Happy Monday, team!
I’m pretty darn excited to kick off the week with a little flava -finishing off the comfort food series with a guest playlist from my good buddy (and a music aficionado guru of mine) Sleepmonster. Had a long day? Too tired to cook? Who doesn’t crave a giant container of curry right before crashing to bed? My personal favorite is chicken pad thai. Sleepmonster, take it away…
It’s 2:30pm. You just opened your eyes after a crazy time out the night before. Your head throbs. Your stomach feels miserable. You swear that your blood stream might actually be running with alcohol. What is the first thing you reach for? Advil. The second thing? Water. Third? Your car keys to take yourself to McDonald’s, Arby’s, IHOP, Norm’s or whatever greasy fast or diner food establishment is closest to your house. The below recipe from the Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis, MN may not be an Egg McMuffin, but it will certainly fill up your aching tummy to the brim.
Today we have an AWESOME credit sequence from the show True Blood. It’s grimy, it’s greasy, it’s sexy. Brought to you by the fab Gary Calamar (who also produced the soundtrack):
And if that’s not enough, there’s an entire program on the Food Network devoted to terrible-but-oh-so-delicious eats – Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives hosted by the slightly crazy but generally enjoyable Guy Fieri. Check out a list (with addresses and websites!) of some of the places he visits here.
To make the burgers: Toss the pork shoulder and fat back with the salt and the spice mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Grind through the coarse die of a grinder and form into 4 (8-ounce) patties.
To make the spicy kraut: Soak the store-bought kraut in water for 20 minutes, drain excess water. Render the bacon; add the onion and saute until translucent. Add white wine and cook off the alcohol. Add sauerkraut and spices and enough water to cover. Simmer for 1 hour. Cool. Mix in garlic-chili paste.
To assemble: Cook burger patties until medium-well. Melt 2 slices of cheeses on top of each patty. Place on toasted bun and top with spicy kraut.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
While the overall flow works, the soundtrack’s strengths are definitely those songs when the gritty and the sexy come together for that great hot, bayou feel. The kind that make you feel like you should be dancing in the moonlight on a sweaty summer night, perhaps some fireflies still hanging around…ok, I’ll stop now, you get my point. While a Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello collaboration is cool and it is a good song – I just wanted to go back to the swamp.
Check out the tracklist below – my favorites are in red, naturally. And you can stream the whole thing here.
1. “Howlin’ For My Baby” – M. Ward
2. “Evil (Is Going On)” – Jace Everett & CC Adcock*
3. “Bad Blood” – Beck 4. “How To Become Clairvoyant” – Robbie Robertson 5. “Shake And Fingerpop” – Jr. Walker and The All Stars 6. “Frenzy” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
7. “Kiss Like Your Kiss” – Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello
8. “Gasoline And Matches” – Buddy & Julie Miller
9. “You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)” – Chuck Prophet
10. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” – The 13th Floor Elevators 11. “Fresh Blood” – Eels
12. “The Forgotten People (Bon Temps Remix)” – Thievery Corporation 13. “New World In My View” – King Britt & Sister Gertrude Morgan
14. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” – Bob Dylan
And digital only downloads…
15. “Bad Things (Acoustic)” – Jace Everett
16. “Ain’t No Invisible Man” – Jakob Dylan
17. “You Can’t Drive Me Away” – Stone Temple Pilots
18. “Dig” – Headbone featuring Bubba Kendall
*Featuring background vocals from Calamar’s daughter and friends!
Music and food have always been two things tied closer to emotion than almost anything else. When you’re in a great mood you want to bop down the street to Ben Lee or The Beatles. When you’re pissed you might pull out some Aerosmith or Alkaline Trio. And especially when you’re bummed out, a pint of ice cream or chicken noodle soup, a warm blanket and some Bon Iver sound really good.
This week it’s all about comfort food and comfort tunes. Like a chef pairing your wine and entrée, I’ll be pairing each playlist with a delectable recipe perfect for when you need a pick me up. We start with a cold day classic: soup. Chicken noodle is of course the most traditional, but below check out a fantastic Rachel Ray recipe for Smoky Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup – I’ve made this one before, pretty sure I messed up somewhere, and STILL had a great dish that lasted for days. Sort of like this playlist (except I NEVER mess up, obvi) – so eat up, team.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped, plus a spoon of sauce from the can
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon dry thyme (eyeball it)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
5 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato
3/4-1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, a generous handful, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with two tablespoons of EVOO, about two turns of the pan.
While soup pot heats, chop carrots in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moons. Add the carrots to the pot while it heats, stirring to coat the carrots in the EVOO. Chop and drop in celery and onion, chopping as small as you can, but don’t make yourself crazy. Add the garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook the veggies together for one minute. Add the wine and reduce a minute. Add the stock to the pot, cover the pot, and raise heat to high. Bring the stoup to a boil, remove the cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice into bite-size pieces. Add the cut chicken and sweet potatoes and simmer five minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the scallions and cilantro. Serve each portion of stoup with a dollop of sour cream on top.
I know, I know. This might seem like a random third choice here. Dance party and cocktail lounge are polar opposites. There are a plethora of other options I could have gone with. Bachelorette Party, Office Holiday Party, Sweet Sixteen. You can dance AND lounge to The Beach Boys so couldn’t they go into either of the other playlists? How does that classify a separate genre? So on and so forth.
Cool it. The answer is easy: POOL PARTIES ARE AWESOME. Who doesn’t have a wonderful memory from their youth of splashing around with an inflatable whale or inner tube? Besides, summer is only a month or so away. Even in LA where it’s temperate year round we can’t wait – 65 degrees is too cold to prance around in a bathing suit no matter where you are. Now that May is almost halfway over I can almost taste those Arnold Palmers and feel the warm breeze while kicking back on a chaise lounge. The sweetness made ever so much better by an excellent soundtrack. Ah….