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, October 30, 2008

Sunday Corned Beef Hash

So, I guess this blog is called the Corned Beef Hash Gluttons' Blog. So, Sunday we decided to have some corned beef hash for breakfast. I'll be honest, I haven't made it in a long time. So I made a mistake when making it. What you have to do is you have to either parboil the potatoes separately, or give them a water bath first. I was thrown off because the FP decided to be my sous chef and chop up the veg for me. So I sauteed the onions, and then I threw in the potatoes without thinking after he diced them. So of course, the starch stuck to the pan and burnt there. The hash that didn't stick didn't burn, but it didn't get that nice crust that I love. Oh well, not every meal is perfect in the Food Ho and Food Pimp household - contrary to popular belief! But I must say, the FP made poached eggs and they were perfect. I love poached eggs. They're just nice and kinda fluffy, but the yolk is runny - a natural sauce. Here - check out the picture:

So then we also got a pineapple. It was ripe, but a little too ripe. It had lost it's tang, and it was just sweet. Disappointing.

So the other thing on the plate is rice. Yeah, there is potatoes in the corned beef hash, but rice adds another starch dimension that you just can't get with potatoes alone. I pretty much grew up eating rice with my corned beef hash, and it kinda doesn't seem right without it. If you think about it, at restaurants, they serve homefries or hashbrowns with corned beef hash, so that is not only double starch, but it's double potato!

So then, we also stopped by Panchita's Bakery on C st. This is an amazing smelling little bakery with tons of bread and cookies and doughnuts and "pan dulce" and cakes and all kinds of stuff. What you do, is you grab a pizza pan and tongs and pick out what you want, then they bag it and you pay for it. So we got this custard filled donut. It was oozing custard. The donut was so sweet, and the custard was kinda of not as sweet, but so...custardy. I mean just the nicest texture. And I picked out this pan dulce thing that I thought would be filled, but it wasn't. It was like a yeast roll with cinnamon sugar on it. Very unexciting after the cream filled donut. Here's what it looked like:

See, boring.

Anyhoo, that was our breakfast. Then I went to work. Not good prework food, let me tell you.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gen Lai Sen

So, this is an eating blog, but occasionally it gets tied into other bodily functions. The circle of life, baby, the circle of life. That's how it rolls. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Shit happens. Sometimes literally. So I'm not apologizing for being crass or inappropriate. If you're offended, you should meet me in person for a drink. Then you'll be really offended. Because of my looks. Maybe also my smell. And oh yeah, you might not like my personality either.

Anyhoo, Monday should have been a day for us to meet a potential drummer for our band - perfect blue. No capital letters, you will note. If you look for us on myspace (not that anyone who is anyone goes on that old website anymore, facebook is all the rage, and it's not just for teens anymore. Us old folk can be on there too!)note, that there are about 8 bands with the same name - but we're the only san diego one, and the best, of course.

So this drummer fella was busy, so no practice Monday. Something about some gig work on a movie or tv set or something. Big bummer. So our plan was to go for a run - I went for maybe 2 1/2 miles, the Food Pimp went for like 2 1/2 hours(He ran to Point Loma, really) - then we were going to eat lunch, then drive home and walk back down to the east village for some bevies.

So we decided to go to Gen Lai Sen. I have to say, I've been eyeing this place since we first moved to San Diego. My first job was downtown, so I would drive by this restaurant every night. All I knew about the place was that it seemed busy for lunch every day. The large parking lot always seemed full around that time of day. I wanted to go there, but then I quit my job downtown and it was off my radar.

So, due to the FP's long time consuming run, we weren't ready to go eat until almost 2. Which worked in our favor. When we got there, it was chaos. There were at least 3 - 4 huge tables and almost all the other tables were occupied too, but it looked like they were winding down their meals.

So we sat right by the door. We got our drinks - water for both, DC for the FP - right away. That's always a plus. Because so many times we get ignored for a long time, which wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that we are both always on the verge of dehydration.

So we opened the menus. It was sensory overload. With the busy restaurant, lost of action, and then a menu we've never seen before at a new restaurant...My head was spinning, and only partially from the run. So the way I attack a new menu, is to peruse the whole thing first. Look at the headings. If it's one I'm not too interested in, then I scan the list and move on. A heading I am interested in, I focus on the list a little more, noting items that excite me, to look at later. After I get through the whole list, then I go back to the few items that really grabbed me. I weigh one against the other, and consult with the FP.

I can't remember what the Food Pimp's two choices were, but he ended up with the clams in black bean sauce. I'm not sure if I had a hand in that, taunting him, saying, you're not going to get the black bean sauce? Let's say I didn't and he independently thought of it on his own. He's been getting clams with black bean sauce any time we go somewhere that has it on the menu, lately. So I was craving chinese broccoli, and I almost wanted to get the beef and chinese broccoli, even though that seemed like a cop out, until I saw squid with sour cabbage. It was like love at first read. The room stopped. The noise died. The menu item stood out in boldface type. I think I heard church bells. Maybe I did. It was around the 2 o'clock hour.

So we ordered shortly. We were waiting. I kinda had to pee, but I noticed this table of Chinese ladies was disbanning, and 3 of them were waiting in line for the one women's toilet. So I thought I would stay seated until it went down to one. So it went down to 2, then 2 more ladies got in line. All from the same group. There were like 12 of them. And they all were carrying around sports bottles. It seemed they were going up to the counter to ask them to refill these bottles with water. So there were 3 ladies in line. The fact that there was a line made me have to go more. So I got in line. I figured the rest of that group was going to get in line any second. And there was another table on the other side of the restaurant with about 4 other ladies who were going to have to go too. So I stood in line for like at least 10 minutes.

The food came. The FP was trying to wait for me. I told him to get my phone out and take a picture. He tried, but my phone has no memory and wouldn't take it. Finally, I came went and got to sit down to lunch. I had to delete some pictures on my phone first, though. Then I took the pictures. The FP is always frustrated by this procedure, because he has to wait to eat.

Then we dug in.

So the clams were huge. They were kinda striated - that means striped to you common folk - don't want to come off as a pretentious post graduate snob... They were elephantine (big, circumference comparable to a baseball) compared to the quarter sized manila clams we've been getting at work. And the meat was ample, voluptous (curvy), plump and juicy. The black bean sauce was - black bean sauce. How do you describe it? Briny, piquant, earthy, cloying, toothsome, savory, delectable. You know how there are those couples that stand out in a crowd? The lady with the big round ass, the big hooters, thin waist, kind of a lot of makeup, but attractive all the same? And she's with the slightly older guy, kind of dressed cool for an older guy, but not dressed too young for his age. He seems quiet, introspective and she seems loud and outgoing? That's what this dish was like. An intriguing combination that works whether or not you think it's going to work when you first see it. Then when you are used to the combination, you can't think of it any other way. So what I'm saying, is that it was good. Really good. A bit pricey. It was about $5 more than at 99 Ranch, but the clams were way bigger.

So the squid with the sour cabbage was astonishing. It was squid, tubes crosshatched and sauteed so they curled up. They were white, so they looked like they might be very chewy. They were not though. Pretty tender. And then the sour cabbage was chopped up and... well, sour. You know, pickled. Sour and sweet. It sounds simplistic and unsophisticated, but it wasn't. It was delightful. And the combination of the two dishes and the rice was just consummate, masterful, perfect.

So we were voracious. Not a second went by that I recall, when one of us didn't have chopstick to mouth or food in mouth being masticated. We pretty much scraped the plates - save 3 clams. They were big. I figured the FP had lost steam. What, with the little jog to Point Loma and the 8 minute feeding frenzy.

So that was that.

Then the next day, the FP cooked up some chicken curry. Then he came in and worked with me for 5 hours. We had a couple of large groups, so we needed a bit of extra help. It was fun. I just gave him some food to fire, and he cooked it. Then I plated it up and sent it on it's way. I have to say here, that I had to show him how to stand the u-8 scallops up in the pan. Nothing against him. He hasn't cooked on the line in 3 years. Most people wouldn't have been able to do half as well as he did if they had cooked on the line in the past three years.

So we went home after work and ate curry. He had made that onion relish. It was hot hot hot. I mean way hotter than usual. So then we went to bed. He got up a few times in the night with the diarrhea. Sometimes I'd wake up and notice he was sweaty and feverish. By the next morning, his body was devastated he started throwing up too. We went to the store to get him supplies - gatorades, vitamin waters, cereal and soy milk. He tried to eat cereal, but he threw it up. He laid around all day trying not to throw up. Then he told me the story of the clam.

He had not stopped eating the clams because he was full. No. The last clam he ate was kinda slimy, undercooked tasting and not right. But he ate it. Then he stopped eating. Then 36 hours later, it came back to haunt him. 60 hours of riding the foodborne illness express. The whole kit and caboodle too - diarrhea, constipation, black poop, nausea, vomitting blood, dehydration, horrible breath that smelled like rotting corpses. But then Saturday, he jumped out of bed, got coffee and went for a run. Then he went to the practice space, recorded, went home, finished our album that's been almost a year in the making, went to the bar for some drinks with friends, came home, waited for me, listened to the album with me, then went to bed and laid on the comforter. And laid on cat shit. Cat diarrhea to be exact. And that's only part of the "shit" that went down this week. What a week. I'm glad it's then end of that hell week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Collard Greens and Smoked Ham Hocks - Holla

So, have you ever made dinner and then not really eaten it? Well, that's what I did the other night. This was one of the first nights in a long time that I was off and the Food Pimp was working. So I cooked dinner while I watched the exciting debate. But we were going to go for a few drinks, so I put it in the microwave. That's what my mom does if they are going to eat something a few hours later. So that's what I do too. Keep it in the danger zone....

So I walked to Hamilton's to meet my former boss. I waited alone and drank almost a whole beer by myself. I read the bar food menu, which sounded really good - and the food that I saw looked good too. Stuff like brats cooked in some microbrew beer and in house made pub chips and stuff. Then the boss showed up, then the FP. So they got a round. Then I think we got one or two more rounds. Then we left. Apparently, I was shitfaced. I guess on the walk home I kept saying how I was shitfaced. So we got home, and the FP heated up the food. I went to the bathroom and started throwing up. After 3 or 4 beers. I know I'm a lightweight now, but that was ridiculous. I mean, RE DICK YOU LUS!!!!!!! So then I went and laid on the cheap Pier 1 fold out couch that I got for free off craig's list. The FP was eating. He made me a tiny bowl of food, but I didn't want it. Didn't even touch it. So at some point, we went to bed. When I got up the next morning, I felt great. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the flowers were blooming.


I felt like big donkey poo poo. So I tried to recall the end of the night, but all I could remember was laying on/in the toilet barfing.

So in my defense...well, I can't really defend myself. Okay. Anyway, the explanation for my virtual intolerance of alcohol is that I just started jogging again a couple weeks ago. That morning, I went the farthest and fastest I had gone yet. I have this condition of a state of constant dehydration, so jogging makes it worse. I don't remember what we ate for lunch, but I think it was rice or noodles or something light, maybe by our standards. So yeah, I threw up.

The next morning, I found the little bowl of food left out. And you know what I did... I ate it. Oh yeah. I heated it up and I ate it. I nuked the shit out of it, but I know I still could have gotten sick. I mean I had already gotten sick, but I could have gotten sick in a different way. Anyway, I had that little bowl and maybe another little bowl, but that was it. I think that night there wasn't really much of it left. I didn't make that much, so you know. It was good though. I think the FP liked it.

Here's the recipe. For some reason Cajey McRedneck wanted to write it, so I let him. He's a cheap trailer trash knock off of Justin Wilson. I don't know how he found me. Must have been googling pork porn long dong silver or something. Hope you can translate it.

Disclaimer: This is not a comical piece.

Collahd Greens and Smoked Ham Hocks

1.5 # smoked ham hocks, boaey
1 oz coriander
1 T cumin
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 T black pepper
1 oz sesame earl - She ony used dis here earl because it were de ony earl in da house, veg earl or olive earl would probly be best, I reckin, cause dey got higher smoke points.
3 oz dem oriental chinky fish sauce
1 onion chop it up
3 cloves garlic smash it up
2 bunches collard greens (pronounced collahd greaens) rough chopped (like I dun ta dat squirrel in da road) and warshed, well, rinsed out (like I do my britches evy night). When I say warsh greens, you don run em through dat fancy dishwasha or anything like dat.)
1/2 c beer (da liquid o da gods)
1 c water (yuck)

So, season yer ham hocks with dem spices. Den heat yer oil in a big ole pan hot. Put dem puppies in yer big ole pot, and don touch for 3 minutes at least. Don even look at em. Chop yer onions or somethin. Den flip em and let em be fer 3 minutes mo. Den turn the heat way down. I reckin you jus might need a bit mo earl in the pan. Don worry bout addin mo fat ter it - lawdsake you cookin ham hocks! Add the onion and garlic and let it cook in there, but don't let it burn. Then trow in ya greaens and toss em around. Den add da beer and drink da rest. Pour in yor wata and dat chinky, I mean oriental sauce and cover it. Don wanna get em liberals all up in a latha over nuthin cause I said chinky. Oriental. Der. Looky how Politikly correkt I can be! Anyway, gettin back ta da respee. Let it go till yah mama wake up from her nap. Den you fin da salt in da top o da cabinet and go, I didn hafta use dat oriental fishy shit!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

los reyes

So we went there twice this week. The first time was a weekday, around noon. It was pretty busy, as usual. I got the burrito al pastor with beans and rice in it, and the FP got the camarones a la diablo. So I really liked the burrito with the addition of the beans and rice. I guess I'm so used to Chipotle and places like that, that I want a burrito with more than just meat in it. Not that the burritos I've had here with just meat weren't good. So that's what I would get next time I got a burrito here, maybe with some guacamole in it too.

The FP's shrimp were a little overcooked, and the sauce looked, weak. It wasn't as red and vibrant as last time, I guess it was overheated or diluted or old. It was good, just not great like the last time.

Last night we went back, just during the 9 o'clock rush. I got the rolled tacos with beans and rice, and the FP got the Siete Mares Caldo. So we got it to go. The tacos, which always looked good when I saw others getting them were disappointing. The ground beef didn't have much flavor. I guess when you stuff something and fry it or bake it, some of the flavor can leach out. The beans were thick and not quite as flavorful. I realize that they were within 1 1/2 hours of closing on a Saturday night. This makes a difference whether one wants to believe it or not. It's a fast food place....

The soup was kind of fishy, I guess. It had a plethora, though of seafood in it. It had a huge clam hiding in the bottom, a crab carapace, octopus, and some other stuff. I tasted the brothy part, and it tasted like something we used to cook way back in college. We would go to the store and buy every kind of seafood that was available and make gumbo or stew out of it. I'm not sure I would like it as much as I did back then.

So right after we ate this food, we both felt kind of sick. Very heavy in the stomach. I had some quite manly gas - which we were discussing. Why is it manly to fart? It's like guys fart, girls pass gas. I mean, c'mon. We know females have to fart too. We take big dumps too. I know I'm not the only one. I've been in the public bathroom and heard others fart and drop anchor.....

So anyhoo, this isn't a bad review of Los Reyes. I just think that every restaurant pumps out better food when they aren't slammed and when they're all ready and prepped up in the kitchen. It's kind of like that book/movie Like Water For Chocolate - to a certain extent, your emotions come out in your cooking.

But I realize this isn't something that most diners care about. They don't want excuses because they're paying money for something they expect. Well, if they're paying more money for something they could make themselves for cheaper, why not make it, right? Because they don't want to or don't know how? Then how can people judge if they don't know how to cook?

Sorry, I'm getting off track. I read some newer Yelp reviews of the restaurant that I work at, and some of the negative comments were about things that I did not have control over, even though I should. Of course the public will blame those things on me, not knowing how the restaurant operates. It makes me feel like I don't know if I want to take that risk of being in that situation. It's just difficult to take, no matter how thick one's skin is (mine is very thin) when a stranger says that one should be replaced... you know what I mean? Damn, I could never be president.... I do admire the way your president makes a jackass out of himself almost every day but keeps plowing along anyway. We were watching a documentary about body language, and they had a montage of him doing funny shit. It's just not funny because he's a world leader! Anyway, he should go into the comedy business after he retires from running (wrecking) the country.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

poor food

So, I really can't give you recipes for most of what we've been eating - lately the FP has been doing all the cooking because i'm always burned out and stressed out from.... everything going down. Not that the FP isn't feeling the same way. But we've been doing the food shopping thing. See, before we would shop for maybe one meal, and then go back to the store the next day. But lately with our change of neighborhood, schedules, financial situation and only having one car, it's better to shop for stuff for several meals worth. We get things like veggies, proteins, rice, noodles, coconut milk, ginger, cilantro, peppers, canned tomatoes, then we pick out ingredients to make meals with! I know this is kinda how everyone else has always done it, but it's a novel idea to us. So here's some pics of what we've been eating for lunch/dinner. I guess this is the same type of food we cooked before, but now it's more on the fly.

pork rib stir fry

Steak and black beans and blackeyed peas and rice - it's the simple things in life!

Fresh pancit noodles, oyster mushrooms, chinese broccoli, onion, I don't think there was meat in this dish...

Classic Food Pimp fare - chicken, chickpeas and tomato stew.

Big pile of sauteed veggies!

The FP's newish hot sauce addiction - chilies in fish sauce with a little sugar, I believe...

Oh - I made this one. Pork rib marinated in soy sauce, nipa sap vinegar honey and chili garlic paste overnight. Then the next day I literally threw it in the oven for a few hours. We ate it with just rice. It was really asiany tasting for lack of a better adjective. What happened was, the FP took it out of the plastic bag a few days before, and he cooked some of it off. He was going to marinate the rest, and it was in a half hotel pan (that's like a metal rectangular pan for all you non service industry folk) in the fridge uncovered. He never marinated it. So I did, days later. After it had "aged". It was so good. It cooked differently, it tasted different... so go ahead, leave your raw meat uncovered in the fridge a few days before you decide to do anything with it. That's what they do at the ethnic stores.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Almost 2 weeks later

So, 2 Sundays ago we decided to have a mexican brunch. We had just finished moving in to our cute new little apartment, and we wanted to relax and...cook for 5 friends in 1 and a half hours. So we got up early and finished cleaning the place. Then we went to Pancho's and got stuff. Then we came back and started cooking. Luckily, our friends are not punctual, so we ended up having plenty of time.

We made a big mess of food.

Guacamole, of course. Those avocadoes are not cheap. So back in the day we would have used 10 avocadoes. This was about 5 or 6 small ones. I just use cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Hell, I could eat a salted avocado. I probably have too...

nopales salad. Yum. Just pico de gallo with pickled cactus. Delish. I mean really. Goddamn cheap food can be...soulful. I think I'm going to come up with a new name for cheap food...uh, spirit grub, heart cuisine, soul food. Yeah, soul food. What? That's already a name? I've never heard of it. Hmmm. I'm sure no one's heard of it in SD.....I realize this is not funny, but I'm out of practice. Nothing seems very comical these days, with the state of everything. Okay, my face may be comical because my complexion is as bad as it was when I was in high school. I remember thinking that at least after I hit 30 I wouldn't have to worry about zits anymore. Ha! That is a joke.

Pico de gallo. No nopales. A classic must have for any mexican brunch.

But wait, The Food Ho, excuse me, what is that purple stuff in that lovely crystal bowl, you ask? It is purple tomatillo salsa. We put red and blue food coloring in it. No we did not. The Food Pimp made purple tomatillo salsa. You know, salsa morado. (Yes, I had to look up purple in the spanish english dictionary) You know, they have them at the corner fruit stand on 25th. What you've never seen a purple tomatillo? Oh, well, I have.

Sangria, of course. It's our cheap way to get liquored up! And we couldn't find a cheap pitcher, so we bought 2 trick or treat buckets for $2 each.

Black beans. I don't have a picture of the rice. But beans and rice go hand in hand, of course. The black beans, and the rice were delicious. The FP made them. The black beans were pretty standard, but so good. The rice, he put tomatoes and stuff in them. He steamed it, but it wasn't cooked all the way, so he had to add more water. He was sure it was ruined, but it ended up being tasty. Maybe a little overdone, but isn't rice usually overcooked at mexican places?

I don't have a picture of my effed up eggs. I wanted to make eggs like the oaxacan style eggs at super cocina. So I made a yummy tomato broth. And I added avocado and cilantro. Then I scrambled the eggs in it. But I didn't add enough acid to coagulate the eggs. It sucked. Even though it tasted good. No one ate them.

Chicken. This was the last minute decision we made at the store. We needed some kind of meat to bulk up the food. I made it last. I just practically burnt onions and garlic. Then I threw in some ground up peppers, cumin, coriander maybe, and the chicken. I let it tan (that's not brown, but tan) then I threw in the crushed tomatoes and took a shower. I had no hope for this dish. I got out of the shower and the FP informed me that it was boiling really high and he had turned it down. But even then it was still boiling kinda high. So I turned it lower. Guess what. It was perfect. The chicken was so tender, but not leeched of it's moistness, and it had soaked in all the flavor. It was as if I had spent all day on it. So the key to good stewed chicken is to abuse it. Food Ho Cooking Tip No. 39.

So the FP had gone to a charity even the day before, and he had a few leftovers from that. So we served it. Lamb meatballs with romesco sauce. Yeah, it's not mexican, but still good. And he made this amazing dessert. Mango and maradol papaya ceviche with coconut milk. I wish I had a picture of how he served it at the event. But anyway - he small diced mango and papaya. What a nightmare finding ripe mango! But we found it at the place that sells purple tomatillos. Then he mixed coconut milk with some condensed milk (my idea) and I can't remember what else. The important ingredient is the condensed milk that I suggested. Then he garnished with little fine diced candied mango and crystallized ginger and toasted coconut. I mean, c'mon. I imagine you've stopped reading this and are already heading out the door to go to the store and recreate this. I'm not offended. Just tell them who came up with the recipe. Me. Well, I came up with the condensed milk idea, which really pulled the whole dish together. Really. Well, The Food Pimp helped with it...it was like I was the chef and he was the sous chef.... Well, you know, it might not have been as good if he had just sweetened it with sugar, right?

So then, the lady who organizes the charity event makes cookies. She had the FP put out some of them. I guess he accidentally had some leftovers that made it back to our apartment. So we put those out. They were a hit. We ate all of them. My favorite were the jam cookies. So that was our first lazy day off. Cooking for 7 people....

So the great thing about having a party is leftovers.. right. Especially when you are pretty poor and you just dropped $100 to have your friends over. But we figured we could get a few more meals out of it. But our friends loved the food so much that they all took a bunch home. So we were left with one meal worth. They really scooped up the chicken. Barely any left! But the feeling of a job well done was our reward, right? Damn, why did we have to make the food too good?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Google Search Term of the Week


Long John Silver Porno

This might have been a previous winner, but it's a favorite of mine!

I come up (no sexual innuendo there) number 5 and number 7!


So, I have other stuff to discuss here - but my batteries in my camera died, so I don't have pictures for what we did last Sunday. I have to use those lithium batteries, and not every store carries them. This is very inconvenient. So you ask, why not go to a store that carries them? Because I'm a very busy food ho. Well, actually, I didn't really have money before Friday to spend on frivolities like batteries, and we only have one car for now, so I have to plan special trips like that now.

Anyhoo, I thought I would discuss what I did at work this week. So on Thursday, I was in the weeds, as they say. I got to work at 1, and I had 3 hours to prep a lot of stuff for service. The boss lady and I were going to a charity benefit at Liberty Station - NTC Promenade, so I was in a rush. Tummy, the line cook, came in around 3. We needed more sardines cleaned and gutted for the event, so he had to work on that rather than prep for service. We were supposed to have around 400 portions for this thing, but we ended up having 250 - 300. The thing is, that these are sardines. As delicious as they are, not everyone wants to have them.

So anyway, I was pulled away from prep to leave and go to this thing. Set up was between 4 - 5:30, so we got there at 4:15 roughly. We unloaded, boss lady parked the car, and that was it. We were very unprepared but too early. We didn't have table decor, pretty containers and serving platters, even menus! It was unfortunate, because the boss lady packed for this event. She's only done four of these compared to my....I don't know how many I've done. Let's say 20? Maybe that's too much, but I've done a few.

Also, we were underdressed. When we were leaving I was looking for my cook's shirt - not chef coat. She said I didn't need one. I found it and brought it anyway. I was still way underdressed.

Now I'm not one of those pompous chef types. I know that I don't know too much about cooking. I know that my resume is not stellar. But I don't try to make up for it by wearing a perfectly crisp white overstarched chef coat with my name and title stitched in it that retains it's shape on it's own even without the hanger or person to hold it up. You know what I'm talking about? Okay. Let me clarify. There's nothing wrong with a nice clean white coat with one's name on it. But some of these guy, and chicks too, go over the top. They walk around like a puffed up rooster, are no fun, don't crack a smile, and they don't talk to anyway who they think is below them, yet they don't want to talk to anyone who they this is better than them either. I always wonder how small these guys penises are.....

So the point is, that I had my humble snap buttom black cook's shirt, which is about 2 years old. And my dickies scrub pants with bleach spots which are also 2 years old. And we were right next to the Grant Grill. So it was like they purposely put the two most opposite places next to each other on purpose. They had 2 tables and so much crap all over both tables. They had a tan linen bunched up on the front table, with pretty flowers in pretty vases, nice glasses platters, 3 camping stoves, all kinds of mise en place. It was the executive chef and the executive sous chef, and they were working. They needed all that time to set up.

So I tried to be busy. I put the grill on the table one way. Boss lady said to put it another way. I put our eyesore plastic salt and pepper containers next to the grill. I put our greasy squeeze bottles of lemon avocado oil out. The boss lady put those on a paper plate. She set out the cards, directions flyer, a $10 off coupon, a book called Bottom Feeder, and the restaurant banner out. She had to fold the banner in half, because one side said opening in June on it.

So we were standing there with our thumbs up our asses. Then Boss Lady realized she didn't pack oil to coat the sardines with for grilling. So she went to the store. She got Starbucks coffee too. I got a ginger limeade margarita. It was pretty good, but kinda weak.

So we sat. I did a round, to look at the other restaurants, but no one was really set up. They were all just waiting, looking bored.

The Boss Lady went over and talked to the peeps at Oceanaire. She was there for a long time, I'm sure discussing how much of their seafood is local.

So finally people started to trickle in. They would wander by. So we started cooking. The first butane tank I had put in had already gone out. It only had a little left. So I put in another. Then I put the fish on too soon, of course. People were interested to look, but no takers at first. They were too sober. Needed alcohol in their systems to "brave" a whole sardine.

Eventually, they were sauced enough to start trying them. But most people had to be talked into it. The Boss Lady was surprised. I told her this crowd was different then the slow food crowd. Some celebrities were there - Candice Woo, Sam the Cooking Guy, Brian Malarkey. Boss Lady talked to Candice. Boss Lady wanted to talk to Sam, but he's a celebrity. Someone was always wanting to talk to him. Finally she had her chance. He glanced our way! So she barked out, you want to try a sardine. His eyes lit up behind his glasses. Sardines. So he took the few steps over. Really? He asked. That's a great idea. He took the plate, and he started eating - just like on tv. He gobbled it up. Loved it. Or was that just his fake tv persona? Nah, these are good. I know he loved them. Especially with that local lima bean salad. Not fava beans. Lima beans.

Brian Malarkey did walk by and look at our fishies. The Boss Lady asked if he wanted one. He said, I'll come back later. Yeah right. Empty promise. I knew it. I didn't expect it. He's too big and famous and busy to be caught eating a sardine and spitting out the bones. No hard feelings though. He was a busy guy, judging the chef showdown and all.

Anyhoo, I went back for another drink. The guy remembered me, another margarita. I guess not wearing that same starchy white chef coat helped. He gave me 2. Nice guy. These seemed to have a bit more tequila, maybe? I only drank 1 1/4 though. I was working, after all. The boss lady had 2 glasses of wine. She was def tipsy!

So finally we left. It was a good event. I hope we got a few new "clients" (that's what we say now, right, not customer....) out of this one.

So a recipe? Well, this won't be exactly the way we make it at the restaurant, so you just have to come in and try them.

Grilled Sardines with Lima Bean Salad

veg oil

zest and juice of one lemon
7/8 c extra virgin avocado oil - did I say avocado. Yes I did. They're local.
1/8 c extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil

4 cups cooked lima beans
1/2 red onion, minced
1 t minced garlic
1/2 bell pepper minced
1/3 bunch parsley chopped
1/4 c extra virgin avocado oil
1 t apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
sea salt

So first you get your grill on. Then you can mix the lima bean salad and chill it.
Then you can make the lemon avocado oil. Put the lemon zest and juice, basil, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil in a blender. Set the blender on high. Pulse it until the mix is all emulsified. Do it quickly, because it's easy to break this sauce. If you do, you can live with it - it still tastes good. Or you can take it out of the blender and put more lemon juice in it and put the broken mixture back in little by little but fast at the same time.

Then you can clean the sardines. Scrape them against the scales with the back of a knife or a spoon. Or if you are fancy enough to have a sprayer attachment in your kitchen, you can spray the scales off! Really. It's cool. Just be prepared to get a refreshing spray of sardine water.

Then you gut the little bitches. Take a sharp knife and cut from the fin in the middle of the belly and make a straight slit to the head. Take your little finger and scoop the guts out. Yeah, your finger. It's fine, really, you already have sardine spray all over your face.

So to cook the sardines - coat them in veg oil, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them. Put them on the grill on medium heat. They take between 3-5 minutes on one side, depending on how hot your grill is. Flip them. If the skin doesn't stick and the eye is white and popping out, that side is done. Cook the other side until the same happens to that side. Plate up your lima bean salad. Then put your sardines on top. Then this is key - drizzle the lemon oil on the the whole length of the sardine. Then sprinkle sea salt on top. Do it in this order, so that the sea salt sticks. It'll be delicious!