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Tag Archives: dinner

Red Alert

Oh, well isn’t that fucking fascinating?

I’m talking about my period today, men, so either click here for some masculine relief, or get ready to Purell your eyes. You can’t unread it. I’m giving you ample warning about this. Don’t come crying to me about any lost boyhood innocence—it’s not my fault you ditched the family living class in fifth grade. I’ll wait while you pack up your penis and skedaddle. No, really.

Hold on, let me smell if they’re still here. Nope. I don’t detect any beef, cheese or feet. I think we’re good.

Now that we have this post to ourselves, girls, relax. The discussion of my monthly visitor will not be directed by Dario Argento (which is an amazing reference—just ask the four people that got it), but I didn’t want to give those recently-departed assholes the smug satisfaction of being somewhat right. Whenever a woman is standoffish, men always retreat to the tired “it must be that time of the month.” Even though my eyes roll at that, it’s sadly true of me. I pride myself on being a reasonable woman. I try not to run on, react with or feed into emotion. Yet, every month (like clockwork, go figure), I succumb to what I’ve coined my Blackness. This is when all my ovulatory hormones decide to punish me for going unused, and twist me into a bloated ball of stabby goodness. It lasts for a single, don’t-fuck-with-me day, and serves as the precursor to the main event—I’d call it the red carpet ceremony, but that is the main event.

Here’s a story. Shortly after leaving my ex, I took the clown spawn to Pat & Oscar’s (now O’s American Kitchen) for some comfort food; as I sure as hell wasn’t cooking on this particularly Black evening. All the elements were against me—the stress of being newly single, the fragility of kids adjusting, etc.—and the slightest annoyance was going to switch my factory presets to kill. Alas, the restaurant had changed its menu. My favorite whole-roasted chicken meal was no longer there. But it was there last time. And every time before. And was the reason for going. That poor GED hopeful I took it out on. The things I screamed, the places I said he could shove that new menu. I don’t even remember all the details, I just remember waking up. Several years and some soul-searching later… yeah, I can safely say it was my finest moment.

And, shit, now I just want some Pat & Oscar’s.

Spinach Risotto & Italian Sausage

The only sausage for a week. Zing.

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (more or less)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 Italian sausages

Melt butter with olive oil in medium sauce pan. Add shallot, onion and garlic, cooking until just starting to soften. Stir in rice and saute for 1–2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Add liquid 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed after each addition. The entire cooking process should take 20–30 minutes. When rice is almost cooked through, add spinach, parmesan, basil and salt and pepper (to taste). While rice is cooking, place sausages in a frying pan, top with 1 cup water, cover and simmer until all the water has evaporated. Continue browning for a few minutes stirring occasionally. Serve risotto topped with sliced sausage.

What prompted such a crass topic? My nine-year-old is developing early, and while The Talk is still a few years away, her hormones are starting to communicate with mine. As such, she gets to share momma’s Blackness and become every bit the rainbow of kitten-giggling sunshine I do. The boys in this house better play nice, lest we clip them at the tip with a broken ashtray. True fact.

TWTG says, “I’m a well-educated drunk.”

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Swim Meat

Tee-hee

Sorry, meatheads, muscles don’t do much for me. I much prefer the swimmer look—svelte and willowy. In fact, one of the reasons I drank from my marital carton so long after its expiration date was my surfer ex being so easy on the eyes. In high school, I volunteered as a timer for the swim team. This required me to be perched within coughing distance of a near-naked boy, with only two layers of of Speedo goodness (as a single layer was deemed too transparent) between my stopwatch and a misdemeanor.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I primarily watch the Olympics for its swimming events. And being… well, moi, let me ask a very immature question: Is endowment proportional to hydrodynamics? That is, does the size of the anchor dictate the speed of the boat? Get what I’m asking? Yes or no, is it harder to swim with a big wiener? Don’t point and laugh just yet. Consider the evidence. Swimmers shave their body for less drag, right? So, if something as insignificant as a hair follicle can hinder performance, what happens when they’re putting up Liam Neeson numbers? (In case that went over your head, Liam is said to have a Neeson so massive, they were originally going to call the movie Schindler’s Lift.)

The Force is strong with this one

Does this mean that, in addition to having a brow pronounced enough to make the cover of Cro-Magnon Weekly, Michael Phelps got cheated downstairs, as well? Maybe I’m looking at it backwards—maybe an exceptional husband bulge functions as a sort of rudder. But that wouldn’t explain why only three African American men have ever made our Olympic swim team. Of course, this entire line of questioning is moot now that the Olympics mandates full-body swimsuits. How am I supposed to ocularly rape my aquatic Chippendale dancers with all that polyurethane in the way?

My mind wanders.

Tomato Cobbler

Tastes like pizza

  • 2 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

This is a twist on an old family cobbler recipe. I took out the sugar and made it savory. Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine tomatoes, balsamic, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (I used quite a bit of pepper). Set aside. In a square (9×9) baking dish, melt butter. Mix flour, parmesan, baking powder and milk. Spoon batter over melted butter. Add tomato mixture on top of batter and bake for 30 minutes or until crust has browned. The crust will rise to the top during baking. I’m quite impressed with this one, as it’s true to the mission statement behind my little blog. I had very little food in the house tonight, and am broke until payday, but still managed to save the culinary day. I’m awesome.

In keeping with my rule of a man’s name euphemizing his penis: Liam’s Neeson is so big, it’s like a baby arm holding another baby arm. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it’s pen pals with Liam Neeson. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it gets more than 140 characters on Twitter. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it slaps God mid-cartwheel. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it gets claimed as a dependent. Liam’s Neeson is so big, the Kraken releases it. I could do this forever. And want to.

TWTG says, “I can’t work with my hands all gooey. You know how it is.”

Labia Is A Funny Word

See? Titillating sans tits.

I really do mean this as a gentle reminder, even though I sound like an asshole no matter how I reword it: The White Trash Gourmet is rated PG-13 (or 12A for my UK following). This means I only drop one F-Bomb per post, film my nudity from the back and keep most of my killings offscreen. Make no mistake, I’m not trying to run a classy joint here, nor preserve whatever dignity I think I secrete (not with these farts), I just think vulgarity is too easy. When I did my knockers for the troops bit, I made sure to keep it boobalicious without letting it delve into nippletastic.

In other words, I firmly believe in “less is more” and “everything but.” Spielberg’s got my back on this, so don’t fuck with me. When he was offered Jaws so many years ago, he agreed to direct on the condition that the shark not be shown during the first hour of film. By letting our imaginations fill in the blanks, the creature became many more times impressive than whatever grey, rubbery turd his effects team could build. Similarly, whereas porn uses a sledgehammer to entice, burlesque uses a scalpel—as the latter knows an implied labia is much sexier than a labia-labia.

And this type of teasing is exactly what I want from the community my blog generates. I adore my loyal subjects (all three hundred of you), so please don’t make me moderate your comments, or outright block you from enjoying my wares. Whatever you do with my pictures is between you and Jesus—I don’t need it narrated to me. I’m not speaking about any one incident, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. Yes, I bring this crap on myself. I mean, look at that chick up there. She must be asking for it, huh? No, stupid men. Sit politely at the dinner table, keep your hands where I can see them and stop playing footsie with your penis.

Even Quinoa’s Better Dressed

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350˚. Rinse quinoa and add to a sauce pan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until opaque. Add olives, tomatoes and basil to a food processor and chop until a paste is formed. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Press into glass baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned. This is a great side dish for just about anything done on the grill, plus it’s gluten free and vegetarian.  

Labia. Heh.

TWTG says, “Why is that sun so fucking bright!?”

Comic Relief

Everyone I follow on Twitter is at Comic-Con today, and their tweets—about the outs I won’t be able to geek—are like tiny lightsabers piercing my fat nerd-heart. Officially, money and time are the reasons behind my absence there, but perhaps something more sinister is at work. The following is an actual (slightly paraphrased) transcript from my relationship:

The only fictitious part is the idea of Russell wearing shorts. I can’t thank my cohort enough, however, for putting this comic together. He really went above and beyond, and finally reveled himself to be good for something.

BBQ Pork Chops

  • pork chops
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup lemon vincotto vinegar

Liberally season pork chops with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Set aside for 15–20 minutes. Pour vinegar over chops and let them marinate for about 10 minutes. Grill on barbeque, basting with vinegar until done. For thin bone-in chops, I grill for about 7 minutes per side.

Not that anyone asked, but monsieur Bourdain is among my Five—that is, the five celebrities I’m allowed to fool around with, irrespective of my relationship status. Witty, handsome, tall (for a Frenchman), anti-vegan and has multiple, spongeable foodie careers? Russell’s right to keep my anatomy in check, especially since Comic-Con is the perfect venue to accidentally violate him. I mean, I was just some Cthulhu he bumped into in the bathroom, right? The room was tiny, I couldn’t see through the eyeholes and when we tripped, I had no control over what/where on him my tentacles perforated. Based on the strength of their porn, the Japanese must think this is the best idea in the history of ever.

TWTG says, “My hands smell like cleaning supplies and onion.”

The Science Of Vegans And Clowns

Apt.

Have you ever heard of the Uncanny Valley? (Yes, I’m a one-woman dictionary this week. I’m also a one-woman USO, so I know you’ll forgive me. Rawr.) It’s a hypothesis stating that when something embodies human characteristics, but isn’t perfectly human in appearance or behavior, it elicits a feeling of revulsion from us. This is why the sight of clowns is unsettling (apologies to Le Clown), as is zombies, mannequins, anthropomorphic robots, terminally ill patients, Kirsten Dunst and china dolls.

We intrinsically reject whatever is only spiritually like us, and I think that’s (part of) why vegans are so offensive to me. Your dietary standards are so close to my own, then you have to go and fuck up that last dairy bit. Organic? Absolutely. Preservative free? Let’s do this. Gelato…? Now you’re an asshole. Maybe this comparison in unfair. The Uncanny Valley deals primarily with physical features,  so I’ll try to address it on those terms. Vegans, that smug, superior grin across your skeletal, hipster face might suggest a smile, but it doesn’t quite mean what smiles should: unconditional joy. Stop scaring the children.

As for vegetarians… I got no beef with you (har har). I’ll just point out, however, that unless your produce was certifiably grown in the hydroponically-friendly yurt of Rivers P. Greasybeard, its procurance spared the lives of no animals. Between insects, rodents, lagomorphs, birds and any other creature shelved into the psychologically-placating category of “pest,” more lives are taken in the harvesting of crops than the culling of livestock. But, hey, you dig my stinky cheeses, so you at least qualify as real.

Fakon (or vacon) isn’t bacon no matter how much you make your tongue squint. I fed our new kitty some fakon; she coughed up grey stuff and started listening to Enya. Then I fed her some bacon, and now we own a lion. I renamed her Mufasa. Because she’s James Earl Jones. She’s Darth Fucking Vader. Keep being awesome, my little meatatarian.

Veggie Meat Sticks

Even veggies love bacon.

  • baby bok choy
  • japanese eggplant
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • sliced bacon

I didn’t include amounts because you can make as many skewers as you wish. Slice the bok choy in half. Cut eggplant into 1–2 inch thick slices. Run a skewer through a slice of bacon, then add a veggie, take the bacon over the top (like you are weaving), add another veggie, etc., until you end up with a skewer full of veggies interspersed with meat. Season with salt and pepper, and grill on barbecue until bacon is cooked.

Inspiration for this post came from my BVF (best vegan friend), Ami. At a recent shindig, she told me that while she enjoyed my blog, she thought we had been too hard on her meatless contemporaries. Rereading some of my latest entries, I actually haven’t gone for their throat in months. That means there was a quota of delicious neck meat to fill, and today’s finger-pointing tasted good.

TWTG says, “It was all vegibacontarian!”

I Guess I’m A Ruminator Now

I’m trying to think. Fuck off.

Do you know what it is to ruminate? It’s either the Engrish for a Japanese guy turning on the lights, or it’s what it actually means: to ponder deeply. (It also means to chew cud, which is appropriate, given how lost cows get in their cow-thoughts: I’m food, I’m food, I’m food, I’m food…) Those with anxiety ponder the minutiae of their daily concerns until they stack. For example, if it’s cloudy outside, will it be cold? Should I take a sweater? Do I have a clean sweater? Do I need to do laundry? Do I have time to do laundry? Do I have soap to do laundry? Do I need to go to the store to get the soap I need to do laundry? But what if it’s too cold to go to the store, what with all the clouds and me without a sweater?

Ruminators, like yours truly, do this more retroactively. We don’t dwell on what if as much as why didn’t I. This is usually spurred by guilt—which means, for me, is usually spurred by my children. Whenever I don’t feel as though I’ve mommed well enough, I immediately regress into my inner bulletin board, carefully reviewing the pushpins of personal decisions as well as the yarn of continuity binding them together. (This will be my most hackneyed analogy, I promise.) Why didn’t I back out of my marriage while is was merely bad? Why didn’t I go to grad school like I planned? Why didn’t I try to support myself sooner? Why didn’t I stand up for myself instead of always apologizing? And so on.

To be clear, I’m not talking about regret. Regret is an emotional sting; rumination convinces you there’s an answer. Somewhere in my meandering bullshit is a straight line—a linear path that will serendipitously explain why my life has arrived at this point, and why people behave as they sometimes do. Perhaps it’s my hopeful nature, as I seem to have a hard time rationalizing shit and it’s unwavering tendency to happen. It makes more sense for me to believe nothing is random… but that’s not true, is it? Sometimes, despite our strongest efforts, people (even the ones we love) can just be assholes.

Perfect (even if I’m not) Steak

The ruins of rumination.

  • New York steaks 
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • garlic powder
  • oregano

Liberally season steaks with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Grill to desired doneness (medium-rare is desired, dummy). Let steaks rest at least 5 minutes before serving. We had ours with the world’s best baked potatoes (rub russets with olive oil and salt, bake at 350˚ for about an hour) and steamed broccoli. I’m full. I’m happier.

Yes, this post was the result of Something Happening to me. I won’t go into what, as it’s still unresolved and very private. Let’s just say I spent the weekend paging through my unwritten autobiography, looking for answers. It was in this search that I discovered the concept of rumination, and it provided the explanation I needed to find at the exact moment I needed to find it. My vivre might not have the joie I would prefer, but I think I’m in a better place to be gentler with myself. I promise to bring the funny (and sexy, you have no idea) next post. For now… vegans suck? Okay.

TWTG says, “Yeah, but I didn’t go through it with a mom-toothed comb.”

Confusion Cuisine

The epitome of fusion cuisine.

I’ve grown very tired of the phrase “fusion cuisine.” Restaurants like to smear it over their mission statement like they’re getting away with something—as though a culture is married to its traditions, and integrating them with another’s is infidelity. Now that technology has made distance entirely practical, can any flavor still be deemed exotic? There’s no modern equivalent of the conquistador returning with culinary treasures from a foreign land; there’s just the spicy shit you ordered on Cost Plus World Market’s website from the assholes two countries over.

Fusion cuisine is also nothing new. When I discovered Persian food a week ago, its overall flavor eluded me. Not because it pinged outside my salivary radar, but because it was something my mouth already knew. It was neither as light as Greek nor as spicy as Indian, yet clearly inspired by both. Looking at a globe, I quickly figured out why: Iran is the median point of the two regions (it’s almost like it’s in the middle of the East, go figure), and any trading between them would’ve crossbred there—like divorced parents meeting halfway to swap kids.

The same thing is being practiced today, but we call our pack mules planes and anywhere can become the median point with the click of that thing in your hand. Unless you’re on a MacBook Air with its fancy Multi-Touch trackpad… in which case, aren’t you fucking special? Buy me one.

Generic Stir Fry with Shrimp

Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these.

  • 3/4 lb shrimp
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 2 Japanese eggplant
  • 8–10 shiitake mushrooms
  • 7 oz package enoki mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp plum sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Clean and devein shrimp. Mix soy sauce, plum sauce, ginger, 1 tsp minced garlic, Sriracha and sesame oil, then pour over shrimp to marinate. Chop veggies (except shallot) into similar size pieces. Heat wok over medium high heat. Add oil, 1 tsp garlic and shallot. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then add eggplant and bok choy. When they are almost cooked, add mushrooms and cook until done. Remove veggies from wok and add shrimp and marinade. Stir fry for about 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through. Add veggies back in, stir to incorporate and remove from heat. Serve with rice.

Fusion cuisine is little more than novel puffery—a twisting of words to sell an idea for more than its factory direct value. “All natural” is another good example of this. Whether your green fingers are picking raw corn fresh from the stalk, or they’re sanitizing the pesticides from a genetically modified, chemically treated, pasteurized husk, everything is the result of what was universally available to happen. Dress it up with pretty language all you’d like, but until the final boss is summoned, and its nine black mouths tear into its own flesh like the Ouroboros, irrigating our farmlands with the unholy blood of Red Dye No. 666, I promise everything you put into your body is all natural in the most literal sense. And, yes, all natural fusion cuisine is double stupid.

TWTG says, “I can do things with bagels that don’t require cream cheese.”