WTF Nachos

Nothing wrong with this picture
Nothing wrong with this picture

WTF Nachos

NB. This is a dinner that is going to make Jennee’s cousin Sarah hangry*. Very hangry.

This is not just a recipe for nachos no, no, no, my friends. This is a recipe for what I have decided to call “WTF nachos”… or possibly “Off the hook nachos”… nah, I think I’ll stick with the WTF nacho idea. It has a kind of slightly confronting “in your face” factor, and I think the street smart acronym is really going to help it take off with the kids of today. They will collectively love me like I was their new mother… A kind of freaky scenario agreed, but don’t be too concerned, I won’t try and breast feed a single one of the little bastards.

“Why have you given them this moniker though Grazza?” I hear you ask.

The name came straight from my smart brain and the nachos were inspired by some kind of Mexican cheese fondue type thing I saw on another blog on the interweb super highway. That recipe had shitloads** of cheese, fried chorizo and no beans, and upon sighting it with my eyes I decided I must have it. But just chorizo and cheese? As much as I would’ve liked that to be my dinner it certainly wasn’t going to fly with the Children’s Healthy Eating Authority (CHEA). CHEA decreed that, as a parent cooking for his children, I needed something a little more nutritious in this dish. Yes I am still a parent, as much as I feel like I’m one of the kids a lot of the time… most of the time… OK, pretty much all of the time. So anyway, my childish mind and all that comes with it aside, I decided I would cleverly disguise the Mexi fondue by putting a layer of nacho beans underneath it, and we even had a few carrot and cucumber sticks on the side.

Nothing wrong with this picture either
Nothing wrong with this picture either

Nacho beans (Childrens Healthy Eating Authority approved)
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 400g tins red kidney beans, drained
1 400g tin diced tomato
Seasoning
• Sweat off the onions in a little oil
• Once they start to colour add the garlic and dried spices. Cook out for another minute or two
• Add the tomatoes and beans and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, adding a little water if they start to stick
• Blitz beans with a hand wizz to a semi smooth but still a little chunky type consistency
• Season with salt and pepper to taste

Cheesey goodness
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
½ cup ricotta

Chorizoy love
4 chorizo sausages, diced or blitzed to a mince type consistency
• Fry this off in a little oil until crispy and the chorizo has released it’s lush red liquid gold

Corn chips
1 bag of your favourites

To get it all together
• Put the beans into the bottom of a pan that can go under your griller or into the oven. Cover the beans with the cheese and grill/bake on high for five or so minutes, until it is bubbling and golden
• Spoon the chorizo and all of it’s tasty oil (not CHEA approved, but do it anyway) into the center of the cheese
• Serve with corn chips, tomato salsa and whatever healthy shit you feel is necessary, on the side
• Thank me later

*hangry; hungry angry. A term used when seeing pics of food makes you hungry and also angry they you don’t have it (as explained by Sarah Cootes). I thought it could also work well to describe being hungry with a hangover… or being angry because you’re not very well hung (this one would possibly only apply to males… hopefully)

**an actual unit of measurement

Miss Margarita Mexican Cantina, Byron Bay (part 2)… and film review “Gravity”

Self thought it has been a while since I have returned to my favourite Mexi-loco bar type restaurant-y haunt in Byron Bay. Also, Jennee (due to various unforeseen factors) was 0-3 on her attempts to be swooned by the taste of cheap eats, a punchy mojito and the service of fine looking bohemian-esque barmen. The only possible outcome for this monologue is a dinner of Mexican origin, a drink or two also of Mexican ancestry and an insight into another afternoon in the busy tourist hovel that is Byron Bay.

We fit right in with the rest of the cool cats
We fit right in with the rest of the cool cats
Mojito dreams are made of these
Mojito dreams are made of these

We arrived at 5:30, which was a stroke of luck as it was smack bang in the middle of happy hour and (stroke of luck #2) there was a table available. Margaritas and mojitos were 10 bucks a pop and Coronas were five. Done deal. I would take one of those Coronas thank you, and Jennee ordered a mojito. The corona tasted just like a normal Corona except cheaper, and the mojito tasted like a damn tasty drink… Jennee ordered another one of those straight up… I knew if I kept my cool and played my cards right she would definitely be getting her knickers off tonight. But first, let’s eat.

Corn chips with dips $12
Corn chips with dips $12

A plate of corn chips was a must. I remembered from my last visit (available for your viewing pleasure right here) that they were awesome and, for once, my memory served me correctly. Crisply awesome corn chips served with guacamole, sour cream and an average tasting random tomato salsa that was vastly improved with the addition of an equal quantity of salsa picante hot sauce.

The beast $19
The beast $19

Another thing I remembered from my last visit was me telling myself that I needed to come back and try the chimichanga (fried burrito for anyone who is not in the know), so try the chimichanga I did. This thing was a beast. An awesome beast. A beast of awesomeness. Mr A. Beast. You get the picture right? It was filled with pulled pork, beans, cheese, tomato salsa and other things, and had some guacamole, sour cream and ‘slaw on the side. The burrito was great but they should have left the coleslaw for someone who liked cabbage that has had all of the cabbage flavor sucked out of it and also had a salt removal tablet added just in case any seasoning accidently fell into he mix.

Crispy snapper salad with tamarind and ginger $21
Crispy snapper salad with tamarind and ginger $21

Jenny had the salad with crispy snapper, tamarind and ginger, which she really enjoyed.

Our friend the hot sauce
Our friend the hot sauce

We also tried all of the hot sauces we could lay our hands on. Most were very manageable but one, I do recall, removed a layer of skin from my tongue and evaporated it into the air of that cactus and spice filled room. It was sooo good.

The queue out the front was growing
The queue out the front was growing

Dinner was done and now the queue on the foot path out the front was growing. We bid our hosts farewell and made room for another parched traveller. “Adios amigos”, they beckoned to us as we left the bar…

I was pretty damn full by now but Jennee was hell bent on ice-cream. Knowing how these things work with a women I settled for the double scoop waffle cone, even though I have immense issues with how that looks on a man; walking down the street licking a slowly melting ice cream cone. If it were a twenty-something toastie hot chicky babe it would be a different story altogether, but alas, it was a thirty-something bearded white man.

And then there was the frozen yoghurt… As we were leaving Byron we passed a new frozen yoghurt/juice bar type serving icey cold treats Jennee liked to call “frogurt”. She straight up suggested that we should stop and try their (allegedly) tasty wares. Now, I begrudgingly dealt with the whole walking down the street trying to look like a man with a double scoop waffle cone thing, but frozen yoghurt (trendy name or not) was not going to be happening on my effing watch. No way Jose (or Jennee as was the case).

I was getting us the fuck out of dodge.

Now for the movie; “Gravity”. This was av-er-age. If we had have paid money to see it I would have been proper pissed. I suggest if you have the opportunity to watch it you should instead spend your 90 minutes more wisely by digging random holes in your backyard or maybe punching yourself in the face or, stop at the frozen yoghurt place because sissy is something you will eventually learn to live with, “Gravity” is something that will steal moments of your life that can never be returned to you and leave you feeling empty inside…

Happy birthday to me

Today is my birthday.

Last night I got enough beer into my belly to give me one hell of a head ache. I quite literally feel like I did get older last night. The boys were up at 5:30am (yeah, there’s a 5:30am now) hiding my presents which in turn meant that I was up shortly after, questioning what ungodly soul would make a 5:30 in the morning on a mans birthday. One’s birthday should include a clause that omits times like that and possibly moves straight onto a 9:30 or even 10:00. Was it the Myans? I told myself right there and then that I would investigate further…

I guess I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday I invited a few friends over for dinner and quite possibly a drink or two. We cooked an absolute cracker of a meal, and when I say “we”, what I actually mean is that I put the pork in the oven when I left for work. It would be correct to say that even our friend Scotty did more work than me. Jen had him rolling tortillas like a small Mexican grandmother by the time I got home from work, but that’s what you’d expect if you rock up to a birthday dinner at 1:30pm… at least 3 hours early, right? Claiming ignorance, or stupidity, or something? But the best I could figure is this was only going to benefit my situation. With the preparation for the meal all but complete, I could get started on a crispy cold birthday drink. On with the day.

It was my birthday and I felt not even a small urge to shed a tear.

And that, my friends, is where the details start to get a little sketchy. Photo diary from here I think.

Greg tried to camouflage    himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills
A lovely afternoon for some corn chips and salsa. Greg tried to camouflage himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills
Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled 'slaw, salsas, pickled chilli... some recipes will follow
Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled ‘slaw, salsas, pickled chilli… some recipes will follow
Emma is going to be happy with this one. She's been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She's on the left with her "I'm in the photo" face on
Emma is going to be happy with this one. She’s been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She’s on the left with her “I’m in the photo” face on
There it is folks
There it is folks

SAMSUNG CSC

Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you're a boss
Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you’re a boss

Right now all I have left are the memories of a swell night of eating, drinking and all round merriment, a cracking headache and a brand spanking new MacBook. So I’m going to go out on a limb and see if I can predict how the day shall go from here; I will lay in bed or possibly on the couch. No, let’s do bed today and then I can really look like a little girl, I will watch some cooking shows, eat more of last nights dinner, drink some coconut water because I am convinced it has the power to make me feel better, have a little snoozey, try to write some witty words that will camouflage themselves cunningly inside my brain so I can’t find them, then I shall repeat this scenario until I come good. Hopefully that will be today. The big problem for me seems to be that as soon as I start to feel a little better, a little more like I could possibly conduct a legible dialogue, or maybe that I should get up and go and give those carnies a damn good flogging, the bloody thing is back. BAM! In the face like a bitch. Like the woman scorned she demonstrates her wrath upon me, and like a bad acid trip it just keeps coming back around again. And it’s only bloody 10am.

I truly have to get on with my tasks for the day…

But before I do that I think that I’ll check my facey, see how popular I am and all that and this is what greets me. A message from my mate Jaz. It made me smile and it is what I shall leave you with today; “Happy birthday Graeme! I’m glad I know you because you’re Graeme, but also because you’re ginger and its my goal in life to know as many gingers as I can. Thanks for being my friend and being ginger hehe”…

How to get a guy horizontal part 1 (Paul’s caul)

How to get a guy in bed

One of our many followers/disciples has raised the question of ‘what dish to cook to get a guy in bed?’ so as I seemingly have more knowledge in this area Graeme has flung the question over to me.

Now I’m not saying I’ve had first hand knowledge of the gathering of men/penis’ into my bed but as a man of the world I’ve picked up a thing or two along the way.

Firstly I’d like to congratulate this young lady (I use this word loosely) for being so proactive in the bedroom department, but alas I feel the man you are trying to woo is already lost.

Which brings me to the second point and the answer to your question, the best dish to get a man into the bedroom is in its self a trick question because unlike you women out there food has no bearing on weather we want to sleep (also used loosely) with you. A simple hello is all we need to get the juices flowing and if you really must include food into the equation then simply make a Hansel like trial of corn chips from the front door to your bed or washing machine what ever your sexual preference is, and then BAM he’s yours.

So as I formally stated if you are needing to coax a man into the bed room then he simply isn’t good enough and the right one for you, OR you’re a freaky stalker who looks like a troll and have picked up signals which where definitely not there.

But I do like the idea of cooking for a man because you want to spoil him and show him that there are still woman willing to rock the kitchen and the bedroom and maybe even the garden if you have high walls (if you know what I mean) so I have given you a few recipes sure to excite any man or woman, if the food isn’t working then apply shit loads of alcohol and magic will happen.

The method behind the madness of the four dishes is this, if you put all your eggs in the one basket people will think you’re a crazy old Amish person who still carries eggs in a basket! But if you have a few simply put together dishes it will fill the entire evening with smells, conversation and wonderment then if your really shit in the sack later it won’t matter.

Prawns, fennel seeds and cherry tomatoes
• 1 onion diced
• 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes quartered
• ½ kg prawns peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
• ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
• salt and pepper
Fry off onions with a little salt until translucent then place to one side.
Fry off tomatoes until they collapse then place with onions.
Cook off prawns in a hot pan with the fennel seeds.
Toss through the onion, tomatoes and paprika, check seasoning then add basil and serve.

Balsamic mushrooms with truffled polenta
• 1 litre of milk stock (milk, bay leaf, rosemary stalk, black peppercorns, chopped onion… simmer for 15 minutes)
• ½ cup polenta
• 50g butter
• 1 tablespoon truffle oil
• salt and pepper
To make the polenta whisk the polenta into the strained milk stock and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently, then leave on very low heat for further 15 to cook out the graininess, then add butter and oil, season and serve.
• 3cups button or swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
• ¼ cup balsamic
• 2 stalks of either rosemary or thyme
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
place in a sauce pan and cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

Cumin spiced pork meatballs with a blue cheese cream
• ½ kg Italian pork sausages (or any sausage you like)
• 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 2 small dried chilli
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
Fry the spices and chilli in a dry pan until they smell fragrant, then grind with salt in a mortar and pestle.
Remove the skin from the sausages and add the spice mix and blend together, best to do this by hand.
Then roll into golf ball sized balls.
Fry off in a pan with oil and place on oven tray to finish of cooking in oven for 10 minutes at 180c
• small tub sour cream
• 60 g blue cheese
• salt and pepper
Mix together until smooth.

Turkish delight tart

Chocolate tart filling
• 250g dark chocolate
• 150g butter
• 3 tablespoons golden syrup
• 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
• 30g plain flour
• 50g castor sugar
• 2 tablespoons rose water
Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain maree)
In another bowl crack the eggs and give a quick whisk.
Once chocolate mix is completely melted whisk in remaining ingredients including eggs.
Pour into tart case and bake at 160c for 35minutes or until there is no wobble.

Sweet pastry
• 500g plain flour
• 250g butter, cut into small cubes, keep cold
• 100g castor sugar
• 1 egg
• 40ml water
Either rub the flour, sugar and butter together carefully with finger tips or place in a mixer to breadcrumb consistency.
Mix in egg and water well until it forms a ball, I may need a little more water.
Wrap in glad wrap and allow to rest for at least ½ hour before rolling out and filling tart cases.

 

“Remember this, sex is what gets people together but food is want keeps them together” I feel this is one of my finest quotes to date.