Archive for the Butch cooking school Category

Instant Butch Cooking

Posted in Butch cooking school, Butch in the real world on January 9, 2017 by sartorialbutch

In the past I’ve written about ways to woo in the kitchen by making a great meal or even just a simple pot of perfect coffee. At this point in my life, my thoughts on kitchen work are what I think might be the same for covert military operations; get in, get out, leave no trace.

I mentioned in the last post that we are now a family of 4 and that I work out of the home and my wife works (so so hard) making sure my kids (and me) are taken care of. Both are challenging roles but we both end the day with the same question – What’s for dinner?

I bought, on the recommendation of many friends, this Instant Pot from Amazon when it was on sale during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I figured if it helped cut down on cooking times just a few times a week it would be worth it. instant

What we’ve found is we’re not just using it for breakfast or quick dinners (which it does, beautifully) but for staples of our diets that normally come from a can or take hours to make, like black beans. Now we can make a huge amount of perfectly cooked black beans that stay in the fridge all week for us to make quick meals out of.

It makes perfect rice. You can make (with jarred sauce and chicken parts) a passable tikka masala meal (and rice cooked in a separate bowl in the pot) in less than 25 minutes without having to stir or watch. Things that were once delicious but annoying to do while having to do a zillion other things have become quick and simple – seriously – I can make a weeks worth of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast in less than 20 minutes without doing anything but putting a bowl with oats and milk/water inside the pot and hitting the start button.

oats

It sounds silly to wax poetic about a beefed up crock pot on steroids, but honestly? It’s giving me back little pieces of my life. I think the same is true for my wife – more time together, just playing with the kids as a family, or having time to spend an extra 10 minutes just talking to each other is changing how we do things – for the better. I can spend a few extra minutes a day working on art/music/reading without feeling like I’m ignoring helping out in the house.  We get all of this AND we still get to eat well, which can be a struggle.

I won’t front and say that dinner sometimes isn’t chicken nuggets and leftover kids mac and cheese – but lately, more often than not it’s delicious ribs we cooked in 40 minutes without watching, or a pulled pork shoulder that was done in an hour instead of six of them – and leaves decent amount of leftovers so I’m not spending money buying lunch at work.  And by having breakfasts ready to go in the morning we are feeling less stressed AND getting where we need to be (mostly) on time.

And, ok, if you still want to be fancy and impressive? I made the stock for pho by using some simple veggies/spices and roasted beef rib bones that were left over from our Christmukkah feast. It took about 5 minutes of active prep time, cooked for 90 minutes or so, and was perfectly fragrant and delicious. It took more time to clean and prep the cilantro and other pho add-ins than it did to cook!

 

brothpho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The IP takes on dessert too – these mini cheesecakes were made in no time by one of our IP pushing friends who brought them over for a family meal recently, and they were DELICIOUS.

cake

While this post may not be sexy – and also may come off as my own personal infomercial – I’m hoping to turn some reluctant cooks into owners. It’s great for keeping heat out of small kitchens/apts/warm weather locations, it only uses one pot to make your whole meal, and doesn’t require anything but an outlet to work.  It’s helping us save some money, which is a constant struggle, eat well and healthy, which is also a constant struggle, and is helping us find more time to be a family – or to take a few minutes for ourselves. Which is, for me, right now at this point in my life one of the sexiest things I can think of.

Have an IP? What do you LOVE cooking in it?

Butch cooking school – one for the butches

Posted in Butch cooking school on May 20, 2010 by sartorialbutch

I started making a kick ass Thai chili sauce a few years back – one of my femme friends told me after eating the following meal that all I needed to do to have women falling all over me was take a bowl of it to the bar – that it was so good it was an instant panty dropper.  It’s actually my favorite thing that I make  –  and it’s really really easy. However, in a SB change up, I’m going to suggest making this one for your butch buds – it’s awesome for a game, and easily done indoors or on the grill – wings w/ Thai chili sauce.

First, lets make the sauce – it’s crazy crazy easy.

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

1/3rd cup rice vinegar

dash soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sambal oelek

2 cloves garlic peeled/smashed

4 1/2 inch slices of ginger (not an exact science, just make sure you peel it)

1 tsp corn starch/tapioca starch

handful of cilantro chopped

Ok. Put all ingredients except the starch and cilantro into a saucepan and turn on the heat. bring to boil, then back it down to a simmer – let it cook for about 15 minutes.  In a small bowl add about a tbsp of water to the corn starch and mix it up. Remove the big chunks of ginger and garlic (discard) and bring the mix back to a boil.  Stir in the starch liquid until it’s incorporated, and then remove the sauce from the heat. As it cools down it will thicken to the perfect consistency to coat the wings.

On to the wings.  For this recipe I use a pack that has about 20 full wings in it. You can cook them any way you would like. You can bake them for about 40 minutes at 350 and then brown them up under the broiler. You can grill them, and if you must, you can deep fry them. You can keep them as huge full 3 part wings, or break them down in to smaller pieces – your call. Just make sure the juices on them are running clear so you won’t be serving anyone undercooked food.

Personally? I like the bake/broil method in the winter, and there’s nothing better than grilling them up in the summer.

When they’re done, put them in a bowl and toss them with about 3/4 of your sauce – reserve some for extra dipping.  Throw on the chopped cilantro and serve with grilled veggies, rice, etc – pretty much anything works as a side dish if you’re going for a meal (which is what we did,) or you know, with chips and beer (Tiger is my favorite Asian beer) for company appetizers.

What are your favorite foods to share with your butch buds?

Butch Cooking School: Love Episode

Posted in Butch cooking school with tags , , on April 23, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Today is the SL’s birthday – and therefore, since I LOVE birthdays, it has been SL’s Birthday week since Monday. We’ve gone to a baseball game and to get drinks w/ friends while our most talented butch friend sang at a swanky downtown club and we’re going to do tapas and drinks tonight and special special dinner out tomorrow. But the other night I kind of went over the top and went nuts and made her a dinner that was just….decadent and amazing. I’d like to share this with you!

So, if you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish or a vegan or someone who doesn’t like to have to kill their own dinner, you’re probably going to want to stop reading right now. If you are someone who likes to work for their food, then I can pretty much guarantee that preparing this meal for your shellfish eating companion is going to earn you some major major points, and quite probably get you laid.  I mean, you know, if you’re not incredibly exhausted by doing all of the work to make this dish happen that all you can do when your head hits the pillow is fall asleep. Not that I know what that’s like. Cough.

Also, this is kind of a pricey meal, so even if you’re not going to get any, make sure you like the people you’re making this for a lot. I’m blessed to have once worked at a plant that processes seafood, and so this is pretty easy on my budget because they never let me pay for stuff, kind of like being an Amex holder, membership has its privileges.

Anyway, here is my recipe for crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce.

This recipe makes 16 large ravioli and serves 4 – it’s too much for a big serving, and goes great with a salad.

You will need:

Ravioli:

1 lb lump crab meat*

1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1 package of chives

¼ cup parmesan cheese**

Good pinch kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper – to your taste, I like a lot

4 sheets fresh pasta 8 in x  14in (or there-abouts)***

Sauce:

1 1lb lobster (or ¼ pound of already picked lobster meat)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp flour

1 cup heavy cream slightly warm or at least at room temperature

¼ cup vodka

1 tbsp of tomato paste OR 1 slug of prepared jarred tomato based pasta sauce

1 bunch watercress

1 squirt sriracha

Generous pinch salt

Pepper to taste

Ok, it seems like a lot, and it is, but it’s an easy recipe to follow, and I’ll do my best to break it down. This is a made up in the head of the SB type recipe, so if there’s something you don’t like, feel free to swap it out for something else. Don’t like watercress? Baby spinach will work. Hate ricotta? Try mascarpone. No likey the spicy? Omit the sriracha Abhor Parmesan? Try Romano….get the drift?

Let’s cook the lobster first, because we can do other stuff while this happens. If you’re cooking your own lobster, bring a big pot ¾ full of water to the boil, and add about ¼ cup of salt to the water.  Throw in your lobster when you’ve got a good boil, and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes.

While this is happening, let’s make our ravioli filling:

Chop the chives into teeny tiny little circles

Throw the salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. It’s good to get this in first (and you can add more later) but when your hands are a mixed up mess, it’s hard to grind.

Note, this can get a bit messy. If you’re squidgy about stuff like this, break into your safer sex supply and throw on some gloves, but rinse them off  (on your hands) before touching food.

Pick through the crabmeat making sure there is no shell pieces (they’re small, do this diligently,) and picking out the black/orange pieces of “skin.” Break up the meat a bit in your fingers, not to shreds but enough to break it up a bit into not huge chunks and put it into the mixing bowl.

With your hands mix in the Parmesan and ricotta, and the chives though reserve a small amt of chives for garnish.. Make sure everything is thoroughly blended.  Cover w/ plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

That’s it for filling. See? This is easy.

Your lobster should be done now. Take it out of the pot (carefully!) and throw into an ice bath or into the sink w/ cold running water. If you’re a quick worker, you can be chilling this while making the filling. No rushing, it’ll all come together, great. Just don’t over cook your crustacean friend, he’ll (and I prefer boy lobsters) get rubbery. Let it chill out for a few minutes before attempting to pick the meat.  SB method for lobster extraction:

1-     Twist off claws and legs at the body. Yes, all the legs. There’s good eatin (the best meat, I think) in there.

2-     Separate tail from body in a firm twisting motion. Rinse green stuff off tail meat. Throw body away. I mean, you can pick through it but there’s not a whole lot of useable meat in there. Also, hang on to the white filmy stuff. It’s yummy and will break down in the sauce.

3-     With nutcrackers, break apart the claws and pick meat from claws and knuckle. Remove cartilage piece from middle of both claws  – not yummy and kind of gross.  Don’t worry if it’s not “pretty” claws etc, you’re going to chop it all up.

4-     Use a rolling pin and push out the meat from the legs – if you do it right it will come out in a perfect stick-like tube.

5-     Break fins off of tail – yes, there is yummy in the fins, worth digging for.

6-     Crack open tail and push meat through larger opening.

7-     Chop up the lobster in to ½ inch-ish sized pieces – don’t worry about perfection, rough cut is fine. Put in a small bowl and cover/refrigerate until it is sauce time.

This: Turns in to this:

I KNOW. A lot of work for just a little bit of meat. But trust, it’s worth it.

Ok. Now lets assemble ravioli:

Lay out 2 of the pasta sheets out and space 8 1/3 cup-ish sized (Just eyeball it. You don’t want to overstuff but you want them to be filled) portions of the filling a few inches apart from each other on each of the sheets.

Use a pastry brush and lightly moisten (hahaha) the visible pasta on the sheets.

Place the other two sheets over the filled sheets and gently with your hand, cup down over the filling lightly pressing on the edges outside of this. Do this for all 8 balls (hahaha.)

Cut each sheet into 8 square raviolis. You can then press the edges together with more pressure, starting from the filling and work out towards the edges, and then you can go one step further to prevent leakage/separation during cooking.

Put all your ravioli’s on a wax paper lined sheet pan and in a cool dry place until you’re ready to cook. You can do this HOURS in advance and cover lightly w/ plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Let’s move to the last frontier – the sauce. It’s a good idea to eat immediately after making the sauce so you’ll want to have a very large pot of salted water at a gentle rolling boil at the ready – things will move quickly towards the end.

Experienced chefs know that most great cream sauces start with a roux, which is just a fancy French word for a butter/flour paste that helps thicken sauces. We’re going to make one now!

It also helps to have ALL of the sauce making supplies at the ready for ease of preparation.

In a 10 inch (my preference, use what you have) sauce pan melt the butter over medium low heat. When it starts to bubble add the flour and start whisking.

When the mixture starts to turn a nutty brown, you’re ready to add the cream.

Move the pan OFF THE HEAT and slowly add in the cream while whisking – it will get thick pretty quick. When all the cream is incorporated, move the pan back to the heat and reduce to the lowest setting. CONTINUE whisking. Be diligent about this – if you stop before the designated stopping point, the sauce may fall apart, and that sucks.

Once back on the heat, add the vodka and whisk in, which should thin the sauce out to a really nice consistency. Add the tomato paste/sauce, salt, pepper and stir.

Next add your ravioli one at a time to the gently boiling water (a harsh boil might make the ravioli break apart – and stir so none are sticking to the pot.  The ravioli will take no more than 3-4 minutes to cook and it’s one more thing you don’t want to over cook – but I promise this is not that hard.

After putting in the ravioli, lets finish up the sauce – Add sriracha if you like it spicy-ish (it really just adds a small bit of heat)  and then put in the lobster. Stir. Then add the watercress and stir it in as well. DONE with the sauce.

Scoop out ravioli, or gently drain into a colander. Place 4 ravioli on a dish and spoon a generous portion of sauce over the pasta.  Top with a pinch of the reserved chives, and maybe an extra quick grate of parmesan.  If only serving two, add pasta to remaining sauce and remove from heat – this will prevent stickage for later portions/reheating.

You are so so so done. And um, if you do this right? You’ll be someone(s) favoritist person in the world – at least for the next few hours.  Enjoy!

*I live in New England and prefer Jonah or Peekytoe crab meat. I find it sweeter and more delicious than any other crab around. But that’s my preference. If you’re in the mid-Atlantic? Maryland Blue crab all the way. Or Stone crab in Florida. Or Red crabs on the West Coast….go local on this one! And if you HAVE too? Research and buy the best canned meat you can find.

**Yes, I’m a foodie, but I understand that there is a time and place for “snow” or canned “Parmesan” cheese and this is NOT it. Save it for pizza. If you’re that lazy, buy the pre-grated stuff but freshly grated delivers the best Parmesan punch. And yeah, the good stuff is pricy, but worth it.

Butch Cooking School: Jewey Breakfast

Posted in Butch cooking school with tags , , on March 30, 2010 by sartorialbutch

The following is a recipe for my FAVORITE comfort food breakfast. I could eat this year round but it’s especially welcome during Passover, when Jews are prohibited from eating leavened bread, and certain grains, which can make for a challenging breakfast selection.

Matzah Brei is like Jewish french toast. Pretty much everyone’s mom makes it different, and you end up liking what you grew up with best. It can be served open faced style, fritata style, or the way I prefer it, “scrambled egg” style.  This is an EASY yet tasty breakfast that is sure to make the Jew in your life feel extra special, especially during Passover.

Ingredients:

1/2 box kosher for Passover matzah (or not, if it isn’t Passover

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

dash of salt

1/3 stick butter

1)break the matzah into small pieces, roughly 1×2 inches – though this is very free form. Just try not to have them be too small or too big:) Put matzah in a large bowl

2)cover the matzah with warmish tap water. Let the matzah soak for about two minutes, just until it starts to get soft to the touch. Do NOT over soak, mushy is bad.

3)in separate bowl mix milk eggs, and a good pinch of salt.

4)drain water from matzah either using a colander or your hand over the lip of the bowl. Practice makes perfect here. After years and years of matzah brei making I rarely lose any to the sink anymore when I drain it.

5)mix matzah with egg/milk mixture – use your hands for this. Yes, gross but necessary.

6)melt butter in a large saute pan over medium low heat.

7)When butter is melted, fry matzah brei. To fully cook it all this will take about 20 minutes. Do not be tempted to turn the heat up to make it go faster, this doesn’t work and ends up with burnt outside, soggy inside matzah brei. You’ll want to flip the matzah brei around every 4 or so minutes, and break it apart a little bit with a spatula as you work.

8)You’ll know it’s done when the pieces flake apart from each other, but still look somewhat moist and delicious.

9)top with your favorite sweet item. I prefer regular white sugar, which I pile on in excess and stir around till it melts in a shiny gloss over the matzah. Others prefer powdered sugar, jelly, or even maple syrup.

ENJOY!!

For my Jew friends – what is your favorite part about Passover? For my non-Jew friends – this season is abundant with holidays – what are your favorite springtime holiday traditions?

A “Treat Yourself” interlude…

Posted in Butch cooking school with tags , , on March 20, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Admittedly, I’m not much of a drinker.  I’m allergic to something in the brewing process of beer, so more than one or two make me feel really sick before ever getting to buzz.  Sulfates in most red wines gives me a massive headache.  I don’t like the “out of control” drunk feeling I get when imbibing too much in the realm of hard alcohol/mixed drinks. While I do have an affinity for the occasional well crafted mixed drink, and I generally think it’s always a great time for sipping a tumbler of Scotch- neat, please.

That being said, sometimes it IS the right time for a glass of wine with a good meal. And with that I feel I must direct you towards my new favorite white wine produced by Sleight of Hand Cellars in WA, “The Magician” Gewurztraminer.

This is an AWESOME white wine that is excellently paired with light meals, salads, fish, and Asian cuisine. It’s PERFECT with the Filipino Adobo Shrimp that I gave you the recipe for a few months ago, and seriously, it’s delicious.

It’s fruity without being too sweet or too Riesling like, fragrant, somewhat spicy, and is (to me anyway, you’ll have to find out for yourself) perhaps the easiest drinking white wine that I’ve ever tasted. I am SO not a wine expert but I really like this. At around $17 a bottle it’s not cheap, but it’s totally not out of the realm of inexpensive.

Buy a bottle, and make your significant (or insignificant) other(s) a nice meal and enjoy. Heck. Enjoy it by yourself with a fine meal and a book.  You deserve it:)

Sunday morning start up

Posted in Butch cooking school with tags , on January 31, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Disclaimers – I’m not fully up yet. I didn’t clean the kitchen first. I never claimed to have sartorial hoodies, these are just pj’s. I’m also not showered and coiffed, but that should be fully evident. Also? I only had one chance to make this right so….it isn’t perfect, I eye roll and stutter and say “roast” instead of “brew.” Forgive;)

French press coffee makes a smooth, almost creamier coffee than regular drip coffee AND comes with the added benefit of not using electricity or much space at all in your kitchen.  This is one small thing you can do (especially if you like good coffee) to care for yourself, guests, and those who you love. Added bonus? Tastes better than anything you can buy in a store and costs a TON less.

Enjoy!

Butch Cooking School, Lesson #2, Adobo Shrimp

Posted in Butch cooking school with tags on January 29, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Lateish one night the SL and I were curled up on the couch watching Anthony Bourdain tour the Philippines.  One of the items we fixated on was the Adobo style cooking that seems to run rampant in the country. It has nothing to do with South American cooking, except for the word itself, and when we watched how things were cooked in this method, which is a basic stir frying method including garlic, soy, and an acid (vinegar, citrus) we found ourselves salivating and knew that we were going to try this at home.

In the episode we learned that you can “adobo” anything (so feel free to omit shrimp and add veggies or tofu/seitan/tempeh,) but what we wanted most to experience was adobo shrimp. I wanted this to be a “savage” meal. By this I mean I wanted it to be something we had to dig into, eat with our hands, and basically make a small mess in the name of gastrointestinal pleasure. Kind of like what happens with lobsters, but um, spicier.  Also, it seems like everyone does adobo a bit differently outside of the base ingredients so…I augmented a bit towards the firey.

I served the shrimp over a small bowl of white rice, though I suppose it could stand on its own, with a veggie side, or some other starch – but the rice was delightful because it soaked up extra sauce and made for a happy ending. (Ha. I just made myself laugh out loud again.)  This is REALLY easy, and totally delicious  – I give you Adobo Shrimp, Butch style.

Ingredients:  – this will serve 2 really hungry people

1 pound 16/20 shrimp (shell on, raw, most likely will have been previously frozen. This is fine – if you’re adventurous then keep heads too, they’re yummy)

3 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of one lime

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon instant dissolve sugar (or regular, if you have to, I find the instant cooks down nicer)

1 teaspoon sambal oelek paste (or not, this is a to taste thing)

1 really generous long squirt of sriracha (again, to your liking)

Generous pinch kosher salt

Vegetable oil – just enough to slick up (hahahaha) the bottom of the wok/pan

Fresh ground pepper

Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

Cooking goes really fast so it’s helpful to have all ingredients at the ready, near the stove:

1- Clean Shrimp:  under cold water run knife edge from top of shrimp back towards tail so you can remove the vein but also keep the shell intact.

2- Heat up your wok/big frying pan with somewhat high sides. Coat with vegetable oil, and keep at a medium/med-high setting.

3- Toss in garlic and sauté for about 10 seconds, stirring to get it all coated w/ oil.

4- Shrimp go in. Toss in pan (or stir if you’re lacking confidence)

5- In goes the vinegar, lime juice, sambal, and soy. Continue moving things around in the pan.

6- Sprinkle in the salt and sugar, give a few good grinds (or more than a few if you like) of black pepper.

7- Just as the shrimp start turning pink and feeling more firm to the touch, squirt (haha) in your desired amount of sriracha.

8- Turn up heat and cook on high for about one more minute, continually tossing/stirring items in pan. It’s important to NOT overcook the shrimp so you know, if you’ve done the other steps slowly, you can go right to the plate before this step. Throw the cilantro on top after plating.

SERVE. Have lots of napkins. Delicious. So good. So Spicy. Perfect with beer or a Riesling that’s on the dry side. The SL says she’d eat this EVERY DAY with complete happiness if I served it to her.
What’s your favorite “savage” food?