Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

food slideshow - be careful, some pics maybe xxx rated!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

quick and lazy soup

So last week I went to the practice space to pick up some equipment. So I thought I would go on over to Marukai "shopping center". If you live in San Diego and you haven't been, check it out. It is on the corner of Balboa Ave. and Mercury right by the 163 ramp. It is three different stores that are all Marukai. One is the market, one is called Living - which has appliances, healthcare products and home decor and furniture, and the third is Daiso. It's like the $1.50 store. It's great.

Anyway, I went into the market hoping for hamachi kama. Last time we went in the 3 packs of it didn't look fresh. This time there was none at all. No seafood jumped out at me, so I stared at the meat for 5-10 minutes. I can be a slow decision maker sometimes. That's because when I make a quick call on the fly, it's always the wrong call. So I looked at the price per pound of all the beautiful fatty beef, and I decided on Harris Ranch chuckroll.

So I was pretty tired, and I didn't want to really put any effort into cooking. Luckily, I didn't have to. I had some stuff at home and I bought a few things for filler. I made dashi miso soup and cooked some rice. Easy sleazy.

Lazy Ho Miso Soup

1/2 c dashi miso paste (actually I don't know how much, I just kinda take your whisk and stick it in the container and grab some and then whisk it into the water. There are proportions on the label if you want to be scientific)(The Food Pimp Helpful Hint #1 - don't get plain miso because that is boring shit, the dashi miso has much more flavor)

2 qts water

1 pack enoki mushrooms - cleaned and separated

6 heads baby bok choy - cut in quarters and washed

3 cups pea sprouts washed

2 cups edamame

4 cups cooked rice - unless you're not like us and you don't eat as much rice as we do, then cook less

.75lb thinsliced chuckroll beef

ponzu sauce for garnish

siracha or chili paste for garnish


So this is soooooo easy. Get your water boiling. Whisk in the miso paste. Let it come back up to a boil and reduce the heat so it simmers. Add the baby bok choy, let it cook for a minute. Add the edamame, mushrooms and pea sprouts. Give those a minute. Then when you are ready to eat, put rice in your bowl, put some slices of beef in the bowl. Bring the soup back up to a boil, then ladle some in over the meat. Stir it around for a bit. Add your ponzu and hot sauce. But that's all it really needs.

Here's some beefy food porn:

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boom chicka

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ow chicka

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oom chicka

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chicka chicka

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wow wooooooooooowwwwwwwwww


If you want your beef cooked really well, then put it in the soup pot. But I find that putting individual portions in individual bowls is better. Why? Because I'm the Food Ho be-och. No really, because this is very flavorful fatty meat, and all the fat from the slices of meat will infuse into the water just like tea. So you want all the flavor from your meat in your bowl - don't share it in the communal pot! It's about food - survival - resources are getting scarce you know.

Here's how it looks:

See the sheen of fat sparkling on the surface! That's just lovely!

Seriously. This is some good simple shit. Okay, I confess, the beef wasn't as good as the Berkshire pork - but I was expecting that. Pork is my favorite flesh - for those of you who haven't discovered that fact about me yet.

And for those of you who are dying to know - pea shoots... A little background. The FP does not digest certain leafy green veggies, along with the usual peanuts and corn. Yes, we have been eating pea shoots for a week now on and off. And yes, the Food Pimp did find some floaties in the toilet bowl. But they were brown, not bright green like last time. So there was a little decomposition involved.

Also of note, I found a brown, but long stem in the toilet bowl at work! It was about 2 inches! Yes, I do number two at work. The thing is when I feel it, it's coming out soon and that's that. But I was excited and I wanted to text the Food Pimp about it, but I think I forgot. Anyway, he'll read this, then we'll all know.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rain, clouds, crawfish and sunburn

So, May 24th, 2008. The day we had been waiting for. The annual LSU Alumni Association Crawfish Boil. You can't imagine how exciting it is to pay $45 for crawfish and beer. Yeah, I know it sounds like a lot - but it is so worth it!

So this event takes place on the Chargers' practice field at Qualcomm. Yeah, the whole field. That's how big it is. So our friends went to LSU, and that's how we heard about this event. I can't imagine this thing going on under our noses and us not knowing about it. That would be disturbing.

So anyway, this year, our friend Party Girl had to go stag because her husband - Big n Smart is having some digestive issues. This is really strange. He is a few years younger than me, and he has diverticulitis. It's like pockets on your colon. The doctor told him it's caused by poor diet and genes. Well, let's pray for my genes, because my diet is not always well rounded. But the kicker is that Big n Smart is a very healthy fellow. He works out a lot, he eats right, he's healthy. But I guess if you ate shitty earlier in life you could still have effects from it later, like diverticulitis.

Now, I can't imagine how he must have felt not being able to go to the crawfish boil. I would have cried.

But we went, and Party Girl picked us up. So it was raining when she picked us up. We were all bundled in our three layers. By the time we got there, it had stopped raining and the clouds were breaking. Then by the time we got in the gate and found our table, it was getting warmer. I shed my raincoat, then my thicker jacket. At one point I took it all off - except for my tshirt of course.

So LSU colors are purple and "gold" - so there was a lot of purple and gold clothing. And there were a lot of people who brought food, even though they were going to eat, and there was the beer. So we went to the beer stand, and it's all you can drink until 2pm. So the choices were bud, bud light, red hook, esb and, some IPA, I can't remember the name because I wasn't familiar with it. So I drank ESB. This turned out to be the popular beer.

So we were at our friend's tables - he reserved 3 - and people would come up and we'd meet them. But basically, we just sat there and drank, then when we needed another beer, someone would get another round. We hadn't seen Party Girl much, so we caught up over several beers. She is fairly fair complected, so she broke out the sunscreen. She was slathering it over her arms, and she asked if we wanted some. It was just raining 45 minutes before that, so I declined. It did get warm, and I hiked my sleeves up all the way, but I was fine.

So the time passed, but not quick enough. Finally, they told us to get in line with our table number and a ticket to get our big boxes of crawfish. The thing was that last year we were shorted a lot because they underordered. So we were excited to get a big pile.

So we waited in line, got a beer when we needed one. Then we were almost to the front, when we noticed that we were in the wrong line! There were 2 lines, and we were in the wrong frickin line! So we decided we were just going to use Party Girl's pull to get our crawfish - she was the association secretary last year. So I think I had to pee or get beer or something, but when I came back, they were bringing the box back to the table! Yay!!!!!!!

So we got there. We had already prepared the newspaper on the table. They dumped it out, and, oh, it was a beautiful sight! This pile filled up the table. Plenty for us. There were only 6.5 of us at the table. The .5 was one of the LSU Alumni who bought Big n Smart's ticket from Party Girl. She just came by at one point and grabbed a handful of crawfish.

So we dug in. For those of you who do not know what they are, let me get the picture up.




So these are freshwater creatures. They are lovingly called mudbugs sometimes. Northerners call them crayfish cause they don't know what the hell they are talking about. They look like little lobsters. They taste something between a lobster and a shrimp. They are delicious. After they harvest the rice in Louisiana, they flood the rice paddies and they farm crawfish there. And then they sell them. And then the San Diego LSU Alumni Association buys some, and they rent an 18 wheeler to go pick them up and bring them back live so we can boil em up and suck da heads and pinch da tails.

So what happens, is they get those huge outdoor boiling pots with the steamer basket inserts. They get water boiling, and they throw cajun seasoning in there. Of course everyone has their own method. But it's like you buy this spice packet or liquid - Zatarians or Tabasco or whatever you like. Then you throw in maybe some veggies. To keep it simple for under 3000 people though, they didn't have the veggies. They just had potatoes and corn. So what you do in this case, you let the spices boil for a while. Then you throw the potatoes in. Then later on when the potatoes are pretty much cooked, then you throw in the crawfish. They don't take too long. You stir them around, they'll float and turn red. You cut off the gas. Then you throw in the frozen corn to stop the cooking. You let it sit for a bit so that everything soaks up the spice. Then you pig the fuck out!

But getting back to some of the the extra stuff you can put in the boil - whole garlic, sausage, mushrooms (these are so good because they are little sponges that soak up all the flavor), artichokes, and a new favorite of mine - peanuts in the shell.

So we were all just happily feasting away. Actually, our tablemates were not eating with as much zeal as the three of us, but they seemed to like them. They were spicy, but not too spicy that the average person couldn't eat them. They were medium size, not too small, with a couple big uns. I pretty much ate until my stomach was visibly distended a bit more than the usual pooch. But then we were told to try the other table's crawfish. They seemed bigger and spicier! We got jipped! Nah, not really. But theirs were definitely better - not to complain... But it was about time to go anyway. So we had a ton left over. Party Girl had had to get another box because someone had stolen ours a minute after we set it down. This shindig is pretty cutthroat. We were warned to watch out for scavengers and never leave our table unattended. Towards the end, these hyenas with their rolling coolers were walking by asking us if we were going to take the leftovers. We were very posessive. Yes, we were going to take them! How dare they ask. I think I snarled at them. So we loaded the leftovers in the box, and it was pretty damn heavy. We hauled that thing back to the car. It took two of us to carry it.

I was exhausted. But we had to go to the Bluefoot and watch the Penguins/Redwings hockey game. So we were deciding whether to go home first and drop some crawfish at home, or go straight there. The Food Pimp was drunk and thinking irrationally. He wanted to go straight to the bar. The game was starting right then. So when Party Girl dropped us off, I grabbed a napkin and put a pile in it, and walked into the bar with it. She asked if we wanted the box top, but I didn't want to walk in with a gigantic box top. So we ate that pile at the bar as soon as we walked in. It turns out, the game didn't start for half and hour or an hour. Then the FP regretted not letting us go to the apartment to drop a big stash of crawfish in our fridge. Figures. I get in trouble for being bossy, then I get in trouble for being submissive. I never make the right choice! Oh well, hopefully Big n Smart will get to enjoy the crawfish that he missed at the boil!

So of course we got very burned that day. It started out dark and rainy, but this is San Diego. Our faces were so red, they looked like crawfish. Or maybe we just ate so many that we turned red.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Braised Beef Ribs

So last Saturday at this time, I was at work. I am like one of those 9-5ers now. I don't work weekends. I have been at my job for 1.75 years now, and last Saturday was the first weekend lunch I've worked. I worked Saturday night twice - that was really boring. But Saturday and Sundays breakfast shift are where the action is at.

That's the thing about working in the "biz". I'm masochistic by nature. So I am at my job I'm always trying to prep any free minute I get because as soon as I clock in, the kitchen is open for business. At other places, generally you get a few hours prep before the place opens. So most of the time I get an hour or two before I really get any orders. But sometimes some sick sons of bitches come in at 6 and order all kinds of sht. I think I digressed. That's not like me at all. The point is that when it's busy I'm stressed out and I hate it, but I kind of derive pleasure from all the action - it's kind of like working out I guess. I feel better after it's over.

Anyway, I'm a pussy now in regards to working hard compared to previous jobs. So working 6 mornings in a row was very draining. I was so exhausted. I got home around 2:30 and the Food Pimp had lunch waiting for me. And what a lunch it was. But I was so exhausted that we got in a fight and I took a nap for 30 minutes in bed, then he coaxed me out into the living room to eat. God, I'm such a bitch.

Anyway, he braised beef ribs which he made rice for and garnished with shredded cabbage and red onion, and he made ceviche. To tell you the truth, the braised beef was excellent - the ceviche was boring. The problem with the ceviche was that he used tilapia. I think it just doesn't have much flavor, so the ceviche didn't have much flavor. He made it right and the lime and cilantro and tomato juice in was in tasted good. But the fish didn't have much flavor. Some people like that though. But the braised beef ribs - um um good! Do you ever want to have a whole stockpile of meals that you love that never spoil and you can eat at a moment's notice? Well, I do, and this blog is about me. So anyway, I would love to have a reserve of this beef rib stew. It was so fucking good it made me want to beat up my parents. That's the saying, right? Oh. No, it's "it's so good you'll slap yo mama." I like my expression better. People might not find that funny though. I'm not here to amuse you. I'm really just writing this as a public service for education on the topic of gastronomics. So here's the recipe the way the FP would give it to you:


It's Like, Uh, Braised Beef Ribs Recipe, The Food Pimp Style

so these are the ingredients, I think

ginger
garlic
new mexico chilis - rehydrated
cascabels - no serrano ham - no serrano chilis
chick peas
crushed tomato
beef ribs
cumin
coriander
sugar
salt ginger
water
lime juice
cilantro

So, you know, use common sense when you think about how much to use of everything. Don't ask for measurements because I don't roll like that, Dog. You know, it's cooking. Anyone can do it - my monkey could cook this. So anyway, just throw everything in a big pot and simmer it for a few hours. When the meat is cooked - tender but not completely falling off the bone, it's ready.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Now that was a hotdog!

So I didn't feel like cooking last night. The kitchen was dirty. I did most of the dishes, but I didn't want to make many more dirty dishes again. So I went to the store and was looking for something hassle free. Then I saw it. The sign for a pack of Hebrew National jumbo dogs for $5. That's $1.25 a dog, and they are bigger than that "jumbo dog" I got at Chicago on a Bun. And to tell you the truth, ever since I ate at Chicago on a Bun, I've been wanting to redeem my tastebuds with a good hotdog. I guess it's like chasing the dragon - chasing the wiener instead. So I got all the fixins.

I heated up the oven for the country style Ore Ida fries. Oh yes, I did buy them. It's funny because this Albertson's had a small selection of frozen fries. I remember at the Sav A Center and Albertson's in New Orleans, there were all kinds of fries and tater tots to choose from.

So when the oven was hot, I put the fries in. Then I sliced pickles, opened the jar of sliced jalapenos - sliced longways not crossways, thin sliced onions, broke out the French's yellow mustard, Louisiana hot sauce and London Pub brand malt vinegar.
So I microwaved my dog when my fries were done. I got the Sara Lee Center Split Deli rolls, and I microwaved that for a few. I know I should have put it in the oven, but I was really too lazy. Then..... I put it all together.

This is what it looked like.




So with the malt vinegar, I got a little sauce dish and filled it up with malt vinegar. I put the mustard on the plate. I like to dip my fries in mustard and ketchup too sometimes, and then I dip it in the malt vinegar. The fries get soggy if you sprinkle the vinegar all over them, unless you are a really fast eater. You can read a more indepth explanation of my dipping method if you look in the archives for my Long John Silvers blog. You can find it in the labels listed on the side. I went and checked. Long John Silvers is listed twice, and in both blogs I explain my dipping method. I hope no one gets bored when I repeat myself.

So this dog way surpassed that puny Chicago on a Bun dog. And by the way boys and girls too, size does matter! It really does!

So then I was thoroughly enjoying my meal, and then the Food Pimp came home. He laughed at the sight of me eating a hotdog and fries in front of the TV. I would have laughed too. But then he right away prepared himself a hotdog. He didn't even wait for the fries to cook before he ate it. Then he ate another. And he's not a big hotdog eater, contrary to rumors that sometimes circulate. He would never be the one to say, lets get a hotdog. Usually I want one, and then he decides he wants one too. Then he ate his fries. He doused his fries in malt vinegar. I guess that's one of the quirky things that we do differently.

How do you eat your fries and malt vinegar?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

smothered chicken

Don't you just love the way that sounds. Say it. Smothered chicken. I like it. But I'm crazy. Food crazy. Nuts. Like Macadamias(my mom's favorite). But it's catch 22. Since I know I'm crazy, that makes me sane. Have you ever read Catch 22? It's a really good book by...Joseph Heller?

Once when I was at band camp...(no, I'm not joking - I really did go to band camp. That was the only way I could leave home for the summer. I wasn't allowed to go on vacation with my friends or anything)I had this friend who kept talking about Catch 22 all the time. Finally I read it.

Then later on, he eventually went to school where I went to school - Florida State. The sad part, is that we were there at the same school for maybe 2 semesters. I think I saw him once or twice. But I do remember that I took him to Good Time Charlies for all you can eat - shrimp creole, I think. It was this creole restaurant in Tallahassee on.... Tennessee Street, I think. Now there is some chain restaurant there instead. I'm going to have to double check with the Food Pimp on that one. Anyway, the trick was to eat until you were full. Then you got one more plate of the stuff. And you took a bite or two, then you asked for a box. Genius! My friend, Detachable Fangs, got his plate to go, but he ate most of the shrimps. But he figured he'd just buy shrimp at the grocery store and add them in.

Ahh, to be a college kid. Oh wait, I still live like a college kid. Except, I do not have a futon or a halogen lamp any more in my apartment. Oh, and I don't sit around all day chain smoking with my friends watching the stories and wondering whether we were going to eat at McDonald's, Miami Subs, Wendy's or Gumby's Pizza.

So what was my original topic? Oh, yeah, ssssssssmothered chicken. I don't think I've ever made it before. I was thinking about Nawlins after watching the New Orleans episode of Tony Bourdain, No Reservations. So I was pining for some heavy buttery rouxy food. But I didn't want to make any of my usual suspects. I wanted chicken, but I wanted that etouffee buttery vegetable flavor. So of course, I opted for smothered chicken. Etouffee, by the way, (quick culinary lesson, free of charge) means smothered. Etouffee is usually crawfish (yummmy) or shrimp etouffee. Goddamn what I would give for some Looziana crawfish right now...well, moneywise, I couldn't give that much. But we are going to eat some on Saturday.......

So since I've never made smothered chicken, I didn't feel any need to follow any certain traditional way of making it, I made it Food Ho style.

The Food Ho's Sssssssssssssssssssssssmothered Chicken

1 T veg oil or butter

3 onions, nicely diced small

5 stalks celery, nicely diced small

1/2 bulb garlic, minced or smashed

5 bay leaves

cayenne - however much you want to use

Tony Chachere's seasoning - if you don't have it, you can use salt and pepper and more cayenne

10 chicken thighs- bone in, skin on - fuck that healthy skinless boneless flavorless breast shit!

1/4 lb butter

flour - oh, I used to be so good with proportions and all that culinary school crap, but let's just say 3/4 a cup

2-3 cups

1/2 bag of frozen peas - I love these even though chefs make fun of them

several cups cooked long grain rice


So the first thing I did, was I heated up a big stew pot with that little bit of oil and got it....you know...smokin'. I'm not trying to use cliches, but that's how hot the pot has to be. I seasoned the chicken thighs. So then I seared the chicken thighs. I got about 4 in the pan in one layer without crowding them too much. So I let them go for about 6 minutes. I was dicing my veg at this point. Then I flipped them and let that side go for 3 minutes. Then I took them out and browned the rest of the thighs. Now, if you're following along at home, as you continue this process, the fat will render out. This is good. Do not be scared. Try new things that go against what your doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer and mom said. Especially Mom. No offense, but you know when you were little your mom was probably feeding you sticks of butter coated in sugar for breakfast - unless she was one of those granolas - fashionable before her time.

So when I finished searing the chicken, I let the pot get hot again. Give it a minute or two to reheat, then gently place your onion, celery and garlic in it. Don't throw it! You don't want to spatter chicken grease all over your lovely blemish- free face! So take your utensil - I prefer a wooden spoon when cooking southern grub - and stir the veggies around. Let them get all coated in the fat. Then lower the temperature and let those veggies get soft, but slowly. Take your time. Watch the suntea brew or something. As the veggies start to get soft, throw in your bay leaves - but not literally. Keep an eye on it. This is your baby. Add a little Tony's. Go head. Add a lot of Tony's.

So when the veggies were all translucent and tender, I added the butter, then the flour. I slowly added it as I stirred my wooden spoon. Make sure when you do this, you get your utensil in the corners, so that there is no flour sticking in there and burning. So as all the flour incorporated, I added some water. Enough so that the consistency was like white gravy. Then I put the chicken thighs back in. I let it come up to a boil, then I lowered the flame pretty low. I kept babying it, stirring gently. Don't be rough with it though, cause I personally like to have the thigh intact. I want the whole package when I put it in my bowl - skin and all. It cooked for about 2 hours, but it could have gone another 40 minutes too. At the end, I added the peas and more cayenne and lots and lots of Tony's.

It was pretty good, but the key is to only eat a little the night that you make it. Then you let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then the next day, put that pot back on the stove and reheat it. Oohoowee Boy! I can't tell you how good that is, you have to taste this shit for yourself! It's crazy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

El Salvadoreno Breakfast

So last Sunday we were hankering for a big meal at about 8 am. We were talking about something that lead to craving cuban food - oh yeah, we were talking about Florida. One of our friends had gone to Florida on vacation with his friends from Michigan. We were discussing why anyone who lives in California would go to Florida. For me, I have family and friends there, but I haven't been in over two years. Anyway, we agreed how Miami has cuban food, and then we wanted cuban food.

So I had heard of Andre's, and I looked it up on the internet. I can't remember if it was not open on Sundays or if it didn't open for several hours. So I looked up other places. I looked up Latin American food, and I ended up picking El Salvadoreno by process of elimination. Every other place opened later or didn't exist anymore or was closed on Sundays.

So El Salvadoreno is in Logan Heights, 2851 Imperial Avenue. This is a new area for us. It is really close, and we liked what we were seeing - lots of potential later foder for food blogs. The mexican restaurant across the street from El Salvadoreno had this huge outdoor grill that they were grilling up chickens and stuff on, creating a whole lot of delicious smoke. But we still went in to El Salvadoreno.

So I think I read on the net that this place was in another building and it had to move to a bigger space due to popular demand, which was a good sign. So we walked in, and the whole dining room was wood panelling with a few salvadoran things on the walls. It seemed like what I might expect a restaurant in El Salvador to be. The kitchen was on the left. It was pretty small, but clean and bright, and the ladies in the kitchen looked like they knew how to cook up some good shit.

So the waiter seated us. He gave us the menu, which was one of those laminated ones with pictures. Usually that type of menu scares me, because touristy bad places tend to have them. I figured this cuisine is not very common in SD, so they probably wanted to cut down the ordering time by eliminating a lot of questions.

So I perused the whole menu, and there were lots of things that peaked my interest. But my mind and my stomach and my heart kept going back to one of the things that I first spotted on the menu. YUCA CON CHICHARONES. Oh god, I'm so hot (temperaturewise) but I am starting to salivate just thinking of this dish. So it was listed under the antojitos - appetizers. But from my experience, I figured it would be quite enough for a meal and maybe leftovers. So I got the steamed yuca.

The Food Pimp got a beef stew dish with beans and rice. Then we also got a pork pupusa and a cheese and jalapeno pupusa.

So first came the slaw and a mild smooth salsa and a hot chunkier salsa. They were both very good, and the slaw was excellent. It was hot and vinegary and yummy. We tried not to eat it all so we would have some for our pupusas and our entrees.

I looked into the kitchen, and I saw one of the women grabbing a handful of masa from a huge pile that was overflowing out of the top of the sandwich cooler. It was like the Blob masa style. So for those of you who don't know, pupusas are two hand rolled tortillas that sandwich whatever filling you order.

So our pupusas came pretty fast. We were really both expecting the pork pupusa to be the star, but we were wrong. The shredded pork okay, but not really exciting. Something about the cheese (I'm guessing queso ranchero?) and jalapeno pupusa was exciting. It was so good, yet simple. And with a little salsa, or a lot in the Food Pimp's case, and slaw, it was heaven in a tortilla sandwich.



So then my dish came. I think I came at the same time. (I rhymed!) Anyway, it was a big plate of yuca and big chicharones and shredded cabbage salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. So the yuca was nicely cooked. Tender and not yet falling apart. And the pork - OMG - the pork. It was big fat cubes of porky goodness. It had a thick layer of fat and an equally thick layer of meat on the other side. The fat was crispy and tender and the meat was crispy and meaty and soooooooooooo good. And then there were these pickled onion slices on top. They were the perfect foil to this starchy fatty meaty dish. And I had enough leftover for 1.5 more meals! I don't know if my heart is racing because I'm hot or because I'm thinking about this food.





So then the FP's dish came. He had this meaty rich beef stew with a chili sauce that was so smooth and flavorful in a very sophisticated way, much like the mild salsa. It was like something someone who has been to culinary school might learn to make. It was beautiful, and his beans and rice were delicious too. He kept commenting on how his refried beans were purple. They were perfectly seasoned. It was a wonderful breakfast - kinda like one of those magical scenes you see in a movie that are so sappy that you want to vomit all over yourself. That was what it was like.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nice Saturday

So the weekend before I got sick, we had a pleasant Saturday. I'm not being sarcastic either. We got up early and went to the Pacific Beach farmers' market. We were hoping for vendors, but it's in the parking lot of a shopping center, so I guess you can't compete with the tenants. We did see nice produce and stuff. Then we walked along the beach for a bit.

Then we were both starving, so we ended up at Milton's in Del Mar. We didn't know where to go, but then I remembered that place, and it turned out to be way better than we expected. It's right on Via de la Valle. It's pretty big, and it reminds me of the kind of restaurants they have way up in Orange County, those big places, you know what I'm talking about?

Anyway, the Food Pimp got corned beef hash, and I got french toast with pecans and strawberries. So I didn't know what to expect. I thought maybe this would be a big mistake and it'd be the equivalent of eating at an overpriced Denny's. Luckily I was wrong. The FP got an onion bagel, and it was big and fresh and very lightly toasted. I like them that way. It was really good - especially after the einstein bagels we use at my place. I mean they are okay, but they are kind of like fake bagels to me. Not very New York like. You know? Anyway, his corned beef hash was made from real corned beef.

It was kind of rough pulsed or chopped. So you could tell it was corned beef. Unfortunately, judging from the deli counter that they have when one first walks into the restaurant, I don't think they make their own corned beef at this restaurant. That's a shame, but the corned beef hash was delicious anyway. The home fries that came with his corned beef hash was also good. The potatoes were tender yet crispy, and there was bell pepper and onion in it too, and it was seasoned! And then his eggs were very nicely cooked. That is very important, but some people take this forgranted if they always get properly cooked eggs. Then one day they get an improperly cooked egg, and they freak out!





So I got the french toast with strawberries and pecans. The strawberries looked good, but they weren't very sweet. Plus we had just sampled some good strawberries at the farmers' market that were, of course, way better. So here's the thing about french toast here in SD. From the french toast I've had - which we have it at Wired, then I had it at that French place in Hillcrest - St. Tropez. And I feel like I've had it at the Mission or somewhere, but I don't really remember, so that doesn't count. The point is, these places kind of use blended eggs, so they don't adhere to the bread the same way hand scrambled eggs do, so it ends up being a piece of toast dipped in egg. Not a big fluffy piece of eggy bread. I've gotten used to it, but the FP has not, so he pretty much hated the french toast. I thought it was pretty good. They used chale bread, of course, and the pecans were good. I don't know, if I were still a kid I might not like it as much. But not bad.



I give Milton's \/\/\/\ seven chopsticks because it way exceeded our expectations. I want to go sometime though, and try the sandwiches - then I might have to change my rating.

After breakfast, we drove up to the Vegetable Shop at Chino Farms. I forgot to bring a cooler and it was a warm day, so we didn't buy anything, but the produce was beautiful. I mean all kinds of greens, lettuces, baby carrots that were orange, red, white, purple, clean celeriac, some stuff I've never seens. It was amazing.

Just look at some of this stuff!


So after that, we went through the backroads to go to guitar center in San Marcos. We had never been that way, and we happened upon Lake Hodges. It was beautiful.

This is not a good representation


But we also saw some of the burn area. That was just strange.


So we went to guitar center, got what we needed. And for the record, the staff there is not nice or helpful, they are kind of assholes. The guitar center on the 8 is waaaaay better.

Then we went to the practice space and recorded. Then we went to Marukai and had that great dinner from the previous blog - the pike mackerel and the sausage. It was a great day. Then a couple days later I was deathly ill and I am still kind of recovering from this.

Marukai Market Dinner

So one evening after recording in the "studio" (it's really just our practice space) we stopped by marukai to get dinner. I had wanted hamachi kama, but it didn't look good, so we passed on that. The pike mackerel looked nice, so we got a pack of 3 for like $3.40. Then we saw some kind of little Japanese sausages (guess the Japanese don't have any kind of inferiority complex with such small sausages). We also got a few veggies.

So the FP cooked dinner. He sauteed some ginger and garlic, then he added that broccoli- like vegetable. cabbage and those big mushrooms whose name I can never remember because it's different in different stores and stuff. Anyway, he and I prepare these mushrooms quite differently. I pull them apart by strands by hand. He slices them, so they keep the dense texture. They are very meaty that way. Both are good, it's just interesting the way we differ, isn't it? Okay, well it is to me. So anyway, he throws in these baby pea shoots last, and that's the veg done.

Then he frys up the pike mackerel, and you know what he puts in the pan with it - the little japanese sausages! So the fish tasted meaty and the sausage tasted fishy - but in a good way, not a gross way. The sausages were very good. They had that breakfast sausage taste without the weirdness that breakfast sausage has. I know what I mean, but I'm not sure how to explain it to you.
Here's some pictures. I assure you it tasted so much better than it looks. I'm not a professional photographer or anything....






And of course we had sticky rice to complete the meal. We got some new brand called Haruka - medium grain. It is good. So go to Marukai Market. But if you're looking for marukai porn, we don't have that here. I still don't know what that is, anyway.

So here's the funny thing about the pea shoots. The FP has trouble digesting greens, as in, they come out pretty much not broken down at all. How do I know? Sometimes he doesn't check to see if he needs to flush twice, then I come in and lo and behold, there's greens floating in the toilet. And sometimes they are still vivid green. So these pea shoots are very small, and let's just say, they just went through his system, not ravaged at all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicken Soba Noodles

So one night it was hot. I didn't want no hot food, so I made cold dinner. I know that is kinda weird and unamerican, but I guess I don't have an american flag flying outside my front door either. So here's the recipe

Chicken Soba Noodle Salad

1.5 # chicken thighs, sliced, love them thighs!
3 oz soy sauce
4 oz nuoc mam

3 little bundles soba noodles
veggie oil
4 oz soy sauce
1 oz sesame oil

1 bunch green onions sliced, or scallions if you prefer
2 carrots shaved or peeled, some nice thin cut
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 cucumber, peeled if the you like, and sliced thin


So, what you do is really simple. he he he (Rachel Ray laugh, I'm being sarcastic btw) You put a pan on, get it hot and put a little oil in. Sear the chicken, turn it and sear some more. Then you put in the first amount of soy sauce and nuoc mam. Then you cover it and turn the heat down and let it steam in the yummy asian flavors. When the chicken's cooked, then you take it off the heat. How long you ask? I don't know. How thin did you slice the meat? If it's big hunks, it will take much longer than if it's nice little thin strips. When you don't see raw flesh, then it's done. I can't hold your hand through every single process. If so, you should just give me your address and I'll come over and cook for you in your home for a small fee.

So then you cook the soba noodles. Bring water to a boil, boil the noodles till tender. Drain them. Run a little cold water on them. Then toss them with the veggie oil, soy sauce and sesame oil.

So you want to let everything cool off for a while, unless you want it warm. In that case, go ahead and throw everything together and consume. If you want, garnish with some nice peanut. Cold or room temperature dinner can be just as satisfying as hot food. Trust me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No Starch Asian Dinner

Okay, so this is something I made a loooooooong time ago. I had leftovers from the store when I made the cantonese noodle dinner, so I made this simple but satisfying dish "You can whip it up in a matter of minutes and it's presto! dinner for the whole family!!!"

No Starch Asian Dinner

4 cloves garlic smashed
1/4 onion chopped
2 lb. asian vegetable - not chinese broccoli, but like it, sliced
1 pack sliced mushrooms
1 pack medium or soft tofu, large dice
1/2 c nuoc mam
1 T chili paste

.75 lb skirt steak - optional

So take the garlic and onion and stalks of the greens and saute for a few minutes. Then throw in the mushrooms and the leaves of the greens, cover, lower then heat and steam for about 5 minutes. When you lift the lid, there should be lots of water and all the greens should still be bright green.

If not, then you did it wrong. Throw it out, go to the store and buy the same ingredients again. Repeat the same process. Then when you get back to this spot, hopefully you did it right. I would hate for you to have to go to the store a third time!

Then add the tofu and steam some more. Maybe for 1 minute. Then add the nuoc mam and chili paste, and steam for another 3 minutes. Make sure it's not on high though.... Then it's done.

If you want to add the skirt steak, then you should get a separate pan. Something nice like cast iron. Then get it hot. Season the skirt. Put just a little oil in the pan. Let it get hot. You know how I like it...then put the steak in the pan. Don't get scared of the pan though and throw the steak in, or it will splatter on you. Just gently set it in. Let it sear on one side for maybe 2-3 minutes. Then flip it, cook it another 2 minutes. Then take it out. Set it on a cutting board. Go watch tv for a few minutes. Then come back and slice the meat thin thin thin and against the grain.

Do you know what against the grain means? Find the lines, the striations of the the flesh in the meat. Whatever way they are going, slice it perpendicular to that. And on the bias.

Do you know what on the bias means. It means not straight up and down on the cutting board, but hold your knife at angle to the cutting board. You can do a 135 degree angle, or if you're fancy, you can do a 45 degree angle and do it from behind. But don't cut yourself.

You cannot sue me if you do, because 1 - I don't have any money 2 - I'm giving you this service for free 3 - cook at your own risk 4 - why would you want to sue me anyway, I really can be a nice person 5 - I shouldn't have even brought up the dreaded S word. Now someone will sue me just because I mentioned it!

Does anyone know a good cheap lawyer just in case?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Babbo Grande

So this place used to be Crepes du Paris. This guy bought the place and the spot next door and remodelled. It was called Big Daddy's for a couple of weeks, but now it's Babbo Grande. Right now it's still in the transition stage. There is a whole lot of space - not much real estate. But the big huge booths are very comfy. It's still kind of a mish mosh of decor. It's got some of the old cafe furniture and the new banquets. There's a fancy chandelier when you walk in. It's worrysome though, because they painted in flourescent paint all over the windows. It says CREPES, and the hours of operation. Which the Food Pimp was waondering whether they are doing well if that's the way they advertise. But, I'm not one to be negative about the longevity of a new place. Oh wait, yes I am! I just wonder if this guy has any restaurant experience. I mean, everyone is very nice - which is great - because as Crepes du Paris - the people there were horribly mean and scary.

So we've been here twice. The first time we got fritattas. Which I thought it was cool that they added something new and unusual on the menu. The only problem was, they weren't that good. The FP got the Paisano - with like ham and peppers and onions or something. We had this big debate as to what kind of ham it would be. I said - you know - american pink ham. Brine cured not air cured. He thought it should be proscuitto. I said it would say proscuitto if it was. It was ham. I got some veggie one with mushrooms and stuff. I really don't remember. But anyway, they were kind of overcooked and just not exciting. They really weren't bad, but, I just was envisioning it different in some way. But we figured we would give the place another try. They seem like good people.

So we went back this morning. We got crepes. The FP got the banana nutella crepes, of course. I got the strawberry banana crepes. They were presented the same way as before - 2 crepes rolled around the filling. Mine was just fresh strawberries and bananas sliced and in crepes, with a little teeny raspberry sauce on the outside - squeeze bottle? And the FP got banana slices and a little nutella. And then the hersey's syrup for garnish. They were crispy crepes - like they stuck it in the oven a little too long. The FP kept saying how they were the texture of cracker. They were okay. Not horrible, not great. The thing about Crepes du Paris, was that, they were scary people, but the crepes were great. Now these are very nice people, but the crepes were just okay. Which would you prefer? I'm not sure. Why can't I have both. I think it's not too much to ask. Hopefully we just were there on an off morning. Everyone has an off morning. Even me, which is like 4 out of 5 mornings, but I attribute that to being burnout at my job with no end in sight. Unless I die. If I die, they can't expect me to show up or it will be like Weekend at Bernies.

Oh well, next time, we're going to Cafe on Park instead. Maybe if this place opens for pizza and stuff we'll try it again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Chicago On a Lame Ass Bun

So, the Food Pimp picked me up from work today. We are both still not feeling too well. Oh gee, maybe if I had sick days and there were actually someone who could cover for me and I took some time off I would have recovered faster. But I'm not bitter.

Anyway, the FP wanted to eat something fast, so we went next door to Chicago on a Bun. I have worked next to this place for a year and a half, and this was my first time setting foot in there. Which is weird, because I really go nuts for wieners! Ha Ha Ha Anyway, I'm not even kidding. So the place is decorated like a guy would decorate - it's got random Chicago memorabilia, and then it has those generic signs. You know, like the Vienna Beef aluminum sign with the picture of the hot dog on a seeded bun. Kinda like the hotdog equivalent of the greek restaurant gyro sign. You know what sign I'm talking about? If not, go to a greek place and look for it. You'll see it. I swear.

Getting back to Chicago on a Bun, I got the jumbo dog which was like $4.50. Just for that. The FP got the italian sausage deluxe combo which was about $9. The combo comes with chips or fries and a medium drink. This is in a pricey area I guess. They couldn't get away with these prices in North Park or South Park. So it took a little while. The FP was getting irritable. I guess he wasn't feeling too well. So the food came in those red plastic baskets. I got the jumbodog. It was jumbo if today is opposite day. But I thought that Thursday was opposite day. Okay. it seemed small. That's what all the girls say, right? Well maybe we do, but what are we comparing it to? So the garnishes on mine were mustard, tomato slice, relish, hot peppers and pickle. The tomato was strange but it was thin slices so it was okay. The relish was that blue green stuff. There were only one or two hot peppers. They were good though. The bun didn't have those seeds on it like in the picture - nor did the hot dog "fill up the bun" like in the picture either. The hotdog itself was okay. Maybe my tastebuds are still off though. Nevertheless, it was a disappointing $4.50 lunch. I finished. Then I ate the fruit from the lunch that I had made. I actually threw the sandwich away because I knew I wouldn't eat it. I didn't even want it when I made it - tuna fish.

The FP got the fries because he saw malt vinegar. The fries were really good. They were fresh and crispy. Then there was his sausage. It was so hard and overcooked looking. I didn't even taste it. It didn't look good. But at least there seemed to be a lot of it. It was cut in 2. It had mustard, grilled onions and green peppers - and maybe that was it. It was supposed to have hot peppers, but he didn't get any. I guess they gave them all to me. But that sausage... the FP said, I guess I should know better than to order italian sausage when the picture they display of their italian sausage is overcooked. And I looked on the wall. The sausage looked just like the one in his red basket - browned and dried out. Oh well. I took a sip of his diet coke. It tasted good. I haven't had caffeine in 2 weeks. Not that I usually have much. In the morning at work I drink steamed soy milk with like a splash of coffee - then I refill it once. So all in all, I have about 4 -6 oz of coffee Monday thru Friday. Unless I stayed up late the night before and I'm tired. Then I have 8 - 12 oz of coffee!

Anyway, my review is for Chicago On a Bun, not for how much coffee I drink. I give them 3 chopsticks \/\. I'm not sure why I'm being so generous. I guess because I'm delirious still.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

sick

So, I feel like I am sick about every 2 - 6 weeks. I think I felt shittier back in New Orleans because of my lifestyle, the climate, and all the allergies floating around there. On Monday it was so hot in the apartment that we slept with every window open including the sliding glass door. The cats loved that, they kept going out on the balcony all night. Sometime in the night it turned cold, and I got some kind of respiratory infection. You know the kind where you feel like you have a brillo pad stuffed down your throat? Does anyone else get that or is it just me?

Anyway, yesterday was hopefully the worst. I was the sickest I've been in years. I had a fever from 1:30 pm to at least 11:49 pm when we went to bed. Here's what I ate while laying around being sick:

lamb vindaloo - yeah, I know this is weird, but the Food Pimp made it while I was at work so I had a small bowl of it when I got home. It was really good, but we'll discuss that in a later blog.

progresso chicken noodle and some kind of vegetable barley soup or something - the Food Pimp went to the store and came home and heated it up, so I didn't even bother to ask what it was

1 popsicle brand twist pop - blue raspberry flavor, I've been dehydrated for 3 days now, and this was very quenching for the 10 minutes it took me to eat it.

1/3 a box of plain wheat thins. I few months ago when I was sick I started buying the ranch flavored wheat thins because they were on sale, and I got addicted. Of course these plain ones are boring, but they are really salty so I guess my body craves them

1 klondike brand "drumstick" with fudge center - I didn't think I should have this, but the FP was eating one and it looked so good. I think it was really good, but the fudge center in these tastes weird to me - it's the fake stuff in in. I love the chocolate lodged down in the bottom of the cone though

1 lime dreyers fruit bar - this was also refreshing, but I almost think I liked the popsicle brand bar better because the flavor seemed to be not as intense. I have that disorder where my tastebuds are all out of wack, so I taste sour flavors more intensely than any other flavor.

Not very healthy at all, but when I'm sick that's how it eat - kinda same as I eat when I'm hungover except way less food and not the soup.