Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Guyana

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, guyana, recipes with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Channa and potato curry

Butterflap

Guyanese vanilla fudge

Stupidest thing happened in this post, and it’s either my mood or the food of Guyana or the country of Guyana, but I am at a complete loss for dumb jokes. Maybe they’ll come to me as I keep typing.

The channa and potato curry is pretty simple – onion/garlic, spices, broth, potatoes, chickpeas. I think that I overburled my taters, so this eventually became “spicy yellow mashed potatoes with chickpeas.” The recipe called for what is apparently a super spicy Guyanese pepper, and that wasn’t at the store anyway, but Rachel and my kid don’t do spice so I replaced it with the Green Bell Pepper.

coulda used some spice

Those cookies you see behind it aren’t cookies – that’s butterflaps, baby! It’s yeast leavened dough, rolled and then filled with garlic butter, and then folded over itself twice, and then covered with more garlic butter and some herbs. For me, these ended up super crunchy. I would have baked less, or doubled the size, and probably would have doubled the garlic butter too. Wine pairing: Diet Mt Dew.

butterflap in the sky, i can flap twice as higghhhhhh

Dessert was Guyanese vanilla fudge, which mainly differs from US vanilla fudge because it’s only sweetened with brown sugar. It’s good as hell.

The recipe was big on “this is how you eyeball it to get that perfect fudge consistency, just like in Guyana, and it took many batches to get this right,” and I have to say that I just used a candy thermometer and got it right the first time like a big dumb champ.

fudge me big boy

All in all, I give Guyana an 8 out of 10, and it kicks ass.

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Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Hungary

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, hungary, recipes with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Hungarian lángos

Fözalék

Dobos torte

Hello and howdy. Hope you’re HUNGARY because I’m about to post some food. Get it?

First ding dang thing to do was mix up some lángos dough. Lángos are the little fried bread treats that just taught me how to do áçcéñt märkš on my ïPhøńē. They’re little fried dough cakes topped with cheese, sour cream, garlic, or, ya know, whatever.

Unlike the fried bread treats I just made in Venezuela (arepas), these are made from all-purp wheat flour instead of cornmeal. In fact, the recipe is pretty much exactly the same thing I eyeball for pizza dough. So, like, fried pizza after you put cheese on these suckers.

Apparently according to a Hungarian guy I know, these sometimes have potato in the dough. Sorry GARY. That’s not what the only link I looked at on the internet told me!

rising n resting

While I was waiting to fry those up, I got started on the fözalék, which is like masters-level iPhone accent mark training. It’s got two little dots over the o! It’s creamed Hungarian vegetables. The linked recipe is like “usually there’s actual cream, and you thicken it with flour, but in this one we’re gonna substitute that with potatoes?” Sorry GARY.

Basically you burl yerself some veggies in milk and veg broth, and then you thicken it (in this case, the potatoes thicken it, ok? don’t call the police).

The recipe calls for kohlrabi, which is a made up vegetable, but google tells me that broccoli cuts are a reasonable replacement.

After the veggies were creamed, I fried up the lángos. Took me a while to find the sweet spot in both temperature and cook time, but once I did these were really good. Crispy around the edges, soft in the middle, cheese melty on top.

u can see an awful burnt one and a good one, and if u look carefully in the upper right corner u can see a birthday candle shaped like a “3”

Pretty good. I doubled the recipe and ended up eating nothing but fözalék for a week. Wine pairing: Diet Mt Dew.

The dessert was interesting! And time consuming! The dobos torte is like eight individually baked thin layers of heavy lemon zest and vanilla flavored egg-based cake batter, layered with chocolate buttercream, and topped with a crunchy caramel disc. Lemon, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, man. Or as Rachel said, “this has one too many flavors.” Didn’t stop us from eating an entire giant cake.

Listen. It ain’t pretty, but there’s a good explanation: I didn’t care enough to try.

I did want to make sure I had my Ts crossed and my Ös dotted, but apparently I misread or screwed this one up a little – because I put a layer of icing on top of the caramel crunchy deal. Ööps.

Here it is: the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

okay.

I thought it was pretty good. So did my kid. The caramel disc was crunchy as hell, btw. Thanks, Hungary. Thanks, Gary.

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Venezuela

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, recipes, venezuela with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2018 by uglydudefood

In this post:

Caraotas negras

Arepas

Tajadas

Quesillo

If you’ve never heard of Venezuela, it’s that weird horn that sounds like bees that people kept blowing at the World Cup that one time. It’s also our first culinary journey into South America.

In honesty, it’s been so long since I actually cooked this food that I forget a lot. Since this time, we went on vacation. Our central air unit died (and was later replaced, so I can use the oven again thank todd). I made friends with the groundhog that briefly lived in my car!

The first recipe, caraotas negras, is a black bean dish. It’s full of veggies, spiced and also sweetened somewhat with a little brown sugar, and cooked down. Here’s a mid-cook pic.

Oh, I do remember something now! I and my whole kitchen smelled like oil! That’s because I spent the rest of the time frying up arepas (a fried cornmeal-based flatbread) and tajadas (plantains). There’s not a lot of ingredients that go into either, so they’re fairly plain – but really good! Oil!

I dunno, you can put the beans in the arepas with cilantro and some avocado and mama mia u got urself a sandwich.

I appreciated the ripeness guide for the plantains in the linked recipe. These were better than fried plantains I’ve had in the past. Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

And now what you’ve paid to see for years here: me destroying a dessert!

Quesilla is Venezuelan flan. I’ve successfully made flan before. The recipe calls for a flan pan with a tight sealing lid, and then put the whole thing in a water bath. I don’t have a flan pan. Instead, I just put loose custard cups in the water bath and then covered the whole thing up with the lid or foil or something.

The difference between the former and the latter: in a tightly sealed flan pan, the moisture is kept out somewhat. I sealed the juices in!

So what! So it’s a little curdled looking! It actually tasted fine. Rachel and my kid hated it, so I got 6!

Next time I will buy a flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flam pam flan pan film flam man flan pan flan pan flan pan flan flan pan pan flan pan flan pan flan pan flan flag pag flap pap flan.

Look at that! I’ve hit the word count to make this count as an actual literary work, and I didn’t have to use any filler at all!

Venezuela u tasted fine. Some day I will ride a gondola thru ur canals.

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation – Madagascar

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, madagascar with tags , , , , on July 22, 2018 by uglydudefood

Recipes in this post:

Malagasy lasopy

Vegetable Biryani

Madagascar vanilla fruity clafoutis

Our first culinary visit into the heart of Africa, or at least off the coast of Africa where David Schwimmer plays a hypochondriac giraffe.

I don’t do any research for these things, but Rachel does, and apparently Madagascar cuisine is slurped up from both the Indian and French cultures. The end result is a soup that wouldn’t surprise me on an Indian menu, a rice dish I’ve absolutely ordered from our local kebab place, and a French-ish dessert.

Malagasy lasopy is a puréed vegetable soup. You basically take a bunch of vegetables, boil em in broth, and whiz the whole thing together in a food processor. The recipe calls for water and an animal bone instead of broth, but fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. You can probably do this with literally any vegetables, I stuck to the recipe.

Even with no seasoning/spices besides salt and pepper, the soup is a pretty good hit and gets good flavor from the turnip and green onions.

The biryani is a warm spiced rice dish. I substituted vegetable bouillon for the chicken bouillon, and I couldn’t find ginger garlic paste so I made my own. You’ll be horrified to know that my grocery cart at one point had both a jar of pickled ginger and a jar of “garlic paste” which apparently also had, like, parmesan cheese in it? Then I decided to avoid a complete Ugly Food meltdown and actually google the recipe for ginger garlic paste in-store and picked up a ginger root and effing did it. I ended up accidentally making like a cup of ginger garlic paste (only needed a tablespoon) so I ended up using it for a stir fry the next day.

Anyway, pretty good. It tasted about the same as restaurant biryani, although it made a lot more (and cost a lot more – not sure if it evened out price wise). Suggested wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

The clafoutis dessert is kind of, I dunno, a flat custardy cake? At least mine was. I think the pan I used was too big. The recipe just said “tart pan,” man! Be clear in your recipes!

Anyway, it still tasted good as hell.

lol

And then the animals, who all had been pampered in the Central Park Zoo previously, learn a lesson about survival and not eating each other, and it sucked. I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT, I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT, I LOKENTO MOGE IT MOTR IT, I LIKENTO MOOOOBE ITTTTT

Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Kazakhstan

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, baking, food, kazakhstan, recipes with tags on June 30, 2018 by uglydudefood

Recipe in this post: chak chak

We expected it to happen eventually, and here we are. We were unable to find a good meat-free recipe for Kazakhstan. Pretty much everything had horse meat or sheep heads. Some article says, “the only people that eat more meat than Kazakhs are wolves.”

I don’t find anything reprehensible about the idea of eating horse, by the way, or at least not any worse than eating cow or duck or pig or something. When in Kazakhstan, meat as the Kazakhs meat. But eating meat makes me sad, so we moved on. My Wife was grossed out by looking at animal heads anyway.

So we did dessert. Chak chak is described in the recipe as “the Rice Krispie treat of Kazakhstan.” It’s homemade egg noodles, fried in butter and then drenched in a hot honey glaze and hardened.

I also made some honey-free ones for my honey-averse brother with corn syrup. I call them “the Rice Krispie treat of Kazakhstan of America.”

It was okay. Neither version really stuck together well, and they were super sticky. The noodles did not get super crispy, just either “hard soggy” or “crunchy burnt.” That’s probably my fault.

Kind of makes me wonder why they just don’t make delicious Rice Krispie treats in Kazakhstan. Also wish I had just turned my noodles into some delicious pasta.

I give chak chak my fifth highest rating: “very nice.” Wine pairing: Diet Mt. Dew.

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.

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!