Category Archives: Tomatoes

Shhhh…I’m Hunting Rarebit

The phrase “A Bachelor Cooks” in this blog’s title is somewhat of a misnomer, because while I do cook, I also intend to just write about food, whether it’s a food item I saw in the store, a restaurant excursion, or even something someone else cooked. I also fully intend to start each post with an incredibly long run-on sentence. Check.

My friends Mike and Marcia invite me over for supper far more often than common courtesy would require. And yes, I say supper. My dad was from the East Coast, ok? Anyway, I suspect they may be entering that phase of their relationship where they are sick of each other’s faces and welcome any distraction. Or I suppose they could just be really nice people. But they like me, so that can’t be the case. It’s a paradox.

I love their kitchen dynamic. I’ve told them on several occasions that they should have a cooking show together. I suggest the following titles:

Cooking & Fighting With M & M

Let Me Show You Why You’re Doing That Wrong

Get The Hell Out Of My Way

Do You See The Mistake You Made?

No, Really, Don’t Get Up. I Think You Stopped The House From Burning Down Last Time.

Um…My Wine Glass Is Empty. Ahem.

Yes, Baby, You ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Um, Babe? That’s On Fire. BABE.

Do You Want To Do This? DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS? OK THEN.

I kid, I kid. It’s actually quite fun to watch them. It’s not serious fighting. Mostly. They have learned to take a barb and hurl it right back without batting an eye. It’s kind of what I want in a relationship, actually. Without the knives.

Right here I have to say that M & M are such good sports, they hopped right on board and took all the pictures for me since I hadn’t brought my camera. Mike even had to charge the thing in between shots. I guess they are good people.

Last night they had me over for Welsh Rarebit. Since you’re too lazy to read the Wikipedia article I worked so hard to link to for you just now, I’ll give you the rundown.

1. It’s widely accepted that the term Welsh “rarebit” comes from the term Welsh “rabbit.”
2. There is no rabbit in this dish whatsoever. Rarebit is a cheese sauce.

There are a couple theories on this. One is that the Welsh were too poor to eat rabbit, which was a dish reserved for nobles with money. Paupers had access to cheese, so they used that. Another theory is that the cheese dish was called Welsh rarebit because cheese was inferior to meat (debatable) and all things Welsh were considered inferior by the Brits. I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to my old roommate from Chicago, who’s name is actually Briton and who moved to Wales to marry a Welshman.

Now there are ways to make this key ingredient (the cheese sauce) from scratch. It sounds pretty damn good, actually. It involves mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and beer. But that takes, you know, work. I may try it some day, but in the mean time, there’s an excellent option from the Stouffer’s brand line of food products.

It’s even mentioned in the Wikipedia article, so it must be true. While I’m maybe not the typical bachelor in that I mostly avoid frozen foods, this one is highly recommended. And if you REALLY want to go the bachelor route, you kick the convenience up a notch. How do I do that, you ask?

With READY TO SERVE BACON. That’s right, folks. We can put a man on the moon, we can give you microwaveable bacon. I can’t begin to tell you the skepticism with which I faced this. I was not a believer. But you know what? It ain’t bad! And you don’t have a big ass pan of grease to deal with afterward.

So, here’ the recipe. The traditional Welsh Rarebit is just cheese sauce on toast. Good, but boring. This much more interesting arrangement comes from Marcia’s late mother. I wish I could have met her to tell her it’s delicious.

First, prepare some trimmed, healthy asparagus stalks. I usually saute asparagus to keep it crispy, but M & M slowly blanch them in a pan of water. They’re still firm, but a bit less crispy than if sauteed. It actually works out better for this dish.

Microwave the bacon while the asparagus is in the Jacuzzi.

Now heat up yer rabbit. Mmmm….cheese rabbit…..

Next, cut up a baguette into slices and toast lightly. Arrange on sides of plate. Put the asparagus in the middle.

Cover the bread with bacon…

and sliced tomatoes.

If you’re asked to bring one or two medium-sized tomatoes over and you stop at the Asian market and the only fresh ripe ones they have are hobbit-sized, bring four of those and smile when Marcia mocks them.

Cover the whole thing with the piping hot cheesy goodness. Enjoy.

Thanks to M & M!

Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Gaysian Dressing

My friends had a bbq at their place, and they bought a new grill for the occasion. They asked me if I wanted their old one, and then just gave it to me! Nice, huh? It’s an Aussie Bushman Elite, and it is my new favorite thing in the world. First of all, I love the audacity of the name. It takes balls to name a propane fueled grill after a group of Aborigines. Sure, they were bushmen. They figured out how to live by making fire with two pieces of wood and their hands. But had they just gone that one step further and mastered electricity, steel manufacturing, sheet metal pressing, propane storage, and the push-button ignition, they could have been elite bushmen.

Anyway, for this dish I marinated some chicken breasts over night in a mix of Wonnie’s spicy hot korean bbq sauce and House of Tsang regular stir fry sauce. You can get both at the regular grocery store, and any stir fry nonsense will work. I find the Wonnie’s too be a bit too heavy on the heat so I mix it up. Once upon a time I was into making things as hot as humanly possible and then some, but nowadays I’m kind of getting into the whole “flavor” thing. Maybe I’m old.

So I grilled the chicken breasts on the Aussie, and then just chopped ’em up and put ’em over a bed of spring mix from a bag in the produce section. I cut up some orange sections and added red grape tomatoes. If I had some orange grape tomatoes and scallions I’d have used those too. Top with some crunchy chow mein noodles.

This is basically a variation on a salad my sister makes. She puts goat cheese in it, which I love. So I wanted to do that, but the first few times I made my own dressing and it sort of melted all the goat cheese. Then I thought, why not put the goat cheese in the dressing? I know it’s that kind of dangerous thinking that will get me in trouble one day, but I went for it anyway. I’m hard core.

I don’t measure anything, by the way. You should know that right up front. So if you’re upset that I haven’t provided measurements here, sorry. You’ll just have to keep tinkering with it until it tastes right. It’ll be good for you to loosen up a little.

The amounts below made enough for two people, or one person who likes a LOT of dressing. You can always make too much and refrigerate it.

Sesame seed oil – I’d say several tablespoons
Pineapple vinegar – slightly less than the amount of sesame oil used. You can get this in the Asian foods aisle, near the stir fry sauce
Goat cheese – about half of one of those small tubular packages is what I used.
Brown sugar – to taste. I would add this last, about a teaspoon at a time until it’s not too tart
Oregano – to taste
Tarragon – same
Ginger – dried powdered kind, to taste

I used one of those “salad magic” carafe thingies you get when you buy the dry package Italian dressing. I shook it vigorously after adding each ingredient, and kept tasting it. The goat cheese will “creamify” (new word) in there if you shake the s#$t out of it. The herbs you can add, omit, or use something else.

What makes this dressing “Gaysian,” you ask? Goat cheese + Asian = funny word. Plus you have to admit, it doesn’t get much gayer than making your own goat cheese salad dressing. It works on so many levels!

With the dressing it’s nice and shiny. And I am all about shiny food.