Friday, April 23, 2010

Crunchy Ever After...

Please note, the above image was not taken by me, nor was it how the peanuts looked afterwards, I won't lie to you.

Cheers and down the hatch...

I'm constantly looking for snacks that are flavorful, easy to make, inexpensive and interesting. Keyword, interesting. I think we all get bored from time to time with the blasé and inane. The recipe following i can't speak for 100%, because i was a tad intoxicated when i initially made it, lacked actual wasabi paste and cornstarch, but it still turned out very good.

Wasabi Peanuts

2 cups whole raw peanuts
2 Tbsp. course salt (don’t fret, it will be discarded)
1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 to 3 Tbsp. wasabi paste
1 egg white

Put peanuts in large bowl. Sprinkle with course salt and work it through with your
hands, breaking peanuts in half. The salt helps split the peanuts while instilling salty flavor without overdoing.

Empty peanuts into sieve and let salt fall through and discard.
Mix wasabi with 1 egg white and beat with fork until foamy. Pour over peanuts and
mix well.

Spread on non-stick or lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 30 to 40
minutes or until peanuts are roasted and dry. Cool and store in airtight container.
I used the same instructions, just not the same ingredients.

2 cups unsalted peanuts (pre-shelled)
2 Tbsp. course salt (don’t fret, it will be discarded)
2 Tbsp. wasabi horseradish sauce
1 egg white

The only recommendation that i would have is allow the peanuts to set for 1 whole day after baking them, because initially they are mushy, which isn't delicious. However given the proper time to recollect their thoughts and they are back to being crisp with a subtle tinge of wasabi.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sans arrogance and tumultuous regard, it’s a very difficult thing to find new things to dislocate your current perspective when you’re constantly looking outside of the box. As of late I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a dead end when it comes to food. That lull between what was fantastic but has become mundane and what will soon be an epiphany, a moment of clarity, the substance of my euphoria.

I’m craving something new, something that can unhinge my thought process to how I relate and know cooking. This in turn could leave me on my back and not know what the hell happened, but it could also open doors I never once thought imaginable. When I was in my early teens I went to Hawaii for a family vacation and it was one of the most liberating experiences from childhood into a more adult palette. Maybe it’s the sense of euphoria that envelopes Hawaii, or maybe it’s simply just how fresh everything is there. In either case being a young teen from the very bland state of Iowa, it wasn’t all too likely that I could have enjoyed the likes of Sushi/Sashimi, vibrant multi-colored fruits such as star fruit and passion fruit, and all things teriyaki.

To some sushi is nothing more than just raw fish, and to those that say that or think that you are but a child in your thoughts and palette; GROW UP! The attention to detail in all shapes and sizes that is sushi or sashimi is much more than just raw fish. I can’t speak for all sushi because not all sushi is created equally, but good sushi has a clean, natural, satisfying flavor that not only entices the palette but the spirit and soul. Maybe it’s the nostalgic background of sushi landing you in more peaceful times, or maybe it’s the fact that consuming raw fish satisfies some carnal craving.

In much of cooking fish commands a great deal of respect not only for it’s great nutrients and health benefits but the effort that it takes to prepare fish properly. So many things in life are better prepared more simply and fish can be just that. My initial experience with fish was that of catfish and I still loathe it to this day. Nope, never mind loathe doesn’t quite fit the bill, I hate Catfish with every ounce of my being. Or at least the way that it was prepared. Fish sticks anyone? No thank you I will starve. Raw Toro steak served with wasabi and ginger? I’d devour it lacking all grace and dignity.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You Can't Fake Awesomeness...

There are a few things in life I will not tolerate people experimenting on or to be quite frank f*@king with a good thing. Butter and Bacon rank right at the top of that list. Those are the primary ones at least, if they start making a “lite” whiskey I’m going to go ballistic (just watch, it will happen). It’s interesting don’t you think? All of the slogans, catch phrases, marketing ploys, and deviant mind tricks that the food industry plays on us. Being a foodie truly can be a liberating, yet debilitating experience in life, but that which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger right? Or so they say. In some ways being a foodie can make you feel free, in other ways you see the masses and what they are eating or would rather eat, and the acid in your stomach creeps up your throat and into your mouth causing if nothing else gentle irritation.
Generally speaking I try to be compassionate about other people’s taste in food or what they are using because not everyone has the same tastes. That however hasn’t stopped me from wanting to throw away every container of “I can’t believe it’s not butter”. First of all, I can’t put it any better than what Anthony Bourdain already has; “I sure can!” believe it’s not butter, and to top it off you can even get it in a spray bottle. Now not only does this scream unnatural, but just pure laziness. “I don’t have 30 seconds to melt butter in a pan or god forbid a microwave, let’s just get the spray bottle.” The stuff just reminds me of a horribly disappointing placebo shelved in our stores to be marketed to the ignorant and uninformed only to ensure the future pay days of doctors and nutritionists everywhere. I’m not really concerned that “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is a part of some nutritional conspiracy, I just find it really depressing that the general public would rather digest the plastic substitute of one of the great reasons people love food. Want to know why restaurants food tastes better than your own? THEY USE REAL F@#KING BUTTER! But you can’t fix stupid therefore I digress.
What is worse is when companies like Hormel tamper with things such as bacon; pre-cooked bacon is the end result. 3 words come to mind when I think of pre-cooked bacon. I hate you. It truly hurts my soul to see something like pre-cooked bacon be sold to people. The sad part is the only way pre-cooked bacon resembles true bacon is the shape. The texture is somewhere in between paper and cardboard. And for the grand finale the taste reminds me of the smell of bacon treats that are given to dogs as a sign of appreciation and praise. Now they package it in boxes and sell it to humans. Good boy Modern Society, Good Boy!
Certain foods just ultimately should never be substituted (e.g. Cheese). Seriously why would you want to substitute something so delicious and divine? As I understand it there is a special place in hell for masochists such as you. For example, do you know what fresh mozzarella tastes like? Feels like? Looks like? The texture is somewhere between silk and “I can die happy now”. The taste is nothing short of pure luxury for your taste buds. Sure there are the people that are lactose intolerant, and I truly feel sorry for those people, however for those that truly believe soy, rice, or corn taste just the same as cheese, chicken, and or milk you really need to put the bong down.