Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chile Lime Chicken, Microwave Sweet Corn, and Cilantro Butter

I still maintain that it is too hot to cook, BUT I am officially over the cereal straight from the box routine.  Over it.  However, as frequently happened, this seemingly simple idea turned into a "what the hell do I do now?" moment.

The chicken is a total cheat, but I have an explanation...  I was given a Williams Sonoma gift card for my birthday ((Thanks, Jimmy!)) and in an attempt to use the remaining four dollars on it after I got some REALLY good stuff, I ended up buying one of their spice rub thingys.  All you do is to throw a cup or so of breadcrumbs with 3-4 tablespoons of their Chile Lime Spice Rub into a baggie and toss it around until it is fairly uniform in color.  I then just threw the chicken in there ((no egg wash required)), tossed it, and threw it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Easy.

The picture sucks because the pool guy who has more than a slight resemblance to Mr. Belding showed up and I didn't have the gall to take food out to photograph in front of him.  Oops.

About 20 minutes before the chicken would be done, I put on a huge pot of water to boil.  When I went back to check on the boilitude ((that's a word, eff off spell check)), I found the pot was full of foam.  Uhhhh... Well, I had used that pot to boil a huge batch of Chinese herbs to make a tincture for my back.  That concoction smelled like a combination of Christmas, despair, and a flop house.  I soaked that damn pot for days to get rid of the residue.  And then more days.  And then I scrubbed it some more.  Then it soaked for another week.  I'm afraid whatever medicinal properties ((and contact high)) I got from the "treatment" may have resulted in ruining the stock pot.  Oh well.  

At this point, there is now 6 minutes left for the chicken so I quickly googled if you can microwave sweet corn and if so, how.  Basically, you shuck the corn, wrap it tightly in paper towels, and nuke it for 5 minutes.  I have to say, it turned out pretty well.  It didn't get quite the same golden color as when you boil it, but it was perfectly edible.

I then basted it with a cilantro butter.  Melt the butter and chop up a LOT of cilantro into really small pieces or until you get annoyed with it.  Add it to the melted butter and let it all seep together for a while.  Brush it on the corn with a basting brush.  


All righty... I need to quickly finish up some freelance work.  Happy Wednesday!  Or Happy Whatever Day You Read This! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Potatoes, "I Have a Cooking Blog?!" and a List of Excuses

WAIT.  I have a cooking blog?!  Who updates it when I flake out for a couple of weeks?  Oh.  No one?  OOPS.  Ready for a list of excuses that will be interesting to exactly no one?  That's what I thought.

1.  It's hot.  It's like 108-112 degrees hot.  It is damn near impossible to confront a hot grill, an oven, or even to boil water when it is that hot.  It also kills your appetite.  I assumed ((rightly, I believe)) that no one was interested in a recipe for Cheerios from the box.  Or a store-bought popsicle.  If you are, well, you have other issues that I don't feel capable of addressing at this time.  Maybe later though.

2.  I broke up with the co-op which apparently provided a lot of my inspiration.  The suppliers had a rough early summer... quantities went way down, the quality went down, and it was no longer the massive savings that it typically is.  The other thing is that the people there had gotten too familiar with me.  What used to be a less than 5 minute in and out/pick up the shit and go turned into 20-30 minutes because of all the chatting and asking for advice.  I realize this is actually a compliment, but I just don't want to be that chatty at 7 am on a Saturday.  When I relocate next week, I will pretend not to speak English.

3.  Negative comments.  I understand that the Internet is a place where people can hide behind anonymity and I know that ((like everyone else who publishes shit on the internet)) people will sometimes be horrible to me.  I purposefully moderate the comments so that a bunch of negativity doesn't get spewed by ugly people who seriously need a hobby.  Well, two negative comments got under my skin last weekend and I went on strike.  If you don't like the way I swear, what I make, the randomness of any of it, just don't read it.  I'm really not that interesting anyway.

4.  Did I mention it is hot?


That said, let's make something.  In typical style, I set out to make one thing and ended up with something completely different.  The plan was to make breakfast burritos with Italian sausage, but it turned out my eggs were closer to being chicks than eggs, the milk was expired, and defrosting the sausage at that point seemed like a waste of time.  ((Must go to Trader Joe's.  Stat.))  Instead I ended up with cheesy Mexican hash brown potatoes.

What you need:

16 ounces of hash brown potatoes ((I prefer the refrigerated kind, not the frozen ones.))
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
Salt and pepper

What to do:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to high heat.  Add the potatoes in a thin layer and smash them down with a spatula.  ((The instructions call for vegetable oil to "fry" them in, but that's just gross.))  Let them cook for 6-7 minutes, or until they get golden brown and crispy on the bottom side.  Oh and leave them alone!  Don't be stirring them all around or anything.  Let it be.  Put a few cracks of salt and pepper on top.

Flip the potatoes over ((if it breaks up, that's totally fine)) and cook for another 5-6 minutes.  Again, add a little salt and pepper.

Smash them up a little and add the salsa and the jalapeno.  Stir it around and add the cheese.  Let cook just until the cheese is melty and gooey.

This can be eaten as a side dish or on a tortilla.  ((The original plan was to mix this with scrambled eggs  and browned sausage...  I'm sure that would be even better.))


I'll be back some time with something!  ((Just kidding.))  I *believe* we are doing a photography shoot next weekend so there will be much to look forward to.