Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The MIFLARD Principle

It was either that, or 'The Man From Miflard'. Miflard: 'Make It Feel Like A Real Dinner' (duh). This is important firstly for socializing little boys (especially PDD ones with the attention span of a collembolan), and second for making something like a hot dog and white rice feel a little more special. I always have a dish of green olives and sliced, good dill pickles for the kids. Maybe some sliced orange. Frankly, they may not eat it, but the formality is reflected in good behavior.
For the grownups, maybe fancy it up with a variety of olives, crudite with house dressing for dipping, and an avocado salad. Some raw vegetables and knifework and viola, Miflard!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yemenite Breakfast

My kubana, known on two continents. Kubana is an overnight bread, made for a low oven the night before the sabbath. I made my first as a surprise for my homesick wife years ago... in the wee hours of the morning, she said 'is that kubana?' My mother in law was shocked I could find a recipe on the internet. It's sort of a monkey bread, balls of dough dipped traditionally in ghee (I use margarine) and baked in a sealed container to survive 12 hours of heat.

Anyway, this one here is part of a traditional Yemenite breakfast, with hardboiled eggs, salad, and s'chug (pictured chili pepper and spice paste, ch as in 'ach') made specially for me in Israel (no cilantro, wicked hot peppers) by someone's grandmother. You can tell this breakfast is authentic by the gesture of the hand on the right, either demanding an explanation or telling someone off. Notice also my jar of srirachi, or "Chinese s'chug".

Fractal Cheese

OK, so I started getting carried away. The boys thought it was funny, and we had a neat, if brief, side discussion. I think I could do two more iterations, maybe if I chilled it first to harden it, but the joke's been made. This isn't about my cheesemanship.


Turkey Bacon Lettuce and Tomato, except turkey bacon -- the kind that comes in strips that sort of resemble real bacon -- turns me off. These are turkey cold cut ends (cheap at market basket) julienned and deep fried to cracklings.

It makes for a perfectly tasty TBLT. It's an approximation, just as the turkey I use is an approximation of Kosher, which my wife would prefer. End of the turkey cracklin's served as something like pancetta, on leftover linguine with olive oil, a little salt, and chopped fresh green thai chilies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Veggie Gyotze

I buy the skins in chinatown, and the last batch I bought were so damned paper thin that I had to double them. Veggie filling of scallion, mushroom, shredded carrot, and napa cabbage. Fried in covered cast iron. Working man's dipping sauce of soy, sweetened rice vinegar and sesame oil has no minced garlic or ginger.

Good Fish Stock Looks Back At You

Filleted a cod, sold half to the neighbors at cost, and froze the frame so that when wife asks
'can you make soup' I say 'I can make GOOD soup'. Cod frame just starting to simmer with onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I'm not proud of it, but I serve my kids hot dogs at least twice a week.  It's a necessary sacrifice in a busy world.  They are protein tubes, a processed, uniform, convenient ration you defrost, heat up with a starch and there you go, a meal on a busy night.  

I only serve kosher hot dogs, at any rate.  My brother in law is a rabbinical student and slaughterer for the subcontracter that procures rabbis for Hebrew National.  He sees about 400, er, clients a day.  So we tell the kid's they are Uncle Yishay's hot dogs.  Drop those babies in a microwave, straight from the freezer, and Bob's yer uncle.  I serve it with carrot and celery sticks, maybe sliced cucumber, but they could care less.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Best Practices Fried Rice

This fried rice incorporates leftovers from six different meals including three batches of white rice and three breakfasts of scrambled eggs my kids didn't eat. I resurrected limp takeout chinese chicken by tossing in char siu sauce, and broiling on cast iron into sweet, sticky, half burnt, nasty, delicious cracklin's.   Mix all, season light with a little soy sauce and even less sweetened rice vinegar; add peanuts, salt shrimp, chopped scallion, and serve with lime and hot sauce.  Also finely shredded inner romaine leaves in lieu of bean sprouts, which are so rarely fresh enough for me that I stopped looking.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Suicidal Wings, or Remembering The 'Nest

When buffalo wings are in the zone, they should be just too spicy to eat, but too good to stop eating. 

I'm pleased my pantry recipe does justice to my memories of 'suicidal' wings from the old  Cuckoo's Nest Restaurant in Powderhouse Square.   It's 2 parts Texas Pete's hot sauce to 1 part sriracha sauce, plus a little olive oil. Jointed wings should be fried for at least 20 minutes, until really crispy and most of the fat has rendered out. I have no patience for soft or soggy wings.   Sauce liberally, toss well, serve immediately. 

Salad for Wife Mark II

OK... this one's better. Farm stand tomatoes, house dressing, basil and thyme from the garden. A nice olive mix: I buy three kinds separately, and mix them myself. Anything that says 'Olive Medley' turns me off; they are usually marinated in dressing or don't have distinct flavors. OK, I promise no more salads for a while.

A Well Fed Daddy is a Happy Daddy

Smoked fish, a good bagel, cream cheese is one of those hit-the-spot comfort foods I gotta have. Smoked salmon on a bagel and diet coke; car food before picking the kids up from school.  Also sable on a bagel ($12 a pound at Market Basket!)... mmm.... and that salmon spread with onions and capers is the very end of the hand sliced salmon a few posts earlier.  All served on toasted Kupel's bagels from my stash in the freezer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blackened Cod Tamale

This started as an effort towards blackened cod, which doesn't work because the cod flakes apart.  Instead I wrapped them in fresh corn husks, a la tamale, and blackened them instead.  This contained the fish, which sort of steamed, and the blackening spice on the corn husks came off on the food, the plate, the fingers when you open them, and seasoned the fish lightly.   I included the corn kernels in the tamale as a nod to the tamale's staple cooked corn meal filling.  Served with lemon wedges -- well, OK, slices, and just a couple of drops of hot sauce.  

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And house dressing on the side

Salad I made my wife for work yesterday.   My current 'house dressing' is seasoned rice vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, fried garlic, salt and pepper.  The previous incarnation of house dressing was a little more asian, with soy sauce and sesame oil instead of mustard.  Notice, btw, the styrofoam store bought tomatoes, to add authenticity to the salad ('tastes just like take out!').  Why my wife tolerates those things, especially in tomato season, is beyond me, but I haven't had time to go to a farm stand.  Fresh basil and thyme from the garden.