Thursday, December 19, 2013

the joy of sex cooking.

this guy i'm dating has never made breakfast for me in the mornings. i think he just expects me to leave when i wake up. is that a bad sign or is morning breakfast just a cliché?

BREAKFAST IS A GODDAMNED TRAP. may 2012, morning: i woke up in the bed of my newest paramour, cotton-mouthed and irritable, forced to shield my eyes against the blinding sunlight streaming through the uncurtained (fuck it, that's a new word now) window. outside birds chirped, bees hummed, dew glistened, small woodland creatures tapped at the window pane, anxious to come in and set about their day making the bed and tidying up. homeboy wasn't next to me, and i briefly wondered if maybe he was dead before dismissing thoughts of him entirely to luxuriate in the 3,271 threadcount sheets on his massive california king. just as i was settling back in for another nine hours of sleep he burst into the bedroom and purred, "come downstairs when you're ready. i made you breakfast." HOLY FUCKING FUCK. that's some next level shit right there, bro. 1 the fact that this motherfucker even had a downstairs and 2 there's some freshly-prepared breakfast in it!? JACKPOT. this dude just won the mister samantha irby pageant, uncontested. i grabbed the fresh towels he'd laid out (yes) and the new bars of soap he'd left on top of them (hells yes) and went to take a shower in the spotless bathroom he'd obviously cleaned while i was sound asleep in the next room (hells motherfucking yes, also SEX IS EXHAUSTING). when i finlly went downstairs before me was laid a sumptuous spread of blueberry pancakes not from a mix, bacon, freshly-grated hash browns, scrambled eggs, and fancy juice from a goddamned juicer. i was like, this dude totally loves me. i ate that meal radiating the glow of burgeoning love. homeboy dumped me a couple weeks later in a text message a few hours after i banged him. like, his semen hadn't even absorbed into my body yet. (ugh, where does that shit go!? scientists, help!)


easy, basic frittata for easy, basic bitches.

4 eggs
1/4 cup liquid (milk, tomato juice, broth; WORK WITH WHAT YOU GOT, HOOKER)
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves or herbs of your choice (if this is the kind of dude who stocks "herbs" you can't smoke)
salt and pepper
cup filling (see below)
tsp butter or vegetable oil
filling: okay, so you can use the datenight leftovers or whatever non-moldy shit homeskillet has sitting in his refrigerator or whatever. be resourceful, b. you can use any delicious-sounding combination of meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, vegetables, and cooked pasta/grains.
IMPORTANT: adjust the filling, liquid, seasonings, and pan size proportionally to the number of eggs used. eg, for 2 eggs, use a 6-inch pan; for 6 eggs, an 8-inch pan; for 8 eggs, an 8 to 10-inch pan. filling ingredients should be cooked, not raw. pieces should be cut fairly small and drained well. god, i hope dude has frying pans and shit. ugh just do what you can.

1 beat eggs, liquid, herb and salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended. ADD filling; mix well.
2 heat the butter or oil in a 6- to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat until melted. slowly pour in the egg mixture and cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8 to 10 minutes.
3 remove from heat. so the original recipe says to cover and let stand until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 5 to 10 minutes. but i will die if my tongue touches any soft-ass eggs for real, so i leave the pan uncovered and stick it in a warm oven for a few minutes to firm up. if you know what you're doing (and dude's oven doesn't look grimy and fucked up) you can stick it under the broiler for a second? cut into wedges and eat in his bathroom while you wait for your plan B to work.

do men consider things like cooking ability when deciding to marry? i’m not precisely traditional, but i’m a hell of a cook, and i’d like my guy to see me as wife material. i know i can’t make him want to marry me, but is exposure to my great food (not to be conceited) valuable information in the decision making process?

marriage is a business deal. if being almost-34 has taught me anything, it's that relationships start off being about how you like to watch all the same shit on tv and rapidly devolve into a series of contract negotiations and risky investments. i feel like women are the first to forget that, that you and this dude are forming a mini corporation and shit, that's it not totally about whether or not you microwave hotdogs for dinner every night. at least it shouldn't be, if you're going to get married for real and file taxes and own property or whatever. i am at the age where passersby on the goddamned street are like, "DAMN HO, ARE YOU GOING TO EVER SETTLE DOWN!?" and my response is always, "well gentleman on the bus, i have yet to meet anyone i wouldn't feel nervous giving my ATM pin number to." and that would just give a motherfucker access to a couple thousand dollars, at most. let alone meeting anyone whose debt i'd feel comfortable taking on as my own.

i did an interview recently in which the (MALE, OF COURSE) interviewer asked me what my most attractive quality to a potential lifemate would be. and i said, straight up, "i don't have any fucking debt." and then he sort of laid into me about that answer being the death of romance or whatever. and maybe it is? but i know that in real life the fact that i don't have any student loans makes me way more appealing as someone whose taxes you might want to file jointly with yours than "cooks good." because for sure, who doesn't want to fuck someone who can roll out of bed and hook up some falafels and shit? but you can't just go into business with every bitch with a mean grilled cheese game. oh, who am i kidding. MEN LOVE CAKE AND WILL TOTALLY MARRY YOU IF YOU CAN MAKE ONE.

moist devil's food cake
(adapted from the homie martha stewart)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
3/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

chocolate frosting (make this ahead of time):
24 ounces nestle semisweet chocolate morsels
4 cups whipping cream
1 tsp light corn syrup

okay boo, this is really easy. place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. remove pan from heat. stir in the corn syrup then transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. use immediately.

1 preheat oven to 350 degrees. arrange two racks in center of oven. butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment. dust bottoms and sides of pans with cocoa powder; tap out any excess. sift cocoa into a medium bowl, and whisk in boiling water. set aside to cool.
2 in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. (i assume you have these things, with all this banging ass food you be making) gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. beat in vanilla. drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides twice.
3 in a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. with mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture. this shit seems tedious, but i do it. martha knows best.
4 divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. bake until a cake tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans for even baking. transfer layers to wire racks; let cool, 15 minutes. turn out cakes, and return to racks, tops up, until completely cool.
5 remove parchment from bottoms of cakes. reserve the prettiest layer for the top. place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting over the top. add the second cake layer, and spread with another 1 1/2 cups frosting. top with third cake layer. cover outside of cake with the remaining 3 cups frosting. eat while listening to your future wedding bells clanging in the distance.

*pet peeve, sidenote, whatever: store it covered on the counter, under a glass dome or in plastic wrap so the shit doesn't dry out. this will keep well for a few days. refrigerated cake is the grossest.

my boyfriend can cook and i can’t. this just feels wrong. i mean, i love eating, i just couldn’t make a decent meal to save my life. is this a horrible girlfriend quality? how do i make up for this?

what on earth does "i can't cook" mean? because for real, if you can read you can fucking cook. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS. so let's make something so easy a monkey could do it. people who say that can't cook shouldn't cook meat or any real sort of meal their first time trying to make some shit for another human you want to love you afterward, so how about a nice hot dip? ps, suck his dick more. GIRLFRIEND OF THE YEAR.

warm goat cheese dip with artichokes and roasted tomatoes
(adapted from sugar and grace) 

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
10 oz goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)

1 preheat oven to 400. spread halved tomatoes on the bottom of a glass baking dish, and drizzle with the olive oil. sprinkle with 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper, and toss with your hands until the oil is distributed. place in hot oven and roast until tomatoes are blistered and bubbling and slightly brown along the edges. remove from oven and, while hot, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. mix with a spoon, and set aside to cool.
2 in a food processor put the cheeses, the drained artichoke hearts, and the rest of the salt and pepper. (or mix by hand if you don't have a food processor, because what kind of non-cooking bitch has a motherfucking mini prep!?) blend for a few seconds until the mixture is mostly smooth and has taken on a whipped appearance. a few chunks here and there is okay. spoon the cheese mixture into an oven-safe bowl.
3 when tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove them to a large cutting board and coarsely chop. spread a layer of the tomatoes over the cheese mixture, and top with freshly grated parmesan. return the bowl to the oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly. serve with flatbread, toasted baguette, fancy crackers, whatever you got. or just eat it out of the pan. no need to be fancy.

what do you think is the homemade food weakness for men?

intricate, labor-intensive recipes are wasted on most dudes, as many of them have the refined palette of your average four-year old. couple that with a general disinterest in listening to you describe how you spent an entire afternoon perfecting the water bath you made for the cheesecake he wolfed down in two bites without tasting it, and you will find yourself sobbing over the remnants of the most beautifully-risen soufflé ever produced outside of the French laundry's test kitchen as your manfriend farts on the couch with a bag of chips because even though he demolished your hard work his ass is somehow still fucking hungry.

FUCK ALL DAT. okay so yes, there are actual dudes who will appreciate that you painted delicate layers of phyllo dough with clarified butter after shelling and grinding pistachios to make homemade baklava. there are nice men who frequent nice restaurants who understand how much work it was for you to break down that rack of lamb, and there are men who would be perfectly satisfied to eat shake and bake every single night until they die in their recliners, bathed in the blue light of the television. aka 99.9% of them. don't waste your time.

frito pie, for motherfuckers who don't appreciate nice shit.

1 large bag of fritos original corn chips
1 15 oz can of chili with beef (with or without beans), heated
1 8 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
NECESSARY: chopped onion, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeños, and/or sour cream

1 in an oven-safe serving dish, pour in the fritos and spread evenly. stop eating the crumbs for a minute, piggy.

2 heat chili and pour evenly over corn chips. add additional ingredients like onion, tomato, lettuce, and jalapeño as desired. (the original recipe says these things are optional. i wholly disagree, because vitamins).
3 sprinkle cheese all over and place in a preheated 350 degree oven until the cheese is a little melted. serve immediately, with a giant dollop of sour cream on top.

don't front. i likes me a linen napkin just as much as the next guy, but I WOULD EAT THE SHIT OUT OF THIS.

help! i want to thank this awesome guy by cooking him his favorite meal: steak. i’m a chicken/fish kinda gal and know nothing about beef. what is a good cut of meat that is hard to screw up? rare, medium-rare, medium? how do i know?

i bristle at this whole "i'm a girl! i don't know anything about meats!" business. it's so gross and counterproductive. okay, so a steak is basically any piece of meat that falls under the category of "fast-cooking" cuts, and the difference between a steak and a roast essentially comes down to size. because size matters, ahem. the ribeye is one of the easiest cuts to pan sear, especially since it's so fatty that on the grill you run the risk of the shit exploding into a fireball in your gorgeous face. you need some fat on it, because the fat is where that super rich beef flavor comes from. so when you're at the butcher remember that the more marbling there is, the better.

(adapted from the pioneer woman)

2 pieces (about 8 oz each) ribeye steak, FROM A BUTCHER (come on, now)
1 tbsp lawry's seasoning salt
3 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

1 mix the seasonings all together in a small bowl to create a rub and massage into your steaks. really work that shit in there.
2 bring a skillet to a medium heat and add olive oil and butter. get them nice and hot until the butter is beginning to brown. with tongs, set the steak right onto the sizzling butter/oil mixture.
3 cook for about 2 minutes on the first side and then flip and turn the heat down to a medium-low to finish off the cooking. cooking it for about 2 1/2 minutes on the second side will result in a medium-rare piece of meat. alter your cooking time a little to achieve a steak that is less pink in the center. let steak rest for a couple minutes before picking it up with your bare hands and gnawing at it with your teeth, blood and gristle splattering your bare chest and dripping from your chin. like a man.

my boyfriend loves to cook, but his food tastes terrible. should i tell him?

gentlemen, A SUREFIRE WAY TO GET THE PANTIES: cook your loverperson a meal that doesn't make her vomit. i'm not even playing. if your woman sees you preparing a meal with groceries she didn't have to buy using a recipe she didn't have to give you, she will fuck you with the lights on the minute you finish loading the dishwasher. if a dude cooks some shit for me and i don't die i'm on the phone that night or early the next morning like, "WOW O WOW JESSIE HE FRIED ME SOME CHICKENNNN." and jessie will already know that my call was made while standing awkwardly in dude's kitchen trying to find some postcoital snacks not wearing any pants, because if a man makes me chicken and has more than four books on his shelves then sex is being had, sister.

(adapted from my mama)

2-3 lbs frying chickens, hacked into manageable pieces
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp lawry's seasoned salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground (or to taste)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder, if you want
1/4 tsp onion powder, if you want
vegetable oil (for frying)

1 wash chicken pieces thoroughly and pat dry, then place them in a long, shallow glass baking dish.
2 pour the buttermilk over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for a least 4 hours, turning once or twice. in a clean plastic or brown paper bag combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and, if desired, the garlic and onion powders. helpful hint: DESIRE THAT SHIT.
3 drain the chicken and place two or three pieces in the bag and shake well to coat evenly. repeat until all chicken has been coated with seasoned flour mixture. 
4 in a large, heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. add chicken (in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about three minutes per side. place browned chicken on a warm platter until all pieces are cooked.
5 when all the chicken pieces are browned, crowd them into the skillet, turn heat to medium-low, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 35-40 minutes.
6 remove cover, turn heat to medium-high and cook six to eight minutes more or until skin is crispy.