Good Food Mood

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, so I thought I’d give it a shot to break the silence. Today I woke up in a foul mood; I had a toothache, a headache, and I only got about 4 hours of sleep (I’m Evil Matt if I don’t get more than 9 hours of sleep — yes, I said nine.) My roommate, knowing me best, took me out to a new restaurant to cheer me up. Some people ply the moody person with sex (although that cheers me up, but food and sex are synonymous) and some become workaholics, others delve themselves in their hobbies. I’m all about good food, though.

Normally I’m not too fond of Mexican food, instead preferring Chinese most of the time, but that may be due to most of us Americans sticking with the Taco Bell staples, i.e. tacos, fajitas, burritoes, etc. I usually just order a chimichanga. However, since I try to make it a point to try something new every time I go out to eat, I instead ordered the carne de peurco con chile verde (recipe), or basically a pork stew.

It was freaking ridiculously good. I scarfed it down like there isn’t going to be a tomorrow, and I ended up paying for it later (stupid stomach!) The pork was tender, the broth was packed with flavor, and it was the perfect dish for a cold, rainy day. I even picked out a full bay leaf out of the stew; it was pure homemade goodness. One thing is for sure, I’m definitely going to try something new, and who knows, maybe I’ll become a big fan of Mexican food yet.


Wendy’s Jalapeno Cheddar Double Melt

Wendy's

After seeing commercials for this hamburger from Wendy’s, I thought it looked good — keyword:  looked good.  In this day and age, we all know that what we order at fast food restaurants will look nowhere near the same as what you see on the menu, on commercials, and other forms of advertising.  It is really sad, and reminds me of the scene in “Falling Down“, where Michael Douglas confronts the cashier with a gun about how what he ordered didn’t look like what he wanted.

Here’s the shot from Wendy’s website of what the burger looks like:

This is what I got tonight:

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it tasted good, but it didn’t.  Denny’s version of the jalapeno burger is many times better, although Denny’s burger costs a few dollars more.  Luckily Denny’s is closer than Wendy’s for me.

Update:  Here’s a picture of Denny’s jalapeno burger:


Gourmet Weekend Cookoff

Going broke because you splurged for the weekend in the name of gourmet meals is quite cathartic. Last night I made tilapia broiled with sesame oil and kosher salt, and then topped with a coconut milk and curry sauce that brought a lot of flavor to a largely mild fish. Alongside it I made a homemade asparagus soup, and baked potatoes. It all turned out real good.

Tonight I plan on making homemade chicken lo mein and hot and sour soup. The hot and sour soup will include some exepensive imported Chinese dried mushrooms that is both medicinal and delicious in nature.

Tomorrow night will be the big event, with a huge 4lb. lamb roast that will be slow-grilled for hours, and include a merlot steam bath laced with fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs. It’ll be accompanied by fresh peas, and mashed potatoes topped with chives and sour cream. I am so looking forward to this, and hope to have some pictures of the cooking process, and eventually how yummy it feels in my tummy.


Grilling – Rite of Passage for Manhood

The New GrillI spent a bunch of days in Jacksonville, spending time visiting family, going to the dentist, and just enjoying being back amongst civilization again. While up there, my dad bought me my first grill, and yes it is charcoal (I’m not a gas man) along with a bunch of accessories for grilling.

I’ve never grilled before, but I feel I’ll become a master with some practice and passion. It wasn’t until I got my first grill that I fully realized that getting one is a rite of passage for manhood.

While at the store, the cashier, a gruff man in the Garden section of the store, asked if it was my first grill. This is the conversation that resulted:

Me: Yep, my first grill. I’m pretty excited.
Cashier Guy: That is great, I remember my first grill. Oh, be sure you stack the charcoal in a pyramid to start the coals burning, then spread it with a tong. If you’re smoking wood chips, soak them for an hour or more to make sure they don’t burn, and …
Baggage Man looks up from bagging: This is his first grill?
Chshier Guy: Yep! His first grill!
Baggage Man to me: You’re going to love it, man! Don’t buy barbecue sauce, make your own. Start off with …
Manager of store idles over: His first grill?
Baggage Man and Cashier Guy together: Yep!
Manager of store: I remember my first grill. It was a Weber, and it served me well for many years. (Turns to me.) Take good care of it and it will give you years of happiness. You got a cover for the grill? Yes? Good, keep it covered and …
Another employee saunters over: That’s a great grill to get for your first time. Definitely cover it when you’re not using it.

All four men nod in unison and start going hardcore into grilling; tips, choices of meat, recipes, etc. Of course I joined in with the grunting Tim Allen-style and chest-pounding, but I was in a hurry and couldn’t stick around for too long. I guess my rite of passage into manhood is officially complete.