I'm not a writer. I don't want any confusion about that, so I'll say it again.
I'm not a writer.
But I can
recognize genius when I see it, and Albert Burneko's
Foodspin column at Deadspin is hilarious. I liked his Barbecue chicken thighs
post, but this is better.. possibly because I'm seriously thinking of making it. Maybe for the Superbowl, if someone with a big enough TV invites me over.
Here are a couple of excerpts. They don't really do the piece justice, but I didn't want to have a post that was just a crappy intro and a link.
People will bring all manner of dips and such to the party: There will be that unpleasant-looking but tasty spinach and faux-crab dip served in the bowl of Hawaiian bread; there will be guacamole; there will be a tub of sour-cream-and-onion dip and a bag of potato chips; some bozo will bring a jar of Old El Paso queso dip as if that weren't ridiculous and kind of insulting. All of these are perfectly tasty—the only real problem with all of them is that they are not refried-bean dip.
The first thing you need to do is to soak a pound of pinto or black beans (but really: pinto beans) overnight in a large bowl filled with enough water to cover the beans by a couple of inches. In the morning, you'll be able to tell that the beans are sufficiently soaked by the agonized groaning noise and throat-blistering surge of profanity you will utter when you realize that you altogether forgot this step. Now, remove your still bone-dry and utterly un-soaked beans from their unmolested bag, cover them with a couple of inches of water in a pot, boil them for a couple of minutes, and then remove the pot from the heat and leave the beans to soak in it for an hour and a half.
...mash the hell out of the contents of the pot. You're not aiming for perfect smoothness, here, or anything like it, but you do want to give the beans a thorough mashing—to the point at which your pot no longer contains beans and also water, but rather a spectacularly unappetizing integrated watery beany mixture. This is an opportunity for you to discharge some of the pent-up hostility you are undoubtedly feeling after the draining-and-refilling step and the cooking-a-ton-of-bacon step and the hanging-around-a-simmering-pot-of-fucking-beans-all-goddamn-afternoon step and the reckoning-with-the-end-of-another-wasted-year-of-your-life step. Really give it to those beans. They have it coming. For what they did.
I'm glad the powers-that-be understand what they have here, and are working assiduously to offer us biscoff
in an ever-increasing number of ways. I for one look forward to the biscoff-via-IV product, coming soon to a market near you.
I suspect most ice cream shops' business suffers in January. After all, who wants to brave the frigid January weather to go get ice cream. Hot soup, sure, but ice cream? Not so much. Luckily for me, I'm my own best customer, so business has been booming.
Pho 75 is the best in the city, but if you're suffering from Pho-withdrawal, this will do the job.
DC just kicked off its first cold spell of the new year and the weather men are threatening snow (always sure to throw the city into gridlock). So I decided to buck the seasons and make strawberry sorbet, as a reminder that Spring is on its way.
Okay, that's not true- I wanted ice cream, didn't have any milk in the house, and an excavation of the back of my freezer revealed a bag of frozen strawberries. So strawberry sorbet it was!
I based this on David Lebovitz's recipe from The Perfect Scoop, but I've upped the amounts. His recipe yields only about half a quart, and that isn't enough for me, let alone enough for me to share with anyone else. Full disclosure: I haven't tried this with these amounts. I used his recipe as written in the book and was unfortunately reminded how little it makes, a few short hours before bringing it to someone's house for dessert. These amounts are what I'll use the next time I make this. For the purists, I've included his recipe below. Feel free to use that- you won't hurt my feelings.Strawberry SorbetIngredients:
- 2 lb. strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup sugar
- 2-3+ tbl of liquor (optional; I've used dark rum to great success, but a splash of vodka works well to prevent it from turning into a brick)
- 1 tbl lemon juice (Most recipes call for fresh squeezed, and if you have it, great. But really, who keeps lemons in the house? I bought a large bottle of concentrate lemon juice awhile ago, and I use that as needed).
- Pinch of salt
- If you're using frozen strawberries, let them mostly defrost in a large bowl. (If you can get rid of most of that melted water before continuing, go for it. If not, don't worry about it. This isn't rocket science.) If you're using fresh strawberries, wash, hull, and slice the strawberries.
- Toss the strawberries with the sugar and liquor, if using, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring every so often (I've skipped the hour wait, with no harm done).
- Puree the strawberries (I use a hand blender, and it works great- just watch out for stray bits of strawberries making a desperate break for freedom onto your kitchen counter) with the other ingredients until smooth. If you don't want seeds in your sorbet, press the mixture through a strainer. (Anyone who knows me even slightly knows I never both with this step.)
- Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (One thing the manufacturer's instructions aren't likely to tell you is when to stop freezing sorbet. For years, I treated sorbet like ice cream, and I ended up with crumbly sorbet. No good. Instead, stop churning when its the consistency of a thick smoothie. You'll get a much richer, thicker and smoother end product.)
And here, for the sticklers, are the original amounts:Ingredients:
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. kirsch (optional)
- 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
You want more, don't you. That's so typical.. I give you an inch, you take the whole arm.
Fine. Here's more from America's Test Kitchen, on how to make the most perfect bacon ever.
The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2guC4Badq2s
Just know that I'm going to expect an invitation to brunch for some bacon one of these days.
Ready for your mind to be blown? Check this out.
There are lots of parties during the holiday season. Hopefully you were invited to some of them. If you went, you probably brought the host or hostess a bottle of wine, just like everyone else. Don't you wish you could have shown a little originality* and brought them a delicious, homemade dessert for their (and your) dining pleasure?
I usually go with ice cream for this sort of thing, but that takes advance planning. Luckily, my friend Emi introduced me to a great dessert that lends itself well to any occasion. I've used this four times over the last month or so: once in Tennessee to supplement the dessert table at Christmas; once for Katie to bring to her work holiday part; once to bring to Brad's DC Thanksgiving; and once .. okay, once I was hungry and wanted to use up the rest of the rice krispies.**
The point being, if you're going to a holiday party and need something to bring, these supercharged rice krispy treats taste great and are really easy to make. (Thanks Emi!)***
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 C corn syrup
- 1 C sugar
- 1 C creamy peanut butter. Make sure to get Jiff or Skippy or Peter Pan... you don't want to use natural (ie, just peanuts) peanut butter for this. And get the regular, full-fat variety. I wasn't thinking about it, and I used low-fat when I made them for Brad's house. Still good, but they came out a little hard.
- 6 C rice krispies
- 1 C chocolate morsels
- 1 C butterscotch morsels
Ready, set, go!
1. Mix Karo syrup and sugar in a large saucepan on medium-high until it starts to bubble.****
2. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
3. Add the rice krispies and stir to combine
4. Flatten in a greased, 9x13 pan. (Don't line with foil, unless you grease the foil too. Otherwise, you'll have trouble peeling the tin foil off).
While that's cooling, make the topping:
1. In a small saucepan on low heat, add the chocolate and butterscotch morsels, and stir occasionally until they melt.
2. Spread the mixture over the rice crispy mixture.
The chocolate/butterscotch layer will harden as it cools, but if the rice krispies are still hot, it'll take awhile, so don't start melting the morsels until the krispies are mostly cool.
Then slice and enjoy!
* Re-reading this, I'm struck by the irony of 'originality', for a recipe I got from a friend, which I promptly used four times.
** In my defense, knowing that I would inevitably eat the whole thing (Katie was out of town), I made a quarter-recipe and left off the chocolate topping.. and then promptly ate the whole thing.
*** Sure, the holidays are behind us, but better late than never. Besides, there's always next year.
**** Just an extra footnote for Mike. Hi Mike!