Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sluggo's North

I recently went on tour with my band Fat Shadow and ate some really great food. Travelling for long stretches makes one very hungry, and you'd think that after hours in the car even dumpstered bagels and warm cans of PBR are welcomed sustenance.
Not always. Okay, never.
Sluggo's North in Chattanooga, Tennessee is owned and operated by Terry and Ashley, two musicians who have been touring the country and the world for years with their punk bands This Bike is a Pipe Bomb and Future Virgins, respectively. They have felt on tour the yearn for greens and grains when all ya got are gas station snacks and whatever the promoter of the next show has or doesn't have cooked up. When relying on payment from shows (which are getting cheaper by the minute) for gas money (which is getting more outlandishly expensive by the minute), there usually isn't much money left to feed band members a good meal.
Sluggo's North is the answer to my question "Where can I get some affordable roughage on this crazy trip that will taste amazing?"
We had a GIANT plate of nachos that were beautifully presented (when was the last time you've had beautifully presented nachos?) and topped w/ Harry's vegetarian chili that would challenge the most puritanical hamburger chili lovers. The club sandwich was an animal lover's dream, because it is totally meat-free and totally delicious. The Thai bowl had perfectly cooked nutty brown rice and sweet, spicy sauce that had to be homemade. The list goes on, and Anthony at the counter talked with us at length about the food, made suggestions, and made sure we had everything we needed throughout the meal. He even looked excited for us. This is the subtle mark of a well-operated and inspired restaurant: staff who look at the food like they can't wait to sit down and have some themselves.
Sluggo's North was the tastiest, most exciting, and nutritious meal I've had on the road since that California Roll Falafel Wrap at Total Juice Plus in Cincinnati (also staffed by punks..do we see a pattern?). This vegan restaurant (!) is accessible to all food lovers. I highly recommended it to everyone, not just starving artists.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Return! Hope You Weren't Curried About Me. It Was the Winter Thai'm!

I didn't post all winter because I wasn't cooking. In fact I haven't eaten anything since my last blog post, but today I am feeling hungry.

THAI CURRY has been a favorite recently. I discovered that my domestic life boypartner is a whiz at seasoning anything, and when sauces and gravies need seasoned, I must leave the room and let him do his thang.

THAI CURRY may seem a little intimidating, but all you need is:
makes enough for 1-2 people

1 small can CURRY PASTE(my favorite is the brand pictured, which you can find at asian markets)
TOFU or your choice of MEAT
VEGETABLES such as: zucchini, baby corn, bamboo shoots, and potatoes
GREEN ONIONS, chopped, for garnish
Pour one can coconut milk into a medium pot over medium heat. Armed with a whisk, add 2 Tablespoons curry paste. Whisk well and TASTE. Alternate adding paste and tasting until you get the strength of curry you like. You may need only a couple of Tablespoons or the whole can depending on your tongue/brain connection.
Add 2 teaspoons sugar or fish sauce and whisk. Add chilis or cayenne to preferred spiciness.
Throw in the toughest vegetables first and bring to a soft boil. If using chicken or other meat, throw these in first and gently boil until they are almost done.
Throw in remainder of ingredients and gently boil until all veg are tender. If the curry is too thick for you at this point, whisk in a little water. Serve over hot rice and garnish with green onions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One-Pot Owl Curry

This curry is so easy to make and is the most delicious meal you can eat for the small amount of time and money it takes. It does not, however, contain owl. That was just to get your attention. We went on an owl hike last night. We went into the woods and listened as our hike guide played owl calls on an ipod! The owls called back! It was really fun. Before this happened we made coconut veg curry. This recipe is sort of a cross between indian and thai curry. It contains coconut milk but also calls for indian curry powder. Steamed, salted edamame was also served, which is always a good choice served out of a communal bowl. Vegetables from the famer's market were used, which is another reason this recipe is great: you can use any veg you want and it will be extremely delicious and well-received.

Coconut Veg (Owl) Curry

1 onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
Cayenne powder (to taste)
1 Bell Pepper (chopped)
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp good curry powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 C veg stock
1 potato, diced small
1 C jasmine rice
1 can kidney beans
1 can coconut milk (approx. 13 oz)

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1/2 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 good fresh tomato, chopped

In a large saucepan on med heat, saute onions and potatoes in oil until onions are translucent. Add cayenne, peppers, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. stir constantly to prevent sticking. add stock, rice, beans, and coconut milk. cover and simmer on med heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring very frequently to prevent sticking. when rice is cooked and potatoes are tender, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, green onions and chopped tomato. serve immediately!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Red Cabbage & Apple Excitement

I have the most amazing recipe for some fall sweet 'n' sour excitement. It's cabbage and apples, and don't tell me you don't like cooked apples in your savory things. You will love this, and eat so much you will never stop farting and have to live alone. Wait, that's sad. You will eat so much you won't stop farting for two days and it will be funny and endearing. This recipe requires a couple of good apples, the greener style the better, and a nice head of red cabbage. You may use green cabbage, but as you can see in the picture, the dish is a very beautiful magenta when using red cabbage. It's very easy, just takes time for the cabbage to cook down. For this meal we also made Biscuits (see previous posting) with Gruyere cheese, mashed Yukon gold tater with fresh rosemary, and sesame wilted spinach.

Fall Red Cabbage and Apple Excitement

2 T Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 T Turbinado (or any sweetener)
1 Head (medium to large) Red Cabbage
2 Tart Apples, peeled and diced
1/2 C Local Apple Cider

2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Caraway Seeds (don't omit these just because you think you don't like them. trust me.)
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large deep saute pan over med high heat. Add onion and saute until it begins to soften. Add turbinado and stir until onion caramelizes, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute until it wilts, stirring frequently. Add apples and apple cider. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until cabbage and apples are tender, about 15-25 minutes. Uncover and add remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ren Faire Fare, or, the Queen is Dead

Fishers Renaissance Faire 2009! Many delicious experiences this year. Huzzah! (ok, got that over with.) I didn't go for the "dirty kinky fries" that the guy was making with a power drill curly fry maker, but I did opt for some hummus and pita from the local mediterranean deli. Some SCA-ers did roast some unidentifiable animal on a spit as they do every year, and it looked scary and tasty, as meat on a spit almost always does. You may be able to see in the picture above: he is also making unleavened biscuits over the fire. They was also a stew that I wish I could've had a taste of with cabbage and herb bundles, carrots and chunks of something. I didn't get to see the Queen this year, but hopefully she got a better response than last year. Last year she walked by and I was the only one that curtsied. Oh well. I guess we're about due for an uprising anyway. The archers shown above have nothing to do with food but look at that butt!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Greatest Day of Your Life

The greatest day of your life will probably involve this sandwich. It's the FVSLOT, or fakin' (fake bacon), alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, onion, vegennaise and tomato on grainy wheat bread. It may remind you of your childhood or a mean babysitter you once had, but this sammie satisfies and there is no substitute. (unless you are substituting real meat for, well, whatever.) My biology teacher says that mayonnaise substitutes are technically just thick white gravy that has been stablized, and I like to think about that when I eat this sandwich. It might seems unapealling at first, but who doesn't want a gravy sandwich deep down in their hearts?