Thursday, February 28, 2008


Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm assuming we all love bacon. However, I've always found it to be a huge pain-in-the-ass to cook. You know, bits of it burn before the rest even cooks a little, all the while spattering grease all over the stove, and usually your hands and arms. I don't like to put myself through that kind of pain, just for a little pig fat. But then I discovered you can bake it. I know what you're thinking, pretty f-in amazing. Ok, well maybe it's not that big of a deal, but it definitely transformed the way I think about bacon.

Then I found a recipe for Sweet Basil Bacon in a book called Cook What You Love by Bob and Melinda Blanchard. It's baked bacon plus. Here's the gist of it (with my changes of course):

Place bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Turn the bacon over, sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped fresh basil (they suggest dried, but fresh is always better). Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (until crisp).

And there you go, yumminess without any grease burns! You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Marinades, Marinades, Marinades!

Something to know about me, I fuckin love meat. Don't get me wrong, I love my veggies and starches too. But chances are, if it used to be walking around I want to eat it. (There are of course exceptions to this rule, most of them having to do with certain organ meats, but you get my drift). And so it only follows that I love me some marinades. It's amazing what a little acidity and some tasty ingredients will do to transform a cheap, tough piece of meat into something fabulous. Here are my favs for beef, pork and lamb. I'm not sure of the proportions cause I usually just throw it all together in a bowl. (You'll also probably notice a certain similarity between the three...but hey, if it works, right?)

I like to make fork holes in the meat on both sides before adding it to the marinade. Some people think this sacrilege, but then I'm an atheist so there.

Marinade #1 - Beef

olive oil
soy sauce
dijon mustard
lemon juice
chopped garlic
chopped fresh parsley

Marinade #2 - Pork

olive oil
cider vinegar
dijon mustard
fresh rosemary
fresh thyme
chopped garlic

Marinade #3 - Lamb

olive oil
lemon juice
soy sauce
chopped garlic
chopped parsley
dried thyme, oregano, rosemary

Monday, February 25, 2008

Shrimp & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Here's one I made before keeten's birthday, and it seemed to be a hit. Nothing like filling up on some stir-fried goodness before going out and getting shit-faced, birthday style.

Also, this could just as easily be made with a different meat or completely veggie. If you choose to use a different meat, it will need to be added earlier than the shrimp.

Shrimp & Vegetable Stir-Fry

2 shallots, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced into sticks
1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper, sliced into sticks
6 scallions, sliced into lengths
4 cloves garlic, chopped
small bunch chives
1 lb shrimp, shelled
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine
vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a wok over med-high heat
When hot, add the shallots, zucchini and garlic. Cook until they start to soften (4 min?)
Add the peppers and scallions and cook for an additional few minutes
Add the shrimp, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine
When the shrimp turn pink, add the chives and cook for one minute more.

Serve over steamed rice.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Here we go!

So I've decided to add to this mess we call the internet, just for shits and giggles. And so, for now, it's all about food. A couple things you may want to know, however.

1) I hate cheese. Yes, I realize this makes me a freak of nature, and I'm ok with that. Believe it or not you can actually cook very tasty food without this ingredient, most of Asia has been doing it for centuries.

2) I can't really eat spicy food. Again, most will stop reading here, but honestly, I don't really give a shit what you think.

And so, to start it all off, something simple:

Pasta with Zucchini and Shallots

This is a nice simple pasta dish. I would recommend using some sort of cut pasta. I used rotelle which works nicely because it's the same shape as the zucchini, but any one will do. Also, feel free to substitute onions for shallots, though use less because the shallot has a much more subtle sweet flavor than your average yellow or white onion.

4 zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds (the thinner the better)
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin, always)
salt to taste

heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat
add the shallots and garlic, cook until translucent, stirring occasionally
add the zucchini and salt and cook over med or med-low heat for approximately 10 minutes (until the zucchini begins to lose it's shape)

meanwhile cook the pasta in salted water

toss the zucchini shallot mixture with the pasta, adding more oil if it seems dry