Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Albania

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, albania, baking, food, recipes with tags , , , , on June 16, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Byrek

Turli perimesh (recipe 7 at link)

Albanian walnut cake

The CULINARY ADVENTURE took us to Europe. Albania. I don’t know where in Europe it is, shut up.

The first thing I made was byrek, which I guess can be made in a lot of different varieties, but this one is cheddar and spinach. A bunch of that type stuff in phyllo dough.

byrek and turli perimesh

From previous recipes I’ve done, I learned that puff pastry and phyllo are super insanely hard to make, and homemade isn’t any better than store bought, so don’t waste the time. Thanks Dorie!

It was real easy, and I’m definitely gonna make it again with the other half of my phrozen fyllo dough.

The turli perimesh is Albanian mixed vegetables. I used green pepper, potato, zucchini, and eggplant. It cooked down to stewlike consistency and I’m tempted to think that I may have overcooked it. Regardless, this meal receives my highest rating: GOOD AS HELL. Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

The walnut cake was really good, too. Basically a simple cake batter with toasted walnuts mixed in, and then soaked in a lemon sugar glaze and baked again for ten minutes. Nice and moist. Reminded me a lot of a zucchini bread or something similar, even though the only fruit was lemon juice in the glaze.

Albania, u have earned ur place on earth’s map. Bless.

The next country we picked was very challenging from a vegetarian standpoint. See u then, buttz.

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Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: The Bahamas

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, the bahamas with tags , , , , on June 9, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post: Bahamian Mac and Cheese

Johnnycakes

Bahamian rum cake

I was excited when the random country generator picked the Bahamas, mainly because I misread it as THE BAHA MEN.

come on everybody, sing along, u know the words!

Difficult to pick fishes from this area. That was a genuine phone typo for “dishes,” but a happy accident, because everything in the effing Bahamas is seafood. So ladies and gentlemen, here is the vegetarian option from the Bahamen!

Bahamian mac and cheese is basically mac and cheese with some veggies chopped into it, and then cooked until you can slice it into bricks. I made the mistake of saying “WELL THIS DOESNT SEEM VERY CULTURALLY RELEVANT” and getting hit across the head by Rachel, who does all of the research on this stuff. Anyway, doubt it all you want: Bahamian macaroni and cheese isn’t just the title some schmo gave on a Cooks dot com recipe, but also something with a cultural tie to the Bahamas as evidenced by Tru Bahamian Food Tours Dot Com! English traditions filtering into the island nations etc etc.

I’m pleased to announce that it’s good as hell!

As a side dish, johnny cakes! Best known in America for that mention in one episode of the Simpsons, these are very simple, and very similar to biscuits in both ingredients and technique. Cold chopped butter, a little hand kneading, and baking. A bit sweeter than biscuits, and cooked as a big block (although certainly these could be portioned before baking).

Ugly by design, works for me

I could have baked these a little longer. I didn’t want them to get too dry, but the middle part had a thin band of doughy/gummy undercooked stuff in the middle. Still tasted great.

So this is the meal, you shits. Bahamian mac and cheese and Bahamian johnny cakes. Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

For dessert, Bahamian rum cake! I don’t drink, so this recipe caused me to go into the liquor store and feel like a naughty little boy. I usually keep rum in the baking cabinet (I use, like, a tablespoon or two over the holidays every year in pies), but this cake calls for like two cups and a designated driver. Twenty dollars for a bottle of rum!!!! The extra large soda I grabbed at Sheetz while I was out was a buck twenty nine, and it had more liquid!

I’m going to steal a term from those creepy internet pizza blogger assholes: here is the “upskirt.” Gross!

Anyway, it’s a rum-flavored bundt cake with a strong butter rum glaze. It was real good. I took the rest into work but probably ate most of it myself anyway.

As you can see, my running headphones are pink and my counters need a wipedown.

In conclusion, the Bahamen is a country of something.

Rachel is really enjoying learning about all of the countries and making a traveling list. I’m really enjoying making and eating food. My kid is really enjoying Mickey Mouse these days.

Next up: another country I wouldn’t be able to find on a map. Thanks for stopping by, dickwads!

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Sri Lanka!

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, sri lanka with tags , , , , on June 3, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:  Sri Lankan egg hopper
Lentil dhal

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.  It’s Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude – International!

Been a long time since I’ve done a dumb blog post anywhere, including here.  Anyway, shut up.  I’m back, baby.

Since the last time I posted here intermittently, I’ve had some changes.  I’m still meatless.  My spouse is meatless too, but not vegan anymore.  We still have our dumb dog, Harley.  We also sprouted a dumb human child who is like two and a half now.  She is an omnivore, meaning that when she doesn’t eat our weird vegetarian foods, she gets frozen chicken nuggets.

But that’s not what this is about.  This is a FOOD BLOG!!!!  Remember the early 2010s when those were big?  It was nice.  We had Obama.  David Bowie was alive. Welcome back.

Before I get into the main body of this post, here is my solemn promise to you, the reader.  I’ll post links to the recipes I use right at the dang top of the post.  And if I post an actual recipe myself, I’ll post that at the top as well.  I’m not going to make you scroll through all of this garbage to get to the recipe, only for your phone to pop to an inescapable advertisement.  Nobody deserves that, not even you.

Typically, we meal-plan for the week on Sunday, do a big grocery shop.  So many options, so hard to choose.  Do we have the lasagna?  Or do we do baked ziti?  And what about STUFFED SHELLS!  We’ve decided to diversify our meal offerings by sampling Google-able vegetarian recipes from different countries, selected at random by a country generator.  It’ll be on a semi-regular basis. I buried that here, mid-sixth-paragraph, but that’s the blog’s new mission statement.  I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in writing.

This week’s country is Sri Lanka.  I didn’t know anything about Sri Lanka.  Now I know two foods.  They also had, like, a civil war or something.  A big part of writing is research.

The first food we made is “egg hoppers.”  Basically, like, a super thin sweet coconut pancake with a fried egg in the middle of it.  OR THAT’S WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.

Well let’s get this out in the open.  There were some issues.  I could not find rice flour anywhere, and I looked in ONE STORE.  I ended up buying tapioca flour, which is probably the closest to rice flour, because both are types of pudding.  Don’t fact check this.

The recipe also calls for proofing/rising in the oven over a pilot light, for three hours.  Well, my oven is electric, so I put the sucker on warm.  In retrospect, that was too hot.  The dough came out as a barely spreadable gel-like dough, and not the pourable batter advertised in the recipe.  After the first few came out awful, I added some water to thin the dough – but that just made it sticky and unmanageable.

Finally, the recipe says “The batter is rather simple but, unfortunately, useless without a proper hopper pan.”  That sounds like a challenge, rich guy!  I used a teeny tiny cast iron skillet, and when that failed, used a regular dang frying pan.

The end result fell right smack in the middle of the mucous<———>marshmallow scale.  Is it possible that I screwed this up?  Or did I do it perfectly, and Sri Lanka just sucks ass?

The fried egg was good.  Served with Morningstar Farms Brand Imitation Cardboard Bacon Product(TM).  Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t bother, and go do something else.

The other recipe, lentil dhal, is pret-ty good. It’s yellow, it’s beany, and if you’re not careful you may eat a bay leaf that I forgot to get out of there! Sri Lanka would be proud.

The spices were pretty similar to what we see in our local Indian/Pakistani places. Cumin, turmeric, garam marsala, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes. This specific recipe could have stood to kick its flavors up a notch, BAM!

it looked yellower in person.

Served with steamed basmati rice and storebought naan. Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka. I hope you enjoyed your culinary tour. Our next stop will be another island, halfway across the globe.

I’m back until I’m not.  Go to hell!

Vegan cupcakes, kind of ok

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2014 by uglydudefood

My spouse is still vegan, and January/February is birthday month. To avoid the discomfort of her staring at us while we eat real cake – or the inconvenience to our hosts of requesting something weird – I baked her freezer cupcakes. Nothing fancy – just vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. All vegan, all from this link (except I substituted some cocoa into the icing, and added about 1/4 tsp of salt to it as well).

The cake tasted pretty much like any other cake – if pressed, I’d say it’s probably not as fluffy (probably due to the lack of eggs) but no distinguishable flavor difference. The icing is basically my standard buttercream recipe but with all shortening instead of half-butter, and that suffers a bit more (but hey, some cows’ boobies didn’t suffer, so I guess something had to). It leaves a film in the mouth and seems a bit…ehhhh.

I was wondering as I tasted the cake, how did we decide on the recipe for cake? The vegan substitute tastes pretty on-point. Over time, who decided that we should use the rocks that come out of chickens’ buttholes to enrich our baked goods, and a little of this chemical powder, and a little of this other chemical powder, and we’ll grind up these plants and put that powder in. It seems like a long journey just to result in diabetes for everyone. Delicious and disappointing.

No pictures, as I didn’t take my time decorating them. These are utility cupcakes, not display cupcakes. You know what brown stuff on top of white stuff looks like.

Vegan cookies are kind of a success?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2014 by uglydudefood

After a four-year break, I have reverted to meatlessness and have stayed true for the last few months. My spouse, in a wonderful display of oneupsmanship, has been full vegan for the last two weeks. We were watching someone on TV talk about brownies and she developed a craving for vegan brownies – problem is, we are in the middle of a snowstorm, so I had to work with items on-hand.

After giving up on brownies for various reasons, I turned to chocolate cookies. I chose this recipe, which I thought would be doable with my current pantry. Turns out however that I did not have cocoa powder, so I subbed an appropriate amount of flour and added extra vanilla.

The batter was way too gloppy, but I tried anyway. First batch came out p. gross.

20140121-192102.jpg

I added more flour for batch 2, and these cookies looked okay. Bigger and stay-puftier.

.

20140121-192113.jpg

I prefer butter and eggs myself

Bake In The Saddle Again

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2013 by uglydudefood

It’s been a while since I’ve baked; not as long as it’s been since I’ve blogged, but a few months. I always get a bit lazy, and then I start eating store-bought treats. I forget how much better real treats are, how much fun it is to make good things out of a bunch of dumb-looking powders, and how much more rewarding it is when your figurative sweat and literal blood (from the sharp lid of the pumpkin can) are in the recipe.

We are now proud homeowners, which, for the purposes of this site, means that there will be no more pictures atop washers, dryers, or stove tops. We have a kitchen with COUNTER SPACE.

On the left: caramel pumpkin pie. It’s the same recipe that I’ve made and probably blogged about several times before. The recipe is really variable, depending on how dark you caramelize the sugar in step one of the recipe. I’ve never been quite as pleased with this recipe as I was the first time I made it; as such, I think I’m retiring this one and finding a new pumpkin pie recipe for 2014.

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On the right, a gluten free pumpkin pie that my wife found on Buzzfeed, because Buzzfeed is a thing she likes. My sister-in-law is allergic to gluten and she is awesome so we like to make sure she gets dessert when we can help it. The crust is a paste of dates, pecans, walnuts, and gluten-free oats. The filling is a lightly sweetened pumpkin pudding (the sweetness is all in the dates in the crust)

Tis the season for more baking. I’ll try to post when I’m not too bored or depressed!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2013 by uglydudefood

Hi, as you may have guessed I’m not blogging here anymore?  I caught a lethal buttcrack infection and am probably dying, so TTYL everyone. 

Just kidding, that is false.

I still bake, but weighing the amount of time it takes to do this vs. the amount of fun I have doing it vs. the size of the audience reading it, it was a no-brainer to stop.  I may pop up again, especially as I go on to do more levels of cake decorating classes, etc – but this is pretty much it.   I exist on the Internet in many, many more places if you know where to look.