Thursday, August 26, 2010

NY Times Tuna Ceviche with Yellow Wax Beans


for the ceviche (serves four, altered very slightly from here)

1 pound very fresh raw albacore or yellowfin, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 shallot or small red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 to 2 serrano or jalapeƱo chiles, spicy as you like it, seeded and minced
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed, drained, and minced
1 ripe medium avocado, cut in small dice
1 small ripe mango, cut in small dice
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
blue corn chips, to serve

1) Prepare the tuna and put it back in the fridge.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, chile, capers, avocado, mango, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Toss together gently. Add the tuna to the bowl.
3) Stir together the remaining lime juice and the olive oil. Pour over the tuna, and toss the mixture together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4) Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes, stirring gently from time to time.
5) Just before serving, add the cilantro and toss together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
6) Serve with blue corn chips, because they're crunchy and delicious.

for the wax beans (this recipe's mine!)

1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed as you like them
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping cup of chopped fresh tomatoes (I used mini Romas from my garden, but any will work)
2 tbsp leche de coco
4 scallions, minced fine, white and green parts divided
salt and fresh black pepper

1) Heat your oil in a skillet.
2) Add yellow wax beans, white parts of the scallion, tomatoes and some salt.
3) Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes (the beans should be crisp-tender, and the tomatoes should be forming a glaze). If your pan gets too dry, add a little white wine or chicken stock.
4) Add the leche de coco. (I have some just sitting in my freezer, and it is super useful. Importantly, we're not using coconut milk here--no, no. We're using that sugary stuff people make pina coladas out of, but this is way better.)
5) Salt and pepper to taste. All the acidity in the tomatoes should be tempered and heightened by the leche de coco, but if you want to adjust the amount of that too and make it sweeter, go right ahead.
6) Sprinkle with green parts of the scallions.
7) Eat it up. This is so simple and delicious, I can't even tell you.

for the beer

22 oz. of Pelican Brewery's India Pelican Ale

1) Open Pelican IPA. Serve with this food.


We went back to the Pacific Northwest on a very rushed but awesome-packed trip and spent two nights camping near Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. And one of the rugged, majestic, wild, magnificent natural beauties of the Oregon Coast is its frickken awesome beer.

Sometimes it's worth it in life to take a detour. Gabe and I and Cousin Brad took one to Pacific City, in the opposite direction we were meant to be driving, to drink some beer. Now, this might have been construed as rather unforgivable on our part, but we're Red Commies deep down and picked up extra to take back to the campsite with us. It's impressive how fast people are willing to forgive you when you're handing them beer.

You're going to notice the fabulous frothy head on this brew right off the bat. Sniff it. Go on, put your nose right in there. It's like putting your head in a pine tree while smoking a marijuana cigarette. Citrus hops are present, also floral hops--basically, if you can think of a hop profile, you'll find it. Malts for this one are the silent partner, a quiet backbone leaning towards caramel. Essentially, if you are like me, and you like the idea of drinking a beer that tastes like pine resin and grapefruit juice shaken and poured from a jar, then buy a 22 of this beer INSTANTLY. Pair it with a strong, aggressive seafood, like this ceviche. Then cry when you've eaten it all up.


I used to work at TGI Friday's.

According to Wikipedia, "Friday's has a large menu with an emphasis on alcoholic beverages."

That's true.

Everything in Office Space is also true.

Anyway, anyone who ever worked for Friday's, and we walk among you, has a Best Friday's Story. I worked there for a long-ass time, so mine are epic. They generally involved pranks, pranks played on both people we liked and people we didn't like one bit, pranks perpetrated and conceived by myself, Gabe, and Luis Nunez, pranks which included but were not limited to:

1) Meticulously put clear plastic over the tops of martini glasses and then trim the edges with a razor so the plastic is invisible. Hang martini glass with the others. Wait.

(delight and surprise index rating: 6)

2) Tell your trainee that he needs to "empty out the old hot water" at the beverage station, and see how many pitchers he fills.

(delight and surprise index rating: 3)

3) Take a clean towel, get it damp, flour it thoroughly. Fry the towel. Make sure the towel is nicely browned. Put it on ciabatta bread with mayo and lettuce and tomato and such, and garnish with fries. Give someone you don't like a "free fried chicken sandwich." Wait.

(delight and surprise index rating: 8)

4) Tie all the beer bottles in the beer fridge together with clear fishing line. Wait.

(delight and surprise index rating: 6)

5) Take all the salad and all the shelves out of the little salad fridge. Put on a coat. Hide in the salad fridge (pick the smallest person--that happened to be me, in our case). Send your manager to make you an emergency salad. Come at him like a crazed spider monkey when he opens the door. Watch him land in the dish station.

(delight and surprise index rating: 9)


I went to meet up with my friend Melinda the other day, and by the time I got there, she had made new friends. We ended up all going for dessert. These new friends happened to be very cool restaurant people who will remain anonymous because this story is made of awesome with awesome killer fire sauce on top.


One of the gents, long ago, worked at Friday's. He came in to work one morning at around eleven to see the head line cook--big African American gent, very reliably steady and together--throwing up violently in the corner. The general manager, far from looking pissed because the guy was hung over, looked deeply concerned and was trying to comfort him. The cook, meanwhile, was inconsolable, even after his stomach was empty of breakfast.

Here's why.

It seems that he had opened a bag of flour and a rat had stowed away there. It was probably a young and small rat, not very noticeable, and the flour bag had been packaged by machine, and when the rat got hungry, it ate some flour and then took a nap. Problem solved. In any case, the cook had a rat jump out at him when he tore the top open, which would have ruined anyone's morning already.

But the rat freaked out and leaped and ran across the grill.


The rat didn't like the grill. So the rat leaped again.

Into the fryer.

Rats, apparently, have a great deal of moisture in their bodies. So in the hot fry oil, it...'ploded, as it were. Inside-out fried crispy rat within seconds.

And a sad, sad cook for the rest of the day.

LYNDSAY: So did you guys change the fry oil?
MAN WHO WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS: I honestly don't know.

Best. Friday's Story. EVER.

1 comment:

Susan said... guys...change...the fry oil?

Does anyone...ever..change the fry oil?