Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pork and Beans is Made from People!

After the apocalypse I assume I'll be eating a lot of beans. That and perhaps some human flesh but I don't want to get into that right now (just read the book The Road and you'll now what's what). When I was little I would just sit there and pop open a can of Beanie Weenies (grey looking hot dogs chopped up in saucy baked beans) and eat them cold out of the can. I liked to pretend I was vagabond traveler riding the rails and getting into all kinds of trouble. I'd build fires and hunt for dinner. I almost caught a squirrel once with my bare hands. Actually I'm glad I didn't because I hear that they have to stab you in the stomach with a hypodermic needle like 50 times if you get rabies. I hear squirrel tastes like chicken which sounds delicious but frankly I don't like needles.

Thankfully the end of the world hasn't happened yet (so the whole cannibalism thing will have to wait) and I can still cook up a nice meal on my rickety baby stove (seriously, why is my oven so small?). My take on pork and beans is perhaps a little more refined than the canned version but still fills me up with nostalgia and makes me think of my childhood dreams of train hopping and being a sidewalk card shark or con artist grifter.  

Seared Pork Chop with Black-eyed Peas and Spicy Andouille Sausage

(the pork)
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper tt
4 (1/2 inch thick) boneless pork chops
canola oil

(the beans)
2 cans of black-eyed peas, drained (technically it's a pea but just eat it and quit being a know-it-all)
1/2 lb andouille sausage, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (celery leaves used for garnish)
2 scallions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pimentón/smoked paprika
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Start the black-eyed peas:
Place a medium sized pot over medium heat. In a little canola oil saute the onions, celery, garlic, sausage, and scallions until the vegetables are translucent (about 4 minutes). Add the spices, black-eyed peas, and chicken stock and simmer until the sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).  

As the black-eyed peas starts to thicken start the pork chops. Before cooking the chops pat them dry. Mix all the spices together. Place a frying pan over medium high heat. Season the pork chops liberally. Put a little oil in the pan and sear the pork chops (about 3-4 minutes per side). Make sure the pork is just cooked through and remove from the heat to a cutting board. Let the pork rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Plate the black-eyed peas and top with the sliced pork chops. Garnish with celery leaves. Enjoy your pre-apocalyptic, human fleshless meal. xoxo

Friday, March 8, 2013

Super Kawaii Food Fun Time Oishii Show!

Onigiri Rabbits and a Heart Filled with Smoked Salmon and Topped with Furikake

Why so serious? Ya know, I subscribe to a lot of fancy food magazines and blogs and whatnot and the one thing that has always troubled me is the omnipresent snobby, richy rich snobbery (whether the writers are well off or not). Look I don't care if you sleep in a water bed filled with gold teeth and use thousand dollar bills to light your cigars. Good for you. I'm just tired of the snotty attitude that mainstream food writers have adopted. I could give a shit that you hand picked horned unicorn lobsters™ off the coast of Malta on one of your weekend getaways. That's great and all but it doesn't make you any better and happier than us poor saps who have to stoop to buying a fresh lobster down at the pier or at your local endangered species black market. All levels of food are worthwhile and every time some asshole turns their nose up at a hot dog octopus a baby kitten dies of erotic asphyxiation. No lie.

Octopus Hot Dogs Floating in a Sea of Ramen

I love bento. Japanese boxes filled with cute and tasty things. Fried squid eyes and heart shaped gelatinous shark taints are my personal favorite. Okay, I lied about that but I really do love bentos. Housewives in Japan take it very seriously when they pack their children's lunch bento. Onigiri, rice shaped into popular characters like Hello Kitty or Rilakkuma. Meat shaped into sea creatures and vegetables turned into jaunty hats. "My child must have the most kawaii bento or I will have shamed the family." Serious stuff.

Have fun with your food. It should be tasty and super kawaii! There's a time and a place for serious food (like at funerals, attempted poisonings, and at the opera) but there is also a desperate need for people in the food world (and the non-food world) to lighten up a little. Pull that skewered lobster tail out of your ass and have a little fun once in a while (unless of course you have that lobster skewer up there for fun in the first place). Let the Japanese learn you a thing or two. Cute food tastes better. It's a known fact. Yeah, you can eat a hot dog but wouldn't it be better if your hot dog was a dapper cephalopod? Of course it would be! Why have plain old curry rice when instead you could have rice shaped into a bear drowning in a tasty brown curry lake while holding onto a custardy egg "lifeboat" with chicken nugget "squirrels" dancing on top. Exactly. Life is short. Play with your food. xoxo

This video isn't mine but look how adorable this Rilakkuma bento is. Kawaii!!!!!!!!!!!