Thursday, August 26, 2010

tailgate prep: salsa verde

With the college football season exactly one week away, it's time to start in early on your tailgate prep. Cooking usually compels your friends to believe you were really into drama in high school, but this is the one time of the year when it may actually work to your advantage. No one wants to go to the tailgate with the guy who bought that weird cheese jar they sell next to the Tostitos (I was going to write "unless you're from Pullman" in this parenthetical, but they can't read anyway).

Get excited. It's college football time. Houston Nutt's excited. Just think. Soon you'll be watching Lane Kiffin pace around the sideline, shoving his players out of excitement and yelling at some 19 year old team manager to get him another Sugar-Free Red Bull from his Sugar-Free Red Bull mini-fridge. Maybe Monte will coach them to victory.

What would you rather eat than a little salsa verde when pulling for Hawaii? So maybe it's more likely you'll see Jake Locker in the NFL in five years than a Hawaii upset. But you know you'll be rooting anyway, along with the entire state of Tennessee.

Salsa verde is simple, fresh, and easy to make. Perfect for a little tailgating. You can even run out of tortilla chips and make the switch to those KC Masterpiece Lay's without blinking an eye. It's that good.


9-10 medium sized tomatillos halved
2 jalapenos seeded
1 lime (juice)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 t sugar
1 t salt

Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Rinse off the sticky film it leaves behind. Cut them in half, and place them skin side up on a baking sheet, along with the jalapenos, halved and seeded. Roast that under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until you see the skins of some of the tomatillos start to brown.

Let the tomatillos and jalapenos cool down a bit, then toss them in the blender. Add everything else. Blend. Salsa. Go Ducks!

SHAME - 3/10
You aren't grilling, so actually try to read an article from ESPN The Magazine (not from that "body issue" with all the shirtless dudes, that won't do you any favors).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

black beans

Black beans are both delicious and nutritious. They will make you strong . . . strong enough to beat up your friends who make fun of you for cooking.

A cup of cooked black beans has about 15 grams of both protein and fiber, and they even have a fair amount of those B-Vitamins you see peppered throughout energy drinks. However, don't let that decrease your energy drink consumption, as they make you appear significantly more extreme.

Ginning them up with a bit of seasoning and serving them alongside rice works great. They taste good with eggs too, or really with anything that you like to eat beans with.

If you don't want to take the time to make them from scratch, start with a can of black beans. Preferably low-sodium if you can find it, because they can have a fair amount of salt, and salt leads to erectile dysfunction. It's just science.


1 c dry black beans
1/2 jalapeno seeded and minced
1/2 onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 t cumin
1 small lime
1/4 c cilantro chopped
salt to taste

Pick through your dry beans to make sure there aren't stones or weird beans. You don't want to eat those. Soak the beans in 3 cups of water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

First thing the next morning, drain and rinse the beans, then put them in a pot. Add 3 cups of water. Don't salt this water, it will make the outside of the beans tough. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45-60 minutes. They're done when you can squish one easily between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, or when you get bored of simmering beans.

Now that you have your cooked beans, saute the 1/2 onion, 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 jalapeno. When they're getting soft, toss in the beans, cumin, and lime juice. Cook that for a couple minutes, and then remove the pan from the heat. Toss in the cilantro and season with salt.

SHAME - 4/10
Sit through The Expendables. Tell your friends you loved Dolph Lundgren.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

cottage cheese/dill bread

Baking bread is emasculating. There's really nothing more to say.

When you think of baking, you think of a 1950's housewife, wearing a sparkling white and red checkered apron, mixing things with a wooden spoon. It's not something that a guy who knows who Taylor Teagarden is should be doing, although I'm also stoked that I finally have a dishwasher.

That being said, it makes your place smell better than say, the farts a young man emitted while sleeping, having eaten a great deal of beets the prior evening. It also makes a pretty mean sandwich.

The dill works well with cream cheese and cucumber. If smoked salmon were affordable, that would probably taste pretty good too.

Give it a try. It's pretty hard to screw up, and it will impress your friends who are questioning their sexuality.


2 t active dry yeast
1/4 c lukewarm water
1/2 t sugar
12 oz cottage cheese
1 egg
1 T finely minced onion
4 T olive oil
1/4 t baking soda
2-3 T dill
2-3 c flour
1 t salt

Start off by dissolving the 2 t yeast in the 1/4 c of lukewarm water. Stir in the 1/2 t sugar. Let that chill until you start to see the yeast foaming up.

While you're waiting, watch preseason football to reclaim your dignity, or mix up everything else but the flour in a big mixing bowl.

Once you've got that all mixed up, the yeast should be about ready. Stir in the yeast mixture. Now add 2 c flour. The dough will be very sticky. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, tossing in more flour occasionally as the dough starts sticking to you and really pissing you off, like the desperate, Jon Gosselin-looking guy at the bar.

After 10 minutes, take your dough, flatten it out a bit and roll it up. Put the side with the seam down in an oiled loaf pan, so that the nice smooth side of your loaf-shaped dough is facing up. Cover that with a damp cloth and let it sit for about 2 hours.

Brush a little oil over the top of the dough and toss it in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Now you have tasty bread, and tangible evidence that your dad never played catch with you.

SHAME - 8/10
Throw the football through your tire-swing ten times in a row, perfect spiral, before you come in to cry in the shower.