Archive | March, 2013

The Perfect Scallop

11 Mar

I am insecure with many things I cook. But scallops? Oh I’m good at scallops.

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My favorite things about scallops: their delectable sweetness, their ability to morph flavors and be perfect with whatever surrounding you choose, and the fact that all you need is salt and pepper to make them the bomb.edu (people take .edu things more seriously I don’t know why this hasn’t caught on)

About a year ago, I did a post about scallops thinking I knew what I was doing. I mean, I used FLOUR. I am ashamed and have since removed the post. Scallops are one of those meals that impress people when done at home — and it cannot get any easier than this.

OH MY FUCKING SHIT I AM SO BEYOND PISSED RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I FINISHED THIS POST ON THE AIRPLANE WHEN I HAD NO INTERNET AND I JUST WENT ON TO POST IT AND THE HOTEL DECIDED THAT MY POST WAS WORTHLESS AND I AM NEAR TEARS BECAUSE WELL ON MY PERIOD THIS IS A REALLY HUGE DEAL APPARENTLY AND NOW I HAVE TO TYPE IT AGAIN BUT I CAN’T SEE THROUGH THE ANGER AND SADNESS OH THE HUMANITY

Oh god. I’m sad. Typing this out is now painful.

ANY. HOW. Now I will angrily type this out dammit shit fuck balls HERE:

STEP FUCKING ONE: It is crucial that your scallops are super, super dry. Oh please, please do not buy them frozen and thaw them, I beg of you. When you are ready to start your super awesome meal, lay out your scallops onto a bed of 2 or 3 paper towels. Dab em dry, let em sit for a bit, turn em over, and let them sit for a little bit longer.

STEP FUCKING TWO: When they are nice and dry, season them WELL! Scallops are super sweet — one of the carbiest of the ummmm uhhhhhhhh *opens new window, wikipedias scallops* marine bivalve mollusks of the pectinidae family also the cosmopolitan family wtf anyhow they’re sweet so they can handle more kosher salt than you’d think. I heavily pepper mine as well — fiiiiine pepper so it don’t burn, worrrrrd. Season both sides and let those little marine bivalve mollusks chillax.

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STEP THREE (not mad anymore): Take your pan (preferably stainless steel because it gets nice and hot) and put in one tablespoon of unsalted butter and one tablespoon of oil (canola, veg, grapeseed, peanut — not olive!). Get it nice and hot on high (smoking) and set your timer for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The ones i have photographed are a little under 2 minutes because I love a dark sear outside and the middle ends up just perfect. Don’t just use oil — the butter is what will make it nice and brown.

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STEP FOUR: Put your scallops on and listen to that fat sear your scallops to perfection. DFWI! That’s “don’t fuck with it”! The urge to move your marine bovine sandy pollock cosmopolitan hotels will be strong. FIGHT THE URGE! When the timer is up, flip em and do the other side for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

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STEP FIVE: Take pictures with your dog because she is adorbz.

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Of course, you can cook these scallops a little more or a little less depending on how you like them. My mom likes them borderline raw so I just do a little less than a minute on each side. Dad likes them well done, so I go a little over two minutes each side. Remember not to crowd the pan — I do just 3 or 4 at a time and clean out the pan between batches. The entire cooking process is so quick that it’s not a big deal and it is totally worth it for the beautiful little bastards.

What have I plated them with, you ask?

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The World’s Best Caesar Salad Dressing In the Universe World Most Delicious

6 Mar

Okay. I have no idea if that’s true. But I’ve learned that if you use the words “best”, “most”, “delicious” or “world” in your recipe, the post is pretty much the first thing that comes up if googled, whether it’s awesome or not.

But. I would never say that without the confidence that it really is as good as it gets, as far as simple/delicious goes. And who doesn’t want that?

Exhibit A: Simple.

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Worcestershire sauce. Essentially, war shi shire. Like chill on the letters, UK-place-I-just-wiki’ed. Let’s share with other words okay?

Mayo. If you have an aversion to mayo, why are you even here? Did it hurt your family? Unless it hurt your family you need to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. Like oil and eggs beat together until unrecognizable.

Dijon. I never have fewer than 3 jars of dijon mustard in my fridge.

Garlic. Because garlic is awesome.

Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated. Leave the green Kraft shaker tubes in your college days, like your liver/positivity/sense of hope for the world.

Lemon. Because it’s tangy and stuff.

Anchovy paste. You can find by the cans of tuna in any grocery store. I KNOW. Anchovies are weird. They look gross. Whole, they are freaky. In a paste, they look like baby shit. I can’t put it any other way: you’re gonna have to get over this. It’s a must. Like loving your own children.

Salt and Pepper. Not sure if I’ve ever told you my favorite but Diamond Crystal kosher salt is just the tits. Today I read that Taylor Swift said there is a special place in hell for Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and table salt. Random I know, but I agree, Taytay.

Here’s the recipe, friends…

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On The Table with Eric Ripert

5 Mar

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is my episode of On The Table! I can’t really even put into words how surreal this experience was. But I will admit I teared up a bit at the end. What an amazing human, he is. AN HONOR.

Mama Teigen’s Jok Moo

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1 cup dry Jasmine rice
6 quarts water
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
1.5 tbs kosher salt
(Optional egg)
 
Pork mixture, marinate for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight:
 
1.5 lbs ground 80/20 or 70/30 pork
15 garlic cloves
1 tbs coriander seeds
2 tbs black peppercorns
2 tbs fish sauce
 
With a mortar and pestle, pulverize garlic with the coriander and black peppercorns. Rough and rustic is best, some whole seeds, some finely crushed. Add the garlic mixture to the ground pork and mix thoroughly with your hands. Add the fish sauce and incorporate.
 
For the porridge:
 
In a 8-quart stock pot, fill with water 2 inches below the rim. Bring to a boil. Add the dry rice. It will take approximately 1.5 hours to boil the rice down to the right consistency. You want a nice and slow rolling boil. Stirring frequently, particularly when it thickens. You want the consistency of soupy oatmeal when you add the pork. The pork bits should be rough. Take a handful and pinch of little bits into the water, stirring so they don’t stick to each other. Add 1.5 tbs kosher salt (more or less to taste). Cover and allow to simmer on low for another 15-20 minutes. 
 
Just before serving, add cilantro and sliced green onion into the pot. You want them to be nice and bright green when you ladle into a soup bowl. An option at this point is to add a room temperature egg into your bowl to lightly poach it. Garnish with a little fresh cilantro, fried garlic, Thai chili powder, Thai chili in fish sauce, or pickled Thai chili – to your taste.
xx

BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

5 Mar

…..ARE THE BEST.

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I have a few foods that I would eat daily, even multiple times a day if I could. Fried chicken and pancakes come to mind. But nothing is higher on that list than a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg.

It’s one of the only things in life I have waited in an extensive line for with no regrets. I don’t know what it is about this thing — it’s clearly just a fast-food sandwich and probably something I’d never eat if I knew exactly what cow parts were in it. But it’s just so damn comforting to me. When I’m dieting, I take off the cheese-less muffin, I call it the McWaste, and call it my lower-carb sandwich.

Here is what I’ve conjured up as my excuse: when I was little and living in Snohomish, Washington, my dad used to fly for work, weekly. Every single Monday morning, around 4am, my mom would wake me up and put me in the car to drive him to the airport, which was a little over an hour away. I’d be asleep the entire journey to Sea-Tac, waking only to kiss my dad goodbye. But on the way home, around 6am, we would always, ALWAYS stop and get me this sandwich and 2 golden, crispy, greasy little hash browns. I had to have two. Then I’d go on to school, knowing the best part of my week was over. Until next Monday.

Eating this thing always reminds me of those long drives and how simple things used to make me so, so happy (and fat).

So when I moved to New York, I found myself never eating them and missing the crap out of them. But with no drive thrus in the city, I am not about to get my lazy (mostly hungover) ass into their fine dining establishment. That’s when John decided he could make something better. “BETTER? NO. MAYYYYBE SIMILAR”, I cried. But then this happened:

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Johnny was kind enough to write up his quick breakfast sandwich how-to for you! Months ago, really. But let’s not mention how long I’ve been gone for…

I know it’s easy. It’s not really a recipe. But I just love this thing so freaking much and it’s too big a part of my life not to share.

Take it away, John…

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