Turdmania at the Eatateria

We are what we eat. We eat. We shit. Our produce grow from shit-fertilized soil. We become shit. Festive as that may be, enter the the "Eatateria," to discover an ever-increasing assortment of recipes for lovely meals, which we will soon shit out. I eat, and I shit; therefore, "I am."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Maven's First Attempt at Ramen, Part 3: The Recipe

I'll break my recipe up into three portions:

1. What I did with the pork belly;
2. The composition of the broth itself;
3. The plating.


Approx. 1 lb fatty pork belly
Maple syrup
Garlic powder

Essentially I took a 2T. of the maple syrup and the tamari and about 1 tsp of garlic powder and brined the belly in this for two days before smoking.

On day three, I dried off the pork belly, pressed some sesame seeds onto it, and smoked it in my Cameron's smoke box for about 20 minutes, and let it cool down in the closed box, which I believe only intensified the smokiness. This was then stuck in the fridge until I set up the ramen broth the following day. What did I use to smoke the belly? That secret I am keeping to myself.

On the same day I put the belly in the brine, I also stuck the pork bones for the broth in a zip lock bag, marinating with some Sky Valley Miso Marinade overnight.  These bones were then slow roasted in a 275 oven for about 2 hours, on a bed of cut up scallions. When I took the roasting pan out of the oven and while everything was still piping hot, I poured an entire can of Sapporo beer on it, and then let it set out for almost two hours to cool down enough where I could put it in the fridge.


The following morning, the following components went into the slow cooker to cook for nearly 6 hours while I was at work:

2# roasted pork bones (with the beer, pan juices, and scallions)
3 long stems of garlic scapes, rough diced
6 scallions, rough dice
1 T. Tamari
1 T. Rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dashi powder 
6 Big, dried shitakes
1 T sushi ginger, shred
1 star anise
Dashes white pepper
1 T Sky Valley Miso Marinade
1/4 lb slab pork belly 
(Then added enough water to fill the slow cooker to capacity.)

I gave one stir to distribute everything, and set my slow cooker for six hours.

When I came home, I did not have the time (nor the cheesecloth) to properly strain everything out for a "consomme" type experience. I did a rough skim and got all the solids out of the water, however, my broth was not crystal clear.

I gave it a taste. It needed more oomph. So at this juncture, I added a few splashes more of tamari, rice wine vinegar, and miso.


I used fresh, store bought ramen noodle by Sun Noodle Co. I followed instructions. And after draining, I drizzled a wee bit of sesame oil on the noodles to keep them from sticking while I got everything else ready for plating.


I put a nice mound of noodle in the middle of each bowl, and on top of that, was arranged nicely:

1 hard boiled egg, cut in half
More sliced mushrooms
Pork belly, sliced
Some pork from the roasted bones
Minced scallions
And over the top of everything, I gave a good dash of  Simply Asia ginger-sesame spice blend.

On my own bowl, I had some pork & leek shumai already steamed up and ready to go.

The husband gave me 3 stars out of 5; however, I suspect it's closer to 4 stars, for me personally. And I dare say it rendered out a passable, authentic product.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Maven's First Attempt At Ramen, Part 2: Load Up Slow Cooker!

(Thanks, Justin, for the enthusiastic reply!)

This a.m., before heading off to work, I loaded up the slow cooker with everything I am using for my first attempt at soup stock for my ramen.

 Here, you can see I'm pre-soaking some shitakes (both, the shrooms and soak water go into the cauldron, by the way), some rough chopped garlic scapes, one star anise, a bunch of scallions, a big fat glob of the sushi ginger (It is the only ginger I use now, for pretty much everything--including Indian and Thai cooking, it's a great multi-tasker and time saver), Hondashi, and though I haven't seen it mentioned in others' recipes, I love white pepper.
 Into my six quart slow cooker, I layered the pork bones and aromatics, for even distribution.

 I then took a slab of my smoked pork belly from last night, and put it ontop. The ratio of meat to fat on this slab seemed "off" (more meat than fat, I mean), and I thought the meat dried out a wee bit in my smoking process, and I figure the slow cook will be good for a couple reasons, the least of which is to exude the smokey flavor to the broth, and perhaps break down the meat fibers a little bit.
I then put the dashi, some vinegar, some tamari, and some miso-marinade (since I don't have straight up miso/white miso here). Closed the lid, set the delay timer to start cooking in six hours, and a slow cook time of roughly six hours.

About to shower up, and head off to work. And will make an "accoutrements run" to pick up the enokis, more scallions and some wakame for the finished product! I cannot wait!

Maven's First Attempt at Ramen: Part 1: Prepping the Porkstuffs

The month of August saw fit to make me crave ramen as if the world were going to end TOMORROW and all I could eat was ramen. Seriously. I started to watch Mind of a Chef on Netflix, streaming one episode after another, like a smack addict taking hit after glorious hit, and craving more. 

The first season of Mind of a Chef centered around David Chang and ALL THINGS RAMEN (pretty much!). So much so, for my birthday dinner last month, the Maharajah took me to Ippudo. And while THAT was quite a glorious experience, the salt and or MSG in it gave me a powerful headache the following a.m., the likes of which (and also, sadly other ramen emporiums in NYC have rendered the same result), has left me convinced the only way I can eat ramen now is if I painstakingly make it myself.

I have many many thanks to cascade upon Justin over at C. Buddha's Hasty Musings for his immeasurable assistance in helping me to flesh out how to approach making my first batch of soup stock for ramen. Our discussion first hit upon the five seasonings in Japanese food, and kind of took off from there. We discussed roasting the bones, to how to prep the noodles I bought, as well as which kind of seaweed was best for this application. 

As we spoke (or in this case, chatted online), I set up my smoke box, to smoke the pork belly which had been brining in a few tablespoons of tamari, maple syrup and a few dashes of garlic powder (2 days of resting in the fridge), which I then dried off, patted a crust of sesame seeds on the outside and smoked for about 20 minutes, though, I did turn off the heat and left the belly in there to rest, in the closed smoke box, so perhaps the smokey flavor is more intense than I originally desired, but I don't much care at this point. I am sure it will be delicious.

I then put my pork back bones (which I had marinating in a miso-marinade for about an hour) into a 300 degree oven (I rested the bones on a slight bed of cut scallions, and roasted them in a dry roasting pan for 2 hours. Upon taking the roasting pan out of the oven, I poured a 22 oz can of Sapporo beer over the top, then promptly covered with tin foil. Once this cools down sufficiently, the whole shebang will go into the fridge, to be dealt with tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures of the porkstuffs, as well as a photo of the particular brand/type of miso-marinade I used, which I got at Whole Paycheck a few weeks back. Note: I've used this miso marinade in the construction of another foodsperiment I have yet to blog: miso-hoisin crunch chicken. But today, we're talking pork and ramen. 

Without further ado: The pork.

Monday, July 14, 2014

(No Pics) My Formula For Strawberry BBQ Sauce

This recipe is for an electric pressure cooker; however, after all the sauteeing and pureeing, can be cooked in a slow cooker/crock pot for 4-5 hours.

1 lb strawberries, hulled, quartered
1.5 onions minced
3 garlic scapes, minced (sub: 6 cloves garlic)
1 T. Sushi ginger (the shredded type; sub: 1 inch fresh, grated)
1 T. Pomegranate molasses
1 heaping tsp Schug (sub: sriracha or tabasco)
1/4 C. Rice wine vinegar (sub: apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar)
1 T. Brown sugar
2 tsp cumin powder
1 T. Jerk seasoning
1 tsp black pepper ground
1 tsp chipotle or paprika
1 lb Smoked pork product of your choosing. (I used a 1 lb cross section slice of the ham part of hind leg; fresh ham, not cured or salted or smoked--and I then smoked it with oak chips), rough dice.
1 T. oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion and scapes in oil until onions are translucent. Add strawberries. Cook 2-3 minutes, then use immersion blender to puree. Pretty much dump everything else in (except for pork), blend away.  Toss in pork. Give a good stir to make sure nothing is sticking on bottom.

Put lid on, set to SEAL, and pressure cook on high for 12 minutes, let cooker depressurize on its own. 

Serve up with white rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Polpette Permutations, Part 2: Smoked Trout "Rillette" Polpette

Taking yet another spin on my "polpette permutations," I'm now daydreaming about morphing my smoked trout rillettes into a polpette form. Must ruminate on this further.  Will update this post once I get around to doing the prototype.

Spitballing ideas about what could go into these polpettes to make it tasty and perhaps make the texture interesting:

My smoked trout
Black truffle oil or black truffle "pesto"
Chopped toasted hazelnuts

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

DIY "Sambuca"

16 oz good quality vodka (I used red label Smirnoff)
2 tsp fennel/anise seed
2 tsp Elderflower liqueur
1-2 "Glugs" Elderberry syrup

Shake well. Let sit for a week.

I might have to add more syrup to boost sweetness, but I think I have the flavor profile spot on.

I might have to make some DIY limoncello, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Note to Self: Three Ingredient Berry Cobbler

Seriously considering making this recipe. I mean, what's not to love about it? At least two of the ingredients I have on hand currently at home (clear fizzy soda and cake mix--both sugar free, by the way). I'd just need  two 12 oz bags of frozen berries. I bet ginger ale would add some nice taste to this, too. 

Later on this month, I may or may not have a friend in from out of town (we're planning on attending a class in NYC, provided it's not cancelled, which, as of this writing, it appears that if it were to be cancelled it might end up being a last minute thing--which I can only assume would be a huge pain in the ass to the person coming in to NYC from IRELAND to teach the class. 

I might make a chorizo & sweet potato "tater tot" torta/frittata and serve this cobbler along with it. MIGHT.

Got Garnish?

This morning, Avitable posted a picture (and a recipe) of what he calls "breakfast hash." Which, to be honest, looks like it's composed almost entirely of garnishes. Almost. Look at this mess. It's a thing of beauty. Tasty, tasty beauty. :)

This reminded me of my "Crunch Salad" I sometimes make (usually in a Mr. Creosote sized bucket to last me a week of lunches). With one exception (either broccoli shreds or florets) my salad is composed entirely of garnishes. The broccoli (or even shred carrot might work too) is in there to keep my colon honest (and by honest, I mean scrubbed clean and happy). 

Now, I am sure you can make this salad without vegetation, and would no doubt be delicious. Hell. You could roll the components up inside a soft tortilla and nuke it, or fry it in a skillet for a quesadilla. Have at it. But this is for the salad form. YMMV.

Into a bucket or other vessel big enough to accommodate this mess, dump in the following ingredients:
  • 1 Bag o'broccoli florets (break 'em down smaller if they're too shrub like) OR use a bag of "broccoli slaw" (I prefer the latter for more uniformity in my servings) (Note: You could also use shredded fresh brussels sprouts if you have them on hand)
  • 1 medium red onion diced (good substitute: French's Fried Onions in a can--but save these to be added right before serving, otherwise they mush up)
  • 1 fistful of raisins (black or yellow) or craisins or currants if you're fancy
  • 1 fisftul of sunflower seeds
  • 1 fisftful (or more) of Hormel bacon bits (the shit in the bag that needs to be refrigerated after opening)
  • 1 fistful (or if you're squeamish about such things, approx 1/3 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • Blue cheese dressing (or Hellman's mayo)
  • Salt and pepper to taste. I like to do about 15 grinds of black pepper in it.
Mix all that shit up and let it sit overnight. Serve up and garnish with the French's onions.

I sometimes will serve this up with some cubed cooked chicken or leftover steak. If you have hard boiled eggs, wedge up a few and serve with the salad to boost the protein. It's up to you.

Also: If you want to cut down on calories, you can cut your blue cheese dressing by 50% and mix in some plain yogurt, just tinker with your salt and pepper to adjust flavoring. 

Also: I sometimes will throw in some chia seeds to boost fiber, and it also helps make me feel fuller, longer. I might serve this up with some arugala sprouts or clover sprouts if I have it on hand, to add something green to the mess. YMMV.

Servings: Approximately 4-5 servings that weigh in approximately 6-7 oz per.

Nutritional information? Fuck that. You can "math it out." I only provide the yum.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Latest Favorite Cocktail

MP Taverna in Irvington calls it "Midnight Lemonade," and it's a combination of black sambuca, tonic water, lemon garnish, and I believe it's got some muddled basil in it too. 

Unfortunately due to fatty liver syndrome, I have to limit my alcoholic potables, however, this is one of those drinks I'd love to just nose dive into a vat of it, and pickle my care away. Tasty, effective pain management.

Now About My Love For Elderflower Flavored Anything

In our household this year, Valentine's Day (or "Valentino's Day, as it's known by us) was a bit of a bust. Husband had to work, and was sucked into a bottomless pit of a six hour conference call (concluding at around 3 a.m. the following morning). But before the evening got sucked away by work demands, I managed to pour some of this out for the husband and chirp "Happy Valentino's Day" before he answered the phone and was held prisoner for six hours.

The product in question is Belvoir pink lemonade, which features elderflower, and a bit of rose, and just enough fizz to make it something you don't just pound back, gulping it away. This is something special to be enjoyed and experienced.

I found the product a few weeks back at Whole Paycheck, and bought a bottle of each, the pink lemonade and the regular lemonade with elderflower, and had hopes that it wouldn't suck, as I adore elderflower, and I also adore NOT THROWING MY MONEY AWAY. Spoiler alert: Money well spent.

So when I ran to the store to get some provisions for the weekend, I picked up two more bottles of the pink stuff, and a small vegan chocolate cup cake for us both to share, so we have something sweet for the peer pressure and Hallmark cards mandated day of love.

Long holiday weekend this weekend, we have one more bottle of the pink stuff and the cupcake has been languishing in the fridge. I hope to get one more toast in, and nom the cupcake before the day is out.

Wish me luck!

ETA: It is now mandatory that if I go to Whole Paycheck, I need to bring back a bottle of this for the husband. I love how these little rituals or traditions take hold in my household.