I know a lot of people tell me they don’t like coleslaw and some people just say they don’t care for it. These same people seem to devour this stuff every time I make it. It’s not hard and it takes two seconds. It can be turn into a salad, a topping for sandwiches or the side dish of a meal.
- 1 Cabbage, shredded fine (I suggest half red caggage and half of any green cabbage, including napa)
- 1 Onion, sliced fine
- Carrot, sliced fine
- 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or juice of one lemon
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons of (soy free) veganaise
Combine all the ingredients and serve. How easy is that? I use soy free veganaise for this dish, but you can use any mayo product you please. :)
This is a basic recipe, so there is room to alter it. Add chopped up cilantro, finely chopped or grated ginger, a squeeze of lime, cashews, some tangerine pieces and some chopped sweet peppers and you have a tasty salad. How about a dash of curry powder and raisins? There are a million ways to take the flavor of this dish further.
I’m not a super-bowl-guy, but I watched the game this weekend with a couple of people… GREAT GAME! I thought SF was going to get spanked, but I was wrong… They lost, but they came back strong.
Game aside, you can’t watch the Super Bowl without snacks and I wasn’t prepared to make game food. So… At the last minute, I opted to make vegan nachos with whatever was laying around.
I made a decent portion of nachos for about 3 - 4 people… By the end of the game there was just one spoon-sized portion left. Delicious. Easy. Healthy. Guilt Free. What more do you want? — Oh… It’s sexy too.
You can follow my recipe for basic spicy black beans here, but here is what I made on game night.
- 1 can of organic black beans (I highly recommend soaking your own beans. I didn’t have time to soak anything, so I had to use a can.. not a fan of canned food…)
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced fine
- 1 clove of garlic chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 pinch or two of ancho or chipotle chili powder (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons of salt (to taste)
If you’re using canned beans, open the can, drain the liquid (but don’t spill the beans) and rinse the beans until the water runs clear.
Place the coconut oil in a small pot on medium until the oil is hot. Add the onions and stir for about 2 minutes or so. Add the garlic and japaleno and stir for about 2 minutes more. Add the salt, chili powder and cumin and combine well. Add the beans. Turn the fire down a bit and let the beans cook until hot, no more. If you want to add an interesting flavor, add a splash of port and simmer off the alcohol.
Finally, you’re going to want to make this cheese spread. It’s good on any and every thing you can think of… salads, sandwiches, vegetables, fingers… great as a dip or a spread… easy to manipulate the flavor… You won’t regret making this stuff… and it’s guilt free! I recommend making this in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix or a Blendtec. You can try to make this in a food processor, but I never have.
- About two cups of soaked cashews (for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight)
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 or 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- 1 cup of water
Add the cashews, garlic, vinegar, nutritional yeast and about 1/2 a cup of water to a blender. Blend until smooth (or ever so slightly course… almost smooth).
You can easily manipulate the flavor of this spread by adding more or less vinegar or yeast… or garlic… You can add sun dried tomatoes, herbs and many other items for flavor. It tastes great!
Place chips on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven set to 350. Bake for 5 - 10 minutes. I like my chips warm/hot when I serve them. Remove the chips and put the bean mixture on top. Add the cheese mixture on top of that follow by the guacamole. You could stop here and serve, or you could add this spicy salsa…Someone in my crew was allergic to tomatoes, sooooooo… No salsa for me… but it would have been so good!
Grab a good porter and you’re set.
sh[censored]t dish was soooooooo good.
Please… no fart jokes. My beans will never give you gas. Why? Well I follow “fart-free” method and soak my own beans. If you use canned beans you might want to rinse them well before using them. I recommend you buy dried organic beans and soak them. Yeah… Its a little effort, I know. But… Good food is all about the best ingredients. You deserve to give yourself the best.
There is a lot of debate about how to cook beans. I’m no expert. I usually boil my beans bland and unsalted. Salt can add time to the cooking process. Soaked black beans will cook in about 60 - 90 minutes in unsalted water. Your water can be seasoned, but not salted. When the beans are tender, they get drained and transfered to a pot of goodness (cumin, onions, jalapeños, seranos, etc.) where they are salted and sauteed. Other people have told me they cook their soaked beans in salted water with all the goodness. I’ve tested this in my kitchen and it’s true. The beans in the salted liquid took a lot longer to cook… Either way, your beans will be bomb without giving people the bomb.
Boiling the beans…
2 cups black beans, soaked and rinsed (about 2/3 cups of dried beans… this will yield about 2 cups of soaked beans)
3 - 4 cups of water or unsalted broth
Optional: Celery, garlic, onions
Friends that like to flirt with cooked beans…
1 onions, chopped
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 or 1 jalapeños, chopped
1/2 or 1 serano pepper, chopped
1 - 2 tablespoons of cilantro
1 - 1.5 tablespoons of cumin
2 - 3 teaspoons of salt
1/2 - 1 tablespoon of chili powder (optional)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Squeeze of lime or lemon juice
Place the beans in a pot of WATER and bring to a boil. There should be enough water in the pot to cover the beans…about a half an inch above the beans… Once the pot is boiling bring it down to a simmer and cook covered for about an hour. Be sure to skim any foam or froth that may have developed.
If you didn’t cut those veggies above, you could while the beans are cooking. After the beans have cooked for about 55 minutes, you should add the olive or coconut oil to a separate pot along with all of the chopped veggies on medium or medium-low. You could wait until the beans are done and use the same pot if you like.
You’ll want to sauté the vegetables for a 2 -4 minutes and add the cumin, salt and chili powder (optional). Stir and set to simmer.
At this point, your beans should be done. Drain the beans, but reserve the bean water if you want your beans to be saucy. Add the drained beans to the spiced onion-garlic-pepper-cumin mixture and simmer until the flavors have mingled… about 10 minutes. If you want your beans saucy, add the desired amount of reserved bean liquid. Be sure to taste this as you go. You might need to add more salt, cumin and/or chili powder.
Great with chips, rice… makes a super simple black bean soup… And it’s quite cheap!
I love salsa. Spicy salsa. It’s so damn good. Making food at home can be quick, cheap, delicious and healthy. Here is my basic spicy salsa for when I have company and need something simple everyone can enjoy.
Note, this salsa is spicy for most people. If you would like it less spicy, remove the seeds and veins from the peppers as shown here. If you want it SPICIER add more peppers to taste. If you want it very spicy and with a bit of flare, add one finely chopped habanero (with or without seeds is up to you). I chop everything by hand because I enjoy it, but you can process everything in your home chopper or food processor.
BASIC SPICY SALSA
1 - 2 large tomatoes or 3 - 4 roma tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1/2 or 1 jalapeño, chopped fine
1/2 or 1 serano, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped fine
Lime or Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed is best)
If you’re in a rush combine all the ingredients well and serve. Otherwise, you can let the peppers and onions sit the lime juice for a while. This may reduce the heat. Or… you could combine all the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for a while. It’s marinate and come out quite tasty!
There are many ways to hook up a basic salsa. You could add some fruit (mango, pineapple) or perhaps fruit and spice (ginger + asian pear). The possibilities are endless.
This is easy to make and goes with so many dishes.
1 - 2 Avocados, cubed
1/ 2 Onion chopped
1/2 or 1 Jalapeño, chopped
1 Serano (optional), chopped
1 Tablespoon of cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & Pepper to taste
Drip of olive oil (optional)
Combine all and serve. However, you could let it sit in the fridge for a bit and let the flavors mingle. You could also add in some chopped tomatoes too :).
With that said… You can handle your hot peppers any way you like. Chop the whole thing, seeds and all, if you’re into heat (I know I am)… or remove the seeds, etc., if you need things to be more mild. You can chop the peppers first and have them sit in the lime juice for a while… This seems to remove some heat.
If you don’t want it spicy, simply remove the peppers… though they do add a nice flavor.
NOTE: MENU UPDATED 12/26
*—> Can someone please bring ice? Call/text me. :)
Pepper pot is still available and I think I should be able to feed everyone, but I don’t think I’ll be able to give anyone a second helping. If you read the stories about pepper pot and you want me to keep it going, bring me meat. I can keep this thing going allllllllll year… I’m serious. Otherwise, I’ll make it again during the next special occasion.
Tentative time: 5:00pm…
Boxing Day (day after Christmas) Dinner
Tentative time: 7:00pm… (No parking issues)
Thank you for joining my family and I during this time of year. Many have asked me what they should bring. This time of year is about giving. I simply request you come and share some of yourself with everyone. Enjoy each others company over, what I hope will be, a decent meal.
About this “menu” …
This time we hit the islands and go a tad bit global.
I didn’t hear back from many of my vegan/vegetarian friends… Nevertheless, I will include some vegan options b/c they’re delicious and healthy, in comparison to the other items being served (which I hope will be delicous). While thinking about what to serve and what not serve I’ve come to the realization that I know nothing. I have much to learn…
Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon (Xmas only)
Farmers market fresh apple juice simmered with a few cinnamon sticks… Served hot.
Iced Hibiscus-Ginger-Mint Tea Lemonade (Xmas & Boxing Day)
Ginger, mint and hibiscus steeped to make a tea with lemon or lime juice and some sweetener (agave, honey or whatever). The recipe can be found here. This time the tea/lemonade will be sweetened in whole or in part with the simple syrup used to make the candied lemon peel and ginger below.
Candied Meyer Lemon Rind & Ginger
The rind of a couple of meyer lemons and some thinly sliced ginger soaked in a simple syrup. I believe these are to be baked… I’ll chop them fine to be used to garnish the berry mousse dish. At present, the syrups tastes like sweet meyer lemons with a hint of ginger. This will soak until Christmas morning. :) Ho! Ho! Hooooo!
Duck breast cured in kosher and hickory smoked salt wrapped in various spices (A hint of cumin, peppercorns, etc.), diced and cooked until crisp. According to my mother, an uncooked slice tastes like ham. However, all you pork haters should have no fear… It’s just duck. I don’t care for the taste of it as is and its hard for me to slice it paper thin.. SO —- It will be diced, cooked until crisp and used in salad and soup (if desired). I love the taste of this cooked. It makes a bomb omelette.
Duck “Prosciutto” wrapped veggies…
If I can slice this thin enough… and if I have I have a veggie to wrap, I’ll hook this up. Don’t hold your breath.
The Simple Lentil Salad [Vegan]
Lentils tossed in lime juice and olive oil with red & semi-pickled jalapenos, serrano chilies, red onion, apple cider vinegar, and a tad bit a parsley. I’m sure a bit of crisp duck “prosciutto” would be good on this (for all the non-vegans).
Arugula - Kale Dream [Vegetarian] (Boxing Day only)
A wonderful and simple salad that consists of kale, arugula, shallots, pan fried breadcrumbs, a simple lemon dressing and feta. If the creator(s) of this tasty dish doesn’t show up, I’ll make a different salad [vegan] (and it won’t take me an hour! <—- inside joke).
Lentil Soup [Vegan]
A slight Caribbean take on a simple winter soup. Lentils, carrots, potatoes/yams, pumpkin/squash, dumplings (laaawwd-a-murrceee) in a broth with a kick :)
Roasted winter veggies [Vegan]
Butternut squash, acorn squash, a unknown squash, sweet potatoes, purple yams, onions, herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt
Served sauteed in oil.. Served naked (alone) or with avocado, green onions or chives, lemon juice and a hint of honey.
Rice and Peas [Vegan]
A Jamaican way of making rice. Rice cooked in coconut milk with a bit of coconut, peas, thyme and other spices.
Pepper Pot (Special thanks to Dorothy and her family for the Cassareep, etc.)
This is a Guyanese dish made with cassareep, an Amerindian thick molasses-like substance made from cassava, meat (usually pork and beef, but mine is pork free) and spices. I highly recommend you check the links, as the history of cassareep and pepperpot are quite interesting. According to Pepper Pot myth, some have been serving/eating pots of the dish cooking/stewing for many years, up to a century… Yes… The same pot has been stewing for a century. My Guyanese family makes this and I fell in love at first bite. The flavor was unique and addictive. This is my first attempt at such a dish… In the wee hours of Thursday morning it was flavorless. Tonight (Friday night), it has flavor. I’m hoping it gets better each day :). I would like to make it a bit more spicy, but I know some people don’t like too much heat. I’ll keep it
A stew made with (hormone/antibiotic/pesticide free, plant fed) beef, cassareep, thyme, peppers, cinnamon and other spices (it’s a secret… lol).
Caribbean fruit cake [Vegan? Def’ Vegetarian]
A rich and dark cake with raisin, currants and prunes soaked in rum and/or port. This is not your average fruit cake. And… NO! It doesn’t have those weird green things in it! For some, it’s so rich, a thin slice is all you need.
(Blue?)Berry tart (Vegan)
pie tart. You wouldn’t believe it was good if I listed the ingredients. If I don’t make the tart, we will have berry mousse instead.
Morrocan-ishTea? (There might only be enough of this for one dinner)
Mint and green/white tea with honey. Yum.
Roobios-Spice tea or Roobios and Chamomile tea
If we run out of the mint tea, I’ll make a blend of some sort.
Wine: San Antonio Winery wine and port donated to the event by my parents (thank you for this and everything else, since my conception).
Pepper Pot Port sauce
Based on the flavor of the dish, I think a nice port sauce would go well. I’d like to try to make this if I can. I will probably make this spicy!
Coconut milk & Butternut squash soup [Vegan]
I’d love to list some ingredients, but I don’t know what I’m putting in there yet. Coconut milk… possibly cooked thai style with galangal, lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger… or maybe a light curry of sorts (since we’re doing this Caribbean thing) with red peppers, ginger perhaps some cilantro, potatoes… peas? Hmm.
Bulgar soaked in lemon juice and water tossed in parsley and olive oil. Very simple. Very tasty.
Some dishes may not be available on both nights. I’ll try to ensure everyone gets to try the Pepper Pot. Food and drink may be in limited qualities. If you get here late, you might miss out. Pepper Pot, the most time consuming dish, the lentil salad and the candied items are ready. The wait to eat will be minimal, if at all. If you do not drink or may want something virginal to quench your thirst, please bring something for yourself and others. Otherwise, we have water, iced-tea-lemonade and tea :P . If you’re not coming, please let me know. I’d hate to make tooooo much food for no good reason.
So… Last we left off, the main character was brining some chicken… lol.
Well… I know I said I wouldn’t salt the bird before I put it in the oven, but I was a bit too excited. I little sprinkled the top of the bird with some alderwood smoked salt, thyme and even a premade “Moroccan Beef Rub” spice mixture. I did say I was excited, right?
Here are the results.
The chicken was roasted in the oven for about 50 minutes at 450. The roasting pan I used was a bit odd and I wasn’t sure if the underside of the bird was 100% cook. I turned it over and cooked it for a bit longer… maybe 10 - 15 minutes… I think.
The bird came out looking golden brown. I let it rest for 15 minutes before taste a piece.
My first impression of the skin was:
“Oh… Hmm. MMmm.. This is good!.. Hmm.. Maybe a tab bit too salty.”
My first impression of the meat was:
“Oh wow! This is flavorlful!… Hmmm.. Maybe a tab bit too salty.”
I tried a bit more… not so salty. I don’t know if the issue is the brine or the fact that I salted the bird before roasting. With that said, I recommend the following:
a) The brine recipe should use .5 - .75 cups of salt. I’ll go with 3/4’s cup.
b) You may LIGHTLY salt the bird before yo if you do (A).
Despite the fact that I added jalapeno and habanero peppers to the brine, there was NO kick of any kind. I’m disappointed.
Outside of that, this TASTES GREAT… But, I’ll let my family decide. It’s all for them.
This has nothing to do with the hostel. This is part two of my duck curing experience.
So… I removed the duck from the salt pack. I noticed the salt pack was damp, so moisture was being extracted. Great. The meat felt somewhat firm, but the fat still felt fleshy. I don’t know if this is a good thing. If its a bad thing, I wonder if the smoked salt caused this…?
I’m nervous, but its out of my hands at this point. I rubbed off most of the salt and left a tad bit on. The smoked salt didn’t want to come off.
I didn’t wash or rinse it. I splashed a tiny amount of balsamic vinegar on both sides and rubbed it in, followed by a peppercorn-herb mixture.
Peppercorn Mixture Recipe (From memory)
- About .5 - 1 tablespoons of white peppercorns
- About 3 tablespoons of black/red peppercorns
- .5 tablespoons of chipotle seasoning
- .5 tablespoons of garlic powder
- some thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- a pinch of fenugreek seeds (over zealous here)
I placed all of that in a spice grinder and pulsed it for a while. I wanted it to be somewhat course. We don’t want powder here… I just realized something… We don’t want to eat whole fenugreek seeds either. I should have ground those up first.
I generously applied this mixture to both sides of the duck and wrapped it tightly in a piece of cheesecloth. This lead me to wonder, how much cheesecloth is enough? Should I be able to see the darkness of the duck through the cloth? Should I wrap it until you can no longer see the meat? I did the later. I then tied it with twine and hung it in my fridge.
Wish me luck!
This trilogy of cured duck posts will end next weekend. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: After making and tasting this, I reduced the salt in the brine. Also, the peppers didn’t give it any kick. Sad. Next time, I’ll chop them.
I’ve never used this recipe before. Like most recipes, it’s an altered version of a few brine recipes. It smelled great, but we’ll see how it tastes.
- 2 or 3 lemons (halved)
- 1 bunch of thyme
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 or 3 jalapenos (halved)
- 1 habanero (pierced)
- 32 ounces of low sodium vegetable broth (or homemade broth)
- 3/4 cup of salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of peppercorns
- 1 onion sliced/quartered — whatever
- 1 head of garlic halved
- About 96 ounces of cold water
- salt, pepper and thyme
Wash all the stuff that needs to be washed (parsley, fresh thyme, lemons, peppers, etc). Throw it all in the pot (except the WATER) and simmer until the salt and sugar dissolve. Be sure to squeeze the lemons before adding them to the pot. I let mine simmer for about 20 minutes, but this is NOT necessary. Cool this mixture until its room temperature.
Pour the water and brine into a clean vessel, brining bag or huge zip lock bag and add the chicken. Let this sit in the fridge for about 12 hours.
Remove the chicken. Rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels. Places the dry chicken back in the fridge and let it rest for 24 hours (my chicken might rest for about 12 hours). You might want to have this sit in something like a zip lock bag. I don’t like raw chicken sitting out in the open.
About an hour or so before you intend to cook the bird, remove it from the fridge and let it get to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425 or 450 (I will cook the bird at 450).
Place the chicken on a roasting rack or oven safe saute pan. In theory, this bird doesn’t need any salt added b/c its been sitting in brine. Normally, I would salt and pepper the cavity and sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over the bird. However, I fear this will make it too salty. I will not add any salt this time. Remember, you can always add salt to food that needs it, but you can’t remove salt.
With that said, pepper the cavity of the bird with black pepper. Pepper the top of the bird and sprinkle some fresh thyme. Place the bird in the preheated oven and cook for about 45 - 50 minutes, or until the inner temperature of the bird is 160 degrees. Cooking time with vary depending on the size of your bird. Mine is about 3 pounds.
Let it rest for about 10 - 15 minutes and serve.
In theory, this should taste a bit herby and have a kick! We shall see. I hope my family enjoys this. I’ll have to feed them healthy stuff too. Those recipes are coming.
1. You may want to remove the wishbone from the bird. This will allow you to slice the bird in half when its done… Nice presentation.
2. THINK before you act!!!! You don’t want to contaminate your kitchen with chicken juice. Wash your hands. Try to move your chicken as little as possible. Wash everything that touches the chicken. This includes your hands and surfaces. If your hands have chicken juice on them and you touch the faucet, the faucet now has chicken juice on it. Stay clean. Think ahead.
3. As always, if you’re going to consume meat of any kind, be mindful fo what you buy. Go the extra mile. Find a bird (if you can) with no hormones, drugs or gmo/unnatural feed. Find a bird that actually gets to walk on the earth instead of sitting in a cage full of its own feces. Got to a farm.. Ask questions.. The choice is yours.
Sorry. I’d love to post step by step pictures, but my
old digital camera is acting up and I am without a means to take any pictures.
So… I’m curing a duck breast for the family gathering this holiday. It’s quick and easy, but does require some time in the fridge. I’ve heard “flavored” salts will not alter the end product, but I thought I’d test this claim. I’m using hickory smoked salt from Hepp, which is local in southern California. If you want these salts and you’re on a budget, msg me. I think I might know a place where you can buy the same stuff for less. You don’t need flavored salt. You can use two cups of kosher salt and call it a day.
- 1 duck breast
- 1 cup hickory smoked salt (with a tad bit of habanero and chipotle salt added b/c it was there)
- cup kosher salt (maybe a little extra on the side just in case)
- One clean container that will hold the breast and salt
Phase 2 (24 hours later)
- 1 piece of cheese cloth
- Some kitchen twine
- Herb mixture to rub on the duck (tbd <— I’ll update this tonight)
I’m using this Pyrex container b/c it will comfortably hold the breast and the salt. The breast will fit in the middle of the container without touching the sides.
Place some of the kosher salt in the bottom of the vessel, just to cover the bottom.
Mix the salts well and place about half of the salt mixture in the vessel.
Wash the duck well. Pat dry with a paper towel. You may want to remove the tenderloin. Its that piece of duck meat that looks like a flap of meat. It may look like its coming off. You can slice this off or pull it off. You may want to trim any excess fat and remove the “silver” skin, but this is not required.
Place the duck breast in the vessel and pour the remaining salt on top of the duck. The goal is to pack the duck in salt. If your vessel is too big and you need more salt, add more salt.
Cover the vessel in plastic wrap (or a lid) and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
The next day, remove the duck from the vessel and brush off the excess salt. Rub generous amounts of the herb/spice mixture on the duck. This could be anything (peppercorns, rosemary, ground white pepper, a splash of port, etc.). Wrap the duck in a cheese cloth and tie it with twine. The duck will shrink. You want to wrap it tightly, but you don’t want to strangle it. in addition, you may want to tie the twine around the breast a few times.
Hand the duck in your fridge for 7 - 10 days. Unwrap. Slice thin. Eat.
Tonight is the night I remove my duck from the salt. I’ll update this post and let you know what I rubbed it with.
UPDATE: See part 2 here!
Coconut Milk & Lemongrass Soup
(a tom kha ga of a sort, sans chicken for me)
NOTE: I’m making this on Friday night (I think). I’m giving my first cooking lesson to a friend. I’ll take pictures and update this post.
I love this soup. Its so simple, but so good. I ended up letting the broth steep with the herbs for some time, though this was never intended. I thought it was quite smooth and flavorful. But… I didn’t write it down. Here is what I remember.
This recipe calls for 1 part broth to 1.5 parts coconut milk and some herbs in a pot. It’s that simple. You steep. You strain. So serve with some vegetables. In fact, if you’re trying to find a way to eat more vegetables, I think this is a good start. Though not quit raw, its an easy and tasty way to consume a plethora of veggies in a tasty broth. You could shred some cabbage, kale and other vegetables. Place them in your soup bowl and pour the broth on top.
Now if they would just sell coconut milk in something other than a can.
But… I digress. Lemongrass is rather hard and might be hard to chop with a knife. If you don’t have a food processor, one way to quickly cut the lemongrass is to freeze it first. It’s easier to slice that way, but I feel as though it loses something when you do that. Maybe I’m wrong. The choice is yours.
You can find all of this stuff at your local Thai grocery store/market.
[So… I would double this recipe, but I’m the type to make a lot of broth. The recipe makes about 4 - 5 bowls. I was able to feed about 12=14 people small bowls of soup when I doubled the recipe.]
1 cup of vegetable broth (or chicken broth). Homemade is always best.
1.5 cups of coconut milk
3 - 4 Lemongrass stalks washed well and chopped into rings
1 - 1.5 inch piece of galangal sliced fine
3 - 4 thai bird chillies ripped/torn (if you like very scipy food, chop them up seeds and all)
4 - 5 lime leaves, torn
1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine or grated
.5 - 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Salt to taste at the end
1 - 2 cups of mushrooms. I think I used these simple white button mushrooms, but I think I should use better quality mushrooms in the future. You can use them whole, but I like mine sliced thin.
1/2 - 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
Boy Choy chopped into fine slivers (I think I used two bok choy stalks)
Bean Sprouts (maybe 2 cups)
1 shallot chopped fine
1 cup finely sliced kale (into strips)
1 green onions stalk, chopped into fine rings or slivers
Perhaps one red pepper sliced into thin strips
Perhaps slices of lime for squeezing
— Seafood (shrimp, etc.)
— Turkey (shredded turkey leg meat + a 1 inch x 3 inch piece of turkey breast per bowl) & thick mushrooms.
— More vegetables
Place the broth in a pot with all of the herbs, peppers, etc., but do not add the coconut milk. I bring my broth to something close to boiling (a gentle bubbling, as opposed to a rolling pot of liquid) and then down to a simmer covered. Let this simmer for 30 minutes or so. I then add the coconut milk and simmer for 30 more uncovered. Add the soy sauce and salt to taste. Normally, you would use a good fish sauce, but I was cooking for vegans as well.
[I was so busy cooking, this simmered too long and cooled on the stove before it was strained.]
After straining the soup, I discarded the herbs, etc.
[I refrigerated mine the night before my dinner.]
At this point there are a number of ways you can make the soup.
If you just want vegetables, place the broth back in a pot and add the mushrooms. Simmer until hot enough to serve.
In the meantime… In a bowl, combine all the garnish ingredients and set aside. In theory, it might be nice to squeeze a little lime juice over this. Maybe a quarter or a lime or half. Anyway… Simply combine and toss well.
If your only want vegetables, simply place the garnish in a bowl and pour the hot broth over the top. Enjoy.
If you like seafood, add it to the broth. Place the strained broth in the pot and bring to a boil. Add the desired (cleaned) seafood and cook until done. Cooking time will vary depending on seafood added. This soup goes well with anything (imo), but shrimp is a safe place to start for the non-adventurous. Place the garnish in each bowl and pour the broth and seafood over it. Enjoy. I assume you know something about seafood and will not be placing whole fish in the pot.
[At the dinner I shredded some turkey leg meat and placed that in a pan with the mushrooms and olive oil over medium high heat. I think I cooked this with some kale and splashes of vegetable broth until the mushrooms started to sweat. I then added some of the garnish and quickly removed it from the heat. I placed some of this at the bottom of each bowl bowl. I then topped it with the vegetable garnish. Pour the broth in each bowl and top with the turkey breast slice.]
Optional chili oil would be nice.
The soup should be extremely smooth and creamy with a slight kick that most people can enjoy. In my opinion, this soup is allllll about the broth. The broth is the star here. I’m making this again this Friday. I will alter/correct the recipe as needed.
I have no shame. I tell no lies. Judge me if you will, I don’t care. Life goes on! :) I confess, I have NEVER EVER prepared a turkey in my life. I know nothing about it. Yes, I’ve roasted a chicken and a cornish hen in the past, but never dare battle the great turkey. I thought it was supposed to be complicated. I thought it was supposed to be challenging. I was so wrong! Anyone can make this!!!!
I used the Alton Brown method. I advise you to watch the videos and follow suit. Not only did this method work, but it produced a lovely even golden skinned bird with juicy-buttery meat via very little effort on my part. I support that.
First Up… The Brine:
- 1 gallon of vegetable broth (nothing like your own… but store bought is fine).
- 1 Cup of course salt (2 cups if you use low sodium broth)
- .5 - 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6-8 star anise cloves
- ~ 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- ~ 2 tablespoons of celery seeds
6 bruised cardamon pods
- 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of thyme
- 1 Gallon of water, iced. (One gallon of water with ice added).
Add all of the herbs/seeds and broth to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. I let this simmer covered for about 30 minutes or so… According to Alton, you should allow this to cool overnight in the fridge. I agree, but if you’re pressed for time allow it to cool asap via a chilled bath in the sink, etc..
Second… The bird:
- 1 Turkey, aka bird
- Coconut oil to coast the bird
- aromatics (lemon sliced in half, ginger, apples, herbs, etc.)
The bird should not be frozen. However, if it is frozen you should allow it to bring and thaw for a few days. Consult a turkey profession for such answers.
Remove the stuff from the bird and do with it what you will. Wash your bird. Place your bird in a brine bag or (very sterile) clean bucket. Add the brine. Note, if you need to cool the brine, you can also ice the brine a bit… but not too much. Add the iced water. Let this sit in the fridge overnight… or two nights.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Give your oven time to crank up the heat.
Remove the bird from the brine and wash it well. Pat it dry with a paper towel. As per Alton’s instructions, make your turkey triangle and put it to the side. Coat the bird with a generous portion of coconut oil. Canola oil, aka rapeseed oil, is not good for you and used as a pesticide (along with soy bean oil). Look that up if you want. Anyway… Coat with coconut oil and and place the aromatics in the cavity of the bird. Note, aromatics didn’t make that much of a difference. Place the bird in the preheated oven for an hour.
After an hour has passed, place the turkey triangle on the bird. Put the bird back in the oven and cook at 350 until done. DO NOT BASTE. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Walk away. Stay away. Come back around 1.5 hours. There are many ways to tell if a turkey is done. My turkey cooked for about 1.75 hours at 350 and I couldn’t believe how tasty and juice it was..
I went a bit crazy with the pods and seeds, but you can make the brine any way you want. Rind + juice to give it some hints of sweet citrus. Curry… Soy, ginger and chiles… A plethora of possibilities…
First… I’d like to say thank you to everyone that helped me. Without you, this event would not be possible… It wouldn’t be so great. :) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
…I am (censored) tired!
Be sure to check the what to bring post if you’re wondering what to bring.
(Making blueberry-anise sauce Wednesday night)
FRIDAY NIGHT: 6pm
Popped in coconut oil (not the microwave) and tossed with sea salt and various spices.. You need something to snack on.
Mixed drinks… :)
Gotta wash it down! Virgins will be made for those who do not drink poison.
Baked Stuffed Wontons:
Baked wontons stuffed with plaintains cooked in rum, brown sugar, vanilla and butter with a dollop of goat cheese or strawberries, blueberries and plantains cooked in rum and brown sugar with a dollop of gorgonzola cheese.
Sabrina’s Kale-Arugula Dream
You know… it’s cliche, but so true. The simplest things are the best. This salad is edible proof. A mixture of kale, arugula, shallots, pan fried breadcrumbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. I could eat this everyday! Thanks, Sabrina!
Joys Fried Rice
Joy will be bring some fried rice. More info later… It will be vegan friendly! Thanks, Joy.
5 Hour Duck Tacos:
Duck marinated in an orange-ginger-soy marinade, finished in a five spice glaze. Slowly cooked for 5 hours, until the meat is juicy and the skin is crisp. Placed in a tortilla with some type of slaw, an exotic salsa (perhaps) and a sauce (tbd).
5 Hour Duck Tacos: The Sequel
Duck marinated in a pineapple-jerk marinade. Cooked for 5 hours and glazed with a jerk rub.
So… Someone donated a “last minute” turkey. It’s sitting in a brine infused with a lot of stuff. I might cook this in the morning, prior to dinner. I might not. We’ll see how this goes.
Marinated with lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, white wine and a bit of homemade green curry paste. I’ll throw these in the oven and serve a piece over the soup below.
Coconut Milk Lemongrass Soup
Every so slightly spicy… A broth coconut milk broth infused with lemongrass, galangal, ginger and lime leaves with mushrooms, (maybe) thinly sliced bok choy, red peppers, cilantro and a piece of fish (optional).
Garlic Noodles w/ tomato sauce
Udon noodles (yes, udon) tossed in garlic, basil, arugula (if I have it), olive oil and salt. And… tossed again in a homemade tomato sauce with garlic, herbs, etc.
Ahhh… The only desert I might make. I am tired! Organic (vegan) chocolate, a hint of cinnamon & sea salt blended into a tasty pudding.
Blueberry and 5 star anise sauce, a sweet fruit based hot sauce and some chive oil (that always comes in handy)… Maybe a chipotle sauce…
There will be no sorbet. My freezer is full. There is no room for my ice cream maker.
Food will be limited. PERIOD! Sorry. It be what it be… but, have no fear. I will try to keep cooking if people are hungry. I do reserve the right to stop cooking. Seating is limited. It’s a small space. Be prepared to stand. If you invited strangers and didn’t tell me, don’t get mad if I send them home. I will post items people can bring for those kind souls who want to contribute to the oral experience. For those of you that want to bring wine… please… please… please… Don’t go to Trader Joes, Wholefoods, Vons or Ralphs. Please. It doesn’t matter what your budget is… Go to The Wine Hotel (close to the Grove Mall — google it) and let them know whats on the menu. They will hook you up and everyone will love you (trust me!). You may be dining with plastic forks. I hate it, but I don’t have forks for all of you. Same goes for the plates and “glasses” … maybe. Make sure you have a means to contact me. Don’t EMAIL ME THE DAY OF THE EVENT. Call please :). And… I may be cooking up a storm all night. So, don’t be mad if I don’t get to talk. Music, food, friends (old and new)…. All of my favorite things.
Sigh… because people won’t google stuff:
5800 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90036-2830
Tell them I sent you.