Thursday, January 26

ITALIANO ARRABIATA!!!

hey kids,
i decided last night that i should maybe try to make more italian food.
or, at the very least,
to include a little more italian-american
and/or italian-inspired food in my repertoire.
y'see,
i usually eschew the nostalgia and disavow the heritage that fed my forefathers.
i do.
italian specialty stores, italian restaurants,
and a majority of italian-american families-
none of them give any sh!ts about vegans.
although, most of what they're serving will certainly give vegans the sh!ts.
we're too weird.
too extreme.
i mean,
F* me for challenging the notion that a generationally-ingrained
perverse flesh-and-blood gorefest isn't very cool, right?
seriously.
what a jerk i am.
actually, in fairness,
the first few years i after i woke up and took my first positive steps
towards progressive compassionate dietary awareness,
my good ol' grandmother would specially make me some stuff to eat.
twice a week, when i'd visit like a good boy should.
...and that was dope.
hmm?
well, yeah, of course it was pasta!
c'mon.
hahaha.
otherwise,
in my 40+ years of firsthand experience,
the lion's share of cooking in the style of my distantly-related countrymen,
as well as my immediate blood relatives has demanded ALL the meat,
that's mammals, babies, birds, and fish,
ugh.
and then there's all that cheese, and eggs, and milk and cream...
basically,
it's the F*ing worst.
now,
i'm not very nice, neighbors, but i'm always trying to be good.
so,
for the last 20 years,
being the type of dude who low-key cares about life,
and the planet,
and the future,
and our collective karma,
and anything worthy and wonderful,
italian food has held a sore spot in my meal planning.
i'm just sayin'-
the renaissance was pretty expert,
but the menu was, and still is, a F*ing horrorshow.
(my dudes might've peaked in the 15th century.)
anyway,
i don't hang out with italian food as often as i could.
i don't think it helps that my least favorite ex-wife was a fiend for pasta and sauce,
and would beat up a bowl three times a week, no joke;
or that holidays were a source of agitation between me and my people
for the first 15 or so years after i switched things up.
i guess i have a lot of deep-seated, ingrained grudge-holding bias, bros.
and that's not fair to the long, luscious, flourishing tradition of culinary innovation
that imbedded itself in my genes, bruh.
hahahaha.
and sure,
there's no good reason to use baby pigs' cheeks in a salad.
what the heck is wrong with these dudes?
and why is there a pound of the stinkiest spoiled milk on top of EVERYthing?
man,
i dunno why i gotta be so contrary.
probably because rules is rules,
and if you're not prepared to just be dope,
you're obligated to F* right off.
since i'm not going anywhere,
i guess i'll have to hit up some new hottness in the food department.
look for more italian influences in february, friends.
*
so, i'm guessing nobody read that top part?
well done.
y'wanna see a picture of a sandwich now?
swell.
check the teleport:

SPICY SAUSAGE AND SPICIER SAUCE AND PEPPERS!
italian?
sorta.
expert?
unquestionably.
dudes,
i took some sliced homemade garbanzo/garlic/olive oil sausages,
and simmered them with crushed fennel seed, black pepper, rosemary, and GPOP.
oh,
here.
sausages happen like this:
-
1 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 block extra-firm tofu
4 cloves sauteed garlic
1/2 onion, browned
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 T nutritional yeast
1 T ea. Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
blended in a food processor until smooth.
plus:
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
2 T arrowroot
1 cup wheat gluten
3 T olive oil
oregano, basil, parsley, fire-roasted tomato flakes,
ground sage, thyme, ground mustard, black pepper, red pepper flakes.
mix it up, roll it into links,
wrap each in foil,
put 'em in a steamer, or whatever means you have to approximate that,
and steam the sht outta those tubes for at least 30 minutes,
rolling them once or twice.
BOOM.
sausages.
-
so i simmered them in the spices, and oil, until the surfaces were sealed with flavor,
and i added them right into my spicy tomato sauce.
do that like this:
2 T finely macerated onion;
2 lg cloves crushed garlic;
2 T olive oil.;
^sautee that until the onions get clear,
and add:
2 tsp crushed red pepper;
generous cracked black pepper;
GPOP;
let the oil suck the essence of that fire into it,
and then douse it out with:
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
a little splash of chili oil.
now, i don't know how hot you like yours.
this version has all the flavor, and the spiciness creeps up after a few bites.
arrabiata means angry.
fra diavlo is more recently made-up, and american in origin.
are they very different?
not really.
but,
i personallyprefer the way arrabiata sounds.
-
so,
in terms of this sandwich-
there's sausages, sliced,
and sauce, spiced,
combined and cooperating..
that's good.
the other element is the pepz.
and they're pretty simple, too.
one small sweet onion, finely sliced into strips.
fry it up on medium heat in oil,
and add in, as you go,
1/2 poblano, red, yellow, and orange swet bell peppers.
i used the little ones, because i prefer their texture.
yup.
all the same flavor, but half the skin, and less time to cook.
smart.
when the onions are caramelized, and the peppers are soft,
toss in a punch of fresh basil. torn and tiny, to wilt into the blend,
mysteriously adding subtle notes of harmony to all that hot fire.
give all that one last toss,
and it's done.
-
hey, do me a favor, and consider that bread, baby!!
those are hoagie buns, from scratch!!!
1 1/2 cups flour;
2 T butter;
2 T olive oil;
2 T wheat gluten(accidnetally dumped in a LOT);
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
let your stand mixer (which i hope you've purchased by now)
blend all that together,
while a cup+ of warm water, with a pinch more sugar, and 1 T of yeast
all activate for roughly ten minutes.
when it's a bubbly foamy frothy festival of live cultures,
add it in,
turn the power up on your mixer,
and beat that dough UP.
give it 30 minutes to rise,
then form 3 long loaves,
let 'em rise in shape for another 'nother 30,
slice the tops,
pop 'em into the oven for 15-20 minutes, at 425F,
until they're as golden as heck, or at least, as golden as you'd like,
and voila.
buns.
-
peppers, saucy sausage, more peppers,
and then,
just because too much is the right amount,
i tossed on some thick fried garlic sprankles.
if you're ever unsure whether or not your sh!t goes to eleven?
the solution is easy;
add more spranks.
***********
is that going to be the pinnacle of my italian endeavoring?
no.
it's just the beginning.
i had to start somewhere, right?
sandwiches are great place to begin.
i didn't eat alone, either.
nope.
my buddy carlos came through to break bread,
talk about food,
listen to music,
and crack jokes.
that was nice.
food tastes better when you share it.
that's a thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

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