What happens when a musician can’t gig? Lots of cooking. Here’s some stuff I’ve been making
- Sauces and Misc stuff
These are just like normal waffles, but they aren’t allowed to leave the house either – so at least you have someone (thing) to talk to while you eat. Waffles are surprisingly good listeners and are really sweet
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or, for a more organic method, just think about all the gigs you could have played but won’t and just cry right into the batter instead)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Some veggie oil (I just pour a little in – idk maybe a tablespoon… maybe two. I wasn’t paying attention.)
- Chocolate chips – I’d chop em up in to bits. It makes you feel superior to the chip and cooks better
- Quick rolled oats – just pour some in. Don’t get too crazy with it, maybe just like Charlie Sheen pre Tiger’s Blood / Winning crazy
- Bananas – mash em or something
1. Take waffle iron that you forgot you own out of the back of the cupboard and clean it.
2. Remind yourself that when you were a kid and you had waffles, things were okay.
3. Get a bowl and beat those eggs till they are fluffy.
4. Add all the other things in. If you’re making fancy waffles, add the fancy stuff in now. Mix it all up
5. When mixed, fill up the waffle iron as needed and cook it up until you convince yourself that things are okay (or the waffles are done)
6. That’s it.
- Whipped Cream
- Hopes and dreams of a younger you before you realized the bleakness of the void that is life.
While I love making complicated things, sometimes basic is best.
Bunch of herbs (I use rosemary, thyme, basil, and/or oregano)
Slice of bread (if it’s not sourdough, why bother – am I right?)
Cheese – Provolone works best because it’s stretchy, but any cheesy goodness will do
Salt and pepper
Put a slice of sourdough in the toaster and cut up some provolone for later. If you’re using different bread or cheese – just leave. Do this first.
Heat a cast iron pan with some oil. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you should be questioning your life decisions up till now. Seriously what are you doing with your life?
When the pan and oil are hot, crack the eggs (on the pan – in case that’s not clear). Chop up the herbs and put them on the eggs. Throw some salt and pepper on for good measure.
When the toast has been toasted, cut the slice in half and put cheese on both sides. If you have a toaster oven (and again, if you don’t, life decisions need to be questioned), put the bread with cheese in for a couple minutes to melt the cheese. If you don’t have a toaster over, IDK – use a hair dryer?
When both the eggs and the cheesy toast are done, put the toast on a plate (always a good start) then eggs. You can try the other way, but it doesn’t work as well.
I HIGHLY recommend adding some Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce on this. It’s a good idea. Life will be better.
Bagels are my new favorite thing to make. They are easy for the most part and, outside of NY, I never could find a decent bagel. Given that I still have no gigs and there’s little travel to take up the weekends, making bagels is an easy way to kill a night. Before starting, just know that this is an overnight recipe. It takes about 4 or 5 hours the night before to make so I would suggest starting the process around 3 or 4pm the night before you want bagels. From experience, starting at 7pm is a bad idea (you’ll be done around 1am). Bagel making day however is super short – just enough time to heat the oven and cook the bagels basically. Call it an hour all in.
Also, I usually double up this recipe and get ~20 – 24 bagels depending on the size. It scales nicely.
Also, I started using a digital scale to weigh the ingredients. Now that I’m super fancy, I’ve included the weight and rough equivalents for you lesser people without scales.
- 224 Grams (~1 cup) of Sourdough Starter – nice and bubbly
- 360ml (~1.5 cups) of warm (100 degree) water
- 630 Grams (~4.5 cups) of Bread Flour
- 42 Grams (~2 tablespoons) of barley malt syrup (if you don’t have this, maple syrup will do – but the barley malt is more traditional for NYC style)
- 17 Grams (~1 tablespoon) of Salt
- Some oil – I use Olive Oil. I would suggest not using motor oil – but do you.
- 56 Grams (~1/4 cup) of sugar – used for the boil
- 8 Grams (~2 teaspoons) of Baking Soda – used for the boil
- Egg whites (likely just one, but depends on how many bagels you make)
- Make the starter a few days before at least. I usually start feeding mine about 3 days before I want to make bagels – feeding it 2x a day leading up to bagel day and just once (the morning) for bagel day. If you want it more sour-er, then feed it less. Maybe just 1x a day then not at all for 2 days.
- Make the sponge. Add the starter, 272 grams (~2 cups) of flour, the starter, and water to a bowl. Mix it well, then cover and let sit for 30 minutes. This basically proofs the yeast – I think.
- Add the barley malt / maple syrup and salt to the sponge and mix. Then add the remaining flour while mixing. I do this by hand so I can feel superior but you could use an electric mixer I guess.
- Knead that Dough. Once everything is combined, turn it over on a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes at least. This is actually a pretty important step – don’t skimp on the time. I’d err on the side of more kneading than less.
- Hurry up and wait. Form the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl, then put the dough ball in and turn to cover it with oil. Cover the bowl for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, stretch / fold the dough. Basically pull one side and fold it over to the other side, rotate the bowl about 1/4 turn, and do it again. I thought this was a complicated step when I first saw it. It’s not. Just fold it over and pres. Once you’ve folded all sides, make sure it’s ball shaped again and cover again for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, do the same thing and then cover again for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, do the same thing again (again?) and cover for another 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, it’s finally time to shape the bagels. Karate chop the dough into equal parts. Since I can’t get the exact same amount of dough each time, I find it best to weigh the dough then divide that by the amount of bagels you want to have. Generally, about 120 grams of dough per bagel will yield about 12 bagels with this recipe. Small bagels are fun to experiment with (especially if you want to do weird flavors) – for those I usually do about 70-90 grams per bagel. Figure out your size, but make them all the same size so baking them isn’t more complicated.
- If you want to add something to the inside of the bagel like sundried tomatoes, rosemary, basil, cinnamon raisin, chocolate chips (btw, fuck yes chocolate chip bagels are good. I wasn’t a fan, now I am. Do it.) etc – you’d want to mix that in at this stage. Toppings that sit on the outside of the bagel go on later – so do not add those now. That’d be bad.
- Side note, make a sundried tomato with rosemary bagel. You’ll thank me.
- Side side note, use non-oiled sundried tomatoes because the oil makes it really annoying to reseal the bagels
- Side side side note, make sure you completely cover whatever you put in the bagels so they stay inside during the boil. If you have things on the outside, they will fall out during the boil. So don’t do that.
- Side side note, use non-oiled sundried tomatoes because the oil makes it really annoying to reseal the bagels
- Side note, make a sundried tomato with rosemary bagel. You’ll thank me.
- Once the bagels are shaped, put them on a tray with parchment paper or silicone mat (I highly recommend the mat – less waste, super easy clean up) and let them sit for about 30 minutes uncovered. Optional to throw some corn meal on the tray first to help the bagels not stick and get an interesting bottom texture.
- After 30 minutes, cover the bagels with plastic and throw them in the fridge. They only need to sit for about 6 hours – but go with 12 if you can. The flavors are different and waiting longer is better. Some people say you don’t need to wait. To those people I say, you’re wrong.
- The next morning, take the bagels out of the fridge and uncover them so they come up to room temp (about 30 minutes).
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. When the oven is almost preheated, fill a decent size pot with water and mix in the sugar and baking soda. Boil that up.
- Once the oven is preheated and the water boiled, gently put the bagels in the water and boil about 30 seconds per side. Don’t overcrowd the pot by the way. That can get annoying. I hear tale of folks boiling the bagels for longer for chewier bagels – I’ve tried boiling for 1 minute per side and didn’t see any real difference.
- Side note, I’d start boiling plain bagels that have nothing inside first then move to bagels with stuff inside – usually starting with the least flavorful things – since some of the inside stuff will come out during the boil.
- Remove the bagels from the pot and place on the tray with parchment paper / silicone mat.
- In a bowl, mix up the egg white. If you’re not sure how to do this, google it. I’m not your monkey. Use a brush (I seriously just use a painters brush, but you can buy a more expensive cooking one if that’s your jam) and brush the tops of the bagels with egg white and immediately add whatever toppings (everything seasoning, poppy seeds etc). BTW, the everything seasoning from Trader Joe’s is fantastic for this.
- Put those bagels in the oven and cook for about 20 – 23 minutes per batch. I like doughy bagels, so I’m usually closer to 20 minutes. Whenever they are golden brown though, that’s pretty much when they are done.
- Put the bagels on a cooling rack for a bit, then.. .you know… eat them.
That’s really it. You can freeze bagels if you don’t want to eat them all. You can also eat them all. Or give some to friends so they owe you favors down the road (you know who you are).
Sourdough Buttermilk Biscuits
~60 minutes give or take
- 256 grams (~2 cups) of all-purpose flour
- 113 grams (~1/2 cup) of butter (frozen, yes – that’s important)
- 130 grams (~1 cup) active starter (100% hydration)
- 8 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
- 4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
- 121 grams (~1/2 cup) buttermilk (or sub with 4 grams white vinegar and ~118 grams milk – mix the two and let sit for ~15 minutes or until it’s curdled)
- 3 grams (~3/4 teaspoon) baking soda
- Preheat oven to 450
- Get two bowls – one large for flour and one medium-ish for the wet stuff
- In the large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk
- Use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture. Frozen butter is key – don’t try that soft stuff here.
- If you’re adding dry stuff to the dough like grated cheese, chives, bacon bits, etc, add it here.
- In the medium-ish bowl, mix the sourdough starter and buttermilk together – then combine the wet stuff with the flour in the larger bowl. Mix that up real good. I use a spatula because it’s easier to scrape the sides, but whatever.
- Once it’s al mixed up, lightly flour up a surface and knead the dough a couple times (2 maybe 3 – maybe 4 if you’re frisky – but no more than that) until the dough is solid. It’s important NOT to over knead the dough (no one likes people that are kneady right? oh puns).
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the mound of dough flat but still thicc (oh boi). Should be ~1 to 1.5 inches thick give or take. Making a round shape is easier IMO because the biscuit cutter is round – but do you.
- Once you’ve flattened it out, you need to fold it over to get the flakes. Each complete fold is really 4 folds (folding the top to the bottom, the left side to right, the bottom to top, and right to left). Once you’ve folded it, flatten it out again to roughly the same shape. Repeat a few times. I typically make 2 or 3 complete folds. I’ve never gone over 3 folds because I’m fairly sure the universe would end.
- Once it’s flat, thick, and folded – cut it in to biscuit shapes. You can be fancy and use a biscuit cutter – or be cheap and resourceful like me and use a mason jar lid. Whatever you use – just don’t twist the dough. You want to put the cutter on and just press straight down. If you twist, you’ll seal the dough and it won’t rise right.
- Get a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper or a silicon mat (I use silicon mats – they are awesome – use those) and bake in at 450 for ~15 minutes or till brown and etc
- Before you throw them in the oven, you could do a quick egg wash on top (whisk an egg white for the wash, then brush on to each). That gives it a nice dark color.
- Serve right away.
Sourdough Bread – Easy
This is just a basic recipe – nothing too fancy, but a good staple IMO. Be prepared though, like most sourdough recipes, this is a long one. Start at 7pm the day before you want bread. The next morning, you can bake it at 8am and be eating it by 10am. So, like 13 or so hours. Grab a drink (or a bottle) and some flour.
- 150g (~2/3 cup) sourdough starter
- 250g (~1 cup) warm (~100F) water
- 25g (~2 tbsp) Olive oil
- 500 – 550g (~4 – 4 1/3 cups) Bread Flour
- 10g (~1 3/4 tsp) salt
- About a handful of cornmeal, rice flour, or similar for dusting the bread pre-bake
Remember – this is an overnight recipe. I suggest starting this between 4p – 7p if you want bread for the morning.
1. Get a large bowl, put it on the scale and tare it (so scale should read 0 with the bowl on it). I know you’d rather use cups as measurements – but trust me, so much easier and more accurate. Stop complaining, get a scale.
2. Put in the starter, water, and olive oil and mix together well with a whisk (while drinking a whiskey). It’ll be a murky mess.
3. Add salt and flour. Once you’ve added all the flour, mix with your hands (not the whisk, trust me – but still, whiskey) until the dough is dry and shaggy. You’re not really kneading it, just putting it together in a ball.
4. Leave the ball o’ dough in the bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let it rest somewhere for 30 – 60 minutes.
6. Roll that dough ball up in to a nicer ball quickly (again, not kneading – just perfecting the inner ball shape).
7. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a damp towel (again) and put it in a warm spot for a while.
8. After about 30 – 45 minutes, stretch and fold the dough. Basically pickup the top side of the dough and fold it over to the bottom, then turn the bowl 90 degrees and do the same thing. Then do it again. And again. Now you’ve gone in a circle. Yay. Have a drink.
9. Enjoy that drink (or two) while you wait for another 30 – 45 minutes, then repeat step 8.
10. If you’re frisky (or not drunk enough), do another stretch and fold 30 – 45 minutes after – but this isn’t hugely necessary.
11. After stretching / folding (and drinking), it’s time to let the dough rest. Like overnight. It may take test time if it’s warm out, more time if it’s cold – but overnight is generally long enough. Basically it should double in size which will take ~8 hours give or take.
The next Day
12. Decision time. If you want two small loafs, cut the dough in half. If you want one, leave it be. More recently, I’ve been cutting the dough in 2 – 4 equal parts and making baguettes – they are great! These are the choices my friend.
13. Stretch / fold again, then flip the dough upside down (so the seam is on the bottom), then shape the dough so you like how it looks. For sandwich type bread, go round and flatish. For baguettes, roll and stretch them out so them are a good size. I try to flatten the tops a little as I like wider bread as opposed to taller bread (mainly because flatter is better for the toaster).
14. For the round / sandwich bread. Get your dutch oven out and throw some cornmeal or whatever in it. Then put that beautiful dough ball into the cornmealed dutch oven. For baguettes, just put them on a cookie sheet with a towel on the bottom to help hold the shape or a baguette pan (more ideal). Either way, let it sit again for 30 more minutes covered (with the dutch oven top for the round or damp towel for the baguettes). Joy.
15. Towards the end of that, preheat the oven to 450F. If you’re going to baguettes, then put another pan in the oven while it heats. Not needed for the round.
16. Once the dough has risen (amen), slice that sucker like it ratted you out for sliver. But seriously, just put a couple slashes in the dough – make it pretty if you want. This helps with baking. I swear.
16a. You could also make funky designs on the bread now, if you’re into that sorta thing.
17. Once the oven is preheated:
For the Round: put the dutch oven in with the cover on and drop the temp to 400F. Leave it for 20ish minutes.
For baguettes: pour some cold water in the pan that was in the oven. This will create steam (yay science!) which is good. Shut the oven and let that sit for a minute or two, then put the baguettes in the oven – but don’t forget to take the towel off. Shut the door quickly to keep the steam in.
18. For the Round: After 20 minutes with the cover on, take the cover off and let it bake for 40ish minutes until it’s nice and brown.
For Baguettes, you just cook them for 30 – 35 minutes total.
19. For the Round: Take it out of the oven and put it on a cooling rack. Resist all the urges that make you wanna go out and slice the bread. Wait for at least an hour you animal.
For Baguettes, you can crack the oven door and leave them in the oven to cool for crispier crust, or put them on a wire rack for a softer crust. Either way, these take way less time to cool – maybe 10 minutes at most.
20. Take pictures, post on IG.
I’ve been getting more into making bread because quarantine. With all the time I have on my hands, I’ve really started to play with the basic recipe and I think it’s a lot better. I’ve also been making baguettes more because they are easier to manage IMO – so that’s what this one is. You can still make a round if you want though. The main differences between this recipe and the Easy one are 1) Higher hydration levels (the Easy is ~23%, the Not As Easy is ~65%), 2) more dough (mainly because I’ve been making baguettes and I wanted to have three 400 gram baguettes), 3) eliminating the olive oil (figured I’d go more pure) and 4) letting the sourdough starter starve a little so it’s more sour (usually not feeding it for 2 days before.
Everyone gets sour without food right?!). While the ingredients change, the process of making the bread is basically the same. Normally I use King Arthur bread flour, but I used Bob’s Artisan Flour recently and really liked it. There’s a mild difference in the protein levels (KA has ~12% while Bob’s ranges apparently from 12% – 15%) which I thin may have something to do with it. The higher hydration should give more “crumb” (holes inside the bread, like swiss cheese – but in bread), a thinner crust, and more bragging rights.
- 150g (~2/3 cup) sourdough starter
- 400g (~1.5 cups) warm (~100F) water
- 650g (~5 1/4 cups) Bread Flour
- 13g (~2 1/4 tsp) salt
1. In a large mixing bowl, weigh out the starter and water and mix it up. This will be a murky mess – like your life – but that’s okay. I use a whisk. I would not suggest whiskers though. Your cat won’t like it.
2. Add all the flour and salt and mix it up. Be a man (or woman) and use your hand. Trust me – spoons or whisks are annoying for this part. Just mix it until everything is together. I usually do this Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom style – start saying “Kali Ma” over and over, grab the dough with my right hand, and squeeze it through my fingers over and over until it’s mixed or I summon a demon. Either way, good times ahead.
3. After it’s mixed, form it into a rough ball. It’ll be wet-ish, but that’s okay. Remember, high hydration.
4. Put that ball in a bowl, cover it with a damp / warm towel, and let it sit for ~60 minutes
5. After 60 minutes, stretch / fold the dough 4 times. Basically, stretch the dough out from the top, fold it to the bottom, rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat until 3 more times. The dough should be sticky but not crazy glue sticky. I wet my hands a bit before doing this and that seems to make things easier. Once done, form a ball again, wet the towel with warm water so it’s damp (not dripping, just damp), and cover for another 30 – 45 minutes. I honestly don’t know if more time is better yet – so do your thing.
6. Repeat that stretch / fold process at least 2 or 3 times. I suggest 3 because that’s what I normally do and this is my website. So there.
7. After the last stretch / fold, cover the dough and let it sit out in a warm-ish spot overnight. It doesn’t have to be really warm, just not cold (i.e. no fridge – I tried that and it sucked). The dough should weigh ~1200 grams by the way.
The Next Day
8. Stretch / fold the dough again, but be careful not to kill the bubbles that have formed. Be gentle man. Let sit for ~30 minutes more.
9. After 30 minutes, divide the dough up in to three 400 gram rounds and gently shape them into baguettes. I usually use a small handful of all purpose flour to coat the outside of the bread so it’s not overly sticky. Let gravity help with the shaping and hold the dough by one end perpendicular to the floor, and gently stretch it down. Then flip the dough around and repeat that process. When you’ve shaped all three, likely you’ll want to go back and re-shape them because the dough bounced back a bit. Repeat until the dough keeps the shape.
10. If you have a baguette pan, put the dough in the pan. If not, you can do this on a cookie sheet with parchment paper – but the bottoms will be flatter. Cover the dough and leave for ~30 – 45 minutes.
11. In the oven, have one tray at the lowest placement and another right above that. On the lowest tray, place a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 450 with the cookie sheet in.
12. Once the oven is hot, put the bread in uncovered. Take cold water and pour on the cookie sheet to create steam – you’ll want enough water to cover the bottom of the sheet. Shut the door quickly and reduce heat to 400 degrees. Cook for about 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.
13. Let the bread sit for a few minutes. I prefer to cool out of the oven as it makes the crust crunchier – but if you want softer, keep it in the oven (turning the over off of course) and keep the oven door cracked open.
14. Eat one loaf right away – because that’s why you made three. The other two will stay for a few days (I’ve managed to keep them for a max of 5 days before I’ve eaten all the bread – not sure if it’ll stay longer).
Simple. Just click this link
If you’re like me, you’re partly empty on the inside from lack of actual human contact (unless dogs count, do dogs count? they should). A good Shepard’s Pie will fill that void right up and make you think of happier times – like not being an actual Shepard. It’s a two part recipe – mashed potatoes and the filling.
- Potatoes – for red potatoes maybe 10, for russets try 5. For sweet potatoes, go somewhere else – this is not a time for that shit
- Butter – just grab a handful, it’ll be fine
- 1 Onion – red, white, whatever
- 5 celery stalks
- A head of broccoli
- Can of Peas
- Can of Corn
- 3 Garlic cloves
- Some Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup of broth
- 1 cup of heavy cream, milk, or sour cream – not required, but good anyway
- Some cheese – whatever kind and however much – I’m not your real dad, go nuts
- Salt & Pepper (and Spindarella – she never gets enough credit)
- A 6 pack of beer – trust me
Before you start, preheat the over to 400
Mashed Potato Recipe
1. Cut up potatoes and put in a pot
2. Drink a beer
3. Fill with water to just cover potatoes (about an inch over) and boil until tender.
4. Drink a beer
5. Save a cup of the water but strain the rest out.
6. Mash up potatoes, add salt / pepper, and pour the water in (if you want creamy add milk too) and mix till good consistency
7. Set mashed potatoes aside – like all your current life goals and desires for actual human contact
8. Drink a beer
1. Heat a pan with oil. When hot, add carrots broccoli and onion and Cook for 2 min (or till veggies are tender)
2. Drink a beer
3. Add celery peas and corn and garlic. Cook 2 min.
4. Add meat (or beyond meat), Worcestershire sauce and broth. Cook till the meat (or whatever) is done
Put it together
- Put that mix in a pan, potatoes on top, and put in the oven at 400 for 30 min.
- While that’s cooking, cut up cheese in a funny way. After the pie has cooked for about 30 minutes, put the cheese on top of awesome pie and cook for 2 min. Take it out of the oven and cool (or don’t if you’re into melting your mouth or too drunk to know the difference)
- Have a beer, listen to John Prine and ugly cry into your food wondering why any god would takeaway such an amazing singer / songwriter at the time he’s most needed. Added side of that, you probably won’t need more salt.
Super easy to make and delicious. Maybe 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking, and 30 minutes to 2 hours for the marinade. I’ve always eye-balled this, so the recipe is somewhat fluid – but it’s nearly impossible to mess up. Marinade chicken, cut veggies up, cook all in a pan, and serve – I challenge you to mess this up.
- General stuff
- 1 or 2 lbs chicken – sliced, not chopped. There is a difference
- 1 Onion – red or white (I think white is better since you’re cooking it – but whatever
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- 1 Orange Pepper
- Shredded Cheese – I like Pepper Jack for these
- Anything else you want in your Fajita – seriously have fun. Corn? why not. Cabbage? great! Carrots? weirdo.
- Marinade stuff
- 1 Serrano or Jalapeno pepper – chopped up with seeds for spice, or seeded if you can’t handle it (but seriously, don’t seed them)
- 1 medium lime juiced – BTW, get a juice – it’s amazing (and useful for drinks)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- ~2 or 3 tsps oil for the marinade – more for cooking
- Important side stuff
- 2oz Tequila
- 1oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
- 1oz lime juice
1. In a zip lock bag, dump in the sliced chicken, then add all the marinade ingredients. You can put the marinade in first, but that’s really annoying because it sticks to the bag and you have to make sure it mixes well which means more time to think about how you wish there was something better to do than mix ingredients in a bag and starting thinking “man I should have just added the chicken in first”
2. Don’t seal the bag yet – just move the chicken and marinade around to coat the chicken. Yes, I just went on a diatribe about how mixing the bag sucks but I swear, it’s easier once the chicken is in first. Stop second guessing me.
3. Push all the chicken and marinade to the bottom of the bag, seal the bag, and throw in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Go longer if you can. And don’t really throw the bag, it’d probably explode.
4. Get a pint glass and mixer, fill the mixer with the Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and ice. Shake it well and pour in a glass. Now you have a margarita – which is an essential part of waiting for the chicken to marinade.
5. Make another margarita. I’m sure you went through the first too fast and the chicken still probably has to marinade more. Just do it.
6. While you’re drinking, cut up the veggies.
7. When the chicken is marinated, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp
8. Pre-heat a pan on medium-ish heat. I use cast iron pans because they are awesome and it makes me feel manly. You can use another type of pan, but I’ll judge you.
8.5. Let the pan heat. Seriously. Get another drink if you need to. Don’t use a cold pan.
9. Once the pan is hot, add some oil to it (maybe 2 tsps – enough to cover the pan nicely).
10. Once the oil is also hot, dump the chicken in the pan. Cook that for a bit before adding the veggies in. Maybe 5 minutes or so.
11. After the chicken & veggies are thoroughly cooked, turn the heat off, and let them cool a little in the pan. Note, in a cast iron especially things will keep cooking in the pan. Just FYI.
12. Heat up the tortillas. Put the cheese on the tortilla directly. It’s awesome. If you really wanna get crazy, after the tortillas somewhat cooked, put cheese on top and flip it so the cheese cooks on the pan. Yeah – it’s good!
13. Put chicken / veggies in a tortilla, add whatever toppings you want, and eat.
This works great with the carrot habanero hot sauce by the way.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
This is one of those super easy dishes that seems harder than it is sometimes. I make this two different ways – the main difference is usually if I make a true sauce or just a roux with the chicken fat. Enjoy
- 1 to 2lbs Chicken – thighs are better than breasts here (insert jokes) but your call. I go with bone and skin for thighs, but boneless / skinless usually for breasts – just like in life (bad joke)
- Lemons – 2 big ones usually
- 1 – 3 tablespoons Lemon pepper spice – I tend to go heavy here (you can make your own here)
- 1/2 cup Chicken stock – I use bouillon cubes because they are easier to store but do you
- Flour to coat chicken – I eyeball this but maybe 1/4 cup
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (or whatever Garlic is awesome) – miced up nice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Some Parmeasan cheese – I never measure cheese except with my heart, which is really cheesy
1. Coat the chicken. Most recipes tell you to mix the lemon pepper with some salt into the flour. I used to do this, but I find it’s inconsistant in the coating generally. So I usually just pat the chicken somewhat dry (not too dry) then coat with flour and some parmeasan cheese, then sprinkle the lemon pepper spice and some salt on it. Little known fact, lemon pepper already has salt in it – so you shouldn’t need much more at all.
1a. If you are using breasts that are really thick, you could pound them out a bit to flatten them or slice them length wise.
2. Heat your skillet up (about medium high) then add some oil.
3. Once that’s heated, toss on the coated chickens.
4. Cook for about 5 minutes per side give or take (less if the chicken is thin cut). Put them chickens on a plate, cover their shame up, and leave em to the side for a bit but try to keep them somewhat warm. Time to make the sauce.
Here’s where you have a choice – make the sauce or a roux. I’ll add the roux recipe later but basically it’s just butter, chicken fat, and flour.
5. In the same pan as the chicken cooked, add the butter and garlic. Cook it until it smells / looks wonderful (maybe a minute)
6. Add in chicken broth and lemon juice. Boil that up nice. Be sure to stir it and get the left over chicken parts from the pan mixed in.
6a. For a thick sauce, you can add corn starch or flour here too – not much though, maybe a teaspoon or two)
7. Boil it down a bit – maybe 5 minutes, just use your judgement (or find someone more responsible than you and use their judgement)
8. Put the chicken back in the pan with the sauce, and cook for a bit longer. The chicken should get to 165 degrees – so whatever it needs for that. Maybe another couple minutes.
9. Optional – if you want a darker look on the chicken, pour the sauce out of the pan, turn your broiler on high, and throw that chick sans-sauce under there for a minute (maybe 2 – but don’t push it). Adding cheese here could be good too
Homemade chocolate martinis
Let’s be real, quarantine life has made us all revert back to being teenagers in some way. Showering is less frequent, clothes get washed some times, and drinking at any time is pretty much acceptable. Why have a normal drink when you can spend an hour making a classy drink?
This recipe is two parts – the liqueur and the martini. You could by the liqueur from a store but I have too much time on my hands to be bothered with pre-made stuff
- 3 cups silk chocolate milk
- 1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup vodka
- 1.5 oz. Chocolate liqueur
- 1.5oz bailey’s
- 1 oz vodka (or fuck it… just pour that bitch in, you’re not going anywhere anyway)
Chocolate Liqueur Recipe
- Mix the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar then bring to a boil for 5 min or so. Staring directly at the pot will in fact make it boil faster – and really, what else are you doing with your life right now?
- Let it cool, have a dance party, then add vodka
- Let chill in fridge at least 3 hours or until you are bored from being locked in the house
Make the Martini
- Put it all in a shaker with ice and shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid.
- Pour in a glass
- Drink like there’s nothing, nothing wrong. Everything is fine…
It’s booze and chocolate, so pretty much anything that goes with either works here. Cinnamon, paprika, peppermint, tears of a unicorn, or basil if you are in to that thing. Experiment, get drunk, have fun.
Chocolate chip banana bread
Cause you bought thinking that you’ll be healthy during the quarantine but then got drunk and forgot about and realize you have to eat them but they are nasty mushy
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips – or a whole bag. You’re locked in the house and no one will no. Fuck it, just get two bags and eat one raw. Do it.
- Handful or so of chopped / crushed walnuts
Heat oven to 351. The extra degree is super important
Put bananas in a bowl. Take your anger of life out of the bananas and mash the crap out of them. Just destroy those nanaers.
When you’re exhausted (or the bananas are smooth), beat an egg up until it knows the deal too, then and add it to the destroyed/mashed bananas and mix them together.
Add everything else to the bowl until there’s nothing left (sort of like your trust in your parents after you found out they were the tooth fairy). Mix that around.
Put in bread baking tin, put in oven (in that order – trust me) and cook for about 50 minutes.
Take picture, post on Facebook, and pretend this is normal.
- Add chocolate chips to the top pre baking to say something
- 1 or so tsp of cinnamon (I didn’t do that but sorta wish I had) maybe even nutmeg
If you ever wanted to make pretzels but didn’t have the time – good news, you have it.
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 pack of fast acting yeast
- 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp of unsalted melted butter
- 3 tbsp of baking soda
- 2 tsp of fine (good looking) sea salt
- a fist full o’ coarse salt for topping
In one bowl, Combine flour, yeast and sea salt. Use a sifter for the flour if you have one, but if you don’t – just summon your inner child and throw fistfuls of flour in at a time. Might as well throw some at your roommates / partner / pet for good measure.
In another bowl, mix up the water and butter. This should be lukewarm (like your soul after not being able to see music for oh so many days.
- Combine the flour mix and the water / butter mix together and mix it up.
If it gets sticky, add more flour.
Throw some flour on a surface and dump the dough on that and take out your frustrations on it. I usually do this while screaming loudly at the dough about how it needs to get in shape.
Once the dough is put in it’s place it’ll be pretty elastic. Roll it up in to a ball. You can also take this time to roll yourself into a ball and rock back and forth for a while. It’s soothing and in no way weird.
Oil up yet another bowl, and put the dough ball in there. Cover it up with a towel and put it in a warm dry place. Pro tip, if you put your oven on to about 100 and turn it off before putting the bowl in, that’ll work. Amateur tip, use a hair dryer pointed at the towel and stand there for an hour. You’ve got nothing better to do anyway right?
Go outside and ponder your life choices that have brought you to this point in your life for about an hour while the dough rises (and you slowly sink in sorrow)
Once dough is risen, punch that fucker back down into it’s place to teach it that life isn’t fair sometimes.
Divide up the dough into somewhat equal portions and put it back in the warm place covered up again until it rises (20ish minutes). If dough attempts to rise up in revolt, just beat it back down.
Pour your bad life decisions and insecurities (along with a bunch of water) in a pot big enough to hold a few pretzels and add the baking soda. Bring that to a boil and swear to jebus that you’ll be better when this is over. Note, it will foam up, so maybe watch it this time Carl (seriously dude!).
When you take out the dough the last time, preheat the oven to 425
Be real, this is probably the most important decision of your day considering you are stuck at home and likely not wearing pants. If you want pretzels, roll the dough into a long string, twist it into pretzel shape. If you want buns, just make a ball and cut an X on the top. If you want dignity, go somewhere else. Just leave.
Once the water is boiled, put whatever the hell you made in the water for about 30 seconds and flip it over for another 30 seconds. Put the buns immediately on a cooking sheet, put the coarse salt on then and put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or til brown.
- Make pizza pretzels with cheese and sauce instead of salt.
- Go dessert with cinnamon and sugar
Chocolate Strawberry Avocado Pudding
This is one of my favorite dessert recipes. It’s easy, delicious, can be vegan if needed, takes maybe 20 minutes, and it’s delicious – seriously. I’ll eat this whole thing. Twice. Watch me.
- 4 ripe avocados – you want them really ripe
- 50 grams (~1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 25 grams (~1/4 cup) brown sugar
- 113 grams (~1/3 cup) vanilla almond milk (or just regular milk)
- 9 grams (~2 tsps) vanilla extract
- A bunch of strawberries – I usually chop up about 5 – 10 big strawberries and slice a few to pretty up the top. Use your judgement and love of chocolate covered strawberries to guide you.
- A bunch of chocolate chips – I usually just eyeball the amount – maybe close to 100 grams? Personally I like dark chocolate chips, but use whatever you like.
1. Prep avocados but pitting them and getting them out of the skins.
2. Get a large bowl and dump in the naked / pitted avos along with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the strawberries and chocolate chips. Also I often don’t add ALL of the milk in at this stage so I can adjust the consistency better after mixing.
3. Think about all the things you could have done this year that weren’t sitting inside and get mad. Real mad.
4. Take all your aggression out on the bowl of ingredients – just go to town. Use a fork, a masher, your fists, whatever you want. But really, use a fork or masher to mash up the avos into manageable pieces then a hand blender to make it silky / smooth. You want the mixture to be smooth, thick, and chocolate colored. If it’s too thick, add milk. If it’s too thin, add another avocado or more cocoa powder maybe? Or just suck it up and have it thin. I’m not your dad, figure it out.
5. Once everything is completely mixed and to the right consistency, it’s time to add the chocolate chips and chopped strawberries. Add enough to make your heart happy.
6. After everything is mixed together, smooth out the top so it looks nice and place the slice strawberries on the top. Make a pattern – like a heart or skull and cross bones – just avoid patterns that might summon demons from another dimension. No one wants that.
7. Once it all looks good, put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until it’s chilled completely. If you need to go faster, put it in the freezer for a little bit (note, the pudding can freeze – which makes awesome ice cream – but really hard pudding – so don’t leave it in the freezer too long). If you need it even faster, then you should have started earlier. Suck it up.
1. You can melt some chocolate chips and pour that in the mixture too – this will make more of a mouse / fudge type pudding. The more melted chips, the more mouse-y.
2. Put some pudding in a freezer pop mold and get awesome avocado fudge ice cream pops.
3. Add some spice (like cayan, cinnamon, nutmeg, or paprika)
4. Crumble up some gram crackers. You can either put them on the bottom of the pudding (I’d dump the gram crackers in a separate bowl, then pour the avo mixture over it), put them on the top, or both for a pie type pudding / mouse.
Irish Soda Bread
My great-grandma (lovingly named great great) used to make Irish soda bread. She also used to make bad jokes and limericks (my favorite “wherever you are let your wind go free because that was the cause of killing me”). This isn’t her recipe – mainly because I don’t think she actually had one – but it’s something I make to pretend I’m more Irish than I am. This particular variation is much more soft and bread like than the soda bread I grew up with (which was generally more brittle). That said, fuck it – I like this version better than great-greats. There I said it. What? Anyway, have fun.
- 420ml Buttermilk (or mix 30ml of lemon juice with 390ml of milk and let sit for 5 minutes before)
- 1 egg
- 4.5 cups of All purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 5 Tablespoons of cold butter cubed up (colder the better)
- Optional (but not really): About 1 cup of raisins
- Optional: 1 egg white for pre-bake egg wash
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. If you need to sub the buttermilk with milk + lemon juice, do that now too.
3. Add the egg to the buttermilk (or your sub) and mix well. Then put it aside, like your dreams, hopes, and aspirations of a normal life.
3. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. Personally, I use a sifter for the flour because I heard somewhere that’s what you do with bread to make it fluffy. Once the flour is in, I usually dump the rest of the ingredients in and use a whisk to blend it all together.
4. Throw the butter cubes into the flour mix and use your hands to get the butter mixed in. You’re shooting for pea sized butterballs in the flour (my inner child is laughing now).
5. Once you got butterballs, dump in the buttermilk and mix together with a wooden spoon. Or a metal one. Whatever.
6. The dough is probably going to be very wet. I usually just add some unknown amount of flour at this point until it’s not that wet. If I had to guess, maybe another 1/2 cup or something.
7. add raisins in if you are using them. If not, don’t add them. I thought that would be self explanatory.
8. Once the dough is somewhat firm, dump it out on a floured surface and knead it a bit. I treat this like I would for biscuits, so basically flattening the dough out with my hands, then folding it on itself a few times to get layers, then flatten again etc. Maybe 3 – 5 minutes here.
9. After it’s mixed well, make the dough into a ball and put it in an oven ready pan. I use my cast iron pan for this, but you can use any bread pan you want. Go nuts.
10. Cut an X on the dough ball. If you are doing the egg wash, do it now – just use the egg white and brush it on the top of the dough. Then put it in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.
11. Let it sit for a little – maybe 10 minutes. Then destroy it in one sitting.
NOTE: I like the egg wash on bread because it gives a nice coloring on the top. Not sure if it does anything to the taste though.
Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
Carrot habanero hot sauce… cause I miss Ritual Tavern. Note, I don’t know their recipe but the sauce color is about the same so… probably?
1 large carrot
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 habaneros cut in half and seeded… gut them bitches
3 or 4… maybe 6 garlic cloves…idk I like garlic. Just smash the cloves though… don’t dice em
2 cups water
Heat the oven up top 425. Put the cut peppers and the garlic on a tray cover them with olive oil. If you use your hands, don’t change your contacts afterwards… trust me. Throw that in the oven for about 10 min. When peppers are a little brown, they are done.
While that’s happening, cut up the carrot and onion and put that in a pot with oil and the salt. Cook them for about 4 or 5 min until they are cooked. Onions translucent and greasy.
When the peppers are done, dump those in to the pot with the water, vinegar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer for ten min or so. Ponder thoughts… I’ll help. A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.
When it’s smelling good enough to burn your nose, put it in a blender and blend it real good. Yeah. Just like that. Mmmm.
When done, figure out what jar you like the least and fill that with the sauce.
Then make something else and put this on it. Or label it “carrot ginger soup” and leave it in the fridge to see what happens. Either way, it’s good.
*for a milder sauce, add more carrots.
*for a hotter sauce, add more peppers
*for a mediumer sauce, do both
Homemade Lemon Pepper Spice
So I started making lemon pepper chicken and shrimp a bunch because it’s delicious. But, the lemon pepper spice is usually pretty pricey and my recipes usually called for lemon juice anyway. Since I usually didn’t use all the rhine, I figured I could make my own spice to both save money and reduce waste. It’s incredibly easy and takes only 30 minutes to make (though you can dry it out for longer).
- 3 Tablespoons of lemon zest (1 big lemon or a few small ones)
- 3 Tablespoons of black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of salt (ideally kosher salt, but whatever – also, yes there’s salt in the pepper recipe. go figure
1. I use a toaster oven set to the lowest heat possible, but you could do the same with an oven – though it’s a little overkill. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s the lowest temp you can do.
2. On a tray for your oven, put some parchment paper down to cover it. It’s not really needed, but can help it from sticking.
3. Wash the lemon or don’t if you are in to that stuff.
4. Zest (zest baby) that lemon up good. (you know you were singing ice ice baby while reading that).
5. Combine lemon zest and pepper on the parchmented tray and mix it up good… real good (baby baby – yeah, more Salt n’ Peppa references)
6. Bake it up for 30ish minutes or longer if needed. Just dry that shit out good. If after 30 minutes its not dry – bake it some more. When done it should crumbe betwix your fingers (fancy words all day).
7. Toss it into a jar or something then add the salt. Mix that around good.
This should stay fresh for a few months – but ideally, you just use it immediately. This should make about 6 tablespoons of lemon pepper mix.