Bánh Mì Hot Dog

The grill was in full effect this weekend. Back-to-back 100 degree days will force you outside. We’re some of the lucky souls with air conditioning, but when it’s that hot, it struggles. Nothing says ‘holy crap, it’s hot out’ quite like grilling several pounds of marinated pork, sipping copious amounts of Pacifico with lime, and eating your weight in tacos, chips, and salsa.

I seek out hot dogs very infrequently, but when I want one, I want one. Corn dogs are a totally different animal. It’s hard to say no to those. They’re a weakness. I fall into two very different camps regarding hot dogs. It either has to be unbelievably simple—Bun. Dog. Mustard.—or they have to be interesting. Like this dog.

I’m a sucker for a bánh mì. A bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich. They usually are simple with a meat or tofu, crunchy veggies or pickled veggies, and a crunchy little baguette. There is a food cart downtown by the office that has them for $3. Well, they did. They closed up for awhile and came back as something else but the menu looked similar the last time I walked by. The freshness of the ingredient, the crispness of the veggies, and the spiciness of the sauce are the best parts. It translates well to a hot dog.

Bahn Mi Hot Dog

Inspiration: Real Simple

Ingredients

  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 buns
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped

Preparation

In a small bowl, whisk together the sriracha and mayonnaise.

Heat grill on medium high heat. Place dogs across the grate. Roll the dogs after a minute or two when the grill marks show up.

Optional: grill the buns

Spread the spicy mayonnaise mixture on the buns. Layer the hot dogs, sliced cucumber, and shredded carrots. Drizzle on more sauce as you see fit. Top with chopped mint.

Broccoli Raab and Goat Cheese Pasta with Shrimp

[this is currently being written while Roma is waging war against a fly under my desk]

Burger Week is almost over, and I hardly participated this year. I have eaten one burger. Well, one half of a burger. We stopped at one location and the wait was well over an hour [which is expected], so we left and ate falafel at Wolf & Bear’s insteadAn excellent choice. Afterward, we went to Alberta Street Pub. They were also still slow [and still expected], but I didn’t have a case of hangry looming. Beers were consumed. The Olympics were watched because that’s all that restaurants and bars show right now. We split a peach caprese juicy lucy. What is a juicy lucy you say? That is a burger stuffed with cheese instead of cheese on top—so the mozzarella of caprese is inside the burger. The tomatoes were traded into peaches caramelized in bacon vinaigrette. I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese lately. I don’t want to succumb to it for some reason, but it’s there calling my name. I had a craving for a ham, gruyere, and butter baguette sandwich from Addy’s Sandwich Bar for awhile, and I squashed that craving earlier this week. Coco Donuts has been posting all kinds of donuts on Instagram. It gave me a craving one of their signature donuts—a raised donut with chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans. That craving was satisfied this morning. Now this mac and cheese craving comes out of no where, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I’m not craving a specific place’s mac, so we’ll see how long this sticks around. The odds of me making a batch are slim.

This pasta is the closest thing I’ve made to macaroni and cheese in a long, long time. Since this blue cheese pasta probably. It doesn’t look like I’ve ever made anything remotely traditional when it comes to macaroni and cheese. This mac and not-cheese? Talk about flashbacks. The whole shells and cheese + greens thing is a winner. I could always stand to see some greens in any mac and cheese I’m eating if only to make it look better. Certain bitter greens are great for cutting through richness, but in this case it was subtle. Thanks, broccoli raab [or rapini]. Goat cheese is tangy and lovely. It melts into the warm pasta creating a light creamy sauce, so I added a few fat chunks of it because I like it like that. Since there wasn’t any significant sources of I added shrimp because I had a frozen bag of it staring at me every time I look in the freezer. The shrimp are optional. You could leave it off entirely or add something else of your choosing. I don’t really think you could go wrong.

Shrimp, Broccoli Raab, Goat Cheese Pasta

Inspiration: Saveur

Ingredients

  • 12oz small pasta, like shells or orecchiette
  • 1 bunch rapini or broccoli raab, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 4oz goat cheese, softened
  • 1lb frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boiling water takes forever. Once it starts boiling, add the rapini. Cook for about 4 minutes before removing to a large bowl of ice water. Pat dry the rapini. Don’t drain the water from the pot. Use it to cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir often until it’s golden brown. Add the shrimp, the paprika, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Add the rapini and chile flakes. Toss until combined and then remove from heat.

Mix the drained pasta and the shrimp and rapini mixture together in a large bowl [or pasta pot]. Add half of the goat cheese to the pasta and stir to incorporate. It will melt and distribute. Add the remaining goat cheese as dollops to the individual servings.

Korean BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Summer is racing by. Since we’ve been back from Germany [which I should recap one of these days..], it has been nonstop fun stuff. The Euros and Copa America meant that soccer was on TV nearly 12 hours a day in our house for weeks. I learned that you can get into the Portland Art Museum for $5 on Fridays, which makes seeing the new exhibits that much more enticing. Andrew’s soccer team played it’s season final in Providence Park [where the Timbers play!]. There was a late night dinner party with some friends and some brewery events. We saw some friends that we haven’t seen in years. I took the train to Seattle for a friend’s birthday weekend [and had the most beautifully delicious breakfast at Chop Shop]. Andrew’s sister and brother-in-law came to town for a long weekend. We ate and drank as one does when you’re catching people up on the city since they last visited. We followed Inter Milan, Andrew’s favorite soccer team, around Portland while they visited on a summer tour. Seeing professional athletes up close like that is just…wow. We capped off their visit with a game against PSG in Eugene. They lost, and we got sunburnt, but we were finally able to try Agrarian Ales. Worth it. I surprised Andrew with a train ride in Hood River for his birthday. It was a short, two-hour, historical tour that included a boxed lunch and a 30 minute layover in the teeny-tiny fruit farming town of Odell, Oregon. It was a fun experience if you’re at all into trains.

Korean BBQ Ribs

So yeah, that’s the cliff’s notes version of what’s been up lately. We’ve managed to spend time on the patio exactly once. I’ve been racing through books now that I don’t have to fill my time with studying, and I’ve been cooking. Or grilling. Or both. These ribs were a bit of both. They were wrapped in foil and slow roasted in the oven on low heat for a few hours and then finished on the grill with a ton of housemade BBQ sauce with more than a little hint of Gochujang chili sauce. Gochujang is a Korean sauce that makes me happy. It is what drew me to Korean food. It is definitely it’s own flavor, and if you’ve had it, you know exactly what I mean. It’s a little spicy, a little tart, and a little sweet. It’s addicting. I would back off of the plum sauce a little bit next time just because spicy > sweet for me, but it is rather good as it is. That’s Bon Appétit for you. They know what’s up.

Also, this is my first time making ribs. Ever. They’re another one of those things that are mildly intimidating, but it’s only in my mind. I was fearing that they would end up overcooked, and no one wants two racks of overcooked ribs. No one. Yet the cooking method was practically foolproof. They were definitely fall off the bone tender. I served them with a simple [so simple it’s undressed int his photo] salad so I could focus on that spicy tang of the sauce.

Korean BBQ Ribs2

Inspiration: Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • 4-5 scallions, both the white and the green parts cut into chunks
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Gochujang [Korean hot pepper sauce]
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plum sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 300°. Pat the racks of ribs with a paper towel so they’re dry and then cover them liberally with salt and pepper. Wrap them in a double layer aluminum foil to prevent any messes. Place them on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 2-2.5 hours. The meat should be falling off the bone at this point.

While the ribs are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a food processor, pulse together the scallions, garlic, and ginger. Move over holy trinity or mirepoix because wow. That smells so fragrant. In a sauce pan, heat the mixture in the olive oil on medium heat. Sauté until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir often to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 5-10 minutes, the sauce should thicken up nicely. You know what the consistency of BBQ sauce should be.

Remove the ribs from the oven when they’re ready and prepare the grill. Rub the grates with oil and heat it to medium-high. Brush all sides of the ribs liberally with a few coats of the sauce. Place on the grill until all sides start to char, a couple minutes on each side. Keep basting the ribs with a few more layers for extra flavor. Let the ribs rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving with any leftover sauce.

 

One Pan Chicken Tikka

Food lately:

  • The Wednesday farmers market is back. That means Tastebud pizza! It meant that I ate a leftover veggie burrito for breakfast in order to not waste the burrito but still have pizza for lunch. Priorities.
  • Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Southern Thai food is so good.
  • I’m finally getting into this whole rotisserie chicken craze. Pollo Bravo and Chicken and Guns. Each different and so good. Pollo Bravo makes me miss Spain all over again. Tapas for days.
  • Still obsessed with Tehuana Oaxaca Cuisine. The guys at this cart continually blow my mind with their specials — housemade chorizo and some spicy camarones? Yes please.
  • Brunch at Ya Hala is pretty stellar. No wait. Interesting options. Fried chicken and cheesy couscous for breakfast. Enough said.

This one pan meal comes together as easy as a one pan meal should. The highlight of the whole thing is the marinade for the chicken. It is a deliciously spicy yogurt mixture that I left on the chicken for only the minimum amount recommended because I was impatient and hangry hungry. If I could have the foresight to leave it on overnight or at least since that morning because I imagine it would be that much better. Looking at it now, it’s not the prettiest thing I’ve made [beige!], but since when has that stopped me? We nearly ate the entire head of cauliflower in one sitting. Roasted cauliflower is so underrated, especially when it’s roasted in chicken fat and the residual marinade.

Chicken Tikka

Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken pieces, bone in and skin on
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on spice preference [two!]
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into same-size chunks
  • 1 3/4lbs cauliflower [basically one head], cut into florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Preparation

Use a small food processor to mince the ginger, garlic, and jalapenos together. If that doesn’t exist in your world, feel free to mince. Mix this delicious mixture with the yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, sugar, paprika, and garam masala in a large freeze bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Toss the chicken in the mixture and massage it into the skin. Marinate it in the fridge for at least the time it takes you to prep the vegetables, or longer if you have the time.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, cauliflower, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cumin seeds with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables. Roast for 20 minute. Stir the vegetables and roast for another 15-20 minutes. The vegetables should be tender and the chicken cooked through. I like to use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is in the 165° range internally before allowing it to rest.

Allow to cool before serving.

Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza

The balcony has been taken back from the spiders. I can grill in peace again. The patio still needs a little bit of work to get back into proper form to want to spend more time down there, but the balcony? Perfect. We ate out on the balcony over the weekend–a simple salad and a grilled rib eye. I’m digging the simplicity.

Grilling pizza is one of my favorite summer pastimes. Can that be a proper hobby? It is now. I have been taking cues from East Glisan Pizza because I like having tested combinations. I trust them. They’re always unique pizzas but not over the top. A nice balance of simple and creative. I tried my hand at a cream sauce for once. It’s not usually a go-to for pizza. It’s so decadent and overwhelming sometimes but if East Glisan says so, I’m all in. I found this recipe and copied it. It’s a garlicky béchamel and did the trick. Fresh jalapeños are sort of nonnegotiable, same with the smoked mozzarella. I’m not usually a huge smoked cheese [or smoked anything] fan, but this does lend another layer to the flavors going on.

PS, finally watched the Michael Pollan’s Cooked series on Netflix. It’s a must watch. It makes me want to cook all the things.

PPS, finally ate at Shalom Y’all. It’s a must eat. It’s Mediterranean Exploration Company’s sister restaurant. So, so, good.

PPPS, new food cart in the ‘hood, Tehuana Oaxaca Cuisine. Freshest Mexican food going. It has the usual burrito/taco/torta fare, but also those memelitas and tlayudas. Also so, so good.

Sausage Mushroom White Sauce Pizza

Inspiration: East Glisan Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1 batch cream sauce [i had a little leftover]
  • 1/2lb pork sausage
  • 1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
  • Five cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil

Preparation

Heat the grill on medium high. The temp should be in the 450-500° range.

While the grill heats up, brown the sausage. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Sauté the mushroom slices in the same pan as the sausage grease. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms are dark brown and starting to caramelize in the edges. Remove from heat.

Roll out the ball of dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. I usually do this on a Silat or parchment for easy transfer to the grill. Brush the side facing up with olive oil. Transfer the dough oil-side down to the grill. Cover. Check after two minutes. If the dough lifts up easy and has grill marks, remove it to a baking sheet grill-side down. Spoon the cream sauce evenly over the non-grilled side. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top of the sauce. Spread the sausage, mushrooms, and jalapeño on top. Turn the heat down to medium and return the pizza back to the grill. Cover the grill for 4-8 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the crust the desired crunchiness. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices.