Mimesis and Violence

January 31, 2009, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Food, Google, Video

I enjoyed hosting Matt and Renato’s rant on American Baking. Considering going to Red Hook to see how it manifests.


Muffineering: Thanksgiving in the Palm of Your Hand
November 12, 2008, 9:24 am
Filed under: Food, Recipes

Pumpkin-Cranberry-Pecan Muffins

Makes 30 fat muffins which I forgot to photograph.

* 1 3/4 cup butter
* 3 cup brown sugar
* 4 eggs
* 6 cup unsifted whole wheat flour
* 4 tsp baking soda
* 16 ounce can pumpkin (like for to make the pie)
* 3 single serving containers
* 2 single-serving container vanilla yogurt
* 2 tbsp orange marmalade
* 2 tsp ground nutmeg
* 3 tsp ground ginger
* 3-4 fistfuls chopped pecans
* 5-6 fistfuls delicious craisins

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs.
3. Mix together the flour, baking soda.
4. Combine the pumpkin, applesauce, yogurt, craisins, nuts, and spices in your largest mixing bowl.
5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with butter mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just enough to combine well.
6. Put in muffin tins (use the cute little muffin wrapper things – they are cute!)
7. Bake 30-40 minutes or until done (toothpick/knife/machete test).
8. Cool in the pan 10, remove muffins, let cool.

More recipes
September 26, 2008, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

From tonight:

Potato Salad (of Doom!)

* 8-12 small red-skinned new potatoes, quartered and boiled: drained, skin-on, and steaming hot.
* Juice of 2 lemons.
* Delicious olive oil.
* 1 shallot, sliced thinly.
* 1 small handful capers.
* 2 handfuls dill, chopped roughly.
* Salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste.
* Optionally: handful of sea beans roughly chopped.

– While the potatoes are still hot, mix in lemon juice and olive oil.
– As the potatoes cool add in the shallots, capers, dill, sea beans, salt, and pepper.

September 21, 2008, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

My recipes from tonight’s potluck:

Harissa (Surprise!)

A mildly inauthentic but not at all mild north-African style chili paste.

* 20 dried chili de arbol
* 4-5 ancho chilies (dried poblanos)
* 2 habanero or scotch bonnet chilies
* 8 cloves garlic
* 1 tablespoon whole cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon coriander or caraway seeds
* 1/4 cup olive oil

– Remove the stems from the dried peppers (ancho, de arbol), discard about half the seeds, and let them soak in water for 10-15 minutes.
– Crush the garlic, cumin, and coriander/caraway in a mortar and pestle (alternative: food processor).
– Strain most of the water from the dried chilies, add the garlic mixture, and pound into a bloody pulp with a pestle (alternative: food process).
– Admire your new forearm strength.
– Roast the habaneros under a broiler for a few minutes – until their skin is lightly scarred with burn.
– Seed the habaneros (DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES), add to the harissa mixture, and unleash a fury of blows onto it with a pestle or machete.
– Feed to unsuspecting friends with excess machismo and a taste for spice.


* 3.5 cups chickpeas (canned or dried and soaked overnight)
* 1/2 cup tahina (roughly)
* 1/2 cup olive (roughly)
* Juice of 3 lemons
* 4-5 mushrooms
* 1 teaspoon harissa or cayenne pepper
* Salt and (fresh ground) pepper

– Mix 3 cups chickpeas, tahina, olive oil, lemon juice in a bowl and chop/crush with a mezzaluna chopper until they reach a chunky puree (alternatively: food processor).
– Add salt and pepper to taste and let the hummus chill covered for a bit.
– Saute the remaining chickpeas in a few tablespoons olive oil with the mushrooms and harissa until suitably delicious smelling.
– Serve the mushroom/chickpea mixture hot over the chilled hummus.

Falafel (balls)

* 4 cups chickpeas
* 4 large handfuls parsley, finely chopped
* 3 large handfuls cilantro, finely chopped
* 8 cloves garlic
* 1 finely diced shallot
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 teaspoon harissa
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3 heaping tablespoons flour
* Soybean oil for frying

– Crush garlic, shallot, cumin, and harissa in a mortar and pestle.
– Mix together chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, and garlic mixture. Crush/chop into a pasty mixture with a mezzaluna chopper or a food processor.
– Add the baking powder and flour, mix in thoroughly until the mixture is easily formed into cohesive balls. If this doesn’t work you can add a little olive oil to lubricate the works.
– Form small balls with your hands or with a spoon. Fry them in about 3 inches of hot oil in a wok, pan, or deep fryer until brown and delicious looking.

November 20, 2007, 12:03 am
Filed under: Food, Judaism, Rants, Restaurant Reviews

Kosher ethnic restaurants are for me a lens looking in on a a lens looking out. It happens that both the lenses are distorted, mine by my self-imposed distance from Jewish observance and love for good food and theirs’ by their self-imposed distance from other peoples’ food.

I’ve found that such eateries exhibit an intense urge towards menu expansion, towards serving all things ethnic at one establishment no matter what kind of restaurant it is supposed to be. You’ll find supposedly Persian joints serving distinctly Israeli food, Chinese places serving sushi, teriyaki, thai, and korean, and steakhouses serving spring rolls. So when I was brought to Ozu Restaurant with promises of vegan Japanese food and sketchy kosher certification I sincerely hoped that the sketchiness of the cert and the general vegannes would contribute to a more focused menu. Instead I got apparently impeccable kashrut and disturbingly poor cooking over a wide swath of cuisines.

Don’t believe the hype (aka Sarah): Ozu is neither vegetarian nor vegan. Nor is the food any good. What they serve is anything and everything that can’t be called dairy or meat according to Jewish dietary restrictions (the preferred nomenclature is “pareve”). That includes fish and eggs. Ozu also serves anything and everything weird enough to be passed off as Japanese to a kosher client, including Portobello spring rolls (served with spicy marinara sauce!), kabocha gnocchi (served with bland marinara sauce!), and aloo gobi (seriously!). Their menu is also graced with the presence of such true Japanese classics as salmon croquettes served with couscous and a tahini lotus root sandwich.

At Sarah’s insistence we ordered the spring rolls and kabocha gnocchi as appetizers. They were as awful and bland as you might imagine. I later ordered some bland vegetarian soba noodles with mock-pork seitan and “spicy” miso broth. I’ll not delve into my thoughts on mock-food here; suffice it to say that I think it a mockery of food and that pork is much better.

Rule of thumb: chopsticks should remain as far from marinara sauce as possible. It’s just a heuristic dude, but fusion is about as hard with food as it is with nuclei.

Rule of pinky: serve things as advertised. If you tell me your dish is spicy it should be at least a little spicy. If you tell me your gnocchi are made of pumpkin they should taste just a little like pumpkin (and not at all like tepid marinara).

Rule of middle finger: If your job is to make pareve Japanese food and you’re not so talented that you can do much else with traditional Japanese ingredients then I humbly suggest you stick to the recipe. Maybe then I won’t write mean things about your restaurant on my blog.

November 15, 2007, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Food, Rants

I just had some (thanks again Google), and this beer tastes like malted Manischewitz.

World Wide Stout

Stay as far away from Dogfish Head Brewery‘s World Wide Stout as humanly possible.