Cayenne Chicken and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Say hello to the Dinner of the Devil!

If you’re looking for a meal that will quite literally bring tears to your eyes, a meal that could help you lose friends and alienate people, a meal that will not only stimulate your taste buds, but your nasal passages and your digestive tract as well, THIS is the meal to make.

MG had to stop eating it midway through because it was just too much for his sinuses to take. As for me, I didn’t seem to have the same problem, and finished both my portion and his as well. Some that know me may attribute this to the fact that I have no detectable soul.

So be it.

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Brussels Sprouts with Figs and Bacon

Too many people don’t know how to cook sprouts. If you’re one of them, here’s a sweet and savory recipe to get you started!

One of the most common ways Brussels sprouts are prepared in the United States is by boiling, steaming or roasting – more than enough reason right there to stay the hell away from them. Brussels sprouts are of the same family as cabbage, kale, and collard greens, and if steaming, boiling or roasting a plate of any of those vegetables and serving them up to your family sounds like a fab-oo idea, then by all means stop reading here, head to the kitchen and take one giant step toward complete familial alienation.

Say it out loud… “how does boiled kale sound to everyone tonight?” and you see my point.

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Pan-Fried Porkchops in Cumin Tomato Sauce


If ever there was a spice I have learned to hate, it’s cumin. Does everyone have that one spice that they just can’t get behind no matter what the rest of the cooking world might argue? No matter how little I use in a recipe (and I generally reduce the amount required by fifty percent, if not more), it ends up overwhleming my palette in nearly every bite.
It leaps out from the rest of the ingredients and does laps around the back of my teeth so I feel like I’m tasting it for days. If it wasn’t for my OCD, I’d throw out what’s left in my cupboard and be done with the stuff forever, but knowing there is purchased spice lying unused in a trash basket would keep me up at night. So cumin gets a reprieve… for the time being.

My dislike of the stuff led me a few weeks back to Google “I hate cumin” and see what would come up. Turns out I’m far from alone. Here are some of the web highlights:

  • “I hate cumin.  I can’t even stand the smell.”
  • “I…..don’t…..really….like…..cumin.  Rephrase.  I…..hate…..cumin.  It smells like wet dog to me!”
  • “…no cumin (I hate cumin)”
  • “I hate cumin and restaurants that try to sneak it into perfectly lovely things like veal piccata.”
  • “cumin sucks men of their life forces”
  • “cumin smells like feet, unless im thinkin of somethin else, but im pretty sure that crap is cumin”

Nice to know there are others. Even nicer was discovering amidst the web results, a link to the wonderful Seriously Delicious, hosted by the talented “Her Chefness,” a video game tester in Washington. “Her Chefness” has apparently gone through some sort of cumin-haters deprogramming therapy, and this recipe seems to have had something to do with it. It had been lingering in my consciousness for weeks after reading it, and I finally found time to get to the store and pick up the boneless pork loin chops, something I haven’t eaten in probably 20 years. The meal was delicious. MG loved it even more than I did. It’s also simple to make, easy to clean up after, and, of course, fun to photograph.

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Tomatillo Sauce and Guacamole




Tomatillos are suddenly giving jalapeno peppers a run for the money as the primary Latin star of my kitchen. Lying in size somewhere between the cherry and the beefsteak, green and slightly sticky to the touch, they are strikingly appealing yet sadly hidden away by a curious and lackluster greenish-brown husk.  Also known as the “husk tomoato” or “jamberry,” the tomatillo has been a staple of Mexican and Guatemlan cuisine for centuries, both cooked and raw, primarily in sauces to amp up the flavor of the meal and to offset the flavor of any hot peppers included in a recipe.

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Nuclear Submarines

These sandwiches deserve an accompanying score by Bernard Herrmann. These sandwiches are my Birth of a Nation, and take about as long to make as the movie. Delicious to eat at the moment of completion, delicious to eat re-heated out of the refrigerator… hell, pull a chair right up to the refrigerator and eat them cold right off the shelf!

I used pretty much every kitchen utensil and countertop appliance I owned at some point in the preparation of this meal, from the meats and cheeses to the homemade sandwich dressing and blackberry-walnut balsamic vinaigrette for the greens.

I love making food. I derive so much peace and satisfaction out of it. I had a lot going on in the kitchen this particular night. I was on octopus. I couldn’t stop myself. Eating the finished product isn’t half as much fun as making it.

And, in the end, it’s just sandwiches. Take note of the below, or don’t. Use all, none or sixty percent of the instructions. Even I can’t fuck up sandwiches.

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