Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seems A Little Fishy To Me.

Do you like seafood? At this point I would open my mouth with some cheeseburger spilling out and in a mumbled snickering voice I would say "See? Food." Bwahahahaha! I loved that one as a kid. Okay, my adoration for foul jokes has matured some what since then (when did I become so prissy? oh well). Unless of course you get a few 40oz malt liquors in me, then all bets are off.

Anyways, seafood. I wish we got to eat it more often in my house. It's just kind of a pain to get. Fresh and good quality fish requires me braving the human world and actually leaving my neighborhood (shudder). The sad grocery store over here sells "fish" that's either grey and stinky or it looks like it lost a fight with a pitbull. Bad fish is bad (you can quote me on that).  I prefer my fish to be perky and smelling of the sea, not the dumpster.

Anyways, I was feeling frisky the other day and decided to go outside and purchase some lovely fresh seafood. I donned my best "don't talk to me or I'll cut you" face and went to my favorite reputable fishmonger (I like to picture him with an eyepatch and peg leg even though he actually just looks like that one normal looking guy from that tv show I don't watch). I bought some beautiful tiger prawns and a few plump sea scallops. I then skulked back to the shadows of my cave and devised a delicious plan. "Oh yes, my little ocean friends. I shall gorge myself on your corpses." I said as I maniacally rubbed my hands together. Hmmm, perhaps I should have left that part out. I hope you think no less of me or have notions that I am in any way mentally unstable (I know where you live).

I ended up making Peruvian Tiger Prawn Ceviche and Seared Sea Scallops with Salsa Verde Criolla. I also made a nice herb and arugula salad with fresh green goddess dressing. It was delicious and I even cried a little bit. Perhaps it was the onion. Either way, I wish I could have seafood more often. Look I didn't even make one joke about our house being a clam shack filled with lesbian ladies (it's funny cause it's true). Not even one. Okay, I better go. I don't want to be shellfish and waste your time. Lol. Get it? Do you? Why aren't you laughing?

Peruvian Tiger Prawn Ceviche and Seared Sea Scallops with Salsa Verde Criolla.

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 lb unpeeled tiger prawns (use whatever you have that's fresh and available)
1/2 medium white onion, small diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp hot sauce (Tapatio or Cholula works great)
1 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper tt
1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
1 habanero or jalapeno chili, minced
1 avocado, diced (don't dice until needed)

tortilla chips

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Add the prawns and boil for 30 secs. Immediately remove from the heat and strain the prawns. Shock the prawns in ice water to stop the cooking. Peel and devein the shrimp. 

In a bowl mix the all of the ingredients together (except for the avocado) and add the prawns and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Add the avocado and gently toss.

Serve the ceviche into small bowls or martini glasses. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of lime. Serve with tortilla chips or saltine crackers if you like. Drink lots of beer with this one. Yum. xoxo

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eat it! I dare you.

Let's be honest here. We've all eaten things we've regretted. Perhaps you're drunk, or super sad, or someone dares you and calls you a wuss, or maybe you lost your sense of smell and taste while playing with fireworks and a gallon jug of bleach. What seemed to be an amazing idea at first ends up making you really sad and in need of a brillo pad and some more of that bleach we just talked about (to scrape that hate off your tongue or clean the vomit off the carpet).

But once in a blue moon you warily eat something that seems like it will be a nightmarish food experience. You take one quivering taste and realize that you have just struck gold. Tasty salty gold. You're standing there in the gas station with a belly full of malt liquor but no real sustenance to hold you upright. Glaring at a wrinkly moss colored hot dog rotating around a hellish glow stick behind a murky piece of grease coated plexiglass. "I need that right now in my mouth" you say to yourself and without a single shred of caution you put your sweaty rolled up cash onto the counter and point to the magical swirling "meat" carousel. Perhaps you should have asked the surly attendant "Excuse me, but how long has that wiener been sitting there?" or "Why is that hot dog green?" but you have made up your mind. It is done.

Okay well, that particular experience almost put me in the hospital with severe food poisoning but sometimes taking chances on strange things work out in a good way. Like the first time I tried chicken feet. Or the time I ate a chunk of Epoisses (a runny, slimy French cheese that smells exactly like baby poop mixed with dirty sock mixed with 30 day old rotting roadkill). Both of those things were amazing and delicious. I was pleasantly surprised.

Back when I used to be in punk bands and whatnot (before I got sick and my wrist imploded - long story) I used to stop at this crackmart (mini-mart or whatevs) and purchase pre-band-practice snacks. One combination of un-appealing but delicious munchies that I stumbled upon happened to be a spicy pickled meat snack and a large can of clam flavored beer. Sounds like a kind of horrible torture method but in fact it happened to be a winning combination of wonderfulness. The Hot Head pickled sausage is all wet and mushy. Salty and sour. Meaty and squishy. I bet you want one now, don't you? The Chelada is a can of beer mixed with clam juice, tomato juice, and lime juice. Lots of salty juices mixed with watery beer. It's like if you poured beer into your Manhattan clam chowder. So refreshing and delicious. I know it all sounds like a terrible nightmare but it really is delicious (perhaps in a super trashy kind of way but none-the-less). Sometimes in life you just need to put your pretensions behind you and eat a brain taco from a shady looking truck, you know what I'm sayin'? See something weird to eat? Try it, you just might like it.

Or you may end up in the hospital but at least you'll have a cool story to tell. If you're still alive of course. xoxo

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hell, Sweet Meat! or How I Learned to Love Spicy Hell Broth.

I've always loved spicy food. Not the hurts so bad I need a doctor from my burning, swollen tongue of hellfire hot but spicy enough to make me sweat and cause my acid reflux to punch me in the face. It wasn't until I moved to Seattle years back that i tried my first taste of Korean food. I wanted to try everything. So many new adventures to be had in my mouth (hmmm that sentence sounds oddly disturbing, oh well). Sitting before me in all it's fiery, red hell broth of spicy glory was a gigantic bowl of Soon doo boo Jjigae (Korean soft tofu and kimchi soup). I was enamored with it's salty, spicy, sourness. It was love at first bite (not to be confused with the terrible 1979 vampire spoof). Soft tofu chunks melted in my mouth and the pungent kimchi made my lips pucker. Also there was a lovely glistening raw egg yolk just begging to be stabbed, it's innards spilling bright yellow moistness all over my soup. I hope my descriptions make you feel all warm and fuzzy instead of dirty and in need of a shower.

Now, I'm pretty well versed in a few Asian cuisines but I had never tested my trusty knives on Korean food. I have never made kimchi from scratch before (I buy the Uwajimaya house brand which is pretty tasty). Perhaps that is a culinary short-coming that I must rectify (I don't know why but I always laugh when I say the word rectify. I have the brain of a five year old). Anyways, since that day I vowed to learn more about the nation's cuisine and since then I've made some damn tasty Korean dishes. Perhaps one day soon I'll even get around to making homemade kimchi. One day...

By the way, I tried to use an online English to Korean translator for the words 'spicy hell broth' and it came up as 매콤한 지옥 육수. However when I reversed the translation it came out as 'Hell, sweet meat". I like it. So anywho, I made a vegan version of Kimchi Soon doo boo Jjigae for Miss Lucy the other day. It was a solid A++ hit. I prefer mine with a raw egg yolk because I am an animal eater and I'm okay with that. Would you like the recipe? Well I've got a surprise for you, here it is!

Kimchi Soon doo boo Jjigae

1 pack soondooboo (soft tofu)
1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
2 small green (Thai) chilies, left whole
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder)
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1 red Korean chili, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
kosher salt to taste

In a mortar and pestle (or food processor) mash the small Thai chili with the garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil until it becomes a paste.

In a pot over medium high heat saute the white onion and ginger in peanut oil for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the gochugaru and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic chili paste.
Then add the vegetable stock and kimchi, bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the soondooboo (soft tofu) carefully with a spoon.
Garnish with sliced Korean red chilies, green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with rice or as is. 

Sit in front of a cool fan with an ice pack in your pants. Be sure to listen to 4Minute as you scarf down some Soon doo boo Jjigae and pound a couple of Hite beers. Enjoy. xoxo