Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stick It

So in honor of finals week, I'm doing a post on one of the most classic comfort foods of all time: the mozzarella stick.

There really are few things that compare to the crispy, gooey glory that is a deep-fried ball of cheese covered in Italian breadcrumbs and then dunked in marinara sauce. Jesus, I have a food boner just thinking about it.

In other news, you should totally follow @hipstermermaid on Twitter
because he frequently says hilarious stuff like this.
Now it's pretty hard to mess up a mozzarella stick. Even the most miserable of restaurants can get it right.

Actually, I take that back. Sophomore year of high school I went on an ill-fated date with a kid a couple years older than me from our high school. I had just become a vegetarian, so this moron takes me to Buffalo Wild Wings. Not only did I have to suffer through the most pathetic excuse for a salad I had ever encountered (not to mention this kid's company), the mozzarella sticks we ordered as an appetizer came frozen in the middle. Worst. Date. Ever. And in all my 22 years of living, the only time I've ever seen mozzarella sticks get messed up.

But I digress.

Although your life currently revolves around frantically cramming an entire semester's worth of knowledge into your heads and chugging Red Bull like it's water, you may actually get hungry when you come down from that addy binge.

And as I learned the hard way yesterday, delivery food is absurdly slow during finals week. Case in point: my friend and I ordered sushi from a restaurant literally 3 blocks away and it took two hours to get to us. TWO HOURS. And I know you're thinking, "You lazy pieces of shit why didn't you just walk?" To answer that very valid question, I submit the excuse that it was cold and rainy.

So getting to the point: make your own mozzarella sticks tonight. It takes literally 10 minutes max, and you have instant comfort food to distract you from the misery that is final exams. The only semi-tricky part is that the cheese sticks have to be frozen all the way through or they'll just melt into mush when you pan fry them. But they're so small it hardly takes more than a couple hours.

Anyway, as the bible says, man shall not live on Easy Mac alone but on delicious homemade comfort food.

 Ingredients (as an appetizer, for 3):

5 part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks, frozen solid
1/2 c. Italian flavored breadcrumbs (or if you only have plain, add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning and a couple grinds of black pepper)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. vegetable oil
Marinara sauce for dipping

1. Cut the mozzarella sticks into bite size chunks

2. Dunk the mozzarella chunks first into the egg wash, then roll them in the bread crumbs, making sure the entire surface is evenly covered.

3. In a small sauteé pan, heat about half the oil over medium heat. You don't want the oil or the pan to be too hot or the breadcrumbs will just burn.

4. Working in batches, fry the mozzarella bites for just about 30-45 seconds on each side, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel before serving.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rice, rice baby

God. Wasn't it just Monday like, 45 seconds ago? I swear, I was just here. Why am I here again? Monday is the worst. Ugh. Monday.

Time to eat my feelings.

I've been having a terrible craving for fried rice. The sort of greasy kind with cubed carrots and huge chunks of chicken that's so salty you can barely gulp down your Diet Coke fast enough that is so bad for you and yet so. damn. tasty.

Of course I can't digest that and also I'm poor so I decided to make my own. Also I had a lot of random stuff in my fridge/freezer/pantry I needed to use up. That's the great thing about fried rice, you can put almost anything in there.

I did the basic carrots, peas, onions, chicken and some egg but then also a handful of shrimp since I didn't have that much chicken left. Also, I used brown rice which was still good but tasted a tiny bit too healthy so if you have white rice, I encourage you to use that if you want a more authentic flavor. But be warned, white rice turns to sugar the second you digest it and is a lot less nutritious. Definitely yummier.

Also, sorry the pictures for this are shitty. I was using my iPhone because I was a genius and left my SD card for my nice camera in a computer at the journalism school. Don't remind me of how great my handle on life is.

This recipe is easy as pie but I highly recommend you have the rice cooked beforehand if you're using brown rice since it takes about 45 minutes. Also, this freezes extremely well so you can have dinner for plenty of nights. Also it soothes the Monday blues. With some frozen chicken potstickers from Trader Joe's, this is like the perfect faux-Asian comfort meal and you don't even have to feel guilty about going out and spending money you don't have because you wasted a ridiculous amount at the bar since it was homecoming weekend and you felt compelled to buy your alumni friends drinks. Or maybe that's just me. In any case, frugal is the name of the game until further notice.


1 tbs. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. chicken meat
1/3 c. soy sauce (or to taste)
2 large carrots, diced
3/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
6 c. cooked rice (white or brown)
2 eggs
Handful of shrimp
Green onions (for garnish, if desired)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onion and garlic and sautee until chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes, then add shrimp until they are no longer translucent and are light pink.

2. Stir in veggies and stir fry for another 5-6 minutes, then add rice and stir thoroughly.

3. While the rice is busy frying, lightly grease a small pan. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and quickly scramble in the pan. Use a knife or a hard spatula to slice the eggs into little pieces and mix into the rice.

4. Add the soy sauce to the large pan, stir well and serve immediately, piping hot. Add some chopped up green onions for garnish if you want.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kale Me Maybe

I'll be the first one to come right out and say I really don't like kale all that much. I think it ruins perfectly good salads by showing up and being totally tough and unlovable, sort of like Bill Rawls on The Wire. Plus it sort of tastes like dirt (which I haven't eaten since my early childhood but couldn't have changed that much, flavor-wise).

This is why I was surprised when I found myself buying a huge bunch of the stuff at the supermarket last week. The produce at Giant is typically wretched but the kale looked...kind of sexy actually. It was dark green and frilly and just said, "Hey. Eat me."

So I did.

But first I sauteed it with onion and garlic and some spicy sausage because there's such a thing as too healthy, and kale is it.

So ultimately I ended up with this delicious pasta creation which I made for the dinner where I reunited with my old friend and the most beautiful dancer at Maryland whose name is Katie and happens to be single, boys.

It's easy and quick and totally delicious and also very much open to interpretation. Feel free to add more kale or cut out the chickpeas or deglaze the pan with chicken stock instead of white wine. It doesn't reheat especially well though so just make as much as you'll eat in one night. As someone who doesn't know what a serving of pasta looks like (and doesn't want to know either), I leave that serving size up to you.

Fettuccine with sausage and kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb hot turkey or pork sausage, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
1/2 lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 lb dried egg fettuccine
2 cloves garlic
Half a medium onion, chopped
1 can of chickpeas
¼ c. white wine
Crushed reds to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving
1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano (or parmesean) (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving

1. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, garlic and onion, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

3. With five minutes to go until the pasta is cooked, add kale and chickpeas to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet

4. Add pasta and stir in cheese. Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You put the lime in the coconut

So I spent all yesterday and a good portion of today thinking about what I wanted to post tonight. I thought about homemade fried rice (coming soon to a blog near you) or these bizarrely awesome vegan banana bites (the key is lots of dark chocolate). But in the end I settled on this recipe I happened upon in the dusty depths of my computer for coconut lime chicken. It sounded easy and pretty tasty and I thought it might photograph well.

Not to brag, but I outdid myself a little bit. This shit makes PF Chang's look like PF Chumps. Actually I don't really like that place to begin with, but I can't begin to tell you how delicious this chicken is.

Made correctly, and it's nearly impossible to screw up, it's these crispy golden brown tenderloins smothered in a spicy curry sauce with just a hint of sweetness and a lot of lime juice.

It's kind of like a high-class Thai prostitute of a dish. Because it's hot and easy.

It was also the perfect dinner for tonight for a few reasons.

The first is that it's spicy, and it cleared my beshitted sinuses up in a minute.

The second is that it tastes like tropical comfort food, and I had a sort of ass day.

And I don't really have a third but as I was walking into the store this woman was in labor in one of the lanes of cars. Poor kid, imagine taking your first breaths in the parking lot of a Prince George's county Giant supermarket. Certainly a cut above Shoppers, but still. Not exactly a great start.

The great thing about this is that you can double or triple it for a crowd and it will be just as easy. Also, if you don't have cumin (and I don't really expect many of you to) you can just add a little more curry powder. The flavor won't be quite as nuanced but it'll still be good. Serve this with some brown rice and snow peas.

Lime-Coconut Chicken
Serves two

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/3 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. curry powder
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red peppers (or to taste, depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 c. parsley, roughly chopped
Lime wedges for serving.

1. Trim the fat from the breasts or tenderloins and pat dry.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients but the oil and parsley and whisk well to combine.

3. Marinate the chicken, covered, for up to two hours in the fridge.

4. Pour the marinade into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. Boil for two minutes.

5. While the marinade is boiling, heat the oil in a saucepan. Place the chicken in the pan (don't overcrowd it) and cook, without turning, for several minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until both sides are golden brown.

6. Drain the chicken briefly on a paper towel and serve sprinkled with the parsley and the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello again to all my friends

So you should probably yell at me.

Go on.

I can take it.

I've been basically the world's worst blogger. Like ever. Of all time. I suck, a little bit, at this blogging thing.

And I don't even have that great of an excuse besides school and working at the lovely and perfect and wonderful Make It Better magazine this summer. I just got lazy. And I deserve to be yelled at for that. Laziness is unacceptable.

So to make up for that, I promise to be a far more faithful blogger and I now bestow upon you a recipe for homemade pumpkin spice lattes.

I had my first one of the season today and I promised myself I wouldn't Instagram or tweet it but I didn't say shit about blogging. Therefore, I will now share my most precious secret with you. This recipe will blow your mind not only with its ease but also because it tastes exactly the same as the Starbucks version. But it's way cheaper. And you can control the pumpkinness and cinnamon quotients and also you can pile on the whipped cream because sometimes they're chintzy and it's a Monday and you NEED a lot of whipped cream on your flavored latte when it's a Monday.

Or really any other day of the week for that matter. It's whipped cream. It's the shit.

You can also make extra of this and keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge for a day or two and heat it up as needed. Any longer than two days and it might start tasting funky.

Anyway, please accept this recipe as my formal apology for being such a bad blogger. I promise to do better in future. I've been collecting a lot of great recipes that are almost ready to go up on here so if you haven't given up on me yet, don't. And thanks. You guys are the best.

Also: note the Alicante mug, damn I miss that place.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Serves two (or one extremely large mug, which is preferable)

2 c. of milk
1/2-3/4 c. strong brewed coffee
2 tbs. canned pumpkin
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/4 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. nutmeg plus a little more for garnish
Whipped cream to taste

1. Combine all ingredients except the whipped cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Whisk well, until the pumpkin is incorporated throughout and the mixture is frothy.

3. Pour into a mug (or two) and garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guess who's back?

So my fine lovely ladies and gents I took a rather long break from blogging while I was home after Spain to recharge my batteries and do absolutely nothing but watch Real Housewives of Miami and snuggle with my cats. I also chipped my front tooth but that's another story. Yes, I know you're jealous of my extremely awesome break.

In any case, now that the semester is about to kick off, the kitch is back to supply you with some supremely excellent fare for the coming months.

I don't usually apologize for things because I don't like doing it but I'm very sorry if I disappointed you by not making public my short break from BiteMe. It definitely doesn't mean I love you any less. I hope you didn't cheat on me with another  (obviously inferior) food blog during my time away.

Now without further ado, let's make some hummus bitches.

Yes, you read that right: hummus. Stop buying those tubs of overpriced slop in the grocery store because it takes about 10 minutes to make your own and it is unbelievably delicious. Also much healthier because it doesn't involve preservatives or weird hydrogenated oils.

If you don't have a food processor (and I highly suggest you buy one) you can mash all the ingredients by hand with a potato masher or a billy club. If you have a food processor you can just throw everything but the parsley in there and be done with it.

I like tempering the health-factor of the hummus with stacks of warm pita bread (Kronos brand is my personal favorite due to its fluffiness) but if you're absolutely no fun at all or happen to be gluten free, you can obviously use any sort of veggie as a dipping apparatus. Or you know, your finger. Or a spoon. I may or may not be guilty of doing both.


1 15-oz can of chickpeas, liquid reserved
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of 2 medium lemons
3/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste found in most grocery stores)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. finely minced fresh parsley

1. Combine all the ingredients except parsley in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth but not runny. If you prefer your hummus a little thinner, add the reserved chickpea liquid a bit at a time. Feel free to adjust the flavors to your own personal liking (I like my hummus spicier but some people don't).

2. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fresh parsley.