Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Birth and Death of Tofu Menudo, Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, Tyevk and Tally Ho!

It took just twenty minutes after work for me to go from an accidental baby shower to an unexpected death. It is amazing how closely related these two major events always seem to be for me. I guess life is like a department store, where there is an entrance there's bound to be an exit close by. In Mexico, a dish that may accompany gatherings of the birth and death kind is a stew called menudo. Traditionally the stew is made with beef stomach (tripe) but I have a habit of trying to take the grossest meat meals and turn them vegetarian and that is exactly what I did. I have no idea if my version resembles the original in anyway, having never heard of it before I made it, but I had some awesome help from this guy. The allure of this soup is that it contains a megaton of hominy.

Tofu Menudo (adapted from
(printable version)

-6 Hungarian Wax Peppers
-4 Poblano Peppers
-olive oil
-1/4 onion
-3 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 cans (15 oz) Hominy
-pepper and salt (to taste)
-bay leaf
-veggie broth (or bouillon cube)
-1 block of tofu cut into squares
-shredded cabbage
-sliced onion

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the peppers into fourths, discarding the seeds and veins. Place in a single file on a baking sheet. Cover with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When the peppers are done add, along with the garlic and onion, to the boiling water. Remove the water from heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon remove the peppers, onions and garlic and place in a food processor. Add some of the water (I added about 1/2 a cup). Process the mixture until relatively smooth.

4. Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat. Using a metal strainer, strain the processed peppers into the pot. Discard the chunks.

5. Add water to the oil and peppers. I added about six cups. Add the bouillon cube (if you are using veggie broth you may want to add slightly less water) salt, pepper and bay leaf. Let broth simmer for about ten minutes.

6. Add the cubed tofu and hominy. Continue to heat the soup, stirring every so often, for fifteen minutes.

7. Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the onion, cabbage and lime. (Feel free to add other toppings that you desire: cheese, cilantro, tortillas, etc.)

Most of the time I can't depend on Spin for much (though it is still fun to read). By the time a band has been featured in the magazine they are pretty much all over the blog word. But in December's issue, past all the year end awards and dull stuff like that, laid an album review of Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, a band that hadn't, to my knowledge, been blogged out yet. The album, titled Teenage and Torture, features an ode to razors that can't be passed on. You will be able to catch these guys at SXSW in March, hopefully "Venus Shaver" is on their set list.

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers-Venus Shaver

Tyevk is return to my punk roots. "4312" is fast, disgusting and horrible to listen to. Imagine, as Alan Cross (of Explore suggested, a sound like "the Ramones played through an AM radio with a broken speaker." Can it get anymore perfect than that? Tyevk is currently touring, including a date on January 20th at the New World Brewery in Ybor City.

Find more artists like Tyevk at Myspace Music

A few months ago a guy from Russia sent me an email, introduced me to the Cheese People, promised to be in touch and then disappeared. I thought my pipeline had dried up. Then along came another email, this one from David MacFadyen a Professor in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the University of California. He directed me towards his blog which specializes in all types of music from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. I have his blog, Far From Moscow, to thank for my introduction to Tally Ho! Hopefully this marks the beginning of a new pipeline.

Find more artists like Tally Ho! at Myspace Music

And of course: