The Happy Tummy

for the love of food

Important and Famous

Some kind soul was giving my blog a few pageviews and asked me to do a brief review about Casa Gourmet Burrito, which I had written about here. Check it out at The Food and Wine Hedonist’s website.

I probably could have said something more poignant in the mini-review section though. Durr, they are gourmet-style burritos…it’s in the name of the GD restaurant.

The point is, someone asked for my opinion. This is how people get their start…just like the Pioneer Woman. JUST like her.

(See blog roll below if you don’t know who the Pioneer Woman is. And watch more TV.)

Breaded and Fried

To bread and to fry. These things make almost everything taste awesome. Why? Because of fat and crunchiness.

We had a few leftover spinach-ricotta raviolis, and a few remaining mozzarella string cheese sticks. Dredge those in egg and panko bread crumbs, dip in an arrabiata sauce, and shamonay. Cheese sticks need to go through flour before they go through egg and panko. If they aren’t sealed properly, it’s just cheese all over the place.

I do a shallow pan fry rather than a deep fry. It works just as well and you avoid excessive waste and mess. Obviously if I had friers built into my kitchen, I would deep fry. Stop breaking my balls over here.

With something this good it’s hard not to make the stoner mistake, which is to jam food into one’s mouth before it’s cooled down enough, burning the tongue. Often stoners will make this error in their eagerness to satisfy the munchies. Don’t be like the stoners.

Apparently fried raviolis are a staple of the late-night (drunk) kitchen at frat houses. Dipping sauce is necessary, and this is the spicy kind.

So stoners and frat bros, enjoy.

Pork Chops for Dinner

I’ve never brined anything before.  It’s a combination of laziness and incredulity that has stopped me from taking that extra step, but I do declare that it was worth it. My brining liquid was just sweet and salty, but could have been fancied up with some bay, peppercorns, hearty herbs or another ingredient that I’ve been seeing a lot recently, dried juniper berries. After brining, the chops were crusted with rosemary, thyme and sage, seared and cooked off in the oven.

While that was going I chopped up some banana squash (on sale at the market) and roasted it with a healthy dose of sage. Sage just screams fall, right? It’s just totally screaming about it.

Then I mashed the hell out of them.

Earlier in the day I had made some corn muffins using a packaged mix with some roasted red bell pepper and cheddar cheese. This was back when I thought the theme of the meal would be more Mexicanish. I was wrong. But they still tasted damn good.

The sauce is made of caramelized onion with some beef stock, milk and the run-off juices from the pork chops.

(I really need to learn how to take night time photos)