29 October 2009

zimdog is top chef 4eva

Top Chef was just coming on when I started making dinner earlier. Sounded like a challenge to me.

I can't believe I've never blogged about my cooking before. I'm terrible at cooking, as you can imagine. I'm such a left-overs cooker too. Those who have seen the sorts of things I eat can probably imagine the sorts of things I cook. I mean:

- I once made dessert burgers, which might've been salvageable up until the point where I dumped half a jar of molasses in with the half-frozen ground beef;

- if I had a restaurant, my signature sandwich would be The Pregnant Lady: grilled sourdough with cheese, pickles, french fries, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of sauces that make the ending plate representative of the afterbirth;

- in college, I would race others through plastic cafeteria cups full of table-made slop. And I rarely lost.

So you can imagine how much Tom Chode-Lickio from Top Chef would enjoy having me ram my fucking cooking down his toad throat.

Music helps when I cook, so I threw on some Mason Jennings (discovering the beauty of “How Deep Is That River,” a song from his last album). The cardboard box holding the plastic pouch of ready-made guacamole was cast aside next to the Mason Jennings paper CD case. Dun't wurry, Mason. I wun't thro' yur c-d-buklet uh'way thunkin' it's a gwack-uh-molay bux.

Here's an accoutrement I developed tonight:

The Wacky Wizard's Scientifically Speedy Garlic Butter

- one used Trader Joe's frozen crème brulee dish

- one reasonable-sized pat of refrigerated butter

- one chopped, pressed garlic clove

Use microwave to melt butter in crème brulee dish. Melt butter only halfway. Add crushed garlic. Melt butter the rest of the way.

I spooned this Scientifically Speedy Garlic Butter onto oat bran toast. Now that's some wacky garlic bread to go with an even more wacky meal.

But first things first.

The appetizer (or “First Course” as the professionals call it) was an apple & cheese plate. I decided to serve the apple en apple slicer alongside a variety of cheeses: walnut gouda, hand-broken triangles of provolone, and Cambazola (a very-bleu cheese with mushrooms). Thanks also to my sponsor, Babybel, for the featured cheese of the plate for their Babybel Light semi-soft cheese. Babybel Light. The lite Babybel.

Em seemed to be enjoying “First Course” so I away'd myself back to the kitchen to finish the Main Course. I don't have a name for it per se, except maybe...

The Wacky Wizard's Turkey Burger Stir-fry with Pesto-Cream Soy Sauce Reduction

- four Trader Joe's pesto-parmesan turkey burgers

- the remainder of a bag of frozen stir-fry carrots

- the remainder of a bag of frozen peas

- the remainder of a bag of frozen green beans

- a handful of raw broccoli

- one ramakin of soy sauce paste (made by leaving soy sauce uncovered in the fridge for several days)

- one package of stay-fresh guacamole (or fresh if you have it)

- a couple tablespoons of plain nonfat yogurt

- some pesto paste (not too much)

- a short pour of heavy whipping cream

- some butter

- a small handful of salted pumpkin seeds

Grill really frozen burgers & wax paper dividers on medium heat. Scrape already-processed turkey meat away from the wrappers as they defrost enough to do so. Remove wrappers from the skillet as they become available. Mash turkey meat up too as it becomes freed. When all turkey meat has cooked away from the wrappers, and all wrappers have been removed from the skillet, wash hands thoroughly.

Hopefully the turkey meat isn't char by now. (If it is, turn the skillet down. It's still good.) Add some butter to the skillet. Begin adding vegetables in an order than makes sense to you. Cover the skillet to facilitate steaming of said vegetables. If cooking in Cleveland, try not to laugh while steaming your meat and vegetables.

Well, you've made it this far. You might as well finish the dish, right? After a few good minutes of steaming, remove cover. Stir guacamole & yogurt together. Add to meat and vegetables. Stir soy sauce, pesto paste, and heavy cream together. Add to the rest of it (cuz at this point it can't hurt).

Turn heat down to low. Re-cover skillet, and let simmer while you prepare The Wacky Wizard's Scientifically Speedy Oat Bran Garlic Bread.When the garlic bread is done, plate everything like this...

... because other arrangements are not officially endorsed by the Wacky Wizard.

But wait! I forgot the finishing touch. Supply all brave eaters with a small cup of salted pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top for added crunch.

There. Just look at that flavor hiding in there. I had to use the flash to find it. Does flavor think it can hide from me or something?


Em said...

I'm pretty glad I didn't read your blog before I ate dinner that night. :) It was delicious though!

Xander and Alana (but mostly Alana) said...

I love this. I'm pretty sure Alex cooks the same way. He once made curry toast. Meaning toasted bread with curry powder shaken on top. Why? Because he likes curry, and he likes toast. Note: Unlike your creation, the curry toast was not good.

zimdog said...

He's definitely got English taste then. Curry is not loved by many. And I'll never forget when I ate some cereal at his place one morning, and he sprinkled sugar on his. What an English thing to do.

It's also great fun to imagine Alex getting creative in the kitchen.