Wednesday, May 21, 2014
When I was little all I ever wanted to eat was meat. I had no time for vegetables. I was like a wild little wolf cub gnawing on cold hot dogs and lunch meat. It's not that I disliked vegetables but I just craved carrion. Sometimes I would walk on all fours and growl at my mother. "I need more meat!" I'd say in my raspy little voice. She would just give me that motherly "what the hell is wrong with my child?" sort of look and pull out some more ham slices from the fridge. I'd snatch it from her hands and run laughing out of the room. She knew that it was better to indulge me rather than stir up even more insanity on my end. I truly am amazed that she didn't smother me lifeless or drop me off in the middle of the Georgian Blue Ridge mountains and leave me to be the crazy little beast that I was. Though I must admit that it was my dream to live in the wilderness and live off the land like a wildling. I would make friends with wolves and bears and we'd hunt together. It would've been great.
I'm not going to lie. I still eat the occasional raw hot dog though I rarely scurry around on all fours while growling anymore. Now I eat my cold meat products all sophisticated and lady-like (delicately with pinkie in the air). Speaking of sentient creatures I also eat the occasional cold plant/vegetable (do pickles count?). I mostly prefer cooked veggies to raw ones (except for tomatoes and radishes). Every two weeks I get a New Roots delivery of small farm, organic vegetables delivered right to my door. I love it. It challenges me to cook with things I don't normally go out of my way to purchase. I try to have the same principals with vegetables as I do with meat. Nose to tail or tip to stem. Use it all. Waste not and all that. We hit broccoli season a little early this year so we started getting it in our bin. Most people just use the end little florets but the stems are so delicious it's a shame to waste them. Peel them, slice them, and cook them. Yummy.
So the other day I was standing in the kitchen, eating a slice of ham wrapped around a pickle while staring at my abundance of broccoli and I thought "I'm going to make something super fucking delicious out of you". And I did so. I made Yakisoba with Broccoli Pesto and Steamed Broccoli Florets with Pickled Egg. It's pretty easy and super tasty. Your vegan (if you leave off the egg) friends will be impressed and your meat eater friends with look at you sadly but then be pleasantly surprised that broccoli can be so delicious.
Yakisoba with Broccoli Pesto and Steamed Broccoli Florets with Pickled Egg
8oz package of dried yakisoba noodles
1 lb. broccoli, florets and stems separated, stems trimmed and peeled
1/2 c fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fermented chili bean curd (if you can find it don't worry about it)
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
pickled eggs (or thousand year eggs or basic hard cooked eggs)
In a large pot of boiling salted water add the yakisoba and boil until tender (5 mins or so). Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
While the noodles are boiling saute the broccoli stems in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender Add the whole garlic cloves and saute a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Steam the broccoli florets until just cooked and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a food processor pulse the cooked broccoli stems, garlic, basil, lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, fermented bean curd, and 1/2 cup olive oil and pulse until pureed. Pour through a fine meshed sieve (use a spoon or spatula to push it through) to strain out the fibrous bits. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Toss the yakisoba with the pesto. Top with steamed broccoli and chopped pickled egg.
Enjoy. FYI: This dish may taste even better if paired with a raw hot dog eaten in the forest. xoxox
Friday, May 2, 2014
I got the summertime, summertime sadness. S-s-s-summertime, summertime sadness. Yesterday was nearly 90F degrees here in Seattle. It's barely May. As I sat in the Chateau de Batcave (our apartment) with the worst migraine ever had, the blinds and curtains shut, crying and stewing in a puddle of my sweat I realized that I wasn't going to cook a single frickin' thing for dinner. Hell, the idea of even eating food in that kind of heat my me wanna barf and barf again. I tried to picture myself floating in a nice cool heart-shaped pool under the shade of palm trees, wearing a cute pink bathing suit and drinking a nice cold Tom Collins. Sadly the daydream would quickly skew into me sitting in a boiling hot tub while wearing a sad wool snuggie and drinking warm sandy salt water. There is no escape from that kind of ickiness. Sunny days are all fun and games until you start trying to remove your skin just to get a little bit cooler.
In the heat of Summer, salad is your friend. Fruit salad, Cobb salad, chopped salad, fried meat salad, any kind of salad that has minimal cookery and maximum tastiness. Okay, yes I cook during the normal not-trying-to-kill-you-with-hot Summer days. If you can, become one with the bats and cook nocturnally in the dark when it's cooler. You can prep for your meals so that when the sun is out full blast you don't even have to look at your oven. That infernal devil machine wants to make your living space even hotter than the nine hells. "Cook something in me." it says. "I want you to die." I hate that awful oven. I know it's plotting my demise along with the sun. They hate me and want me dead.
So anyways here's a lovely salad you can make with a little cooking (nocturnally).
Pan Seared Za'atar Lemon Chicken and Roasted Romanesco Salad
For the salad use my recipe for my Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad with Truffle Parmesan Dressing but replace the cauliflower with romanesco (or use broccoli or cauliflower).
For the chicken breasts (or thighs) make sure you brine them overnight (equal parts salt and sugar about 1tbsp ea. dissolved in 2L water). Wipe them off. Dust them with za'atar (or you can go another route with curry powder), cayenne, cumin, & fresh cracked pepper (they should already be nice and seasoned with salt from the brine so no need for extra). Olive oil, hot saute pan, 3-4 minutes each side. Finish with fresh lemon juice. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the salad. Yum!!!
Share some salad with your new nocturnal bat friends. Be safe. Survive the Summer. xoxoxo
P.S. I know I am the princess of run-on sentences and comma misuse. Shut up. I don't come to your house while you're sleeping and point out your faults. Well, actually I do. But at least I have the courtesy to stay in the shadows and do it quietly. xo