Friday, October 10, 2008

Without Further Adieu

I give you Seth:


Howdy. I'm Sethy, Emily's younger brother. If you were to research my life and write a Wikipedia article about me, you'd most likely assert this: "Seth David McCarroll is a University of Oklahoma graduate with a film degree that he's not using, working instead as a printmaker and spending the rest of his time as: a musician to his bands, a boyfriend to his girlfriend, a brother to his sisters, a son to his mother and a mainstay at local bars, all while trying to live the funnest life possible."*

You'd be mostly right.

I also love to cook. Especially for (and with) friends and loved ones. Emily asked me to guest-spot on her blog, and I was quite honored / nervous / scared / excited / proud. In that order, too. Here's what baby brother came up with: a ramshackle recipe of awesome using foodstuffs found in my kitchen just; no grocery store runs, but a lot of ingredients that needed to get used before they went bad! So grab your silicon spatulas, and hold onto your butts — you're in for a wild time of good yums.

First, let's start with ingredients. Wait, no. First, let's start with what we're making. Right. Geez. Okay here we go.

Wine-Drunk Garlic Rosemary Chicken over Crushed Red Pepper and
Basil-Encrusted Polenta over Angel Hair Pasta with
Baby Spinach, Baby Carrot and Fried Polenta Salad in Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
Yikes, that's a mouthful (Sure as hell will be, anyway).

Ingredients (separated by dish):

Wine-Drunk Garlic Rosemary Chicken
01 lb. chicken breasts, CUBED
08-10 cloves garlic, CHOPPED
01 palm of rosemary
02 glugs of olive oil
01 or 02 whoopsies of your favorite red wine
some pasta sauce (Cheap is so okay.)

Crushed Red Pepper and Basil-Encrusted Polenta
01 store-bought log of polenta, CUT INTO 1/2" DISKS
01/2 half palm of crushed red pepper
01/2 palm of dried basil (Though if you have fresh, that would be more badass. Crush it up!)

Baby Spinach, Baby Carrot and Fried Polenta Salad in Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
about 10 baby carrots, SLICED
about 03 handfuls of baby spinach, WASHED
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Angel Hair Pasta
01 fist of angel hair pasta, UNBROKEN
01 palm of sea salt

You'll See
01 beer of your choice
01 frosted mug or pint glass

So after reading that completely unquantified list, you're probably thinking, Whaaa? Don't do that. Here's why.
An exceptional plate of food is all about how it is expressed; the spontaneity in approximation is where the soul of a dish lies. A painterly stroke and dash is what makes it taste fun and exciting. Also, I don't possess the constitution to take the time to actually measure out any of this stuff so just roll with it. Trust me, it works.

Okay, Step 01:
See the beer and mug there at the end of the list? Pour that beer into that frozen mug. Drink throughout preparation (audible exultation optional).

Step 02:
Mix your chopped garlic cloves, rosemary, two-ish glugs of extra virgin olive oil and a whammy of that red wine into a small bowl and let sit while you start Step 03, which is...

Step 03:
Pour some of that knock off olive oil you bought at Costco but keep in that long-ago-used bottle of expensive EVOO Raechel Ray inspired you to buy into a pan and bring to a simmering fry. CAREFULLY put your polenta disks in the oil and brown on both sides. This takes a little while, so use this time to prep the rest of your meal.

Step 04:
Pour the garlic, rosemary, wine and oil concoction over the cubed chicken. Keep drinking that beer.

Step 05:
Once the polenta has browned on both sides, remove disks and drain on a paper towel. Add your chicken and garlic / rosemary / oil and wine mixture to the already hot oil you used on the polenta. Dust the polenta disks with crushed red pepper and basil while they cool.

Step 06:
Start angel hair pasta. I like to use enough sea salt to make the water fuzzy. That seems to make the pasta both "taste" more and protects it from getting mushy.

Step 07:
Once chicken is cooked through, add pasta sauce and a few more chugs of wine to the pan and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Your pasta should be finished. Drain it!

Step 08 (Plating):
On a bed of angel hair, situate a few polenta rounds, creating a tectonic layer of fried corn meal. Seal the deal with the chicken and sauce on top. Due to the thinness of the sauce, the salad should be served in a different vessel altogether.

By this time I've finished my beer and poured a glass of the wine to complement the wine already in the dish. In film, this is called a motif. If you're with Sethy, and there's wine to be poured, it's called Business as Usual.

**A note about the salad**
I often like to theme my meals, so if I'm using a fun ingredient like polenta I like to see it saying ,"Hey dude!" on a few different places on my plate. This salad consists of the leftover polenta and some baby spinach and carrots that were in my fridge and absolutely needed to be used today. It turned out quite nicely. Both the subtle sweetness and crunch of the polenta and carrots were a nice balance to the vinegar and spinach. The colors also rounded out the mostly red hues in the entree.

So there you have it, folks. If you're a poor 20-something dude (who likes to get a little crazy in the kitchen sometimes), or you just want to eat like one, there's an easy recipe that doesn't take a whole lot of time or money. Maybe next time we'll do something with arugula and vodka tonics. mmmm...

Be well and stay well, I hope I wasn't boring!
Sethro Bodine.
*Also, "funnest" isn't a word, so some douchie wiki-nerd would probably edit that part out pretty quick.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stay Tuned...

I'm really so excited. For you. For me.

My brother has agreed to do a guest post. With pics. He's an artist in so many ways.

While we wait for his Collecting Raindrops debut, check out his post, "Debtors Time Piece"