Click: Shooting at McDonald’s, Vegan Vodouisants, Domino’s Does Not Reject the Cheese, Hip Hop Goes Green and Other Items From My Weekly Vegan Agenda

Click: Shooting at McDonald’s, Vegan Vodouisants, Domino’s Does Not Reject the Cheese, Hip Hop Goes Green and Other Items From My Weekly Vegan Agenda

Hip Hop and Vodouisants are doing the whole vegan thing. Domino’s Pizza and people who fired shots at McDonald’s for forgetting their bacon, are not. What else caught my eye this week? Take a gander:

Happenings:

Recipes:

  • BBQ Pulled Portobello Sliders from Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen- At a recent neighborhood gathering Helyn with a y told Helen with an e that her BBQ Pulled Ostrich Sliders were terrible. She made Helen with an e try her Portobello version. Helen with an e went home in tears, they were so good. I’m not sure what a spelt bun tastes like but you could probably put these sliders on cardboard and I’d be all in.
  • Vegan Ranch Dressing from Jennifer’s Kitchen- Everything tastes better with Ranch Dressing (insert sad emoji). Now you can make a vegan version at home (insert extremely happy emoji with a dabble of ranch dressing dripping from its chin).
  • Tempeh Satay from Oh My Veggies- Fun fact, food tastes better after it has been pierced with a skewer. I’m not sure what the scientific explanation is for this but I know there must be one somewhere.
  • No Bake Mini Red Velvet Cheesecake from Pickles & Honey- You mean I don’t even have to slave over a hot summer oven for this vegan cheesecake? Sign me up! Bonus points because the cheesecakes have ridges like peanut butter cups.
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi from The Minimalist Vegan- I’m coming off a lunch where four of the six adults in attendance ordered gnocchi so there should be no surprise why gnocchi is on my mind. This version is made from sweet potato and works for a (gasp!) gluten free diet. Zing!
  • Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi from The Chubby Vegetarian (Not Vegan)- As far as I’m concerned the Chubby Vegetarian is the king of making meat out of eggplant. From Pulled Eggplant BBQ to Eggplant Sliders to Eggplant Po’ Boys, this blog knows how to do eggplant up right. I can’t wait to check out the newest addition to the eggplant party.

Singles:

“Minor Flaws” by Work Drugs

I ran into a girl I used to date the other day. That’s when I realized she was real. I had been pretending for years that she was just a figment of some loosely remembered dream. I had just about convinced myself that she wasn’t real a second time  when I caught “Minor Flaws” by Work Drugs. The memories came back all over again.

“Ain’t So Young” by Glamour Assassins

This song sounds like it should be the theme song for an eighties sitcom. I’m not talking Who’s the Boss or some lame ass show like that. I’m picturing more along the lines of an eighties sitcom that was so super exclusive that you never even saw it. That would mean that you are hearing the song for the first time today and have no idea that it ever appeared as a sitcom theme.

“Storm of the Century” by Dutch Party

Dutch Party name drops more storms in this four minutes and ten seconds than I’ve heard in my eleven years living here. I guess that’s the nature of the Florida beast. What are we going to do, complain that it is sunny 350 days a year?

“With Time” by Maria Sweet

Maria Sweet is a persistent bunch. I’ve kicked their track “With Time” around a lot. Do I like it? Don’t I? Can I cook to it? About the time I deleted their first email and said I’m not a fan, a follow up popped into my inbox. At that point I allowed the pendulum to swing as far as it could in the opposite direction.

“Take It Or Leave It” by Slim Wray

This track is what happens when you steal a mechanical bull and set it up in your garage right next to the wind machine.

Remixes:

“America” by XYLO (Young Bombs Remix).

Imagine if our forefathers had this blaring on their wooden ships as they traveled across the ocean, fought for the revolution and learned how to plant crops. Glow sticks might’ve been so sixteenth century.

Videos:

“Mene” by Brand New

“Mene Mene” is an idiom that commonly means “the writing on the wall”, or “the hand writing on the wall”. This video suggests that clearly I’ve been looking past this writing for far too long. Everything I’ve paid attention to by Brand New I’ve enjoyed. Time to seek out more.

“Loose People” by Sans Parents

My brother and I tried to make this same video to Genesis’ “I Can’t Dance” when we were almost teenagers. Obviously we failed or you would be hearing about Sans Parents and their copyright infringement suit.

“Did You See” by Running Young

I’m okay with Running Young filming every single video they make from here on out in the same setting as “Did You See”. Old, rundown buildings have such a story to tell. Pair that story with the artistic vision of the graffiti and you’ve got something to ponder. It is a ponderance that requires a length of longer than just one video to do it justice.

First Quarter Click Tracks (When Available) via Spotify:

Artist’s Cookbook: Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash Courtesy of Timothy Cushing

Artist’s Cookbook: Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash Courtesy of Timothy Cushing

unnamedThe last time Timothy Cushing appeared on Write Click Cook Listen, he was knee deep in homemade tahini and cayenne. These were the difference makers in his vegan friendly, hummus. It was a dish that paired nicely with his 2013 album Hunting Songs.

Almost two months ago Timothy and his band, The Red Rogue, put the finishing touches on their new album PhoeniciaAccording to legend, the album was created during a getaway to upstate New York. The band arrived on July 3rd and found that a giant tree had fallen down and taken the power with it. The Red Rogue was forced to do some band bonding in the creek (which became their communal shower) until the power came back. Once the electricity returned, the band had to scramble to get the album finished before the getaway ended. You might think that with the pacing what it was and the power outages that were happening all around them, Phoenicia might feel a bit forced and impatient. This isn’t the case as The Red Rogue does a fabulous job of blending the out-of-control with the laid back. On one hand you’ve got “Skull Krusherz”, portions of “Four Leaf Scent” and “Eveline” operating at hyper speed. On the other, “Move Along”, “I’ve Been Wrong” and “I Went Looking” feel very much like a carefully planned waltz around a singer-songwriter/alternative country ballroom.

My track of choice on Phoenicia is “Into Town”. This is the one track that seamlessly joins both the out-of-control and the laid back all under one title. The track’s verses are steered deliberately by the slow drawl of Carolyn Murphy’s accordion. The chorus kicks back and let’s things get a bit more hairy, a bit more upbeat. I found myself returning to “Into Town” again and again at least until the shattering heart shut it down.

Phoenicia finds Timothy still in the kitchen pairing his love of cooking with his passion for making music. So where did that cooking take him this time around? It took him on a journey that was commandeered by sweet and spicy. It was one that ended right in front of a big bowl of Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash. The slogan? Strong enough for breakfast but ph balanced for dinner.

Cook: Sex, Ice Picks and Puff Pastry Pizza

Cook: Sex, Ice Picks and Puff Pastry Pizza

DSC_0453About halfway through my Basic Instinct marathon last weekend I got a strong desire to do something “psychologically empty” with an ice pick (you know what I’m talking about Ms. Stone). I stripped down to my sexiest undergarments and decided to pound away at the iceberg that had been forming for three years in my freezer. I was pretty convinced that what I would find beneath that ice mound was something mind blowing. Perhaps it wouldn’t top the find documented in Atari: Game Over, but I thought it would come close. After countless hours of grueling ice picking and many false positives I finally hit the jackpot. There, buried in the middle of that desolate landfill of ice, was a half empty box of puff pastry. Score one for the ice spelunkers in sexy undergarments.

I decided a puff pastry pizza was in order. I put together some veggies, oil and balsamic vinegar and baked the mixture nicely on top of the thawed puff pastry. I ate it while finishing up the Basic Instinct marathon. Sex, ice picks and pizza. Not sure life gets anymore real than that.

Puff Pastry Pizza
(printable version)

For the pizza:
-one vegan puff pastry shell
-1 red onion, small dice
-2 handfuls of mixed greens, small shreds
-1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
-4 ounces of button mushrooms
-2 cloves of garlic, pressed

For the sauce:
-1 can cannellini beans
-a few sprinkles of water
-1/2 tsp. olive oil
-1/4 tsp dried sage
-1 garlic clove
-salt and pepper to tast

1. Allow the puff pastry to thaw. 45 minutes for typical puff pastry. Longer if it has been in the freezer for more than two years.

2. Once the puff pastry is thawed, carefully open the sheet of it and slice it in half. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. Stretch out the puff pastry by pressing each half with your fingers and pulling with your hands. When the halves have been stretched as far as they can, place each half on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the garlic and red onion in olive oil until the onions are beginning to caramelize. Add the greens and balsamic vinegar and cook until the greens have wilted. Set the greens, onions and garlic aside.

5. Using the same pan heat the mushrooms. You can also mix the mushrooms in with the greens and onions but we live in a mushroom love/hate household so I made them separately. Heat the mushrooms until they have begun to brown. Set them aside.

6. Mix the ingredients for the sauce, except the water, in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add water to thin the sauce out if necessary.

7. Spread the sauce down the middle of each side of the puff pastry. Sprinkle the vegetables and mushrooms on top of the sauce. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Don’t worry if it puffs up a lot (its called puff pastry for a reason). Allow it to cool for ten minutes. Slice it and serve.

Served best with a side of cold, hard…

Cook: Cauliflower Breakfast Scramble

Cook: Cauliflower Breakfast Scramble

DSC_0441Last weekend, when I came upon the local garden grown section of my farmer’s market of choice, I discovered something crazy. Sitting in a tray of half melted ice cubes was an orange cauliflower. I had never seen such a thing. I scooped one up and took it home intending to learn more. Now some websites such as thekitchn will tell you that orange cauliflower (dubbed Cheddar Cauliflower) was first discovered in Canada in the 1970’s. They’ll also have you believe that it took many years of crossbreeding (hey what happens when I breed this duck with a head of cauliflower…whoa, it turns orange!) for the plant to became farmer’s market worthy. I’m not one of those people. I know, or at least I think I know, the real story behind orange cauliflower. Its the story the FDA doesn’t want you to know.

The story starts in Detroit, in 2002, during the filming of hip hop biopic 8 Mile. Actor Evan Jones, who plays Cheddar Bob in the film, was popping vitamins like they were candy (keeping up with Omar Benson Miller isn’t easy). As a result of this vitamin popping, Evan developed Hypervitaminosis A, an excess of Vitamin A (which is what Beta Carotene becomes when it is broken down by the body) in the bloodstream. During Evan Jones’ most famous scene, the one where his character shoots himself in the leg with his mom’s gun during an altercation in a parking lot, a man peddling cauliflower from his truck bed pulled up to watch. When Jones falls to the ground a bit of his Beta Carotene saturated blood splattered onto the man’s cauliflower. A day or two later the man noticed that those heads that were bloodied had turned orange. He quickly shipped the contaminated cauliflower to his cousin at Cornell University. Shortly thereafter an orange colored cauliflower that was high in Beta Carotene and Vitamin A (25 percent higher than its white brethren according to Saveur) hit the farmer’s market circuit. Its name? Cheddar Cauliflower. Is this a coincidence? I think not.

Whether it be from Detroit or Canada, one thing I do know for sure is that a head of Cheddar Cauliflower can be turned into a breakfast scramble like this:

Cauliflower Breakfast Scramble
(printable version)

-1 small head of Cheddar Cauliflower, cut into tiny pieces
-1/2 large onion, diced
-1 small bell pepper, diced
-olive oil
-3 Tbs. liquid aminos
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/2 tsp. tumeric
-1/2 tsp. chili powder
-sprinkle of nutritional yeast

1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan. Saute the onion for five minutes. Add the bell pepper and continue to heat for an additional three minutes.

2. Pour the cauliflower into the pan and saute it on one side until the cauliflower begins to brown (five minutes or so). Flip and continue cooking for another two minutes.

3. Place the spices in a bowl (not the nutritional yeast) and combine with the liquid aminos. Scrape the spice paste into the veggie mixture. Stir until the spices have been distributed throughout. Turn off the heat. Spoon the cauliflower into bowls and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Enjoy it while carelessly playing with your mom’s lighter that is shaped like a gun (I wouldn’t advise messing around with the real thing).

What’s a lot of Beta Carotene in your ears sound like? This.

Cook: Lentil, Barley and Split Pea Stew

Cook: Lentil, Barley and Split Pea Stew

“I’ve heard it all before, I could hear it all a thousand times more”
-“What If I” by Pennywise (the band, not the clown)

DSC_0428I get it, Señor Meatman, I’m a vegan and you are super concerned about the amount of protein I take in. I assure you there is nothing to worry about. I get more than enough protein from all the protein bars I eat. It used to be protein bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But that became a bit problematic when my lovely wife and I would go out to eat at a fancy restaurant and I’d be at an absolute loss about what to order. I’d try to order a protein bar hoping that the fancy restaurant had some sort of secret menu that I might luck into finding out about, but I was never successful. In fact, it was downright embarrassing for J-Fur. I mean do you know what kind of looks you get at fancy restaurants if you inquire about what type of protein bars they are hiding in the back? Weird ones. Very, very weird ones. So I solved that problem by smuggling my own in. That wasn’t much better. Most of those fancy restaurants frowned when I ordered nothing but a glass of water and, upon their return, caught me downing protein bars by the fistful. One even fired my ass right back on the street and left J-Fur eating dinner by herself.

It dawned on me, when I saw an old Slim Fast commercial, you can’t do these weird diet things all day long. You can hack it for breakfast and lunch but then you need to eat a “sensible dinner” and protein bars are not sensible. By the time I had come to realize this I had my picture up in all the fancy restaurants in town (do not serve this guy, he smuggles in protein bars). I guess you could say I had been banned from returning. I was left with cooking dinner for myself. This Lentil, Barley and Split Pea Stew was born out of my desire for a “sensible dinner” and Señor Meatman’s fear that I wasn’t getting enough protein. The lentils (18 grams per cup), barley (3.5 grams per cup) and split peas (48 grams per cup) are great sources of protein. That way, even if I skip a protein bar at dinner, I am still thousands of milligrams over my daily allotment.

Lentil, Barley and Split Pea Stew (adapted slightly from A Full Measure of Happiness)
(printable version)

-1/2 large onion diced
-2 medium zucchini diced
-1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
-1 cup green beans, diced
-1/2 cup red lentils
-1/2 cup yellow split peas
-1/2 cup barley
-28 ounces of diced tomatoes (I used garlic flavored)
-3 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups water
-1/2 t salt
-1/4 t black pepper
-smoked paprika

1. Dice and layer all the veggies in the bowl of a crock pot.

2. Pour the red lentils and barley overtop of the vegetables. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, water, salt, and pepper. Set the crock pot on low and cook for six hours (or three on high).

3. Cook the yellow split peas in a pressure cooker until they have softened and split open and resemble a mush (about six minutes with natural release). Drain any leftover water and pour the split peas into the crock pot. Stir until they are incorporated. You should now have a thick stew. Heat for an additional two hours (or 1 on high), adding any additional water or broth you need to get your stew to the desired consistency.

4. Spoon the stew into bowls. Sprinkle smoked paprika overtop. Enjoy it with a nice crusty protein bar…I mean baguette.

Cook: Farro, Artichokes and Greens

Cook: Farro, Artichokes and Greens

DSC_0404Years ago one of the cereal mother grains, Ms. Barley, got knocked up by a traveling salesman. He had come to her door hoping to pawn off some of his large supply of malt. When he removed his hat and smoothed down his hair Ms. Barley, who was like an unmarried version of a desperate housewife, led him to a grass field. It was here that the two of them made love from mid-afternoon until well into the night. A few months later Ms. Barley began having extremely debilitating nausea every morning. She quickly came to realize that that salesman had planted his seed in her. When the time came to deliver Ms. Barley, always one to appreciate symbolic gestures, returned to the same spot in the grass field where her baby was conceived. She delivered a tiny little grain, one whom she named barley. Ms. Barley arose from her position and led her new offspring into the house. After an hour of intensive cleaning, Ms. Barley felt weird. She tried to push through it but to no avail. Eventually she laid down on her kitchen floor to take a rest. During her rest, Ms. Barley squeezed another baby from her loins. This one was much larger and the delivery was ten times more painful. Angrily she vowed to call him Fat Ass Round Robber Of life. Eventually it was shortened to Farrol and, by the time this plump grain was being sacrificed on the tombs of Egyptian kings, it had been shortened to just farro.

Farro is one of my grain obsessions. I love that it is chewy, even more so than its tiny little brother, and that it has a distinctive nutty taste to it. My most recent farro adventure found me pairing the fat ass grain with some greens and artichokes. These pieces fit together so well that J-Fur raved like a lunatic. Here is how it happened:

Farro, Artichokes and Greens 
(printable version)

-1/2 cup farro
-1 can artichokes, drained and diced
-1 cup mixed greens (I used kale and spinach)
-3 Tbs. olive oil
-red onion, diced
-salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Grab a saucepan. Dump the farro in it. Drown the farro in two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, put a lid on it and cook over low heat for twenty five minutes. Drain the farro, remove it from the saucepan and set it aside.

2. Grab an even bigger saucepan, pour in a larger amount of water and bring it to a boil. Drop in the greens and boil them until they are tender (like 2-3 minutes). Drain. Squeeze out any excess liquid using a paper towel. Rip or cut the grains into tiny pieces. Set aside.

3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. This takes about 15 minutes. Set aside.

4. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet. Add the artichokes and cook, over high heat, until they begin to brown. Turn them over and continue cooking until they start to brown on that side too.

5. Combine the onions, greens and artichokes. Pour the veggie mixture into the farro and stir until everything is nicely combined. Season with salt and pepper. Domasticate that grain.

Sounds like

Click: Black and Vegan, Combating PMS, Dairy Free Illuminaties, Mint Chocolate Chia Parfaits, Bitches in the Hood and Other Items From This Past Week

Click: Black and Vegan, Combating PMS, Dairy Free Illuminaties, Mint Chocolate Chia Parfaits, Bitches in the Hood and Other Items From This Past Week

Its bad enough that the Ivy League schools scheme about ways to rule politics, now (meaning for the last four years) they are doing the same thing to veganism. We’ve gotta watch out for those vegan illuminaties. Here are some other things to watch out for:

Happenings:

Recipes:

Singles:

“What D’You Say” by The Go! Team

Will Joseph Cook “Streets of Paris”

Canopy Climbers “Fever”

“Cities Between Us” by Ellenberg

The Longwalls-Home

Remixes:

Sirena “Chemicals” (Ace Supreme Discomix)

Videos:

“Fucking Bitches in the Hood” by Death Team

“Hypnotic” by Zella Day

First Quarter Click Tracks (When Available) via Spotify:

What’s Cooking With Guards! Guards!

What’s Cooking With Guards! Guards!

10750379_1528816177359979_6862819148301727588_oAround these parts Sunday night is sacred. That’s the night that me and my semi-professional karaoke crew make their rounds. This Sunday we paid a visit to one of the most popular local stages and caught something truly amazing happening. Behind the microphone, in front of dozens of Tampanians, was none other than Rihanna. Her song of choice? Daft Punk’s “Pentatonix”.

I left the karaoke club later that evening thinking nothing could ever top the Rihanna experience I had just witnessed. On my drive home I popped “That Spring” by Guards! Guards! into my stereo and, wouldn’t you know it, Monster Bobby (The Pipettes, A Little Orchestra) and Lisa Bouvier (the Flatmates, the Proctors, Satan & Megastar) were dead ringers for Rihanna singing Daft Punk. While it might not have topped what happened at the karaoke bar, it certainly enhanced it.

One of the themes in “That Spring” that becomes apparent after repeated listens is the idea of making things happen. That seems like appropriate material for Guards! Guards! as their entire existence is all about making it happen. I say this because Bobby and Lisa face the unique challenge of making music while living in two completely different countries. Lisa hangs out in Sweden, Monster Bobby makes his living in London. How do they make it work? Skype. Lots and lots of Skype. In fact, their video for “Last Spring” was created completely by the band using shots of their Skype conversations and Quicktime.

Check out the recorded version:

The Skyped video:

So now that we know what is musically cooking with Guards! Guards!, let’s find out what is being whipped up in Bobby and Lisa’s kitchen:

Part One: Lisa Bouvier’s Recipe for Swedish Rårakor (as told by Lisa Bouvier)

The thing I missed most about Sweden when I lived in the UK – apart from Marabou milk chocolate – was actually lingonberry jam. Which is interesting, because since I moved back to Sweden last year, I haven’t eaten it at all! But fear not all you non-Swedes out there, you can buy it in any IKEA worldwide.

This is one of my favourite dishes involving lingonberry jam and it’s called rårakor (Swedish for beginners: raw-rachore). The traditional way of doing it is just grated potato and some salt, but I decided to make it a bit more exciting than that.

Rårakor

-6 grated potatoes
-1 grated onion
-1-2 grated carrots
-2 eggs
-salt, black pepper and other exciting things you can find in your cupboard. How about some grated cheese as well? Cheese is tasty. Put it in everything.

Anyway, grate everything as fine as you can be bothered, stir together in a mixing bowl. Shape rakor, they can be round or at least round-ish, and about 8-10 cm in diameter, maybe 2 cm thick or as big as you’d like. Fry them on mid heat until they’re golden.

They might look a bit like this when they’re done.

Serve with crispy fried bacon and lingonberry jam. No salad. There is carrots in the rårakor, right?

Part Two: Monster Bobby’s Chicken Curry

To complement Lisa’s homegrown potato pancakes, I decided I should make something very typically English – and what could be more typically English than curry? I spent much of my childhood in Indian restaurants, always ordering the hottest thing on the menu out of some perverse infant machismo and wolfing it down, eyes streaming. To this day, nothing really tops a good curry for me and I have been gradually perfecting my own recipe over many years.

Curry

-2 large onions
-4 cloves of garlic
-1 large chunk of ginger
-1 tin of tomatoes
-Turmeric (plenty)
-Paprika (plentier)
-Chicken breasts or thigh fillets
-tandoori masala
-1 sweet pepper
-2 or 3 green chillies
-Ground cumin (shit loads)
-Ground coriander (plenty of that too)
-Methi / Fenugreek leaves
-Basmati rice
-2 whole cloves
-1 stick of cinnamon
-5 or 6 green cardamons
-Butter
-Cream (one dollop)
-1 tomato
-Fresh coriander

Chop up a couple of big onions and chuck them in a saucepan with plenty of oil. Fry until they start to soften, then add a fairly large quantity of ginger and garlic (say four cloves of the former and about the same volume of the latter?). Once that’s all good and fried, chuck in a little bit of water, a good dash of turmeric, a hefty splash of paprika, and a tin of tomatoes. Keep that bubbling for a bit – what? maybe half an hour? – then liquidise it with a handheld blender.

Next: Heat some oil in a big frying pan, chop yr chicken into bitesize chunks and put them in the pan with some tandoori masala spice mix and a big spoonful of the whizzed-up onion and tomato mix. Once that’s cooked on the outside, add some sweet pepper and a couple of roughly chopped green chillies, then throw in the rest of the sauce with some ground cumin, ground coriander, and some fenugreek leaves (I tend to favour the frozen packets of Methi you find in Indian supermarkets). Let that cook away for a good half hour.

Meanwhile, get the rice on. Wash a teacup full of rice in boiling water and put a cup and a half of water in a saucepan with a bit of salt. Once the water starts to boil, put the rice in, with two whole cloves, a stick of cinnamon, the seeds from inside maybe five or six green cardamons, and a bit of butter about as big as your thumb. After about two minutes of that all boiling together, put a tight lid on the pan with a sheet of silver foil under the lid and whack it in the oven on gas mark one. After 15 minutes turn the heat off,2 but leave it for another ten.

Just before you serve the curry, put a dollop of cream on top, a big dash of garam masala, and some chopped fresh tomato and coriander leaf. Maybe one or two more chillies if you’re hardcore. Some chopped up mango or julienned fresh ginger can also be a pleasant addition at this stage. Mix. Eat. Serve with beer.

There you have it. Lisa is embracing the Swedes in her kitchen and Bobby is paying homage to the English. That’s called making things happen.

Food Pairing 101: What Goes Well With Valentine’s Day Tacos?

Food Pairing 101: What Goes Well With Valentine’s Day Tacos?

DSC_0366Employees were called to their boss’ office, reception area or mail room in droves the last two days. Most of them weren’t losing their jobs, getting an earful from the secretary or fixing the fact that they forgot to put a stamp on some outgoing mail. No, they were there to receive their latest tokens of love. These tokens probably came in one (or two or three) of several common forms. Flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals and balloons are very popular. The slightly more creative lover might arrange a message spelled in candy hearts while the more risqué (read horny) purchases some edible underwear or new lingerie. Along with the delivery will most surely be a small card that arranges words and phrases in a way that ranges from trite and mindless to mildly interesting. Eventually the cards go to the sock drawer, the chocolates are eaten (and the weight that is left behind is analyzed obsessively for weeks), the flowers wilt and die, the stuffed animals become chew toys for rambunctious puppies and the edible underwear is lustily devoured. Afterall, we don’t need these things to last. In 360 days or so, we’ll dance this same dance again.

Perhaps you are wondering what J-Fur received for Valentine’s Day this year, especially with the somewhat negative tone of the post. Well J-Fur was called to her mailroom to pick up a delivery consisting of two heads of cauliflower, a lime and a beer. I could’ve thrown in some tortillas and smoked paprika too but those were already sitting in my kitchen at home. Keep it functional, you all.

Why beer, lime and cauliflower? Because these three ingredients, when combined with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, veggie broth, soy sauce, an onion, avocado and tortillas, creates the ultimate token of taco love. Thug Kitchen’s Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos. The actual Thug Kitchen version comes topped with Cilantro Coleslaw. I skipped this accompaniment because its Valentines Day and J-Fur isn’t too keen on cole slaw. Why give her something she doesn’t want?

What does one pair with such a fabulous little Valentine’s Day taco? How about something romantic, something that embraces youth? *Checks email closely twice. Aw, here’s a band called Young Romance. You can’t go wrong with this right? Plugs the song into the post and leaves for Valentine’s Day celebration.*

(Editors note: Young Romance’s new noise pop single called “Wasting Time” is a fabulous song. Unfortunately it is like the anti-Valentine’s Day track as it lyrically states over and over “I don’t want a love like you anymore”, “get out” and you are a “waste of time”. Don’t play this anywhere near your loved ones)  “Wasting Time” is the first release from Young Romance’s freshly recorded Wild EP. It is set to be released on March 9th.