Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A FOFL Exclusive! - The Making of Chicken McNecklace

It's been said that I spend an inordinate amount of time focused on food. I read about it. I write about it. Yes, I often dream about it. And then there's all that good time spent eating it. Food and I have a pretty strong, faithful relationship. But this past Saturday, that relationship got a little weird. I found myself sitting in my toaster oven of a car, Otis, doing this -

Yes, that's right. I was stringing those little critters they call Chicken McNuggets into a necklace. And it made me feel a little funny. My fingers got greasy. I smelled like fried oil and processed chicken.

Not too long after, I took it even further, and found myself doing this -

Yup, now stringing together mini pigs-in-a-blanket (in honor of my father, they were Hebrew National) to create this -

No, I'm not starting a mail-order edible jewelry shop (although maybe I should - given how greasy both of these products are, they could also serve a third function as a kind of oil rich moisturizer.)

All of this hard work was actually in service of Daniel's latest video (which I helped write and in which I make a cameo)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daniel - A Korean Delicacy

So in the last couple of weeks, it has become clear that I am living with a superstar. Okay, he's a superstar in Korea, but an overnight sensation nonetheless. For those who haven't been following Daniel's meteoric rise to South Korean fame, it started when he made a video about the Olympic gold medal figure skater Kim Yuna. He went on to be interviewed by Korean radio, have his first video appear on Korean television, and to receive a few marriage proposals via YouTube comment. He's taken, people.

I wasn't going to post the videos here because they don't have much to do with food, but since many of his fans have commented on his eating of pizza in the first video and his gobbling of a hamburger in the follow up, I figured why not? So without further ado, I give you Butterpolice, as he is known on YouTube, the Korean sensation.

Part One - Kim Yu-na Fan Watches Gold Medal Performance

Part Two - Kim Yu-na Fan Trains To Be Like Kim Yu-na

Monday, March 8, 2010

We Want Food- Itsa Pizza Pie!

As an anxious child, I had many fears - burglars, thunder storms, bananas. In some respects, I was very lucky though. I never had to worry too much that my parents would split up. They had a pretty great marriage and rarely fought, so when they did it felt dramatic and the reverberations of the fight would ring in my ears for days after. As an adult, I don't remember the details of any of them except one. It was a doozy. The cause of said row? Barbecue pizza.

Yes, you read that correctly. The biggest fight my parents ever had was over pizza topped with some kind of saucy pulled pork barbecue. My dad thought it sounded disgusting. My mom, a great lover of both pizza and barbecue was anxious to try it. Tempers flared. Pizza was ordered. I told you so's were issued. I hid in my room with the dog and covered my ears. My parents eventually came in and comforted me; the argument had just been the result of hunger-induced tempers and misunderstandings.

Unlike in other pizza-ordering situations, where leftovers were always consumed the next day along with a pre-prandial drink and a viewing of MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHours, on this occasion the uneaten remains were tossed. All was forgiven. But not forgotten. For the rest of my childhood, it was the marker for every other disagreement. The barometer against which other fights were measured. From that day on, whenever my parents argued, if I felt the slightest amount of concern that it would escalate into something more sinister, I would look at them and say, "Is this barbecue pizza?" And they would reassure me that yes, this fight too had a bark far worse than its bite.

While Daniel and I have had many a food-related disagreement (when my blood sugar drops, my temper escalates), we share what may be an unlikely love of barbecue pizza. It's one that developed during Daniel's 28th birthday party, which was also the historic election night of Barack Obama. We ordered a cheese-free barbecue chicken pizza. When the guests had left and we felt free to eat a few extra slices, we discovered that this barbecue pizza, which also featured jalapenos and red onions, became even more delicious when dipped in Sabra hummus. Decadent? Yes. Carb heavy? Oh yeah. We've enjoyed the combo many times since, and it has become our go-to food to enjoy while watching event television - election night, Super Bowl, and of course, the Oscars.

So yesterday, in honor of the Academy Awards (my personal favorite TV event), I tried my hand at making my own BBQ pizza.

I used an overnight pizza dough recipe from Epicurious .

Marinated some chicken breast in a mix of spicy red barbecue sauce, a splash of Carolina mustard, a dash of ketchup, and a dollop of canned tomato sauce. Sauteed up three jalapenos. Sliced a red onion.

Topped the 9-inch pizzas and let them bake on my brand new pizza stone (courtesy of my buddy Ariel). The result? Delicious. And if need be, worth a fight.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We Want Food - Clean Plate Club

I am ashamed to admit that Daniel and I are not always the best at finishing leftovers. We've been getting better, especially recently as I've been making a game of reinventing last night's dinner as an entirely new reinvented sandwich or salad. Still when there is so much else delicious out there to eat, it can be hard to get through the last of what was once a delicious beef stew but that has now become a little tired.

There was no need to force ourselves, however, to finish up the tuna and mushroom casserole that I made last week. In fact, after each having two rounds of leftovers, we had to battle it out for the final helping (eventually I let Daniel have it, but let's just say he owes me one.) What made it so good? Well mushrooms for starters. And a little chewy brown rice. And heaps and heaps of creamy (but low fat!) dairy. This recipe, based on one from the always fabulous 101 Cookbooks is a new favorite. Here's the deal:

Mushroom and Tuna Casserole (slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
8 servings

-8 ounces brown mushrooms, chopped
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature (I used Chinese food leftovers)
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup low fat sour cream
-1 cup low fat cottage cheese
-2 cans albacore tuna
-1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan (divided)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish (I used a glass one.)

2. Over medium-high heat in a large skillet, saute the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt in olive oil. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms have released liquid and browned. Add onions and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Stir in garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Stir in rice until well combined.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, and salt. Stir in tuna.

4. In a large bowl, stir together the rice mixture and tuna mixture until well combined. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of your Parmesan, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes until hot throughout and golden along the edges.

6.Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, and serve. DELICIOUS.