No Recipes vol. 6

Hi! I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques while giving you the confidence and inspiration to cook without recipes too!

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Happy Holidays Everyone!

This will be the last post I personally post until after the new year as I will be in Napa for a few days followed by a much needed vacation in Seoul and Tokyo. To keep you from getting bored, I've scheduled a few posts to go up throughout the next week and a half leading up to a special new years day post that delves into the food traditions of Japan during Oshogatsu (New Years)

Maybe it's the Japanese in me needing to do my annual osoji (a thorough cleaning that's a part of the new years tradition), but come the end of the year I feel a primal urge to purge the freezer and pantry. This week's No Recipes is a product of this urge with 2 "left over" dishes cobbled together from scraps of meat and odds and ends in the kitchen.

While I'm away I won't have a computer, but I plan to flesh out some of the ideas I've been kicking around in my head and I promise to come back with lots of new ideas to get 2009 started on the right food foot.

In other news there was a short article about this blog (with a photo of me) in the NY Daily News on page 6 of the Your Money section yesterday (12-22). Not nearly a impressive as being interviewed during the pregame show of the Super Bowl (as L managed to do a couple years ago), but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Whatever your plans are for the holidays (which I'd love to hear about in comments), be safe, keep warm, and eat well!

No Recipes vol. 6

Leftover Paella – Nope, not a rehash of my Paella, this one was made from random scraps in the fridge and freezer. An odd morcilla sausage, half an onion that’s been in the fridge for a week, and some frozen mystery meat (which turned out to be veal) defrosted and marinated in garlic, olive oil and pimenton. All cooked with some Valencia rice sitting in the back of the pantry, saffron, a box of ham stock I got for free at a food event, and a scoop of heirloom tomato granita. To finish I topped with some frozen edamame, and some frozen pre-cooked shrimp that looked like it was well on its way to freezer burn purgatory (which was also marinated in a copious amount of garlic and pimenton to cover up any unpleasant freezer odors). Given the questionable nature of the ingredients, it actually came out pretty well, though if I had a choice, I’d definitely go with my original recipe.

No Recipes vol. 6

Pork Schnitzel and Pickled Potatoes – This one is basically my Wiener Schnitzel recipe, except I swapped out pork for the veal and I ran out of bread crumbs, so I added some stale matzo meal that was lurking in the back of the pantry. I also gave my lemony potato salad a fresh pass, slicing the potatoes and lighting boiling them until the crunch went away but they were still on the hard side. Then they were marinated with meyer lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. The result was a toothsome “pickle” of sorts that went nicely with the capers and pork.

No Recipes vol. 6

Leftover Tortilla Soup – Another leftover dish. This one included some failed Al Pastor chopped up along with some onions, half a green bell pepper. Spices that went in include cumin, dried anaheim and guajillo peppers. To finish I rubbed a stick of butter on both sides of some stale corn tortillas then cut them into strips which went into a toaster oven for a few minutes to crisp. Cilantro and shredded cheese of unknown origin rounded out the soup.

No Recipes vol. 6

It takes a bit longer to peel a pineapple like this, but it results in a lot less waste as you can get all the “eyes” out without sacrificing the fruit around them. Basically you just chop the top and bottom off then peel a thinnish layer of the skin off, then go around cutting “v” shaped spirals to get all the eyes out.