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Chili cheese French toast

26 Jun

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Good fun from Mr. Breakfast.

While I’m on a sandwich kick, I figured, why not? Yeah, so I’m not a sandwich person.

Except when I am.

Sure, I have zero nostalgia for this sandwich. If last week’s eats were the food equivalent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this week’s sandwich is a far more artistic film. Let’s say The Artist. A creative French-toasted sandwich for a creative French film. And yet both of them actually made in Los Angeles.

Deep.

Next I’m gonna match a sandwich to my favorite movie of all time: Clue.

To be eaten eaten in the ballroom.

By candlelight from a candle in a very sinister candlestick.

Preferably served by Tim Curry.

Huh, he is now tied, cinematically, to both sandwiches.

The plot thickens.

Enough! Go make this sandwich. Make it pretty. Make me proud.

Chili Cheese French toast adapted from this recipe

3 Tbsp. egg
1/4 c. Half and half
Dash salt
2 pieces of bread
1 oz. shredded cheese (I had reduced fat Swiss)
2 Tbsp. canned diced green chiles
2 Tbsp. diced cilantro
Heat the oven to 400. Line a pan with nonstick foil then spray, just in case. I believe in “just in case”. Which explains my overly full purse. Really, it’s a wonder I was not a scout. egg, half and half, and salt. Dip one piece of bread in the mixture and put on foil. Spread on cheese, then chiles, then cilantro. Dip the other slice and place on top. Cook until golden brown, ten minutes-ish. Then flip and cook some more. Nice. Very much so.

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Migas especiales con hongos

21 Mar

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Oh yes. Tex-mex. Of all the types of Mex, the Tex is the best.

Of course, the creators of this recipe, the Perez sisters, owners of Austin’s (now closed, I think) Las Manitas, don’t like for their food to be called “Tex-Mex”. Keepin’ it weird for Austin!

I will say this is Tex-Mex in that it is Mexican-ish and created in Texas.

I will attempt to continue the weirdness by making this post ridiculously short for a long-winded dame like me who may be an over-sharer. Enjoy.

This will make way more ranchero sauce than you need. So you’ll be forced to make huevos rancheros the next morning. So sad.

Migas Especiales Con Hongos adapted from Robb Walsh’s The Tex-Mex Cookbook

1 corn tortilla cut in 1/2 inch strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup ranchero sauce
Salt n pepa if you like (I do!)
Ranchero Sauce-feel free to jazz this up with your favorite spices, this is a very basic and simple template:
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. diced garlic
2 Tbsp. sliced jarred jalapeño slices
1/2 c. H2O

Start by making your sauce, you’ll need it.
Bring tomatoes and water to a boil over medium high. Add garlic and jalapeño and take off heat. Let cool then purée. I used my most favoritest kitchen appliance ever, the immersion blender.
Spray a small skillet with Pam. or get crazy and use real oil. Fry yer tortilla strips over medium high. Set them aside.
Spray again and sauté shrooms n garlic several minutes until…they seem done. And most of their liquid is gone.
Spray again. Yes, while the shrooms and garlic are still in there. Turn heat to medium. Add eggy-weggs. Cook, stirring. When almost set add cheese and tortilla strips. Cook to melt cheese. Put on a plate and add some if that tasty ranchero. I imagine salsa would be ok if you want to be lazy. Shocking that I did not. I was lured by the concept of huevos rancheros the next day.

Wisdom of the crust. With cocktails!

23 Jan

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Steve was freaking out a bit-pie crust making is intimidating. So we took a minute to take a breath, lay hands on the bowl, and get in touch with the dough.

Before we get into me teaching my friends the wisdom of the pie dough:

It’s a heady time here.

Pilot season. Awards season. So it’s audition a-gogo and watching screeners like crazy time.

And I feel so alive.

No, really. It sounds cheesy, I know, but in all sincerity, this is the life I live for.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled snark.

My friend Alice and I had our third pie teaching party recently. The first gathering was tiny, and I only taught filling because I had performance anxiety about teaching crust technique.

Second time around I didn’t show y’all, but it was five of us gathering for an apple-blackberry-ginger pie. I got brave and taught crust, and one of my pupils made her own pie a week or so later! Color me proud.

For this party Alice requested that I make a savory pie, and we decided to make drinks too.

I seized the opportunity to devise a new champagne cocktail pretty much taken though slightly adapted from Serious Eats. Original recipe here but you should use mine then comment and tell me what you did with it. Yes you should, do it! My friend Suilma took an awesome shot of it:

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Ginger-Grapefruit Deeeelight
1/2 oz. Liqueur de Gingembre (My dear fwife gave me this. It doesn’t have a brand name but is French. And ginger-y. I surmise another type of ginger liqueur would be smashing.)
1 oz. freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
champagne
strips of grapefruit peel with none of the white pith on them.

Hint: Get your strips of peel before chopping open the grapefruit to squeeze it. Add the ginger liqueur to your glass and swirl to coat the sides. Add the grapefruit juice. Pour in yer bubbly. Take the peel, run it around the rim then twist. You should see and feel a burst of the oils coming misting out. People think garnishes are not so important but this one is. It really adds to the flavor, I kid ye not. Drop the peel in and sip your bubbles like a lady. Or sip like a man. Just do not chug.

And now for the main course!

I fretted as to what sort of savory pie to whip up, given somewhat limited time. The pies I wanted to make from Savory Pies, my new toy, took too long to prep if we wanted to eat before midnight. Our lil’ soiree was commencing around 8 and we wanted some pie by, say, 10.

I ended up listening to the CSA, my organic delivery I indulge in once every few weeks. I got some butternut squash from them that week.

Then I listened to my long-neglected lovah Mark Bittman who whispered “make my spicy winter squash galette”.

I said “yes, master”.

But being the free-thinking woman I am, when he asked me to use his pie crust recipe I said “please, bitch, I don’t think so”, and used my go-to shortening crust. It is fast and still delicious. This pie, excuse me-galette, actually may have benefitted from a crust that had butter (Different crusts for different fillings people! Drives me nuts when people claim that one crust is superior to another because the right crust depends on the situation. Sorry for this long parenthetical. I’m passionate.), but we did not have time for the requisite chillin’ a butter crust demands. And half the purpose of this party was to teach Steve some crust technique. He requested a few step by step photos:

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This is the proper texture before adding water.

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Rolling crust from the middle out.

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This is the tart in our properly pre-heated oven.

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Feeding time!

Savory Galette adapted from my one lovah, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian to please my other lovah aka myself
One basic pie crust
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Two butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Heat oven to 350 F. Put the oil in a skillet and heat to medium high. Add onion and stir occasionally until softened. Add garlic for another minute. Add salt, pepper, chili powder and tomato paste. Stir then quickly add water and squash. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and take off heat.
Let it sit while you roll out that crust. Roll out to at least 12 inches. Put in pie dish. Stir filling, adjust seasoning if need be. Add filling to crust and fold excess crust over it.
Bake until crust is brown and filling is bubbly, about 50 minutes. Check on it periodically and if your crust is browned to perfection, cover it with a ring of foil so it does not burn.

Faux real

10 Jan

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I do not like Thai. Maybe once a year I try. I am aware taste buds change and evolve, but I’ve been hating Thai for a good long time now, and it never changes.
I saw this recipe labeled as “faux” Thai, so I thought maybe I’d like it. It did not have the stuff that I don’t care for in Thai, like coconut. Oh coconut. I hate to say hate but I hate it.

The blogger/faux Thai creator, Nadiya, suggested that serving these noodles for a date was a great idea. Right-o.
Seeing as I had a film shoot the next day, I figured I should really try to mix things up for my lover (which is to say my career-we’ve been together almost a year now!) and try the exotic flavors of not-exactly-Thailand.

I try and keep it hot for my career.

I’m thinking Thai spice would be the kick-start our relationship needs to land me a pilot in the new year.

Nadiya had tried a thing or two from the gruel, most recently this BBQ flavored recipe. It is one of my most favorite recipes which SHOCKINGLY involves tofu. Since she was blogging my stuff I wanted to be a good and giving blogger and try some of her stuff.

I like faux Thai! So did my mistress who alerted me that there is now an imdb link for the movie I did for the Chiller Network. It was a short called “Listen My Children” that is now part of a five part anthology called “Chilling Visions”. Hopefully it will air late winter or early spring. I’ll be on tv y’all! Moving on up.

Who knew.

Faux Thai Noodles adapted from Nadiya’s Milk and Honey on the Run

1 package of shirataki noodles, drained, rinsed, and microwaved a minute or so
1/3 c. Chopped onion
1 c. Halved snow peas
2-4 Tbsp. chopped jarred roasted red bell pepper
1/4 c. Soy sauce
2 tsp. H2O
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. brown sugar
Black pepper and hot sauce (I used Tabasco, sriracha would be divine)

Mix the water, peanut butter, vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Spray a skillet with nonstick spray, and sauté the onions until they are translucent, add peas and peppers for a minute, then the noodles, then the soy sauce and finally water mixture. Stir between each addition. Sauté until all is nice and hot. Add peppers and chili to taste and serve your wench this delight.

Mad Man’s Brilliance

20 Dec

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I introduced you to the culinary stylings of my brother’s mad scientist compadre (whom we are calling MM) with this purple pie.

Twas’ unfair, really, as I should have started with his AMAZING cranberry concoctions. He made both sweet and savory cranberry sauces, the former saving my not-sweet-enough-and-underspiced-because-my-brother-doesn’t-properly-stock-his-kitchen pumpkin pie when I got the brilliant idea to use it as a pie topping, the latter receiving raves from all carnivores on hand.

I’m thinking a New Year’s resolution will be to not use so many run-on sentences.

And to not resort to terse monosyllabic sarcasm instead.

Elegantly crafted sentences of the proper coherent length!

Someday.

The sauces! MM gave me his estimation of what he did. A mad scientist never make notes while cooking, they just maniacally stir cauldrons and cackle. Or so I like to imagine MM doing in chilly Chicago where the cold seeps into the brains of its residents and leads them to such kitchen shenanigans.

Back in LA I made scaled down renditions of the sauces, even the bacon one! Litelife makes surprisingly tasty smoky tempeh strips called Fakin’ Bacon. MM is a renegade chef so I figured I should follow in his spirit and not be tied down to what he had done.
Here be my tempeh-bacon version:

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Sip a Sazerac while making these.
I did.

Actually I made two different Sazerac recipes, from which I plan to concoct my ideal Saz and post it later. But you see the first two versions hanging out behind the bacon sauce.

Never thought “bacon sauce” would be words blogged here.

And good golly!

Apparently I like not only absinthe, but bourbon. Trouble’s a brewing!

Bourbon, berries, and bacon, baby.

MM’s Orange-Whiskey Cranberries, my adaptations (because I didn’t have enough cranberries and booze) in parenthesis

1 1/2 bags of cranberries (I had only two cups)
Juice of two oranges (I used one)
Zest of one orange (1/2 an orange)
About 4 shots of bourbon (4 Tbsp. of Jameson)
1 1/2 c. Brown sugar (1/2 c. Brown, 1/4 of white)
1 tsp. cinnamon (1/2 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)
Put everything in a pan, add H2O to a bit below the cranberry line. Bring to boil then reduce and thicken to taste. Add salt to taste. Gets thicker as it cools so leave it a wee bit soupy, says me. If you made a pumpkin pie that wasn’t sweet enough too, use this as a topping!

MM’s Bacon Cranberries

8 slices of bacon (3 slices “Fakin’ Bacon-LiteLife’s smoky tempeh bacon strips)
1 Vidalia onion, chopped (1/3 c. Chopped yellow onion)
Garlic (I used 1/2 tsp. chopped)
1 chopped Granny Smith apple (1/3 c. Chopped Fuji apple)
1.5 bags cranberries (2 c.)
Water to come up 1 inch below cranberries
1 1/2 c. Sugar (1/2 cup)
Chili powder (1 tsp.)
Sriracha (2 tsp.)
A bouquet garni of black peppercorn, rosemary and bay leaf (A grind or so of black pepper, a pinch of dried rosemary, bay leaf)
Salt to taste
If using bacon, render the fat, chop bacon and set bacon aside. Use the fat to cook onion, garlic and apple. If not using bacon, chop the Fakin’ and set it aside. Spray pot with a nonstick spray before sautéing onion, garlic and apple. Add cranberries, water, sugar, Sriracha, chili powder, bouquet garni or black pepper, rosemary, and bay leaf (and if you are using the Fakin’ add it now) and reduce. If using regular bacon add once it cools, add salt if you like. Don’t forget to take out the bouquet garni, or bay leaf if using the dried herbs.

Two: Second annual pumpkin week in spring day two

24 Apr

Year 2. Of having spring pumpkin week.
Day 2. Of the week.
Two ingredients.

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How friggin’ too too.
I love tutus.
Behold pumpkin salsa.
About a cup of salsa, 3-ish tablespoons of pumpkin.
That’s it.
Tata.

Curiouser and curiouser

18 Feb

This recipe made me hella curious as to whether it would be any good:

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I really love reading Eden.
She doesn’t always post recipes but she almost always makes me laugh.
Like actually LOL.
I was going to wait until I’d tried a few more variations in this recipe to post it. But I decided to post it today because although I don’t know her personally, I’ve been keeping up with reading her blog and she’s dealing with an illness in her family and could probably use all the good thoughts she can get sent in her direction.
I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought, so check out her blog and send some love to Eden.

Now to those curious beans.

Cranberry Chili Fries? Say what? I love beans, ketchup is good, and cranberries are cool but I was not sure sure if these kids could get along.

Eden made this with pinto beans put it over sweet potato fries. I only had garbanzos, and I hate sweet potatoes(unless they are this kind which are totally different). I had butternut squash though so I cut it into logs, roasted at about Fahrenheit 425 for about a half hour, flipping once. Oh, yeah. Spray your roasting pan first. Add salt if you are so inclined. And these re “fries” so I say do it).
Top with the chili you created using this recipe and eat it up. Be happy. Do a little dance. Make a little love. Or at least tell someone you love them. Tell yourself you love you.

Wow, maybe I should have published this on Valentine’s day, but hopefully all that love stuff happened then too…