Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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Monday, October 29, 2007

american chop suey & arroz negro

So, I made my american chop suey on Thursday night. It had onion, garlic, eggplant, mushrooms, ground beef and marinara sauce. I used macaroni, as is traditional. And I just bought some prewashed cut bibb lettuce blend and a cucumber for salad. We just used oil and vinegar and sea salt for the dressing. Oh my god! It was so yummy. Real high cuisine!

Saturday for lunch we had Chipotle. Have you heard of this place? It's owned by McDonald's, from what I've been told, but it's very good. The menu is small. Basically, there is carnitas, grilled chicken, grilled beef and barbacoa beef. You pick if you want tacos, burrito, taco salad or something else. Then you pick vegetarian or one of the meats. Then they have pinto beans, black beans and rice, pico de gallo and 2 hot sauces. Then there's corn, guac, sour cream, cheese and lettuce. So you watch them make it, kinda like at subway.

Saturday day, we went shopping for our food club dinner and Halloween costumes. We got most of our Halloween gear at Walmart. But the FP needed some tube socks with the stripes. We went all over the damn mall and couldn't find any. Finally he settled for the plain ones. So he was the lead guitarist from Perfect Blue, and I was a sexy 70 year old lady.

We went home and recorded a cover of Dandy Warhols "just try" and we cooked. We made arroz negro, which is spanish black rice, similar to paella. Instead of saffron though, the main flavoring for the rice is squid ink. We made shrimp broth, used chicken and shrimp, and we added spaghetti noodles, green beans and grape tomatoes. We also made chicken phyllo mummies with romesco sauce to go on top as garnish.

So we went to the food club party, and our friends hosting did desserts and cocktails. The desserts were awesome. They were like hostess snacks decorated to look like spiders and other creepy crawlies. They were decorated with candy corns, sprinkles, and pocky sticks. Also, he made white chocolate dipped lady pears. He stuck them on skewers and decorated them to look like skulls. The shape was perfect for that! The cocktails were pomegranate martinis, and she garnished with the seeds. Really good. I had 3 - 4. Then we had to switch to some kind of rum and OJ cocktail which was also good. Our other friends did apps - almost toasted pumpkin seeds and a guac and black bean dip with a sour cream spiderweb design and a black bean spider. I am pissed because I forgot to take pictures of the food! Anyway, it was a fun night and we were pretty trashed.

The next morning we were really hung over, but we had to go to the bar and watch the Steelers. So I didn't really want to drink, but I knew it would make me feel better. Halfway through my first beer I felt so much better. We had about 4 rounds of Stella Artois, then we headed home and ate the last of the arroz negro that we had and took a nap!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires - by not starting them, terrorist people

So Sunday there were fires. They were in an arc around the city of San Diego. Only one channel had a lot of coverage on it. The channel that was playing the football game. What is that? NBC?

Anyway, Monday morning I woke up and it was dark and cloudy. I drove to work and the traffic was a little lighter than a usual Monday. I listened to the news, and it sounded bad. There were some fires up north too. Way worse than the night before. The fires were bigger, a few more had started. Areas were being evacuated throughout the day. So a lot of the restaurants in our shopping center didn't open. Of course the franchises,Quizno's and Rubio's were open. We ended up closing after 2pm. There was a light dusting of ash on the pavement and our cars. Qualcomm stadium was being set up as an evacuation center. It's outdoors! But I guess there were booths set up and a band playing. They were trying to make it seem like a street festival or something. How pleasant...except for the smoke and the sleeping on those chairs or in tents. And wondering if your house is burning or if your horses are okay.

I went home, and the FP had been plastered in front of the tv all day. It wasn't as smokey at home. So we went and made groceries at Pancho Villa's to get him out of the house. He made like a beef mole rojo and spanish rice. I don't know exactly what he put in the mole, but I saw garlic, onions, maybe new mexico dried chilis, tortilla chips and crushed tomatoes. He fried that shit,then pureed it, then stewed the beef in it. I made nopal salad with red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and rice vinegar (wonder where we got the idea for that) and some weird cauliflour. I wanted an almost curried cauliflour. I sauteed onion and garlic, then I added cumin, coriander, salt, red pepper flake, cardamom, clove, cinnamon - but I wanted something else. I think I wanted mustard seed, so I put spicy brown mustard in it. Just a spoonful, but it was way too much. It tasted okay when you drowned it in the mole actually. The mole was a little sweet, so the cauliflour was the perfect counterpoint. We watched the news all night long, watching the fires get bigger, watching reporters standing too close and being told to move. Watching the ones that looked stupid with the goggles and surgical masks. Some people called the FP to ask if we were okay. Eventually, all the schools were shut down for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, there was no traffic. It was very smokey. I woke up with a sore throat and a tightly stuffed up nose. When I blew my nose, there was ash and blood. Still lots of news about the fires on the radio. 94.9 is broadcasting KPBS' programming because their transmitter burned down or something. People started coming in. Some were families that evacuated. They looked tired and hungry. They got omelettes, crepes with fruit, ice cream whipped cream. Hearty comfort food. The Princess made a comment how some people smelled. I told her they probably evacuated and hadn't showered in a few days. She laughed and said, "oh yeah, I'm so insensitive." Then we were dead for a few hours. Later on, almost 1 pm, we got hit. I think all the neighborhood people came out. They were probably a little stir crazy watching all that news. On the drive home, every time I drove through a canyon (I'm not a geographist, but you know what I mean, right) there was a thick haze of smoke. Everyone was advised to stay home, keep the roads clear, not to breathe in the outside air.

I talked to Long Island, a coworker who lives in Chula Vista. She had been confined to the apartment. She works at King's in Chula Vista which was closed. She said it was very close to the fire, and the evacuation zone was maybe a mile away from her apartment. Her husband went out to walk the dog, and he put a coffee filter on the dog's muzzle as a makeshift facemask. It was so smoky and ashy, and they were just waiting for the word. But they never had to evacuate, luckily.

So on the way home I was listening to one of the radio stations. This jackass DJ, I wish I knew who,started comparing Qualcomm Stadium and the situation to... the Superdome and Katrina. I swear. No joke. He said how it was all organized andp pleasant. San Diegans stepping up and helping out other San Diegans. I am not joking. Really. Because it's an identical situation. Oh yeah. Let's see. They both have wind - fires and hurricanes. Okay. I'll give him that. Let's see some more. Hurricanes have...water. Wildfires have...what's the opposite of water? Oh yeah, FIRE. These fires, while buring down like 200,000 acres, did not sweep through the whole area. With Katrina, the Superdome was surrounded by water. Everyone in the city was in need of aid. With these fires, some people are walking around in hell, wondering if their place is okay, stressing about the present and future. Other people are fine. They go to work, go home, watch tv. Maybe they didn't go to work, but they could have. Some of these people feel bad for the others and offer up help. They could drive their car to the Walmart, buy water, then drive to Qualcomm and drop it off. The evacuations are called as needed for different areas. People can stream into Qualcomm as needed. Entry to the Superdome pretty much had a deadline. After Katrina, I suppose one could have driven to Walmart and gotten water... but. Do I need to go on? I shouldn't have ranted this long.......

Tuesday afternoon, when I got home, I told the FP about the smoke. He had been cooped up for so long (or it felt like that to him since his class that night was cancelled), that he wanted to go for a drive and see it. So we took a long drive up north. We saw a plume of black smoke and some areas of the interstate were hazier than others. It was very bizarre. My chest felt very mucusy and heavy like when I used to smoke a pack a day.

When we got back to our neighborhood, the air seemed so much clearer in comparison. We knew we were supposed to sit at home and be good, so we went out to Saigon to eat. The FP had pho, we had spring rolls and I had the chinese broccoli with chicken. It was so damn good. We hadn't been there forever, and it was nice to get out of the house. I talked to my mom. She said that she thought the fires were mostly in Malibu. Fucking Malibu. Okay, movie stars live there with multimillion dolllar homes. That is more newsworthy than horse farms and livestock farms and $2 million dollar mansions I guess. Although other stations that my mom probably didn't see because she is one of the last people in the US to not have cable, were broadcasting headlines that said "SAN DIEGO BURNING" "SAN DIEGO IN FLAMES"

Wednesday. There were definitely more people on the road. Although all the schools were closed for the whole week. There was way less coverage of the fires on the radio,even though they didn't seem to be contained. A few more people called or texted or sent myspace messages or bulletins. I mean does 1% contained sound like progress? Anyway, all the restaurants were back open, but everyone was pretty slow. Slower than usual anyway. The FP didn't work again. We ate leftovers.

The FP is finally working tonight. I had heard barely anything new about the fires, but it seems like there are still places being evacuated. The one day of work this week for him. I'm not sure what's for dinner tonight. Maybe hamburger helper? Actually, I love american chop suey. That's a thought. Thursday is usually marinara sauce night....Maybe something like they used to have at Boylston Deli in Boston. I wonder if that place is still open.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

thursday, friday, happy days

So Thursday was just frozen meatballs and spaghetti. I got the wrong kind of meatballs. It said homestyle. They tasted a little bland, and maybe weren't as fatty as the others. They were a little on the dry side. Friday, we barely ate. Then Saturday, we woke up and had an epiphany. We read the City Beat review of El Borrego few days before, and we were dying to go there. We didn't think we had enough money Saturday, so we were going to go to Saigon. On the way there, we passed El Borrego, and they were open at 8:30 am. The Food Pimp uturned, parked, and we walked in. It was a bright cheery place, with these artist's cornhusk dolls on display. We sat at a long table, and we got the menu. One side in Spanish, the other in English. Their specialty is approximating the barbacoa style of cooking lamb by wrapping a lamb in maguey leaves and steaming it. So we ordered the lamb combo, lamb broth and nopal salad. The lamb broth is the drippings from the lamb,and some chickpeas and a little lamb meat. It was so good. It tasted like long simmered lamb broth! The Nopal salad was really good. Diced cactus with onion, cilantro, lime. The lamb came with beans and rice, and the condiment tray of limes, onions and cilantro. And small, fresh made tortillas. The lamb was so tender - just falling apart. And the taste was so mild in a good way. It was like the best of comfort food, even though I've never had anything like this before. I cannot fully describe this experience to you. If you live in San Diego, you have to try this!!!! I am so angry that I don't know enough Spanish to know that borrego means sheep! Damn my ignorance!!!!! The kitchen staff was composed of three middle aged and older women, stirring things in pots and stuff. One was making the tortillas by hand on a wooden press. My new criteria for a good Mexican restaurant is seeing how many moms or grandmas are in the kitchen.

Later on Saturday we recorded a cover of the Cranes' Shining Road. Then we got delivery spaghetti and meatballls. The spaghetti and meatballs we had earlier in the week was so unsatisfying that we had to have a proper order of spaghetti and meatballs. These were good, but we should have asked for extra sauce....

This morning, once again - corned beef hash! I know, it's almost every Sunday. But this time we had hashbrowns with them! The FP grated potato in the fp (LOL)and a little onion. Then he heated a big pan with a little oil and scattered the potatoes. He let it brown, then flipped it. It was a perfect little galette. And we had eggs too of course. We tried to cook rice, but horror of horrors, our rice cooker broke. It kept shutting off before the rice was done. Oh well, it had a good haul. In the meantime, before we get another, can anyone tell us how to cook rice on the stove? LOL

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

monday, tuesday, happy leftover days

Monday - I was very congested, so the FP was sweet and made a soup from the pork bone. He threw in some cabbage, carrots, pork meat and we added rice as well. It was yummy, even though I realized my sense of taste and smell was not up to par. We were tooting all night probably from the cabbage. The FP said it smelled terrible, but lucky for me, I couldn't tell....

Tuesday, I made braised collard greens with onion, garlic, sweet potato, mushrooms, rice vinegar, white vinegar and a little beer. Then I diced up some pork - yes, we've been eating pig for days and I'm not sick of it - and fried it crispy. We ate this over rice. Strangley enough, this did not cause as much tooting as the night before.

Tonight, Popeye's!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Crazy Saturday night!

So this is what we ended up making for dinner last night. The pork roast, as I mentioned in the last post. Although I added clove, paprika, probably some other spice, and I mixed it with water and put it in the roasting pan the last hour to make a sauce. Then I put onions and diced acorn squash in the liquid to cook too. The cabbage was turned into a slaw with carrot, onion, cilantro, lime juice, ponzu sauce, olive oil and salt. So it was kinda similar to Anne's calypso slaw at the Mango House. We also had the pinto beans, rice and the habanero sauce that the FP made when he came home. It was pretty fucking good. The key when roasting something like pork butt is to eat all of the melty and crispy fat when you eat the first meal after cooking it. It's such greasy goodness, that it just isn't the same once you microwave the leftovers. So don't waste it! And if you're one of those people who trim it off, shame on you! That is unforgivable. When we ate at Botin in Spain, which is like the oldest still operating restaurant or something, we saw these other tourists in the dining room. They got the roast suckling pig too, but we watched in horror as they took their knives and lopped off all that beautiful perfectly roasted fat! I wanted to ask if we could have it. Of course they were older american women. Not that I'm generalizing or stereotyping, but if there's a chance someone's going to do that, they're probably an american. I know. I'm an american. And maybe a long time ago I would have done the same thing. Naaaahh, I've always liked fatty crispy things. I went crazy for the chicharones when I was a little oinker.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A week of ketchup

So I can't remember everything we ate, but I'll try to piece it together. I know last Friday we had Picante's. This is the taco shop next to the Bluefoot in North Park. I had a california burrito - which is like seasoned beef and potatoes and some other stuff, it's really good. The FP had I think cabeza taco and either tongue or carne asada. I was pretty wasted and it was a week ago, so I can't remember. But I think they were out of tongue. If you haven't had tongue or cabeza meat, they are really richer, fattier tasting pieces of beef. My mouth is watering thinking about it.

Saturday I believe we went to Dim Sum at Emerald Restaurant on like Convoy St. They open at 9am, and we got there about 9:15. We had only been there once before during a busy lunch, and it was ok. This time not many people were there yet. We got our nice pot of tea and water. One of the amazing parts of the experience was that we had our waters refilled numerous times. Every morning when we go out for breakfast or lunch after drinking, we are both dehydrated. Every morning when we go out for breakfast or lunch after drinking, we get tiny glasses of water and no one refills them in a timely manner. So this was a real treat. Let me see if I can remember what we got. I know there were 6 things, and it cost $22. We got shrimp shumai and pork shumai. These were nice. They were flavorful and they did not pure the meat so much and pack it in so much that it was too dense. We also got these nice sized bean curd with pork filling. Also good. Rice noodle with BBQ pork. These are the kind of thick and long noodles that they fill with usually beef or shrimp. The pork was a nice change, good BBQ seasoning. Then we got the little dish of braised pork knuckle. That was very good, nice and tender, very lightly seasoned. Then the last thing was the chicken feet. The FP was hoping for these. They were the best cooked chicken feet we ever had. The skin was actually coming off the bones, so we could actually eat it. The sauce had soaked in nicely too. That was a great meal.

That night, after drinking sake all day and recording a cover of Joy Division's digital, the FP cooked dinner. We had bought groceries at a Korean market, so we had some kind of greens, I don't know what they were. He braised them with oyster mushrooms. And he stewed this frozen octopus in a nice soy sauce. I wish I knew what it was. If he would ever post he could elaborate. Also we had bought a container of kim chee, but he had eaten most of it before we had dinner.

Sunday. You know the ritual meal - corned beef hash. Only we didn't have so much money, so we made it at home. I used Hormel canned corned beef. I know alot of people freak out when they see this hard hunk of meat come out of the can, but it is so much better than the canned corned beef hash. I think that is made of more of the scrappy part, and it's pured to soft fatty mush. So I kind of parboiled the potatoes in the saute pan, then when the water reduced out, I added the onions and oil and sauteed them. Then I added the corned beef and a little Zatarain's creole seasoning. We had rice and fried eggs with it. This is what we ate all day - which consisted of several mini meals until 2 cans of corned beef were gone at the end of the night.

Monday, linguini with clam sauce. This is the first dish the FP ever learned to make, so of course it was good.

Tuesday, Tuesday. I can't remember. Oh yeah. This is the night I have class, so I bought frozen ravioli and bottled tomato sauce before class. I precooked the ravioli and put it in a pot with the sauce to heat up later.

Wednesday. Chipotle BBQ chicken legs and succotash. The FP had a small class, so he had the chicken left over. I made the succotash. Just sauteed onion, mushroom, zucchini, yellow squash. Then I added canned tomatoes and a bay leaf and let it simmer. I added salt and lima beans and that was it. I love simple stuff like that. 12 years ago I probably wouldn't have been too excited about something like this.

Thursday. I bumped up the succotash with more vegetables, and the FP made a kind of bastardized chicken adobo. I say bastardized because he thinks he can't call it adobo (as in the Filipino version) because he's not Filipino. He's kind of right. It was still delicious though.

Friday. All we ate was a sandwich I brought home from work. Roast beef and black forest ham on baguette with dijon, mushrooms and emmenthal cheese. Pretty good, but I got wasted last night and I had a total of 5 beers between 7pm - 2 am. And 4 of them were Miller High Life. So we went to San Diego Sports Club to see some bands - Br'er, Inigo and A Beautiful Noise. We've seen Inigo before, they're good - rock. A Beautiful Noise has seemed to have lineup changes, and they sounded different live. They are shoegazy, but live, they had this tall skinny English guy doing some of the vocals, so he made it sound like Oasis. Br'er. They were something else. They were from Philly. The lead played a harmonium(?), there was a guitar player, a drummer with a bass and snare drum, and a harp player. A male harp player. He was so cute! They had a great sound, but you should just look them up online if you're interested. Anyway, they needed a place to crash, so we offered our living room floor. We ended up talking about food, and they said they were excited about this tour, because they would get to eat real authentically good Mexican food. That's when a light bulb went off over the Food Pimp's head. SUPER COCINA. So this morning, Saturday, before they headed up to San Francisco, we took them there. They loved it! Two of them are very skinny guys, but they pretty much ate all their food. They each got a chili relleno, and three of them got the chilaquiles and the fourth got that scrambled egg that's cooked in the red sauce. All good choices. I got a red pork stew and this delicious beef stew with pasilla that I never had before. The FP got the same beef dish and his usual spicy pork stew. It was so satisfying.

Right now I'm roasting pork butt. I just coated it with cumin, coriander, salt and new mexico chili powder and stuck it with garlic. I cooked pinto beans whole, and I have to deal with cabbage. I don't know if I'm going to stew it or make slaw with lime. I'll decide when I make it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sunday Morning Breakfast

So, Sunday morning we woke up and went to National City! The FP had wanted Super Cocina, but I had been thinking about Philippine food all week. So we went to Tita's Kitchenette. I know there are other places there, but Tita's is so good, I would hate to go somewhere else and have it suck. We got there around 9:45am, and it was the slowest I've ever seen it. Maybe only 10 people there. There was so much to choose from and it all looked pretty good. Especially the longaniza, since it was breakfast time. But I decided on the pork adobo and the menudo. The adobo is basically meat stewed in soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, black pepper and bay leaves. The best part is letting the greasy sauce soak into the rice! The menudo is really like beef stew. This one doesn't have tripe in it - just like beef, peas, I think potatoes. It's really good though. But the best part is the vinaigrette with garlic and vinegar. I think I've written about this before. I doubt I have too many avid daily readers anyway.

Monday night, the FP was off, and it was Monday night football. That must have been why he wanted nachos again. So that's what he had for dinner. He cooked the ground beef and mixed salsa in it. Then he topped tortilla chips with the beef, jalapenos and cheese and broiled it.

I had a completely different meal. We had some somen noodles in the house, so I boiled those and cooled them. Then I blanched some broccoli florets, edamame and peas. Then I julienned cucumbers and diced avocado. I toasted sesame seeds lightly. I tossed the all the ingredients with ponzu sauce, then I added a little mayonnaise. This may sound gross, but there's a Japanese restaurant on Carrolton (or there was) that served basically the same thing without the veggies. The name eludes me. Must be the Alzeimer's starting to take effect. It was definitely a comfort food thing for me.

Tuesday night the FP made shrimp and okra gumbo. It was pretty good, but the flavors hadn't developed yet. I'm sure it will be great tonight. We were a bit iffy about how it would turn out though - he used frozen okra!