Tag Archives: Chicago food

Bigger than Jesus the Beatles, and yoga pants: Esteban Trabajars

15 Sep

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At the current rate of Final Cut Pro post-production, by Christmas 2020, the globe shall be subjected to more Steve Jobs cinematic biopics than those of Jesus Christ, The Beatles and Luke Skywalker en todo. This epidemic outbreak of epic celluloid certainly gives this one pause to ponder some deeply mundane ponderables: Is the iPhone our Gutenberg Bible (with upgrades)? Did Steve Jobs die for our Sims?*

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(*You read that right, a cringe-worthy blasphemous pun. So crucify me whydontcha?)

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Does SJ’s getting all messiahy with it not at least begin to explain the daily commute tableau wherein within a stuffed El train all but the homeless – me too – gaze into luminous Apple gadgets with a reverence traditionally reserved for sacred texts, Kim Jong and yoga pants?

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What but an unshakable iFaith sways we users into believing we the meek shall one day inherit an upgrade to auto-spell recognizing Spanglish as both a word and a dialect, accurate weather apps, and the voice of Siri shall be replaced by that of Demi Moore’s tadpole?
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What Would that these miraculous iPhones might trans-substantiate binary data into iGrub to feed the masses.
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Entrada Yo (and/or the Wu)

Communion Green Chile Green Alfredo Linguine Con Pork Chop Chop Chop Chop Ain’t Nuthin to You-Know-What With

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Ingredients con instructions:
1. Roasted NM Green Cream Sauce
Heat up and constantly stir 2 tbsp o butter and flour until brown

Separately warm 2 cups of whole milk

Remove roux from heat, slowly stir in milk by the ladle.

Stir in:
An onion – diced and sautéed
A bulb of oven roasted garlic – smushed
Quart bag of chopped, seeded and skinned rotated NM green chile
A fistful of fresh cilantro – chopped
Mexican oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Slowly simmer until all ingredients smell like one. Cool. Blend into purée. Return to pot. Stir in 2/3rds of queso.

2. Half-box of fettuccini – al dente
(Google it)

3. A seasoned to ur liking grilled pork chop or two –  chopped

Butter a casserole dish. Mix ingredients but for 1/3 cheese, then glop into casserole dish. Top with 1/3 cheese. At 350 bake covered for 30 minutes or until burbling and smelling as one. Slide under broiler till cheese browns.

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(aqui con huevo)

Mas sagradoso than Esteban Trabajars…

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Mas sabrosa than pantaloons Del yoga…

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El escarbajo optional.

The Verdad La Mexicana Comida Esta Out There….

1 Aug

So these three youthful Midwesterners are at NYC’s La Guardia airport baggage claim abuzz with anticipatory crackish then/Red Bullish ahora pre-embarking adrenaline rush exclusive to both visitors and residents of Gotham and maximum security prisons.

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What today would have been a text and/or tweet shared among friends we the public actually participated – okay eavesdropped – in their animated public discourse.

And what today would have been a Yelp! search actually turned into a lively debate with real opinions shared from real live experience instead of online strangers.

To the dulcet caterwaul – with occasional thud – of a luggage carousel – this husky body politic weighed in on Chicago vs New York pizza: ‘I can’t wait to try Domino’s. I bet it’s way better here.’ ‘No way, ‘Yes way’ ‘No way’ ‘yes way’ ‘Chicago’ ‘New York’ Chicago New York and on and on and on and maybe text might have been less Valley Girly and distracting so the rest of us could focus on our opinions and obvious superior big city sophisticated taste, grab bags, turn up noses, bolt.

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All but yo en verdad. Mi cargo fue returning con yo from Mexico. While the fuerte opinions blogged aqui suggest otrowise. I am still here to tell you the only reason Taco Bell en Mexico is better albeit more authentic than Taco Bell en Esatdos Unidos por que you get to order en Espanol.

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And even though I’ve been called a snob because I refuse to eat @Chipotle – which is to Mexico as Red Lobster is to the sea – you can’t feed a more Catholic, democratic, open and omnivorous maw than mine. Beyond therapy for my PTAzMexSD, the entire purpose of this here blogging a la Marco Pollo is to document my quest for el Cocina Mexicana ultima outside the friendly confines of mi beloved Sonoran desert. I know it exists, even if I have to make it so in mi own cocineria por ejemplo:

 

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I can’t believe you’re not Midwesternican pollo asado y chile verde y cream of chicken y corn tortillas that taste like dumplings y cheese casserolenchiladas

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The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)

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North Carolina BBQ pork/Trader JoseNM salsa verde/avocado/refried frijoles/Trader Jose flour tort/burro

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Elotes/frijoles/pollo asado tacos con cilantro y radishes from our urban parking garage rooftop garden

Or when I have to burn $5 on some breakfast burrito from Pret-a-Porte labeled ‘Southwestern’ because maybe that’s what Mexican food is like in France?

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Egg Soufflé (Cage free) Refried Black Bean Salsa Red Peppers Cheddar Red Onions Tortilla Wrap

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*To the credit of the Midwesterners who I had no intention of having personify the acronym IOWA (idiots out wandering aimlessly) the very same week I took again to wandering yet again NYC’s sts/aves rather aimlessly, confident enough in my Espanol lengua to order for lunch – much to the delight of the entire diner – a Cubana Torta’ (trans: Cuban Prostitue) and also overheard the following exchange along the way:

Scene: 8th Ave, Times Square, NYC before the greasy window of a Chinese take-out joint tastefully appointed with garlands of Peking Duck.

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Cast: Two young men with Long Island accents sporting Yankees caps – backwards….of, course – studying the menu:

 

‘Peking Duck?’

‘Yeah.’

‘How the fuck they know that duck’s

from Peking?’
And it probably tasted just as good as Long Island duck in Chinatown Chicago.

La Babysitter Chow: New Flavor!

18 Jul

Chef Dinty Moore

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Chef Boy-ar-dee

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Chef Franco American

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Chef Campbells

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If this roll call of classic American seventies canned cooking kings jars loose more than one memory of the dozens wherein mom and dad, mom and mom, dad and dad, mom, dad, mom and the milkman, or dad and the piano teacher closed down the family cocineria for a night and/or days off to ‘play bridge’ or “talk to a man about a horse” and left dinner in the mildly capable hands of a daft teenager, then you too have beheld upon your lengua the sublime glory that be babysitter chow.

Usually pre home economics – therefore befuddled by any kitchen utensil more sophisticated than a can opener time was babysitter chow filled the tummies, hearts and arteries of my gring@ generation (Sandwich) though doubtfully that of Gens X, Y and Z. Always canned, often zesty, made with meat of an unknown origin, ever a treat big time, and offering roughly less than or equal to nutritional value of Alpo: Bow Wow!

Yum si, and yet as El Papa Grande of dos los ninos, speaking for my own family and on behalf of our babysitters, not a single product by these great chefs of yore shall ever pass through the lips and onto the palates of mi children. Not por que yo o mi esposa could ever be accused of not banning such delights from our home, no. We are neither food puritans nor paranoias. Tis por que the kids simply don’t care for it. (Okay, that and for now at least, my love for cooking for and feeding our lot simply won’t allow me to let anyone outside of the family or our local donut shop to make food for the table (and floor).) This of no duh doesn’t mean I won’t continue to feast on the Great Chefs of North America’s finest fixings.

 

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I felt somewhat restricted to exposing my babysitter food fetish on a blog bound to comida Mexicana tipica with so few being of the Mexican persuasion, limiting myself ot a mere espousing  at some length on the glories of Chef Dinty Moore’s tamales, even then within the context of tamales rather than babysitters. (Scroll back if yer so inclined.)  So if you care to, imagine el jig I improvised in aisle 7B at the local Jewel when abracadabra these Beefy TacOs reached out and grabbed mi los ojos:

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Quicker than you can say “Honey, have you been using more glue and brown paper bags than usual? I’ve noticed since babysitter XXXX started we’ve been running out of that and Scotch Guard a lot lately?” I beelined to the cocineria to heat up a saucepan, rock a can opener, grab a tort and sink mi dentes into a spoonful of Chef Campbells appeal to the latin@ vote.

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Esta Good, you betcha. As great as the myriad memories of running wild and free in the house with the parents at the dog track and the babysitter huffed out on Testors and is that Beefaroni I smell burning on the stove top? Hellifiknow, check back with me in about 30 years.

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I Hope The Russians Love Their Tamales Too

2 May

Dear Internet,

You’re probably too young to remember life during cold war time. The grade school “fire” drills, the monthly air-raid siren testing, Spies Like Us. Y so you’ll probably never have to fear total destruction courtesy of the USSR and/or John Lydon and Afrika Bambaata.

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Mira or escuche or whatever, all that red threatening military might, muscle, and missile turned out to be about as powerful as the almighty Oz and/or a toilet paper roll. It seems for those of us old enough to remember them, the Red Square parades broadcast for the USofA’s viewing terror starred the latest in faux weaponry: as empty an Eminem threat.

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Cut To: Desert Storm where it turns out the few SCUDs that may have actually caused bodily harm were in the parlance of the pyromanical Black Cat firecracker fiend:

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And yet, because there’s always an “and yet” which I have no idear how translate into espanol, even though the Russians were shooting blanks, the Russians were shooting blanks, the Russians were shooting blanks, while we learned to fear not what the USSR can do to US(ofA) Russia, well, not so much:

 

What made this think go off in my hypocampus like so many ladyfingers?

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A “holy crap tamales from Texas” purchase from the great Woodman’s of Aurora, IL.

 

Inspired packaging promised something world beating.

 

Contents turned out to be as dud as a SCUD. Flavor notes: empty Charmin roll, Desert Storm axle grease, Johnny Rotten gobshite, more dead than red.

 

Of Mash-ups, Morita peppers y making out with El Marlboro Madonna Man.

14 Mar

Taylor Swift, for a moment there, seemed headed toward replacing carbon on the table of elements; as universal and seemingly necessary as air twas she. Had I held my breath another five or ten seconds for this media tsunami to pass. Had I not come up for air, me, Spotified, I might have stopped myself from listening to Taylor Swift ever since forever; death being the only escape.

Back when I stopped caring to keep up with the top of the pops the internet, always one to surprise/astonish/amaze/inform/annex all gray matter, started serving up these things called mash-ups. And sure as Instagram can make Hillary Clinton hip, saccharine ear fodder of the era suddenly became, well at least tolerable if not flat out hilarious. Until Metallica and Jay-z got sad people with madder computer skills than their own (as in none) were taking coke from the spoons of their baby-mamas, sharing these files meant fun. Then came lawyers. There went fun. So I pensared.

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Mash-ups never went away, I did. Until now. Taylor Swift mashes with the best of them. I’ve seen it for myself. But because this old MacBook,  no jugar nothing streamed, I can surmise from a gander at the gifs accessorizing said mash-ups; these mash-ups are also really flippin’ awesome at partying.

The Taylor Swift colonization was all like a couple tetra-byte years ago, and now, sadly, Maddonna, after one of those unchoreographed old people falls (yeah, right?), has once again taken to flashing me in my brain pan and popping up in my inbox and adroning the hood’s back-alley walls. In an attempt to honor the grand dame of divas – ideally before Dame Judy Dench plays her in the Truth or Dare remake – I husltled up a culinary mash-up, reuniting a star-lit couple who’ve cleverly come together again via guerrila marketing:

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One part Madonna UK (shepherds pie) the other Sean Penn’s lengua (Morita/steak chili), this dish kinda actually eaten prior to these posters and these ruminations needed a theme more descriptive of the flavor than the origin story I originally planned to post along with it.

Cooked up btw Taylor and Madonna, the Oscars 2015 era, at first bite, I originally thought I’d struck on a sure-fire winning recipe for another cultural cranial colonization, culinary: some kids being the next top chef Food Network fodder, my version, with the rules based more in reality than on viewer demographics.

Me, your host: “The rules are simple kids. Choose as many pre-prepared courses as you like from the cafeteria line there, take it back to your table, and mash-up all the food on your tray, just like you do at school. We’ll then have our celebrity chefs eat every last bite and not be allowed to leave their seats until they do.” Believe me you, by leaving out the chocolate milk and spit, I concocted a sure-fire winner.


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And even this version de el origen should only be taken at face-value. Both the pie and the chili have their own origin stories.

The Shep-Pie origins, three words:

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too much BBC. (Hence, the Madonna christening).

The chili, on the other mano, was a failed attempt to re-create a steak/pinto/chile chili I’d already blogged on too long about not so long ago. The ingredients remained the same but one: the chili pepper. For the uninitiated, like twas yo, moritas are smoked, dried red jalapenos. Their green cousins, the chipotle, are nothing less than smokey, juicy, god pods; one of el mundo mama’s most deliriously original and infectiously mliagros.  So you figure, morita = the second son. NSM. Moritas, at least the batch I bought (along with several other dried peppers who brought the divinity to Santa Sangre Salsa), prepped, chopped and stewed with steak, onion, garlic, pinto, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, tasted like ash. ASH. And since for as long as we’ve known one another, Sean always has a Marlboro red dangling from his scowl, ergo this chili I deemed worthy of his namesake.

Which brings me to the third – or is it fourth – origin story: I work with several people with their own origin stories, in Mexico. It has been noted here antes how they’ve accused me of being “more Mexican” than them. Unbeknownst to me at the time of mashing up these two dishes, in addition to reuniting Seandonna/Madpenn and concocting a sure-fire “My Kid Can Out Cook Your Kid” champion, I also honored all of Mexico by not being the typical gringo/Americano and tossing out my epic chili fail. On the same night I brought my mash-up to work – a single serving – a co-worker who’d just returned from an annual family trip to Oaxaca shared a confession with me: ‘I am always reminded of how North American I am whenever I go home. This time, on the way into the cathedral in the zocalo I tried to toss out half a candy bar and missed the garbage can. The security guard came up to me and said ‘Senor, in Mexico we do not throw away food’ and so I sat there and guiltily ate it.”

I ate mine and lived to tell about it too….

Get Rico Quick Con El As Nasty As It Wants To Be Salsa Picante (Hunter var.) recipe

25 Feb

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Lovely, iddint it…and yet here we estamos otra tiempo on the Internet making crap up the Internet that will turn miraculously turn into the indisputable truth upon the clicking of ‘post’. As we know, computers don’t lie. Don’t believe me? Google it. Google computers lie too. Computers lie. Mira what I’m getting at. aqui. Powerful stuff this computing omnipotence equalamemte our impotence before them.

A couple postings back rocked this power to its logical ecclesiastical extreme, pronouncing, not unlike a computer God, how the Internet is heaven-sent eternal life in byte-sized chunks, what with these spiels surviving me and living forever. (You’re welcome Facebook for taking my annunciation doctrine and running with it.)

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 And thank you too fifty shades of grey lady Ms. NY Times for running a Sunday edition, week last times two, casting online commenters, twitters and all other opinionated occupants of the unauthorized (read corporate) Internets into a kind of op-ed hell. At last count, 4-5 pieces in three separate sections addressed these demonic behaviors; condemning every last practitioner of the dark art of opining, stirring loyal readers greying anxiety embers, yet again.

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What torture both social psych PhDs and J-school reporters reported to both dish out and endure upon this global electro-info communication sphere – which they neglects to remind us is free to not use, and as of this writing not one single person has died due to lackof use then again I bet it you Google this you’d get any answer you wanted – but because we pay for it I suppose we are supposed to suppose this entitles One Nation Under Google all them protections guaranteed by the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights.

Mi dos pesos: seeking virtual S&M? Why not go see, listen to or read 50SofG?

CONCLUSION:
Mira: Am I the only one who smells a warning label coming on?

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IMO: Yo tengo as much truck con warning labels as 2-Live Crew.

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So let’s make congress to make better use of our tax dollars so the men and women of The Hill can get on to the real biz of PAC bargains by jump-starting self-censorship and designing our own warning labels, especially if like it do for 2-Live Crew = guaranteed gold.

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 And here’s mi warning label that’s gonna spin some mi peligroso bloggin’ salsa into gold:

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And here’s the recipe for that there salsa free for you to exploit so long as you print out and slap on the above warning label…for the children…

How “As Nasty As It Wants To Be Salsa Picante: Hunter Var.” Gets Made (and you get rico)

(Same as Kojak only fruitier and brighter; just like Hunter)

The Batch Size

2 cup = avg med hot sauce bottle

The Contents

The dry/smoked whole chile peppers: 

1 – Ancho

2 – Pasilla Negro

3 – Guajillo

3 – Pulla

3 – Japones

4 – Arbol

1 clove of minced/smushed garlic

tsp vinegar

pinch of Mexican oregano

2 cups water

salt to taste

The Directions

  1. Seed and stem peppers (I did this under running cold water. sorta works)
  2. Skillet roast at medio heat 5 minutes or so
  3. Transfer bowl, cover with hot water. Cover bowl
  4. Soak peppers for an episode of Hunter

So consider yourself as warned as London on side 1 of ITANOMTHUB y brew up a batch of ANAIWTBSPHv, douse something liberally with it

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…crack open a cerveza, drop the needle on your nastiest vinyl, throw the munch, slurp, repeat.