Monday, January 30, 2012
Stoner Cooking 1-30-12
The Darth Vader Burger
“Choose your side of The Force.” To promote the re-release of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” in 3D, the France- and Benelux-based fast food chain Quick is launching the Darth Vader Burger on a Sithy black bun. A less frightening looking (read: boring) Yoda Burger will also hit select locations through March 1.
Stoner Cooking Special: Protein'd™ Cheese Sauce
You Love Mac N Cheese. You also want to eat healthy. Eureka! Discover High Protein Mac N Cheese, with Delicious Protein'd™ Cheese Sauce from UNJURY® Protein.
Pour Protein'd™ Cheese Sauce on potatoes, chips, toast or English muffin, or cooked vegetables. Or use as dip for chips, fresh vegetables, or popcorn. You can even spoon it straight. It's that good!
The high quality protein in Protein'd™ keeps you from being hungry for hours. So it's great for weight loss. Higher protein is great for muscle maintenance.
So many kids don't like meat. So they don't get enough protein to grow. Some kids would benefit from a little weight loss, and Protein'd™ Cheese Sauce can subtly add protein – which can help with weight loss...
Where to eat the heat
Thai, Korean, Chinese and Indian delicacies in L.A., Northridge, San Gabriel, Canoga Park and Inglewood.
January 12, 2012
If you're a fiend for the spicy, then you may have attempted to down an entire bowl of the Special 2 ramen at Orochon in Little Tokyo, which earns you a photo on "the wall of bravery." Or you've sought the experience of Jitlada's southern Thai specialties, including Chef Tui's Dynamite Special Challenge, covered in a chile sludge that packs so much heat your ears start to ring. (Thais say southern food is the ultimate of phet, or spiciness.) Where to find more of the burn? Here, from recent Find columns, are several ways to satisfy the capsaicin cravings.
— Linda Burum, Miles Clements, Betty Hallock and C. Thi Nguyen
Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal
Alongside the jokbal — braised pork shank — at this Koreatown restaurant, a fiery, salty, shrimp-based dipping sauce gives every piece added zing. You eat slices with sauce or wrapped in the accompanying lettuce with a chunk of raw garlic clove and a jalapeño slice. An even spicier celebration of porkiness, mae-un jokbal bokkeum, listed on the English dinner menu as pan-fried spicy pork hock, involves a trencherman's portion of jokbal. The slices are tossed with thick glossy garlic chunks, jalapeño and red-tinged perilla leaves, whose slight bitterness accents the meat the way Angostura bitters enhance a Manhattan cocktail.
425 S. Western Ave., Suite E, Los Angeles, (213) 386-3535.
Red Chili Restaurant
Put nehari down on your 500-things-to-eat-before-you-die list. This stewed beef, the color of red earth with sauce powered by a staggering quantity of ground chile and seasonings, is as popular for breakfast in Pakistan as Cheerios are here. Its garnish of chopped fresh ginger adds a brilliant punch of fresh sweet heat. It is with this dish and the house specialty, the saucy tomato-based chicken karahi, that you realize this cooking is more about the sauces. They're luscious and beg to be soaked up with rice or spongy nan.
18108 Parthenia St. (in Parthenia Center), Northridge, (818) 775-0733.
Taste of Chong Qing
You'll get your tongue seared with the strange electricity of ma la. But you'll also experience the delicacy of subtle fish dishes and fresh vegetables. And you'll get the burn and the elegance all at once, an experience so paradoxical to the senses that you might stagger out of the restaurant a little food-drunk. One of the best dishes here is the Sichuan-style fish with peppers: fillets of white fish floating in aromatic broth and covered with a bright, gorgeously green layer of chopped ... something. The something turns out to be a sort of culinary joke: a mixture of almost indistinguishable cooling green scallions, perky pickled peppers and searingly hot green chiles. Tip: The hot stuff is the heaviest, and if you cautiously turn a piece of fish on its side and give it a gentle tap, most of the serious burn will fall off.
172 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 288-1357.
Valley India Cafe
The menu favors the spice-laden specialties of the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu regions of southeastern India: Coconut milk, fresh, pungent curry leaves and a healthy helping of chiles distinguish many curries. The crisp golden dosas here rival the best in Little India. The smaller, thicker set dosa are the size of a dinner plate with a soft, porous texture that makes a great sponge for sopping up voluptuous sauces, especially vegetable kurma, a creamy curry with green chile, cashew and coconut. Subdue the heat with the mild kothu parota, a street food of chopped, flaky griddle bread scrambled with egg and shredded chicken.
7257 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, (818) 340-7500, http://www.valleyindiacafe.com/
Front Page Jamaican Grille
In every dish here, such as jerk chicken, goat curry and oxtails, the amped-up seasoning embraces the meat but doesn't trounce the flavor. But if all that flavor isn't enough for you, ask for the house-made hot sauce, a gorgeously blistering concoction of habaneros and herbs, blended and cooked into fiery perfection. To finish, try one of the drinks. The simplicity of the sorrel drink will soothe your tongue after all that heat, and pineapple ginger beer will give you a pleasant kick of fresh ginger behind some pineapple fizz. But if you like being taken to the edge of the precipice of gustatory possibility, order some of the restaurant's mega-hot reggae wings, and then top them off with the unadulterated ginger beer. That combination will knock you to the ground and then punch you in the face again. In a good way.
1117 W. Manchester Blvd., No. C, Inglewood, (310) 216-9521, http://www.frontpagejamaicangrille.com/.
Cup O' Pizza
Welcome Pizza Enthusiasts!
If you've been searching for that perfect cup of pizza recipe, well then, look no further. What began as a dream inspired by "The Jerk," is now a reality! Subscribe and stay up-to-date on all the tasty developments. Stay cheesy, Pizza Fiends!
Love, Steve & Dave.
Cup O' Pizza Walkthrough
OK Gang, it's time we got around to showing how it's done.
We've spent many hours in our laboratory perfecting the hottest, tastiest, cup of pizza.
This Cup O' Pizza recipe is the quick and easy version, using store-bought ingredients.
Here's what you'll need (makes 4 cups o' pizza):
4 oven friendly coffee mugs
1 tube of pre-made pizza crust (we've been using the 13.8 oz Pillsbury Classic)
1 jar of pizza sauce
1 package of deli-style pepperoni
1 bag of mozzarella or pizza cheese
Olive oil and basting brush
STEP 1: Pop open the delicious tube ofctriple-bleached goo, to which we owe our robust physiques!
STEP 2: Cut the dough roll into 4 equal sections. 1 section for each cup. Then cut each section down even further intoc3 sections, which will become the basis for our patented Flavor Layer Technology (TM).
STEP 3: Get that cat outta here!!
STEP 4: Coat your cups (or dough slices) with olive oil
STEP 5: Begin building your first Flavor Layer by dropping a section of dough into the bottom of the cup. Very good!
STEP 6: Add a large spoonful of sauce, a slice of pepperoni, some cheese, and a sprinkle of oregano and you've got your first layer. (This tutorial is the kid version, so experimenting with other classic ingredients is certainly encouraged.)
STEP 7: Repeat process on remaining dough layers. 3 layers per cup.
Mmm, now you're ready to load 'em into the oven.
STEP 8: Depending on your oven, you may need to tweak the following settings. Keep a close eye on your mugs the first time out, so you can make temperature adjustments accordingly. Here's what has worked for us.
Set your oven timer for 30 minutes and your oven at 425 degrees. In order to minimize the possibility of the mugs cracking due to a sudden change in temperature, we put the Cups O' Pizza in the oven during the preheat process, so they gradually warm up.
STEP 9: Seriously dude, get that cat out of here.
STEP 10: After 30 minutes, take a look at your cups...
Because you've created what amounts to 4 big chunks of energy efficient pizza insulation, please allow them to cool down for at least 10 minutes before handing them off to a child or really hungry child-like friend.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
3 to 4 pound tripe (be sure to include 1 piece of honeycomb)
6 garlic cloves, bruised but not peeled
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 28ounce can white hominy
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
12 tomatillos, diced
Rinse tripe under cold running water and cut large pieces into 1inch squares.
Place the garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves into a square of cheesecloth. Tie into a bundle. This is your bouquet garni.
Place the tripe in a large stock pot with 4 quarts of hot water, the bouquet garni, and salt. Bring to a boil and skim foam if necessary. Reduce the heat and cook at a simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until tripe is tender.
Add the canned hominy, liquid and all. Cook 15 minutes longer. About 10 minutes before serving, add the cilantro, green onions, and tomatillos. Remove the bouquet garni.
Garnishes may include mild red chile sauce, ground chile powder, oregano leaves, chopped onions, or lime wedges, or sliced radishes.
Junk Food Makeover: Tater Tots
In our column, Junk Food Makeover, we challenge culinary nutritionist Tricia Williams to recreate iconic snacks with more wholesome, better-for-you recipes.
Tater tots: the ultimate kid food. We'll take 'em straight out of the freezer bag, heat them up, and pair them with anything from gooey grilled cheese to creamy tomato soup. Or, we'll just dip them in ketchup and call it a day. But Thanksgiving and holiday parties have wreaked havoc on our waistlines, so we called up nutritionist Tricia Williams to transform Napoleon Dynamite's favorite snack into a wholesome side dish.
"I wanted to focus on two different textures to get the tater tot right: crunchy exterior, soft interior," Tricia said. "Crunchy was definitely the bigger challenge. Lately, quinoa flakes have become a staple for crispy texture in our kitchen--we use them like a traditional kitchen would use panko. We add golden flax meal to give it extra nutrition. All these healthy ingredients make these tots an anti-inflammatory (read: less aches and pains) mock-fried food. To ensure this snack would go over well, we kid-tested them on a bunch of 6-year-olds. What a hit!" Let's see what happens when we Bon Appetit-test them.
Although Tricia didn't nail the exact tater tot shape (more of a cylindrical, golden fritter), our tasters were mostly satisfied with the healthier version of the (usually) greasy snack. The texture was great--as Tricia said, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Sure, it was lacking the flavor hit from fat and salt, but we didn't miss it too much, thanks to a healthy dose of smoked paprika. All in all, while these little potato balls weren't quite the real thing, their bite-sized popability and yummy flavor made them work well as a substitute. With some ketchup and a pinch more salt, we'd be happy with these as a snack. (Or, let's face it, accompanying that kids' menu item that still holds a place in our hearts, chicken tenders, it could be dinner.)
Makes about 50
1 cup quinoa flakes (you can find them at bobsredmill.com)
1/4 cup golden flax meal (you can find them at bobsredmill.com)
Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped small onion (from 1/2 small onion)
4 sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, peeled
1 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt, plus more
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine quinoa flakes and flax meal in a bowl; set aside. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray generously with nonstick spray. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer onion to a bowl; set aside. Wipe out and reserve skillet.
Using the small holes of a box grater, finely grate potatoes to make 4 cups. Transfer to a colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. salt. Massage salt into potatoes and squeeze out the excess liquid. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl; add egg and mix well. Add reserved onion, cayenne, paprika, and garlic powder; season lightly with salt and pepper. The mixture should resemble a potato pancake mix but be on the dry side. Using your hands, form potato mixture into 1" balls.
Roll potato balls in quinoa flake mixture. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with nonstick spray. Working in batches, cook balls, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer tots to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Lamb tagine with layered onions
Total time: About 3 hours, plus cooling times
Note: Adapted from "The Food of Morocco" by Paula Wolfert. She writes, "This is the Fes version of a famous layered onion tagine called qamamma. I love the way the onions are cooked down to a melting unctuous sauce then combined with tomatoes or raisins and/or honey. With my recipe you do most of the work 1 or 2 days in advance. Then on the day you serve it, you assemble and bake the dish, then switch the oven to broil, dribble over some olive oil, and cook until the onions turn crusty and lightly charred." Cubeb pepper is available online; additional white and/or black pepper can be substituted.
"The Foods of Morocco" by Paula Wolfert, Ecco Press, $45
La Kama spice mixture
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cubeb pepper (optional)
A good pinch of grated nutmeg
Mix the ground spices. Sift through a fine sieve and store in a closed jar in a cool, dark place. This makes a generous tablespoon of the spice mixture.
1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron strands
1 cup hot water
In a warm (not hot) skillet, dry the saffron strands. Crush again, then soak in the hot water and store in a small jar in the refrigerator. This will keep for up to a week.
For longer storage (my favorite method), quadruple the recipe quantities above: pour the saffron water into a plastic ice cube tray and freeze into cubes. Once they are frozen, shake out the cubes and store in a freezer bag. Each cube will be equivalent to 2 tablespoons saffron water or a good pinch of dried saffron threads.
Tagine and assembly
3 pounds thick lamb shoulder arm chops, bone-in, cut into 9 or 10 pieces
1 tablespoon La Kama Spice Mixture
2 tablespoons Saffron Water
1 tablespoon liquid honey, preferably a floral honey such as orange blossom, lavender or acacia
1 medium red onion, coarsely grated (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups water
2 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
3 pounds onions, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
2 tablespoons turbinado or other raw sugar
1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
3 pita or Indian naan breads
1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
1. One or 2 days before you plan to serve, trim the lamb of excess fat. Place the meat in a medium flameproof casserole and add 1 teaspoon salt, the spice mixture, saffron water, honey, grated onion and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir over low heat until the aroma of the spices is released, about 5 minutes: Do not brown the meat. Add the water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bone.
2. Separate the cooking juices and the meat. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull out and discard the bones and trim off any fat or gristle. Cut the meat into 1-inch chunks and transfer to a storage bowl; you should have about 4 cups of meat. Degrease the cooking juices. Return the cooking juices to the casserole and boil down to a glaze. Add one-half teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the sliced onions and cinnamon stick; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden, about 45 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a storage dish. Discard the cinnamon stick. Boil down the liquid in the casserole to about three-fourths cup. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat, then add the liquid to the meat. Up to this point the recipe can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cool, cover and refrigerate the meat and onions.
3. About an hour before serving, set an oven rack on the middle shelf of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Grease an ovenproof tagine or shallow baking serving dish with remaining butter. Spread the meat on the bottom and cover with the cooked onions and raisins. Scatter the sugar and ground cinnamon on top. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Switch the oven heat to broil, dribble over the remaining tablespoon of oil, and cook until crusty and lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
5. Reheat the bread in the oven for a few minutes. Split in half, then tear each half into 2 or 3 pieces. Spread about one third over a large serving platter. Spoon about half of the contents of the tagine on top. Repeat with another third of the bread and the remaining contents of the tagine. Top with the last pieces of the bread and a sprinkling of parsley and serve at once.
Each serving: 705 calories; 40 grams protein; 60 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 34 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 138 mg cholesterol; 27 grams sugar; 860 mg sodium.
Two recipes from SimplyRecipes.com forwarded to me from Uncle Pers & Aunt Shlee:
Pinto Beans with Bacon and Jalapeños
1 Tbsp olive oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil
2 to 3 whole jalapeño chile peppers
2 to 3 thick-cut slices of bacon
2 cups of chopped onion
2 medium clove of garlic, minced
4 cups of cooked pinto beans (2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup, loosely packed, chopped fresh cilantro
1 Heat oil in a medium skillet on high heat. Put the jalapeños in the pan and stir to coat with the oil. Let cook, turning occasionally, on all sides, until all sides are nicely browned (about 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot your burner is). Remove from pan. Cut away and discard the stem, core, seeds, and veins. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño flesh.
2 While the jalapeños are cooking, cook the bacon slices on medium low heat in a large skillet, until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off (do not discard down the drain!) all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
3 Add the chopped onion to the pan with the bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until translucent and lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more. While the onion is cooking, chop the cooked bacon.
4 Add the cooked beans, chopped bacon, and the chopped jalapeños to the pan and stir to mix. Sprinkle with salt.
Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, and steak and salsa.
Yield: Serves 4-6.
Asparagus Frittata Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 Heat olive oil into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.
2 Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.
Yield: Serves 4.
Chicken Scaloppine over Broccoli Rabe
Calories from fat: 21%
Saturated fat: 1.7g
Monounsaturated fat: 3.3g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter
1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into 3-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
4 lemon slices (optional)
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine breadcrumbs and pepper in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in breadcrumb mixture. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
Add wine, broth, juice, and butter to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in broccoli rabe; cover and cook 3 minutes or until broccoli rabe is tender. Stir in parsley and capers. Serve chicken over broccoli rabe mixture.
Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.
Alison Lewis, Cooking Light