Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Tag: recipe (page 1 of 1)


This Risotto Gonna Fuck You Up, Son

My risotto brings all the boys to the yard.

I don’t know what they do when they get there. I guess they probably beat me up and take my risotto. Which is a really sad and violent end to this whole affair, but that’s just how my risotto is. It’s that good. How can you not love food that invites tragedy?


It’s autumn, which for me is the Time of Risotto. I don’t know why. Risotto is comforting. I like to make a pillow out of it and just rest my head upon it, quietly napping in fifteen minute intervals, then waking up to take a few bites before I lay my head down upon the gummy ricey goodness once more. Sure, sometimes I’ll have sex with it. That’s okay. Nothing wrong with that. Don’t judge me.

You eat this risotto, you’ll understand.

The risotto we are going to make today is:



“Mushnut Squapple” is also the alias I use when checking into hotels. Because otherwise I’m mobbed by fans. Mobbed by them! They tear at my hair. They punch me. They make me eat dirt. Those are “fans,” right?


Moving on.

Your oven — aka, your Culinary Hell Chamber — well, turn that sumbitch on to 425F.

Onto a cookie sheet, you’re going to want to lay out: one cubed apple, one cubed butternut squash half, and two diced shallots. By “cubed,” I don’t mean “giant Rubik’s Cube chunks of food.” Don’t be an asshole. I mean little cubes. Dicey cubes. Cubes the size of a six-sided die or smaller.

Make sure those are shellacked with olive oil, salt, pepper, a little garlic, and the dreams of seven sleeping panda bears. (These are easy to procure if you have an Asian market nearby.)

Lay out on the cookie sheet. Punish them in the Hell Chamber.

Such punishment should take about 20 minutes. So they get soft and the teeniest-bit brown.

In the meantime, mushrooms.

No, we’re not fucking around with the risotto, yet. That needs your full attention. The risotto is like a needy child. You don’t watch the risotto, the risotto will turn on you. It’ll draw on the walls in crayon. Poop in the flower box. Kill and eat the cat.

The mushrooms I use for this are either maitake or shitake mushrooms. Maitake mushrooms are “hen-of-the-woods.” Shitake mushrooms are “shit-hats in the woods.” I think I have that right?

Ooh, couple quick random facts to interrupt the recipe:

First, there exists a mushroom called “chicken-of-the-woods,” which is different from “hen-of-the-woods.” Chicken-of-the-woods, when diced and cooked, actually looks like cooked chicken. And, even weirder, it tastes like cooked chicken if that chicken were spritzed with lemon. It is the trippiest thing.

Second, in this household we refer to piles of poop — like, say, ones left by the dog — as “Elmo Hats.” This will surely backfire as one day our toddler tries to place an Elmo Hat on top of Elmo’s head. But for now, we like the image it provides. We have a good time here. Even at the cost of poor Elmo’s reputation.

Back to the recipe.

Cut your mushrooms into strips. Then, into a hot pan with butter. (MMM BUTTER.) The mushrooms are greedy motherfuckers and will soak up all that butter so you’re free to add more if it all disappears. A little salt, a little pepper. Five minutes in, splash a quarter-cup of sherry in there. And, if you’re a fan of dairy, two tablespoons of heavy cream on top of that.

No, that’s not what I mean by “heavy cream.” Pants on, El Freak-o.

Another three to five minutes and your mushrooms should be soul-jizzingly delicious.

Now, you could stop here. You could take the roasted veggies, pair them with the mushrooms, and just… shove that stuff in your mouth. You would be happy. But we’re not aiming for “happy.” We’re aiming for “motherfucking ebullient, motherfucker.” AKA, “MEM.”

Hashtag: #mem

Getting to #mem means we need to level up this meal.

And that means it’s risotto time, you bastards.

Here is how I roll with risotto:

Fuck white wine. White wine isn’t where it’s at. White wine doesn’t have the teeth for it.

I use Irish Whisky.

Okay, not really.

I use dry white vermouth.

So, you want that out and ready to roll. You also want… mm, three cups of Your Favorite Stock (I like chicken, but your mileage may vary with turkey or veggie stock). And this stock should not be cold. It should be warmed up a little bit, like, say, in your microwave (aka your Nuclear Food Cube). You want all that out.

Now, rice selection, duh, it’s “arborio” rice.

Get a pot. Over medium-high heat. A pad of butter goes in. Melts. Foams up. Foams down. Time to add one cup of rice into the not-so-foamy — and, oh, unsalted — butter.

Stir. Get it buttery. You don’t want the rice browned, just slathered in butter.

Now, time to get that rice drunk, son.

One cup of vermouth into the mix. Sploosh.

Here is, of course, the trick to risotto: stirring like a crazy person for the next twenty minutes. Get a good long spoon — wooden if you have it — because you’re going to be hovering over your risotto like flies over garbage. … okay, that’s not a really attractive image, is it? What else hovers? IT HOVERS LIKE GOD JUDGING ALL OF US MEALY-MOUTHED SINNERS. Better, I guess.


Stirring the risotto is what makes it sticky and creamy (“Sticky N’ Creamy” was what they called me back in my boy band days). It releases, I dunno, atoms of starch or something. What am I, a scientist? Shut up. Imagine that it’s like one big marathon masturbation session — you just gotta go to down on this thing.

Mmkay? Mmkay.

So, vermouth into the pot. It’ll boil up. Reduce heat to med-low.

And, uhh, stir.

Don’t let it get stuck to the bottom of the pot.

You do that, you’ll ruin everything. And then your dinner guests will hate you. One of them will stab you with the broken stem of a wine glass. That someone will be me.

So, stir, stir, stir, until the wine is absorbed.

And then, from that point on, just keep adding stock a little at a time — just enough to cover the rice.

Then, stir, stir, blah blah blah, stir, until the stock is absorbed.

Like I said, this’ll take about three cups of stock. Ish.

Somewhere after the first cup and a half, I like to add another splash of vermouth. INTO MY MOUTH. And then also into the pot, fine, whatever, I CAN QUIT ANYTIME. Goddamn, you people. So judgey.

This will go on for about 20 minutes.

Toward that time, start tasting the risotto.

It should have a bit of a bite to it — you don’t want it so soft it’s gluey. But you also don’t want to be crunching down on a plate full of uncooked rice, delicious as that sounds.

Right at the end, mix in your roasted vegetables and mushrooms. Don’t add cheese. Don’t add cream or milk or anything. It’s creamy-as-is. Or, should be, unless you fucked it up like you fucked up all your relationships and career choices. (Don’t think I don’t know.)

Now: eat.

Bring a weapon, because you will have to defend yourselves from all the boys who will enter your yard to steal your yummy-ass risotto.

Put My Meat Sauce Inside Your Mouth

See, that post title is exactly why I shouldn’t be allowed to talk on the Internet.



What I mean to say is, it’s recipe time, you sons-a-bitches. Which further means, you’d better get under that Gallagher tarp, because it’s about to get sloppy all up in this muh-fuhuh.

It’s time to talk about meat sauce.

Which was, coincidentally, my nickname back in the Royal Air Force. “Oy, Meat Sauce!” a fellow pilot would call. “Get the dog’s bollocks with a fanny cracker, you chip-twiddler!” And we’d all laugh.

Whatever. That was then, this is now. And now is the time for meat sauce.

I make this from time to time and the recipe swerves drunkenly about like Lindsay Lohan in a Lexus, bringing in new ingredients and discarding others. But this is the most current iteration of my meat sauce.

And it requires a bit of multitasking. Not the kind where you juggle chainsaws with one hand and manually masturbate a sea lion with another — by the way, who let that sea lion in here? This is a kitchen and he smells like herring. Ugh. Whatever. What it will require of you is to: a) put something in the oven and b) put something on the stove all at the same time. Gasp! Crash of thunder! Tense violin music!

First, the oven.

Set your fire-box (insert Lindsay Lohan vagina joke here) to 425. That’s Fahrenheit, because that’s how we roll in America. Then, once it gets all roasty-toasty, it’s time to throw in the vegetables.

In a roasting pan, deposit the following: one sweet onion, chopped into maybe eight pieces. One small carrot, skinned like a rare African monkey, chopped into four or five rough pieces. Two bell peppers — one red and one yellow if you like the color. Sometimes, though, I use smaller sweet peppers if they’re available. (And when they’re not available, I throw a tantrum in the store, whipping nearby shoppers with a cat-of-nine-tails made of cilantro and asparagus.)

Then, finally, the tomatoes.

Listen, I don’t care what kind of tomatoes you use. That’s your business, not mine. I’ve done cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, fat heirloom tomatoes that have funky names like Green-Breasted Sioux Daddy or Farniker’s Morbidly Obese. One’s choice in tomatoes is like one’s choice in a God; it’s between you and your pantheon of divinities. I shall respect your decision, whatever it may be.

I use a pound of chosen tomatoes.

Chopped and seeded and de-snotted. Because that’s what’s in tomatoes. Seeds floating in a sea of tomato snot. So appetizing. That stuff is naaaaasty. What is wrong with the guy who invented tomatoes? I mean, cripes, after I’m done de-snotting a pound of tomatoes, it looks like a llama sneezed into my garbage bowl. (And if you’re not using a garbage bowl to collect all your vegetable garbage, then there’s your pro-tip of the day. Use a garbage bowl. Then compost your garbage. Then use the composted earth to grow new tomatoes with new tomato snot. THEN THE PROCESS BEGINS AGAIN OH MY GOD I’M TRAPPED IN SOME KIND OF RECIPE HELL THE SNAKE BITES HIS OWN TAIL AND)

Whew, sorry. Feeling better now.

Garlic. You want garlic. A bulb’s worth of cloves, skinned and tossed in there.

Upon your roasted vegetables, you want to grease them up with liberal use of olive oil. Like, imagine you’re about to have sex with them? Use that much culinary lube. Then: salt, pepper, and a heavy sprinkling of some kind of Italian herbaceousness. You know, the oregano and marjoram and — hey, is marjoram even a real herb? I bet it’s something someone just made up. Anyway. My secret weapon is Herbs de Provence, which features lavender, and I don’t know why, but I think it kicks the sauce up a notch in terms of its olfactory power. So, use Herbs de Provence or I’ll break your femur with a mad karate kick.

Finally, you want to select a good Italian sausage. I like a mix of sweet and hot. You get the best Italian sausage in New Jersey (and this is not a reference to truck stop male prostitution no matter what the gossip blogs say about me), but I live in Pennsylvania so I get whatever I can get. Lube up the sausage. Pop it on top of the soon-to-be-roasted vegetables. Then, into the oven the whole thing goes.

One hour. No less. Maybe more. Till your veggies start to scream and burn.

“Caramelized” is the name of the game.

Now, while that’s cooking:


Get some heat under that fat-assed pot and then it’s time to put some shit — not literal shit, mind you, because ew what’s wrong with you — into the steel receptacle. First up?

Big motherfucking can of tomatoes. I know, canned tomatoes? Aren’t we roasting real tomatoes? We are. And we’re also putting canned tomatoes in there. Make peace with this now.

Big can means 28 oz, probably. I go with crushed tomatoes. No spices or salt or anything because uhh, we can handle that, thanks, can of tomatoes. I got this. Don’t be pushy. Stupid can.

Then, two little cans of tomato paste. That’s all they seem to sell of tomato paste are little cans. But I guess that’s fine because tomato paste is like, the potent uranium of tomato sauce. You only need a little to go a long way. Whatever. Both those cans go into the bubbling brew.

Then: two cups of chicken stock. Homemade if you can. If not: store-bought, low-sodium. If not that, then veggie stock. If not that, then water, I guess. What are you, poor? How do you have the Internet?

Then: one cup of red wine. Your choice here is your own. I like a simple “cab-sauv,” which is what we call Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine world. Pinot Grigio we call “pee-gree.” Merlot we call “Merbugluh.”

As a sidenote, Wine World is definitely a planet I want to call home.

Then, into the mix: one squirt of ketchup, one tablespoon splash of Worcestershire sauce (aka Shire Sauce, or Hobbit Sauce, or It’s Actually Fish Sauce But Nobody Really Realizes That), one splash of cider vinegar, a dash of pepper, a sprinkling of salt, sprinkling of white sugar, a flurry of Italian seasoning, one bay leaf, and then the milk squozen from two lemur bladders.


No lemur parts. Too acidic.

One more thing goes into the pot:


In this case: pepperoni.

Get a whole “dick” (AKA one stick) of pepperoni, then chop it into little quartered bits.

Those go into the bubbling red mire.

Cover and simmer while the veggies roast.

While all that’s happening, kill time with whatever time-killing task that makes your grapefruit squirt. Tetris, gardening, whale-taming, donkey-shaming, engaging in copious alcoholism, practicing rampant masturbation, hunting the Most Dangerous Game (which contrary to rumors is not “man” but rather, “robot orangutans armed with bazookas and garotte wire”). Your call.

When your roasted veggies are done, uhh, roasting, take ’em out. I pop ’em in the blender or into a food processor (or, if you have one, the mouth of a Labrador Retriever) and coarsely blend ’em up.

Then they go into the pot.

[EDIT: The sausage? Oh, you wanna know what to do with that. Fine. Fine. Slice it when it’s cooled down, then plop it into the sauce with the rest of the deliciousness. Do not blend.]

Then, you wait another, mmm, ohh, two hours.

And that’s it, really. It’ll give you a metric orificeload of meat sauce.

Rescue the bay leaf because, y’know, yuck.

If you cook pasta, remember to cook the pasta in water just prior to “al dente status,” then finish the cooking of said pasta in the meat sauce itself. Because that’s just how you do it, shut up.

Prior to eating, I’ll chiffonade (which is French for “cut into hoity-toity little ribbons”) some basil and put in there. And I like to grate some Parmesan cheese upon the dish just before consumption.

Now eat.

And praise my meat sauce.


Macaroni + Cheese + Sausage = You Building Temples To Me And My Glory


Here’s the deal. I give you this recipe, you gotta give me something in return. We’re not talking like, a handshake and a high-five here. This is too good. Your gratitude must be measured in sexual favors and hymns sung to my nascent godhood. I want blowjobs from celestial figures. I want a pegasus made of chocolate and gold. I want a leprechaun I can saddle up and ride across all the world’s rainbows.

You want this recipe, you gotta pony up. This is quid pro quo, Clarice.

You will literally have to dance for your dinner on this one. You will also have to kill for your dinner. Upon the completion of you reading this recipe, you will receive a list of all those who have ever slighted me.

What I’m trying to say is, damn did I make a kick-ass macaroni and cheese the other night.

Here’s the sitch.

I thought, “Mmm, macaroni and cheese.” I have a recipe I use, and lo, it is good. But then I thought, “What would make this recipe double-awesome? What would make this recipe do keg-stands on my taste-buds? Sausage.” And then I was like, “Ha ha, it’s going to be a real sausage party in this kitchen!” And then I was like, “Hey, I should really zip up my pants and get my manhood out of the lunchmeat drawer.” And then I was like, “Ha ha, lunchmeat. That’s what I’ll call my penis from now on! Lunchmeat!”

Then I high-fived a ghost.

Moving on.

I went to the local butcher (Saylor’s, Hellertown) and bought their psycho-delicious Provolone and broccoli rabe sausage. You may buy whatever sausage tickles the reptilian pleasure centers of your brain.

With this mac-n-chee recipe, you have to do a bunch of things at once. I hope you played a lot of video games as a kid and are subsequently good at multitasking.

We’re going to start with the sausage.

Brown it on both sides in a hot pan. Five minutes or so on each. I used just under a pound of the stuff.

Then, normally, you would finish the sausage by pouring in a half-cup or so of water into the skillet, and then let the water cook the sausage. Except, I had a different idea.

In the fridge lurked about 1/4 cup each of chicken broth and veggie broth that I had to use up. I thought, “Hey, those are liquidy. I use those, maybe the Flavor Gods will shine down upon this pan with their favor.” So, instead of using water, I poured the remainder of the broth in with the sausage.

I let that start to cook down for about 20 minutes or so, turning the sausage every five minutes.

About halfway through (10 minute mark, in case your math skills are that of a mule-kicked billy goat), I put just a splash of water — maybe 1/4 cup. Probably not even that.

Meanwhile, time to cook your pasta. Despite this being called macaroni and cheese, you don’t actually need to use macaroni. Don’t be pinned down by such Draconian thought. Express yourself with some fusili or some bow-tie pasta. Someone tells you that you have to use macaroni, call them a “food racist” and then stab them in the kidneys with a carrot peeler.

While the water is boiling, might I recommend you grate some cheese?

The cheese combination you choose is up to you, but I like a good mild white cheese paired with a strong, assertive “kick to your reproductive widgets” cheese.

In this case, I used 8 oz of colby longhorn, and 8 oz. of Beemster, which is really just a brand of kick-ass Gouda. You could also go with Prima Donna, which is fuuu-huuu-huuuu-cking phenomenal. You can tell how good it is by all the extra syllables I had to jam into the word “fucking.”

Anyway, grate that stuff up, set it aside.

By now, pasta should be boiling. Boil it. Boil it like you’re boiling the flesh off a severed head.

Mmm. Human head cheese. But that’s not in this recipe, so shut up, you pesky cannibal.

While the pasta is boiling and your sausage is almost done cooking (cook to 160 degrees internal, which is the temperature necessary to kill off, I dunno, syphilis and Space AIDS or whatever), it is time to attend to your cheese sauce. You were thinking, “But I just attended to the cheese!” and I’m like, “Whose recipe is this?” And then you complain and whine some more, and I am forced to spray you with bear mace.

Here’s what you do with the cheese sauce.

First, a roux. You know what a roux is, right? Goddamn you try my patience. Were you born this way, or did your parents feed you drain cleaner or something? Dang. Roux = flour + fat in equal proportion. Adds thickener, adds flavor. Just like elk semen. Except, the guy who sold me my elk semen, well, he was arrested. Not coincidentally, he was arrested for chasing down elk and molesting them.

Anyway, roux: 3 TBsp melted butter (clarified helps but is not necessary), 3TBsp flour. Cook it over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until it turns golden, or “blond.”

Add into that: 2 cups of milk.

And 4 oz. of cream cheese.

Whisk like you’re trying to conjure a tropical cyclone.

Now, here is the piece de resistance. I don’t actually know what that means. “Piece of resistance?” What the fuck is that? Let’s revise, because, y’know, psshhh, the French.

“Now, here is the piece de awesomesauce.”

Much better.

Anyway, remember that sausage you were cooking? Remember that broth? By now, that should’ve reduced down to about a 1/4 cup of meaty brothy saucey, erm, sauciness. Here, then, is where happy accidents can sometimes help change a meal: I was going to dump that stuff. Just dump it right out. But I thought, “Well, let’s see what it tastes like.” Took the back of a spoon, pressed it into the reduction, then tasted it.

I immediately shellacked my pants with joy. Liquid joy.

I thought, “Hell with it,” and I dumped that into the cheese sauce.

This is the best mistake I ever made. Except for that time when I went to my ex-wife’s Christmas party and saved her and her co-workers from a handful of German “terrorists.”

Put cheese sauce on low, cook till thick(er).

Now: cut up the sausage into little “sausage coins.”

Ding! Pasta’s done. Good, because all this talk of elk semen and German terrorism has made me hungry!

Real quick: getcher oven going at 350.

Get a casserole dish. (Did you know that on the FX airing of Pineapple Express, they exchanged the word “asshole” with “casserole?” That’s kind of awesome.) What size? 9 x 13.

Pour the pasta in there.

Pour the sausage coins in there.

Pour the thickened cheese sauce over it.

Dump in all that grated cheese.

Stir gently (lest you fling goopy pasta overboard).

Then, top with one sleeve of pulverized butter crackers. I don’t use Ritz because I am now a High Fructose Corn Syrup Nazi. I go with the Pepperidge Farms ones that look like butterflies. Added bonus, it makes me feel like a powerful monster, crushing poor little butterflies between my godlike palms.

Into the oven goes the dish (uncovered) for 20 minutes.

Take it out.

Eat it.

Roll your eyes in pleasure.

Then go and build a temple to my glory. Tear out your eyes with a melon-baller. Fill the sockets with cheese sauce. Become my oracle. Prophesy the doom of all who oppose me. Sing prayers to my neverending divinity with your moist, tongueless mouth. The End.