Archive for October, 2012

28th October
written by Loren

Few things hit the spot on a tipsy Saturday night better than a spicy pork and noodle dish with just the right amount of grease. This recipe doesn’t take a lot of planning either, as its short on unique ingredients and, once your mise en place is done, everything comes together in 15 minutes or so.

Stir together well in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat, when it is hot pour in 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, swirl around the pan until very hot but not smoking.  Add and stir fry very briefly until the garlic is slightly brown:

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chile peppers (I used seeded serrano peppers)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped canned bamboo shoots


Add 1 lb ground pork and stir fry the meat, breaking it up, until it is no longer pink but not yet browned. Meanwhile, cook in a large pot of boiling unsalted water, 1 pound chinese egg noodles (or spaghetti, if you must).

Add the stock mixture to the pork, stir well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add and stir fry briefly 1/2 cup of 2 inch scallion pieces, cut on the bias.  Remove the pan from the heat, drain the noodles (they should only take 2-3 minutes), add to the pan and toss with the pork and sauce.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, stir well, and garnish with 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions.


As I was getting into the final stretch of putting this together, I was really wondering if it was going well. As you can see above, the recipe (from Joy of Cooking) makes repeated references to stir frying, even after adding the pork. For me, as soon as I added the pork, there was way too much liquid coming out of the meat to do any stir frying, from there on out everything was being simmered in a sauce, especially once the brother mixture was added. Typically when that happens it means that your pan isn’t big enough to allow the liquid to evaporate as it comes out of the meat, or you don’t have the pan on high enough heat. In this case, I was using my widest pan and had the heat on the highest setting. Absent using a wok and a commercial grade heat source like on the badass mofos below, I’m not sure how I could solve this problem although I will be experimenting with using chicken thigh pieces rather than a ground meat to see if it releases less moisture.  Either way, by adding the noodles to the pan it helped soak up some of the additional moisture and the end result was fantastic, with a soy-ish sauce, with just the right amount of spice and fresh ginger, and enough fat from the pork to coat the noodles.



25th October
written by Arthur

One of the best pizzas at my favorite pizza place introduced me to this strange ingredient.  The bartender told me had to order the Smoked Pancetta pizza just to give the black garlic topping a try.  And he was right.  Each blackened clove was delicious.

So how does black garlic get its color?  There are false rumors that the darkness is imparted through a balsamic vinegar infusion.  Though the infusion theory is believable from the flavor, the real secret is fermentation.  South Korea pioneered its use and chefs here in the good old US of A have started integrating it into their dishes.

The black garlic’s flavor is subdued relative to its raw, or even cooked, relations.  The closest approximation is roasted garlic.  But with a similar mellow flavor and hints of sweetness,  the black garlic also offers up some elusive savoriness.

Every time I order the Smoked Panchetta, I dream of a little dish filled with these black diamonds, some freshly toasted bread, and a knife for spreading.  Thankfully I just thought to look through the great series of tubes that is the internet and have found the stuff is widely available.  Black garlic bread, here I come!

10th October
written by Arthur

I love a good cook.  A well contemplated meal to share with friends made over hours.  But on a weeknight, after a long day, I sometimes can’t just make it happen.  And, despite having roomies, I often find myself cooking for one at 9 o’clock in the evening.  And I end-up eating some wacky dinners.

Tonight, my roomies ordered Thai.  But, in the name of frugality and trying to reduce my weeknight dinner sizes, I was bent on making my own a meal.  With my mind sluggish from a day of learning my new job, I wandered Union Market after running a few errands.  After five minutes I still couldn’t form a meal.  I decided to keep it simple and roll with an old favorite: eggs and black beans.

Back when I dated Meg, and right before I started this blog, we did a month challenge of a $30 a week food budget (#missedblogpost).  One of our cheap meals was black beans, rice, and diced tomatoes (canned or fresh).  I now often add an egg for a quick savory breakfast.

Tonight, I wasn’t ready make rice.  I only had brown rice with an hour cook time.  I was too hungry to wait.  And, well, to be honest, I don’t like making rice (it’s the folding laundry of kitchen work).  So I decided to forgo the starch.

I mixed a medium can of black beans and a small can of tomatoes in a pot.  As the beans and tomatoes heated I cooked two sunny side up eggs.  In under 10 minutes I had my bastardized breakfast/dinner.  Mmmmm…. I’m satisfied with my crazy mid-week dinner.

Tags: ,
1st October
written by Arthur

A couple weekends back, when my fall mood inspired a chili and corn bread dinner, I decided I needed something sweet to pull the meal together. Last Thanksgiving, Iggy made an apple pie. Having way more apple filling than pie crust and pie dishes we froze a big bag of it.  It seemed time to put that to use.

Cobbler offers a easy, forgiving, and flexible dessert.  In this case I had apple pie filling around, but any fruit filling would have worked just as well.  I have a bag of cranberries in the freeze that may next in line.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sliced apples seasoned for pie (I might have actually had somewhere between three and four, but it seemed to work well)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.  Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and milk. Pour the batter in the baking dish over the butter. Sprinkle fruit on top of the batter, do not stir. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.