Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Squid, Chorizo, and Chickpea Stew

Since I am still in awe of the tender, meaty texture that results from slowly cooking squid, I decided to further explore this cooking method.  Not only is the texture perfectly toothsome,  but the requisite slow cooking doesn’t actually take long at all.  For squid, “slow cooking” translates to about 30-40 minutes.  Thus, this is truthfully a relatively quick cooking soup that can easily be served as a simple meal on its own, or it can be beefed up a bit with a side salad, or a little bit of orzo pasta mixed in. This hearty squid soup is flavored […]

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Stuffed Calamari

I don’t have a ton of experience cooking calamari, but I know there are two cooking styles that yield a tender texture: cook it quickly over high heat (like flash frying), or cook it for a long time over low heat.  Well, that is what I have read; I’ve tried the first approach before, and the result was pretty rubbery.  So, when I found this recipe for stuffed calamari, simmered in tomato sauce, I was a bit skeptical.  Nonetheless, the recipe sounded too interesting to pass; I took my chances, and was pleasantly surprised. This recipe is made by stuffing […]

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Penna with Spicy Lamb Sauce

This is unique pasta dish can be on your dinner table in about 45 minutes or less, and it’s a nice riff on traditional meat sauce.  It’s called “spicy lamb sauce,” but depending on your preference, that can simply mean plenty of warm spices, but not necessarily heat.  The sauce is richly flavored with smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and a touch of cinnamon.  These spices give it a warm, smokey flavor that pairs well with the earthiness of the ground lamb.  When you start cooking, I recommend measuring the oil that the garlic and shallots are sauteed in.  If you […]

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Greek Eggs with Tomatoes

Summer tomatoes are upon us; add this recipe to your bag of tricks when you grow weary of caprese salads (although that is surely impossible).  Actually, this recipe can serve as a convincing slight of hand even for pale winter tomatoes, but it is surely better with summer’s ripe red bounty.  This is a simple egg dish, hailing from Greece, that hinges upon a neat little trick: grating your tomatoes.  You shave a tiny piece of skin off the base of the tomato, and grate the entire tomato on the large holes of a box grater, leaving the majority of […]

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Quinoa Salad

  My new kitchen has by far the most counter space and storage of my adult life.  It has opened me to so many new tools and little indulgences, simply because I have the space to use and stow them.  Vases for flowers, tea light candles, a food processor, a huge cutting board, a salad spinner: these are things that I now have space for, and being ever committed to simple pleasures, I see them as a currency that improves the quality of my daily life.  While I’m not using it daily, the food processor is certainly broadening my culinary […]

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Lasagna with Sausage and Basil

I recently moved into a one bedroom apartment, nestled between the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, and West Hollywood.  This is momentous because it is my first time having a separate bedroom (I have been a reigning queen of studio apartment living), but also because I am settling further into my life in Los Angeles.  After subletting for eight months, I have moved into my own place; I have a lease; I have purchased furniture; I’m making a commitment.  And I have a separate room for my bed.  This is huge.  The other morning, I woke up, and walked into my kitchen.  […]

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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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Pappa al Pomodoro

Much of Italian cuisine stems from the following principle: waste nothing.  Due to my aforementioned scallop debacle, I had purchased a baguette to sop up the excess juice, and I hadn’t a clue of what to do with the remaining bread.  Though delicious, baguette is not part of my regular grocery rotation.  So I opted to think like an Italian, and I put my day old baguette to work in pappa al pomodoro, or tomato and bread soup.  I had never made it before, but it seemed like to perfect antidote for the stale bread and a chilly January evening.  […]

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Braised Pork Chops

It has recently been brought to my attention that I have not written to a new blog post since early August.  I have been really busy since August, starting a new school year, and then promptly switching to an entirely new school district a month later.  This transition has taken a fairly significant toll on me; however, despite any excuses I may have, the idea of a three-month absence from my blog honestly makes me wince.  A blog is not a static creature; it only exists for as long as it is actually being written, and mine was coming dangerously […]

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Shakshuka

This recipe is foolproof.  The evening I made it, I was behaving like a fool, and it still came out great.  That day, I picked up a new pair of glasses, which was an exciting event since they are my first new pair in nine years.  When I retrieved them from the optometrist’s office, I relegated my contacts to a clean, white case in order to test out the glasses, and wore the glasses home.  This was my first foolish decision as the new prescription left me initially disoriented, which probably did not bode well for my driving.  I drove […]

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