Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I've Cooked Lately, Part III

Well, that's a little of an untruth, because my husband cooked this for me one Saturday morning. He rarely cooks, and did this with zero pressure, input, or involvement from me. Fried pork chop, sauteed mushrooms, overeasy egg, with tortillas and green chile. I normally would've broken the egg yolk for the picture, but I was still in shock from the fact that the man cooked.



Getting back to normal, next up, braised cabbage with smoky bacon, recipe courtesy of Almost Bourdain. I used a Hungarian bacon given to us by friends that is absolutely amazing.

This time I remembered to crack the yolk.


This carbonara is from way back, when I made duck prosciutto. No cream. Don't you dare add cream.


Butter and store-bought bread. Why post this? Because I made the damn butter. And it was good.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pulled Pork Chilquiles

OK, I've done tacos and BBQ sandwiches, and I still have pulled pork left. Now what?

Chilaquiles.


I fried up some corn tortillas into chips, then sauced the pork with the same chile sauce from the tacos, but added a little water. Heated a skillet on high with a slick of oil, dumped in the pork, stirred, then added the chips. Continued stirring and flipping until the chips softened (but not too soft, that's gross) and the sauce thickened, then threw in some cotija cheese. Dish out, top with cilantro.

You could also do this with a green chile sauce, either one works. What doesn't work is reheating the leftovers. Floppy chips are not cool.

And with that, I think I need to go vegetarian for a while.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Still having massive quantities of pulled pork after the tacos, I decided to do BBQ sandwiches. I made a sauce of cider and white vinegar, juices from the pork roast, paprika, Louisiana hot sauce, brown sugar and salt, and mixed it into the pork. I can't give you a recipe because it took a lot of tweaking, and I have no idea how much of anything ended up in there.

I also made a cole slaw, because you have to have cole slaw with BBQ pork sandwiches. Again, no recipe, but the dressing consisted of cider vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard powder, and pepper. I let it sit overnight in the fridge to de-crunchify the cabbage.

And then stupid me forgot to buy hamburger buns, and I didn't feel like going back to the store. So I made buns using this recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride. They were absolutely delicious, but not really the soft pillowy buns I was looking for. They made good ham or roast beef sandwiches, though.


And here you go.

I still need to tweak the sauce a little. It was good, but I know my friend James was looking down at me from his cloud telling me I was doing it wrong.

I still have more pork left...

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chile Sauced Pulled Pork Tacos

For my birthday, one of my awesome friends gave me a slow cooker. I had never used one before. Honestly, the whole concept seems like cheating to me. Then there's the part of me that wants to constantly be able to poke, flip, re-season, etc. Putting something in a pot and not touching it for 8 hours just seemed wrong. Plus, I'm supposed to leave something plugged in and HOT while I'm not home? It still scares me.

But I'm determined to overcome my aversions and fears. What better way to start? Pork roast. I trimmed an 8lb pork shoulder of most of its fat, and marinated it overnight with chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, and lemon and lime juice. The next morning, I put a couple of thick slices of onion on the bottom of the cooker, plopped in the pork, filled the gaps with chunks of carrots and potatoes, and dumped in the marinade. Then I walked away.

Really. I actually left the house. But after 3 hours I was way too paranoid and came home. Of course, everything was fine. The pork continued to cook for another 5 hours. The result? The tenderest pork roast I've ever had. It broke into three pieces when I took it out of the slow cooker. And shredding? Just threaten it with a fork and it falls apart. OK, slow cookers are cool.

So now I have a huge amount of "roasted" pork. What to do? Tacos!


I made a quick chile sauce (toast dried chiles, de-seed and tear into pieces, toss in a blender with skillet-seared onion and garlic, add the liquid left from the pork shoulder, and blend), and mixed it with the pork. Warm a couple corn tortillas, spoon in the pork, and top with whatever you like. I like avocado, grilled green onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

I still have a ton of pork left...more to come...

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Random Quotes from the WIP Household, Part IX

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You've got seashells around your neck and pantyhose on your head.

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Mmm, this new spoon works really good.

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Dude, Kurt Russell rocks!
(Not heard in the household, but it had to be repeated.)

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My hair is au natural. Except for the hair color.

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I like when I eat cereal that's little balls, because I see flowers.
(I thought she was high, until she showed me the colored-ball cereal on a spoon. It really did look like a flower.)

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You look like that guy that sings "She Bangs" but with hair.

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I love these new containers. They're so much better than Tupperware. And they'll be perfect for the organs that I'm harvesting.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Wasabi Sushi, Vista CA

I don't do restaurant reviews very often, but for Wasabi Sushi, I feel I must.

The owner and sushi chef is Andy, a very likable and friendly guy. His wife Sarah waits tables. There are about 8 tables, the sushi bar seats about 8-10, and they've got a big screen TV tuned to the hottest sporting event.

But, on to the food.

First, the 911 Roll. I think you can see why.


Next up, the Ceviche Tostada.

Here we have an eel hand roll. Best I've ever had. Andy also makes a mean salmon skin roll.

Toro. Like butta.

Sawagani, little river crabs, quickly fried and served with a ponzu-soy sauce. Crunchy little bugs. Better than popcorn.

My husband had a live octopus one time. I've seen the video, and would post it, but you don't need to hear the drunken audio that accompanies it. So until I find a way to post video while killing the audio, you'll just have to imagine pieces of just-chopped octopus crawling around on a plate.

Aside from all the awesome sushi (OMG, try the white tuna!), they also have the typical teriyaki plate offerings, as well as an awesome clam miso soup, and an udon soup that looks delicious but that I have yet to try.

Wasabi Sushi
1688 Melrose Drive, Ste. 212
Vista, CA 92081
(760) 727-8090

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random Quotes from the WIP Household, Part VIII

Youngest: Dad, you're a Mexican, right?

Dad: Yeah.

Youngest: Well, the dishwasher went home drunk, so you need to go in the back and wash dishes.

And he did.

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Stop signing your name as Wang Chung, or my teachers are going to figure it out.

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That would have been really awkward if I had a penis.

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"He's hot. And there's nothing wrong with window shopping."

"It's a beautiful window. I want to lick the window."

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"Get away from my soup, Diddy. Get your own damn soup."

"You need to calm down."

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"I love my penis."

Note that this is only funny because it was spoken by a 15-year-old girl.

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Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

I will never roast a chicken any other way.

With help from Thomas Keller and my friend Suzanne (if you're in Chicago and need to get in shape, look her up!), I made the best chicken ever.

Preheat your oven to 425ish, with a cast iron skillet inside. While that's happening, get to work on the chicken.

You start by removing the wishbone. Why? I have no idea. And thank God I started at the right end of the chicken, or that would've taken a very long time. Wishbone removed, pat your chicken dry. Really dry. When you think it's dry enough, dry it some more. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity, then do the same to the outside. Use one whole tablespoon of salt for the outside. You'll understand why when you taste it.

Get some string for tying the legs together. Shove the wing tips back between the leg and thigh, then tie the ends of the legs together. Sounds easy, huh? Yeah, if you have 4 hands.

Open the now-heated oven, deposit the chicken in the skillet, and close the door. At this point you may want to open the windows and turn your vent fan on. I had a lot of smoke. So much so that I lowered the oven temperature by 10 degrees. That probably didn't make any difference, but it made me feel better.

Your chicken is done when a thermometer reads 160-165 in a meaty part of the thigh.


The wing tips won't be crispy and worth gnawing on, since they've been tucked between the nether regions, so toss them. Better yet, save them for stock along with the rest of the bones. I recommend eating the wings first. Just because. Be careful when trying to remove the legs, this chicken turns out so tender that I was left with the leg bone in my hand and all the meat still attached to the chicken. So use a knife and work your way around the joint. And don't forget the crispy, salty, perfect skin.

Oh, and do you like the wine cork mat? I loosely followed the instructions at Craftynest. But there was no way I was going to cut 75 wine corks with a pocket knife. I used a band saw.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Avocado Toast with Sardines

I recently discovered avocado toast. Easiest thing ever - toast, mashed avocado, salt. The other day I was thinking about the can of sardines in my pantry, and thought, why not?


And it was good.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Porterhouse Steak

Steak:


Seasoning, cast iron skillet:

That is all.

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