July 28, 2015

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Lesson of the Week: Grocery stores apparently don't like it
when you randomly take pictures of their produce.
Let's face it. Cheese is awesome. If we could, we'd all be sitting around eating whole blocks of it. But for some reason "society"says we can't do that and still be elected to government office. Thanks Obama. So the question becomes, how do we get all of that cheesy goodness in us without the social stigma of eating cheese off of our gross bellies like some sort of cheese beaver. The answer is Broccoli Cheese Soup. It's got all of the cheesy creamy awesomeness, and the broccoli gives it the street cred. People hear broccoli and they think "that's probably being eaten by an upstanding member of the community who's never coined a phrase as ridiculous as 'cheese beavers.'"


3 heads of Fresh Broccoli
5 cups Whole Milk
8 oz Cheddar Cheese
4 oz Pepper Jack Cheese
1 stick Butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 large Onion
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
An average human sized pinch of Nutmeg

The first thing you're gonna need to do is diet. And maybe buy a gym membership that you'll use twice ever. Because this soup is legit. And with legit-ness, comes the calories. And unless you preemptively drop some weight, the calories will bring the shame. Once you've got that taken care of, it's time to cut your Broccoli down to size. It seems intimidating, like a little magical shrub of doom; but it's not so bad. Turn the broccoli upside down, and cut off the florettes at roughly a 45 degree angle (Protip: for best results, wash the damn broccoli first). For a video shot on the world's shakiest camera explaining this process in an unnecessarily complicated way, check this out. Regardless, cut the last inch off of the stalk, and thinly slice the rest if it.

Now it's time for the familiar parts, that we've hopefully done before. Chop an onion. Don't get fancy. The soup won't care if you chop the onion more beautifully than me. The soup will mock you for your wasted time and effort on what's going to be a blended soup. And so will I. Melt your butter over medium heat, and sauté your onion in it for about 5 minutes. Then whisk in your flour, essentially making an onion roux, which isn't too dissimilar from the roux we made for our bechamel sauce which we used in our Mac and Cheese (Hooray for self-promotion! And...a long list of recipes to reference from having done this blog for close to a year). Fully incorporate your flour, and let it cook down for a minute or so before slowly adding in your milk, whisking like a crazy VA vet chef who can only find solace in whisking. And...maybe a couple other things. Add in your Salt, Pepper, Thyme, and Nutmeg, and heat it over medium heat, being careful not to bring it to a boil. Add in the cheese in small batches. Stir it and make sure it fully incorporates before you add in the next batch.
The creaminess is matched only by the deliciousness. And

Now it's time to toss your chopped broccoli into the mix. Make sure it's completely submerged, cover the pot, and turn it down to low. Not "low, but I still kind of want this to boil" low, but "all the damn way down" low. Cook your broccoli all up in there for about an hour, until it's tender. Then grab your handy Electric Whirry Stick of Violent Cookery (or EWSVIC), and blend the crap out of it until you reach your desired consistency. I personally like a smooth and creamy soup, but if you like it a little chunkier, so be it. As long as we're consuming way too much cheese, preferably all in one sitting, I'm happy.

July 21, 2015

Pineapple Daiquiri

This week in self-discovery: I learned I'm a Pineapple Serial
Killer. I stalked them, cut off their heads, and hollowed them
out. I'm more than a little disturbed by this. Oh well. 
You know, I really thought we were done with this. I thought that the sun and I had decided that, while we weren't ever gonna be friends, at least we could work together. He'd keep his distance, and I'd stop ruining his favorite movies for him. But all of that is over. Not only is that jerk back in my face this week, he brought his dick friend humidity along to the party. Well, I'm done playing nice. (If Indiana Jones hadn't existed in Raiders of the Lost Ark, not only would the result still have been a room of nazis getting their faces melted, but one of those melted nazis would likely have been Hitler. Deal with it.) This recipe will keep you from feeling the effects of that gas-ball, possibly through refreshment. Possibly through a whole lot of alcohol consumption. I've heard it both ways. But the point is..well, I guess that was the point.


1 standard-issue Pineapple
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 cup Coconut Rum
1/4 cup White Rum
2 TBSP Triple Sec
The juice from 2 Limes
2 TBSP fresh Mint Leaves
1 tsp Sugar
So much ice

The first thing you're gonna need to do is re-evaluate your life choices. You could have gone on that Antarctic expedition and married that penguin like your mother wanted. But nooooo. You had to live around other people, in an above-freezing climate. And now you have to deal with the consequences. Once that sinks in and you finish weeping, take a grade-A thwacking knife, and decapitate your Pineapple. Then, using a combination of knives, spoons, and voodoo witchcraft, hollow out the inside of the pineapple, leaving about a 1/4 inch of fruit around the skin to act as a barrier. Or don't. But don't come crying to me when you're drinking out of a dumb boring glass instead of a badass pineapple corpse. 

A huge thanks to Sarah from Ralph's on Pico for randomly
giving me festive umbrellas to stick in my Pineapple.
Take your removed Pineapple, and separate the tasty tasty fruit from the gross and hard core (The process looks something like this). Take the fruit, and muddle the hell out of it along with your Sugar and Mint. Don't remember what muddling is? Google it. Or read what I said the last time I talked about it. Then find a container that has a lid. Maybe a mason jar, or an old milk jug that you cleaned out for totally not-creepy purposes. Fill said lidded receptacle with ice. Like, entirely. Then add in the rest of your ingredients. Clamp the lid down on your container and shake the living hell out of it. Pour your muddled mixture into the nearest handy hollowed out pineapple corpse, add your booze/juice mixture right on top of it, and enjoy! For those of you wondering why this Daiquiri recipe isn't an alcoholic slushy, it's because that's not what a Daiquiri is. That's right, Dave and Buster's lied to you.

July 14, 2015

Roasted Chicken

Watch out! It's putting up its dukes!
There's something comforting about roasted chicken. It feels like every family get together. The perfectly crispy skin, the flavorful meat, and the crushing realization that yours never turns out like that. But it can. It's actually not that hard to crank out some roasted chicken that looks as good as it tastes (especially if it both looks and tastes bad. But we can aspire to better than bad). It just requires a little bit of know how, some simple ingredients, and the willingness to shove your hand up inside a bird's desolate corpse.


2 Whole Chickens in the 3-5 lb range
1 Lemon
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Onion
1 lb Carrots
3 ribs of Celery
1/2 cup Thyme Sprigs
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup emergency backup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
An Unspecified amount of Salt
An equally unspecified amount of Black Pepper

The first step to delicious roast chicken is the understanding that excess moisture hates you, and wants to ruin your dinner. Just like every job interview you've ever been on. The second step to delicious roast chicken is to sacrifice your emotional well being, and possibly your very soul. More on that later! Let's start with the moisture problem. Pat your chicken carcasses dry with paper towels. Then mix together 2 parts salt and 1 part Black Pepper, and slather it all over your chickens. Don't be shy, get a good coating going. Sprinkle your Salt and Pepper into the "cavities," (chicken recipes like to talk about things you should do to the "chicken's cavity" because it's less soul-crushing than saying the "chicken's butt") and throw them in the fridge for no less than an hour. Pull your chickens out of the fridge, drain off any chicken juice (blech), and let them warm up to room temperature. For those of you who are good at the whole "time management" thing, this is an opportune moment to preheat your oven and chop your vegetables. Speaking of which, roughly dice your Fennel, Onion, Carrots, and celery, chop your Thyme into manageable chunks, and slice your lemon into pretty pretty slices.

Now it's time to wish we were doing something, anything, else. Take your Olive Oil and rub it into your chicken corpses. Then stuff the aforementioned vegetation into the chickens' "cavities," making sure to weep openly over the loss of your innocence. It won't all fit, which is OK. Take the excess, and lay it down in the pan around and, if necessary, under the chickens. Now we get to try and repress the horror of what we've just done to these chickens by reverting into a childlike state and playing with string. Take Butcher's Twine (everybody always says to use butcher's twine, but any 100% cotton twine will work. Take that, butchers everywhere), and tie together the chickens' legs to cover up their shame, and your memories of the role you played in it.

The chicken gets the last laugh, by mooning us all
Throw your pan in the oven, and cook it at 375 for about 1.5 hours, until it gets all crispy and awesome looking, and smells delicious. Make sure to neurotically check on it every 25 minutes or so. If at any point, the pan looks too dry, the vegetables start to burn, or the oven looks at you funny, spring into action and pour in your Emergency Backup Stock. How do you know exactly when it's done? Well, if you're trying to impress somebody, use a fancy digital thermometer, shove it into the meat (blech), and make sure that it reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, you could rip off a leg, viking style, and take a bite. Odin will reward your valor by protecting you from Salmonella. Probably!

July 7, 2015

Breakfast Omelette

This picture comes off kind of dickish. It's like "hey, I can
totally afford to pay a stupid price for fancy eggs. You?"
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I don't know if that's true or not. It sounds plausible, but then again, it could just be more propaganda from the powerful D.C. Egg Lobby. Regardless, it seems prudent to know how to make it just in case. And nothing says breakfast like a classic Omelette. Or possibly homemade hangover cures and lots of prayer. It depends on what kind of night you're waking up from. Either way, things are looking up.


3 Eggs
4 Green Onions
1 oz. Cheddar Cheese
1 oz. Smoked Gouda
1/2 TBSP Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

There are a lot of different things you can do with an omelette. You can go as simple, or as over the top and extreme as your imagination can handle. This is a recipe for a basic, awesome, Cheese Omelette, but if you have the desire to get more intense with it, just remember one key rule. If you want it to be cooked, cook it before you throw it in the omelette. That holds true regardless of whether you're adding in onions and peppers, tomatoes, hash browns, steak, or anything else. It won't have the time it needs to cook with the eggs, so cook it first, and add it in when you make your omelette later. Which, coincidentally, is when you can thank me for this awesome tip that will save you heartbroken trips to iHop. You're eventually welcome.

The first thing you're gonna need to do is get all of your goddamn ducks in a row. Metaphorically speaking (If for whatever weird reason you want to literally get ducks in a row, try this). Normally I'm a fan of prepping things as you need them, but eggs go from undercooked to overcooked faster than fella can fail to produce a folksy metaphor. So chop your Green Onions, portion out your cheeses and your butter, and beat your eggs together with your Salt and Pepper until they all form a tightly knit support group that gets together for drinks every other Wednesday night (Protip that I'm fairly certain I've mentioned before in other recipes: for best results, first remove eggs from their shells).

Melt your butter in a skillet over medium heat, and then dump in your egg mixture. Swirl the pan around like a pansy so that your eggs evenly coat the bottom. And also to let people know you may or may not be a pansy. When there's still raw egg on top, but not enough for it to run when you shake the pan, add in your extras. In our case, those are the cheeses, and all but a pinch of the Green Onions. Let the cheese melt slightly, and use a spatula to ease up the edges of the omelette slightly. Now comes the fun part, and by
Gooeyness added to induce drool
"fun" I mean "Oh god, we're gonna mess it up, oh god oh crap." Take your spatula and fold up 1/3 of the omelette. Then take your pan, and slide the omelette onto a plate, starting with the unfolded bit. As it slides out, fold the omelette over itself, and you'll end up with a perfectly tri-folded omelette. Get it wrong and you'll end up with a plate of shame and disappointment. Which will still taste pretty awesome, but it'll be ugly. Like democracy! Top it with your remaining Green Onions, and enjoy. Cheap, fast, relatively easy, and delicious. Sounds like breakfast to me.