Thursday, June 30, 2011

CSA Recipe: Squash, Mint, Goat Cheese and Almond Pasta

This week I accidentally made up a very tasty extra dish with the bits of remaining produce from the CSA - it was so tasty in fact that I decided to post it up!

Summer Squash, Mint, Goat Cheese and Almond Pasta
Serves 3-4 with a side salad

1 lb Summer Squash, Crook-Neck Squash or Italian Squash cut in to 2" slabs, about 1/3" thick.
4 Oz. fresh goat cheese
2 tbs sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 -2 tsp freshly chopped mint (depending on taste)
1.5 cup farfalle or other pasta 
1 can cannelloni or butter beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch mild red chile powder (like Korean chile powder or hot paprika)

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salted with 1 tbs salt. Once boiling, add pasta.

2) Heat olive oil over medium+ heat, and sauté the slabs of squash until lightly browned, 6-7 minutes.  

3) Add the chopped onions, chile powder and garlic, cooking for another 3-5 minutes until the onions are cooked through.

4) Add the beans and 1/2 cup pasta water, stir to combine.

5) Add mint, drained pasta, pepper, lemon juice, stir to combine.

6) Stir in goat cheese. Taste for salt.

Serve in shallow bowls sprinkled with toasted almonds and a spring of mint with a thick slice of garlic bread and a glass of Sancerre, Sauv Blanc or even a dry Prosseco or Cava if you're having an outdoor lunch. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CSA Recipe: Tofu, Mizuna and Red Chile Stew on Rice

Again, you'll notice I made a few changes/improvement
in the recipe compared to the photo.

Inspired by the classic Korean dish, soon tofu, which is a tofu stew with red chile paste and egg, this simplified version makes for a wonderful dinner.

Tofu, Minced chicken and Mizuna Rice Bowl

Serves 2 over rice

1 block firm fofu, chopped
1/2 lb chicken, chopped
1 small bunch mizuna (1/2 lb - about half a large bunch), stems removed and roughly chopped
1 tbs red chile paste
2 tsb pine nuts, lightly toasted,
2 green onions, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs rice wine or sherry
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper. 
1 tbs corn starch
1/2 tsp sugar
steamed rice

1) Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, pepper, corn starch and sugar in a bowl. 

2) Add the chicken and let marinate for 20-30 minutes in the fridge, covered.

3) Heat the sesame oil in a work or large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4) Add the chopped tofu and the chile paste, stir well to combine and cook until chicken is done, 5-8 minutes. 

6) Quickly add the mizuna a handful at a time, stirring to combine, until all the mizuna is added and only barely wilted. (Maybe 60 seconds total). 

5) Stir in the pine nuts, green onions and rice vinegar. Taste for salt and add more if you want.

7) Turn off heat. Add the egg, stir to combine. Let sit 2 minutes.

8) Serve the fried stew over rice with cold beer or soju! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

CSA Recipe: Fried Potato Pasta with Capers

Potatoes and pasta? Yes! It's double-carb day here on Curio! The trick to this recipe is balancing the acid and tart factors - it's actually a light tasting summery dish if everything is in harmony!

Also, if you are curious why there are so many recipes on my blog, cooking is one of my main ways to decompress after a long day in the studio, and these last six months have been massively productive. I actually have a whole bunch of prints running in the printer for my "Japonisme" project as I type this.

Fried Potato and Caper Pasta
Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch!

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut in to 1" chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c grated parmesan
1 tbs capers, rinsed
4 stalks green onion, sliced, green and white parts divided
2 tbs sub dried tomatoes, chopped
3 tbs olive oil.
juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp + 1 tbs divided 
1 c. dry pasta

1) Put the potato chunks in a medium pot with 1/2 tsp salt and cover with water. Cover pot, bring a gentle boil until the potatoes are par-boiled (just firmer than you'd want to eat - not mushy at all). Maybe 4-5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

2) Meanwhile, bring a large, covered, pot of water to a boil (for the pasta) with 1 tbs salt in it. 

3) Put the sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl, add 1/2 c. of the boiling pasta water to the bowl and let stand 15 minutes, until they soften. Drain after that. 

4) Heat the olive oil over heat just above medium. Add the potatoes and fry until just golden on each side, stirring just occasionally. Maybe 8-10 minutes.

4.5) Start the pasta boiling during step 4 so it will be ready by step 8.

5) Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, red pepper, capers and anchovy fillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute. 

6) Add the sun dried tomatoes and white parts of the green onion. Cook for 2 minutes.

7) Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water, white pepper and lemon juice.

8) Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the potato mixture. 

9) Add the lemon juice and the green parts of the green onion. Stir up well and taste for salt. 

10) Serve in shallow bowls sprinkled with parmesan. A simple green salad of toasted pine nuts and arugula with balsamic and olive oil would be wonder, as would a glass of Pinot Gris or Sauv Blanc.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CSA Recipe: Faux-Indian Cumin Seed Beets with Goat Cheese "Raita"

Callie and I took a basic Uncurry Indian Spices cooking class with Kaumudi Marathe at Surfas recently and this dish was very loosely inspired by some of the techniques we used there. I have no idea if they have goat cheese in India, but I was out of yogurt and I always adore the ubiquitous goat cheese and beet salads at restaurants, so I figured with the glorious Drake Family Farms soft goat cheese we got in our share of the Silverlake Farms CSA this week I'd give that a shot. It was absolutely delicious and quote Hedonism-Bot from Futurama, "I regret nothing." 

So anyway, here's a totally not authentic recipe for beets with Indian flavors, which will be the color of the richest stained glass you've ever seen! 

Totally Inauthentic Indian Cumin Beets & Carrots with Goat Cheese Raita 

Serves 4

For the raita:

4 oz. soft goat cheese
2 Tbs Milk
1 teaspoon canola oil 
1/4 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp chopped cilantro 

1) Mix the goat cheese and the milk in a small bowl until it is a creamy, smooth consistency, much like yogurt.

2) Add sugar, salt and cumin. Taste to adjust - it should be slightly sweet, slightly tart, slightly salty.  

3) Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and toast the mustard seeds (Kaumudi says to do this until they "pop" - my mustard and cumin seeds seemed to be lazy and would hardly pop… maybe they don't like Wednesdays either? I just toasted them until they would taste good - i.e. very lightly, maybe 30-40 seconds). Remove from the heat and add the turmeric.

4) Stir the oil mixture and cilantro in to the goat cheese faux-yogurt. Refrigerate until you're ready to use it.   

For the Main:

1 lb beets, greens trimmed
1 lb young carrots, greens trimmed, cut in to 1" chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbs canola oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper to taste
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tbs cilantro, chopped

1) Roast ze beets! Wash well and pierce a couple times with a fork, and wrap each in foil. Put in a 425 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until they are very tender. 

2) Let cool, peel, then cut in to 1" chunks.

3) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seed and pop them (45 seconds-ish). 

4) Add the garlic, turmeric, garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds.

5) Add the onion and carrots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the carrots are just softened. 

6) Add the beets, pepper, salt, lime juice and stir up, reheating the beets for 1-2 minutes. 

7) Stir in the cilantro and serve with the raita and steamed rice!  

Friday, June 24, 2011

SM Blues is no more...

"Steps and Courtyards"
from Flâneur
Archival Inkjet Print

...And reborn as "Flaneur"! I've been wanting to change the name, but only as I've been finishing up the project have I had the confidence to use such a loaded, but important, word for the project. Also, I made a major change in the portfolio to be more similar to the physical portfolio I have. Check it out:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gallery: Fantasy Trilogy Pt. 1

"The Shaft (Adventurers #4)" from Fantasy Trilogy, Book One
Acrylic, enamel, pencil, ink, Magic the Gathering cards, canvas. 60" x 40"

Hi all! I'm going to take a brief break from recipe mayhem and music fanaticism to alert you to a major update to my art web site. I spent the last two days archiving the ever-spawling paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages and installations of the first part of the Fantasy trilogy and building an online portfolio to share!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Fantasy Trilogy, they are a series of three (whoa! bet you didn't expect that!) interconnected projects that chart the changes in the fantasy genre-fandom over the past century. "Book One", the first in the series and also the newest update, deals with emergence of social gaming like Dungeons and Dragons from fantasy literature such as Lord of the Rings. "Arcana, or, Finding Context" traces the fading landscape of social gaming into the realms of home video game console RPGs like Final Fantasy, and "A Land to Die In" takes the plunge from single-player fantasy games into the breaking waves of the virtual realm of Massive Multiplayer Online RPGs such as World of Warcraft.

But the darker undercurrent of all three projects - the shape being traced by the negative spaces - is a meditation on about the ways that art and imagination are shaped, constrained and changed by the forces of culture, genre, education, history and technology.

Also there are a couple of really good jabs at C.S. Lewis, art school and Harry Potter thrown in the mix that might make you smirk.

Monday, June 13, 2011

CSA Recipe: Apricot and Pork Belly Fried Rice

Similar to the duck fried rice, but with the interesting glints of flavors from the apricot, this light dish is full of flavor (and possibly a perfect dish for Sunday brunch with a glass of Prosecco or Cava!)

Apricot and Pork Belly Fried Rice
Serves 2-3 as a main, 4-5 as a side.

1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 stalks green garlic, chopped
2 ripe but firm apricots, seeded and chopped
1/2 block firm tofu, drained for 10 minutes, cut in to 1/2" chunks
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 lb pork belly or bacon, chopped
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
freshly ground white pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups day-old rice, crumbled by hand
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 handfuls arugula, washed well and sliced in to thick ribbons
2 green onions, thinly sliced
matchstick pickled ginger to taste
1 tbs + 1 tbs canola oil

1) Heat 1 tbs canola oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add the tofu chunks and fry until lightly golden on all sides. 

2) Add the brandy and a pinch of salt.  Cook off the brandy, about 1-2 minutes. Remove tofu to a bowl. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.

3) Over medium-high heat, quickly crisp the pork belly chunks and a pinch of salt. 2-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the tofu. 

4) Leaving the pork drippings in the pan, add the remaining 1 tbs of canola oil. Over medium heat add the chopped onion, garlic and green garlic. Cook until the onion is starting to go soft, about 5 minutes. While this is happening, mix the soy, vinegar, sugar, white pepper and lemon zest. 

5) Add the apricot and cook for 1-2 more minutes until the apricot is cooked but still firm. 

6) Add the rice, crumbling the grains apart as you add it. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.

7) Add the tofu and pork belly. Stir to combine. 

8) Make a large empty spot in the middle of the pan. Pour the eggs in to the spot and as though making scrambled eggs, stir and scrape breaking up and fluffing until just starting to set the immediately mix in with the rice at the edges.

9) Stir in the sauce, then the arugula, stirring to combine. Taste for salt. 

10) Serve in bowls topped with some pickled ginger and sliced green onions. Serve Siracha on the side. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Not a CSA Recipe: Garlic Shoots and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

Callie and Mau take a nap while I cook.

Garlic Shoot & Sweet Potato Stir Fry

This isn't a CSA-specific recipe, but rather a recipe that I came up with to use up bits of ingredients that I had left in the kitchen! Also, those long, just slightly curled green strands of  garlic shoots at the Korean market overwhelmed my curiosity and I had to try to make something with them. This is a fairly simple recipe, but because you have to stir fry a couple things separately, it will probably take a solid 45 minutes to make. Also note, the pork in this recipe can be happy left out to make it vegetarian. I only used it because I had a small amount leftover from making mandu earlier in the week.

Serves 4 with steamed rice on the side

1 bunch garlic shoots (about 3/4 lb), cut in to 2" lengths
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to 1" chunks
1 block firm tofu cut in to 1" chunks
1 onion, cut in to fat 1" chunks
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp Siracha
1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
1 tbs mirin (or white wine in a pinch)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp + 1 tbs + 1 tbs canola oil (divided)

1) Bring a small pot of water to a boil and parboil the sweet potato chunks for 5-7 minutes or until not-quite-done. Drain.

2) Heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the ground pork and fry until lightly browned, breaking up as much as possible with a wooden spoon. (The wooden spoon helps so much for this!)  Maybe 5 minutes or so.

3) Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork and place it on a paper towel to drain.

4) Add 1 tsp oil, let heat over medium high heat, then add the tofu chunks, cooking until browned and crisp on all sides. It helps to let them sit for a minute or two between stirring to get a good crisp. 7-9 minutes.

5) When they're done, scoop the tofu chunks out with the slotted spoon and set aside.

6) Add 1 tbs oil, let heat, then add the potato chunks. Using the same wait-between-stirring technique as the tofu, fry until golden on all sides, 6-10 minutes. 

7) Scoop the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and set aside as well. 

8) Add the last 1 tbs of oil, let heat over medium heat and add the green garlic shoots. (These delicious oddities seemed to be prone to being fibrous when undercooked.) Cook for 5 minutes. 

7) Add the minced garlic and the onion chunks. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn golden and soft.

8) Add the pre-cooked pork, tofu and potatoes along with the mirin. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

9) Add the soy, Siracha, pepper and rice vinegar. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring, until everything is heated and mixed. 

10) Taste for salt, add a bit of salt if you want, and you're done!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CSA Recipe: Steak and Radish Sandwiches

Thanks to the CSA I have come to appreciate radishes. Last time around I made a pasta with French Breakfast radishes and heirloom carrots. This time I made up a  great, "We're staying in and having a fun summer date-night," meal - This is fairly simple to prepare, can be easily modified to cook on the grill, loves many inexpensive wines and tastes best beside a candle and paper napkin in back yard or tiny balcony! Maybe you could even play the new mix I made if you have adventurous taste in music?

Serves 2

For the sandwiches:

1/2" lb good steak
1/2 lb easter radishes, sliced very thinly
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 cup microgreens (or shredded butter lettuce)
3 tbs very soft slightly pungent italian/french cheese (such as a goat brie... you can also substitute butter)
1 tsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste 
olive oil for brushing the bread
1 dash good balsamic

For the sweet potatoes:

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to wedges
1 tsp smoked paprika or ground new mexican chile powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs olive oil
aoli or ketchup for dipping

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pre-heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat.

2) Lightly brush the bread with olive oil and grill each side of the bread for 2 minutes, or until just starting to take color. Set aside.

3rush both sides of the steak with canola and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper to taste.  

4) Put everything but the dipping sauce for the potatoes in a large bowl and mix up. Your hands will be the best utensil for this. Spread on a baking sheet and put in the oven once it's hot.

5) Put the seasoned steak on the grill pan over medium high heat and cook for 5 minutes, then turn over, cooking for another 5 minutes. 

6) After the potatoes have been in for about 10 minutes, take a spatula and flip/stir them a bit, being gentle enough not to break them. 

7) Check the steak's rarity (medium rare for me please!) and if it's done put it on the cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes (flip once for maximum juiciness). 

8) While you've got a few minutes to do nothing during steps 5-7, prep the sandwiches by spreading the cheese/butter on the bottom piece of bread for each sandwich, sprinkle with half of the parsley, placing half of the sliced radishes on top of that. Toss the microgreens in the tiny dash of balsamic.

9) Once the fries are done (about 16-20 minutes depending on how thick) take them out of the oven and split between two plates. 

10) Slice the steak very thinly and pile half of it on top of the radishes on each of the two bottom bread slices. 

11) Put the balsamic-tossed microgreens on top of the steak and top with the other side of toasted bread. 

12) Put the sandwiches on the plates beside the fries and serve with a bowl of aoli for dipping the oven fries!

Serve this with a lovely rustic Italian red, perhaps a bit medium- or light-bodied wine. Even a heavier rose or a rose champagne would be fun with this! The same goes with softer, lighter Spanish or French reds. The real pairing trick is that the radishes with fight with bigger, fuller reds. 

Note: In the photo they are served open-face. Let's just say that doing so was a poor choice… and a messy one!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Siren Mix

The sonorous warm late evening sun of summer has descend here in L.A. finally. I've been working on this mix for a bit as a celebration of basting down the freeway into the late sun with the windows open and the stereo up. Lots of good, loud rock to head bang to as you head out to your Friday parties!

Get it here!

1) Mr. Gnome - "Rabbit" - Deliver This Creature
2) Whirl - "Blue" - Distressor
3) Black Math Horseman - "Deerslayer" - Wyllt
4) Horseback - "The Invisible Mountain" - The Invisible Mountain
5) Graveyard - "The Siren" - Hisingen Blues
6) Earthride - "Vampire Circus" - Vampire Circus
7) Hooded Menace - "Never Cross the Dead" - Never Cross the Dead
8) Purple Rhinestone Eagle - "Crown Cobra" - The Great Return
9) Dam - "Eyeballing" - The Difference Engine
10) Boris w/Michio Kurihara - "You Laughed Like A Water Mark" - Rainbow
11) Alcest - "Ciel Errant" - Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde

Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CSA Recipe: Thai Roasted Chicken

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great long weekend, with many grilled goodies and classy cocktails. Before the next round of CSA produce swings around I wanted to share the last of the successful recipes I invented from these last few months. This one is for Thai red chile roasted chicken. The actual inspiration was the Thai Guavas (which are similar to Asian pears) that we got last week, and which I had never even so much as glimpsed previously in the fringes of my fruit/veggie imagination. What to do, oh what to do!?!? This, that's what!

Thai Roasted Chicken

1 3-4 pound roasting chicken
2 tbs canola oil
1 tsp asian red chile flakes (NOT cayenne)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 lime, quartered
1 handfull cilantro stalks, rinsed
4 Thai Guavas, peeled and quartered
1 lb sweet potatoes cut in to 1/2" chunks
1 tsp canola
1/2 c chicken broth
dash of salt, chile flakes and pepper
1/2 c coconut milk
1/4 c water 
1 tbs lime juice
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 small dash fish sauce
1 minced garlic clove
2 stalks chopped + 1 stalk matchsticked green onions
salt and pepper to taste

1) Discard extra chicken bits (neck, giblets etc.) and mix the canola, chile flakes, salt and pepper together. Preheat the oven to 425 degree F.

2) Work the skin loose by the neck cavity and smear the chile oil mixture all around under the chicken's skin  (this can take some nimble hand work) and then spread the remaining oil and chile mix all over the outside (mostly, just for color). 

3) Stuff the chicken cavity with the bruised lemongrass, garlic cloves, quartered lime and cilantro stalks.

4) Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine, tuck the wings under the bird and set in a roasting pan, breast side up. 

5) Bake for 20 minutes.

6) Toss the sweet potatoes and guava with the canola and the tiny amount of chile flakes, salt and pepper. Add to roasting pan along with the chicken stock. Baste the chicken.

7) Bake for about 35 minutes more, or until the thigh temperature reads 165 degree, stirring veggies and basting once during that time. 

8) Pull from the oven (you'll want to let the bird rest for 15 minutes, which should give you plenty of time to make the pan sauce!)

9) Set the chicken aside on the cutting board to rest, and put the roasted veggies on a plate, leaving all of the drippings, juice etc in the pan.

10) Put the roasting pan on the stove (it's hot, be careful!) add the coconut milk, lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce and garlic. If the sauce is going to be too think, feel free to add 1/4 C water, or leave it out as need be (or add more!)

11) Over medium heat, stir and scrap up all the tasty browned bits to make the sauce. Reduce slightly for about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the 2 stalks chopped green onions.

12) Carve the chicken - to plate, put some veggies, some rice, and some chicken on each plate. Top the chicken with some matchstick green onions and put a small cup of sauce on the side.

Who knows what glorious goodies I'll get in this next round, but while you wait, feel free to check out my art site at - if you know any galleries or other art spaces looking to show work, let me know!