Posts tagged punky chef

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!

wuv,
Sam

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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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“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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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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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 www.myspace.com/thehappyproblem.  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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