Anger Burger

Speaking of Easy Mexican

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I had a lot of good advice on what to grill last week, which ended up being somewhat of a bust.  In the best possible way, I suppose: we hung out with our friends, ate food and drank booze, but it had been 107° that day and what I had imagined would be the quintessential summer BBQ ended up being one person standing over a 400° grill fighting off heat stroke, while everyone else huddled inside where the air conditioner struggled to keep the temperature below 90°.  Grilling was limited to corn and Anaheim chilies, while my friend Hatherly made two cold salads and bruschetta while wrangling her naked and heat-mad children.

So in short: it was actually the quintessential summer BBQ.  I just didn’t grill much.

What I did make, though, was elote, or as everyone around here calls it, Mexican corn.  I made it again a few nights later just because it’s fucking awesome and I think I’m going to eat it every night until all the corn in the world is gone.

I like the corn grilled in the husk because it adds so much flavor, and that’s coming from me, Earth’s least enthusiastic griller.

Most street vendors that serve Mexican corn will slather it with either crema (which is basically sour cream) or more commonly around here, with mayonnaise and then sprinkle it with crumbled cotija cheese.  You’re given a shaker of chile powder and a piece of lime to squeeze over it.  I prefer to mix together the mayo, chile powder and lime all together in the proportions I like; it saves time when everyone wants to get their corn ready at the same moment, and it tastes the same.

The two most common Mexican cheeses are cotija and queso fresco, and they’re interchangable for this (and much of Mexican cuisine, honestly), though slightly different in taste and texture.  They both remind me of very mild feta cheese: salty, crumbly and not rapid to melt.  Cotija is a little saltier and has a springy texture, while queso fresco tends to be mild and more tender.

We grilled burgers afterward, and for the thousandth time in my Pokies life I wondered why the hell vegetarian burgers are so goddamn tiny.

Mexican Grilled Corn
if you really can’t find Mexican cheese, you can use feta.  if you don’t want to grill the corn or it’s the middle of winter, you can actually boil corn inside the husk – it adds a pleasant, rustic and grassy flavor to the corn that i think is great, it’s just a slight horror to peel the wet, hot husks off the corn when they’re ready to eat.  but you know, beautiful food hurts.

mayo sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest from half a lime
juice from half a lime

corn, two ears per person
cotija or queso fresco, crumbled very fine

  • Get everything for the corn ready before starting the grill.  First, prepare the corn by tearing off one outside layer of very stiff husk as well as the hank of silk dangling off the end, and then soak the whole corn for about 15 – 30 minutes in lukewarm water.
  • Next, prepare the mayo sauce.  Mix everything together in a small bowl (or small jar, to keep the remainder in the fridge) and taste for levels.  It will get spicier as it sits, so spice it to just below your desired heat level.  Add more lime or salt as you like.
  • Crumble enough cheese for the corn, as fine as you can get it with your fingers.
  • Start your grill and when it reaches about 400° carefully set the corn on and with tongs turn 1/4 turn about every five minutes, or until the husk is quite blackened in parts and some of the kernels beneath have taken on some color.  This should take about 20 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill.
  • Remove the corn to a baking sheet and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before attempting to shuck it.  Slather each ear with lots of chile-mayo and then use the mayo as glue to adhere as much cheese as you can get on it.  Eat until mayo and cheese are smeared up to your eyebrows.
1 Posted in Make It So

Ethnic Food is Easy

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 at 11:35 am

My favorite thing about The Pioneer Woman being on Paula Deen’s Best Dishes was when she swept a cluttered chopping board clean of its loose garbage, dumped it on top of her dish of canned-sauce enchiladas and said (and I’m paraphrasing here, but only barely) “That’s what’s nice about cooking Mexican, you can just dump everything in!”

1 Posted in True Story

“Take a Drink of My Coke, It Helps Cut Through the Cheese”

Posted by on Aug 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

In the land of “authentic Mexican,” sometimes it’s hard to find some solid Whitey Mexican.  Our beloved taco truck shut down and we mourned in the way that Caucasians mourn, which is to tirelessly search the internet for some sort of replacement while spending money on increasingly expensive and crappy Mexican restaurants hoping that one of these goddamn Yelpers isn’t a fucking nutbag.

Seriously, is there no goopy, cheesy Combo Plate mecca to be had in this town?!  And then my friends Zied and Hatherly casually mention: Oh, you’ve never been to Salsa and Beer?

Perhaps foremost, it should be known that Salsa and Beer sets down a plate of fresh, hot tortilla chips and a small bowl of cheese and bean dip, gratis.  The rumor is that they’ll keep refilling it, but our food soon came and we had trouble focusing on anything but our own plates after that.

I haven’t ordered a combination plate of anything since I was a kid, I think, and I’m the sadder for it.  Unable to decide between enchiladas, floutas and chile rellenos, I had all three on the same plate.  When did I start thinking that was a bad idea?  Probably around the same time I decided that I was going to “follow my dreams” and not bother getting a useful college degree.

Mike the Viking ordered some sort of meat pile (hidden below there under some grilled onions and jalapenos) and was pleased as glögg to sit and form himself little steak-bit-burritos for an hour.

My dad, on the other hand, ordered a vegetarian burrito which apparently saddened the cooks sufficiently that they decided to make it the size of a healthy newborn baby.  I’m not sure if the photo below conveys the size of this thing, but the otherwise robust server’s arm shook as he lowered it to the table.

My dad killed half of it before we all decided that eating any more would be flirting with his health insurance’s out-of-state ER visit policy.

There’s really little more I can say about it.  It was precisely what we wanted, and I’m not ashamed to say that what we wanted was a feeding trough of cheese and sauces.  I’m somewhat more ashamed to say that the elastic waistband of my skirt is cutting into my skin a little.

9 Posted in Eatin' Fancy

Oh Good

Posted by on Aug 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

It’s cooling off a little.

4 Posted in Drama!

Leisure Time

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

My family started “birthday week” many years ago after the umpteenth disappointing attempt at a perfect birthday.  That makes us sound like real assholes, but it’s true: my sister and I both have mid-summer birthdays and often had no way to inform school friends that we were having parties, and in later years attempting to arrange one event each with divorced parents resulted in the genius realization that a single day was just too much pressure.  Though, I have to admit that we are now into “birthday month” which might be stretching things a bit.

Still, birthday cupcakes a full ten days after my birthday means I finally got some cake:

Though my birthday flowers retired rather dramatically:

My dad and The Thing That Lurks are getting along like Sean Connery and a lightly drunken woman, which is Pokies to say spectacularly:

While walking around Venice beach, I came across these hand-carved wooden spoons and immediately fell in great lust:

They had a Japanese sticker on them and I otherwise know no way to tell you how to get one, other than to say I got it at The Tortoise General Store and if you telephone them they might be able to tell you where to get one – they aren’t on the website.

It is, I believe, intended to be a rice spatula, but the overall construction is just too perfect to be limited to rice.  It’s very difficult to find short-handled spoons and spatulas in the US, though that doesn’t justify why I was rubbing it all over my face while waiting for my dad to pay for it.  What can I say, it’s very satiny.

Internets, I Need Your Help!

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

I invited myself and my visiting dad over to my friend Hatherly’s house on Friday, and we’re going to be grilling up some vegetarian feastery.  So here’s the thing: I don’t know shit about grilling, I really don’t.  It confuses and infuriates me.  When anyone mentions meatless grilling I can only think of those really dry, bland kebabs formed of mushrooms, onion pieces and possibly some withered, almost bitter bell pepper pieces payday loans with no faxing.

SURELY THERE ARE BETTER PLANS.

Oh yeah, and I think everyone eats fish.  So seafood ideas are also acceptable.

In unrelated news:

This was my dinner last night.  I’ve been horribly recalcitrant in recording my dad’s visit here in Los Angeles, and I’m vowing now to try harder and document that this shit is really happening.  I’d also like to point out that we busted out the big plates last night.

15 Posted in Food Rant

Dreams Really Do Come True

Posted by on Aug 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

Well, I’ve finally done it.  I’ve grown a goddamn passion fruit.

I’ve been eyeing them with increasing impatience over the last few weeks, since they ostensibly turn dark before falling off the vine and then have an additional ripening period after that.  I mean, I don’t want to tell them how to do it or anything, but I’m pretty sure they’re taking too long.

And then!  This morning!  This one was totally green about three or four days ago and slowly started to turn ruddy.

This morning it was laying on the ground, which is apparently normal: they fall, you pick them up.  Another reason to love passion fruit.  Laziest harvest ever.  Bitchin!  Now it sits in a windowsill and waits to turn wrinkled, at which point it is done and we will fall upon it with the torpid bloodlust of a morally obstinate vampire finally allowed to marry a teenage girl.

Speaking of predatory!

He’s really slow and we named him Time Warner!

6 Posted in Food Rant, Obsessed

Why I am Forbidden to Use the Grater

Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Every time vigrx plus results.

Every.  Time.

5 Posted in Drama!

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

Posted by on Aug 16, 2011 at 7:23 am

I’d like to draw your attention to the ad on the sidebar over there to the right for because I have a strict personal rule against buying sets.  Because you know, I’d have 1,000 mugs by now instead of just 250.

I hope that Carrie Anne will also not mind me mentioning that she has Crohn’s disease (haaay), is a trained librarian for the CIA and is married to some sort of scientist/warlock¹.

¹ Other people might call this “working with math.”

4 Posted in Totally Unrelated

It’s My Birthday, I Can Pork Out if I Want To

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 at 10:17 am

Our last morning at Cannon Beach found us in a sit-down breakfast joint that helpfully reminded me: it’s easy to hit mediocre waffles with a magic wand ♥bink!♥ by heaping them with fresh fruit and an entire bowl of fresh whipped cream.  Whenever in doubt, pile it on.

For my birthday this year, my step-brother married a Japanese woman¹.  We immediately enslaved her.

These are probably her plans to escape cleverly disguised by being written in Japanese.

I don’t even know if she likes cooking, and it doesn’t really matter.

She should have thought about this all before she agreed to marry a poor student in New York.  She should have speculated that he’d have a family of grabby, gluttonous, conspiratorial women who would steal her away and never let her leave the kitchen.

It’s not my fault that she wasn’t payday loan cash familiar with our ways.

To her credit, she took one look at us and then reasoned that we’d need about 40x more tempura than normal people would.  The photo below is merely one of literally – and I mean literally – about twenty batches of fried vegetables.

And then we made her make sushi.  Ha!

She brought her own apron.

Because my step-dad doesn’t really eat raw fish, she made cooked beef sushi with avocado, cream cheese, radish sprouts, carrot and shiso leaf.  It was so seriously fucking good that I called immigration and told them to block Eriko from leaving the country.  They hesitated, but then I told them about this sushi and they agreed.

In conclusion: happy birthday to me.

¹They weren’t married this year and he thought of me 0% when marrying her, but you know how my brain works.

7 Posted in Food Rant