Meat salad

I just thought I should check in and let you all know that I am not dead. I have one more post besides this one to share, but I am doing this one first because it’s shorter. I have developed a delightful condition in which eating any food leads to horrible stomach pain, so writing a food blog is intensely unpleasant right now. Nevertheless, here you are.

The bear (a bag clip) seems to want to eat this salad.

I decided I should have salad for lunch this week, because I didn’t want to cook. I found a bunch of contenders (because for some reason I could not come up with my own salad recipe… I now have no idea what was so difficult about it, but I guess I wanted something more interesting), wrote down the ingredient lists for a few of them, and then spent literally an hour at the grocery store trying to decide which to make. I was in a haze of exhaustion (I ended up going to bed at 9 p.m. that night) for unknown reasons and just COULD NOT make a decision. At one point I was in the deli line to buy ham; then I left to check to see if there were radishes for sale; then I went back to the line and bought salami and provolone. This sounds like the setup to a one-minute mystery. (The only one I remember: A man goes into a restaurant and orders pelican soup. He takes a bite, then goes outside and shoots himself.)

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What I did for food

Woah.

I have just made an unbelievable salad.

I know.

It’s from Plenty (but I modified it; also, wow, the American edition of the book is actually prettier), and it was easy, and it is amazing. Vinegary. Broiled tomatoes. Sweet. Aaaah.

Tomatoes before broiling

(Also, I created a very deep gash in my thumb during this evening’s cooking festivities, and bandaged it up and went right on chopping. It was one billion percent my fault—I’m not used to using knives that can actually cut you and did something truly moronic, and cut myself right after thinking “This may not be safe”—and actually it was while I was chopping for things for r&b for lunch, not for this. But still. Also, no one wants another post about r&b, so I have to tell you about it here.) Continue reading

Pasta salad with all the good things

This pasta salad contains all the best things in the world. It was also utterly emotionally exhausting. During the making of it, I:

1) confronted the possibility that my cat is sick
2) lost my cat in my (300-sq-ft) apartment and was convinced he had gone somewhere to die.

He’s not dead, but a visit to the vet is definitely in the cards. (And he won’t take medicine—he’s aggressive and only eats one kind of dry food, so there’s no way to trick him—so I don’t really know what I’ll do if he’s sick. FREAKING OUT. SOMEONE HELP.)

I started out by preparing my one pound of chicken thighs—skin-in, bone-in. I did this because the happy chicken was too expensive unless I bought the most labor-intensive kind. I still have no idea how I made this edible; I tried to watch videos about how to remove the bone from chicken, but it just freaked me out more and wasn’t helpful. It was all, find the joint, and then put your knife in, and do something magical, and all of a sudden your chicken is perfect and cooked and already eaten.

Exactly.

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There are people out there who don’t know what quinoa is.

It is this. (What a truly brilliant website.) It is an ancient seed that the Incas used (possibly). It tastes nutty… and seedy. I usually use it in salad but this week, inspired by a Brown University undergrad I know, I’ve been eating it with shit tons of cheddar cheese. I also massively overcooked it because I decided it would be a great idea to rinse the whole pound first (you’re supposed to rinse it a few times to remove the bitter coating), but then I realized I couldn’t dry it and it would probably go moldy in some horribly fearsome way.

Anyway, so I cooked an entire pound of quinoa in a very small pot, thus burning the bottom to a coal-like mass. The rest of it got mushy. So overall, this quinoa-with-cheese thing is basically just cheesy mush, which I’m OK with.

Behold. (Ugh, I forgot to take an After shot. Well, I melted the cheese, and then I ate it.)

Anyway, here is my favorite salad recipe. (This is quinoa-related.) I think I invented it? Inspiration from Orangette and the Amateur Gourmet. Well, not inspiration from the Amateur Gourmet; I just stole his salad dressing recipe outright. Also, I once tried to fiddle with it by using apple cider vinegar, and it was vile.

Best Salad in the Known Universe:

-endive

-radicchio

-ugh how do you make the spaces between the lines smaller?

-scallions (preferably grown in a tacky pink Coney Island cup on your kitchen table)

-feta cheese

-other vegetables: cherry tomatoes, carrots, green peppers (not red peppers, as they are the scourge of the earth)

I think sometimes I also use regular lettuce. Anyway, the main point is the radicchio, feta cheese, and QUINOA. Then put the above-stolen salad dressing on it, and eat it. At work. While shoe-shopping.