Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Worst Dinner

Because we are a food blog, and an equal opportunity one at that (see our vegetarian contributor), I will now tell you about the utter piece of shit that my dinner tonight turned out to be.

It all started with a craving: egg salad. Some of you may already be grossed out, but this is a dish I enjoy about twice a year. So, I had a sour cream based mixture in my fridge (lots of chili powder, lime, garlic salt - this was for fajitas the other night). Boiled up my eggs and cooled them down. Then, chopped up some green onion and red bell pepper. I mixed these things together and hacked off a couple of slices of bread from my garlic loaf.

This was, quite simply, the worst egg salad I have ever had. Thin (blame the sour cream and lime), not so flavorful (not enough salt?), and none of that goodness that the mixture of mayo and egg yolks gives you. Also, I probably failed by adding no mustard. Anyways, this was just a horrible dinner, and if it hadn't've been from the incredible guacamole I had beforehand, tonight would have been a total culinary failure.

I am not really sure what the lesson learned here is; perhaps it is, never make egg salad without mayo. Anyway, I really just want to eat something good to wipe this taste out of my mouth, but the worst part is that I am full and can't think of eating anything else. This sucks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grilled Fish x2

So, I've been cooking lots of fish lately. It's tasty, and Omega 3s are good for you. So, here are a couple of different fish recipes for ya.

Spicy Miso Glazed Salmon
Miso Paste
Sweet Soy (I use Kecap Manis, but any sweet soy would work)

Mix together equal portions of Miso and Sweet Soy, and then thin it out with some boiling water. Stock of some sort would also work, if you had some lying around. Just make sure you're not using anything overly salty, as both Miso and the "sweet" soy have a goodly quantity of sodium. Once you've got this material thinned down to a sauce consistency, add about 1/4 of a portion of Sriracha. Take part of this marinade and brush it on the fish. Meanwhile, go preheat your grill.

Once you're grill gets hot, make sure it's nice and clean, then lube up the grill grate with a little canola oil. I like to make a pad out of an old washcloth and soak it with oil. Then rub the pad vigorously over the grill. Don't stay in one spot too long, or it will catch fire. You'll only make that mistake once.

I cook my fish over medium high -- but, it depends on the thickness of your filets. While the fish cooks brush it with the remaining glaze every minute or so. I cooked my salmon for about 3 minutes per side. Remember, your grill at medium high is probably completely different than yours, so you might need more or less time. I was shooting for the fish to be medium-well @ service, and probably overdid it a little bit. It was still delicious though.

Montreal Tuna
Tuna Steaks -- Ahi
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Sesame Seeds

Yeah, this is a tough one. Rub your tuna steaks with the seasoning and some sesame seeds. Grill over the hottest part of the grill for 45-60 seconds per side for rare.
Serve, Enjoy.

This wasn't so much to add filler as it was to suggest that you try some more beefy flavor combinations with your tuna -- it's pretty stout, and can handle the flavors you'd normally use for steak. Especially when you serve it medium-rare or less.



A while back I had to make some meatball appetizers. You know the ones. Crock pot full of bubbling BBQ Sauce and pre-cooked frozen meatballs. Yeah, you've seen them at parties and probably the occasional reception/buffet. I used store bought BBQ sauce for this, as making my own for some meatballs seems like a waste. Normally, my bbq sauce of choice for a base/home doctoring is plain Kraft bbq sauce. They didn't have this at my local Sam's, so I bought the KC Masterpiece original that was available, as I remembered liking it when I was in college.

I was wrong. Or maybe my tastes have changed. I don't know, but this stuff is way sweet, way thick and not nearly "zesty" enough. I doctored it a little for the meatballs, adding some beef broth, chili powder and Sriracha for some heat. The meatballs turned out ok, everyone seemed to like them, but I was dissatisfied with my sauce. KC Masterpiece got tossed into the fridge and forgotten about.

Last night, after digging up seven Boxwoods in my backyard, I decided we needed BBQ'd pork chops for dinner. Rubbed the chops with some standard BBQ rub and let them marinate for a while. Open the fridge, and cringe when I realize that if I'm going to sauce these chops, I'm going to have to do it with that crappy leftover KC Masterpiece sauce. So, I made some adjustments to the sauce.

As you might have realized, I don't seem to like my BBQ sauce sweet. So, here's what I did to make my bottle of KC Masterpiece a real masterpiece: (someone please shoot me for saying that)
For salt -- probably around 1/4 cup of Soy
For tang -- probably about 2 Tbsp of Worcestershire
For sour -- 2 Tbsp each white vinegar and rice vinegar (I'd have used cider or red wine, but didn't have any)
For heat -- 1-2 Tbsp Sriracha
For flavor -- 1.5 Tbsp of my BBQ Rub

So, what I'm trying to say here is that you don't have to be a slave to the store bought. And even if you are, don't be afraid to add something to make it more "your own". Decide what you think is missing (salt/sweet/sour/spice), and then add something you've got around to punch up the flavor. Little things like using soy instead of salt can really make a difference in flavor. Don't be afraid to make changes, if you screw it up, remember, you really didn't like it that much to begin with.