Sometimes, you can pinpoint the exact moment when a dish goes wrong. Other times, you get to the end, give the food a taste, and think, “What the hell happened?!” And then, there are the times when things are bad, bad, bad, from start to finish. And even though you see it coming, you are powerless to stop it. Yep, that was me in my attempt at a chile rellenos of sorts.
It began with a trip to LA Mart in Silver Spring, my favorite spot for out-of-season produce from exotic locales. I usually stop in sometime during the dead of winter when I just can’t eat one more carrot. This time, I picked up some pointy, green, poblanno-esque peppers, figuring I could stuff them, cover them in cheese and call it a dinner.
I got home and the trouble began. I roasted the peppers on the stove, where they got all blistery and black looking. Not sure if that was good or not, but I soldiered on. The recipe I used directed me to scrape off the black bits and core the peppers, leaving a nice, smoky shell. What I ended up with were several limp, slimy green sheets. But I continued. The filling would redeem them, I figured. Plus, they would be covered in cheese.
The filling was about what you’d expect—black beans, tomatoes, spices—with one addition: grapefruit. A bit odd, I thought, but I was willing to give it a try. It could be one of those surprisingly delicious combinations, like pickles and cream cheese wrapped in corned beef.
Nope. It was just bad. It was hard to nail down what exactly was bad about it, which means it was also impossible to correct. But I now had about four cups of the stuff, so I stumbled blindly on. I “stuffed” the slimy pepper sheets with the grapefruit-black bean blend.Read More›
For Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims mixed European and Native traditions. Captain Smith, Squanto – how about a little love for the Asians? This year, my parents’ multinational crew of grad students promised to represent. On the menu for our T-giving feast was Szechuan beef, Korean pancakes and short rib stew.
“You should cook something, too,” my mom said.
Determined to transcend my lowly status as gastronomic afterthought, I plotted to steal the show. I would take Thanksgiving tradition to new heights by weaving in the culinary tricks I picked up during my recent hero’s voyage to Spain.
“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH turkey paella???” My Spanish friend Isabel, emailing me from Girona, needed 11 “HA”s and three question marks to communicate just how freakish it was to throw gobbler into my paella.
When I was in Barcelona and Madrid, though, I had paellas with all kinds of stuff – snails, rabbit, you name it. I was further reassured after learning that Bobby Flay had the same idea; his recipe for turkey paella is all over the Web. Turkey wasn’t the only unusual detail – the recipe also called for a “lemon-smoked paprika aioli” with mayo, lemon juice, and lemon peel.Read More›
My boyfriend and I traveled around Arizona for the last few days. We were invited for a wedding (Hi Mrs. Gaul!) in Rio Verde, but decided to take spend extra time in the state, mostly to delay that almost-five-hour flight back. We first ate dinner in Scottsdale (yes to Buffalo Carpaccio at Cowboy Ciao) and then stayed at a hotel/casino in Fort McDowell, which is built on tribal land. We then drove north to Sedona to visit my cousins and then north again and hiked about a mile into the Grand Canyon.
As this is a food blog, I won’t bore you with the beauty of the red rocks in Sedona and the pure fucking insanity that is the Grand Canyon (I think I said “What the fuck?!” every few steps.) I will, however, let you know my limited dining choices. I say choices because the options were not limited. We just chose the same thing over and over again.Read More›