Where the hell ARE YOU, Punky Chef?

Yes thou nose-ringed, spikey-haired lovelies, I have been sorely absent of late.  (I have also, apparently, been talking like a bad Shakespearean actor.)  But here’s the thing: PUNKY DONE MOVED TO NYC.

Yep, buh-bye to THIS:

Hollywood smog.  (Ok I'm cheating - this was during the recent fires.  But still.)

Hollywood smog. (Ok I'm cheating - this was during the recent fires. But still.)

And hello to THIS:

And hello THIS!  (And no, I didn't take this picture.)

No, I didn't take this picture.

And THIS:

But I did take THIS.  Just your typical phone-car.  Everyone's got them in the East Village.  (No, they don't, Punky.)  Fine.  You're so gullible.  GOSH.  (No, we're not, Punky.  Now could you please get us out of this caption?)

I DID take this picture. Yeah, just your typical phone-car. Everyone's got them in the East Village. (No, they don't, Punky.) Fine. You're so gullible. GOSH. (No, we're not, Punky. Now could you please get us out of this caption?)

Yes, I’ve left Griffith Park, valet parking, fake boobs, and the beloved Hollywood Farmers Market behind, and traded them for the sensations of New York City, my hometown.  This has caused great confusion, much celebration, and a complete shut-down of all things Cheffy for the time-being.  Thus, the Big Knife, the Bowl, the Cheese Grater, and even the cumbersome Salad Spinner are packed away in storage while we live the true punk lifestyle; known traditionally as Staying with Our Parents.

Oy.

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Disco Biscuits: Parmesan Lace Wafers with a Punky Party on Top!

These are the easiest thing ever, people, I’m serious.  And I don’t get serious very often, so this must be HUGE.  Seriously, you just shave, plop, and blot.  2 minutes.  Total perfection.  And I wanted to find a cool, punky name for them, y’know, like “Sid Viciousnesses” or “Ramonezones” or something.  But then I thought of awesome jam band the Disco Biscuits and suddenly there was no going back.  Witness:

Don't they just make you wanta BOOGIE?

Don't they just make you wanta BOOGIE?

Now there are few things farther from punk than a jam band.  First, jam bands have real musicians who tend to play their instruments extremely well.  Second, jam bands do not wear make-up, leather pants, lace stockings, or nose rings.  Third, the goal of the jam band is to gently rock and rhythm their audiences until they swirl and flutter gracefully around the floor like little entranced butterflies just out of the cocoon, whereas punk bands SLAM their audiences over the head, from the side and in the face with LOUD, PUSHY, OBNOXIOUS, ANGRY, CYNICAL emotion.  YEAH!  HAH!  UNGH!

I will say that cynicism goes well with the jam bands at times too, though they tend to express it with more of a “heh” than a “HAH!”, if you know what I mean.

But nevertheless!  A recipe title is a recipe title, and I have just enough integrity to know when it’s time to get my jam on.  So, grab a sheet pan and a cheese grater, and come with me…

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“Raptures”: Chocolate-Strawberry-Banana Shortbread Bars…

Yes, you will experience rapture when you bite into these sweet, smooth, chocolaty, shortbread bars.  Plus, it’s one of the greatest Blondie songs of all time, and Blondie were one of the greatest punk bands of all time, so it’s alllll coming together, eh?  Witness The Raptures: Chocolate-Strawberry-Banana Shortbread Bars…

"Hang each night in rapture..."

"Hang each night in rapture..."

Aaah, yes,  Are you ready?  Are you drooling?  This one borrows a bit from Paula Deen‘s Orange Citrus Dessert Bars (the shortbread part) and a bit from many recipes by my all-time cooking idol, Ina Garten (the chocolate part), and of course the rest is all PUNKY.  Come with me…

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And Now, a Word About Farmer’s Markets (and a $21 Challenge!)

I know, I know.  I “ooh” and “aah” about my Farmer’s Market all the time, and you’re like, “Get over it, Punky.  JEEZ.”  So, I thought it would be good to show you why I’m so emotional.

"Vat ah BAAAAGEN!"  (Say it out lound like my Jewish grandfather and it'll make sense.)

"Vaht ah BAAAGEN!" (Say it out loud like my Jewish grandfather.)

I used to be just like you.  That is, if you are the kind of person who goes to the occasional farmer’s market, heads straight to the pastry table, buys a scone or an apple turnover, and then heads-out, overwhelmed by the whole experience.  I FEEL YOUR PAIN, YOUR ISOLATION, YOUR FEAR.  Punky knows, believe me.

BUT!  What I’ve discovered, is that my love of cooking grew with my trips to the farmer’s market, because the farmers themselves would tell me what to make with their produce!  How to bake a butternut squash, what a kumquat is, where you can put dried fruit, etc.  (That sounded dirty, but anyway.)  And the more I go, the more my mind opens and my IMAGINATION ignites, to the point where I’m creating flavors in my head and then seeking them out on the tables.  Sometimes I simply pick something up, a sprig of cilantro, a blood orange, an ear of corn, and just by smelling it, my gears start to turn.  (And I’m sure all the farmers appreciate my nose on their products.)

There is also, of course, the financial benefit to shopping at a farmer’s market.  This week I only had $21 on me, so I decided to see how much I could get for it.  A $21 Challenge!  The picture above shows you my bounty, going clockwise from bottom left, and with prices on the ones I remember.  (Some are by weight and I can never keep it straight):

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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!!

POBLUSCIOUS!  PEPPERIFIC!

POBLUSCIOUS! PEPPERIFIC!

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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Free-Range Savory Chix n’ Potayduz – One Pan, One Spoon, One Knife. HOLLA!

Okay fine, so the title of this recipe is a little over-the-top.  But listen to me people, this really is a punky miracle dinner: juicy, savory, flavorful chicken and crispy, buttery potatoes done all in one pan and ready in 35 minutes!  Say it out loud for fun times: FREE-RANGE SAVORY CHIX n’ POTAYDUZ!

Seriously, have you ever seen anything so delicious in your LIFE?

Seriously, have you ever seen anything so delicious in your LIFE?

Now, let me start by giving credit for the inspiration for this dish to my all-time chef idol, (and hopefully my future-best-friend), Ina Garten.  (I love you, Ina.)  Ina Garten recently was seen on the Food Network cooking a whole chicken in a big pan with all the vegetables scattered around it at the same time.  “That is genius,” thought one Punky Chef.  But I must say, Ina’s version looks very complicated to me – lots of stuffing and tying-off and tucking, not to mention the hour and half in the oven.  Well THIS punk is just too hungry and impetuous to ever wait that long!  So instead, I have taken the general idea and made it my own… just like Andy Warhol with the Campbell’s Soup Cans, eh?  Ha-HAH!  PUNK IT UP.  (And come with me…)

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