Text 18 Jan grilled cheese with chicken, bacon, yellow pepper & jalapeno

sandwiches are the best. sandwiches made from leftovers are the best of the best. you can pretty much put anything in a sandwich like this… it’s really just a grilled cheese with extras.

you need:

leftover chicken, diced

2 slices of bacon

cheddar (i used applewood smoked cheddar because i had some… if you ever get the chance to eat this cheese, eat this cheese) (best cheese ever)

a bit of diced yellow pepper (maybe 1/4 cup)

a bit of diced onion (1/4 cup? -ish)

1/2 a jalapeno, diced

bread

mayo

salt & pep

1. fry up the bacon, set aside

2. fry up the pepper and onion in the bacon grease, add the chicken. remove once it’s all hot

3. butter the outsides of your bread, grilled cheese-style

4. put on bread: mayo, the chicken-onion-pepper-jalapeno mixture, the bacon, then the cheese

5. grill it until the cheese is melted. then eat it. or give it to denis to eat, because if he sees you eating it, he’ll probably just take it from you anyway.

-jennica

Text 18 Jan Steak and KD

I was craving an haute-culinary experience (experience haute-culinaire) for dinner the other night. I didn’t have a whole lot to choose from in my kitchen and lacked the cash/ambition to go get some good food from the store or order a gourmet donair.  I happened upon a great meal that is both affordable and really easy to whip up: Steak and Kraft Dinner. I had a couple slabs of grilling steak in the freezer that I had bought on sale months ago and had forgotten about. And well, who doesn’t keep a reserve of KD in the cupboard? It’s always good to have a few boxes around for emergencies such as floods, earthquakes, pestilence, and most commonly: sloth. It turned out to be a really lovely dinner that even the most elite of the white trash community (i.e., Britney Spears, Billy Bob Thornton) could enjoy. The steak satisfies the finer elements of your palette, while the KD reminds you that you’re broke-ass. With a cheap glass of wine to wash it down, you really feel all warm and cozy inside.

I defrosted the steak in cool water in the sink. I prefer this to nuking it. Be sure to save that tasty blood for cookin’!

While defrosting, I mixed up a pretty basic marinade (seen above).

In no particular order, I put these ingredients in a bowl…

- a  tbsp vinegar

- 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil

- a  dose of salt and pepper

- pinch of currypowder

- sprinkle oforegano

- a dash of basil

- a touch ofpaprika

- a good squirt or two of honey dijon mustard

- a few tbsp. of bbq sauce

- a little squirt of ketchup for filler

- a couple of small cloves of diced garlic

- a tiny squirt of Salsa Valentina's for extra bite

I am puposefully vague on the amounts because it depends on how much meat you’re cooking. Also feel free to sub in or out the spices based on what you like and have around. It’s meant to be easy. Don’t forget to stir up the marinade good!

Throw the steak and marinade together in a ziplock bag in the fridge for at least an hour or two. The longer the marriage of flavour, the more tender the meat. Pull steak out of the fridge 10 or 20 minutes before you cook it.


When you’ve pulled the goods out of the fridge after a good long chill, get started on your favorite box of Kraft Dinner. I prefer white cheddar (the directions are on the box)…

I pan fried my steak in butter. I like it nice and rare. I would BBQ it if I had the infrastructure or if it weren’t below zero outside.

I served it up with a simple spinach green and carrot salad tossed with a bit of dressing.

Here it is from another angle. A great meal fit for a low level duke!

Enjoy,

-Dan

Text 17 Jan rosemary-garlic-lemon marinade

this recipe is a variation on the esteemed “naked” chef jamie oliver’s marinade. i have two of his cookbooks and i swear on my life that every recipe in them is amazing. i’m going to a potluck sort of dinner thing tonight at my friend matt’s, and i’m broke; fortunately i have been blessed with the superpower of foresight and have meat in my freezer. a really big piece of steak, actually. marinades are really worth it, as they increase the tenderness substantially. in this recipe, the liquid is acidic (thanks to the lemon), which helps the tissue break down and lets more moisture be absorbed by the meat. all the other ingredients do the flavoring. here’s my version of the magnificent marinade:

1/2 cup olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, smashed

1/2 cup dry rosemary

1 lemon

salt & pep

mix the olive oil + the garlic + the rosemary + the juice of the lemon + the s & p and then rip up the juiced lemon and mix that in, too. then put your meat in it and let it marinate for as long as you can handle.

-jennica

Text 16 Jan cornish hens with roasted vegetables and asparagus

i’ve been dying to greedily eat a chicken all to myself for some time now, and i figured cornish hen was probably the way to go. denis (my partner in crime) wanted to have cranberries with this, but the closest we could find at the grocery store were red currants. red currants are a type of gooseberry with various medicinal properties, as well as being a source of vitamins C and potassium. they’re kind of sour (but nothing too serious on the sour scale or anything), and sour goes really well with thyme. very tasty.

you need:

2 cornish hens

2 pats of butter + 1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

6 cloves garlic, whole

1 yam, cut into quarters

2 apples, cored

1 bunch asparagus, stems trimmed

1 small zucchini, cut in half

2 onions, cut in half

2 potatoes

1 cup red currants

salt to taste

1. fry the hens in butter on a high heat to get the skin all brown and crispy… then let them cool

2. preheat the oven to 350

3. start roasting the potatoes and yams 25 minutes prior to the hens (they take longer)

4. with each hen, put a pat of butter between the skin and the flesh. this helps keep the meat moist (hens are notorious for drying out); put 1/2 an onion inside each hen

5. put them in a roasting pot, slather each hen with butter; sprinkle in the thyme and some salt. add to the pot: the garlic cloves (whole), the bay leaf, olive oil, salt and pepper

      (above: everything in the pot, prior to roasting)

6. add the potatoes, yams, zucchini, onion and red currants to the roasting pot

7. roast for 40 minutes (but beware overdrying, check on it and all that)

8. when there is 25 minutes left, wrap the apples in aluminum foil and put them in the oven; also start to boil the asparagus (and: put them in the pot stems first… there’s nothing worse than an uncooked asparagus stem)

8. enjoy. this meal is insanely delicious.

-jennica

Text 14 Jan Salsa Valentina

My Mexican friends have turned me on to this stuff bigtime. I have been using this hot sauce wherever I can, so I mention it because it’ll come up again.

It is produced by Salsa Tamazula of Guadalajara, Mexico. It comes in ‘hot’ and ‘extra hot’ (which has a black label).

http://www.salsavalentina.com/

If you feel like supporting local business here at home, while at the same time supporting huge Mexican manufacturers and major international distributors, I would buy this product. You can get this at your local Latin foods store, but it may be sold at the big grocery store too. You can tastily support all forms of business!

-Dan

Text 14 Jan The Bacon and Egg’oh’

This breakfast delight came to me in a vision last night. I obsessed for a quite a while over the schematics - I drew diagrams, edited and re-edited lists of ingredients, etc. In fact I had trouble sleeping because of my excitement for the trial run which took place this morning. So…what we have is version 1.0 of the bacon and egg’oh’. It turned out pretty well. I’ll list some ingredients but feel free to use what you like. I was limited by what was around.

-2 eggo (or no name) frozen waffles…the cheaper the better.

-Spread Mayo on one or two of them, your choice. I considered using cream cheese as the base. I’ll give it a try soon.

-Throw down some spinach greens. if I had the ingredients I would have used a thin slice of red onion and a thin tomato slice as well. I suppose bean sprouts wouldn’t be that bad either. It’s all preference.

-Lay down some bacon of choice. I used regular here, but maple-smoked might compliment the waffle aspect of the dish.

-Set the fried egg on top. I melted marble cheddar on the egg as it was frying.

-Garnish the beast with salt, pepper, or whatever spice you like. I also used Salsa Valentina, a delicious mexican hot sauce…extra hot.

-Feel free to use the second eggo to round out the sandwich concept if you want. I ate mine open-faced this morning which I think I will continue to do.

- I tried a little syrup over a part of it. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t do much for me so I think I’ll discontinue that idea. Of course ketchup always works but I found the Valentina’s was enough.

Enjoy.

-Dan

Text 14 Jan the cleanse.

well, this is the first post, and at a very appropriate time. i am just wrapping up a 2-week cleanse, during which i ate nothing but raw foods (and tea… i cheated a bit and drank tea). eliminating coffee was difficult, and not drinking beer with spicy food was almost more than i could handle. 

the truth is, however, that i have managed to eat incredibly well, despite limited resources. this was primarily due to raw food blogs, which helped me understand several things about the raw food diet:

1. there is no way i could do this forever, but it felt pretty good along the way

2. a dehydrator is fairly necessary if this diet is to be long term (that way you can go raw and still have pizza!)

3. the zucchini is a wonderful vegetable, WONDERFUL!

here is a recipe for a very tasty raw lasagne (you can eat this even if you aren’t doing a cleanse, because it’s just plain incredible):

http://therawchefblog.com/lasagne-recipe

this cleanse is also a good excuse to eat lots of mangoes.

-jennica


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