Category: Other stuff


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Sandwich of the Gods

A while back, while perusing a forum that I belong to, I stumbled across a post describing something called a shooter sandwich. After I stopped drooling, I added it to the very long list of Things To Try In The Kitchen.

I mean, come on! Ribeye steak, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, and onions. Why WOULDN’T I try it? Did I mention the bacon?

This morning, I finally got around to it. I have decided that “shooter sandwich” just doesn’t do this work of absolute magnificence justice, so I have renamed it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Sandwich of the Gods.

Naturally, one begins by assembling the ingredients:
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Next, saute the mushrooms and onions together:
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Hollow out the big ol’ loaf of bread:
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Fry up those beautiful rib-eyes:
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Then start putting everything together. Slather some dijon mustard into the bread shell, put one of the rib-eyes on top of the mustard, and cover the steak with your favorite barbecue sauce, followed by half of the mushroom and onion mixture:
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Add some cheese. I went with sliced Provolone that I bought at The Italian Centre.:
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Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the next layer, but it consisted of bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. Followed by the rest of the mushrooms and onions:
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Then the other rib-eye:
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Moar cheese:
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Then you put the top back on the bread, and wrap everything in two layers of parchment paper:
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After the parchment paper, wrap it in aluminum foil. You may want to leave out the slightly illegal item, though:
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And now for the odd bit; weigh the sandwich down and leave it for 6 to 8 hours. This compresses everything together, and keeps the sandwich from falling apart when you chow down:
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After an agonizing wait, the finished product. Trust me, the crappy iPhone picture does not accurately portray the awesomeness of this sandwich:
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And there you be. Enjoy.

Mmm…..chili

So it’s no secret that I watch the Food Network a lot. In addition to being entertaining, I get a lot of new ideas for my culinary experiments.

Lately I’ve been seeing a commercial with Rachel Ray hawking Ziploc bags, which she then uses to store her ancho-chipotle turkey chili. That got me thinking – “Hey, I like chili. I like chipotle, and I’ve got a bag of ancho leftover from that chicken molѐ experiment! Let’s DO THIS!!”

The only thing that made me pause was the turkey. Not really something that I would normally want to see in my chili. But, that was a snag that was easily rectified. I used beef instead. Because I’m badass like that. I also threw in a can of red kidney beans, since I like beans in mah chili. And for once, I took the time to snap a few crappy iPhone pics while I was cooking.

Started with seeding/stemming the dried ancho chiles. I’m sure there must be some sort of technique to do this more efficiently, but I’ll be damned if I know what it. I just tore them apart and scraped out the seeds:

Next up, had to re-hydrate the ancho in some chicken stock. Fortunately, I made some stock last week, so all I had to do was thaw it out and drop the chiles into the pot:

Now comes the part that I was really excited about when I first read the recipe. If I have to explain, then maybe you should find another blog to read:

Next up, the chipotle. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything clever or witty as a lead in to the next pic. I can, however, tell you that these things are messy, and smell fantastic as soon as you pop open the can:

Also needed an onion and some garlic. Recipe called for 4 cloves, but I recently acquired some massive purple garlic from the farmer’s market, and the cloves are about twice the size that you normally see:

From this point, it was fairly standard – brown the beef, add the veggies, et cetera:

Then, the very best part of the whole process – deglazing the pot:

Recipe called for a Mexican beer, but since the only I could find was Corona, I opted for my favorite brew instead. Honestly, I’d rather drink cat piss laced with cyanide before I would let Corona enter my body in any form.

The ancho/chicken stock combo got pureed and added to the mix, but I forgot to take pics of that part. Wasn’t terribly exciting, so you’re not missing much. After a good long simmer, this was the result:

Now, I could post the recipe, but since it took me nearly an hour to write this post, I’m just going to give you a link instead. Again, I swapped out the ground turkey for ground beef and added a can of red kidney beans, but other than that, this one is all Rachel.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/ancho-chipotle-turkey-chili-recipe/index.html

Busy busy busy…….

I haven’t posted anything for the last three weeks, so if anyone actually reads this blog, I apologize for the lack of material.

On the bright side, I’ve tried a lot of new things in that time frame. Some of them were great, some of them not so much. Here’s a brief rundown:

Chicken Mole (moe-lay) – Mexican stew-type dish. It was all right, but the recipe I found needs to be tweaked.
Pasta salad with green onion dressing – courtesy of celebrity chef Roger Mooking. Not bad, but I found it a little bland. Also needs tweaking.
Caramel creme brulee – courtesy of celeb chef Michael Smith. Full disclosure, I only made this because I wanted to play with a blowtorch.
Japanese coleslaw – Ick. Just ick.
Roasted garlic soup – FAN-FRIGGIN’-TASTIC!!!! This one will get a follow up post.

That’s about it for now.

Phew….

The holidays are always a hectic time in Sumo’s kitchen. It’s only time of the year that I bake, I get tapped to fix the sides for Christmas dinner (this year, I Iron Chef’d up a dried cranberry and pineapple juice sauce), then once Christmas is over, planning, shopping and prep work immediately begins for the REAL holiday – Japanese New Year!

My grandmother used to put out a fantastic spread for JNY, as the holiday doubled as an excuse to have a family reunion. Some of my favorite memories of her involve watching her cooking for days in advance. I wasn’t allowed to help, exactly, but I did a lot of fetching, carrying, and reaching for stuff above her head (she was short!). I also got to watch the master in action, which was almost as good as doing it myself.

Since she passed away, SumoDaddy and I have been doing a slightly scaled down version. I say slightly scaled down since there’s still a metric crapload of food, but nowhere nearly as many guests. We also tend to expand the menu a bit. As much as I love Japanese food, sometimes I find it a little bland. Usually a couple of Cantonese dishes find their way to the table. No one has complained yet.

So, a brief summary – SumoDaddy made a variety of sushi and maki, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki salmon, sweet & sour spare ribs, and chow mein. I handled the tonkatsu, tempura, spring rolls, char siu (barbecue pork), Szechuan green beans, and Mongolian beef.

In other words, I’m bloody well exhausted, and don’t have the energy to post any recipes this time around. Check back in a few days.;)

Tip #2

Every chef needs good knives.  That’s a well known fact.

To give y’all a little background on yours truly, I started studying martial arts when I was 13.  Over the years, I’ve accumulated a fairly large collection of weapons related to that pursuit, with the majority of the arsenal being knives.  As such, I actually know what I’m talking about (for once).

Now, you could take a trip to your local grocery store and pick up whatever cheap-ass blade they happen to be selling, and it would probably work out okay.  For a while, anyway, but eventually you’ll have to buy another.

I prefer to buy to buy quality pieces that will perform superbly, and last.  To that end, I use these:

In addition to being sharp as hell, the knives have a beautiful Damascus pattern.  Go forth and purchase some.  You’ll thank me later.

http://store.calphalon.com/productline/katana-series-cutlery/4294959912-1982-1957

Tip #1

Okay, no recipe this time.  Instead, I’m going to share with you one of the most loved and well used gadgets in Sumo’s Kitchen:

http://www.garlictwist.com/

I was given one of these as a stocking stuffer last Christmas, and I FRIGGIN’ LOVE IT!!!!!  I use a lot of garlic in my experimentation, and I’ve always been on the lookout for a better way to prepare it.  Garlic presses waste too much of the clove, in my opinion.  Smashing the clove with the blade of a knife is okay, I guess, but I always had disturbing visions of either snapping my knife when smacking it, or accidentally hitting the edge with my hand and spurting blood everywhere.

Not an issue with the Garlic Twist.  Sure, you still have to peel the garlic, but after that, you pop it in the Twist,  give it a few turns, and BAM!  Instant minced garlic.

Go forth and find one.  You’ll thank me later.

Chicken Stew

Without going into too many pathetic details of my life, a couple years ago, I fell in love.  Problem was, she didn’t feel the same.  Even dropped the f-bomb (friends) on me.  That one hurt.

Shortly after that, she decided to move to Vancouver (no, it was not because of me!).  Before she left, we got together and she gave me a recipe book as a going away present.  This recipe is from that book.  That, and the fact that it’s pretty damn tasty, make it one of my favorite dishes.

Don’t let the number of ingredients intimidate you – it’s surprisingly easy to make.

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Salt
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 white wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp bottled horseradish
4 ounces arugula or mustard greens, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1) Mix the flour, coriander, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin in a large bowl. Season the chicken generously with salt and dredge it in the seasoned flour until well coated. Save any excess flour.

2) Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large stewpot. Add the chicken cubes and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a bowl. Add the stock and vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits clinging to the pot. Stir in the leftover flour along with the dates, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish. Add the chicken, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and bubbly.

3) Remove from heat, mix in the arugula and cilantro, and serve over rice.

This is where the magic happens.  Or at the very least, this is where you can read about my mad scientist-esque culinary experiments.

If you’re wondering about the name, it’s been my nickname since I was young.  When you grow up as a pudgy half-Japanese kid, the other little bastards aren’t exactly original when choosing your nickname.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy my ramblings.  Try to ignore the rhetoric; the food is actually pretty good if you can get past my bad jokes and flair for the inane.