Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Foghorn

What You Need
Ginger Ale
Lime juice (fresh or bottled, your choice)
Highball glass (or suitable tallish glass)

My weekly poker nights continue, as does my love of adult beverages. The foghorn is another one from my college days as well as a personal favorite as far as soda-based cocktails go. It has no caffeine and less sugar than your traditional soda based cocktail, which means you can drink as many as you want. As an added bonus, if you drink enough of these you'll start calling them Foghats instead of Foghorns. Drink a few more and all you'll have to do to order one is scream the lyrics to Slow Ride at the barkeep. They'll automatically know what you want. If they don't... fuck 'em, go make it yourself. They'll appreciate your take charge attitude. If they don't... fuck 'em.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry Chutney

Fresh cranberries
Fresh apples (your choice)
Ground ginger

Thanksgiving is over and you now have to look ahead to Christmas. According to Norman Rockwell, Christmas is a time to join with friends and family in joyous celebration of rebirth, redemption, and the end of another wonderful year together, proving that Norman Rockwell had no fucking clue what he was talking about. My theory is he was freebasing cocaine and painting what he saw in his fucked up, half lucid dream world. For me, and probably you, the holidays consist of far too much driving and far too many children that aren't yours packed into too small a space. This is a recipe for what I like to call motherfucking stabby time. However, holiday food celebrates my favorite fruit: the cranberry. Unfortunately, very few people in my family like cranberries. All the more reason for me to make a cranberry dish. This chutney is great as a side dish, condiment, or just on some delicious Triscuit crackers while awaiting that last relative to show up so you can start eating. In this way, you can keep one hand free for holding the gun that you'll use to greet said relative once they finally arrive, more than an hour late. I bet they'll fucking be on time for Easter.

What the fuck is chutney?
Chutney originated in India as a sort of spicy paste or sauce used to compliment the main dish. It consisted primarily of vegetables and spices, like coriander and onion. Of course, in traditional anglo fashion, the Limeys got ahold of it and dropped the spice and veggies for fruit and sugar, effectively creating a polar opposite dish  but retaining the name. So, yeah... fuck you, India.
This particular chutney tastes quite a bit like applesauce with a heavier texture and a bite of cranberry. As an added bonus, you make it in two steps and about 30 minutes. The recipe originated here, and I've made quite a few changes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balsamic Chicken and Pasta

What you need:
        • Balsamic vinegar

        • Chicken broth
        • Sugar (granulated)
        • Garlic (whole and powdered)
    • Italian seasoning (pre-blended or use what you like)
    • Olive and vegetable oil
    Boneless chicken
    Penne pasta
     or Romano cheese

    I originally found this recipe online (here) and I've made it many times since. Instead of a straight chicken dish, I serve it as a pasta and change the preparation. You'd think that using so much balsamic would give this a really overpowering taste. You'd be wrong. Also stupid. The chicken is moist, tender, and extremely flavorful without being overpowering. The marinade/sauce/reduction/what-the-fuck-ever-you-want-to-call-it also makes a top notch pasta dressing.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Fucking Badass Guide to Steak

    Steak. The perfectly named food. It's a piece of animal flesh that you cook and eat. What better word than a short, guttural sound that doubles as something you fucking kill vampires with? So what's the big fucking deal with steaks? There are hundreds of different cuts of meat and 90% of people couldn't begin to tell you where even one of them comes from. Most people approach buying a steak in a supermarket or ordering a steak at a restaurant like they're buying parts for a fucking spaceship. It really doesn't need to be this complicated, and I'll prove it.

    Steak is all about fat content. The more fat in your steak, the better it tastes. That's the bottom line... fat = taste. So why do so many people go for a "lean" steak if it tastes like a bland asshole? There's only one reason: fat makes your steak tougher. For those of you playing at home, that leaves you with two options:

    You can have...
    A delicious piece of a boat cover (high fat content)
    A tender piece of generic meat product #793G (low fat content)

    Luckily, these two extremes aren't your only options. You can find a happy medium, and your cut selection has the biggest impact on that. Plus, you can cook a high fat steak to make it more tender and you can season a lean cut to make it taste better.

    Now that we've got all that bullshit out of the way, let's move on to cut. Some restaurants claim to have over five hundred different cuts of steak. What does that mean? Fuck all, that's what it means. When it comes to steak, you really only really need to know four cuts. It's far easier to remember where these cuts come from if you tell the cow to fuck off and use something you're more familiar with. I like to use Lady Gaga. I mean, what the fuck else are you supposed to do with Lady Gaga?

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    The Black Queen

    What you need:
    Royal Crown Cola
    Vanilla flavoring syrup

    Canadian whiskey (Black Velvet is preferred, for taste and cost)
    Highball glass (or suitable tallish glass)
    Jigger (if you don't all ready have this, kill yourself)

    Back in my college days, my drink of choice was Black Velvet Canadian whisky and Vanilla Coke. I like to think I learned more from this fucking drink than I did a good portion of my professors (especially Concepts of Fitness. Seriously, fuck that class). Unfortunately, those fucksticks over at Coke no longer make Vanilla Coke in the preferred two liter bottle. You can only get it in cans, and since I've cut out soda drinking (except for adult beverages), it's a big fucking waste of money for me. I also recently started holding a poker night at my house on Fridays, and it required a signature drink. Thus, the Black Queen was born. Here's how to make it.

    Are you a foodie? Yeah? Fuck you.

    Cooking is for pussies. Someone needs to say it and it might as well be me. How a science that involves fire, death, and sharp objects in the creation of something so pleasurable got to the state in which we find it is fucking beyond me. You know who fucked it up? Foodies. Just saying that word makes my trigger finger twitch. Fucking foodies and their molecular gastronomy bullshit have taken a badass art/science hybrid and turned it into fucking cocoa cardamom cumin chicken wings and lovage salad and coq au coconut and celery root puree (I took all of of these from a foodie blog, I fucking swear it). Yeah, well suck my coq au coconut. Food is not a fucking status symbol. The more you try to use it to prove how awesomely bohemian you are the more I want shoot you in the face with a crossbow.
    So that brings us here. What is this? This is a celebration of what food should be: fucking badass. I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat. I like to try new shit, and then alter that shit to increase the badassery. My kitchen might not always be clean and I might not always be wearing pants. That's how I roll. I also like rules, and here are mine:

    • Everything I make will use ingredients you can actually find in your fucking hemisphere. I usually get everything I need at Walmart, though I might hit a farmers market or the local butcher when I want something specific.
    • You shouldn't have to spend a fuckton of money to make good food. I don't. Cooking should save you money when compared to eating at a restaurant.
    • Where applicable, I'll try to keep things good for you. Healthyish, anyway.
    • Booze.
    • You should make enough food to actually eat. If you finish eating and you still want more, you fucking failed.
    • There will be cursing. (no shit, right?)
    • Cooking is science. You have to experiment. Recipes aren't blueprints to be followed to the letter... they're a framework. I make shit the way I like it and you should do the same. If you like bleu cheese and want to put it in your chicken cordon bleu, fucking go for it. Let me know how it works out.
    • Strong opinions will be expressed. If you disagree with me, that's fine. Do it your way. If you disagree with me and you're a dick about it, fuck you.
    • If you take time to make something, it should be fucking badass. If you have to ask what that means, fuck you. Boring food is off limits.

    I'll also tackle other food related topics from steaks to shakes to Steak n' Shake. Maybe not Steak n' Shake. I fucking hate Steak n' Shake. Nothing is off limits except, like I said, maybe Steak n' Shake. Seriously, fuck that place. $8 for a six inch long sandwich and some fries? Just because it's wrapped in butchers paper and taped up doesn't make it a three pound deli sub from lower Manhattan. Goddamn criminals. They're almost as bad as Hooters. Don't even get me fucking started on that place.
    That's it. That's the manifesto. Time to make it happen.