Vegan Black Metal Chef

This week, on My Drunk Kitchen

Vote which one is a weiner.

By Way of My Translato-Wheel…

I’ll attempt:

Los frijoles se ubican dentro del grupo de las leguminosas, que se caracterizan por crecer en forma de vaina y se caracteriza por ser uno de los alimentos que contienen más proteínas que constituyen hasta el 20% de nuestro peso corporal y sirven para el crecimiento, el proceso del metabolismo, la formación de anticuerpos que protegen de enfermedades y la producción de energía, entre otras funciones. 

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It was the photo of a friend’s pot of weekend frijoles that called this to mind, and now I want to tell a story.

It’s a Texas gubernatorial anecdote. Could well be spurious, but even if so, it’s true. In the early 1970s, a white man named Preston Smith was governor of Texas. And there was this Texas member of the Black Panthers named Lee Otis Johnson, who got 30 years for possession of one joint. And then there was this one day (probably one of many) when people were demonstrating outside the Governor’s Mansion or the Capitol. And Preston Smith is said to have asked, “Why are those people hollering for beans?”

They were chanting, “Free Lee Otis! Free Lee Otis!”


Quote out of context

Finally, coming close to my threshold for pain, I asked the chef, “How do I know when it’s done?” I waited expectantly for his wisdom. With a mischievous glint in his eye he smiled, and said “When the sweat starts pouring down the crack of your ass.”

I guess it was done.

In Case You’re Wondering About Beets

Sheila and I were talking about beets. In case you were wondering, you don’t have to limit yourself to beets from a can. Pickled beets are good. Raw beets in a salad are delicious. They also can be served with a side of cottage cheese. Another way to enjoy beets is to roast, peel and toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a bit of thyme.

I like to juice beets with carrots and celery. You also could juice a beet with one-half lemon and two-three apples. Don’t throw away the leaves, they can have a bitter taste but are very nutritious. Beets are potent and can be a problem for some people, especially at first. But you can avoid nausea by chasing your beets with a raw apple. Beginners are advised to juice half a medium-sized beetroot once a week, slowly increasing amounts.

Sometimes urine will turn red after eating beets in quantity. This is called beeturia, or the passage of pink or red urine. The effect is temporary. Beets provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detox support. In addition, the betaine in beetroot is an amino acid said to have anti-cancer properties.


Select your mix of chillies and slice them up. Separate the seeds from the flesh if you want a milder outcome. Kasoundi is not a macho hot-sauce contest. Avoid the temptation to construct an edible inferno, because all those subtle flavours will be lost. Look, you should just throw out the seeds.

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Cornish pasty wins protected status

The European commission has awarded the Cornish pasty “protected geographical indication” (PGI) status. Only pasties prepared in Cornwall according to the traditional recipe can be described as Cornish pasties. Pasties prepared in Cornwall and baked elsewhere in Britain may be sold as Cornish pasties.

The Cornish Pasty Association said a genuine Cornish pasty had a distinctive “D” shape and was crimped on one side, never on top.

“The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, and onion with a light seasoning. The pastry casing is golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty is slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used.”

My food truck fantasies

Fransk dog as served by Danish pølsevogn. (via Street Cuisine)

have been evolving over the past week, which began with my confessing to having entertained the notion of converting my Honda Element into a food truck. A friend asked what I’d serve.

“Pasties,” I replied. “Spicy pasties.”

Then I got thinking. Ooh, yes. And empanadas. And samosas. And calzones. And pierogis. And knishes.

But I got sidetracked by an art project.
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Coney Island Hot Dogs

Distraction: An occupational hazard of visual research. I was looking for cowboys.

Carry on.

A (Soup) (Swap) Conundrum

I actually pondered hosting a Soup Swap. Pondered it briefly. I really like soup, both the making and the eating of it, and besides, I need to “put myself forward” out here in the Back of Beyond if I am not going to drift out beyond the Back of Beyond and into La-La Land.

But I got to thinking about how few friends I have here and about how a Soup Swap, like a Book Club, sort of demands that the participants know one another at least a little. Else you start drifting into the territory staked out by Amway, Avon, and Tupperware.


Bûche de Noël

Thought I’d share our Bûche de Noël. Note the snail details, which I was rather proud of.


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Chicken on a plate

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Sweet and Sour Initiative

In my previous posts I’ve mentioned how growing up in a Chinese restaurant was a fantastic experience. Let me tell you about one peculiar cultural mash-up: birthdays and pu pu platters.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is seeking actual objects from (or closely related to) Chinese restaurants in the US. The Sweet and Sour Initiative seeks menus, carry-out containers, chop sticks, matchbooks, pictures, restaurant signs, ads (in various media), ownership papers, ledgers, supply catalogs, working papers and permits, woks, cookbooks –

You get the picture. Go rummage around and see what you turn up.

San Lorenzo

Susan Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish

Every year since 1971, NPR’s Susan Stamberg has read her mother-in-law’s cranberry relish recipe on-air. I was first introduced to it by our friend Rachael, who has a nose for these sorts of things:

Here, with Stamberg’s footnotes, offers two recipes –- the on-air classic, and another dish that Stamberg confesses is her “truly favorite cranberry side dish.”

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed

1 small onion

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar (“red is a bit milder than white”)

Grind the raw berries and onion together. (“I use an old-fashioned meat grinder,” says Stamberg. “I’m sure there’s a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.”)

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. (“It should still have some little icy slivers left.”)

The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. (“OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It’s also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.”)

Makes 1-1/2 pints.

Stamberg also provides a cranberry chutney recipe that I’ve been meaning to try, but it contains ginger and I’ve always thought ginger to be a bit fussy.

Cookin’ With Coolio

So I guess someone decided to give Coolio his own online cooking show.

It’s awesome.

I’m archiving it here for future generations.

A very important update

Because of a copyright infringement notification from Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, I have updated the original post.

Update: Would this be fair use?

food, glorious food…

Readers’ Recipes: The Potluck

After much debating, testing and tasting, the editors of food52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, selected the top dishes to share. All recipes and photos were submitted by readers.


The Atomic Cake Controversy of 1946

The recipe, I’m sure, is still available.

A truly fascinating, if somewhat obscure, bit of history. A blog worth following, I might add. I cannot get over the amount of research that goes into many of his posts.

more than you ever wanted to know about corn flakes

The Cereal Project at

‘do not buy this fish from us’

Whole Foods has started labeling the fish it sells with the recommendations from Seafood Watch.

hat tip @amateurgourmet

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