the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

Archive for the ‘foodstuffs’ Category

Eggplant Fries w/ Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce

In foodstuffs on January 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

These aren’t really “fries,” per se. If you cut them the size of large-ish baby carrots, they will keep their rigidity.

What you’ll need:

3 chinese eggplants, salt, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar, creamy peanut butter, ginger, anise seed.

What you’ll do:

1) Preheat the oven to 350.  Slice each eggplant length-wise into 6 slender wedges. Salt generously and let sit in a bowl. Some of the eggplant’s bitter juices will seep out. After 10-15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

2) While waiting, make your dipping sauce: dump a thumb-length of fresh, peeled ginger; 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar, a glug of olive oil, and several dollops of peanut butter into a blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate

3) Throw eggplant wedges into a plastic bag. Add 2 glugs of olive oil, and shake to coat the vegetables evenly. Add minced garlic (2 cloves), anise seed, and red pepper flakes and shake again to evenly distribute the spices.

4) Place the wedges on a baking pan. Bake until golden on both sides (flip halfway through the 20 minute baking time. Dip.


Sweet Potato Fries w/Homemade Chipotle Ketchup

In foodstuffs on November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm
The Fries:
Two medium sized sweet potatoes (the ones with the extra orange centers seem to work best)
Canola Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Ground Pepper
– Preheat oven to 425. Peel and cut the potatoes into pinky sized proto-fries. Dump into a plastic produce bag.
– Add a tablespoon or two or canola oil and shake the bag to evenly coat the fries.
– Add the spices to the bag. Shake it up and dump onto a cookie pan.
– Bake 15 minutes undisturbed. Flip the fries. Bake for another 10 minutes. Continue that pattern until they blacken a bit (they will be soggy if you don’t burn ’em a bit)
The Ketchup:
One large fresh tomato
A spoonful of tomato paste
A few squirts of plain ketchup
One tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Sesame Oil
Garlic (2 cloves)
Cumin seeds
Red Pepper Flakes
Ground Mustard Seed
Tamari (or Soy sauce)
Smoked Chipotle Powder
A blender or food processor
– Crush and peel the garlic. Thinly slice. Toss it into a small pan with heated sesame oil. Brown while toasting the cumin seeds and red pepper flakes in the same pan.
– Add tomato, tomato paste, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, chipotle and other spices. Cook down for 10 minutes or until things begin to congeal.
– Process in blender. Chill in a jam jar for at least 1 hr.

Potato Lentil Leek Soup

In foodstuffs on November 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm

A hearty, rib-sticking winter soup that cries out for some russian black bread to clean out the bottom of the pot.

What You Need: 2 lbs of scrubbed red potatoes, one large washed leek, 2 cups soaked black french lentils, 2 cups vegetable broth, olive oil, water, garlic, salt, crushed mustard seed, dried thyme, honey, lemon. Mega soup pot, blender

What You Do: 1) Chop: the potatoes, into 2 cm cubes; the leak, into 1 cm crescents; the garlic. 2) Into the pot: the potatoes, the leek, the garlic, the thyme, the crushed mustard seed. Saute. 3) Liquids: before the leeks brown, add the veggie broth, 5-7 cups of water, the lentils, the salt, the honey, and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. 4) Wait & Grate: zest the skin of the juiced lemon onto your cutting board. let the soup cook for 40 minutes. 5) Blend: pull out the food processor or hand blender and turn the chunky slop you’ve just made into creamy deliciousness. add the lemon zest and fresh ground pepper.

Things you can do to oatmeal

In foodstuffs on November 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Life sucks when it’s dark when you wake up in the morning. Life sucks less if by waking up, you’re one step closer to having an oatmeal party in your mouth. Try:


1. (bananut) 


2. (Fall in a bowl) 


3. (Mexican hot chocolate)


4. (What?!?!)

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

In foodstuffs on October 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm

My newest habit-forming recipe. Great with patatas bravas or as soft taco filling.

What you’ll need:

One can of black-eyed peas, a cup (or less) of corn meal, a chunk of red cabbage, frozen corn, green onions, one garlic clove, olive oil, salt, paprika, cayenne, one large skillet, a food processor, a large bowl.

What you do:

1) Drain the peas and leave out to dry for a few hours. Thinly slice onions, cabbage, and garlic. Dump into a large pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Set on med-high. Stir in frozen corn with spices and cook until the corn is slightly burnt.

2) In a large bowl, coarsely mash up the peas with a fork. Fold in half of the veggies, and process the other half into a goopy paste (appetizing, yes?). Wipe off the pan. Add the paste and enough corn meal to the bowl and mix until a sticky but not too moist mass forms.

3) Dust your hands with corn meal and form 8 palm-sized patties with the pea-veggie-mash. Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Cook for 7 minutes on each side, or until dark brown and crispy on both sides.

This Week’s Crippling Addiction…

In foodstuffs on June 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Dagoba Lavender Blueberry Dark Chocolate. The combo sounds unbearably silly, but the flavoring is actually quite subtle and complementary and the overall taste is non-wimpy (it’s still 59% cacao).

Fried Chickpeas & Spinach

In foodstuffs on May 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

My (and now Your) new addiction:

1) Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, popping off each funky exoskeleton and placing the ‘peas on a paper towel to dry for 1-2 hrs.

2) Add a few glugs of olive oil to a 12 inch pan and warm the oil until it thins into a glassy film on the pan. Drop in and spread out the ‘peas. Toss ample amounts fresh-ground pepper and coarse sea salt over the little guys.

3) You can wait 5 minutes between gentle shakes of the pan–you want the ‘peas to crisp on each side to a deep honey color. While waiting, wash, de-stem, and steam multiple fistfuls of fresh spinach. Drain off excess liquid through a colander.

4) After cooking the chickpeas for 15 minutes, stir in the spinach. That’s it! LESS THAN FIVE INGREDIENTS, PEOPLE! No excuses—try it.

Meat Meat Meat Meat Meat

In foodstuffs on April 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I feel like if I was going to quit being a vegetarian, a plate at Animal in LA (the video below) or the KFC double down “sandwich” would be the most fitting return to carnivorous life.

Patatas Bravas w/ Romanesco Sauce

In foodstuffs on April 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm

This is so easy and delicious. Tortillas should be on hand to maximize utensil-less tapas feasting.

Las Patatas:

1) Preheat the oven to 375. Peel and cube three medium-sized potatoes.  Shake out a ground cumin, paprika, cayennecinnamon, and coarse sea salt (the combo should fill up a tablespoon) into a plastic bag with a tablespoon of canola oil. Add the cubed potatoes and shake.

2) Empty coated potatoes onto a oil-coated pyrex pan and bake for one hour, shaking the pan every 10-15 minutes, until they crisp around the edges.

The Sauce:

1) Toast a piece of wheat bread and then cut it into 1/2 inch squares. Dice an onion. Smash three cloves of garlic. Coarsely chop 1/2 a cup of almonds. Throw all of the above in a sauce pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and saute on medium until onions brown.

2) Stir in a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, a dash of red wine vineagar and a few shakes of dried thyme. Salt and cook off most of the liquid (about 30 min)—you want the sauce thick and tangy.

You can serve the sauce hot or chilled. Add generous globs of it to the potatoes and enjoy.

Chana Masala w/ Okra

In foodstuffs on March 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Some people hate Okra, comparing the experience of eating these little green guys to chewing various members of Phylum Arthropoda.

I am not one of these people. And while I usually eat okra fresh, breaded, and fried (with a little peanutbutter/ginger dip), I decided to toss some of their frozen cousins into my staple Indian curry–chana masala:

1) Dice a small yellow or sweet onion and simmer in a pan until translucent. Throw in cumin seeds, anise seeds, and a tablespoon of finely sliced garlic & ginger.

2) Add one can (15 oz) of diced tomatoes. Crushed mustard seed, coriander, fenugreek, and cinnamon can join the party at this point. Raise heat and get the mix bubblin’ for 8-10 minutes.

3) Add a can of drained chickpeas and a cup of frozen okra. Simmer for another 8-10. Salt to taste. Eat with your hands or a toasted pita for the full effect.