by Sean Meehan September 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

Red Beans and Rice (Photo courtesy of Brendan Polmer/ Tereu Tereu

Crock ‘n’ roll: Roughly 20 local bands will trade instruments for ladles in a new chili cookbook.

The forthcoming DC Rock ‘N’ Roll Chili Cookbook will feature chili and chili-esque recipes from local musicians. All proceeds from its sale will go toward benefiting Bread for the City, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, medical care and social services to at-need District residents.

The cookbook is the brainchild of Jack on Fire member Jason Mogavero, who is known more for stirring the pot of local politics and nightlife than stirring actual pots of chili.

Mogavero said the idea for the cookbook arose during a conversation with Sam Sherwood of indie rock band Mittenfields.

“The idea started, as many wonderful things do, over whiskey and beers at Showtime,” Mogavero said. “I was talking with Sam Sherwood about the Jack White guacamole recipe and that evolved into a conversation about our guacamole recipes and eventually our chili recipes.”

Mogavero said it wasn’t hard to get other bands and musicians to contribute recipes. To date, he’s already gathered submissions from Booby Trap, BRNDA, Granny & The Boys, Head-Roc, Hemlines, Incredible Change, journalist Kriston Capps, Mittenfields, Miyazaki, Nice Breeze, Not Bored, Pat Walsh, Plums, Polyon, Puff Pieces, Sara Curtin, Technicians and Tereu Tereu.

Though many groups contributed classic meat-and-beans chili recipes, Mogavero said there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as some recipes for things to eat with your chili. Feminist punk band Hemlines named its recipe “Dana-Friendly Veggie Chili” after its vegetarian bassist Dana Liebelson. Folk-pop musician Sara Curtin contributed a recipe for beet soup and semi-anonymous Fort Reno Rumors will also contribute to the list, Mogavero added.

Isn’t chili mostly the same no matter how it’s made? Not really, Mogavero said.

“Incredible Change has a recipe that sounds pretty promising involving McClure’s Pickles and black beans, so I’m eager to try that,” he said. “I haven’t tried Granny and The Boys’ recipe because I feared that it would give me a heart attack; it has like 80 different kinds of meat in it.”

The cookbook, which is available for pre-order and due out in November, will come with a download code for a compilation album featuring all the musicians whose recipes are in the book. Jack on Fire and BRNDA have recorded new songs for the release, and Sara Curtin’s song “Summer” will also be on the list.

Many of the bands also added some non-tangible ingredients into the recipes themselves. Jack on Fire’s chili recipe, for example, calls for a Stooges album to be playing while you cook and stir.

“A lot of the recipes are over-the-top and silly,” Mogavero said.

Music fans will get a chance to taste some of the recipes before they buy the book at a kickoff event Nov. 8 at 4-7 p.m. at Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale (113 Rhode Island Ave. NW). Mogavero is still hammering out the details for the event, but says he expects some intense competition between the bands to crop up.

“I imagine that everyone is saving their trash talk for Showtime and that a full-on Animal House-style food fight will go on,” he joked. “Probably a few people will be hospitalized with chili-related injuries.”

Photo courtesy of Brendan Polmer/ Tereu Tereu

by Borderstan.com November 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,298 0

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com. 

With two days off work this week, there’s ample time and way too much kale in the fridge waiting for your crockpot. 

Winds got you down and cooped up inside? Use up those free afternoon hours by letting a soup simmer on the stovetop. This week I had tons of farmers market greens leftover–I guess nobody wanted to buy produce with the likelihood that Pepco would poop out.

Soups are a great way of utilizing extra veggies before they turn. If you’re like me and often buy way too much but hate wastefulness, it’s perfectly easy and equally healthy to blanche and freeze vegetables for later. Or, if you have time during a wintery day stuck inside, make a soup and freeze it for later. Soups keep and later thaw very well–even your dinner guests won’t know that you made it a month or two earlier and just reheated it before their arrival….

The other great thing about homemade soup is that you control the amount of sodium. Commonly well-known by most now, prepackaged and canned soups contain enough sodium to salt an icy street. Hyperbole aside, the broths and canned goods tend to upset my stomach, so when I make my soups, I actually use water and salt to my own liking for the liquid base and rinse any canned beans before incorporating. For a healthful, immune system boosting, green soup, give one of these a try.

Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fall Soup

Serves you and a few friends depending on how much you eat

"Kale"

Great for these hurricane days. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Ingredients

  • Two minced cloves garlic
  • One onion, diced
  • Minced hot peppers, to your liking (no more than one tbsp.)
  • 2 cups room temperature water (or vegetable broth if you prefer)
  • Salt to taste
  • One can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • One bunch kale
  • A few pinches of dried thyme and parsley

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO on medium high.
  2. Sauté garlic, sweet potato, herbs and hot peppers five minutes.
  3. Add onions and cook until translucent — about two minutes. Add black beans and water and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Allow the soup to simmer as long as you can be patient, or about 20 minutes, until sweet potato can be pierced with a fork.
  5. While waiting, chop kale into three-inch strips. Add in the kale and season as needed.
  6. Once the kale appears blanched, serve and enjoy!

Vegan Roasted Broccoli soup

Serves Four

Ingredients and Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Chop two medium sized heads of Broccoli into large florets and stems into smaller pieces — because the stems are tougher, they cook at a slower rate than the florets and therefore should be cut to about half the size of the florets. Arrange on a baking sheet or in an oven safe pan. Add chopped onion if you like.
  3. Coat with two tablespoons EVOO, salt, pepper and two sliced cloves of garlic. Larger slices of garlic are okay since this soup will eventually be pureed.
  4. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tops are browned and stems can be pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove and let cool slightly before pureeing in batches in a blender with plus or minus one cup of warm water or blend in a Vitamix (if you have one, which I don’t, you do not need to add water and your soup will likely be a smoother consistency. I like mine fairly chunky).
  6. This recipe can be adjusted with so many flavors — roast broccoli with 2 tsp. cumin or curry and puree with coconut milk in place of water for Asian flavors.
  7. Serve after reheating in a saucepan with some crusty bread (I like Atwater’s rosemary white or sunflower flax).

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by Borderstan.com October 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,553 0

Cooking with cauliflower can be creepy. (Chelsea Rinnig )

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com. 

Just in time for Halloween, the Cruciferous vegetables are coming to haunt the farmers markets. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and, my favorite, romanesco, can be found throughout the markets and many will last through the colder temperatures. However, the fractal looking romanesco is perfectly creepy and weird and its sibling cauliflower quite resembles brain.

Traditional notions of the extreme health benefits of these vegetables are indeed correct–much research has been conducted that shows cruciferous vegetables are anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, as well as promote cardiovascular and digestive health. Counter that candy intake on the 31st with a healthy romanesco recipe and creep out your dinner guests with its weird shape, or substitute with cauliflower if you’re a bit tamer.

BONUS: With all the fresh, crisp eating apples at the market, make candy apples for dessert for Halloween.

Roasted Romanesco with Lemon-yogurt sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • One medium sized romanesco bunch, cut into smaller florets*
  • One tbsp olive oil
  • One tbsp minced garlic
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • One cup chopped walnuts
  • Half cup gold raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees – I save time by turning on the oven immediately and then chopping and prepping other vegetables while it heats up.
  2. Evenly arrange a layer of romanesco, garlic and walnuts in a large Pyrex baking dish.
  3. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and give it a stir or a gentle toss with your hands to coat evenly.
  4. Place on the top rack of the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until florets are lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately with lemon-yogurt sauce over whole wheat cous cous or pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

For the lemon-yogurt sauce

Whisk together the juice of half a lemon, one tbsp. cumin, a dash of cayenne pepper, and half a cup to a cup of probiotic plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (non-fat if you can!).

*Note: the stems are extremely healthy to eat, but can come out crunchy if not cooked long enough. Save and steam later or shave into thin, long pieces and pair with grated carrots for a healthy slaw.

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by Borderstan.com June 1, 2012 at 8:30 am 1,642 2 Comments

"Fruits"

All the secrets you want to know. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.

You know when your friend is slicing cheese in this new, different way that somehow makes the cheese so perfect and the slicing so easy? And your mind is blown and you’re like, whoa! Why didn’t you tell me about that? That would have made my life so much easier!

Yeah. That moment. When you realize you’ve essentially been doing something wrong forever. Let’s try to minimize those moments, yes? I poked around on my favorite DC-based food blogs for top tips, guides and advice all geared toward doing *fill in the blank* better. In no particular order

What’s your favorite kitchen, baking, cocktail tip? Whether it yields perfect results, or makes you look like MacGyver in the kitchen, we want to hear them all!

P.S.: And just for giggles, here’s a French guy opening a bottle of wine with a shoe. Because sometimes you may forget a wine opener.

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by Borderstan.com May 25, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,175 0

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.

It’s no secret that rosemary can amp up your chicken or that cilantro transforms tomatoes and onions from vegetable salad to salsa. But did you know that herbs can zsush up your salad or even a cocktail? They’re so much more than you thought, and I promise you, fresh is WAY better than the dried stuff you’re buying in plastic bottles at the grocery store.

While I usually give you a list of recipes to try out with an ingredient, this time I’m gonna drop a kitchen basics bomb on you. Some of the most simple things to do with herbs are the best — highlighting the subtlety of their flavors and complimenting the flavors or textures around them. My top list of herbs to buy at the market include:

"Borderstan" "Herbs"

Herbs at the farmers markets. (Alejandra Owens)

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Lemon thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Chives
  • Basil/Purple Basil
  • Cilantro

And the best things to do with them?

  • Tear, smash or roll herbs in your palms then add them to a bowl of salad greens and give them a good toss with a light dressing.
  • Bundle a variety of herbs, no matter which ones, with a bit of string or twine and throw them into a pot of soup, a braise, or with a roast/chicken.
  • Smash or roll herbs in your palm and put them in a bottle of olive oil for a flavorful infusion.
  • Finely chop any herb you like, stir into softened butter, reshape into a log using parchment paper and you have compound butter.
  • Finely chop any herb and mix it with a soft, spreadable cheese like goat cheese or quark for an infused spread.
  • Roughly chop a few herbs and throw them into a basic marinade for grilling meats

Bam! I just gave you about 9,847,598,734 different dishes or things you can do with all the herbs that are out in force at the markets right now! Seriously, don’t be afraid to pick up a bundle of herbs at the market and just throw them in with something.

While, yes, some herbs traditionally pair well with certain things, there’s no hard and fast rule that applies to pairing herbs with proteins or dips or anything like that. Just go with the flow and give it a try, maybe cilantro with some shredded cucumbers and yogurt would make a fabulous dip!

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by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,373 0

"Borderstan""Sparragus"

Asparagus at the farmers markets. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.

Do you ever wonder where foodie types get all their inspiration? It’s true, there are some among us who walk the stalls of the farmers markets every Sunday positively oozing with culinary inspiration. Some can reach back into the recesses of their minds and pull out recipes, recalling their time at culinary school or a cooking class or some recipe they saw in Gourmet magazine in 1997.

And then there’s the rest of us. Who might need a little prodding, some inspiration and likely a kick in the rear to set us off on our adventures. Having a bit of an insider’s view as to how this cadre of the culinary mafia develops recipes, I’m here to offer you a few tips for where we get our inspiration.

  1. Blogs – There are big national blogs to follow, but I prefer reading DC’s finest first. If you need a list to start with, take a look at our archive of weekly farmers market posts! We try to feature local food blogger’s recipes as often as we can. Don’t just read what they wrote this week though, look back to this month last year, or the year before. Most folks are blogging about seasonal trends, whether they’re from the farmers market or dishes featured in restaurants.
  2. Cookbooks – One of my favorite cookbooks is Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. The reason I love this book so much is for its no muss, no fuss approach to ingredients. When I’m walking around the market, sometimes all I see are ingredients and I need an idea for how I can include them in a larger dish. Waters will help you do just that.
  3. Magazines Online – Gourmet is out of print, Saveur can be expensive or seem out of reach and subscribing to Bon Appetit sounds like a nice idea but you’re probably not going to use it as often as you should. Don’t fret, all these mags have superb online search functions. My first spot for searching recipes online is often Saveur.com. Saveur does a fabulous job of mixing their own articles/recipes with recipes from like-minded bloggers across the country. Also, their recipes are much more accessible and simple than you would think.
  4. Eating Out – Chefs are an artistic lot, so why not leech a little creativity off them? When dining out it’s important to be adventurous – whatever your definition of adventurous is. Even if it’s “not ordering chicken,” it’s important to try something new so you can try new flavors, a new herb or protein and see how one of the pros does it! Don’t be afraid to ask what’s in a dish, or even for the recipe. The truth is, these are aren’t state secrets and most chefs realize you will never make it as well as they do so many are willing to share.
  5. Traveling – My #1 rule for eating when I travel is this: if I can get it at home, I’m not getting it here. Why waste your money when you’re traveling on a chain or eating the same old stuff you get at home? If you’re in Chicago, go look for Chicago-style pizza! If you’re in Tucson, seek out the littlest hole in the wall Mexican food joint you can find. It takes some effort, but I promise, the internet is here to help. And you know, foodie types love telling stories about “that moussaka they had on a tiny island in Greece made by a little old lady” they’re always trying to replicate.
  6. Pinterest – Oh it’s just alllll the rage right now! You’re too cool for Pinterest! I know, you’re a hipster who’s already looking for the next Pinterest. But for the rest of us, this is a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration. Follow your friends, follow your favorite bloggers, search “kale” — there’s a bazillion ways to find new and interesting dishes to make. Heed these warnings though: things will look far more perfect and beautiful on Pinterest than they will in real life, and you do not have to put every dish you make in a mason jar.

I think it goes without saying that inspiration can be found just about anywhere — maybe in some art or from your mom or friends. Sometimes we forget an idea is likely just a tweet, phone call or Google search away.

Where do you guys get your cooking inspiration from? I’m always looking for new places to poke around for recipes and ideas, so please share in the comments! And don’t forget, if you have cooking or market questions, ping me on Twitter — I’m @frijolita.

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