Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Garlic quinoa & East Jesus red beer express

Quinoa snuck into my life about a year ago and has since become a staple. It’s the most forgiving, quick-cooking natural grain I know of, highly tolerant of slight mis-measurement of grain or water, and of flame too high or too low. And supposedly it’s a complete protein unto itself. As if I could really care about all that. Bottom line, it’s darned tasty. And today we kicked the tasty up a notch. Let me tell you how:


This recipe serves two, or one hungry mofo. You need a medium or large frying pan, a small saucepan and:

olive oil
3-4 heads of garlic, separated into cloves, still in their skins
3/4 C quinoa
1-3/4 C water
1 cube chicken bullion or Maggi

Fry up the garlic cloves, still in their skins, in 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat, stirring often, until lightly golden brown. Set aside in a bowl, and transfer oil to saucepan, adding more as needed to taste. You can never have too much olive oil.

Heat the oil in the saucepan over meduim heat until heated through, then add the dry quinoa and stir over high heat for a few minutes. Add the water and the bullion cube, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, allowing to sit for an additional 5-10 minutes afterward.

Skins the fried garlic cloves and fold them into the quinoa, and serve.

This simple recipe begs for experimentation, but it’s pretty delicious all on its own. There’s an interesting synergy between the garlic, olive oil and quinoa, and it can serve as a stand-alone meal.

Now, I have to admit I’ve been holding out on this one. East Jesus Adult Beverage Research Science has been hard at work for over two years bringing this cocktail recipe to perfection. It’s the perfect refreshment for hot summer afternoons, when a little hot pepper and a little something salty are especially welcome. Good for replenishing electrolytes! And this recipe is equally delicious in its non-alcoholic version (I usually have my first one or two of the day “virgin,” using O’Doul’s instead of whatever cheap American beer I happen to be stocked up on.)


You need: a pint glass, a paring knife and:

1 12-Oz cold cheap beer (or O’Doul’s)
3-4 Oz Clamato (regular or picante) – substitutions will yield poor results
1 key lime
Tabasco (NO substitutions here!)
Worcestershire sauce

The rest should be obvious but I’ll explain it anyway: in your pint glass combine the Clamato, a good slug of Worcestershire, four dashes of Tabasco (or to taste,) and the juice of one key lime, cut in two halves and squeezed. Carefully add the beer and refresh thyself and thy neighbor.

The Worcestershire is tricky. With some brands, a little dab’ll do ya. With others, you need to get more aggressive. Start with just a drop or two and work you way up. While too much Tabasco makes for a heart-quickening adventure, too much Worcestershire will leave you with something your dog won’t even drink. Might make a nice marinade for pork, though….

There. That ought to get you through the summer. As usual, send in your suggestions, hints, kinks, hacks, etc to this address, and please be patient with a reply as our fan mail simply overwhelms us and at times must be brought in by plane…

gingered zucchini with pinto beans in spicy tomato broth

this is one of those use-up-everything-in-the-kitchen serendipities. the fresh ingredients mirror exactly what i had laying around the kitchen at the time. i love finding ways to make boring or yucky vegetables adventuresome, even more than i hate throwing food away. this recipe borrows a lot from northern Indian cuisine, whose techniques are well suited to the climate in which i live, and to my own tastes. basically, you get some vegetables, cut them up, fry some spices, add the veggies and maybe some broth and/or water, and let it cook as long as it has to to a nice consistency. here i was with a hunk of ginger, a head of garlic, some leftover onion, two zucchinis about the size of a porn star’s whanger, and some canned goods whose labels were sufficiently sun-blanched that it seemed a good time to finally use them. i HATE zucchini, and i’m not a big fan of pinto beans. nevertheless, this came out real nice, and exemplifies some on-the-go techniques useful for dealing with random produce. enjoy! this dish was prepared side-by-side with my brown basmati recipe below.

2 medium-to-large zucchini, sliced into half-moons about 1/4″ thick
1 hunk of ginger the size of Don Alverzo’s thumb, peeled and minced
head of garlic, peeled, in whole cloves
as much onion as one has laying around, coarsely chopped
1 large can tomatoes, whole
1 large can pinto beans
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
3 bay leaves
dried, crushed red pepper to taste
tumeric to taste (2 teaspoons – that’s a LOT but i love it)
cayenne pepper to taste
black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
ground coriander to taste

1 tablespoon salt
3-4 tablespoons ghee or cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
6-12 Oz. chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water as necessary

heat olive oil in a deep 4-qt saucepan over high heat.
when hot, reduce heat to medium-high and add cumin, crushed red pepper, black mustard, bay leaves and ginger.
fry, stirring constantly, until ginger turns golden brown.
add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium, stirring often, for 5-15 minutes according to preference.
add zucchini, tumeric, cayenne, black pepper, coriander and half the salt. fry over medium heat about a few minutes, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
[NOTE: spice powders may form a soft crust at the bottom of the pan; keep lifting and folding this in to prevent burning.]

add tomatoes, broth and remaining salt (to taste.) simmer slowly, partially covered, for up to an hour, adding liquid as necessary to maintain a light sauce, allowing to thicken toward the end of cooking time. add the canned beans to the melange about ten minutes before serving.
remove bay leaves and serve!

serves 6-8.

insanely simple and delicious brown basmati

i am relatively new to brown basmati. i learned a few dozen ways to cook its white equivalent, but now prefer the whole-grain nutrition and flavor of the brown. some research on the intranational-websynets yielded about five basic approaches to cooking brown basmati; i tested them all and took notes. what lies revealed below is my personal, tested distillation of that mess of self-conflicting wisdom, with a technique stolen from the Indian cuisines:

2 cups brown basmati rice
4-1/4 cups liquid-phase dihydrogen oxide
2-3 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or ghee (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt

rinse the rice of any excess starch in a strainer until water runs clear and allow to drip-dry a few minutes.
heat oil or ghee in a 2-qt pot over hight heat.
sautee rice in oil for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until a distinct and pleasant aroma of roasted nuts develops.
add the water and salt. bring to the bare beginnings of a boil.
cover snugly, lower heat to pianissimo possibile and allow to cook for 45-55 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE LID.

allow to stand for another 15 minutes, also without removing the lid.
fluff rice with a fork to loosen the grains before serving.

serves 4-6. refrigerate and reheat for up to ten days.

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