As with most cooks, either amateur or professional, I have my strengths and weaknesses. Actually, I have a lot more weaknesses than strengths. One of my cooking weaknesses was confronted in this dish: the Thai/Asian cuisine. I think I may not be alone in saying that sometimes these dishes are a bit intimidating because most of the ingredients are, well, foreign!
But also, they are delicious. So I’m hoping to double-up my efforts to learn more about Asian-style cuisines in the next year or so. For me this means starting with some of the sauces and ingredients pre-packaged which gives me instant confidence. Then I’m hoping to gradually branch into making my own chili pastes, curries, etc. It’s going to be a slow process, but I think it will pay off.
When tofu won the vote last week, I knew I wanted to make something spicy and with an Asian flare to it. After some searching, and a bit of inspiration from the last foodie fight battle, I settled on a braised eggplant and tofu dish. It really hit the spot!
This is a spicy bowl of food.
This dish may look calm, but let me tell you it is far from calm. There’s a lot of spice going into this bowl!
Every month in 2009, I am writing a post detailing some specific things about food in the upcoming month.
I can’t believe it’s already August. What the heck is happening to 2009? It feels like it’s evaporating.
I’m a few days late in posting my food letter for the month. I’ve been too focused on Macheesmo Boss Sauce! August is prime time for a lot of foods obviously and you would be doing yourself a huge injustice if you have access to a farmer’s market and you don’t take a stroll through it a few times this month.
Yesterday I made up a batch of Macheesmo boss sauce – a tangy, spicy barbeque sauce with some mustard, vinegar, and habanero peppers. For experiment one with the sauce, I slathered a pork chop with it. That was a huge success. But that left me with like 1/2 gallon of sauce so I decided to get creative.
And so I introduce to you the boss shredded chicken sandwich.
I know that pulled pork is a much more traditional sandwich, but chicken isn’t given enough credit. It can be an awesome sandwich and it takes about 1/5 the time to make pulled chicken instead of pulled pork. If roasted correctly, the chicken is still very moist and is a great vehicle for the sauce. Which is good because really it’s all about the sauce for this sandwich.
I installed a Plugin for Macheesmo recently that lets me check out what people are searching for on Macheesmo. It’s a bit Big Brother, and I usually don’t pay attention to it. The most useful part for me is looking at what people search for that return zero results. So in theory I can make what people want! Oddly enough the most popular search over the last month or so was for something called “boss sauce.” I’d never heard of such a thing.
Turns out that there is a hot sauce, that looks awesome, called Boss Sauce. I don’t really know what that Boss Sauce tastes like, but it looks like a solid hot sauce. I decided to make my own though. The Macheesmo Boss Sauce.
I thought this search info was very odd before I realized that Boss Sauce is an actual thing. In retrospect, I guess people are searching for it to see if I use it. Never have!
One of the first things that I ever baked in my life was a loaf of banana bread. There is something great about taking some bananas that are basically inedible and turning them into something very freakin’ delicious. What’s also nice about banana bread is that it’s very flexible. You can easily throw in a few things that you have in your pantry and kick it up a notch.
For this version, I threw in shredded coconut, walnuts, and currants. All of these worked wonderfully in banana bread.
Ok. This was good.
In my opinion, one of the most important things about banana bread (besides having really ripe bananas) is to make sure you address texture along with taste. The bananas have good flavor, but your bread will be kind of mushy if you don’t add in some nice textures. The currants in this recipe give some chewiness to the bread and the walnuts give a bit of crunch.
For the last week I’ve been working on getting Macheesmo on a respectable hosting account. After much searching and review reading and twittering, I decided to go with Liquid Web. So far I’ve been very impressed with them. I think I’m developing a little bit of a crush. I mean it’s only be a few days and we’ve only been on like two dates, but when I login to my new control panel it just feels… right.
They are about 3 times as expensive as the shared hosting account I was using, but so far this appears to be a case of you get what you pay for and possibly more.
It’s like a great weight has been lifted off the shoulders of my website :)
Now for some links!
Beef Made Easy – This is amazing. Some of this I knew, most of it I didn’t, but either way it is a cool reference. I want this on the back of my 8.5 X 11 business card. (@ Incredimazing)
15 Meals for $15 – After my post on the cost of cooking, a reader emailed me a cool experiment that he is doing. Basically, he is trying to go a whole week (5 days or 15 meals) on $1/meal. They are almost done with the experiment and it’s a pretty interesting read. Check it out! (@ Can I get a Sample)
10 Tips to Improve your Cooking Instantly – This is a really great list sent to me from Traci. I think I agree with pretty much all of these! I need to do number 4 and I think number 6 is maybe the easiest thing you can start doing right away to improve your cooking. (@ Chef Gui)
Brown Butter Ice Cream – Ok. So I really love ice cream and brown butter but the title of this post is a bit deceptive. If you title something “How to make ice cream in a blender” I expect to only have to use a blender to make the ice cream. Paragraph 9 line 4 of this post though (for you lawyers out there) broke my heart when I learned that I still need an ice cream churn to make this! OH well. Still looks delicious. (@ Chez Pim)
Have a great weekend everyone. Oh and by the way, I really enjoy it when readers send me interesting links throughout the week so if you stroll across something that you think would fit in my weekly Around the Internet Kitchen
Last week’s poll winner was an appetizer! I got very lucky with this one. I was a bit at a loss as to what to make and then I went to a great party on Saturday and one of the hosts, who has actually guest posted on Macheesmo before, made this awesome version of hummus with sweet potatoes!
Sweet potato hummus tastes totally different than your normal old hummus. It’s a bit sweet but still has that awesome sesame taste to it. It also has plenty of spice which really makes the dish in my opinion.
This recipe makes a good amount of hummus. You may want to double it though if you are expecting more than 10 people. I guarantee that it will be pretty popular.