Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Pasta Carbonara with Chard

I love cooking in someone else’s kitchen.  I love to evaluate the available ingredients, and morph them into a fabulous meal.  In fact, I enjoy this process at home as well.  Sometimes my best meals come from a seemingly barren kitchen; however, it’s even more fun in the home of someone else because they undoubtedly have different items on hand.  This past week, I got to partake in an interest twist of this experience.  My aunt and uncle recently left town for an extended trip, and the night before their departure, my aunt sent me home with any lingering food […]

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Cabbage Fried Rice with Bacon

I love cruciferous vegetables. Cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts: I love them all. These vegetables tend to be pungent, and stand up well to aggressive cooking methods and flavors; they can be roasted, caramelized in a hot sauté pan, or braised; they do well with curry, soy sauce, garlic, and chilies. Lately, I have been eating a lot of cauliflower and kale; they serve as a great foundation for quick, weeknight meals. (Sauté some half a head of cauliflower with a diced link of chicken sausage, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Pile it into a bowl, and sprinkle some […]

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Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese with Bacon

  I do not find mac and cheese boring.  Not at all.  I love cheese, and I love pasta, and I love the comforting, creamy, and ultimately benign flavor and texture profile of mac and cheese.  But some people might find it boring, bite after creamy bite.  If you happen to be one of these people, but you still enjoy cheese and pasta, this is the recipe for you.  I think the title essentially speaks for itself: Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese with Bacon.  Despite the fact that it is loaded with spinach, I am not going to try […]

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Waffle Grilled Cheese and Bacon

When was the last time you had an Eggo Waffle?  Until last weekend, I think it had been a couple decades for me.  Despite the lapsed time, Eggo Waffles played a fairly significant role in my childhood.  From what I remember, they were a Saturday morning treat.  However, when I was little, those buttery waffles could be problematic.  My parents were often on morning walks when I woke up and I wasn’t allowed to engage in independent toaster use.  They used to put milk in a small pitcher for me in the refrigerator so I could have cereal (it’s amazing […]

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Bacon and Tomato Pasta

Sometimes I like to put bacon on my pasta.  I think most people would find that at least slightly appealing.  The idea for the recipe just came through me; it was so organic (name that movie reference).  But seriously, the other night it was snowing after a solid month of 70-degree weather, and I felt obligated to make something comforting and to take the opportunity to enjoy the heat of my stove.  A slow-simmered tomato sauce was the answer.  It had a healthy dose of white wine in it, lots of tomatoes, and as promised, bacon. The key to success […]

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Mayonnaise: The Real Deal

Mayonnaise is a strange food.  It is the crux of many delicious recipes, but very few people yearn to crack open a jar of Hellman’s a dig in with a spoon.  Traditional mayonnaise is simply an emulsion of egg yolks, oil, and lemon juice, but commercial production sometimes renders into something seemingly more offensive.  Few have been spared the visual trauma of a vessel of mayonnaise that has been exposed to open air, out of refrigeration, translucent and gelatinous at the edges.  Despite this burdensome image, I truly enjoy mayonnaise on sandwiches, as a base for sauces and dips, and […]

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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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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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Baked Chicken Meatballs with Peperonta

Bob Dylan called it in 1964: the times they are a changin’.  Earlier this week, Conde Nast announced that Gourmet magazine would no longer be published after almost 69 years of exceptional food writing*.  This is truly the end of an era in the world of food, and journalism as well.  The recipes of Gourmet have been a little highfalutin for my kitchen, however it has sets the pace in the culinary world for at-home cooks, even if it is indirect.  It is a magazine I actually subscribe to, and I have spent many hours leafing through its glossy pages.  […]

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