Simply Stir Fried

Recently I’ve come to relish my lazy Sundays. Given i’m often working the day before, its the only day I have to relax and pretend for a moment life isn’t so incredibly stressful. Sit outside in the afternoon sunlight with a refreshing cocktail or craft beer, read a book, and in the words of the immortal Tim Leary “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. So there I was with my BFF (grief me later, k?) Brandon craving veggies – raw, simple, no complex or cultured proteins. The reason I went vegetarian in the first fucking place – also, it occurred to me I have yet to share my stir fry recipe with ya’ll. Nothing particularly remarkable about this one, except that I cooked it, which makes it awesome.

So, yeah, you should do it.

First off – do you have a Wok? No?

Don’t fuck with me. Go out and buy one, then come back – its a goddamn necessity, not just for stir fry’s, but all kinds of fun kitchen related activities. Since I’m a younger male adult, I went with a standard flat bottomed non stick version (very Westernized, but works much better on these shitty stoves). If you can handle it, go high carbon or go home.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes tops

Feeds: 2-3 people

Still waiting on the new fancy cutting board 😦

  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 jalapenos – I went with red and green
  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

The Puzzle

1. Combine your liquid ingredients (sesame oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sambal) with your paprika, salt, and pepper. Chill in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine

2. Julienne all of your vegetables. We’re looking for match stick style here – no more than 1/4 inch thickness, although the cabbage can be longer. And be sure to de-rib/seed your peppers

3. Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil in your wok – just before it begins smoking, so it shimmers

4. Cook your rice as per usual. It won’t be cooking in the wok, so make sure its to desired doneness.

5. Throw your veggies into the super hot wok

I know what you're thinking - beautiful hands. Before you ask, I've already turned down several watch modeling jobs to pursue an illustrious career in...food...blogging?

6. Stir constantly, without reducing the heat. We’re looking to impart ‘Wok Hei’, or the essence of the wok, to these tasty lil veggies, and this requires a bit of work.

BAM - Wok action shot

7. Throw a bit of your sauce on (not too much, or it’ll steam) and when the carrots are just barely translucent remove from the heat.

8. Serve over rice immediately and top with desired quantity of sauce.

See, that steam, that smell – THAT is Wok Hei. Hard to really achieve, but if you do, you’ll know immediately. Special stuff.

Oh! Special Bonus Recipe Round

Perfect Potato Wedges

Gonna keep this short/sweet.

Slice however many Russet’s you like into wedges, thusly, and dust with rosemary and olive oil.

I was going to bake them, but that ended horribly...pan fry for great success!

Pan fry them in enough Olive Oil to coat each wedge until golden brown and AWESOME.

Next…dust with that delicious Truffle Salt I convinced you to buy already.

Bask in your friends adoration at how quickly you whipped up the best potato wedge thats ever graced their lips.

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Hot Pepper on Pepper action

mmm…yeah baby…

Can you feel it?

Yea, you feel it.

Now run your hands down your hips…and pull off those ribs. A little lower, tease those seeds out and toss ’em on the floor, lets slip into something a little more comfortable.

Like…another pepper. Kinky, right?

Just wait.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook time: About an hour

That watermelon in the back was frozen and juiced for dessert - FUCK YES I RULE

Serves: A shitload of drunk people. 12 or so.

  • 2 habanero chile’s
  • 3 jalapeno’s
  • 6 large bell peppers (I used 2 red, 2 green, and 2 orange)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/3 cup toasted and crushed pistachios
  • 1 cup burrata
  • 12 oz veg stock
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • salt to taste

The Puzzle

Now, there are two ways you can do this: Vegan and Vegetarian. I went for the vegetarian route, since I had some left over cheese (think gouda infused with black truffle, look me in the eye, and TRY TO SAY NO), but if you leave this out you’ve got a damn tasty vegan dish on your hands

0. Preheat your oven to 375

1. Start chopping. Brunoise your carrots, celery, jalapeno (nifty trick here – slice in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out seeds and ribs), dice your onion, hull your peas, then open up your bell peppers end to end as shown in the pic below. Remove the seeds and ribs here as well, but leave the stems for effect. Looks nifty, and Jaime Oliver did it, so its cool.

Watermelon's in the freezer now, chillin

2. Boil your rice until its nearly done, but not quite, and set aside

3. Toast your pistachios. Use a nonstick pan on high heat, and toss constantly or they will burn. And you don’t want to be THAT asshole at the party.

4. Let the pistachios cool – you’ll need to crush them up later. I’d suggest pulsing in a food processor a few times – I had to use a fucking lemon juicer, and I don’t want to talk about how that went.

5. In another wider pan, with a lip on the sides at least an inch high, heat your oil til its nice and shimmery. Now the dangerous step…if you have plastic gloves, use ’em. If you have a vent above your stove…turn it on NOW. Seriously. I want you to break the habaneros in half…and put them in the oil. Just for a few minutes, long enough to season the oil, then get that shit out, or you’ll light your face on capsacin fire.

6. Add all your chopped veggies (NOT the rice/bell peppers. Don’t be silly now.)

7. Once the onion’s translucent, add your spices. Let them coat the veggies, then ‘deglaze’ by adding your veggie stock, followed by the rice.

8. Cook this down til nicely combined, about 5-10 minutes on medium high heat, then (if vegetarian) add the burrata

9. Stuff into your pepper halves, and line them up on either a baking sheet or ideally in a casserole dish thats been lightly oiled

10. Grate whatever cheese you like on top (remember that truffle infused gouda? OH YEAH)

So purty

11. Bake for about an hour, or until crispy crunchy.

Taken in a great hurry, as they were disappearing fast...

WTFucked Vegan Scramble

I apologize for any kind of hiatus, I worked well over 200 hours in 2 weeks – not that I have some massive reader base to appease, but for what its worth, I’m back with a vegetarian vengeance.

This is something I threw together around 1:30 am after a crazed run to Ralphs with some fellow foodies. Its Vegan, so relatively healthy, but I can’t vouch specifically for caloric content, given my status as resident fatcat.

Damn skippy, bitches

The Pieces

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

2 large russet potatoes

2 large zucchini’s (is that even the proper plural?)

2 jalapenos

1 red onion

2 limes

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

A few slices sprouted vegan bread for toast

The Puzzle

1. Break down your jalapenos. To do this easily:

  • Split the jalapeno from stem to tip
  • Drag a teaspoon down the center, removing the ribs and seeds
  • Slice lengthwise, evenly
  • Turn sideways and dice into a brunoise

2. Dice your onion. To do this:

  • Slice in half, from stem to stem
  • Take each half and slice it into half again.
  • Lay the half you are breaking down flat on the board and slice 90% of the way into it laterally
  • Spaced a quarter of an inch apart slice downwards, cutting towards the root, but again not all the way – we need that root to hold the onion together
  • Now slice about a quarter of an inch apart parallel to the root
  • Notice your awesome dice! (pictures to follow on the technique page)

3. Roughly chop up some cilantro

4. Combine this with the onion and jalapeno – squeeze both limes over the top of this mixture, and set in the fridge for at least 30 mins

5. While that shit marinates, peel your potatoes

6. Using the largest side of a cheese grater, grate both the potatoes and zucchini over some folded up paper towels. This will need to drain for a while.

7. Julienne your bell peppers

8. Heat a nonstick skillet on high, and throw your onion mixture (sans oil) in there. Use the lime juice to saute until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

9. Now the interesting part – combine your  potato/zucchini mixture with the bell peppers. The natural moisture of the potatoes/zucchini, despite them being dried, should allow you to form very loose patties (think diner hashbrowns). Form at least 2 of these quasi burgers and get them into your still warm pan.

10. Once fully browned on both sides, remove and top with the now cooled onion mixture.

Healthy and filling. This shit’s the tits, even if my recipe sucks.

And now I present this funny baby.

Ha. Funny baby.

Apeshit Mac N’Cheese

Goddamn, this is easily one of my more…decadent…recipes.

Its delicious, don’t get me wrong, but this is something you eat once or twice a year – and i’m not being facetious.

So, if you’ve had a bad day, or you or a friend recently went through a breakup, or you just need some of the best fucking comfort food out there – this is your dish.

I’ll get more precise measurements, but this how I roll – approximately.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 5-10 mins, depending on how fast you can grate cheese…

Cook Time: 50 minutes

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • half a full stick of butter
  • a generous amount of flour (lets say 1/2 a cup, for shits and giggles)
  • 16 oz each of: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Pepper Jack
  • 8 oz of: smoked gouda and brie
  • About a cup of whole milk
  • unflavored italian breadcrumbs
  • paprika
  • cayenne
  • salt and pepper

How its done

Have you ever made a roux? If not, go hang yourself in the bathroom with a used towel.

Or I can tell you how. If you don’t kill yourself. Which is still an option.

Roux 101

A roux is, very simply, a thickening agent used in many of the more traditional soups and stews. Its a combination of flour and fat – some cooks prefer oil, but most will tell you clarified butter (ghee) is the way to go.  The first thing you do is combine equal parts flour and fat over low heat, and stir to combine. As it thickens, it will go through a series of colors: white, blonde, beige, brick, fucking burnt and ruined you ass.

The color roux you end up with actually changes the flavor profile of the dish you’re cooking (and pretty drastically) – for example, a brick roux, which is used most frequently in gumbo, has a distinct nutty flavor.

For this dish today we’ll be using a blonde roux.

1. Clarify your butter. To do this, throw your butter in a sauce pan on low heat. Once it has melted, tilt the pot towards yourself and skim the fat off using a large spoon – or whatever works I don’t give a shit.

2. Put some of your clarified butter, say 2-3 tbsp, into a new sauce pot on medium heat

3. Add the flour

4. Stir constantly until thick. We’re looking for a consistency similar to that paste you ate in kindergarten. No? Just me? Whatever.

5. Once it has reached a ‘blonde’ color, whisk in your milk

Though the pic's shit, the consistency you are looking for pre-cheese - nice and smooth

6. After the two have combined completely, begin adding your cheese in batches. This part is really up to you – if the sauce gets to thick, just add more milk. But don’t skimp on that cheese.

7. Add a lot (i’m talking nearly 1 tbsp) of paprika and a few pinches of cayenne

8. Thats pretty much it for your sauce – now you’ll want to add the cooked (just barely al dente) macaroni. And no, I didn’t include a step for that, because its common fucking sense. If I need to tell you to boil the goddamn pasta go find another blog – Rachel Ray could always use another reader.

9. Once the pasta’s fully coated in the sauce spread it out evenly in a casserole dish

10. Now, in a separate bowl, toss your breadcrumbs with a little more of that ghee and any remaining cheese you have the balls to use.

11. Sprinkle that glorious shit all over the top of your pasta, and pop the pan into a preheated oven (375) until golden brown and awesome.

If you don’t absolutely love this, refer to my drunk taters recipe and GTFO.

Or there’s still hanging yourself in the bathroom. I never took that off the table…

Hot delicious mess

Before we get started, know this – the idea came from a damn good friend of mine, Jacob, and was prepared at 1 am while doing shots – so my measurements are most definitely off a bit.

Still, for something this haphazard, that shouldn’t matter. We grabbed the random shit floating around my apt, combined it with a few things he’d brought, and before our bleary eyes realized it we’d made a masterpiece.

The Pieces

Prep Time:10 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins – 1 hour

  • 1 16 oz can whole tomatoes, seeded (save a bit of juice)
  • Most of a 16 oz bag of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 a stick of salted butter
  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 bigass sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1 12 oz can of sweet peas, drained
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • paprika
  • cayenne
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • some oregano (i think?)

The Puzzle

0. Preheat oven to 375

1. Chop time: dice your peeled potatoes and onion.

2. Throw the onion into a glass casserole dish on high heat, and sweat until barely translucent. Remove the pan from the heat, and take the onions out (adding them in later)

3. Put your diced potatoes in the pan with the onion oil, and get that in the oven for 15 minutes

4. Take 3-4 shots of cheap whiskey

5. Drain and seed your tomatoes. Roughly chop and add to the potatoes after the 15 mins is up.

6. Add your reserve tomato juice and peas, and let cook for approx 45 minutes or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender

7. Mix beaten eggs with some cheese and the remaining spice you feel like adding- at least pepper and cayenee.

8. Pour this over the top and mix into the casserole dish

9. Copiously cover with cheese

10. Cook until nicely browned on top

11. Bask in your friends adoration at your pure fucking awesome skill

Bottle of rum on the right, beer on the left...

Drunk Taters

On the left, my Drunk Taters - on the right, vegan pot pie

The internet is indeed lucky today.

I’m releasing my hands down best fucking potato recipe – and the best part is how crazy simple it is.

I call ’em drunk simply because that is USUALLY my state of mind when making them. Its easy cheesy drunk eats.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 10 mins choppin taters

Cook Time: 45 mins – 1 hour

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (or any white potato)
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • Shitload of tarragon
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 8 oz gorgonzola or bleu cheese
  • thats IT

The Puzzle

0. Preheat your oven to 350

1. Peel and slice all your potatoes thin

2. Throw ’em in a baking dish

Aww...ain't they pretty...

3. Dust liberally with Tarragon

4. Add cream and cheese, mix

Notice my Shun Knife on the board in the back...mmm hmmm

5. Throw the dish in the oven, covered with tin foil, for 45 minutes

6. Remove the covering, cook until really damn fork tender, and crispy on top.

I know you love my dirty stove top

If you don’t LOVE these potatoes –

Spicy Stew – for that Sunday afternoon hangover

My favorite thing about the weekends, besides the different shenanigans I often find myself involved in, is actually the recovery period – spending so much time in the fetal position shaking uncontrollably, sucking down huge portions of water, I’ve learned to cope quite well.

Even going so far as enjoying it – setting up a process of detoxification where I consume huge amounts of liquid, veggies, go for a run/hike, etc.

So – what follows is a guideline. Use whatever you like – i’ve thrown as many as 13-15 veggies into this pot at a time. Its more about the seasonings and the cooking time that makes this an instant hangover cure.

I’d avoid cooking this if you are looking for a quick meal. As tasty as this is, we’re talking 2 1/2 to 3 hours cook time (I spent the time curled up on the couch, my 30 proof sweat soaking my snuggie). I highly suggest you have something else to occupy your time while this shit simmers.

The Pieces

Prep Time: About 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

  • 1 quart veggie stock, low to no sodium preferred
  • 1 1/2 cups diced white onion
  • 1 cup celery, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, stemmed and cut in thirds
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (leave the seeds)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, washed damn well
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • Some tasty soft bread, like a french roll or Challah

The Puzzle

1. Heat up your stew pot with the oil (heres a tip – to tell if the oils hot without checking the sizzle, turn your pan to the side. If it shimmers like the surface of water, its good to go)

2. Once the oil’s good and hot, add your onion, carrots, celery and spices. As soon as that shit hits the pan, drop the heat to medium and sweat those veggies til the onion is translucent.

3. Add the rest of your veggies, the veggie stock and bay leaves. Fill with water til everythings covered.

4. Bring to a simmer, not a boil, and cover.

5. Let sit for one hour – then, add your apple cider and red wine vinegars, and tomatoes.

6. After another 30 mins throw the balsamic in there, and let simmer for another hour uncovered.

7. In the mean time, cook your rice separately

8. Once the potatoes are super tender, and the sauce isn’t too bitter, serve over rice with bread.

9. After one bowl, notice your memories of the night before begin to return…

Some variation of this is usually bubbling away on my stove every Sunday. A helluva tradition I recommend you try.