Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cajun Cauliflower Hash browned with El Guincho, Whole Sky Monitor, Cabins and Murdocks

J-Fur sent me an interesting email this week. Apparently people have stereotypes about other countries and a graphic designer, Yanko Tsvetkov put out a series of maps looking at these stereotypes. I'd like to think that stereotypes are below me and they are something that I don't participate in but when I think of certain countries, I think of food. Ireland is potatoes, Spain is flan, Greece is salad, Italy is olive oil, Switzerland is chocolate, Sweden meatballs (and good pop music). Portugal is the only European nation that I don't associate with food (I think of cork when I think of Portugal). My cajun cauliflower hash incorporates elements of Ireland, Asia, Italy and the USA to... Are these thoughts problematic? Certainly. But it continues to happen. Its something I need to work on.

Cajun Cauliflower Hash (adapted from Vegetarian Times, Sept. 2010)

-1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
-1 3/4 tsp. salt
-4 Russet potatoes
-2 Tbs. butter
-3/4 tsp. pepper
-1 Tbs. olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 celery stalk, diced
-1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
-1 medium sized onion, chopped

1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, shred the potatoes with a cheese grater. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the potatoes to the pan, season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook the potatoes until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat on the other side. Reserve two cups of the hash browns.

3. In a small dish, combine the chili powder with the remaining salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic and saute until the onion becomes translucent (3-4 minutes). Cover onion with chili powder mixture and cook an additional 30 seconds.

5. Stir in cauliflower, celery and 1/3 cup of water. Cover and cook for four minutes, stirring every once in a while.

6. Add the reserved hash brown potatoes. Cover and cook three to four more minutes (you want the cauliflower to be slightly tender). If the mixture becomes dry add a few tablespoons of water. Serve warm.

I had a lot of different music floating around as I fried up the hashbrowns and put together the cauliflower hash. El Guincho's single "Bombay" came to me a few weeks ago. I listened, slightly enjoyed the Caribbean drums, and then put it aside. When the NSFW video made its round on Friday, I gave the song another whirl and I enjoyed it much better. Some sites have suggested this is the video of the year. Won't go that far, but it is pretty good. Again, it is NSFW or NSFK (not safe for kids) so watch it in the dark, all alone, with no kids around.

Cabins are an Australian rock band on Ivy League Records. "Catcher in the Rye" is an exercise of how to gracefully incorporate piano into a rock song without it turning to mush.

Murdocks are all my rage right now. Loud, distorted, well placed screams and lyrics that stick in my head. The band is also cool enough that if you join their mailing list, they'll give you four tracks for free from their new album Distortionist. One of those songs is "Black Jesus Knocking" and that is a good thing.

Whole Sky Monitor, from Leeds, is preparing a new album, Twisted Little Piggies, for release on October 5th. You can order it now from their bandcamp page. "Sold" is the third track on the new album. It is a wonderful sing along, bounce your head anthem. Thanks to the Devil Has the Best Tuna for bringing them my way.