Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

In commemoration of Mother's Day, I'm just going to write a little thank you food blurb to my mom.

Mom, thank you for feeding me for 20+ years.

Thank you for making the following dishes better than anyone on this planet:

Steamed Pork Spareribs in Black Bean and Garlic
Pan Fried Garlicky Pork Chops
Steamed Eggs with Dried Scallops and Scallions
Chinese Meatloaf with Water Chestnuts
Saute Shrimp and Snap Peas
Glutinous Sticky Rice with Shitake, Chinese Cured Pork Belly, Duck & Sausage
Ginger Fried Rice
Hollow Heart (Tung Sum) Greens with Fermented Bean Curd
Wok Fried Potato Taro Matchsticks
Saute Pickled Cucumber & Beef
and much more...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lunch Lady Battle at Lowell, MA

Saw this on Boston sports website, barstoolsports. Though not sports relevant (more food relevant), the following video is about lunch ladies protesting. In the 50 second mark, a "Pat" appears. For those that don't know, a "Pat" is an ambiguously gendered individual. I would hope that it's male, but it could be female as well. The kicker of course, is the ridiculous mustache he/she is sporting. I'm leaning on "Pat" being that of the female species. A most impressive female stache worthy of the female stache hall of fame. You make the call.

How To Cook Ramps Like A Pornstar - Part 3

The final part of How To Cook Ramps Like a Pornstar series is an important and somewhat sobering lesson. When you apply all the rules and reason of cooking ramps like a pornstar, you will find inevitably that sometimes things don't work out the way you thought they would. That is when you turn to Lesson 5...

Lesson 5: Do Not Get Emotionally Involved
There are times when being a pornstar or cooking ramps is not all its cracked up to be because the end result of your work isn't quite the way you wanted it. Be it that the dish you created doesn't turn out right or the inherent disappointment in the condition of your body years after one too many lopsided male/female ratio orgies; you need to understand that things don't always end up perfectly. Imperfect recipes and sad stories are a fact of life, but the important part is that you did what you wanted to do - ate and cooked ramps the exact damn way you wanted or dreamed to do. You simply must learn what went wrong and you try to do it again - there are always second chances for cooking ramps and creating recipes correctly and there is always genital reconstructive surgery for pornstars.

Onto the menu:

Spring Forest Chirashi
Nameko, Maitake, Shitake Mushrooms, Pickled Radish, Sea Bean, Gobo

I very loosely followed a recipe from my former roommates on this chirashi, but the basics of it were not lost:

Basically, cut veg into all the right sizes (large matchsticks), make a great dashi broth, cook veg in there. Set cold and add to prepared sushi rice. Mix up and eat that tastiness. Add fish, egg and seafood if you like.

I felt I made a few mistakes. 1). A lil too much vinegar in rice. 2). Sea beans should have only gone in to dashi close to end, retain better color. 3). Disliked the texture and cooked off flavor of yellow picked radish. I think I will avoid it completely next time.

Aside from these things, it was a decent dish, with some changes in execution and some smoke fish, it would have been fantastic.

Gobo & Sea Beans hanging out

Radish & Ramps

Maitake, Nameko, & Shitake Mushrooms

Simmering in da Dashi.

Spring Forest Chirashi

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How To Cook Ramps Like A Pornstar - Part 2


In a continuing series of Hot Food Porn's guide on How To Cook Ramps Like a Pornstar, last night I went simple and classic with my dish. I mean, most of the time when I'm testing recipes and such, I really want to create items for the sole purpose of professional curiosity. But sometimes its good to go back to basics because people get tired of the overly produced stuff with the fake boobs, ridiculous make-up, and weird equipment - just like how they get tired of the altering textures, ridiculous make-up spices and weird equipment in cooking as well.

Lesson #4: People like to go back to basics, which is why they like watching amateur stuff.

Visavis, I think there's an anti fake boob movement out there. L.A. water balloons are falling of favor it seems, but I digress...for a long time.

Onto the food:

Poached Chicken Breast with Creamy Ramp and Spring Onion Soup

Essentially, this is a glorified chicken soup for the soul. It's simple, it's beautiful and it's so comforting and savory. Was that a Rachael Ray or a Giada line? Hmm...why did I type that?

All you need to do is set your water/stock with the cut onions, herbs, celery and then poach your chicken in it. Poaching an entire chicken is a craft that is very much about timing. You can make it a science with a temp gauge, but I guarantee you that I never use one. How does it happen? Stock comes to a boil, chicken goes in, stays in slow simmering boiling stock for 15 - 25 minutes (depending on size of chicken), then turn off the fire and let it sit in the pot for the next 2-3 hours. Say it after me everyone, SET IT AND FORGET IT!!! Massive applause.

The chicken will slowly cook on its own and by the time you come back for it, it should be a perfectly done. Presto magic. Anyone who has cut a slow poached chicken leg before will know that when you cut it, the meat is all done, but the veins/marrow may still be brown/red and leak some of that color onto the meat. Don't freak out, you can just dip the leg into a little boiling stock to clean it up if you are a wuss, but you can also refrigerate the whole chick before cutting so that the vein stays intact and won't bleed or anything. Check the flesh and if it looks ready, the chicken is ready. Make sure you season the chicken thoroughly after it is poached and still hot.

Once you are done poaching, strain the liquid in a chinois (you don't have to use all the stock for the soup, you can save 1/2 for other things), bring to a boil, add ramps and then puree. Strain again, season to taste, add a little cream, adjust seasoning again and you are doneski. Not only do you have a wonderful creamy ramp soup, you have an entire healthy poached chicken (no oil, no fat other than chicken's natural fat) to eat throughout the week and you also have some more stock to use for another soup or noodles.

Onto the pics: (I'd normally cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces and serve in soup bowl, but this is just a picture for effect. You get the idea.)

Veggie for stock

Poaching chicken

Poached and broken down chicken

Ramps blanching

Ramps blended into stock

Doneski. Viola.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How To Cook Ramps Like A Pornstar - HFP's Guide Day 1

It's officially ramp week at Hot Food Porn home headquarters and I am going to cook with ramps all friggin week because they are amazingly tasty. I've had more than a couple of people ask me recently, "what should I do with ramps?" Or "what are ramps?" "How do I cook ramps?" So I decided to have a little fun and expound the beauty, art and sexiness of ramp cooking.

Welcome to Hot Food Porn's How To Cook Ramps Like a Pornstar guide:

A little bit of info for those that do not know:

Ramps are considered as wild leeks and grow in wild in forest patches commonly in the mid-Atlantic to Northeast part of the US. They are seasonal spring. They are a flavor probably most common to Chinese Chives crossed with Leeks.

Rules for Cooking Ramps Like A Pornstar:

1. Absolutely Without Abandon
Go BIG or Go Home. You've got to sell it because people who love eating ramps know when you're just mailing it in and laying it down cautiously. You know you've reach ramp satisfaction when you've got Meg Ryan blushing like a school girl.

2. Multiple Partners, A-OK
Ramps play best when you throw them in with multiple partners of vegetable and meats. E.g. ramps in potato salad or ramps in meatballs/meatloaf. Clusterf@#king not an issue for ramps, versatility.

3. Experimentation
You never know how good ramps can be until you give it a little experimentation. I've seen them with a goat. How far can you push the edge of ramp experimentation? Caution and fear need not be a factor.

More rules, lessons and tips to follow throughout the week...

My Monday's How To Cook Ramps Like A Pornstar dinner:

Penne and Buffalo Moroccan Meatballs in Ramp Pesto
-Parm Reggiano, Carmelized Onions

Monday, May 4, 2009

Gratuitous Megan Fox Burger Eating Video

I'm not really saying that Padma's burger commercial wasn't fantastic, but this video (at around 1:40 mark) is how you make a gratuitously hot burger eating video. If I wasn't already an Exquire subscriber, I'd think about being one now. That, my friend, is how you put asses in the seats. Of course, the other additional 3:00 minutes of watching Megan Fox roll around in a bikini really doesn't hurt her chances of making this quite possibly the BEST Food Porn video I've ever seen. I mean, it's bloody crunch time and you need to do the little things to set yourself apart from the rest. She's drinking beer and grilling her own burger for god's sake - in a skin tight dress! Someone on FoodTV needs to give her a multi million dollar contract soon. At the very least, she's probably going to be as good as Sandra Lee and home girl Rachael Ray.

The Bar has been set. I can't watch this video anymore, it's starting to rot my brain.

I'm Going To Keep Mocking The Swine Flu Until It Kills Me.

Got this from a coworker. Personally, if I was a goddamn bear, I wouldn't wait until the pig sneezed, that Piglet would be on a fire pit, stat. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

France/Italy or Japan/China

I've recently been totally obsessing over where I want to spend my future vacation this fall. I've been saving lots and lots of vacation hours and will likely plan on cashing 1/2 of them to fund my 2 week romp through one place or the other. Of course living on the West Coast, it would be much easier to fly to Japan/China, but it seems a lot cheaper to fly to Europe most of the time.

How do I decide between the romanticism of French and Italian cuisines over the diversity and uniqueness of Japanese and Chinese cuisines? To me, doing a gastronomic tour in France would be a pilgrimmage of sorts into one of birthplaces of Western cusine. Going to Japan would be an eye-opening experience of the culture, craftsmanship and precision.

I have no clue, but I should decide soon...

Here's an idea of what I'm thinking:


-Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Monte Carlo, Geneva, Cinque Terre, Florence, Montalcino, Rome, Sicily

That trip is probably impossible in two weeks, Paris, Lyon, Cinque Terre, Florence, Tuscany, & Rome would probably make a lot more sense.


-Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shanghai, Guandong province, Hong Kong

Stay tuned for some sort of decision at some point and Hot Food Porn will start planning on heading across the world at one point or another soon.