Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Most Perfect Ice Cream

Once upon a time, I went to the store to get some ice cream.  Simple enough.   I didn't want to eat it right away so I put it in the freezer, put on a record, smoked, shared some brilliant thoughts regarding time travel with my cat, etc.

About 45 minutes later I declared it to be 'Ice Cream Time!'  I grabbed a spoon and went to the freezer to pluck my pint of Ben and Jerry's goodness from its resting place--but it was not to be found!!!  Fuck.  I spaced and misplaced my ice cream somewhere other than the freezer for almost an hour.  I started to panic.
Luckily it wasn't too long before I looked into the refrigerator and found my lost treat.  I tentatively investigated the ice cream and found it was holding a very soft yet solid shape.  I dove in.


You know how sometimes you can barely get your spoon into the ice cream to scoop because it's really frozen and that's really frustrating and sometimes you accidently end up flipping a spoonful of ice cream across the room?  Not only is this a remedy for that, but it becomes this creamy, soft serve-y kind of texture that makes you you close your eyes and make happy food noises when you put it in your mouth.  Also, scientifically speaking,  sweet things taste sweeter at higher temperatures,  so the ice cream actually gains flavor by doing this.  Next time you grab a pint of ice cream try this and I promise it will change your life forever.

The Most Perfect Ice Cream

1 pint of your favorite creamy, frozen treat

Place pint in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Get stoned. 
Remove pint from refrigerator and serve.
Have one the greatest feelings of satisfaction you can possibly have in life.

Place remains of pint back in freezer unless you want ice cream soup.

Tuna Melt with Tartar Sauce and Cholula

One day I was making tuna salad and I went to grab a dollop of my roomies mayo when, to my dismay,  there was none.  However, I did have a jar of some Trader Joe's tartar sauce.  After looking at the ingredients I decided it was basically everything that I would normally put in my tuna salad anyway....emulsified egg (mayo), onions and relish  AND tartar sauce is suppose to go with fish, right?  So I added it in place of mayo and IT WAS A DELICIOUS REVELATION.  Now we don't make tuna salad in my house without it. Here is a recipe for a particularly delicious sandwich that I made one smoky afternoon:

Tuna Melt with Tartar Sauce and Cholula
1 English Muffin
1 can dolphin-friendly Tuna
1-2 tbsp Tartar Sauce
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-2 slices of sliced Provolone (or your favorite melty cheese)
1 small handful of Mixed Greens
a few dashes of Cholula or your favorite hot sauce
salt and pepper


Mix tuna, lemon juice, onions, tartar sauce and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Place sliced Provolone on one side of the English Muffin.  
Place a large scoop of the tuna salad on the other half of the English Muffin.  
Place in a toaster oven or conventional oven @ 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted and the Muffin has browned (about 7-10 minutes).  
Remove from oven and place Mixed Greens on the melted cheese and squirt the tuna salad with a healthy dose of Cholula hot sauce.  Press the two sides of the English Muffin together and place in mouth.  Chew, swallow, repeat until no more tuna melt is left.  If you're still hungry go make another one.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Leftovers on Huevos, Part I

My good friend Bryan once told me leftover Mexican food is best served over eggs the next morning.  'It may look and sound disgusting', he said, 'but it tastes amazing.  And it's great hangover food'.  He didn't have to convince me.  I was already imagining  what the flavor of this combo might be like.

When I'm hungover, I always treat the symptoms with a healthy dose of bowl hits to make the pains go away.  I also crave food of substance and am usually subject to what I've got in the fridge.  Eggs are a staple for me, and on this one particular day I didn't have any leftover Mexican food, but I did happen to have some leftover soup.  It was this heavy, chunky Tomato Artichoke soup w/ black olives and lot's of seasoning veggies and herbs mixed in.  The soup had the aroma of a Pizza Hut pizza.  I know that sounds weird, but it was delicious (and didn't really taste like pizza).

Cheesy Egg Toast and Leftover Creamy Tomato Artichoke Soup  

1 piece bread, toasted (I used some Hemp Seed Bread from French Meadow Bakery)
1-2 slices of cheese (any will do)
1 egg, fried, scrambled, poached-whatever your fancy
~ 1 cup leftover, heady, creamy tomato based soup
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 banana pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup onions (if not present in soup)
Olive Oil/Butter/Cooking Oil

In a frying pan, heat no more then a tbsp of butter or oil to Medium+  heat.  When pan is heated, add garlic, onions and banana peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Crack egg into pan and cook until desired readiness.  While the egg is cooking, place slice of cheese on toast and put in toaster oven and toast (or toast bread in toaster and then add cheese)  AND place soup in microwave (if you choose to heat it on the stove-top, begin this process before anything else.) Try to time it so that the toast will be done around the time the egg and soup are done, then place egg on top of cheese toast and scrape the pan of all the delicious onion, garlic and banana pepper bits on top of the egg.  Next, pour that creamy, chunky tomato-veggie soup over the whole thing.  The way my kitchen plates are shaped, they were able to hold in the soup w/out its spilling everywhere.  You may want to consider making this dish in a small-medium sized bowl if your plates aren't equipped to handle the load.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skillet Baked Macaroni & Cheese w/ Broccoli & Red Pepper

Macaroni and Cheese is my ultimate favorite food and has been as long as I can remember.  It's rich, warm, cheesy and satisfying.  This will be the first of many Mac & Cheese recipes to be posted on this blog.  I'm starting with the best, in my opinion, and also the more labor intensive. This is recipe that has evolved from a traditional, homemade baked Mac & Cheese recipe that my Aunt made one summer that blew my mind.  I was 13 and already a huge fan of the boxed varieties.  I got the recipe from my Aunt  so I could recreate it at home.  Over the years I experimented with extra ingredients  and cooking methods and this is what I've created today...

Skillet Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli and Red Peppers

1   8 oz block of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 lb  Macaroni (uncooked)
1   16 oz  tub of Cottage Cheese (low-fat or regular)
4 oz  thinly sliced Alta Badea Cheese (can sub Swiss or Emmentaler)
1 medium Egg
1 1/2 tbsp Butter
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 tbsp chopped Garlic
1/2 cup chopped Broccoli
1 medium Red Pepper, chopped
3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 350 F 
Chop Cheddar Cheese into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes.
Boil Macaroni in a large pot until al-dente.  
Melt butter in large cast iron skillet.
Sauté Onions, Garlic and Red Peppers in skillet, approximately 15 minutes, then take skillet off heat.  
Drain and rinse Macaroni with cold water.  
Mix Cottage Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Egg in a large bowl.  Add Macaroni.  Add slightly cooled Onion/Garlic/Red Pepper mixture.  Mix well.
Pour mixture back into skillet, shake over with Salt & Pepper and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes and then remove from oven.  Remove foil and add thinly sliced Alta Badea evenly on top of Macaroni, then evenly distribute Panko Bread Crumbs over dish.  

Place back into the oven uncovered.  Cook for another 30 minutes, or until the top browns. 
This dish is probably best pre-planned for a group of pot-heads.  I recommend waiting to light the pipe until about 15-20 minutes before it comes out of the oven.  Don't worry, the aroma of the dish will prevent you from forgetting to pull it out in time.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Toasted Pine Nuts and Dark Chocolate Chips

It's the little things...

I thought that this would be a good introductory post.  Something simple and strange inspired by an ingredient I was using to make dinner and another ingredient that was  hanging out in the fridge.  Found ingredients are where most of the dishes in this blog will come from.  The munchee quest for most of us ends with a combination of what we have close by along with the desire to blow our minds and satiate our bellies with something so comforting or so strange.

I was toasting some pine nuts (just throw some in a small cast iron skillet and put on medium heat, toss until lightly brown and fragrant) to top some pasta I was making. After I ate the savory my craving for sweet crept up.  I went to grab a few dark chocolate chips that I had leftover from the Apple Chocolate Chip Cake that I made for my birthday.  The still warm, leftover pine nuts in the pan were calling out to mingle with the chocolate.  I couldn't refuse their cries and I'm glad I didn't.  The result was delicious and new, but with the familiar comfort of a chocolate-nutty combination with the warm pine nuts helping to melt the chocolate.   Mmmmmmmm.....

If you happen to be the type of stoner cook who keeps pine nuts and any type of chocolate around, this is a quick, easy, rich and satisfying snack.  If not, then any warm nuts and chocolate are delicious.