Archive for July, 2009

Doing well; I’ve just been crazy busy.

Posted in rants on July 29, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Hello loyal readers, (or “Lummoxkateers” as I affectionately call you) sorry I haven’t posted for a while (I can only imagine the spiritual losses you have all been suffering without my divine guidance) but I’ve been temporarily sidelined by a severe throat infection (courtesy of my sticky bacteria laden children) but luckily, thanks to livestock appropriate dosages of antibiotics, I’m mostly back to normal.    I also assure you that I have spent almost none of the time of my absence zonked out of my mind on cough syrup while playing with crudely fashioned paper dolls of my favorite Hollywood starlets.

In the good news front; I am now employed by a major wine & spirits chain as a booze peddler & so far am enjoying the job.  Let’s be honest it’s a pretty easy gig for me.   I wander around the store spouting various food & booze foppery at various disoriented alchoholics, then ring them up at the counter.  Definately actions within my comfort zone.

I am also desperately attempting to catch up on making the costume (and actually learning my lines) for the movie that I’d been cast in (which has already begun shooting) and still doing the weekly Opera Mash Up on Tuesdays,  https://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/had-a-blast-at-the-gig-last-night-opera-mash-up-nites/   (yesterday ended up being particularly interesting) which is, of my own free admission, the musical equivalent of performing a “Dirty Sanchez” but still enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

Fear not fair friends, in the very near future I have more recipies, more ramblings & especially more arbitrary lists to contribute to the enlightenment of this silly little planet we live on.

Smooches

dom

Dom’s Pickled Eggs

Posted in Food on July 21, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

My Mother gave me a couple of dozen eggs yesterday since she had an excess of them, so I decided to throw together a batch of one of my favorite snacks. This was actually my first stab at making pickled eggs so I tossed a quick glance at Shu’s recipe (https://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/shus-pickled-eggs/ ) and flew off on my own. Shu tried the pickled eggs this morning & insisted that I add this to the blog.

Ingredients:

12 shelled hard boiled eggs,

4 ounces of cider vinegar,

2 ounces rice vinegar,

2 ounces water,

1 tablespoon black pepper,

1 teaspoon, paprika,

1teaspoon salt,

2 tablespoons of soy sauce,

1 tablespoon garlic powder,

1 tablespoon onion powder,

1 flavoring packet from a package of Ramen soup ( we often use the noodles in homemade broth so we have these lying around, if you don’t have these lying around toss in a bullion cube or something similar)

a handful of fresh cilantro,

a teaspoon of rosemary,

1 tablespoon mustard,

1 small onion grated or diced,

a few shakes of powdered ginger.

As you can imagine this isn’t rocket science, take a jar and toss the eggs into it, add the liquids, herbs & spices (there should be just enough to cover the eggs, if not toss in a touch more vinegar & water), affix the lid tightly and give it a good shake. Keep the eggs in the refrigerator and they will keep for quite a while.

Dom & Shu’s Spinach & Feta stuffed Brajoles served with Fresh Roasted Beets, Yellow Squash and Beet Greens with Magenta Gravy

Posted in Food on July 19, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

My fingers are the only muscles that seem to be working right now after a long Saturday spent doing the stunt clinic and fight choreography for the movie I’ll be Starring in which now has the official name “Orchestration of Disaster” so at least I can type this set of recipies.  Since where we were busy beating the hell out of ourselves was near the new home our friends Pink & Joni we thought we’d stop by. Taking advantage of the narrow window of time before before crippling muscle cramps began, we headed to the nearby supermarket without a plan and decided to throw together a nice improvisational meal based on what was in season; and by season I mean on sale, Thin slices of top round were on sale as there was some fantastic looking fresh beets with the stems & greens attached (anyone who wastes these are grossly ignorant) and some nice yellow squash. This is another one of those entire menu posts because of how much the ingredients play off each other to both complement & to stretch the buck. Inspiration struck and this was the result, a delightful meal enjoyed with good friends cooked in somebody else’s kitchen. The best part was that we didn’t have to do dishes.

Ingredients:

2 ½ pounds thinly sliced or pounded flat top round,

1 pound chopped frozen spinach,

1 very large white onion,

1 8 ounce package of feta cheese,

salt & pepper to taste

½ a cup of green olives, diced, preferably blue cheese stuffed (that’s what we had but regular or pimento stuffed will do)

2 pounds yellow squash,

6 large beets with stems & greens attached,

a splash of soy sauce,

a splash of hot sauce,

1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard,

3 ounces of red wine,

2 ounces on olive oil,

a few tablespoons of flour to thicken the gravy.

Begin by defrosting the spinach, as the spinach defrosts, dice the big onion (or 3 small ones), the olives, halve the squash and take the tops off of the beets; roughly chopping the stems & leaves and cutting the beet itself into even 4ths.

Take a casserole dish and add the olive oil, wine, soy, mustard, hot sauce, ¾ of the onion, salt & pepper and a little of the olive brine and whisk together. Immerse the beef in said mixture and allow it to sit as you attend to the spinach. To the defrosted spinach add the remaining ¼ of the diced onion, the chopped olives, the crumbled feta and some salt and black pepper to taste and mix throughly. Remove the beef slices one at a time, fill with the spinach mixture and place on large baking pan that has been coated with olive oil; making sure to keep the liquid we soaked it in as we will be cooking the vegetables in the liquid.

To the casserole dish that you had the meat initially soaking in the wine, onion, olive oil mixture first layer the chopped beets, then the, the halved squash pieces (cut side down), the beet stems, then finally the greens on top. Liberally sprinkle the salt on top of the greens and drizzle the with the olive brine & a bit of olive oil. Place both in a pre heated oven at 325 degrees and cook for 45 minutes.

Once your 45 minutes is up, take the food out of the oven and use spring loaded tongs to artfully arrange the separate vegetables & Brajoles on a large serving dish. Take both the drippings from the cooked meat and the vegetables and combine in a small sauce pan at medium high heat. Carefully whisk the liquids together, slowly adding flour or cornstarch as needed to thicken what will be a jaw droopingly delicious gravy with a bold magenta color that came from the cooking beets. When the gravy has thickened place in a gravy boat (or liquid measuring cup) and serve with what will be a very memorable dinner.

Shu’s Puerto Rican style Pork Stew & Mashed Plantains

Posted in Food on July 17, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

This was a wonderful meal that Shu made early this week that was an utter delight. I asked her to jot it down today for the blog while she waited for her job interview for a chef position today.

Ingredients for Stew:

2 pounds of stew pork,

2 medium or 4 small chopped onion,

1 diced bell pepper,

a good splash of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ginger,

1 teaspoon of curry powder,

1 teaspoon of salt,

1 teaspoon of pepper,

2 tablespoons of diced garlic,

1 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drain liquid and save to add to the “broth” the plantains will cook in.

1 can white hominy,

a large handful of chopped fresh cilantro.

To prepare, sweat 2 onions and garlic in olive oil and brown the chunks of pork and add the dry seasonings; as soon as pork is just browned add just enough water to cover the meat, bringing it to a boil then reducing to a simmer for 1 hour. Once the hour has passed remove the pork & allow to cool, being sure to reserve the liquid for the plantain dish (more on that later).

In a separate sauce pan sweat the other 2 onions and bell pepper and another tablespoon of garlic and add the pork, cilantro, canned tomatoes & hominy and sautee for about 20 minutes or so.

 

Ingredients for Mashed Plantains;

3 green plantains,

3 carrots,

½ a cup of Mojo marinade,

1 teaspoon clove,

1 teaspoon curry,

1 teaspoon ginger,

1 teaspoon jalapeño powder,

1 teaspoon black pepper,

1 diced bell pepper,

the reserved cooking liquid from the pork and drainings from the chopped tomato.

 

Score the edges and blanch plantains; then peel & cube them. Cut your carrots diagonally (think Chinese stir fry) in the broth & boil until they are halfway cooked, then add the diced plantain, bell pepper & seasonings & simmer until the liquid is almost gone. Once it has reduced adequately all that is left is to mash & serve with the pork stew. There you have it Florida mofungo.

Dom’s Marinated Turkey Dark Meat with Roasted Potatoes & Foolproof Spaghetti Squash

Posted in Food on July 17, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

After a lengthy absence from recipes I’m posting this inexpensive meal that was a resounding success. The potatoes I roasted in the pan with the turkey and I tossed the squash in a separate pan in the oven to save time, mess & electricity. It’s a pretty easy dish as well so long as you have 24 hours to marinate the turkey (vital) and a loud enough kitchen timer.

 Ingredients for Turkey & Marinade:

2 pounds turkey dark meat; you can use white meat as well I suppose but I vastly prefer turkey thighs for both their taste and afford ability.

2 cups cheap ass red wine

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 cups of Mojo marinade, I know I use this quite a bit but it is tasty, versatile & inexpensive; plus the acidity is great for marinades

1 diced yellow onion

¼ cup of red wine or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper & salt

1 tablespoon of yellow mustard

Several healthy shakes of Worcestershire sauce

a dash of soy

a handful of hazelnuts (or any other nuts you have lying around–optional)

2 cans of cream of chicken soup (but that won’t be added until we are about to cook)

4 large quartered potatoes (or any other roast friendly vegetable in an equivalent amount)

2 more diced onions to be added right before cooking.

 

Ingredients for Foolproof Spaghetti Squash:

1 spaghetti squash

a copious amount of olive oil

salt, pepper, onion & garlic powder to taste.

 

To make the turkey marinade is quite simple take a Tupperware type container and whisk together all of the aforementioned ingredients, making sure not to add the cream of chicken soup as it would throw off the acidity of the marinade, add the turkey, making sure that it is covered in the mixture and leave in your refrigerator for 24 hours. After the 24 hours have passed drain the marinade into a large baking pan & whisk in the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, then dump in the turkey, the cut up potatoes & diced onions, making sure that everything is coated in the mixture. This cooks at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours; that simple.

 

To prepare the Spaghetti Squash just cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and pith, season liberally with the garlic powder, salt, pepper and onion powder, pour olive oil liberally over the cut & seasoned side & place cut side down in a baking dish to cook at 250 degrees for 1 ½ hours. When you take it out of the oven use a fork or spring loaded tongs to scrape the delicious strands from inside the gourds.

This dish was a home run at my house and was no real effort to prepare; even after a long day doing job interviews and putting in applications, definitely give this one a shot.

No More Slinging Weenies For Me, No Sir…

Posted in failure on July 15, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

So the hot dog stand gig went to hell, no great loss really, the nebulous and uninvigorating payscale went from barely worth it to “fuck this shit”.  From the very beginning we intended it to be a temporary stopgap measure, the carreer equivilant of a little dutch boy with his finger in a dyke.  The job itself was grossly uncomfortable anyway and the travel was just ridiulous; so, so long Heatstroke Junction you won;t be missed.

In cheerier news I think my interview went well for a chef job, I’m just in the “hurry up & wait” section as they do my background check etc, plus Shu & I are checking out a few things as well.  Believe it or not I’m feeling fairly optimistic, now that might be a cumulative effect of multiple heat strokes suffered while inhaling sausage fumes; but I’ll go with it.  Wish me Luck!

Rooftop Reminiscence

Posted in rants on July 10, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Several days ago my old buddies Gregg & his brother Scott got together to shoot some pool & quietly celebrate Greggs birthday.  We were sitting around essentially talking about a heady melange of health problems, layoffs, wives, money woes & in my case children, and Scott stated:

“Guys, remember when we used to hang out on the roof of Dave’s apartment building, drinking beers , having loads of cash and not a care in the world?”

As the words sunk in I thought dreamily, “Yeah… It certainly was a time…”  It was in the early 90’s, we’d graduated high school and were all working our way through our first semester of community college with surprisingly well paying jobs.  Dave dubbed it “Golden Semester”.  Also in the sitcom-like history of “wacky bachelor antics” on the roof of our friend Dave’s apartment complex we had nocturnally decorated a parody of a living room with discarded furniture we had found.  At it’s zenith we had a battered black couch, 3 arm chairs,  a dresser, and for humor’s sake a broken TV on a stand; I even think we had a throw rug.  In hindsight I can’t even imagine having the energy to silently move a living room set up 5 flights of stairs, ah youth.

While I remember many favorable things from those days (amongst them being thin) what is wince inducing was  our “arrogance”.  We were all just so utterly certain we’d be successful.  It wasn’t entirely our fault we felt this way, there was a decent economy, we had plenty of expendable income, and we had cruised through the previous 12 years of schooling with great grades & little effort and our teachers all but assuring us grand achievements.  Things were different & we were pretty innocent.  Less than 10 minutes ago Shu called me to let me know in no uncertain terms that she did the math (she handles the bills & is very good at it, while I’m better at sulking & making internet posts) and we are going to be dramaticly short on rent.  Reality.  I’m hoping a second job interview that I have Monday will go well but we are talking about other plans that involve severely menial work, low pay & shit hours just to survive.  I think about that kid leaning on the ledge of the roof staring at the stars (you could still see them then) feeling the world was laid out before me; now I feel fated to the same degradation, back breaking labour and early grave that took my dad. 

Even though as I sit here,  I can still smell the cool night air of those evenings and smile, shaking my head at the recklessness we had as we’d run from building to building on the narrow passes desiged only to keep the rain off people’s heads, lucky we didn’t break our necks; I do know that at least I’m a better man than I was then; well, not so much better but deeper & more responsible.  Sure I admit, I have kids, the bar has to be raised…  I also admit I feel much more like damaged goods, but even though I admit that I have fallen quite deeply into despair I do  know at least I will do what I have to in order to keep us afloat.   A small comfort,  but I’ll take what confidence I can find since I’ve no faith in anything other that that one small thing at least…  That more than anything else is what my father left me; and I’m really glad he did.