My quest to make perfect pasta just got a lot easier with the use of this Italian-made pasta maker. One day I’ll be as dexterous as the chefs on ICA but for now I’m content with looking like a chicken with its head chopped off cooking in the kitchen.
Monthly Archives: December 2010
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been on a diet limiting our meat consumption to the weekends. I thought it would be hard but when you got weekends like this to look forward to makes it not that bad. Since I was cooking at home on Saturday we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on Christmas Eve. Everything was great but the highlight of the night was definitely the Farmhouse Cheeseburger topped with grilled smoked pork belly, cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo and a fried egg.
Yes, pork belly and a fried egg…
And Christmas Day was a normal feast at the Avocado LA house that consisted of raw fish, cooked meat and alcohol.
Bluefin Tuna Sashimi
Spicy Tuna on Fried Wontons
And a Ribeye Roast (amongst many other dishes but my greasy paws were no where close to the camera).
Always trust a Japanese Chef with choosing the best bottle of Soju and El Charro Tequila is as smooth as Patron and Don Julio but it’s only $13 a bottle! You can thank me later…
On Sunday I finally realized I love the food from BJ’s.
Goodbye gluttony, see you in Hawaii in three weeks!
Baba ganoush is a side dish similar to hummus but made with eggplant (which makes it have a lighter texture). Super easy to make, very healthy and I actually prefer this over hummus.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Prick each eggplant a few times fork, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step but still prick with a fork.)
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips.
If you like to cook you should try to make pasta from scratch at least once. Yeah it takes more time than boiling the store-bought stuff for 8 minutes but if you can enjoy the process, the outcome will always taste so much better.
The great thing about cooking is when you taste a good dish from a restaurant it gives you inspiration to make something similar. There’s been numerous times when we’ve eaten at a restaurant and went straight home to try to make what we just ate. About six months ago I had one of my favorite pasta dishes from the Spoon House called Sea Urchin Spaghetti, ever since that first bite I knew I needed to make the same dish with fresh pasta. Uni (sea urchin) is one of the best edible things to come out of the ocean and in my sushi bar called heaven they would only serve toro, wild salmon and uni.
Since the uni’s flavor is best rare this dish works when everything is cooked separately. First the white clam sauce is made with white wine, cream, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, clams and clam juice and simmered in a small pot. Then the shrimp is seared in a pan with salt, pepper and butter. Mixed all together with the uni last (no heat) so it doesn’t cook.
Add to fresh pasta and topped with seaweed and sesame seeds.
Recently I found out I have high blood pressure and should be taking medication but instead I’ve decided to really watch my diet and exercise more. Now that’s a hard thing to grasp when you’re a red meat worshiping, wrap everything in bacon, taco eating, burger connoisseur like myself however I hate medication more than I love food. This brings me to the Gracie family, popular for the inception of the UFC, Brazilian jiu jitsu and the Gracie Diet. This diet is based on the principle that digestion is the body’s toughest workout and streamlining this process enables the body to divert a maximum percentage of its resources towards other essential functions like training, healing injuries, fighting disease, etc. It’s such an easy concept to follow, for example
Group A - combine with each other, plus one of Group B
Group B - Do not combine with each other
(for the complete list, groups and diet buy the Gracie Diet book)
So I’m gradually integrating my diet with this concept because I know it works. I’ve seen it with my own eyes training at the Gracie Academy. Every day I come in I see Rener and Ryron Gracie and their energy level is unbelievable, you would think with jiu jitsu 6 to 7 days a week they would need a lot of caffeine and GNC products but it’s all the Gracie Diet. Here’s a hearty sandwich Rener (pronounced Hen-er) makes that’s a great energy booster with no meat or saturated fat.
Make sure you buy one of the best albums of 2010 and support a really good artist
Good condiments are a great way to compliment any dish. And for some dishes, condiments actually complete the meal by livening up bland food. I’m not just talking about the bottles of Tapatio, Sriracha, soy sauce, etc. in your refrigerator. All those are a given but there’s a whole world of condiments that are easy to prepare and necessary for any Foodbeasts out there. One of my all time favorite condiments are pickled peppers.
This works with any pepper but I like using Serrano’s because they’re a little hotter than a jalapeno but won’t kill your taste buds like a habanero.
In a little jar I’ll put one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of sugar, one part hot water to dissolve the salt and sugar then 3 parts vinegar. Add the sliced chilies
These two jars will last me about a month before I have to make a new batch