Cooking-ish

It’s been a stressful few weeks…months… ok maybe year. Lots of work stuff. Lots of home stuff. I try to keep calm. We aren’t dealing with life or death at work, but sometimes we are at home. Sometimes when I am completely overwhelmed I’ll add one more thing to my day – which sounds crazy – but the one more thing is something I love to do.

I’ll make plans with friends during a busy week or run out for a quick dinner with my husband. Sometimes that one thing is just going to sleep, which isn’t bad either. But sometimes I’ll cook.

This past weekend I went home to see my family and celebrate all June and July Birthdays and Father’s Day, we’re efficient like that.

Even though my birthday was in May – I still scored a few gifts… one of my favorites was from my little bitty sister. She did done good.

I’ve been following this food writer all year, watching her videos on Bon App (that’s what the cool kids call it). I know what you’re thinking, an Indian cookbook? Not very original of me – but who said I was original? I like Mindy Kaling too (no I don’t think I look like her, and she doesn’t look like my sister or my cousin either and thank you).

Priya Krishna, the author/cook grew up with a mash-up of Indian/American food. This was very different than how I grew up. We ate food no one recognized, flavors that were nowhere to be found in restaurants – turmeric and okra and daikon. It was the 80s. Even chips and salsa hadn’t taken off yet. Plus I just wanted to be normal. I didn’t want my house smelling of garlic and onion all the time – ironically now this is my favorite part of going home, smelling all the cooking.

What was I talking about? Oh yes, I’m stressed and I need a distraction.

Some things about this book. It’s illustrated by Maria Qamar, a Desi (which means of Indian decent) pop artist out of Canada. She published a book a few years ago called, Trust No Aunty. I found out about her because my daughter loved her (this is the way I find out about a lot of cool stuff). Online she’s also known as @hatecopy. Check her out.

I love getting a new cookbook. I read it like a book book – know what I mean?

I knew the first recipe I’d try right away. It had all my favorite things. Poblanos! Serranos! White beans substituting cheese (damn you lactose)… here’s the recipe

I immediately added cilantro to this mix because… you know… cilantro. I also didn’t have fresh garlic so I used garlic in a tube… which is fresh-ish.

Funny side story – when I checked out at the grocery store with my stuff, the cashier, a nice young dude, said to me,” uhh just so you know, these aren’t jalapeños they are Serrano’s which are way spicer.” I was so impressed! I love people who give a shit. I told him how cool that comment was asked if he liked to cook, he said,” nah there’s just a lot of people who come back yelling that they got the wrong pepper.”

Yelling? About the wrong pepper? There’s so many questions I have for the pepper yeller. How was the wrong pepper choice the store’s fault? Is there really that big a difference? And lastly, ARE YOU INSANE??

Anyway, back to the recipe.

So here’s how it goes…

If you want to do it right, put the oil in first and once heated toast the cumin seeds in it first until fragrant before adding the onions. If you want to be like me… put everything in together while talking on the phone with a friend. Then add coriander and let it get nice and translucent.

  • While the onions get cooked I chopped the Serrano – not attractively but I got the job done.

  • Back to the onions… which got well-done by mistake because I ignored them while hacking away at the peppers.
  • Now…take the beans and mash them up.
  • Once mashed chunky, add the onions, the “fresh” garlic, the Serrano’s, lime and salt.
  • Again… don’t be like me. I sliced the poblanos in half so they looked like green alligators.
  • This is adorable but not the right way to stuff a pepper like this. I should have only cut half of it. Oh well. You live and learn. Except I didn’t learn and cut the others the same way.
    So I shoved the stuffing in and put them on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Here’s all my poblano alligator heads ready to go in.
  • Now go and wash your hands carefully because you’ve touched Serrano’s and poblanos. Wait about 45 min and bam!
  • Lol! Ok. So my peppers weren’t exactly stuffed. It was more like a roasted pepper with a mashed bean cake on the side but it was delicious! More importantly I did something not work for 2 hours of my day.
  • Mission accomplished.
  • ps… this is what they were supposed to look like. I debated posting this and saying I did it but of all the things to lie about, is this what I want to choose? Ofcourse not. Then I’d be no better than those wackos yelling in Shoprite that they were sold the wrong pepper. No thank you. I’ll save my lie for something else, like my weight or the success of my children or something… like a normal person.
  • Worst. Soup. Ever

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    I should have known by the name – All Bean. Like they needed to get rid of all their beans but none were good enough for one type of soup. They dumped all of them into a Vitamix and served it up. It should have read – All Bean No Flavor.
    I usually have such great luck with soup at work. Really. They do a good job. Which is why I always buy a big bowl. It’s filling. It’s usually full of veggies. It’s usually awesome.
    You see all the black specs? That’s 9 packets of pepper. 9! And I won’t even tell you the amount or salt I added. No dice. Still no flavor. The soup sucked.
    As you can tell, I ate most of it anyway. I’m picky like that.
    As I tell my kids, no big deal. It’s not my last meal. I’ll eat again in a couple of hours. I just thought you should know.
    #firstworldproblems

    Aprons are for sissies

    There were some funny moments on turkey day. I want, no I need to share this with you! Are you sick of Thanksgiving posts yet? I promise, last one! Sorry about all the exclamation points! I’m like….excited.

    Last year, in a moment of desperation when carving the turkey, my husband – a holiday Macgyver (too young for this reference?) made a makeshift apron from the only thing he could find. A Glad garbage bag. Now it’s a tradition… or something like that.

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    That picture cracks me up. What’s wrong with that man?
    Here’s my other favorite chuckle that day…my nine year old made place cards for all our guests. Phonetic spelling ruled the day.

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    Welcome Doug. Or Dug.

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    Welcome Ty. Or Tie.
    Hee Hee Hee. I laughed for hours. Seriously. Send help.
    Finally, ever see a line in a kitchen? My lovely sister-in-law was thinking through the perfect piece of turkey when this crowd formed behind her.

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    That’s her in the pretty green top realizing the natives are restless! Bless her heart.

    It’s not your last meal.

    I say this in my house once or 12 times a week. You don’t like dinner? You’ll be fine. Lunch isn’t up your ally? No worries, stick around for a few hours and another meal will appear. Why? Because we live in the first world, because food is over abundant and available 24/7 to us, and mostly because we’re lucky as shit – if you don’t like your food, get over it.

    This past week there was a lot of buzz around a New York Times food review that tore apart a TV Chef owned restaurant in NYC.  The entire article was written in questions. At first, I loved the article. I laughed. I thought it was clever and sarcastic and biting.  And then I reread it a few days ago because it’s been on my mind. I was wrong. I don’t like the article at all. I know it’s a review, I get that. And I’m all for honesty in journalism. But this wasn’t that. This was written by a man-boy who basically had a hissy fit because he didn’t like the food. He scorched the concept, the people, the food, the location – everything. It was an all out teenage tantrum wrapped in sardonic writing, and he seemed very happy with himself.

    I’m not sure why this is bothering me and I’ve never been to the place that was reviewed.  I believe it wasn’t/isn’t great. And I’m sure there were truths to what the writer said in the article. But please, calm down dude, it’s not your last meal.

    Here’s the article I’m talking about.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html