BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

"How on earth did you finagle hanging out with Rick Bayless?!" my mother texted me last Thursday evening, after seeing a slew of photos in my Instagram feed of the world-famous chef out and about with a group of Bay Area food bloggers and myself. 

"I'm not really sure!!" I texted back, giddy. In truth, I was invited by Negra Modelo to join a blogger tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Bayless, culminating in a party/cooking demo wherein he would talk about Negra Modelo and working with Latin American ingredients, but in a looser sense, I really wasn't sure how it all happened. How did I get so lucky as to get to do this kind of thing---for a living, no less? 

(I should probably also say here that I am a total dork when it comes to meeting celebrity chefs. Introduce me to a famous actor and I am totally cool. But put me in aroom with a Michael Chiarello or Alex Guarnaschelli and I will flush like a tween meeting One Direction for the first time. So needless to say, meeting Bayless in person made me a little bit nervous, and a whole lot excited. 

Fortunately, Bayless could not have been more down to earth, which put me immediately at ease. The tour also could not have been more delicious. 

We started at a fantastic Mexicatessan, where we sampled fresh huaraches, which are thick, often stuffed, corn tortillas, similar to pupusas

We ate them with Mexican crema and plenty of fresh cabbage, and, of course, cold Negra Modelo. So delicious. 

Next, we headed to an incredible Mexican butcher, where we learned about the local history of "flap meat", also known as carne asada. 

And what's a tour without dessert? Obviously, we had to make a stop at Reyna Bakery, a long-standing family-owned Mexican bakery, where we tasted several different Mexican pastries. These, which were filled with sweet berry preserves, were outrageous.

 

Our next stop was a Mexican restaurant in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, and just as we begun wondering how we were going to get there, a trolley showed up.

That's right. A trolley. (I know it looks like a cable car, but I assure you, there were no cables in sight.)

As you can see here, Bayless is definitely participating in Movember. (Also pictured here, sitting next to him, is his super-cool culinary assistant, Katy.)

Then, we were off to the party portion of the evening (as if the tour hadn't been fun enough!). There, I was greeted by two awesome things:

My cute boyfriend. 

 And a cold Negra Modelo. 

The night was incredibly fun. We learned about several Mexican ingredients, including avocados, chiles, onions (as it turns out, there is a difference between white and yellow onions--use white ones when you want raw onions for salsa or guacamole, and rinse them first!), and, yes, beer. 

I've long been a fan of Negra Modelo (which I can honestly say goes with just about anything) and the opportunity to drink it while eating delicious food AND hanging out with the great Rick Bayless was just too wonderful to pass up.

As we nibbled tacos and sipped our Negra Modelos, I looked over at two of my dearest food blogging friends, Amy and Sean, raised my glass, and declared, "We have a good life." 

Also wonderful, was the awesome group of food bloggers I got to spend the day with. Some of whom I knew, and many of whom I got to meet for the first time. If you want to check them out, here they are:

Special thanks to Negra Modelo for making this incredible day happen (Negra Modelo on FacebookInstagram or Twitter or follow their hashtag#ThePerfectComplement), and to the great Rick Bayless for joining us and sharing such wonderful kitchen wisdom! I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

A couple of years ago, I ran a holiday cookbook special, where I sold personalized, signed, gift-wrapped copies of my first book, The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook. It was so fun and successful, that this year, I decided to do it again with Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, and this time I am stepping up my game. 

This year, for $40 (plus shipping, which usually runs about $5), I'll ship you or someone you love a beautiful signed, personalized, hard-bound copy of Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, plus a gorgeous tea towel, and a large wooden spoon, so you or your giftee can get started cooking right away. 

I cannot tell you how proud I am of this book. I mean, just look at these gorgeous photos of delicious dough creations (taken by the wildly talented and delightful Frankie Frankey).

From pizza...

...to ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls

 

...and focaccia

 

...to sopapillas

And so much more.

Let me take care of your holiday shopping this year! Simply fill in this form and I'll send you a digital invoice. Once you've paid the invoice, I'll start putting your order together and you can officially stop worrying about your holiday shopping for the year.

This holiday season, give the gift of pizza dough! 

Questions? Email me! I'm at gabi@brokeassgourmet.com. 

Tandoori-Style Roast Chicken

  • Prep Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $16.00
  • 4 Comments

Tandoor ovens, perhaps best known for their role in cooking naan and Tandoori chicken and fish, are a mainstay in Indian and Pakistani homes and restaurants. They get extremely hot and are used to quickly cook food, often charring it a bit in the most pleasant of ways.

I don't have one in my tiny apartment kitchen, but that's never stopped me from making my own naan, and, feeling inspired by some delicious Pakistani food I had recently, I decided to put a tandoor spin on roast chicken.

As you know, I'm a big fan of roasting chicken at a very high heat, yielding a crisp skin and tender, juicy interior. Since this is in a similar vicinity as tandoor, cooking, I figured that if I applied Tandoori flavors to chicken legs before roasting them at a high heat, i I could get a similar result to traditional Tandoor chicken. Though the skin is typically removed before roasting in the case of Tandoori chicken (and you can feel free to do so if you prefer), I decided to leave it on, because as far as I am concerned, crispy chicken skin is the new bacon.

I started by making a marinade of spices (look for these in Indian specialty grocery stores like Vik's--they're amazingly cheap when you buy them in bulk!) and yogurt (regular whole milk yogurt, Greek yogurt, plain soy yogurt, or plain coconut milk yogurt all will work), which my chicken legs bathed in overnight (though you can still get delicious chicken if you only have an hour to marinate). The chicken and onions went for a nice long dip.

After tenderizing (the calcium in the yogurt activates enzymes in the meat which breaks down the protein, keeping it ultra-juicy after cooking), the chicken and onions get roasted, just like with regular baked chicken, and that's when the magic happens. The spices impart a deep, dark red color, the skin crisps, and the onions get all charred and roasty.

The lemons and cilantro aren't required, but they do add an amazing pop of freshness. Serve this one with homemade naan (I made my new favorite kind -- chickpea flour!), and a crisp green salad or slaw. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon salt Pantry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 8 ounces plain yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut all work) $1.50
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced $0.50
  • 2 whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, cut into 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs $6
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/8ths $0.50

Recipe Serves 2-3

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the spices, salt, and yogurt. Mix well to combine.
  2. Combine the chicken and onions with the yogurt mixture in an air-tight storage container or a zip-top bag. Make sure the yogurt covers every piece of chicken.
  3. Let marinate for at least an hour (and up to 12 hours).
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  6. Arrange the marinated chicken and onions on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space between each piece of chicken.
  7. Roast for 27-30 minutes, until the chicken is slightly blackened on the outside, and the meat is tender on the inside.
  8. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve hot, with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired. 

Category: Meals

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Chickpea Flour Flatbread

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 6 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $3
  • 2 Comments

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates.

I tend to develop junior high school crushes on ingredients. Sweet potatoes, kale, coconut milk, avocados, and chicken thighs have all been my jam (come to think of it, jam, too, has been my jam).

Well, the latest stud on my culinary dance card is none other than chickpea flour, also known as besan or gram flour (the lattermost is not to be confused with graham flour, famously used in graham crackers). I first learned about it when my friend Andrew told me about a pizza crust he made with it. He said it was deliciously crisp and flavorful--not to mention tailored to accommodate several dietary restrictions.

My ongoing curiosity about chickpea flour was recently satisfied on a Sunday trip to Vik's Chaat in Berkeley, where I like the food, but I love the adjacent Indian grocery store, with its affordable bulk spices, unique teas, outrageously cheap and delicious raw nuts, and fabulous selection of paneer. At Vik's, an enormous two-pound bag of chickpea flour could be mine for a song (OK, for $3). 

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates. It tastes nutty but light, and when cooked in a little bit of oil, become outrageously crispy on the exterior while maintaining a lovely tenderness on the inside. 

After much research and several flops (some of my attempts to make this literally flopped, and not in a good way) I have nailed what I believe is the most perfect chickpea flour flatbread around. It's somewhere between naan and a dosa or crepe. Serve it with curry, soup, creamy greek yogurt for dipping, or eat it on its own. I promise, you, too, will be hooked. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan) $3 for 16 oz.
  • pinch of salt Pantry
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped Optional
  • pinch red chile pepper flakes Optional
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil Pantry

Recipe Serves 2

Directions

  1. Sift the chickpea flour and salt together into a mixing bowl, using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Whisk in 1/3 of the water, to form a thick paste, making sure to eliminate all of the lumps. 
  3. Whisk in the remainder of the water. The batter should look and feel like thin pancake batter.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and chile flakes, if using.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan, jiggling the pan a little bit if necessary, to help the batter spread.
  7. Cook the batter for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes firm, and the bottom turns golden brown and crisp.
  8. Carefully flip using the largest spatula you own, then cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, until it also becomes golden brown and crisp.
  9. Remove from the pan, cut into wedges, and serve.