Not gonna lie, we ate like kings this week, and I was happy with my food photos, too. Not gonna lie!
Burgers and chips, broccoli and dip
I think Damien made this. You’ll notice, that was kind of a theme this week.
Damien made the pizza while I was gardening or something. I recall coming in all huffing and puffing and covered with dirt, and there was this wonderful pizza coming out of the oven just melting with onions, sliced garlic, and feta. Here is an unfiltered photo of this psychedelic pizza, transmitted, as the name implies, directly from my psyche:
Far out, man.
Cuban sandwiches, chips, fruit salad
A Cuban sandwich has mustard, pork, ham, pickles, and Swiss cheese, and then it’s grilled and pressed. It’s supposed to be made with Cuban bread, which I have never even seen, but you can substitute something crisp but not crusty on the outside, and soft on the inside. The bread aisles are still pretty skimpy around here, so I ended up with ciabatta rolls. By the time I got twelve sandwiches assembled, I was seized with a deep, unassailable urge not to grill and press twelve sandwiches.
So I laid them all in a pan, poured tons of melted butter over the top, and baked them. I made a halfhearted attempt to squash them at some point, but that bread wasn’t up for being squashed much.
As you can see, the filling wasn’t all melded and compressed like they’re supposed to be. Guess what, they were delicious. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself I don’t actually believe in authentic and inauthentic food. I believe in food that either tastes good or it doesn’t, the end.
The fruit salad was pretty, too, so there.
Oh, Damien made the pork with some kind of crusted herbs outside. I honestly think he just baked it, but I’m not sure.
Tacos and guacamole and margaritas
Tuesday was Taco Tuesday and Cinqo de Whathave you. But I thought it was Wednesday. So I made some pita bread dough and marinade for pork gyros before I discovered it was Tuesday. Undaunted, I put the dough and marinade in the fridge and intrepidly asked Clara to make some guacamole and asked Damien to make some taco meat.
Here’s the guac recipe:Jump to Recipe
Tuesday was the day I realized if we were going to start seedlings inside, it needed to be now, so Benny, Corrie, and I got to work.
My original plan was to put the pots outside during the warm days, and then bring them in during the chilly nights, and to do this, uh, every day until Memorial Day, when it will be warm enough to put them in the ground. Even as I was forming this idea, I knew it was terrible and unworkable, especially since the back door is blocked by two large rolls of linoleum waiting for their time to come, and any twice-daily moving in and out of thirty little pots would surely involve showers of dirt and all kinds of rage and frustration, which doesn’t mesh at all with my tender fantasies of children experiencing the wonder of germination in the sweet, sweet springtime.
I mulled over various stupid plans and ended up installing two nursery shelves over a heating vent in front of two of the dining room windows, and now we have a whole new thing to bump our heads on! And we can still have showers of dirt. If you want to have a good laugh about people who get too many babies started even though they don’t have space or a workable plan, go right ahead. I did.
Damien knew on Monday that it was Monday, so he made some simple syrup, and on Tuesday, which he knew was Tuesday, he made some wonderful margaritas. ¡Salud!
We use Lunazul Blanco Tequila, which is cheap and fine and has a wolf on the bottle. Damien’s margarita recipe:Jump to Recipe
Pork gryos with yogurt sauce and homemade pita
You’d think that, since I already had the dough and marinade made, this meal would just come together, zoop-zoop-zoop, as my mother used to say. It did not. It was totally worth it, but man, it was a lot of work.
Here’s the recipe I used. Last time I made this pita bread, it puffed up like magic in the oven. This time, very little puffing occurred. I think I let the dough rise too much before I got around to baking it. It was still fantastic — so much nicer than stiff old store bought pita. I did the oven version, because I was making 32 pitas, and I only managed to get four in the oven at a time. They only take about three minutes to bake per batch, though.
With twelve people home, an adequate amount of fries pretty much takes up the whole oven, so I decided to cook the pork on the stovetop so we didn’t end up eating at midnight. The meat is better broiled or, even better, cooked outside over the coals; but it was still delicious and tender. While th was cooking, I mixed up a bunch of garlicky yogurt sauce and had the kids cut up tomatoes and cucumbers.
I like my gyros with just meat and yogurt sauce and hot sauce in the pita, with the veggies and fries on the side.
Gosh it was delicious. Man, this is a good meal.
Chicken cutlets with basil and provolone
Thursday was Moe’s birthday, and this was his requested meal, heartily approved by the whole family. A Burneko recipe from Deadspin: pounded chicken breast breaded with panko crumbs and fried in olive oil, topped with fresh basil and a slice of provolone, and then smothered with a scoop of homemade tomato sauce.
Check out the insanely dramatic photos I got with the smoke from the frying chicken still billowing around in the evening sun:
It really tasted this dramatic, too. The sweet sauce, the tender chicken in crisp breading, the melty cheese, and the tender little basil hiding inside, so nice.
This is a fantastically delicious meal (which Damien doesn’t mind making every so often, even though it’s tons of work). Everyone just goes crazy and eats twice what they normally do.
For reasons, Moe and his girlfriend are having this same dish again tonight, in the back yard, six feet apart, and there’s a birthday cake in the oven right now. At some point in the day, I hope to make it resemble Audrey II, because that will be nice. I have slivered almonds for the teeth, but that’s as far as I’ve planned. We shall see.
Oh, and my friend Leeandra suggests the following modifications to make boxed cake mix much better: Add an extra egg, use melted butter instead of oil, and use milk instead of water. Again, we shall see!
The rest of us are having spaghetti, inside, a foot and a half apart, with leftover sauce.
Oh, Clara’s also making Hobbit bread! This is a braided loaf stuffed with cheese and sautéed onions and mushrooms, which Moe also requested for his birthday.
Past Hobbit bread:
Don’t you wish you had a sister like that?
And here, my dears, are the recipe cards. Happy spring to you!
White Lady From NH's Guacamole
- 4 avocados
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped roughly
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 red onion, diced
Peel avocados. Mash two and dice two.
Mix together with rest of ingredients and add seasonings.
Cover tightly, as it becomes discolored quickly.
Marinade for pork gyros
Marinate thinly-sliced meat for several hours, then grill over the coals or broil in the oven. Serve wrapped up in pita with cucumbers, tomatoes, french fries, hot sauce, and yogurt sauce. This marinade is enough for about five pounds of meat.
- 4 medium tomatoes diced and smashed a bit
- 2 onions grated
- 2 Tbsp oregano (or a large handful of fresh oregano, chopped)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 12 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- kosher salt and pepper
- 32 oz full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Use for spreading on grilled meats, dipping pita or vegetables, etc.
- 1 cup sugar for simple syrup
- sugar for glasses
- kosher salt or sea salt for glasses
- white tequila (we like Lunazul Blanco)
- triple sec
- lime juice
First make the simple syrup, and allow time for it to cool.
Combine the sugar with a cup of water in a small pot and simmer, stirring, until it is clear. Let cool. Damien puts it in a mason jar and refrigerates it.
Prepare the glasses. Mix sea salt or kosher salt and sugar in a saucer and add a little lime juice to wet it. Rub a lime wedge along the edge of the glass and roll it in the salt and sugar mix.
To make the margaritas, put some ice cubes in a cocktail shaker or mason jar. Add three parts tequila, two parts lime juice, one part Triple Sec, one part simple syrup. Shake until the lid gets cold. Pour the liquid into prepared glasses.