August 13, 2012

Fresh Cherry Tomato Salsa

This year I've grown an abundance of cherry tomatoes, especially yellow ones, along with jalapenos and cilantro. I whipped up some amazing fresh salsa the other day using all of these plus some green onion and spices and served it with black bean tacos topped with sour cream. I could eat this every day!


  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped finely
  • 1-2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (yellow and/or red), diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

Chop and mix everything together. Use the spices to taste and squeeze a bit of lime juice into it if you like. Great with tacos, chips, quesadillas, eggs, etc.

June 15, 2012

So I'm a Line Cook

Working in the food industry is apparently a thing I'm now doing. I've read about it, watched various movies about it, thought about it. Being someone who really appreciates a good, thoughtful, creative meal, I'm surprised at how little I've considered the people who make that food. I mean, I might have considered the chef who designed the dish and what they intended but never really gave the line cooks a second thought. And now I am one.

I'm admittedly a little shell-shocked. After just 2 days of training I'm already wondering if this is really for me. It sure is a lot of work for minimum wage. I've always thought that I was a fairly decent cook but at home I only have to live up to my own standards, and if it sucks we order take-out. Now I'm working to professional standards, making some things that I would not prepare for myself, and I'm being closely watched while I do it. I'm terrible with a knife. I was already the first person in the kitchen to slice myself (not badly, but enough to need the first aid kit.) I have some good ideas for the development of the menu, but the execution of the dishes is not always easy for me. This further solidifies the theory that I'm a designer by nature and not really an artist.

But I've been given a chance to learn a lot, about myself, about cooking/food and about running a business. I feel privileged to be a founding member of this brewpub because I have the opportunity to help shape it into what it will become known for (besides the beer, of course.) The more that I think about it I realize just how huge that is. So many people, in this town and outside of it, have been waiting a long time for the opening of this restaurant and might be expecting something spectacular. I hope we don't let them down. I really want to see this place become our town's craft beer mecca and I'm psyched to be a part of it. 

I just have to keep reminding myself of all of this when I start to get down about working my ass off for minimum wage. I'm re-reading Kitchen Confidential for some inspiration and commiseration. Bourdain knows how to cheer me up.

April 29, 2012

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

For whatever reason vegetarian sloppy joes sounded like a good idea today. I searched the internet for a recipe and there are probably thousands of them. I ended up trying this one (from Lazarocooks) and it was pretty good.
If I had to change anything I'd reduce the amount of tomato sauce and maybe add some lentils or some other beans. Since it was a little too saucy I added about 2 or 3 tablespoons of instant mashed potato flakes to thicken it up a bit. So here's what I ended up with:


8 oz. package tempeh, finely cubed/crumbled (I used this kind)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Sriracha
2-3 tbsp. potato flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a pan or wok on medium heat. Add onion and saute until transparent.
Add tempeh and red pepper and saute until browned a bit. 
Stir in chili powder, sriracha and garlic powder and saute a little longer.
Add in worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and tomato sauce.
Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. If it's still too saucy, stir in the potato flakes until thickened to your liking. 
Serve on kaiser buns. Makes at least 4 sandwiches.

March 15, 2012

Colcannon - Day 15

Tonight I tried out this vegan colcannon recipe to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Except I un-vegan-ed it a bit. I used parmesan cheese and regular milk since I did not have the dairy-free varieties of them. If you love potatoes and kale, check out that link for the recipe since I followed it exactly. It was delicious!

March 14, 2012

Roasted Gobi Aloo - Day 14

Day 14 and we're not really missing the meat at all. We are also spending a lot less (veggies are often cheaper than meat and we're not eating out as much). Here's tonight's meatless meal inspired by this, but simplified by using a prepackaged sauce.


  • 4 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • half a head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 pouch of simmer sauce (like Tasty Bite, we used Good Korma)
  • sriracha
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 450
Toss potatoes and cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Spread out into a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Pour sauce into a big pan or wok and heat on low
When veggies are done, scrape them into the pan and add chick peas. Stir to coat evenly.
Add sriracha to your desired heat level. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.
Simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve over rice.