Thank you to the Pablove foundation
for donating food, and to all friends who helped prepare this recipe for 60 at Los Angeles’ Ronald McDonald House on Dec. 18th:
Begin by heating a few drizzles of grape-seed oil in a medium sized pot. Add an onion, chopped, and cook it some (til it twinkles).
Toss into the pot: 3 or 4 pieces of chopped garlic, 3 T. chili powder, 3 T. cacao, 1 t. cinnamon, and 1/8 t.- 1/4t. clove (ground).
Cook a couple minutes, then, add:
2-3 c. veggie broth
1 can of drained, diced tomatoes
1/4 c. raisins
2 T. peanut or almond butter, and 1 T. tahini paste.
Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, then blend.
Season the sauce to taste with salt. Add either veggies, like green beans, squash, and chopped bell peppers, or, browned pieces of chicken or turkey. Allow another 20-30 minutes of simmering to fully cook the goodies.
Serve over rice, with cilantro and sour cream.
(Things you wrap in foil)
Baked Yams or Sweet Potatoes -400′ oven, holes poked into them with a fork, olive oil rubbed on, wrapped in foil and placed directly on rack for an hour. If your hotel room has a microwave, I learned, that works too. Wrap each poked yam in a paper towel and check it by the minute, after a couple minutes, til it is tender throughout.
Bananas, Chocolate covered espresso beans
Almond butter and jam on a pancake – similar to the turkey bacon on a blueberry pancake, which incidentally, if you add egg, is known as a number 6 at McDonald’s.
veggie scramble burritos
almond-date-dried apricot and cranberry bars - grind equal parts almond, pitted date, and a dried apricot-dried cranberry (or sour cherry) combo in a food processor. Roll through shredded coconut or raw oats to coat the outside of bars.
peanut butter granola bars- melt 1/4 cup each of peanut butter, honey, and oil with a pinch of cinnamon on the stove top. Toss through any dried fruit you would like to include, measured according to your own taste, and 3 cups rolled oats that have been toasted in the oven along with 1 c. toasted coconut, and a pinch of salt. Spread the stiff mixture flat on parchemnt paper. Cut or break by hand into bar shapes.
Cashew butter and jam on spelt bread, whole wheat, or cinnamon-raisin. Don’t try this with millet or rice bread (too dry to swallow.)
Sushi bars a la Chris Carmichael- cook sushi rice according to package directions. Add to it: braggs amino acids, 3 eggs that have been scrambled in grapeseed or olive oil, chopped salami or pepperoni, baked yam or sweet potato chunks, parmesan, or seeds and dried fruit…form into bars and sprinkle parmesan on the outsides so they don’t stick to the foil – wrap each bar.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach Burritos a la Chris Carmichael- pan saute 3 sweet potatoes/yams until cooked through and still firm. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped, canned chipotle chili and some of its canned adobo sauce, add salt to taste, and wilt in 1 bunch of clean/bag of prewashed spinach greens. Heat and smash a can of black beans off to the side in a separate, smaller, pan. Fill warmed tortillas with a small scoop each of beans and the sweet potato mixture. Wrap each in foil.
Spinach and rice cakes- combine a batch of rice with about 2 cups of cooked, squeeze-dried spinach. Add 1/3 c. bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parmesan to taste. Make sure it tastes yummy, then add 1 egg to bind it all together. Shape and pan fry little patties.
Risotto cakes – fry leftover risotto combined with an egg and a handful or two of breadcrumbs – cook patties til golden brown then drain on paper bags.
Veggie frittata- saute any combo of veggies in a small, oven-proof skillet. Add 6 eggs to the hot skillet, and move eggs around with a spatula by lifting layers, letting uncooked liquid egg come into contact with the hot pan. Sprinkle parmesan, salt, and pepper over the egg while it begins to solidify in the pan. Tranfer the whole thing under a broiler or very hot oven to finish the cooking. Cool some, then slice.
gf blueberry pecan pancake – follow Bob of Bob’s red mill’s directions.
Sushi balls coated with sesame seeds – cook sushi rice according to package directions. Using wet hands, shape into bite sized balls and roll through sesame seeds.
Almond stuffed figs - shove an almond up the butt of a dried fig.
When you’re out in the world kicking ass sometimes you get too busy for fussing with pie dough. But you’ve still gotta eat. We’ve all gotta eat. Pie. Thanks to two satellite sillypants correspondents here are two sensible tricks with frozen pie crust:
Preheat oven to 350
In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, crème fraiche, cottage cheese, nutmeg,
Put in the oven at 350 for 50 minutes!
Charlotte’s 15-Minutes-of-Prep Chocolate Chip Pie
2 eggs (don’t use eggbeaters. tried it. nasty.)
beat 2 eggs until foamy. add flour & both sugars. beat in butter. stir in chips & nuts. put in shell.
yeah. that’s it.
takes about 45-50 mins to cook in my crazy oven.
Meatballs make the man, says Artemio
with the arch of his back
while he is crouched over
bus tubs of raw
and parmesan, and milk
and oregano and veal and things, knees on the concrete
second time this week, producing same results, January
cold floor, icy mornings, steaming sip, numb after noon, delayed for dinner, abbreviated in rest
some mornings we toast over prosecco to wake up
our clean slates
he is mixing with his arms and gloves, Mets cap on backwards, and he is the proudest man
to ever live in a ghost town.
of New York’s empty city
The taller the tower
the hazier the cloud
Ring around my raspberry flavored mind
The shape of an egg
reminds me what we like to see
In New York the vinegar is wine
In New York there is only fruit and labor
The bread comes as quickly as they can bake it up
comes as quickly as is, goes
At 1 a.m. I get home
and wonder how I got here.
Sherried prune, salted caramel
I create for you
A masterpiece that words speak and no one ever tastes
Star tipped campground
Delight, magical inverted
Question of timing, precise
At the moment of slicing
A seasoning that is fascinating
But hardly a well kept
A burnt egg is meringue
Of a sort that pleases the eye
And no one complains.
Marc says he’s going to make a raspberry soufflé for the menu
Build your napoleon with the neat edged needles
Push saucing sauce around the plate
Eliminate the chaos of the misdirected
Lines on a plane
Where no shadows
Fall and one shape is the other of the color
Scoop the fruit and sugar
Down around the clowning fruit, papaya pineapple kiwi and
Textured shore of pecan pebbles
Caramel glazed miroir mountain.
Doesn’t even look like a strawberry
And the perspective is all off on the
Mint leaf. A canyon is created from
The photo’s snapping shutter all the while
Canyon snaps and creaks crumbs, but none tumble.
No crumbs on the plate and no resistance
From us or for the photographic eye
But perspective is all off, cream is sharp
The plate so stiff, so expensive I can
See my future in it, a reflection
Breakaway flashes on the station’s steel
Lighting set for actors of a scriptless
Sensationalism, I see you now
Offer you a peach that tastes like gold.
Love Poem for Jacek at the Mangia Bakery down on Wall street
Jacek bends a knee and crouches toward the mixing bowl
Of a 60 quart
that he painted himself, floor to ceiling yellow, color of butter
Story of sugar
Covering the mixer
And the floor, where, his knee leans and he folds
Armpit deep in sweets
That early morning coffee don’t even cut
By the time you get out of work here you can’t even remember how you got here
It was the train
But it was so dark it was daylight-less dawn belonging to last night
How can so many people wake up and come straight
To Wall Street? But to clean up, to fasten, to check, to bake
To measure, to cut, to scrape
To end tired, and happy, in the middle of the day. The day changes
into a different thing, has a different form, and
Don’t taste anymore
And everyone works faster and faster when the album comes around again
Techno bakery, means to an end, and
How does anyone speak to anyone else this early, and
How does anyone see where they are going, next week I’ll stay out all night and stumble here straightaways
See Jacek, Polish, good humored, young heart, old face, buttery arm
White pants, paper hat, 3:30am.
My grandmother Loretta Herman’s spaghetti sauce:
Brown 2 lbs. of ground beef in a large, hot, pot.
Begin to slowly cook diced salt-back pork off to the side in a seperate pan.
When the ground beef is well browned, season with salt and pepper, and add 1 chopped onion. Cook until onion becomes shimmery, then add 2 cloves chopped or well crushed garlic. Cook for another minute or two. Add 2 big cans of crushed tomatoes and one regular sized (14.5 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes in their tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Add any pork ‘juice’ that has accumulated in the slow-cooking fat pork pan. Lower the meat sauce to a simmer, and continue to cook that pork off to the side over low heat to extract liquid. Continually strain the pork’s liquid into the slow-simmering meat sauce for about 40 minutes.
Simmer the tomato sauce for another 20 minutes to an hour, partially covered. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Put into 450′-500′ oven after pouring plenty of cider (since you’re out of red wine) over-top of pears in a baking dish. Add a cinnamon stick, and roast 1-1 1/4 hours, basting four times. Add more liquid if it looks like it is going to dry out. Serve with the thickened cider ladled over each pear.
Pears in Red Wine
two of my all time kitchen heroes and one of the first dishes I learned to make in nyc:
“Do it four times, and avoid pouring the liquid over the stems each time,” Artemio tells me in staccato Spanish once she is gone.
“Just on the sides…” as he smoothly drizzles thin ribbons of red wine over just the sides of a pear or two where they sit, piled in, buried by, white sugar.
I know Jody would never subscribe to an exercise that contrived. I’ve only been working for her a week but I’m catching on fast. Her ‘recipe’ for the roasted pears would be sort of like an athelete’s recipe for winning. Step one, have talent, step two, be relentless, step three, don’t let up. For the pears, step one: dump a bottle of red wine or so over a dozen clean pears, step two: dump a bunch of sugar over that and add a cinnamon stick, and three: burn burn burn them in a hot oven til they smell so crazy you’ve got to get them into the dining room and onto people’s plates. Sensationally caramelized, roasted pears.
Still, I follow Artemio’s lead. I think he should know what he’s talking about.
Otherwise he generally stays quiet.
Then again, there are those times when (out of mischeviosness, wisdom, or love) he knows something and stays quiet anyway, despite whatever he knows. Artemio preps Jody’s food. Everybody knows, that he knows, absolutely all that there is to know, and possibly everything that’s going on in the kitchen. He’s the prep guy in the mets cap in the basement at Giorgione, and then again at Gusto when Jody moves there. My career moves involve following Jody too. There’s plenty of us. She hires at will or whim, amused by how we wash up at her shores. She abandons, fires, re-hires us, all from the same pool.
Jody has told me, pointing her dead serious finger at me, “make sure the syrup thickens as they cook, but add more wine if you need to so all that syrup and juice doesn’t burn off entirely. And don’t let it get bitter. Once they’re out of the oven just let ‘em be at room temperature. Put ‘em on there in a pile.” She’d nodded toward a colossal empty oval platter, pointing with her chin.
When she came back she saw me basting the pears, three quarters of the way through their cooking.
“Hey!” Pointing two fingers at me now, “those aren’t done. Why are those out of the oven?” She’s jabbing at one of the pears with her knuckle.
“It’s how Artemio does it,” I told her, aiming for exoneration, immunity, afraid of her serious jabbing, her disgust.
Artemio pretended he didn’t hear this. Looked as if I’d spilled fish guts on his shoes. Later on I learned not to respond by naming others in a direct-inquiry such as this. It wasn’t quite professional. Or macho. But I’m an essentially truthful person, tending toward honest simple explanations ever more so in situations where I think I’m about to get ass kicked, or fired, for not following stupid-proof instructions. I know just enough to know I should only have to be told something once. Later on I stopped being so afraid of Jody’s pointing and jabbing at food with her knuckle. It’s almost how she tastes. First she glances, then she pushes with a knuckle. If you don’t want her to poke you have to hand her a fork when you show her what you’ve been doing.
“Oh, ok, fine,” she’d said, putting the finger away. “He runs this place.”
She put on her coat and walked out of the restaurant then, and I still sometimes wonder, uselessly, which is the nature of remembering conversations, how serious she was.