tacogate '08: the final chapter

There is no picture, because this item had been COMPLETELY CONSUMED by the time I was able to reach for the camera. There are only these 4 words, 4 words that should be more than enough, 4 words that under the transitive property of cake are themselves equivalent to a picture that is then equivalent to 1000 words.

Tres Leches Rum Cake

It is ooey. It is gooey. It is sticky and sweet and moist and creamy and delicious. It embodies the spirit of ten million drunk puppies playing with ten million drunk kittens in a field of cottonballs under gumdrop trees, takes that spirit and condenses it into one boozy, wondrous bite. And you make it like this…

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tacogate '08: tasty pico and inauthentic refried beans

I know you’re all watching American Idol right now. Why does Jason Castro force us to love him, with his dreadlocks and blue eyes and charming goofiness?

Part Four in the series goes back to basics: pico de gallo and refried beans. Every time I have people over and bring out this pico there’s a minor riot, which never ceases to amaze me – and sadden me, have we become so inured to Tostitos salsa? Will future generations know nothing except Pace Picante Sauce?

Fresh pico only takes 5 ingredients and a little chopping. Do it for the flavor. Do it for the children. Dear god, won’t someone think of the children?

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tacogate '08: mrs. morales' flan

UPDATE:  We’ve been visited by Mrs. Morales!  Check out the comments for the recipe for this monumental flan!

A giant fucking flan.

This enormous, delicious flan was oh-so-kindly prepared by Mrs. Morales. Her son Jason, a Scrabble-a-thon participant, informs me that she reads TNS and would be tickled to see a picture of her huge and scrumptious flan. So I give you: Mrs. Morales’ Flan. It had a perfect texture, delicious caramel, fed 20 people easily and balanced the federal budget, all before noon.

Mrs. Morales, your son is terrible at Scrabble, but we love your colossal, Brobdingnagian, wonderful wonderful flan.

If we all ask very nicely, there is a chance she may appear in the comments and tell us how to make this outstanding, gargantuan flan.

tacogate '08: sweet potato & red chard

Yes, I still use IKEA Bubblor flatware. Is that going to be an issue?

When you work in the non-profit sector, you end up with a lot of tree-hugging vegetarian friends. They may not eat bacon, but they still deserve to be treated with respect. So when they come to my home, I hate serving them trite vegetarian fare like the portobello mushroom-as-hamburger replacement. Of course, when they come to my home they’re probably absorbing microscopic pork particulate through their pores, but there’s nothing I can do about that; I can only control foodstuffs visible to the naked eye.

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tacogate '08: pork

I wanted to attend my own party – surely, you will not begrudge me that? – so this is the only picture of pork I took.

I’m tired from a long day of cooking, Scrabbling and eating, but didn’t want to leave those of you eagerly awaiting the second installment of Cliffhanger: Pork on the edges of your respective seats any longer than necessary.

So: see above. It was really fucking good. I give this pork an A+, and would gladly do business with it again.

And now, to sleep, perchance to dream…of pork. May we all dream of pork this night!

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a thursday night smackdown of questionable methodology

It’s not meat!

Tonight’s Smackdown comes to us from Creole by Babette de Rozieres, a beautifully photographed collection of 160 classic and not-so classic creole recipes. On the menu: Creole Seafood Risotto.

On the surface, this dish seems like a total winner: shrimp, scallops, and fish, risotto finished with some creme fraiche, saffron and scotch bonnet peppers bringing the creole mojo, and more shallots (8) than I have ever used in a single dish (It serves 4. So, 2 shallots per person. Babette doesn’t fuck around with shallots.). Although the flavor is ultimately a winner, a tragic misunderstanding of classic risotto procedures leads to fatal textural compromises. Amazon informs me that Babs is a French celebrity chef, making this all the more surprising.

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The other white meat, except it’s pink, and it bled all over my refrigerator like a stuck pig. Which I guess makes sense, because it’s, you know, pork.

I know, I know, giant hunks of raw animal flesh above the fold two posts in a row. Suck it up.

You probably already have a sense of how very fun I am from reading me: very, very fun. Just how fun am I? I’m hosting a Scrabble tournament – slash – taco buffet this weekend. You heard me, Scrabble tournament. If you have something to say about that I suggest you don’t, because Scrabble fucking RULES. F-U-C-K-I-N-G = 17 points + 50 point bonus for using all seven letters, take that, muthafucka.

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