Feature: into the ovens

jesse
@ April 29, 2009


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[Part one of my pad thai recipe, which I stole from a lady on Throwdown With Bobby Flay, is here.]

Yesterday I revealed the first great secret of pad thai: the sauce. Today I reveal the second: the noodles. (I assume you have all already mastered the third great secret of pad thai, which is don't be Bobby Flay.) We start with ingredients.


pad-thai-12, originally uploaded by craftj2.

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup whole shrimp, peeled
  • 4 oz dry rice noodles
  • 5 tablespoons pad thai sauce that you already made
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot ground chiles
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • Sriracha sauce

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jesse
@ April 28, 2009


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6
Bobby Flay has no respect for food.

You may remember a few years ago, at the peak of the Iron Chef craze, there was a huge battle in New York between Bobby Flay and Iron Chef Morimoto. If you remember anything about the battle, you remember this: Bobby Flay disgraced himself and his country by STANDING ON THE CUTTING BOARD AT THE END OF THE MATCH.

Morimoto (rightly) called out Bobby Flay for this disrespectful display. Naturally, when Bobby Flay and Morimoto rematched in Kitchen Stadium, Bobby Flay did it again. Why? Because Bobby Flay is a DOUCHEBAG*.

Skip to 3:20 to see Bobby Flay disgrace himself in the New York battle, and 4:20 to watch Morimoto call him out.



"He is not a chef." Not my words. Morimoto's words.

More to the point, Bobby Flay should have lost both matches (he somehow won in Japan)**. His response? A show on Food Network called "Bobby Flay's Throwdown", which might as well be called "Bobby Flay's Douchebaggery", or "How To Be A Douchebag with Bobby Flay", or "Hey! Douchebag! What The Fuck?!?" Because he's tired of losing battles against actual professional chefs on Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Bobby Flay created a show where he calls out everyday people for a cooking battle.  It would be like Mike Tyson walking down the street, picking out a passerby, beating the crap out of him, and calling it "Mike Tyson's Throwdown."

The show profiles somebody who is really good at making a particular dish - hamburgers, potato salad, or pad thai - and then shows Bobby Flay secretly preparing to face off against them in a battle to prepare the best dish. Then, like a mugger jumping out of an alley, he challenges them to a food battle without any advanced warning.

So it was incredibly satisfying when a little Thai lady beat the shit out of him in the pad thai battle. Flay's ridiculous soy sauce covered abomination was no match for her skillfully prepared authentic Thai dish. Inspired, I set out to recreate the dish that so thoroughly annihilated Flay. 

There are two tricks to making great pad Thai. The first is getting the sauce right, and the second is getting the noodles right. The first part of this recipe will focus on proper preparation of the sauce.

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jesse
@ April 1, 2009


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1
The Suze is back with another delicious baking recipe.  And this one is even more Hispanic than the last one! If you are into that sort of thing.  We'll be making a Tres Leches cake, aka the Three Milks of Melquiades Estrada.


tres-leches-1, originally uploaded by craftj2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 eggs (or, as Suzi calls them after a night of karaoke*, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeggs....)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 13 oz can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Fresh strawberries (or other fruit, so long as its FRESH)
  • 9" springform pan
  • Either a high-speed mixer, or a mixing attachment for your robotic hand


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Jim
@ March 29, 2009


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Let me tell you what's awesome: a recipe that uses a skillet's worth of chicken, some olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and 40 CLOVES OF GARLIC.

Yup, that's it. Honestly, the hardest thing to do is to peel all the garlic. That's what girlfriends are for:

_IGP7718.jpg
Actually, Elisa made the whole thing. I kind of hung back, took some photos, and did what she told me to do. This was not a bad thing, because the chicken is DELICIOUS. Seriously, 40 FREAKING CLOVES OF GARLIC, can you imagine how good that tastes?

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (we used five thighs)
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 12 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 40 (YES, 40!!!!) Cloves of Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
Intrigued? Keep reading....

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jesse
@ January 20, 2009


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Before we begin, I need to set the record straight.  I have never, nor would I ever, talk smack about Jim's mom or her delicious cooking, despite what he might have you believe.  Here is what I actually said:

"[U]p until a few years ago, the undisputed champion of cooking in my life was Jim's mom.  Unfortunately, after the first Thanksgiving we spent in Florida, Jim's mom had to cede the title to Suzi's sister Sandra."
See? No smack talk.  But even so, I would like to amend this statement.  It was wrong of me to imply that there was a title or championship to be the best cook.  Do we argue over whether Thomas Jefferson or Abe Lincoln is the best president? No, we just put them both on Mount Rushmore and call it a day.  So I hereby declare that Jim's Mom and Sandra both go on the ObscureCraft Mount Rushmore of cooking, and hopefully we can put this ugly business behind us. 

If you are looking to get yourself onto the Mount Rushmore of cooking, here is the first requirement: no matter how many people show up in your house, and no matter what time of the day or night it is, you must always have delicious food ready for them to eat.  Such was the case with the very first pulled pork sandwiches.  A group of 9 people made a pit stop at Jim's parents house on the way from Albany, NY to Naples, Florida.  It was 11 o'clock at night, and out comes Jim's mom with a tray full of pulled pork wrapped up in flour tortillas.  Ladies and gentlemen, THAT is how you get it done.

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Jim
@ January 18, 2009


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I'm so tired of Jesse talking smack about my Mom's cooking. I took such offense to his insistence that this magic "table cream" ingredient made it so it was possible to make food better than my mom can make. Seriously, why would you put table cream into her hot and melty mac & cheese, or the Sweet Baby Ray's-based pulled pork, or her crab cakes.

So, armed with the knowledge that I had a pound of backfin crab meat in my fridge, and my desire to defend her cooking honour from Mr. Craft's libelous accusations, I emailed my mommy around New Year's with a simple statement: "Jesse is talking smack about your cooking on his blog. I want to make one of your recipes and put him in his place. How do I make crab cakes?"


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jesse
@ January 1, 2009


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I asked Suzi what this recipe was called, and she didn't know.  It is another recipe from Sandra, which means that much of the truth of this dish is lost in translation, including actual ingredients, amounts, and in this case, even the name.  Credit Kevin with noticing the similarities between this dish and tiramisu.  Layers of cookies, cream mixed with alcohol, and deliciousness.  Bam! Tiramisuzi.  I'll take it.  And then I will shove it all in my mouth, because it is delicious.

This is the recipe moment you have all been waiting for.  Oh, yes: table cream is back. And it brought a friend.


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jesse
@ December 29, 2008


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What's better than getting together with your Jewish mother for Christmas? Serving pork chops! The ban on pork is the most ridiculous part of Judaism (and remember, Judaism includes a ritual where the entire family gets together to watch a baby boy's penis mutilated. Hungry yet?) It's like having a ban on candy, or fun, or love. Pork is the most versatile of all meats. So pigs are a little dirty. That is why Moses invented soap. Wash it and eat it! Daytrader makes the best pork chops. After feasting on government pork during a busy day on the trading floor, nothing is better than coming home to a big plate of delicious battered actual pork. Here is his recipe for Trading Floor Pork Chops.


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jesse
@ December 16, 2008


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From the top, I would like to make two things clear:

1) I was incorrect in my last cooking segment when I said that Sandra was the only Senna sister who could cook.  Selma can also cook a little bit.  (Suzi? She can bake, but the cooking, not so much.)

2) This recipe is NOT the same recipe that comes on the label of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste.  It is not.  Selma added water chestnuts.  TOTALLY DIFFERENT.


cookin shrimp-1, originally uploaded by craftj2.


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jesse
@ December 10, 2008


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With apologies to my mom and Suzi, there has never been anyone regularly in my life that could cook well.  I've had brushes with greatness - up until a few years ago, the undisputed champion of cooking in my life was Jim's mom.  Unfortunately, after the first Thanksgiving we spent in Florida, Jim's mom had to cede the title to Suzi's sister Sandra.

But in Jim's mom's defense, she never had a chance against table cream.

If I may quote the name of the Facebook group I just created: "Table Cream makes food taste like magic."  It's true.  But don't take my word for it - try it for yourself.  Here is Sandra's table cream-tastic recipe for Freaky Fricasse.

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