Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Dave Chang's Burger Manifesto

Chef Dave Chang, he of Momofuku fame and the super interesting Lucky Peach site, wrote a hilarious article on his thoughts about burgers, aptly titled "My Burger Manifesto"

It is especially funny because I am right in the middle of a really muggy summer and I am chained to my computer table trying to grade papers for my masters level students and I just wanted to be entertained - and this little rant is just what I needed because really, I would love to rant and drop bombs and confess that I can say whatever I want and if I go against my own words, then so what? I would love to not have any time to write, but still write something hella-funny anyway and not care about the tone or how people take things or if I hurt someone's feelings. Anyway, did I say it was super muggy?

So read his manifesto and let it inspire you to be truthful too. 

Here's my truth. I really do not like meat, not because I am protesting the meat industry, the inhumane treatment of animals or the cancer-causing hormones injected in our meat supplies, although those are bad. I just don't like meat. The fat and oil that comes off meat makes me ill. I blame it on my lack of a gall bladder but it probably also stems from my not wanting to drink water and therefore storing all kinds of toxins or whatever. I feel better when I don't eat meat for most of my meals. I like doing dishes more when there is no grease.

My other truth: I like a good burger, but the best burgers exist in my mind and nowhere else. I like my husband's burgers because he gets a good quality meat, grills it to medium rare and doesn't fuss with other stuff. If I go out, the best burgers are McDonald's cheeseburgers. I order burgers if we are a a burger place but I still prefer a McDonalds cheeseburgers. It's small enough that I don't care that it's overcooked. It should be cooked well since I don't know what kind of meat they use. I only like American cheese on a McDonald's cheeseburger and I like the simplicity, a little bit of ketchup, a little bit of yellow mustard (so mild it's tasteless) and a little bit of salty, sour pickles. The bun is squishy and there is no lettuce that is steamed soggy. It's not fussy, it's consistent and it's nostalgic. 

You disagree? Good. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Chana Masala Version 3

Chana Masala attempt #1: spinach, no tomato, too much liquid

Chana Masala attempt #2: tomatoes, cumin seeds bloomed in oil

Attempt #3 can still be with dried garbanzo beans if you have the time to prepare, but I used canned. I also still want to use bloomed cumin seeds, but my spices went stale. 

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (again, I did not have it so I just added more cumin powder)
2 cups homemade garbanzo beans (or 2 cans, strained)
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, strained
3 tsp garam masala
6 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup water
salt to taste
Cilantro to taste
juice from 1 lemon
1 large bunch spinach

Water saute the onions until translucent. Add the spices. If using the cumin seeds, heat a bit of oil, let it crackle, then saute the onions and add spices. Add the rest of the ingredients except the spinach and cook down. Taste. Before serving, add spinach and let it melt a little.