October 25, 2012

Hash House A Go Go

Here we are people! My last post from my vacation stops. The truth is, I didn't go on vacation for the blog. I went to see family and enjoy the time with them. So let's get to it!

First off, I'm sorry!!!! I said I was going to post on Wednesday and I didn't! I know, my bad. For this little fuck up, you get to call me a lying bastard one time. Any more than once, and I will whoop that ass! Now for the review!

Hash House A Go Go has been reviewed by damn near every major food magazine and food television network. If you want a detailed review, check your favorite food site(besides my page). For this, I'm just gonna stick with what I had, the Sage Fried Chicken and Bacon Waffles.

I gotta say, even if I wasn't doing this blog, I still would have taken a picture of this. When the server sets this down in front of you, don't be surprised if the first words that come out of your mouth are "HOLY SHIT!" It really is a sight to behold.

The chicken was cooked very well. Tender. Juicy. All that good shit. The addition of sage takes the flavor of it all to a whole new depth. It really gives the chicken a deep, savory richness.

The waffles were light, even with a big bacon slice running down the middle of it. I think that speaks volumes in itself.

I know that's a quick description, but I don't have it in me right now to go on and on about it. Just know it's good and worth every penny.

On a side note, I saw Coolio there. Yeah, that's about all he is now, a fucking side note.

While in Vegas, I got the lucky opportunity to get on an internet radio show! It was only for a few minutes, but it was awesome!!! The show is called Vegas Unwrapped. Follow the link and check it out!

The two gentlemen in the front are Aaron Phillips and Ricky Cash, the hosts of the show. In the back is the engineer, Hawkeye Mark.

The Gods must have been smiling on me that day, because the first group of guests appearing on the show that night were players from the Lingerie Football League!!! They happened to be from the local team, The Las Vegas Sin.

Seeing these women on TV is one thing. When you see them in person....GODDAMN!! These women were bangin'!! The only thing I knew for sure when I saw them was that there was no fucking way I wasn't getting a picture with them. Check this shit out!!!!

It was a very good day, indeed.

There's no topping that, so I'm gonna end it here.


J. Miller

October 21, 2012

Luv It Frozen Custard

Wazzup! How have you been? I hope you are doing well out there. As for me, I've been doing alright. Work is starting to pick up, which is one of the reasons I've been a little slower putting out these posts I know you love so much. To make it up to you, I'll post again this coming Wednesday.

Some of you might remember that I took a little vacation last month. I spent some time in San Diego and in Las Vegas. I'm just now getting to this, and because it's taken me so long, I can barely remember what I got there! So, this one is gonna be short and sweet.

This was my first experience with frozen custard. I've seen it on various food shows and everyone always talks about how rich it is. Guess what? They weren't lying. This stuff is very rich! You know from the first bite this ain't some run of the mill ice cream.

For me, the coolest thing about the custard is the texture. It has a somewhat dense texture. You can tell that there is very little air mixed into it. It is as smooth as silk, and goes down incredibly easy. It really is a treat for your mouth, kind of like my pe...well, you get what I'm saying.

That night, I got one of the specials. It had vanilla custard, butterscotch, bananas and chocolate sprinkles. It was fucking awesome!

There you have it! Next time when you are in Las Vegas and you get bored with the booze and indulging your perversions, take a break and satisfy your sweet tooth with some frozen custard. You won't regret it.

Luv It's Website

I'm out.

J. Miller

October 13, 2012

Today's Appetizer: Edamame Hummus

Where do I begin? First off, thanks for stopping by. Second thing is...I love this picture. I mean, I took this with my phone and it came out exactly the way I wanted it to. That rarely happens for me! But enough of me sitting here tooting my own horn. What you see above is something I saw in my head and made a reality. If you have ever done that, than you know it feels pretty fucking good when you see it come about.

Let me break down what you see above. On the top right is sauteed shrimp resting on pickled red onions. Bottom right is sauteed shiitake mushrooms and Daikon radish. Bottom left is the edamame hummus with fried won ton strips. In the middle is a stripe of teriyaki glaze.

Normally, I don't get this fancy for the blog. I try and keep things clean, but low-key for the most part. When I got the inspiration to make the edamame hummus, I knew I wanted the finished product to be a bit more refined. And by "bit", I mean a lot. But before I start going through the whole process of putting this together, let me tell you how I got inspired to make this in the first place.

While at work, a coworker named Becky and I were talking about rumors. I asked if there was anything floating around about me. She said yes.

When Becky said that, I started thinking all kinds of crazy shit! Before freaking out too much, I asked what she had heard. She said "I heard that you made an edamame hummus." I laughed a little and said, "That's it?!?!" I thought for sure it would be something like "I heard someone saw you beating off in the freezer!" or something like that. Instead, it was about cooking. I guess I should be relieved it wasn't something bad, but it could of made work that much more interesting.

Anyway, I said I had never made it, but it did sound intriguing. I did want to start making more food for the blog, and this seemed like a good way to jump into it. But where do I go with soy bean hummus?

I knew I wanted to go with an Asian theme. That part was easy. But I couldn't really think of any breads that could go with it. Now I had to figure out what to pair with it.

I remembered that a sushi restaurant I like serves edamame at the beginning of each meal with a little soy sauce. This sounded like what I was feeling for this. A sort of sushi feel to it, with a few light ingredients to dip in the hummus.

After racking my brain a little more, I came up with what I wanted to do, made a shopping list, and put this all together.

As nice as that plate may look, there wasn't anything too difficult to make. And now that I look back on it, none of it really took too long to make either. But, there are a number of things to prepare. So, I'll go in order of what I made.

Since the beans were frozen, I had to boil those first.

I had the idea of pickling the onions to bring a little tart to the dish, but I'd never done it before. If those wankers on Iron Chef America can do it in one hour, I should be able do it! right...???

Pickled Onions

3/4 cup (180ml) white vinegar
3 tablespoons (50gr) sugar
pinch of salt
1 bay leaf
5 allspice berries
5 whole cloves
a small, dried chile pepper
1 large red onion, peeled, and thinly sliced into rings

Check the link for full procedure.

I didn't have the cloves or allspice, but they came out good.

While the beans were cooling, I decided to make the teriyaki glaze. It didn't take much time at all for that one to come together. I think I added too much cornstarch slurry to thicken it, but it still tasted great.

Teriyaki Glaze

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 -2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Click the link for full procedure.

I didn't have garlic powder, bud I did have the fresh stuff. I rough chopped 2 small cloves and added that to the mix. I also cut back about 1 teaspoon of the sugar. I wanted to keep a little of that saltiness. In the end, I was happy with it.

Now for the hummus. Since soy beans have such a wonderful taste, I didn't want to heavily season this. Why fuck with a good thing. I don't have an exact recipe, but I will give you my estimates.

Edamame Hummus

1lb           Soy beans
2tsp          Kosher Salt
1tsp          black pepper
1              small garlic clove
2tbs         tahini
1/3cup     extra virgin olive oil
                Water as needed

If you have never made hummus, it's easy. Throw everything in a food processor, and blend the living shit out of it until smooth. Or as smooth as it's going to get.

Now for the won ton strips. These fry EXTREMELY quick!!! Do not look away for one second! I took about 5 seconds or so for these things to finish! No bullshit!!

       Those 3 on the left are the first ones I dropped in the oil. I didn't realize how quickly they would burn. Lesson learned.
Of course we have to check for quality!

With all of this done, now it's time for the saute'!! I peeled and cubed the daikon and rough chopped the mushrooms. The shrimp I peeled and removed the vein, but left the tail on. I like the way that looks, and it serves as a handle for the shrimp.

Now, finally, it's time to plate up! I'm not sure how long this took, but I do know it was less than 2 hours. Since this was happening on a day off from work, I wasn't in a rush. Aside from the last two items, you could probably get away with knocking most of this out a day ahead.

How did it taste? For me, it was pretty damn close to what I thought it would taste like. I did overcook the shrimp a tad, but it wasn't tough as a nail either. The pickled onions brought a great balance of acidity to the rich hummus and teriyaki glaze. The won ton and diakon gave the plate just the right amount crunch to go with the softness of the rest of the plate.

The best part was mixing the hummus with the glaze. The sweet and salty of the glaze combined beautifully with the hummus. Truly a match made in heaven.

For those of you thinking about trying this, I know this might seem like a lot to take in (That's what she said). As you step back and look at the recipes, you'll realize it's nothing you haven't done before.

I can sincerely say that I'm proud of this dish. No bragging here. Just happy with what I made.

That's it for this one. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

I'm out.

J. Miller

October 6, 2012

Chino Farms

WooHoo!!! It time for another post! This one is gonna be quickie with a good amount of pictures and less of me babbling about...I don't know, whatever is I usually bitch about.

This episode, we are going to visit Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. This place is really an organic farm that sells to everyone, restaurants and the general public. If you are in some swanky San Diego eatery that talks about serving organic vegetables, there is a good chance they got it here.

There's not a whole lot I can say that the pictures won't say for themselves. The food is absolutely beautiful here. Everything I saw looked like it had been plucked from the ground just minutes earlier.

My brother and I left with some veggies for the restaurant he works at, Kitchen 4140, and some strawberries and blueberries just for us. All I can say is, I've never had blueberries with such an intense flavor like that EVER!

Enough of my yapping! See for yourself!

Awesome, right? All you foodies out there should have all the blood in your body rushing to you privates right about now. Don't worry, I'm right there with you. :) Here is one last shot for you. Open wide for this one!

I think I need a cigarette after that, and I don't even smoke!

Thanks for stopping by. As good as this was, I got something special planned for next week. I'll give you a hint...wait...fuck that! No hints! Bring your ass back here to get your mind blown!

I'm out

J. Miller

October 1, 2012

Cornbread, Chili and Me

Truth be told, I was planning on doing one more post about a place in San Diego, but it's gonna have to wait a minute. What you see above is simply last nights dinner. The key word in that last sentence is simply. There is absolutely nothing complicated about this! I'm gonna say it one more time: There is NOTHING...COMPLICATED...ABOUT THIS!!!

As much as I'd like to take credit for inventing this, I was actually inspired by something I saw on D,D and D. Mr. Fieri was at a spot in Tennessee called Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint. This place was cooking up whole hog, and from the look of things, doing it very well. But what caught my eye was a dish they called the Redneck Taco.

The Redneck Taco was basically a large cornbread pancake covered with chili, pulled pork, and a ton of fixings. If you have ever seen that episode, you know what I'm talking about. That thing was piled high.

After seeing the guy cook cornbread like pancakes, I knew I wanted to try it. I looked around the house, and sure enough, I had a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. Let's be real, you can't go wrong with this stuff! It's idiot proof. Even that C.H.U.D at your job can make cornbread this way!

I still needed to go to the store for the rest of this dish. A half hour later, I came back with a smoked sausage link, chili from the grocery deli section, and a few other odds and ends for the house.

The box of cornbread mix has a recipe for using it like pancakes. I followed it and the batter seemed a little too wet for my taste(Never thought something would ever be too wet for me). So, I stirred in a little more cornmeal until I got the consistency I liked.

After letting it rest for about 15 minutes, I heated a pan and dropped in a couple ladles of the mix.

Unlike pancake batter, this tends to spread a bit more in the pan. Just be cautious on how much batter you ladle in.

I sliced up the sausage and sauteed it to put a little color and crisp on them. The chili I kept warm in a pot. A quick dice of half a red onion and I'm done. It really was that simple.

Once the pancakes are done, put a little butter on there and load 'em up.

Seeing as how I didn't have to put that much effort in to making this, I wasn't expecting that much from it, as far as taste goes. I have to say that it was incredibly satisfying. The cakes had a nice little crust on each side. All these familiar flavors, just presented slightly different. Plus, it was a real rib-stickin' meal.

On a cold night, this would be an awesome meal. Too bad it's October and still 100 FUCKING DEGREES!!! This really fucking sucks! I am so looking forward to getting down and dirty with some fall comfort foods, but it's still blazing hot outside! Mother nature must be on the rag or something.

That's it for this one. If you want an easy weeknight meal, give this one a go. No muss, no fuss. And relatively cheap to put together. So save the excuses for next time and try this!

I'm out.

J. Miller