Sunday, June 23, 2013

Horseradish Black Pepper Vinaigrette

This is literally the best salad dressing ever. How do I know? I Googled "best salad dressing ever" and came up with a bunch of insipid, lame-as-shit recipes written by people with poor grammar and weird taste. And we all know that The Google don't lie. So this is therefore the best salad dressing ever. Airtight logic. Case closed.

Don't believe me? Go ahead and fix up a batch. Send me an angry email* if you don't like it.

*All angry emails will be ignored.

Prep time: 1/4 cocktail

1 TBSP prepared, hot horseradish
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper 
1 TBSP white or cider vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp light agave nectar
1 tsp soy sauce
Poppy seeds, dill, or sesame seeds (all optional)

Combine everything into a small jar with an airtight lid. Seal and shake until everything is well mixed. Dressing is ready! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chermoula: The New Humble Star of Your Summer

While it looks like an unassuming--even lowly--green paste, don't be fooled. Chermoula can transform anything you make this summer into a hero's meal. Traditionally used as a topping or rub for fish or grilled meat in Moroccan cuisine, it is super versatile and can also be made into a mayonnaise for hamburgers (or beet burgers), added to marinades, incorporated into salad dressings, or snorted through a hundred-dollar bill off a hooker's belly. Yup, it's that good. It'll add a nice, exocitic ring to anything.

Prep time: 1/4 cocktail

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2/3 bunch coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (don't use curly parsley)
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 pinch saffron (I know it's expensive. Get over it.)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp grated ginger
Juice of 1 large juicy lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil

Put everything except the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse until it's broken down pretty well, but not to the point of being a smooth paste. Now, with the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. It's that easy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nashif: An Ethiopian Breakfast (Kind Of)

After living in Ethiopia for two years, I saw this food only twice--at two restaurants on opposite sides of the country. I never saw anybody eating it at home, nor have I seen or heard of it anywhere else, including online. So I have no clue whether this is a legitimately common food someplace, or if a couple random restaurant owners are the only ones who offer it as a way to offload old bread. One thing I am sure of, however, is that this is a freaking amazingly delicious breakfast. It's kind of a stove-top savory bread pudding. And it will completely cure any hangover. Think of it as the African equivalent of chilaquiles. And there's really no reason this needs to be a breakfast food; you can really serve it for any meal.

Prep time: 2 cups of coffee

6 slices sandwich bread, left out overnight (preferably whole wheat)
1 small onion, minced finely, divided
3 TBSP butter
4 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt
2 jalepenos or fresno chilies, minced
1 TBSP berbere
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
Plain yogurt, lowfat or full-fat only (no nonfat)
A handful of chopped tomato

Cut the dry bread into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

Put a dry saucepan over medium heat and add all but a handful of the onions. Stir the onions frequently until they become fairly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until it's melted, then add garlic, salt, and chilies. Saute for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add the berbere and saute another couple minutes. Next add the water and stir in the bread. Stir really well until the bread is nice and evenly coated with the spices and all the water is absorbed. You want the bread to soften up, but not be totally mushy; it should still have a bit of texture to it, so add a bit more water if necessary and salt to taste.

Remove the bread mixture from heat and cover. On the same burner increase to medium-high and heat a bit of butter or oil in a frying pan and scramble the eggs.

Now dish it up by scooping the bread mixture onto two plates and topping with the remaining onion, eggs, tomato, and a few generous dollops of yogurt. Shit, that's good!