This week we have part 2 of our talk with Dino about cooking! We talk salt, hot peppers, how to avoid the fear of screwing up, and the society rules around hospitality. Before that, though, Ursula (the Wombat Co-Host) and I talk about working on-call, making word count, and her current sleep schedule. This is the longest of the three, so get ready for a heck of a ride!
Content Warnings for the interview segment: bodily functions, the local nuclear plant, parasites, sex, poverty, politics, refugees, border politics, severe weather
Links for this Episode:
- Part One of this Series (check this for links)
- The Scoville Scale (Wikipedia)
- Chef Justin Wilson (Wikipedia)
- Old Crow Bourbon (Wikipedia)
- Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
- Maldon Flake Salt
- Morton’s Kosher Salt
- Unicorn Magnum Pepper Grinder (Amazon)
- Peugeot Pepper Grinder (Amazon)
- Infinite Coffee Grind and Brew (Amazon)
- Porto Rico Importing Company
- Press-Bot for Nalgine Bottles (Amazon)
- Moka Pot (Amazon)
- Aroma Rice Cooker (Amazon)
- Zojirushi Rice Cooker (Amazon)
- Tsampa (Wikipedia)
- Kevin’s Egg Slicer (Amazon)
- Kevin’s SPAM Slicer (Amazon)
- Onion Slicer (Amazon)
- Mueller Austria V-Pro Multi Blade Adjustable Mandoline (Amazon)
- Kevlar Gloves (Amazon)
- Eyebrow Mites (Wikipedia)
- Honing Steel (Amazon)
- Knife Sharpener (Amazon)
- The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher (Amazon)
- The Heliand (Amazon)
- A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression (Amazon)
- Fox Run Silicone Cooking Mat (Amazon)
- Calfaron Cookware (Amazon)
- Chefman Air Fryer (Amazon)
- Duxtip Induction Portable Cooktop (Amazon)
- There should be a link to the smoked mozzarella here, but my source is gone 🙁
A clarification. Go for the Calphalon non stick with the matte finish, not the glossy finish.
Also, sorry for making you so damn sweary Kevin. I feel like every time we chat, you meet me at my level of trucker mouth.
Polder in oven probe thermometer lasts 2-3 years for us, give that a try
Re: cheaper to cook va going out. Also it assumes you have the physical availability and working fridge and stove and pots and knives. Don’t get me started on “no prepared foods on food stamps” when you don’t have the physical ability /spoons to make from scratch. Friend has ability to open lid and put in microwave, that’s it. If they change food stamps to box of scratch ingredients she has to find someone to do the prep for her. -end rant
Yes. It’s incredibly ableist too. I’ve got a friend who uses a wheelchair for most of her mobility needs. She can stand for very short periods, and take a few steps if needed, but by and large needs her wheelchair. Unless she forks up huge amounts of money to retrofit her kitchen so that all the counters are lower, and pretty much be Ms. Moneybags, she’s gonna have to work with what she has.
Add to that she’s got various intestinal situations to deal with, IBS being the least of them. I’m gonna give homegirl a pass when she goes to the grocery store and buys the pre-made chicken, or to a restaurant/deli and gets a thing of soup or whatever. Getting out of bed, getting to the bathroom, getting showered, then dried, then changed, is a fucking process to begin with. I’m not gonna shame her for eating a breakfast bar on the way out the door, because she’s spent the last hour and a half to two hours just getting out the door.
They aren’t illegal immigrants, they are asylum seekers, and they are doing it exactly the way they are supposed to be doing it.
As has been pointed out, most people here “illegally” are here on expired visas, not taking dangerous journeys thousands of miles because what they left behind is *worse*.
Asylum *has to be sought at the border or within the country*.
THANK YOU. I was looking for the right word, and couldn’t get it. Asylum seekers makes a hell of a lot more sense. “Illegal immigrant” always felt grody to me. This one’s a lot nicer.
Oh my Lord, why is Kale still a thing? There’s only one way of cooking kale, and that’s in colcannon (and you only ever do that around Halloween).
I will see your colcannon and raise you a stamppot. You basically boil all the things together (potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, kale), and then mash them until broken down a bit but still chunky. Then you fry it in the fat of your choice.
Is there a recipe for the kale and/or eggplant recipes?
Generally, you want to pull the leaves off the stems. You can chop the stems finely, and cook them with the leaves, or just discard them. They are rather tasty when cooked through, but it’s an optional thing. Next, you want a good seasoning on those fuckers. When feeling lazy, I’ll do a mix of curry powder, peanut oil, salt (do not shirk on the salt), and either red chilie flakes, or black pepper, depending on my mood.
For 1 bunch of kale, I’ll do like 3 cloves of garlic, give or take. I keep them whole, and give them a light crush so that they perfume everything without making it obnoxious. Then, into a roasting dish (that has a lid), because kale starts off fucking huge, and that cute little casserole dish with the flowers on isn’t gonna cut it. I’ll tip in a can (about 2 cups) of coconut milk (look for a brand that doesn’t have guar gum or other thickeners; they’re shorting you on fat, and using substandard product). I’ve had good luck with Arroy-D, Chaokoh, and the Goya coconut milk in the 25 oz can. Coconut cream is also perfectly acceptable, if you can find it. Look for the Chaokoh or Arroy-D brand in the tetra packs. NOT cream of coconut. That is sugar and coconut flavour. You want coconut cream, whose ingredients are coconut and water.
Swish out the can with a bit of water, and cover the lid of your roasting dish. Chuck into the oven for like 45 minutes – 1 hour. The kale will cook in the fatty steam of the coconut milk, and soften so that those sharp fucking corners aren’t stabbing you on the way down. The garlic gets soft, and squishable (so do squish it, and toss to combine).
For stove top, heat peanut oil in a pot, and add 4 or so cloves of garlic, lightly crushed. Tilt the pot, so that the garlic bathes in the oil, and gets light brown and fragrant. Remove the pot from heat, and add in curry powder, salt, and red pepper flakes. If you want a bit less spicy, paprika will do as well. Swirl the spices around in the oil, and add the kale, along with coconut milk, a splash of water, and just a skosh more oil. Stir well to combine, and bring the liquid to a full rushing boil. Let boil fiercely for about 3 minutes. Drop down the heat to as low as it’ll go, and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for like 25 minutes or so, checking ever 10 minutes for done-ness. Once you’re at the desired tenderness, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Also, it goes excellent in potato leek soup. Sautee 1 large leek in olive oil until tender. Season with oregano, salt, and black pepper. Add about 2 lbs of waxy potatoes (yukon gold, red, white, whatever you like), and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and drop to a simmer. When the potatoes are half cooked, add the kale leaves, and a good hit of coconut milk (1 – 2 cups, depending on your taste). Cook through until both the potatoes and kale are tender. Optionally, sub out 1/4 of the potatoes with canned chickpeas. When done, ladle out 2 cups worth of the solid stuff, and blitz in the blender with the broth until smooth. This will thicken the soup, and turn super duper creamy.
I only watched the dude do this, so your mileage may vary. Also, I live in a studio apartment, so a grill is out of the question for me.
You’re looking for the small eggplants. The big honkin’ ones will be way too bitter for it to work. If you have a good farmer’s market where they sell good quality small eggplant, get it from there. You also want the eggplant to be /firm/. A spongy one will be gross. Avoid avoid avoid.
Grill the eggplant, whole, over the part of the grill where you park things to hang out and cook slowly. You want to turn it like every 10 – 15 minutes or so, until the skin is charred evenly, and the flesh is tender (if you poke a skewer through it, you get no resistance). You’ll know it’s done when the eggplant kind of slumps down, and isn’t standing up all pert and sassy.
Split the eggplant in half, lengthwise, and while still piping hot, spoon over it some tahini. You want to be fairly generous with the stuff. The tahini sort of melts, and you eat the eggplant from the skin with a spoon.
Seriously, that was it. The technique was all about getting the best eggplant you can find, cooking it evenly and slowly until it’s done through but not a falling apart mess, and then letting the ingredient do what it do. I have not had eggplant up to that point or ever since that I’ve cared for, and because I’m not in possession of a grill, I’m not sure that I’d be able to replicate it.
If you don’t have a grill, but do like eggplant in general, you could well go the South Indian route. Again, you want to avoid those big honkin’ fuckers, and go for either the Japanese eggplants which are long and skinny (but still firm! don’t buy spongy shit and expect it to be good), or the relatively smaller ones from the Indian store. Cube them up into about 1 1/2″ – 2″ cubes. If you want, you can peel them (and my sister-in-law does).
In a large skillet or wok, heat up a good bit of peanut or canola oil. Add in (about 1/2 tsp per 2 lbs of eggplant) black mustard seeds, and let them crack and fly all over the place (as they are wont to do). Add urad daal (about 1 tsp), and a few pinches of hing (asafoetida). Throw in the eggplant, and sort of stir-fry it until it’s coated with the spices. Add a generous hit of salt, and ground red chilie to taste. Continue to cook until the eggplant is tender but not mushy.
My friend had brought over some eggplant she found at the farmer’s market, and I knocked up a batch of this stuff. She was rather pleased.
NB: The link for the Porto Rico Import Company just links back to the Peugeot pepper grinder.