Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Cream of Mushroom Soup

I suppose there will be an ebb and flow of emotions with anything you love, and I have been experiencing low tide regarding both my creativity and enthusiasm for cooking.  Unfortunately, my stove has been as barren as my blog; however, I am hoping that dropping temperatures and decreasing daylight will reignite my interest, as my favorite comfort foods become increasingly appropriate (there should be something positive to glean out from these first glimpses of winter). Soup is a universally loved cold-weather comfort food, and this soup is a mushroomy masterpiece.  If this mushroom soup had a motto, it would […]

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Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

It’s no secret that psycho cooker is psycho for pasta.  It is just so tasty and versatile, not to mention affordable.  Of all the ways to cook pasta, there are few that are as pure and classic as marinara.  I have no qualms about using canned tomatoes, or even cracking open a good jarred brand.  However, making it from scratch with fresh tomatoes elevates this simple pleasure to a new elegance, and there is no better time to tackle such an endeavor than late summer, when tomatoes achieve their deepest color and flavor. Fresh marinara is not a quick feat, […]

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Bacon and Vegetable Fried Rice

Fried rice is a delectable treat, usually reserved for otherwise-boring leftover rice.  However, seeing that rice takes a mere 15-20 minutes on the stove, I have no problem whipping some up when the mood for its fried variation attacks.  Besides, there is plenty of chopping and sautéing to do in the meantime. Fried rice is a vehicle for practically any lingering vegetable you may have in your refrigerator.  The recipe below is merely a guideline.  Carrots, celery, scallions, spinach, watercress, corn (fresh or frozen), cauliflower, and zucchini would all be welcome additions.  The version below may also be grossly simplified […]

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White Wine Braised Chicken

I’ve been craving roast chicken.  Bone-in, skin-on, luscious chicken.  It is far too hot to turn on my ancient oven in my tiny, non-air-conditioned apartment; however, I thought I might be able to get away with braising, without suffering the consequences of a sleepless night, as heat seeps from the oven for hours.  Plus, braising has some added benefits that roasting lacks.  A braise, by definition, requires a notable amount of liquid.  Wine just happens to be a liquid, and cooking something in wine always makes food better.  And thus, white wine braised chicken was born.  It was a fairly […]

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The Easiest Mac and Cheese Made Easier

Last weekend was the first I spent without Warren since my return to Boulder.  We spent the majority of our time together on the weekends, and I knew the first one here without him would be particularly difficult.  Thus, I preemptively made plans to surround myself with good people and to do some cooking, as cooking is one of the few things that provide me unconditional solace right now.  Good friends help, too.  It happened to be a cold weekend, and between the weather and the circumstances, it was a perfect opportunity to delve into my favorite culinary realm: comfort […]

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A Tribute

My blog focuses on food, but it is a reflection of my life.  It represents my life, through the lens of food, and right now, my life and my heart are broken.  Someone passed away recently who was near and dear to many hearts, but mine especially.  I thought there was a chance we might choose to walk through this life together, but instead he left this world and my life far too early.  Now, I remain in his absence, trying to make sense of the impossible.  I did a lot of cooking for him over the last few months.  […]

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Linguine with Cauliflower and Bacon

This is a new twist on an old favorite:  linguine with cauliflower and bacon.  In the fall, I wrote a post about pasta with cauliflower, green olives, and almonds.  It was a lovely dish, with a perfect balance of savory flavors and textures.  This recipe is similar:  pasta with beautifully caramelized cauliflower, swathed in garlic and hot pepper flakes.  However, instead of saltiness from green olives, and crunch from toasted almonds, bacon takes over, boasting both salt and crunch.  I will not try to be coy about it: this is not a low fat dish.  I started this by rendering […]

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Mujadra

April is not exactly a joyous time of year for graduate students.  The weather is getting nicer, yet the time you spend studying only increases.  At this juncture, I feel like I worry so excessively about school that I absolutely refuse to worry about how I’m going to be fed.  During times like these, I want to have a big pot of food in my refrigerator, on call for the demands of my stomach.  Mujadra is perfect for such desperate circumstances.  In a nutshell, it is vegetarian, Middle Eastern, comfort food.  It also happens to be nutritious and dirt-cheap.  It […]

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Chicken Fajitas

I apologize if you’re tired of hearing me gush about Tastespotting, but it truly is the best website ever.  I don’t necessarily use or even look at the recipes; the pictures are enough inspiration on their own.  As a cook, it’s easy to get boxed in by your own inherent tastes.  You develop a moderate sized repertoire of dishes that you like and you do well, and that’s about all you cook.  Tastespotting can free you of this cycle.  You browse the pictures; you drool a little; you roll your eyes at stupid captions; eventually, you see something that is […]

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Tomato Soup with Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

April is National Grilled Cheese Month!  I have no idea who declares these silly food holidays, or why, but I will embrace any excuse to eat a grilled cheese sandwich.  This very special month-long holiday was revealed to me via Tastespotting, and it was later confirmed by another reputable source.  Such a momentous occasion inspired me to make a grilled cheese sandwich’s perfect companion: tomato soup.  I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a little old school canned tomato soup.  Amy’s Kitchen makes a lovely chunky tomato bisque.  However, it’s entirely feasible to whip up a whole pot of your own […]

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