Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Vietnamese inspired Sloppy Joe?? You can't Banh Mi from trying...

Banh Mi and Sloppy Joe were from opposites sides of the tracks, both attractive in a relatable way but kept apart by some complicating circumstances, until surmounting all obstacles the two sympathetic and well matched lovers found each other in a joyous reunion.

Did I just copy and paste the Wikipedia definition of a romantic comedy? Perhaps.
Is it an accurate presentation of what occurred on my plate. I think so.
Am I losing it? Absolutely.

Recipes #16, #17 and #18
Đồ Chua (pickled vegetables), Sriracha Aioli, 
and Red Curry Lemongrass Sloppy Joes

Choice of Libation: My favorite boilermaker - a shot of Banhez mezcal and an ice cold Steigl Radler. It's summery smokey goodness.

Choice of Music:  If a rainbow were a silky melody and wrapped in a gentle hug that could heal you, it would be the music of Raveena. 

Check out her album, Lucid, wherever you stream music...

So I am tiptoeing away from pantry-item recipes, fully out of boredom now. Although! Jars full of delicious pickled vegetables make for excellent staples. You can put them on tacos, burgers, eggs, tikka masala, bean soup, make yourself a gibson or a weirdass vodka tonic. And I guess salads.  Really, EVERYTHING.  Also, look at the preeety colours!

Oh but how I love condiments that will valiantly ward against vampires. Throughout my life, I've been building my tolerance to spice and horror movies. Folding sriracha into homemade garlic mayo and watching The Addams Family is about where I'm at right now.  While it's important to challenge oneself every now and again it's also nice to know exactly who you are. Y'know?

 (also, I skipped "chart day" at school so may not 100% understand how they work)

Sooo...I started out with this group of ingredients but then just ended up adding stuff on a whim. The ketchup and coconut milk weren't originally planned but seemed necessary for texture and sweetness. Also, I cut the lemongrass in large chunks because I wasn't entirely certain we are supposed to digest it and wanted to be able to fish it out later.

Here's the end result, (situated by some sort of pasta salad that was just okay). I have to admit, this was a lot of work for a sandwich but it is maybe one of my favorite things I've made this year. It has the spice and tang of a curry meatball banh mi with the impossibly beautiful mess of a sloppy Joe.  I stupidly forgot to add cilantro and mint because I was too hungry. Seriously, Gavino?? The dumb herbs are still in my fridge.  I'm so mad because my sandwich is over.  But when you make it, I know you'll do the right thing.

Đồ Chua:
stolen and adapted from hungryhuy.com
1/2 lb daikon radish peeled
1/2 lb carrots peeled
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup hot water to dissolve 5 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
4 tbsp distilled vinegar
Whatever spices - I used coriander seeds, mustard seed and whole black peppercorn

Peel daikon and radishes
Cut medium to small matchsticks
Sprinkle salt and toss well.
Soak for 15 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly and slightly squeeze to remove excess moisture.
Add to jars, filling almost to the top.
For Vinegar Solution - Dissolve sugar in hot water, then combine with remaining vinegar and water.
Add vinegar solution to jars to fully submerge daikon & carrots.
Screw on the lids, store at room temperature until pickled to your taste, checking every 12 or 24 hours.
Refrigerate when ready, for up to 3 weeks, or until too sour or veggies lose their crunch.

Sriracha aioli:
stolen and heavily adapted from epicurious.com

2 garlic cloves
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sriracha

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolk, lime juice, and mustard in a bowl. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
Whisk in garlic paste, sriracha and season with salt and pepper. If aïoli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

Sloppy Joes:
stolen and heavily adapted from chowhound.com

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup minced shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 large stalk lemongrass (rough dice just the white parts of the lemongrass, usualy bottom white 1/3 of stalk)
2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 pound ground beef
About 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons siracha
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1/2 cup doa chua
1/4 cup cucumbers sliced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 baguette (I used a roasted garlic one), cut into 4 equal pieces, split, and lightly toasted

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until shallot begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in red curry paste and cook, stirring, 45 seconds. Add the ketchup and siracha. Add beef and salt, breaking beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk and sugar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until most of liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of lime juice.

Fill toasted buns with beef, dividing evenly. Toss carrots, cucumbers, jicama sticks, and cilantro with remaining 1 tablespoon each oil and lime juice and a pinch of salt.

Onto your baguette spread aioli and build your sandwich as you please.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Easy Peasy Lemon Stabby

Lemon + Sugar + MURRDERRRR
Jk, jk, no murder, just raspberries.

But the end result does kind of look like a crime scene, which is why I originally made this for a show I did where my character is stabbed to death.


photography: Evan Hanover
painting: Emjoy Gavino on Benadryl

The cookies were quite popular with the cast and actually won a prize.  The prize was a piece of paper with a fellow actor's headshot photocopied onto it but now I can tell my third grade teacher who told me I wouldn't amount to anything that I've won something.



Recipes #14 and 15: Vodka Lemon Fizz and 
Lemon Raspberry Cookies with Pimm's Liqueur.

Choice of Libation: Vodka Lemon Fizz (see recipe below)

Throwback 70s soul meets old school folk meets power ballads?! And that VOICE. Just yes to all of it.

 Look at all that produce and protein.  

Muddling with my left hand, Instagramming with my right.
The things I do for my art.

Yeah, but in some countries 2 ounces = 2 wrist tremors

Obligatory cardio shot

This actually looks like something I paid $13 for at a speakeasy where the bartender shushed me. It tastes better too because I got to be loud as hell while on a social zoom. 
And no one was wearing an ironic bowtie.

Whoops, forgot an ingredients picture for the cookies so may as well just jump in with the liquor pouring shot.  We weirdly have 2 full bottles of Pimm's and we were out of vanilla extract so....

Antioxidants.  Or. AntioxiDANCE?  
.....I've had too much Pimm's.

I do recommend using 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop to form rounds on your cookie sheet.

Otherwise the dough is pretty sticky and raspberry-y and it gets very Carrie-at-the-Prom-y.

Tart, sweet, comforting and slightly awkward.  That's what they called me in grade school. 
Except for Mrs. Lazor but let's not get into it until I have another cocktail. 

stolen and adapted from vintagekitty.com
2 tablespoons sugar (honestly, could have done 2 tsp, this was suuuper sweet)
1/4 lemon
2 ounces vodka
1 egg white

Place sugar in a cocktail shaker
Cut the quarter lemon into small pieces then muddle with sugar.
Add the vodka, stir and let sit for about 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the egg white into the cocktail shaker then shake until your arm wants to fall off.
Then shake some more!
Add ice and then shake more.
Pour cocktail into a coupe or small rocks glass
Garnish with lemon

A cheaters way to get the best foam is to strain the cocktail into a blender and process until foamy.

For a vegan cocktail, substitute two tablespoons aquafaba for the egg white.
If using raw egg whites worries you, you can purchase pasteurized eggs for this recipe.

stolen and adapted from bake-eat-repeat.com/

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or Pimm's!)
1 large egg
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup frozen raspberries, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour and mix until combined. Add in the raspberries and mix briefly to incorporate them.

Drop the dough by tablespoonful (a cookie scoop works best here, the dough is extremely sticky, but two spoons works too, the cookies will just be less uniform) onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are just starting to brown on the edges and are no longer shiny at all. Put the second half of the cookie dough in the fridge while the first sheet is baking, it will get even softer as the raspberries thaw.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Monday, May 11, 2020

ESPRESSO PATRONUM, or How I Made Booze Out of Other Booze then Put That Booze in Hot Fudge Like a Friggin WIZARD

Sometimes when you're in quarantine and your downstairs neighbors have karaoke and Dance Dance Revolution parties past 2AM, things like weekends and time lose all meaning. There is no sleep, only Zuul*.

*Zuul = staring at Asian Twitter and watching Instagram videos of someone stirring cheese until your eyes glaze over long enough for a nap.

So you might find yourself deliriously reaching for an ice cream sundae where there are only memories of another life.  One such life featured a place in Chicago called Margie's Candies, an old timey ice cream shoppe where friends like Aurora and Rammel would gather and share a giant dish, sometimes with whipped cream, always hot fudge.

I miss these friends and I miss that ice cream so thought I'd recreate both.  Nothing creepy.  I just made replicas of all my friends on Sims 4 so I can watch them interact with each other like a normal.

Anyway. I made food things.

Recipes #14 Coffee Liqueur and #15 Coffee Liqueur Hot Fudge Sauce

Choice of libation: Coffee liqueur (recipe below) and cream over coffee ice cubes frozen the night before.  You're right.  I am a genius.

Choice of music: Lila Downs.  I don't know how to describe her music and voice - it's equal parts belted war cry, joyful whooping, mournful confession and mystery. And then sometimes she's randomly a baritone.

I've been listening to her since I heard her voice in the movie Frida and really never stopped listening to her.  Ooh, this one is really good too:

Isn't she a badass???

Anyway. Right.  Homemade "Kahlua"

I hesitate calling this a kahlua because it should be rum, not vodka, but this is what was in my freezer so.

You didn't need a picture of me pouring all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmering it did you?  GREAT. Because I forgot to take one.  But the recipe ended up making about about two small bottles and should keep at least 2 months.  Or, if you're me, maaaaybe 2 weeks.

Again, I was totally surprised I had the ingredients for things I wanted within my home.
Something something metaphor for life something something.

What is more beautiful than pouring chocolate chips into chocolate melted with butter and heavy cream?

Possibly pouring homemade coffee liqueur into said chocolate.


Oh Andie.  I know this looks good but dogs can't have chocolate.

I know, pumpkin. But let's recall what the great philosopher Hannah Toriumi texted us at midnight, "The heart wants what it wants.  Even if it will make the heart beat so fast it explodes."  This stuff will literally kill you.

You watch your language, young lady.

As a throwback to my Margie days, I poured the sauce over some coconut ice cream, but this would also be good as a dip for fruit, poured over a brownie or cake, stirred into your coffee, or just ladled directly into your mouth.

stolen and adapted from veganinthefreezer.com


2 1/2 cups strong and hot fresh brewed coffee
4 cups sugar - organic
2 1/4 cups rum
1 inch vanilla bean - cut in half lengthwise for aged quality or 1 tablespoon of a good quality vanilla extract for instant gratification

Stir sugar into hot coffee and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Add the rum and vanilla pieces, stir.
Cover and let sit for 2 to 3 weeks in a cool place.
Strain, remove beans and bottle.
If you are using vanilla extract then stir in and it is ready. It won't have quite the depth of flavor but it is good.

stolen and adapted from smittenkitchen.com

2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine or table sea salt
6 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (next time I might also add cayenne)
1/4 cup kahlua

Combine the butter, cream, sweeteners, cocoa, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low, stirring, for 3 to 5 more minutes after everything has melted, then remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Stir in vanilla and kahlua

It’s now ready to ladle over ice cream, although it thickens more as it begins to cool, so you could also wait for 15 to 20 minutes before doing so, if it’s not too unbearable. Pour leftovers into a jar or jars and refrigerate. Hot fudge sauce keeps chilled in the fridge at least a month and often two, although it’s rare it lasts that long.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Kentucky Hot DAMN

Once upon a time people were allowed to be in the same room and I did a play called Kentucky by the brilliant Leah Nanako Winkler at The Gift Theatre with some really wonderful humans. One of those humans played my grandmother (Em Modaff) and one of them (Martel Manning) played a cat.

The other day, I messaged Martel -

ME: If I were to make a Kentucky Hot Brown would it be overkill to make the base out of grilled cheese sandwiches? Or should I just stick to the original recipe?
MARTEL: No never. Now is the time!

This is why we're friends.

Recipe #13: Grilled Cheese Kentucky Hot Browns

Choice of Music: Lionel Hampton was born in Louisville, KY and is considered one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.  I first heard his music playing at a tiny blues record store in Pioneer Square in Seattle I used to go to in college, pretending I had money to purchase more than the 99 cent used EPs they had in the front.  The very nice owner patiently conversed with me about vibraphones even though he knew and I knew I was full of shit. 

Once, after playing "Midnight Sun", a reporter asked what Hampton was trying to achieve with this music and he replied, "A love feeling."  (crying emoji, heart emoji)

Choice of Libation: I mean. I had to.  Peppery and sweet, I like how smooth this this goes down.

Yeah, that's a mason jar because we keep breaking the nice glassware my relatives gave us because we are bad at adulting.

Mmmm calcium and protein...and a whole tomato.

I didn't have thick bread, so thought doing a grilled cheese base for the open face sandwich would work better.  Andie obviously doesn't agree. SHUT UP, ANDIE, MARTEL SAID I COULD DO IT.

🎶 When the moon hits your eye and you make béchamel sauce with shredded cheese, that's a-mornay 🎶

That's a De Mornay

I mean when you really think about it, this really a really healthy meal.


Okay. So yes. It DOES kind of look like bacon threw up on my sandwich.  But in a fun sexy way.  Really, do whatever strikes your fancy.

stolen and shamelessly adapted from brownhotel.com

2 oz. Whole Butter
2 oz. All Purpose Flour
8 oz. Heavy Cream and 8 oz. Whole Milk  (or coconut milk, but only do that if you stupidly forgot to get heavy cream and whole milk at the store)
½ Cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese
Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to Taste
14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast, Slice Thick
4 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
4 Slices of Crispy Bacon
2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half

In a two‑quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium‑low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2‑3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile on medium heat, place slices of buttered bread on a pan, butter side down, add a handful of shredded cheese and top with slices of buttered bread. Flip.

For each Hot Brown, place toast (or grilled cheese sandwiches) in an oven safe dish – one slice is cut in half corner to corner to make two triangles and the other slice is left in a square shape - then cover with slices of turkey.

Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese.

Place the entire dish in the oven. Suggested bake time is 20 minutes at 350º. When the cheese begins to brown and bubble, remove from oven, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hakuna Some Vodka

The Three People who Read This Blog: Emjoy we're worried about you.  Do you know what a vegetable is? You should probably have one.


It's gross outside right now, but even if it weren't, I'd still be craving comfort food and what is more comforting than pasta?  The answer is boozy pasta. You're welcome.

Recipe #12: Spaghetti Alla Vodka and Roasted Veggies

Choice of Libation: Water. In the form of ice. In a glass with vodka. Lemon slice. The late great Jane Alderman called this drink a Vodky.

Choice of Music: Have you ever been up at 3am watching YouTube videos of old episodes of The Voice Australia? If so, may have seen my one of my very favorite singers, Fatai, whose voice contains oceans of soul and emotion and depth.  She is a perfect R&B artist and I wish more people listened to her.  Check out her EP Undone, just right for a rainy day day in your kitchen.
But also. Holy crap.   This cover:

I mean. Come ON.

I mean look at that friggin cornucopia of goodness. <--- not what they called me in high school.

You can pretty much do this with whatever vegetables you have patiently waiting in your fridge and pantry.  I originally got peppers, sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes a week ago thinking I would eat them for snacks but forgot about them because cheese.

I didn't mean to make this a dairy free dish, but here we are.  It was just because we happened to have this in the pantry but I like how coconut milk affects the texture of the sauce, rich and thick. <--- also not what they called me in high school.

I neglected to take a picture of me pouring the vodka into my face.  You're welcome.

This was actually really delicious.  The sauce was so complex and hearty I forgot to add cheese, which is saying A LOT. I added chicken sausage later but the flavors are so big, you might not need it.  Nourishing! Healthy! Basically a salad!

Mmmm...Vodka salad. Steamy vodka salad.

2 bell peppers chopped
1/2 yellow onion chopped
handful of cherry tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
some ounces of vodka
1/2 can of coconut milk (or about 1/2 cup of milk or cream)
spaghetti or whathaveyou

1. Season and roast your veggies with some olive oil at 400 for 30 minutes or so
2.  While that's all happening, boil and salt water and cook your pasta. If you're adding meat, go ahead and cook that now too.
3. Puree the veggies in a food processor or blender with coconut milk
4. Add vodka (I have no idea how much I added to tbh, but just eyeball it) and whatever herbs and spices you love
5.  Toss with pasta and enjoy.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dalgona-it, Let's Have Cake for Breakfast!

It has been over a month in quarantine and I have NOT made banana bread.
Does that make me a rebel? A revolutionary in this new world?

But did I make that stupid whipped instant coffee thing?

I also chugged it over booze, after eating sheet cake over the sink because who needs silverware and plates at 4am?

Recipes #10 Spiked Dalgona and #11 Depression Cake

Choice of libation: Coffee.  Yeah. I know.  I was already making a coffee thing.  I'm from Seattle.  At this point I am made of dark roast.

Choice of music: Emily King is one of my favorite "chill the fuck out" artists - pingy piano touches, shimmery acoustic guitar riffs and unexpected melodies, her beautifully gentle voice soars throughout her album Sides which is one I have returned to many times over the last few weeks.

A major reason dalgona coffee became so popular during lockdown, aside from everyone's longing to have pretty pictures of food and drink on their instagram, is because most people have the ingredients to make it. But mostly it's the "do it for the insta" thing. You could obviously use milk instead of maple syrup creme liqueur.  But pffff.

Okay. I don't have a whisk or hand blender or milk foamer or tiny elf to drop into a cup and make shimmy so I had to make do with this smoothie blender cup. It got the job done.

And also I shook it for 5 minutes so I count that as a workout.

I regret nothing.

Naming this "Depression Cake" is a little on the nose, I'll admit, but I didn't make it up.  It was called that because it was a cake families enjoyed during The Great Depression, when they didn't have access to eggs or dairy. But the name also works because.  Well you know.

TECHNICALLY, the recipe only called for water and vinegar and not espresso and bourbon.
But pfffff.

There's no reason that I needed to post this picture of all the ingredients dumped in together, other than it felt weird not to feature my rice spoon.

I didn't have a sifter so the strainer Chad uses for brewing beer at home would have to do.  There goes Andie, judging again.

Judging Andie, coming to a youtube channel sometime this fall.

Well this is terrifying.  I'm so sorry.  I haven't slept in a month.
Apologies also to Amy Brenneman.  But obviously Tyne Daly would still be in this reboot.

Anyway.  This was friggin delicious and makes a delightful base for ice cream, whipped cream, or, sigh, yeah.  Trendy whipped coffee.

stolen and then heavily adapted from delish.com

Dalgona Coffee

2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. instant coffee
2 tbsp. cold water
Ice, for serving
Milk (or creme liqueur), for serving

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, coffee, and water. Vigorously whisk until mixture turns silky smooth and shiny, then continue whisking until it thickens and holds its lofty, foamy shape.

Fill a glass most of the way full with ice and milk, then dollop and swirl the whipped coffee mixture on top, mixing before drinking, if desired.

Stolen and then heavily adapted from anaffairfromtheheart.com

Depression Cake

2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
5 heaping Tablespoons of cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups cold water (or 1 cup espresso, 1 cup bourbon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients and pour into an UNGREASED 9×13 pan.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Top with fresh whipped cream or powdered sugar sifted from a strainer, if desired.