Sara
06/25/09

Peace out MJ

So Michael Jackson is dead. Pretty crazy. I was sad to hear this, but not exactly surprised. I grew up totally enamored by him and his music. Like serious adolescent obsession. In fact me and my sister will still get down to some Thriller on a road trip. and we can “hehe” and “whoo” with the best of them. My sister always laughs at me because I know where all the “oww’s” and “hehe’s” and “whoo’s” are in every song, it’s a gift.

I am still in awe of the amazing talents that he had and even with the child molestation accusations and all the bizarre things that he has done over the years, more than anything, I feel bad for him. He was clearly troubled in many ways. I know the boys at imafoodblog don’t agree with me on this one, but I think Michael Jackson was awesome.

I saw this video that Serious Eats posted of MJ organizing a food fight on the set of Black or White for director John Landis. A fun way to remember the King of Pop, and check out really young Macauley Caulkin. “I’m not gonna spend my life bein a color".

RIP. :'(

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe is Vegetable Cheese Strata and was chosen by Jen of A Mid Life Culinary Adventure. You can find the recipe here or on page 26 of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger.

I actually made this a few weeks ago as soon as it was picked. It was SO good. Crusty baguette soaked overnight in eggs with a yummy assortment of vegetables and cheese.

I cut this recipe down to serve 2, and it was the perfect amount of breakfast for Nick and I. I followed Ellie’s recipe pretty exactly, except that I used a white baguette instead of whole wheat. As far as vegetables I think you could pretty much put whatever you wanted or had in the house into this strata. Though this combo of mushrooms, broccoli, onions, and the subtly sweet sun dried tomatoes was pretty perfect in my book.

I can’t remember ever having a strata before and I definitely enjoyed it more than any frittata I have had. I think this may be because of the texture. I always need some chewy bread with my eggs, and this combines the soft eggs and the chewy bread perfectly.

At first I was going to use this little cake pan, but when I poured the mixture in, it was filled to the tippy top. I had visions of overflowing pans and stratas that take 5 hours to cook through.

This looks much better.

This really was excellent, I wish I had a fresh one baking in the oven right now. I highly suggest this recipe to everyone, even if you are not TRYING to eat healthy. See how my fellow Craving Ellie ladies fared with this one.

I don’t think I need to wax poetic about the benefits of fresh homemade sandwich rolls, so I won’t. I’ll just say that a fresh roll can turn a good sandwich into a great sandwich, which you already know.

I made these rolls for pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, and they were totally awesome. I found the recipe at King Arthur Flour. I did not change any of the ingredients, however, I did not follow KAF’s instructions for mixing the dough. KAF basically says to mix all the ingredients together until you have a soft smooth dough. I am not a very experienced bread maker, so I thought these directions were a bit too vague. Nick helped me make this and he broke the mixing process down somewhat. The recipe and our detailed mixing process after the jump.

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Sunday night is a breeding ground for aggression and confrontation in this house. Unlike the more intelligent portion of the human population who spends their weekends actively accomplishing things, Sara and I rather embark upon a ~40 hour adventure of listlessness. The sloth at times reaches a degree of soliciting a wrathful hand from divine to rightfully smite us. As such, on Sunday nights there is always so much shit to do any not nearly enough time (and even less patience). Mix 1 part of this with 2 parts of loathing the forthcoming work week and we have conditions in play for a perfect storm.

Enter Tuesday’s With Dorie.

What do you mean you’re not going to do TWD this week? Oh really? I don’t care if they relaxed the participation requirements. Don’t you care about the blog, our readers, our online image? Oh well if you want me to write more posts then I will, but that is a completely separate subject. This sounds absolutely delicious. I don’t care if it’s “3 pages long” it can’t possibly be that complicated.

(finishes beer and spitefully throws it into recycling bin - at least I’m an eco-conscious asshole)

Well you wanna know something? If it’s in this “simple baking book” there is no reason I can’t make it to perfection. In fact, I’d venture to say it would be THE BEST TWD post this week if I make it. Besides, you know, men are highly underrepresented in the TWD group. Most of the greatest bakers of ALL TIME are men. I’ve been meaning to do something about this for a long time. Quotes Joepastry “if a man feels like whipping up a nice almond cocoa genoise or a few madeleines, well…he should be able to.” FINE! You go to the grocery store alone, I am going to stay home and work on this, because unlike you, I CARE ABOUT THE BLOOOOOGGGGG!!!!

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Think about the best orange chicken you have ever had from a Chinese restaurant. Okay? This orange glazed chicken is ten times better than that. I promise you.

It is lighter, fresher, and sweeter in a less artificial way. I found this recipe via Nick at Macheesmo. I believe he based it on an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, which explains why this is unbelievably delicious.

Nick used chicken breasts for this, but I used bone in chicken thighs, and I served it with some Chinese stir fry cabbage. We all loved this dish and it has definitely earned a spot in the dinner rotation. You should make it. Soon.

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Jambalaya is not something that I would normally choose to make on my own. I generally don’t like food that is overly spicy and I definitely associate hot and spicy with creole food.

However, this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham was absolutely delicious. I honestly don’t know how close to an authentic jambalaya it truly is, but we both really enjoyed it and I will be making it again for sure.

This jambalaya was pretty simple to make. There is minimal chopping, just some onions, garlic, and red & green peppers. The spice blend of paprika (I used smoked because that’s all I had), oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper give a lot of flavor, with a bay leaf or 2 added in for good measure. I doubled all the spices except the cayenne pepper since I read some Food Network reviews that said this was a little bland. This worked out well because the flavor was great and the amount of spice was perfect for me. (I could still taste the food but my nose was running a bit while eating it)

Instead of ham I used 2 chicken sausages that I had in the freezer and I used a pound of fresh tiger shrimp. To cook the sausage I poached it until fully cooked, rested it for about 10 minutes, then sliced it and put the slices under the broiler until they were brown and crispy. All that meat and seafood added a lot of chunky heartiness to the bowl. I also used fire roasted crushed tomatoes instead of diced because I like a smoother tomato texture in things like this.

My bowl was chock full of tasty sausage, shrimp, veggies, and perfectly cooked rice (one of my favorite foods). I love a healthy meal that is hearty like this. It is great to eat something that is good for you and be so satisfied afterwards. This was even great as lunch leftovers a few days later.

This yummy jambalaya was picked by Anonymous New York. Check out her blog and the other Craving Ellie ladies to see what they thought of this.

You can find Ellie Krieger’s recipe here or on page 236 of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.
Image from Amazon

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