Posts Tagged ‘Beer’
Uh… sorry I haven’t written lately. I noticed that you never call or write either though.
Whatevs. I guess it doesn’t matter who’s to blame, let’s just catch up on what’s been going on lately.
It’s been frakking hot here lately. It’s hard to cook when it’s 111 F outside. It makes me want to shove the kegerator down the creepy stairs of the creepy basement, and make friends with the spiders.
Speaking of the creepy basement, I took a picture for you.
It’s scary down there, but cool. Which makes it a good place to store my fermenting pickles and kimchi.
I can’t wait to try the kimchi. Firstly, because kimchi is delicious. Secondly, because I sorta made up the recipe as I went along, which could be especially distastrous. I’ll give you the deets if things work out. It should be ready to eat tomorrow. (My lack of being able to follow recipe instructions is 100% of the reason I am a terrible baker. I have switched to using a scale to weigh my dry ingredients, which has helped some.)
Garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook ’til done at 450 F. Should take about 30-40 minutes. Those brown, seared bits are the best part.
We also made some spaghetti one night when I got home late. Let me give you the recipe:
Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
One can of San Marzano tomotoes smooshed up with your hands (WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST)
One onion cut in half, remove the skin
5 ounces of butter
Salt to taste
Simmer 45 minutes over medium low heat; which is about as long as it takes to boil the water for the noodles. Throw out the onion. Toss a pound of cooked spaghetti in the sauce.
I kid you not, this sauce will blow your mind. SO SIMPLE. SO GOOD. Make this as soon as possible. And whatever you do, don’t fuck around with it and use olive oil instead of butter, or add garlic and other spices. Make it just the way I said to. You’ll be happy you followed instructions when you’re licking the bottom of the plate to get up every last tasty bit of buttery, oniony, savory sauce. Also, the onion doesn’t taste very good, so don’t be tempted to chop it up and mix it into the sauce. I’m only warming you because I have made all these mistakes myself already, and regretted every one.
There were some other meals, some were repeats and not worth mentioning, but I might save some for later. You see, last night, while I was chopping up some toppings for another pizza I sliced straight through the top of my finger, through the nail, and I’m assuming right into the bone. So, I have a mighty pain today, and Sean is laughing at me as I type away at my little laptop with my index finger sticking straight up in the air.
So, I may not be doing any cooking for a few days. But, that’s not the say that Sean won’t be cooking, because we are cheap, and reclusive, and rarely eat out because it’s so much cheaper and easier to cook at home. Also, we have beer here, and are finding it harder and harder to come up with reasons to go anywhwere but the Farmer’s Market, Trader Joe’s and the Firestone Walker for kegs.
Speaking of which, a beer might ease this pain in my throbbing, still bleeding little finger.
I’m gonna go have a beer and some pain killers.
We’ll have to talk about you next time.
The Beer Bitch
I’ve been a little obsessed with pizza lately, but it’s been really hot here. Like 111 degrees F hot for a few days, and it is hard to get motivated to cook on days that hot. I will note though: a cold beer sure is delicious when it’s hot oustide.
So, Sunday was the first day we’ve really cooked in a while. Unforutanately, I had to work, so Sean said he would throw together the pizza dough for me. Also unfortunately, one of my coworkers recommended using porter in the pizza dough instead of water. Luckily for us, Sean made the dough as I suggested and made a second dough with porter. Because the dough with the porter: EPIC FAIL. What a waste of good beer!
To make a long story short, when I got home form work on Sunday at about 8:00, we lit the barbecue to grill our pizzas. There was enough dough for 4 pizzas, so I started with one half of the original recipe, and one half of the one with the porter, and dumped the other two halves in the fridge for a later date.
The first pizza spent two minutes on the barbecue before catching on fire. I hear about people grilling pizzas all the time, but we have already burnt two pizzas on our grill. I’m starting to think this “grilling pizzas” thing is some sort of “urban legend.”
So, pizza number two, was an attempt with the porter. The dough was flat, dense, and would not stretch. I struggled with it for a few minutes, and then threw it, and it’s ugly twin sister, in the trash.
At this point I turned on the oven, which I should have done in the first place, but was loath to do so because of the oppressive heat. Lucky for me it wasn’t such a factor at 10 at night. When we finally did eat, at close to 11, the pizza was delicious. I just think that from now on I might stick to recipes from reliable sources, and not some dude who’s diet consists mainly of beer. *
The toppings included: mozzarella, red onion, red bell pepper, brown mushrooms, salami, spicy soppresetta, and that old tomato sauce that is so simple and sooooooo good.
In the end I sprinkled the fourth pizza with fresh parmigiano reggiano, and served it with a little arugula salad, with sliced onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and ricotta salata. And, a tasty glass of Walker’s Reserve, the aforementioned porter. It was delicious.
And all was good in the world again.
* I am a huge advocate of beer, and food, but not people who don’t really eat any food and just replace those missing calories with beer. I’m just sayin’.
Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. Working is hard!!
Let’s get down to business. When we last talked we I was running an experiment here at Casa de Crazy with HAM, to see if I could kill Sean. Good news: Sean is fine. Bad news: Ham is delicious, and now we have another item of porky badness to add to our mostly pork arsenal.
First I used the leftover roasted pork to make tacos. It looked like this, and it was amazing:
Onions, meat, cheese, and leftover salsa from a few posts back. Yum.
Served with a cold, hoppy Union Jack.
Poor Sean. On top of my “allergy experiments” he lives with this.
I swear that during the day this was a cute outfit of black slouchy boots, black leggings, and a dress, but then I got home, and took off the boots, and put on ugly slippers over my ugly socks. Even Ginger looks embarassed.
The next morning we had ham fried rice with a fried egg on top. We cut some chard from the garden and used green onions and a dash of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. It was way better than the Spam fried rice I made a while back.
The next dish: warm lentil salad with celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and a vinagrette… oh and HAM! Served with roasted cauliflower.
Not a beautiful picture, but my belly was appreciative.
Since Sean was still not dead, I also made split pea soup with the ham bone. We drizzled some Pasolivo California olive oil over the top, and it was warm and satisfying.
Sean didn’t get a single hive, and I still have more ham left in the freezer! I’m pretty stoked to find out that Sean’s allergy was probably due to some overprocessed ham he’d had in the past, because everything we had was awesome.
Ham! Fuck yeah!!
After “Hamfest 2008” I made a potato pizza, served with a nice Firestone Pale Ale. Sean thought it might be too carby, but it was pretty good with olive oil and rosemary.
Serve with arugula salad with shaved onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
In other news:
Soon we’re going to have tomatoes from our own garden.
And the hollyhock is doing a good job of looking pretty and keeping bugs off the important plants.
Sean, being the saint that he is, got me a bell to go on my bike. He is SOOOOOOOOO much nicer than I am (and never tries to kill me.)
That’s a pretty swanky bike, huh? She just needs a name now.
I’m sure you’re all bored with me, and I have some beers to drink, and then throw on the lawn (this is one of my favorite things to do when I’m home at my parents: Throw beers on the lawn to watch my dad come outside and yell “Goddamn Kids!” while I giggle from the porch. He gets so mad so easily, and I am so easily entertained.)
Happy Friday everyone! And remember: Don’t be a queer, have a beer!
I have a confession.
I’ve been thinking about Cuban Sandwiches for a while now. I tend to get something (food related) on the brain, and then I can’t stop thinking about it. And, I don’t know about you, but it’s really better for me to just bite the bullet, and make whatever it is that I’m obsessing about, or I end up eating far too much of something else to fill that gaping hole in my belly that is screaming out “FEED ME SOME CUBANS!”
But your belly may not be as bossy as mine is though. I don’t know.
There was just one small obstacle in my way: Sean seems to be allergic to ham. Like, break out in hives and be miserable allergic. So it didn’t look like we were going to be eating Cubans anytime soon.
But then, the stars aligned, and we had homemade pickles and a pork roast in the fridge and we both thought it would be a good time to buy a little ham, and make the sandwiches, hives be damned!
Well, a little ham turned into a 10 pound bone-in beast. In our defense the only way we could be sure it was real food was to buy bone-in, and that was the smallest one we could find. Also, ham is super cheap. I think we paid $15 for that monster.
The ham came home with us, went straight into the oven, and after a few hours I coated it with apricot jam, grainy mustard, and brown sugar. It is sooooo good. And, Sean may need to start taking some kind of antihistamine soon. In large doses.
So, to make a Cuban sandwich here’s what you do:
Rinse and dry a pork roast. Chop up an onion, and brown it in a dutch oven, and then brown the roast too. (Simple: salt, pepper, cook ’til done.) Throw the whole mess in the oven at 300F for 2 or 3 hours.
Get a big ham. Rinse it, dry it, throw it in the oven at 350F for three hours. Then glaze it. And throw it back in there for another half hour or so.
Take it out to rest for 20 minutes, and slice it.
Now you got your ham, your got your pork roast, you just need some cheese (swiss is traditional, but not my favorite cheese, so I subbed in jack,) mustard, and pickles. Pile it all on a roll, and if you have a panini press or some fancy thing like that, press that baby. If you have a grill pan like us, just lay it on there and smush it with something heavy (like a dutch oven and a tea pot.)
Try not to burn one side of it in the mayhem of trying to get the dogs out of the kitchen.
Porky, hammy, pickly, cheesy Nirvana.
Totally worth the hives. (I think… I don’t know obviously.)
Anyway, I’m sure there will be more ham adventures coming, because there’s still a shitload of it in the fridge.
And as always, don’t forget the beer.
Sorry we’ve been so busy around here and I’ve been neglecting the blog! Here are my excuses:
I started my new job, and it’s great.
It’s been a million fucking degrees here. (Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but it has been over 100 for a couple of days, so there hasn’t been much cooking going on in our kitchen.)
Luckily, Sean loves to grill, so we’ve made use of the BBQ.
Saturday we went to the Farmer’s Market and picked up some fresh local cod, a bunch of tomatoes and some blueberries and apricots. The fruit isn’t quite up to snuff yet, IMO, because it’s not super sweet quite yet. The tomatoes, on the other hand were amazing, and Sean made a delicious Caprese salad Saturday night, and some salsa for fish tacos for lunch on Sunday.
Last night Sean grilled some pork, corn and onions for dinner. It was delicious, but I was beat from the heat, and forgot to take pictures.
The only thing I made this weekend were pickles. I adore pickles, and have been meaning to try to make my own for some time, but never seemed to find the courage or the gumption to do so. This recipe made it seem easy, so we picked up the supplies, and made our own pickles.
I have been on a mission lately to make things from scratch, and seem to find that most recipes I try are super simple, and take almost no time to mix up, but do require some patience to wait for things to cook, or cure, or rise, or roast. It’s pretty incredible, and really satisfying to make your own bread (which I also did this weekend, and I swear I’ll get to that recipe soon,) pickles, etc. My next project: jam. After that: kimchi. I’m going to clean out our super creepy basement, home to a thousand spider ghosts, and make room for jars of STUFF. (Especially because kimchi stinks, and I don’t want it in the house.)
Anyway, the pickles take just a few days to ferment, and then they should be ready to eat. I’ll let you know how they turned out, but here’s what they look like so far.
It took about an hour to make the pickles, but most of that time was spent waiting for water to boil. The only real work was washing and slicing cucumbers, and smashing a few cloves of garlic. Easy as pie.
I can’t wait to try them!
Needless to say, there was also a lot of beer consumed this weekend, just like every other weekend at our house, but we didn’t make it to the Paso Robles Wine Festival. It was too hot outside, I had to leave for work halfway through it, and to be honest, red wine tastes pretty naff when it’s 104 outside. (We did open a few bottles of white and rose this weekend though, and they were cool, refreshing and just right.)
Hope you all had a good weekend!
The power’s been out at our house, so we had to go out for some beers. I’ll be sure to get back to you guys with a lessipe later. (lessipe = less than a recipe.)
Which means it’s three in the afternoon, and I’m already drinking beer.
Firestone Double Barrel Ale. One of my all time faves. Along with Firestone Union Jack IPA and Firestone Pale.
Did I mention that we live down the street (like a mile away!) from my favorite brewery in the whole world? Several times a week we wander down there to have a fresh pint of the Velvet Merkin, a nitro charged oatmeal stout, or some of the Reserve.
Yeah, it’s a rough fucking life here.
Also, I should mention that there are over 200 wineries in the area, and some make the best wine on earth. I am not exaggerating this time.
Anyway, because of the beer I have officially sworn off the water for the weekend, and I probably won’t be cooking anything for dinner. So, I’ll catch up with you guys on the flip side. Meaning tomorrow. Ed note: I don’t even know what the flip side means.