don’t get me wrong, I have one. I bought it 5 years ago – and from what I’ve read it’s a good one ( rated by however it is that they rate those things). I may have used it 3 times since I’ve had it. Right now it’s making a very nice cradle for my immersion blender. All of this is odd because I really do like slow cooking things. I just don’t want anyone or anything else having all the fun. My Pot Roast – Brilliant! My Sis’s Overnight Oatmeal – Doubly Brilliant! My killer all-day-long-simmer-in-the-dutch-oven Bolognese Sauce …

Two in the Drink

The Sandwich Diaries, Episode Two (The Egg Dip – Monte Cristo and Avalon) I fell in unabashed, complete, unadulterated love when I was 10. Each August, just before the beginning of the school year, my mom would take each of us out individually to Rich’s Department Store at Cobb Center to spend the day shopping for the upcoming year’s school needs. Normally, a shopping day wasn’t that great of a thing and the Easter Sunday Shopping Trip was a mad dash through the clothing and shoe racks to get four bitchy, complaining kids outfitted as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.  But as one of four essentially the same age (there’s a year and change between each of us) getting a day of one-on-one face time with either of the folks was a rare occurrence. So the yearly shopping trip was a big deal. The Magnolia Room, Rich’s resident restaurant,  was tucked away at the center of the store between the bakery and the double escalator the spirited you away to the housewares department. More of a ladies …

Sopes Sopa – or – Chicken Masa Soup

I came back from the beach to find these Sopes in the fridge. Gummy, doughy little Masa cakes called sopes. Usually, you steam or grill them and fill with a savory meat saucy thing. The Masa turns a cheesy consistency and the whole dish should remind you of a tamale. Texture in food is a big thing for me, so they are, Far and Large, my least favorite Latin ingredient. I’ve been craving a good tortilla soup lately, so I decided to deconstruct (a nice word for chopping them to hell) and used them as Masa flour for my Chicken Masa Soup.  – If you don’t happen to have your own package of redi-made sopes in your fridge… you can use cornmeal…or regular Masa. Chicken Masa Soup Serves 4 Ingredients 4 Chicken Thighs – (Bone In / Skin On) 2 Cups Tomato Juice 2 Cups Chicken Stock 1 Medium Onion – Minced 2 Poblano Peppers – Diced 1 Red Bell Pepper – Julienne 1 Clove Garlic – Chopped 1 Bay Leaf 1 Tablespoon Oregano 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper 2 …

One From Column B …

Recently Sung, a good friend of mine from Taiwan, asked why I don’t write about good Chinese recipes. A fair enough question… The truth? I don’t know any. I mean, I make a killer Fragrant Crispy Duck and a passable Peking Duck – but that’s pretty much the extent of my repertoire. Anything else I try just ends up being a generic stir fry… and you don’t need me to tell you how to do that. And… since I’m being perfectly honest,  if I want Mu Shu Pork or Mongolian Beef – I’m going to go someplace that knows how to make it right, and not waste the fifteen bucks in groceries to make an inedible copy. I’m all for Cooking the World, but sometimes you just have to admit someone does  something better than you… and besides, I love those little white boxes. But Sung’s question stuck with me, and while I’ve been recuperating from last week’s wedding I thought I’d relax by putting my spin on a Take Out Classic…. Chicken with Snow Peas – and see …