Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gonerfest Report - Coming Soon

Hey y'all, I'll have a Gonerfest report up at some point this weekend. First I need to get over this terrible Gonerflu. I've been bed-ridden for three days.

So keep an eye out for a new post this weekend.


Friday, September 17, 2010


I know it seems like my everyday diet is made up exclusively of tacos and pizza, but occasionally I eat other stuff, too. No, I swear.

Nestled in a little white and blue building across from the Basilica on S. 6th Street is one of my favorite restaurants in the Milwaukee area, El Salvador Restaurant. El Salvador is a pupuseria, meaning they specialize in pupusas. Pupusas are made of corn dough (masa de maiz), are round and flat like pancakes, and come with various delicious fillings. El Salvador serves them with cheese, pork, or beans, or you can get all three in the revueltas. They also have them with loroco, a kind of edible flower that grows in Central America.

With the pupusas, El Salvadoran restaurants serve "curtido." It's an AWESOME vinegar slaw that you put on top of the pupusas. It seems like a bizarre combination, but the flavors are FUCKING EPIC together. El Salvador also gives you two bottles of hot sauce to put on your pupusas, a green sauce that's a little spicy, and a red sauce that's a little sweet. I generally opt for the green sauce, whereas my roommate uses both. It's personal preference, really.

The best part about El Salvador Restaurant is that not only is their food absolutely incredible, but it is also crazy cheap. A pupusa is $1.99. I'm totally serious. That giant plate of food pictured above cost me $6. And after three queso pupusas, I am in an intense food coma and in need of a goddamn nap. I have never left the restaurant less than STUFFED.

Oh, and if you're not already convinced, pupusas can kill a hangover like nothing else. Trust me. I'm an expert.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


This past weekend, I went to a couple of area farmers' markets for the first time in a while. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon something I had been keeping my eyes open for all summer: purple potatoes. Purple potatoes are just like regular potatoes, except that they are a BRILLIANT royal purple on the inside. They are fucking BEAUTIFUL, and a great way to give any ordinary potato dish an extra oomph.

Today I used the purple potatoes to make some creamy, garlicky, mashed potatoes. They came out a lovely lilac color. I don't think I ever want to make boring old white mashed potatoes ever again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Okay, so obviously pizza is the best food, right? Right. But tacos run a close second.

Most weekday afternoons after class, I can be found at the Damiani's taco truck at 10th and Lincoln eating dos tacos al pastor and drinking Tecate or tequila and orange juice out of horchata cups with my friend Rafael, who runs the truck. He makes fucking killer tacos and shares my love for tequila. We swap dumb drunk stories and talk about how hungover we are on that given day. Basically, it is one of the best parts of my day.

Anyway, their pastor is always spectacular. They use pineapple when they marinate it, which I know because sometimes Rafa slips a piece or two in with the meat. I've visited a lot of taco trucks in my day and this one is definitely my favorite.

Monday, September 6, 2010


All right, pizza lovers, you know how to make the dough, now it's time to make the sauce. Unlike dough, making sauce is more art than science. I eyeball most of my measurements and taste as I go along, so every batch of sauce turns out a little different. This is really more of a general guide to give you an idea of how to make fucking epic pizza sauce that will impress all your friends.


12 tomatoes, quartered (you want them all roughly the same size)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (you want to just barely cover the bottom of the pot)
~6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I usually use a little more garlic, but I am also a total garlic fiend)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
~2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you want your sauce)
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper (add to taste)
any seasonings you think sound good in the sauce, ie. oregano, garlic powder, minced onion, etc.

Heat the olive oil on medium in a large stockpot. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic gets really aromatic. Add the tomatoes, stir, and let cook down. This takes quite a while. Use a spatula to mash them down every once and a while (every 8-10 minutes or so). Once they're more liquid than solid (about an hour), add the tomato paste and seasonings. Knock it down to simmer, and let it do so for about another hour, or really as long as you want.  The longer you let it simmer, the thicker and more flavorful the sauce will be. Stir occasionally.

When you decide it's done, let it cool and blend it til smooth in a blender. Make sure to let the sauce cool, as trying to blend it when hot can be fucking disastrous (trust me). If you want your sauce to be chunkier, blend only part of it and then add it back to the non-blended part. I like my sauce smooth, so I usually blend all of it. I also like to add a little more chopped fresh basil after blending to add some color.

This recipe makes a really good amount of sauce; it usually lasts me a week or two and I use it for pasta, too. You can freeze it if you don't want to use all of it within the week.


This is the "Fancy Mac" from Honeypie, just a few blocks from my house. Here's the menu description: "Macaroni and cheese made with cheddar, mustard, and Gruyere cheese sauce topped with breadcrumbs and bacon."



 If you talk to me for even just five minutes, you'll probably find out that, while I have mad love for ALL food, my heart truly belongs to pizza.  I even have a pizza tattoo. No, really.

So, I decided it would make sense if my first real entry for Land of 1000 Lunches was about pizza. Specifically, I'm going to share my killer pizza dough recipe with you. It's a tad time consuming, but totally simple; most of that is just sitting around waiting for the dough to rise. This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas, as well, so you can freeze it or stick it in the fridge it for later.

So, here y'all go. Enjoy!


1 cup warm water
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2.25 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet if you prefer buying those, I prefer the jars, myself)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a couple teaspoons for the rising bowl
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes so the yeast can proof (bubble up).

In the meantime, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast has proofed, add it to the flour mixture. Add the olive oil, as well.

Mix together until it starts resembling dough and won't take any more flour. Sprinkle some flour on the countertop (to prevent sticking). Take your dough out of the bowl and move it to the counter to knead it. You have to knead it until it's fully mixed and feels a little bit sticky.  If it feels TOO sticky, add a little bit more flour. Form it into a ball when it feels ready.

Put a couple teaspoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large (it needs to be at least large enough for the dough to double in size), clean mixing bowl and place the ball in it, then roll it around in there until the whole surface of the ball is lightly oiled. Cover and let rise for an hour.

This is my favorite part. When you come back, give the dough a good solid punch down, deflating it. Take it from the bowl and knead it for a few minutes, so that it feels like dough again. Once again, form it into a ball and put it back into the bowl to rise.

Wait another hour (or up to two, the longer you wait, the more stretchy and awesome your dough will be). When it's ready, take the dough from the bowl and tear it in half. This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas, so you can refrigerate the extra dough for a couple days if you don't want to use it right away.

Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal on the pizza pan to keep the dough from sticking. Stretch the dough out before putting it on the pan. Your first few pizzas probably will probably be kind of misshapen and awkward-looking, but with some practice you'll get better at stretching it, I promise.

Oh, and to make your pizzas even better, use a pizza stone instead of a pan. I swear to you, it makes a HUGE difference. I invested in a $15 stone about three years ago and it's still going strong. Just NEVER wash them with soap, as the stone will soak it up and all your pizzas will eventually start tasting like soap, too.