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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Eggplant, Chickpea, and Tomato Casserole

I am behind with my writing.  I’m a little embarrassed, but there are foods that my readers need to know about, and this is one of them: eggplant, chickpea, and tomato casserole.  This dish is so much better than it sounds.  It sounds like a boring, watery, vegan, gluten-free dish, which will leave you digging in your pantry for cookies immediately after dinner.  It is indeed gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian, but it is satisfying and surprisingly rich, without weighing you down. This baked casserole consists of lush tomato sauce, punctuated with chickpeas, like little crunchy golden nuggets.  This mixture is layered […]

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Fancy Scallops and Santa Monica Seafood Market

My cooking tends to focus on functional food: simple, wholesome, and affordable dishes.  Even with this focus, everyone should have a few impressive dishes in their repertoire.  So I quickly jumped on board last Saturday when my aunt was jonesing to make a specific recipe from the previous week’s New York Times Magazine.  It was Ina Garten’s riff on Coquilles St. Jacques: bay scallops served in individual ramekins, swathed in a creamy mushroom-shallot sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs and gruyere cheese.  The whole thing is baked in the oven until the components morph into a decadent seafood masterpiece. Obviously, the […]

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“Deviled” Chicken Legs

I grew up watching my mom prepare dinner every night, but I did not learn how to cook myself until college.  As a junior, I moved out of the dorms, and into a studio apartment with a bare-bones, 1950’s kitchen.  For the first time in two years, I escaped mediocre campus food, and regained control over what I ate by cooking.  Despite my many mistakes, that kitchen illuminated me.  One of the first recipes that I learned to cook was akin to oven fried chicken.  It was perfect for me: inexpensive, simple, and satisfying.  I found the recipe in Family […]

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Hot and Sour Soup

I have a horrible personality.  Of my many horrible traits, I am obsessive.  I become obsessed with foods, routines, TV shows, activities, websites, etc.; then I indulge until I cannot take it anymore.  Sometimes, these obsessions last for years.  For example, I have been eating a turkey sandwich for lunch at work/school for the last five years.  I vary the bread, condiments, and toppings, but it’s a turkey sandwich no matter how many different variations of mustard I purchase.  How is it possible that I can endure, let alone enjoy, such a way of being?  I also have a wide […]

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