I'm on a roll, so butter me

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RAJAS CON CREMA

This is a recipe I learned at Maria Bonita in Berlin. I certainly didn't expect to learn about Mexican cuisine while in Germany, especially what I am told was pretty authentic. Anyway, I did and I would like to pass on some of these recipes. "Rajas con Crema" means something like "Slivers with Cream." "Raya" or "Ralla" means "stripes" but I seem to remember a certain coworker of mine using that word to refer to lines of cocaine rather indiscreetly. This is a vegetarian dish but but no means a light one.
A short ingredient list: One red Pepper, one green Pepper, one sweet onion, a couple cloves of garlic, A couple chilis (i think these are jalepenos shown), some oil for cooking, some white cheese (cheddar or Monterrey Jack), and a half-pint of cream. These ingredients are all essential but the ratio is really up to you - you may want a spicier dish in which case you can up the chili content or use a hotter variety of chili. You can use yellow bell peppers too but thems shits it expensive.
Ok so cut everything up in to strips as the name suggests, which I guess blogger thinks will be easier for you to understand if this picture is loaded vertically.
Get a medium-sized pan nice and hot, and drop about 2 tablespoons of oil in and let that heat up, and then just throw errythang in the pan. It'll all shrink with cooking time so don't worry too much about contact with the pan. Give it a couple minutes before you season the veggies with salt and pepper, and then cover and reduce the heat to lowish.
A nice way to heat up your tortillas.
Once you get to about here your veggies are nice and soft and have a little bit of that fried flavor and the onion are halfway caramelized and so a little sweet, in this case a cast-iron pan really helps. It's time to add the cream and cheese!
With the heat still pretty low, pour in the half pint of cream, you may want to reserve some in case the mix thickens too much after you add the cheese and you want to thin it back out just a little. I would also suggest grating the cheese before this step so that you can quickly add the cheese before the cream reduces. You want this to be as cheesy as possible without gumming up too much! Once the cream is in, start adding cheese gradually and stirring it in.
Keep stirring the cheese in until it gets like...velveeta thick. And its ready to serve! This dish is tasty but not the prettiest thing to look at, I suggest rolling it up in flour tortillas with refried beans. Try it with some HFCS-free mexican coke (hehe).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chill Brah pt 1

There are some archetypal kitchen personalities that, for the most part I find it an added strain to mesh well with while also trying to get the job done. I say "archetypes" because 8 years into the game I continually am met with the same cast of unsavory drug-addled derelicts or in-your-fuckin-face food enthusiasts that both bring far too much of themselves to the kitchen, testing my penchant for levity and frankly making me an asshole, too. I'm not espousing some "can't we all get along" platitude but Jesus can't we all just shut the fuck up? Who is this new guy I see here with too many hardcore tattoos, whatever that annoying frame of glasses glasses frame, and one of my more hated characteristics in any cook - facial hair. Some huge-ass beard even. Shave dude - communicate your esoteric mojo through your food or do it subtly like Bourdain's weird earing or Collichio's gay soul patch. And I appreciate your enthusiasm for food, rivaled only by the mosh pit foray's of your teen years when you didn't realize drinking ruled. Sorry I didn't watch Iron Chef last night, yes blowing smoke up and ice sculpture is cool but lunch starts in 30 minutes man plus its friday plus government offices get their paychecks today so can we get back to business? After food network banter, it's on to "Oh you have this? At the restaurant I used to work..." or occasionally something more grandiose like, "At my other restaurant when I was Chef...we used to put like.." and then he will describe a whole menu item displaying stunted communication and descriptive ability i.e. "Dude at (such and such restaurant) we used to fuckin...dust that fucking shit in panko and then deep fry the motherfucker and put it on a fuckin baguette with a fuckinnnnnn roasted pepper aioli and carmalized onions and sweet gorgonzola...dude that shit was fuckinnn absurd dude." Excuse me? An absurd sandwich? Are you for real? Uh oh here comes the knife bag...I see you have a full size microplane and that little tiny zester as well. That's a real sweet 200 dollar Japanese knife you have but why the fuck are you julienning onions with the heel? Why are you shouting ticket orders to me when I am standing two feet away from you? Servers get nervous when they hear shouting, like puppies or horses or some smart-ish animal. Well that's alright, I can just go work next to the taciturn hillbilly that went to culinary school after following Widespread Panic around for however long destroying the few brain cells bestowed upon him by his consanguineous parents. He's always good for a laugh. But he can't turn sideways, he is constantly bumping into me, and using my fucking knife! I dare not broach these annoyances with him though for fear that he will spit a SKOAL-flavored loogey into my face instead of the trashcan. God forbid this gentleman should act as liaison to the waitstaff, or become overwhelmed one the line - openly cussin' and a cursin' to high hades!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why I am going to (try to) blog again

When somebody says, "I'm older now," they usually aren't just uttering a phrase that can't ever be false - they are trying to indicate some maturation from the past or articulate a position from which they can better assess some younger version of themselves. Looking back on old C&S, I can say I feel very glad to be older, and am glad that I have this stuff to look back at and laugh, mostly at myself. I can say I feel more able to communicate clearly and I think I have more substantive things to say about more focused topics, a good deal of it being about food and the restaurant industry. I still love rap, but I don't feel comfortable or equipped to talk about it in the blog format. I still get very irritated by the things that some people do, but I will try to avoid needless rants beyond the self-edifying criticisms of shit I just fucking hate. HOPEFULLY I can get episodes of Chopped & Screwed going again. Oh yeah and I'll try to be funny too.

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