Archive for Lunches

Arugulatastic Salad

Ahhh yes, it’s the quiet ecstacy of a weekday lunch at home. Arugula salad with grilled corn, black beans, pepper jack, walnuts, avocado, grape tomatoes and popcorn with parmesan peppercorn dressing. And Lebanese lentil soup from Chef Rita – my fabulous and gorgeous neighbor here on the Lower East Side. Aaahhh.

Arugulatastic Salad and Rita Soup

Otherwise known as “throw-it-in-a-bowl-and-dress.”  But let me say that the little extra effort to shave the corn off a cob and sauté it in butter and salt for five minutes will turn this salad into a taste sensation you think must be off the black market, it’s so good.  It makes your Muzak into Mick Jagger, your fish sticks into Katsu-ya sushi, your Bud Light into a Fat Tire, your… well you get it.

And yes, I did say POPCORN.  Newman’s Own microwave light butter flavor, to be exact.  Push the envelope people.  Pop the corn.  Trust Punky on this one – it’s like crack in your salad.

Does crack taste good in a salad?

Nevermind.  You know what I mean.

Serve and Enjoy!


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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Quiche…

Funny things happen when you crack up...

Smiley Eggs

Yes, on the way to making a spinach, feta and tomato quiche this morning, I looked down into the bowl and what do you know?

Must’ve been those free-range eggs I used.

I’ve been gone for a loooong loooong time and really I have no excuse.  Ok that’s not true.  I have lots of ’em.  Most of them have something to do with the TWO bands I’m in now, and how busy they’ve been keeping me.  (In fact as I type this, concurrently baking a butternut squash to make a great crostini spread with goat cheese and cinnamon for New Years Eve), I am actually procrastinating from listening to the rough mixes of the new happy problem album.  Look out 2011 – big things are coming from the Punky!

And wait Punky, you say you have TWO bands now?

Oh yes, my little chefs, (I wanted to type “cheffies” but that just looks like some variety of blue cheese, so…), I am in TWO bands now, both very different from each other and both looking for bass players.


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Roasted Poblano Pepper Farmer’s Market Burrito! (Poblastically Pepptastic!)

Awww, yeah.  This ain’t your mama’s burrito, people.  THIS burrito is wrapped inside a ROASTED POBLANO PEPPER from the Farmer’s Market!  Kin ‘Ah git a UNGH UNGH!!



Yes, Sunday is Farmer’s Market Day here in Hollywood, California, and I found myself hypnotized by this gorgeous poblano pepper!  (So much so, that apparently I am unable to take a photo that isn’t blurry.)  Chiles Rellenos are my fave Mexican meal, so I have quite the love for the poblano, but had never tried cooking with one myself.  Still, the bumpy, crazy green guy stared up at me longingly, saying “Please Punky Chef, take me home.  I promise to be FABULOUS for you.”  Really, it said that to me.  I mean, just look at it:

Please, lady.  Make me somethin' SPECIAL, won't you?

Please, lady. Make me somethin' SPECIAL, won't you?

How could I resist?  Plus, once I lifted it to my punky nose and inhaled that sweet, tangy, spicy, slightly smoky aroma, the deal was signed.  And then I tried to stuff the little guy with roasted corn, black beans, organic Roma tomatoes, sweet onions and pepper jack cheese, but discovered in the process that it’d be better just to roll the whole puppy up, burrito-stylie.  And so was born the Roasted Poblano Pepper Farmer’s Market Burrito!  The POBLITO!  The PPB!  The Chilito Pobluscious!  Ah, forget it.  Just come with me, already…

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ENCORE PRESENTATION: Farmer’s Market Fresh Bean and Corn Salad!

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “Reruns already?  Really Punky Chef?!?”  But look, I just made this salad for dinner and it was so yummy that I’ve decided to post it anew.  (Also because I never had a decent picture of it the first time.)  So witness: Farmer’s Market Fresh Bean and Corn Salad!

Encore!  Encore!

Encore! Encore!

Grab your appetite and your big knife and click here to start the party…

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Lucky 7 Salad!

Yes… I’M BACK!  I know your life has been empty and hungry without your Punky Chef.  So sing to the heavens, hug thy neighbor, and get EXCITED, people.  I’ve been busy traveling and working on many things happy problem.  (New songs!  Visit  Sorry, brief promotional moment.)  AND, Punky Chef is now AUNT PUNKY CHEF.  Witness my two gorgeous new nephews – born within 24 hours of each other to my sister and my sister-in-law:

Ryder Punky - doing his very first Elvis impression

Punky Ryder - doing his very first Elvis impression

David Punky - doing his first Johnny Rotten impression

Punky David - doing his first Johnny Rotten impression

So I’ve been enjoying the baby parade for the last three weeks, and am now getting back to my teensy kitchen and starting to cook again.  And just to ease us all back in, I’m throwing this fabboo, quick, healthy lunch at you.  Witness Lucky 7 Salad!

Do ya feel LUCKY, Punk?

Do ya feel LUCKY, Punk?

Yeah, it’s pretty much the easiest ever, thanks to our “7” theme and also to the wonderful people at Newman’s Own for the dressing.  Come with me…

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Salmon-Feta Salad: Introducing the Steve Lillywhite!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but names of punk icons make for very good recipe titles.  I made this delicious salad on Friday, with smoked salmon, feta, Greek olives, cukes, shallots and lemon-olive oil dressing on a romaine “bed”, but I haven’t posted the recipe yet because I was stuck for a good title.  (And because the happy problem had an awesome gig in Santa Barbara Saturday night, might I add, which was great, but my computer and I were briefly separated.)  But now I proudly present to you: The Steve Lillywhite!

it's like a classic album in your MOUTH!

it's like a classic album in your MOUTH!

“Salmon Greek Salad?”  “Smoked Salmon-Feta Salad?”  None of them seemed quite right.  BUT THEN, back in Hollywood last night, walking from my parked car to my building with guitar bags, gear bags, merch bags, and toiletry bags hanging off my shoulders, and a Line 6 amp hanging from my right arm, I passed a red rental Toyota and who should be getting into it but Mr. Steve Lillywhite himself!  (I considered saying hello, but quickly took-in my bag lady appearance, and thought better of it.  You do not want to meet Steve Lillywhite when you look like a lost hippie from Venice Beach.  Just trust me on this one.)  So I let the man go, but at the same moment, quietly decided to name my latest salad creation after him in homage.  And WHO THE HELL IS STEVE LILLYWHITE?  You might well ask.  Well, he’s only the producer of classic albums by Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Psychedelic Furs, Siouxie and the Banshees, The Pogues, Simple Minds, Morrissey, Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Crowded House, Matchbox 20, and there’s one more that I’m missing.  Who could it be?  Wait, it’ll come to me.  Oh yeah —


Oh yes, Mr. Steve Lillywhite, a medium-height, friendly-but-cynical, handsome blond man, seen just last night getting into a red Toyota, is the esteemed producer of such legendary albums as “No Line on the Horizon,” “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” “Boy,” “Under A Blood Red Sky,” “Joshua Tree” and more.  So how appropriate to honor such unmatched greatness with a new SALAD?  (Sorry, Mr. Lillywhite.)  Come with me…

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