Vagabond Cookbook

The best you ate on vacation? Make it at home tonight.

Sautéed shrimp, broccoli couscous, vadouvan aioli, shaved cauliflower

Vadouvan aioli and why comedian Eddie Griffin is a secret genius

Let me be the first to say it (or at least the first this century). Eddie Griffin is completely right. Say wha’?! Now, maybe Ed wasn’t the funniest comic of his generation. Or the smartest. Or the most original. But, if nothing else, he made one vital point crystal clear to all of us – mayonnaise is a little sick. That’s right, mayonnaise! The creamy condiment of depressing office sandwich platters the world over. From Eurotrash french fries to your favourite burger joint’s “secret” sauce, it’s hard to escape the omnipresence of mayo. Way back in 2002, I probably would’ve agreed with the Undercover Brother. At the time, I was new to the world of emulsified salad dressings. Growing up, I hated mayonnaise. When Ma threw a sandwich my way, I demanded only the finest of spreads – Parkay Margarine. Really, I was one step away from loading up my […]

Kou shui ji, ready to eat

Kou shui ji (or, ‘are you a breast man or a leg man?’)

Call me a creepoid, but Russ Meyer never gets the love he deserves. The King of the Nudies himself. He’s dismissed, jeered, chided as a peddler of mindless smut (as if that’s such a bad thing). Say what you will, but this visionary director of ‘60s B movies made a stack of classics. Vixen! Supervixens. Beyond the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. You name the flick, he was behind it (at least if it had “vixen” in the title). Not only that, Meyer performed one especially tricky feat. He made chicken seem interesting. Be honest – you know chicken is boring. It’s up there with sitting in traffic and discussing last night’s dreams as a regular ol’ snoozefest. Fry it, grill it, turn it into nuggets – there’s not much you can do to a chicken that hasn’t been done (just ask Subservient Chicken). It’s usually fine, but it’s rarely a […]

Pesto chicken and summer vegetable salad

The Rest of Summer #5: Pesto SMASH!

Let me ask you: What’s green and smashy? Dr. Banner’s a given, but what’s green and smashy and delicious? If you said “pesto”, give yourself an awkward thumbs up. (Sorry, mushy peas. Your time will come.) Not today, li’l one. You’re likely all familiar with pestos, that class of sauces the tomato-haters have loved since the ‘80s (or the 1800s if you’re Italian). Unlike the rich and hearty ragùs that cover pasta and polenta the world over, pestos are bright and punchy dressings used to liven up noodles and vegetables that otherwise live in Bland City. Fusilli and potatoes are classic, but there’s rarely a wrong pairing for pesto in the savoury kitchen. “Yeah, dude, I know. I can also buy a jar of pesto at Safeway for $2.99. Why the hell would I make it?” Truth: You’re right. Ready-made pesto comes cheap. So do supermarket roast chickens. And lookie here, […]

Peach bruschetta

The Rest of Summer #1: The Teaches of Peaches

I’ll be straight with you — I hate summer. It’s hot outside. The movies suck. Dipshits fill the streets with shirtlessness and good times. And, don’t even get me started on the pumas. In short, summer’s the worst. These people love summer. Think about that. That said, even I’ll cop to the quality eats leading up to Labour Day. Grilled steaks, smoked chicken, charred corn-on-the-cob — they almost make beach season worth it. They all have one thing in common, though: They require a barbecue. This guy knows what’s up. If you’re like me, you don’t have a barbecue. You’re a hipster doofus living in an apartment downtown. You don’t have a backyard. You don’t have a patio. Hell, you don’t even have windows that open all the way. The best place you have to set up a grill is next to the tweaker having a seizure in the alley. […]