Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Smoky Clams with Tomatoes and Sausage

I found this recipe over the summer on Food52, and it immediately appealed to me: succulent clams, steamed in a slurry of tomatoes, chorizo sausage, and white wine.  Smoked paprika and garlic make the mixture extra aromatic and enticing.  I have only been waiting for the right opportunity, as a big bowl of steamed clams isn’t a typical home-cooked meal for me on a random Tuesday night.  Usually, when I wait a while to make a recipe, it eventually gets overlooked for more compelling prospects.  Fortunately, this gem did not fall by the wayside.  Last Thursday night seemed the perfect […]

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Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

You think you don’t like anchovies, but you’re wrong.  Perhaps you are averse to popping a whole, pungent, furry little fish in your mouth (those are actually tiny edible bones).  That texture isn’t for everyone, but on the other hand, those little suckers will dissolve when cooked in oil, and they can lend an unparalleled depth of flavor to the backbone of a dish.  You can even purchase anchovy paste, and that dissolving work is essentially already complete.  That’s exactly what I used in this dish, and I love the edge of complexity the anchovy paste can add to a […]

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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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Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is a perfect dish for you to make right now, as it is a wearer of many hats.  It feels indulgent, yet it is much healthier than its namesake.  It is fun and impressive enough for company, yet with a little planning, it’s simple to execute.  You get to boast a little, and say that you made your own salad dressing, but the dressing requires little more of you than measuring and stirring.  Also, it won’t overly heat your kitchen, and this recipe gives you a great excuse to buy a nice chunk of blue cheese. I found this […]

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Thai Curry Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables

I do my best not to waste food.  I believe in resourceful cooking, meaning food shouldn’t only taste good, but it should be functional: simple, affordable, and unwasteful.  That’s how I derived the idea for this dish.  I had left over coconut milk from my chickpea salad, and figured that a Thai noodle dish would be a good vehicle for the leftovers. This is a simple rice noodle stir fry, loaded with green vegetables, shrimp, and lush coconut-curry sauce.  You may notice a lot of ranges in the ingredient list – just go with what suits your taste, and you […]

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Curried Chickpea Salad

Make a mental note: when it’s too hot to cook, you’ll make this for dinner.  Vegetarian?  Vegan?  On a budget?  Looking for something healthy, but satisfying?  Just plain hungry?  This recipe will fit the bill.  This is a Mark Bittman original recipe.  Truth be told: I have a sweet spot for ol’ Bittman, but this recipe is particularly tasty, and functional.  The requirements are simple: chop a couple vegetables, and stir a few things together, and you have a light summer meal at your disposal.  Chickpeas, curry powder, red bell pepper, lime, scallions, cilantro, peas, and coconut milk: that’s all […]

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D-Lux Turkey Burgers

You may not typically associate turkey burgers with the word “deluxe,” but anything is possible in the psycho kitchen.  The phrase “turkey burger” most readily conjures up images of frozen, gray hockey pucks, dry in texture and with a processed flavor, but they don’t have to be like that if you make them at home.  I like turkey burgers because they offer a bit more creative license than beef burgers.  When purchasing good quality ground beef, burgers should be an exercise in simplicity.  Since ground turkey is a little blander, it lends more flexibility with flavor profiles and add-ins, without […]

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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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Spring Chicken Noodle Soup with Miso

Every year, I inevitably come down with some minor spring cold or allergies, and I know I’m not alone.  Regardless of the cause, congestion is a common theme this time of year, and this soup will cure what ails you (or at least make your ailment a bit more palatable).  Garlicky chicken soup is well known for its curative properties, but this soup’s decongestant quotient is bolstered by plenty of fresh ginger.  Also, the addition on some fresh springtime vegetables will give you another boost of antioxidants, and they will also allow you to partake in the joy of springtime […]

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