Monday, October 6, 2008


Tamalehawk isn't going to perch here and pretend he has an excuse for the stunning stretch of saturnine silence he has foisted upon his flock of fellow food followers. He's been soaring sullen and lateral over a littoral landscape feeding formidably, his journey charted solely in the folds of his curved bird mind.

He alights again on the brittle and neglected tractate with a tomatillo in repose, itself exposed with husk flaps akimbo. Having shucked and rinsed the intriguing veg, Tamalehawk roasted a host of tomatillos in the oven and, together with jalapeño and cilantro, made a salsa verde that might get elected for local salsa office. The main attraction: a frenzied foray into the realm of carnitas - pork shoulder marinated in a sauce including but not limited to three kinds of citrus, achiote paste, cilantro, garlic, and extra etcetera, and which completely ruined his leg feathers in a sudden spray from the blender - slow roasted, shredded, and bedded into heated tortillas. He couldn't help but top them with homemade pickled red onion, radishes, queso fresco, and más cilantro for a taco that would probably push any other taco down on the street without remorse.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Swoop

June came and went, quietly sliding by with only two paltry posts to its name. Tamalehawk sounds a mournful squawk for the lack of traction on his beloved tractate. Raising a baby hawk has been a full-time job, often pushing experimentation to the back burner, where it simmers unceremoniously until Tamalehawk gets a free wing to stir, panic, adjust, and rejoice.

That's not to imply that he hasn't maintained a steady trickle of triumphs. This curried lamb burger with grilled zucchini and chili-yogurt sauce would certainly spur a sheep to nod approvingly. Tamalehawk is typically particular about his lamb manifestations, preferring chops to sinewy shanks, but the subtle, uniform taste and texture of ground lamb was designed for the burger format. The toasted whole wheat English muffin made a perfect carrying case, creating a durable lining for runaway flavor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Perch and Observe

Where do you guys stand on egg salad? Long relegated to Honda dealer vending machines and cafeteria coolers, Tamalehawk has always had an affinity for the often-avoided ovoid sandwich. Here, he tries to create a smooth, spicy profile by adding cream cheese and jalapenos. He also had an idea for draping some apricot-glazed onions on top, but that will have to wait until he's more ambitious and less compelled to eat straight from the Tupperware.

In the search for a new complement of lunch deals on the North side, Tamalehawk recently ventured to Flying Chicken restaurant. Days of passing the $5.99 lunch special sign in the window, a quick Yelp affirmation, and a clawing hunger finally moved him to coordinate a mid-day trek down Lincoln. A few minutes after entering the brightly colored, totally empty Colombian spot, he knew things would be OK. The distinct smell of fresh charcoal in the air supported this notion. The food was a hit - excellent plantains, rice, and chicken led to a stack of empty plates a few minutes later. Add some peer-pressure beers and you have the perfect way to go long on a Tuesday lunch.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cool Pursuit

Tamalehawk forgot about this jagged gem, a luscious little lithic of dark chocolate profusely punctured with petrous pieces of pistachio. He tasted these and knew no easy ceasing of the treat disease he had unleashed. They lived dwindling on the perimeter of his table, able to be flipped by wing in a dark arc into the awaiting fate of his beak.

Pistachio's perennial play for the king of nuts never escapes Tamalehawk's notice. He bowed his head in reverence after a single sampling of the pistachio gelato at Mario and Gino's in Roscoe Village. It has haunted his dreams since the fateful tasting, tinting all his thoughts in a bright green sheen of delight. It's a certified Summer Essential, worth a languid, winding shuffle down side streets to reach this unassuming shop. Next time, one scoop of pistachio and one of apricot together at last, forming the elusive apristachicot, a flavor combination worthy of royalty. Update: Mario and Gino's is totally closed on the forever tip.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Idle Flap

Tamalehawk apologizes. He never intended to leave you grappling the gravity of grapes for such a gaping gap of time. He has been eating nonstop, craving brownies at almost every turn, fighting impulses to shun normal food forever and embrace full-wingedly the blaring beckon of the constant dessert lifestyle. If it weren't for sandwiches like these, on fresh ciabatta bread from Bennison's in Evanston, he might tumble beakward into the chocolaty void.

Acting on the spurred curiosity of an owl, Tamalehawk pulled the trigger on Sarpino's, a strange sliver of a store situated in a nearby stripmall. It's kind of shocking how many things Tamalehawk will commit to based solely on morbid intrigue. He ordered a hilariously complicated taco pizza that was wildly overpriced, and some garlic-cheese breadsticks. The whole operation hinged on the suspicious dipping sauces. Final evaluation: Take Papa John's, add a Napoleon complex and a baffling global presence, and you've got Sarpino's. The pizza was very weird and the breadsticks were great, and he'd probably order it again whenever he feels a longing for the reckless majesty of his college days.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

True Test

Tamalehawk's life-long tendency of eating grapes until he gets a serious grape-ache and then mustering up some kind of inner strength to keep eating more blooms into a full-blown habit in the spring months. There is just never enough room for all the grapes he needs to eat, and as his wing muscles gently vasodilate, beak agape in a kind of grape paralysis, he wonders if there were any strays left in the bottom of the crisper that could be fervidly foraged.

Each grape session sparks stark images of the most powerful grape challenge Tamalehawk has had to date; one that tests the very limits of your will by posing a single, haunting question: Can you eat 100 grapes in a minute? The scope of the task seems manageable, even laughable in its apparent modesty. You want to stand up and proclaim, yes, of course I can do that, any person with any shred of focus can achieve this lowly goal. It is this very hubris that contributes to your inevitable demise. You go in half-cocked, shoveling in wing-fulls at a time into your manic mandibles, spurred on by the ticking of the stopwatch. It's not long before that colander of innocent grapes looks like a bucket of tiny, live grenades.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Help

So, Wikipedia is calling this an Egg in the Basket, and since society has spoken on its formal title, who is Tamalehawk to object? You guys make these, right? Tamalehawk is a big fan of constricting the egg's reckless sprawl. Nothing is worse than setting your egg adrift like a jellyfish in poaching liquid, albumen tendrils ghostly coasting along. So, clearly, using the fried toast to fetter the egg is a satisfying solution. It's also a great use for terrible Trader Joe's bread that you got fooled into thinking was edible and have since been neglecting.

Speaking of being pleasantly fettered, Tamalehawk is officially on the search for a silver bullet take-out options to supplant the dine-in experience he so cherishes. He has long exhausted his folder of the usual suspects, and has grown resentful of their uninspired selections. Here are his judging criteria: Speed - it has got to be reasonable. No longer than an hour average. Packaging - it has got to be secure and appropriate. Friendliness - they've got to have a distinctly detectable tone of appreciation in their voices. Even a tinge will do. Selection - can you offer me something different? Tamalehawk has even stopped to inspect rain-soaked menus on the sidewalk for new contenders. That's how desperate he's become - it's a cry for help.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Your Future

It had been a while since Tamalehawk completely destroyed his kitchen in a frenzy of clattering pans, slamming drawers, and feverish slicing. Based entirely on Ladyhawk's idea, he set to work on this strange creation. The goal was to scavenge the pantry and freezer, transforming neglected ingredients into a stronger, more delicious new entity. Can Tamalehawk turn a spurned assemblage into a beautiful bounty without getting burned?

Rag-tag Chili Mac: Purge some veggie burgers from the freezer, emerging as icy pucks, and were chopped into small chunks. Dice onions and garlic and get them going in a pan. Season it with what you have on hand - Tamalehawk chose a distinct dirmexion and added coriander, oregano, and cumin. Add some corn that has been hiding in your freezer door. You could probably add some languishing legumes at this point, maybe black beans if you have them? Add some tomato paste and stir. Slide in your chopped veggie burgers, and some canned crushed tomatoes. Throw some pasta into a pot a boiling water and turn the sauce down to a simmer. Add some pasta water to the sauce to loosen it up if you like that kind of thing, and spoon it over the pasta and serve. Bonus: pry open a bagel from the bag on your counter and make some garlic bread by topping with cheese, garlic powder and olive oil and throwing them under the broiler. BOOM. You've just made something healthyish that will get even better when you eat the leftovers the next day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Earth Curves

Each year when the weather gets warm, Tamalehawk must cater to his constant crippling craving for snacks. Anything in sight is fair prey, from bursting a bag of bagel chips open with his beak or slashing open an ice cream canister with his grasping talons. He can be anywhere when the hunger hits, in the middle of a service road on a routine fly-over, nuthatches chattering on a nearby wire. He'll eschew chewing if time is tight, sliding the snack sideways down his gawping gullet. Shame never enters the equation.

Thanks to an ashy drongo in the know, Tamalehawk followed up on a hot tip about some new chips. He's too lazy to go check the bag for the name, and if he did, he'd devour another wingful without looking down. OK, he checked for you, and if you must know the bag was twisted too tight to fight it open for a final feral feasting. They are called Flat Earth, the Peach Mango variety, and they are bonafide chip innovators (someone please find a way to combine this concept into one word; Tamalehawk's claws seize in anticipation). UPDATE: The tomato ranch version is a sheer delight, a new savorite. That's savory favorite, everyone.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Awake Forever

It seems fitting that one year in, Tamalehawk would hit a self-proclaimed apex; that an inspired alignment of hidden heavyweights would live together in harmony and realize the pallid potential of the pre-made pizza palate. No amount of rabid recipe research could reveal this bliss, pages pondered and printed, shingled single sheets taped and draped in disarray.

Chicken and brie pizza with spinach, shallots, and grapes: Start by cooking your chopped chicken in a slick pat of your favorite fat (he chose bacon, because bacon is always invited to the party). Take the chicken out when it is nearly done, then slide in your sliced shallots and toss until caramelized. Roll out your pizza dough and lace it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top the dough with the chicken and shallots, then strategically spread the brie around. Add some chopped spinach and sliced red grapes. Throw it in the oven and cook until the dough is golden. Marvel at how the salty and sweet balance hinges on perfection, a graceful trapeze act in the traveling culinary circus that is your life.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Year One

The records show that one year ago today Tamalehawk got tangled in the internet, shimmying his torso through a tiny hole in the tangled web of information, and, from a collection of binary twigs and data dander, made a comfortable place to call his own. The time since then has been wrought with adventure, rife with recalcitrant bloviating, and replete with recherche reactions. As he dips and dives through the perilous clime of the culinary eatscape, he looks forward to the future food that will prove to soothe his endless hunger.

Curry Cauliflower Emergensoup: Roast your chopped on cauliflower on a baking sheet with some salt, pepper, and olive oil, mere moments before the void beckons it forth. When they are an appealing shade of brown around the edges, toss them into your soup pan over medium and add curry powder, probably any other Indian spices you like, and chicken stock. Then, you know the drill, lock and load your immersion blender and pulverize until smooth. Add some cream and butter and serve. Think about the year of eating ahead and get dizzy with hunger. Yes, Tamalehawk gets future hungry even while he's eating. It's sad, really.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No Opprobrium

Asparagus Spinach Emergensoup: Quickly survey the roiling sea of neglected greenery in your crisper. Unsheathe the stiff stalks of asphyxiated asparagus and assess their soup suitability. Snap off the tough ends and chop into small pieces. Toss them into your pot, where you have chopped onion and garlic sweating in a shimmering sheen of beautiful bacon fat, or olive oil if you're afraid of reaching for your dreams. Season and saute the asparagus until they get a little golden and feel less ashamed of being forgotten. Toss in your spinach leaves, and while they're wilting turn your face and smile towards the shining sun because you are halfway there. Add some chicken stock and bring the heat back up to simmer. Blast to a smooth puree with your immersion blender, spraying green flecks all over your nape and wingbars, or add carefully in batches to a blender and do everything in your power not to get a boiling hot steam burn on your face. Add a stream of heavy cream and a pat of butter, stir and serve, or stirve.

Review: O'Shaugnessy's on Wilson. Based on one visit, the new Irish pub posted up some very good hand-cut fries, and an OK bangers sandwich that was served sans the sauce. The much-hyped mustard sauce will have to be experienced some other time. Anyway, everything tasted better thanks to the mid-day Sam Adams Summertime beer, because beer in the afternoon has a way of making everything feel right in the world. Best part: It is a mere divebomb from Tamalehawk's worknest.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Feeling Alive

Secret Peach Caramel dessert: Tamalehawk saw Jacques Pepin do this on TV. Open a can of peaches in heavy syrup. Generally anything in "heavy syrup" is a cause for at least caution, maybe skeptical inspection, but in this case the heavy syrup is key. If those peaches are sitting in pear juice, then keep walking. Tamalehawk is looking at you, Whole Foods. Pour that heavy syrup into a sauce pan on medium-high heat and start stirring it with a curious type of indifference. You're interested, but not so invested in the outcome that you're going to slam down your whisk in anger if something goes wrong.

Then, think back to the last time you made caramel as an eleven-year-old hawk, just learning to devour the world on your own terms, dropping a metal spoon into the molten mix and instinctively dipping a wingtip in to retrieve it, and learning in a lighting bolt of searing agony that sugar heats to a much more terrifying temperature than you'd ever imagined up to that point, and that you never thought something so delicious could hurt you so bad. Remember how the metal spoon had welded itself to your wounded wing, creating a crater of crystallized caramel, and how you had to snap it off in a defiant crack that would create a scar you would forever wear as a reminder that with everything sweet there is a bitterness that can't be whisked away. Add a dash of cream to the thickened caramel sauce and toss in your peaches. Eat it out of the pan or pour it on ice cream, pancakes, or granola. Congratulate yourself for getting back on the caramel horse. Wonder if there's a way to make and eat a caramel horse.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To Dream

Tamalehawk has relented, releasing a response to the swarming sheaf of seagull reporters encircling his nest. It is true: Bacon and chocolate, two of the world's most prized flavors, have formed a strange and slightly terrifying union, choosing to debut in an ersatz candy bar form. Of course, Tamalehawk is going to eat this abomination with a feeling that may be described as a violently shaken cocktail of trembling excitement, grotesque curiosity, and defeated obligation.

Strangely enough, Tamalehawk could see the connection these two dynamos might together forge. True, in daily life they ride the opposite ends of the flavor spectrum, but when mapped in a Venn Diagram, he could imagine a small overlap somewhere in the "smoky" realm. In the way that coffee roasted with tobacco can be a welcome punch in the mouth, perhaps these two could coexist in a type of begrudging harmony. Verdict: Sort of. Oily, rich, and intense, it was probably the crunchy bits of bacon that most assaulted his palatte. As much as Tamalehawk was praying for success, these two entities are best enjoyed separately. Separately as in successive bites of each on your breakfast plate, from chocolate croissant to bacon strip and back with an instinctive and unchecked zeal.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Big Grab

Too soon to declare the Breakfast Combo of the Summer (BCOTS)? You won't think so once you've combined Rice Krispies with strawberries and honey and devoured it with a feather-ruffling fervor. What? You're still not eating your cereal out of a measuring cup, the most perfect vessel of cereal consumption, so perfect that you have to believe it was designed solely for that very purpose? Tamalehawk feels an awkward sorrow for you. The handle, man. The handle.

Unpictured chicken marsala: Tamalehawk has pretty much exhausted every reference in his chicken library, fired every weapon in his chicken arsenal, all in an attempt to fall back in love with the original white meat. This time around, chicken marsala, which starts off just like chicken piccata, but the sauce consists of mushrooms, butter, chicken stock, and marsala wine. Maybe he just resents them for their flightlessness. It's petty, but possible.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bountiful Bakescape

Just like reality TV, the chronology of the tractate has become slightly deceptive. These chocolate chip cookies had been the impetus for the previously featured white chocolate chip ones, not the encore. Anyway, Tamalehawk's baking bender has subsided for now, though he has already drafted deviant designs for the next bout of full-blown bananarchy.

Unpictured white chicken chili: Saute some chopped white onion and garlic in some bacon fat in a heavy-bottom soup pot. Add coriander, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add your chopped up chicken, and two cans of rinsed and drained white beans. Speculate for the thousandth time on the mysterious difference between cannelini and great northern bean varieties. Conclude that it is a global conspiracy orchestrated by a malicious bean star chamber that seeks to reap its own brand of twisted legume justice at any cost. Add some chicken stock. Let it thicken, adding some flour if you want. When the chicken is cooked, turn off the burner and let it sit for a little while before eating. It tastes better after some self-reflection. Consume while guiltlessly watching America's Next Prom Queen on Oxygen because that channel has some seriously strange programming.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Drink It In

Too early to name the SCOTS (Snack Combo of the Summer)? Since there is still lingering snow in Chicago, it may seem premature. Nonetheless, Tamalehawk revels in the right to make incrementally inflammatory injunctions. On your left, you'll notice that Keebler has in fact rethought their cracker strategy by creating Flipsides, the half-pretzel half-cracker whose whole flavor summarily shames the sum of its parts.

Flipsides bring the audacity that Tamalehawk admires in a snack. Right on its own box, headers command you to dunk the hybrid in chocolate, or slather it in mustard, or top with a tiny tomato and cheese slice. Gross? Or visionary? This snack boldly tiptoes the sweet and savory line with unparalleled grace. Try it with cream cheese. Wash everything down with limeade, inarguably the greatest beverage in the universe, and you can skip dinner because it probably won't hit the spot the same way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Going Home

Tamalehawk is in the business of throwing culinary gauntlets, casting them carelessly to the ground before soaring aloof to a nearby roof to snicker and squawk at any ensuing hullaballoos. In this case, he's going to go ahead and proclaim the white-chocolate macadamia nut cookie the best in class. Sophisticated, crunchy, velvety and toothsome, these beauties always warrant a stop to the cramped Mrs. Field's booth at the mall. It's worth navigating their complicated combo menu to roll up on a pair of these tender gems.

This batch is a remix of the original Toll House recipe. Tamalehawk tilted the sugar scales in favor of light brown to make a chewier, more flexible cookie. Apparently you are supposed to get fifty cookies from this recipe, but Tamalehawk only wound up with twenty four. Maybe it was the massive ice cream scoop he was portioning them with. Also, always do yourself a favor and heat your cookie up in the microwave for 15 seconds or so to get the full experience.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Astride Again

Inspired by the way Chef Tom Colicchio lit up that Top Chef dude during the Classics Challenge, Tamalehawk wanted to see if he could make chicken piccata. He could, pretty much, but not so well that he wouldn't face certain elimination at the Judge's Table. Slice and pound your chicken breast flat with all the fury that boring chicken deserves. One thunderous blow for each time you've suffered through an awful, desiccated chicken sandwich at a sports bar. Put the mallet down and cool off for a second. Dip your flattened chicken in flour, then a beaten egg, then flour again. The double-flour forms an extra layer of protection from the pan's advancing heat. Also, when you're done eating, it makes a little sweater for your heart!

Tenderly place your chicken into the hot oil in your pan and let it ride like Dreyfuss. Flip them over when they get very light golden - don't wait too long or the flour will break down and make your ancestors sad. Tamalehawk then took the chicken out of the pan, let it be like The Beatles, and worked on the sauce. Add some chicken broth, more butter mixed with a little more flour (or a beurre manie), and the juice of a lemon. Toss in some capers. Whisk and simmer as the sun sets and reflect on your life, deciding that it has been more of a kaleidoscope than a prism in its fractured beauty. Strain the sauce if you're shooting for sophistication. Settle your chicken back in the pan for a brief bath before plating for awaiting beaks.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lost and Found

This Bananamaretto bread came dangerously close to being named Bananamabreado, but the triple-word score didn't seem worth the near-total obscuring of the meaning or pronunciation. Tamalehawk invites you to take your pick. This recipe is Part 2 of the ongoing Banana Bread Variations, in which a standard recipe is remixed to unlock everything that could possibly be paired with the namesake fruit. This time, a healthy nip of amaretto and heaping handful of toasted almonds permeate and puncture the pan perilously, and the resulting crunch and flavor should silence any bananaysayers. That word didn't work as well as he hoped. If you have any suggestions, please let him know.

Tamalehawk also took a chance on a new and nearby pizza place unfortunately called Pizzaco Italian Eatery. He called to confirm the suspicion borne from a blurry glance during a recent flight down Ashland: New York Style Pizza. Could it be? Should it be? The man on the phone confirmed and 45 minutes later Tamalehawk was eating what in several crucial respects was "in the style of New York" pizza. Pie cut, close enough thickness, good cheese-sauce ratio - all enough to warrant a second order. There was no trademark rivulet of neon orange olive oil gently cascading down the center of the folded slice, but he's keeping the menu near the top of the folder all the same. Update: Never really been back, Apart pizza is way way better.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Shipment

The S.S. Suffocating Duck fruit barge sailed into port the other day, much to Tamalehawk's chagrin. It was an unexpected arrival, and all the locals wandered out to stare as it lurched to a grinding halt. He couldn't identify whether it was a diving or dabbling duck, but judging by the tell-tale slit on the top of its head, it was definitely an unusual species of banking duck. At first, he was concerned that the jagged spires of assorted fruit spiking out of the duck's back were painful, but one look at the wry, casual grin confirmed that this duck was proud of what he was doing.

After getting lanced several times, Tamalehawk finally defruited the duck bank and pried free the head of half-rotten lettuce into which everything was skewered. That was a disheartening and lengthy process. All in all, a thoughtful, if a bit unwieldy and initially frightening, mostly delicious gesture. A BaeRating of B-. If you are interested in sending congratulations to someone about their recent waterfowl investment, or condolences about the loss of ceramic animal bank options on the market, you can shuffle down to Edible Arrangements on Southport and Waveland. It's an actual store. He must warn you though, the urge to heave the duck bank off the balcony is dangerously high.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

All Together

This is not the prettiest thing Tamalehawk has ever created. It is in fact ridiculous looking. But it is in the running for the most delicious thing he's made recently, and certainly wins the prize for healthiest. The Strangeloaf stakes a special place in Tamalehawk's echoing heart chamber and will, with this record as his guide, be served again.

Strangeloaf: Rinse and drain a can of red kidney beans, dump them in a bowl, add some salt, and mash them to death with a fork. Step away from the bowl and start immediately regretting ever having decided to make dinner. Shred a zucchini, a carrot, and some garlic and toss it into a pan with some oil on medium heat. Add some salt, some thyme, and saute until lightly browned. Start to feel better about your decision because things are smelling pleasantly edible. Dump the veg in the beans. Add a pound of ground turkey to the party, along with coriander, paprika, breadcrumbs, and Worcestershire sauce. Start scouring your cabinets like a newly-crowned king mad with power. Mix the ingredients together with your wings, getting burned by the molten vegetables now searing your feathers together, regroup, take an odd comfort in the resulting texture, and push onward towards your destiny. Lightly oil some foil on a cookie sheet and shape your amorphous mass into a loaf. Put it in an oven that is around 400 degrees and cook it until it is cooked. Forego side dishes because it deserves the whole plate.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Than Ever

Tamalehawk was thinking about some enchiladies that a gentle heron makes and decided to take a stab at it. Hovering in the grocery aisle, he realized he didn't know what constituted an enchilada, so he grabbed some sauce and hoped for the best. He went with a pork, beef, and bean concoction, with some jalapenos to spice things up. Toast the tortillas, wrap them up, sauce and cheese them, and bake. Close enough? Who knows. The shredded chicken number the heron crafts taste better, but he'll take that as a personal challenge.

Staying in the Mexican vein, Tamalehawk also took some chicken tenders, painted them with some jarred sofrito, and rolled them in pulverized tortillas chips. Throw those in the oven until they are done. It smells like a Mexican street fair. With another bird in the nest, he's trying to hone in on a repertoire of house favorites that are easy to make without compromising the desire to hunt that fills his hollow bones.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wake Up Call

This marked Tamalehawk's first official attempt at the Veal Milanese he often dreams about. Bread some veal scallopine beneath an avalanche of arugula and fashionably functional lemon slices. Pair it with some parsnip mashed potatoes if you want. Eat until the shame melts away.

Breakfast round-up: Are you ordering breakfast appetizers? A little something to share before your first meal of the day? It's the latest rage and Tamalehawk is not one to buck a trend that involves eating more food. First up, Deleece. Start with the homemade beignets with cinnamon caramel glaze. Excellent. Move to the homemade corned beef hash, poached eggs, and potatoes with melted Gruyere at Deleece. Huge chunks of corned beef and a tangy Dijon vinaigrette makes this a total stand out. Trade in the side of potatoes for some fruit because there are potatoes in the hash and you're not a hero. It is a rather embarrassing mound of food. Next up, Angel Food Bakery. Support this local bakery and cafe because the coffee is Intelligentsia and the small breakfast and brunch menu is carefully crafted. Order the sour cherry muffin as a breakfast appetizer and move to the basil, sun-dried tomato, and goat cheese scramble with a side of fresh whole wheat toast. Third, Southport Grocery. Finally made it through the sea of strollers to see what all the fuss was about. Pretty good. Got caught in the lunch or breakfast limbo and experienced some menu paralysis, completely unlike Tamalehawk. Went with a sandwich while envying each entering egg dish.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Look Beyond

Is slicing garlic Mafia-style with a razor blade too much? Tamalehawk might argue that it is the kindest way to treat the precious bulb. The garlic guillotine exposes more surface area, releasing more flavor into your dish, and retains the essential oil you might normally smash into your cutting board. Also, any time you get to rummage through the tool box in order to make dinner is an opportunity you should seize. Just don't take the blade you used to score the bathroom drywall.

Results of the most recent Apple Challenge, where Tamalehawk gets bored with a giant apple he is eating and starts putting everything in reach on it to see if some kind of flavor covenant can be broken wide open: Apple and balsamic vinegar, meh. Apple and cumin, meh. Apple and coriander, meh. Apple and Creole seasoning, bad idea. Apple and apricot brandy, hmm. Maybe in a cocktail, but not for snacking. Apple and red wine vinegar, yes. Reasonably sized, ripe apple by its own natural self, always.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Emerge Victorious

Hot on the heels of the best brownies ever, Tamalehawk tried to put some questionable bananas to use by making banana bread. Banana bread is the last respite for listless bananas, no one willing to look past their mashed and mottled skin to appreciate them. Feeling vaguely guilty, Tamalehawk swiped a recipe from the internet and set the dial to remix.

Orange Ginger Banana Bread: Print out a banana bread recipe that you're comfortable with and doesn't usurp an obnoxious amount of your meager staples. Try to print it in black and white but get the color version despite your efforts. Start making it, but replace the cinnamon with ginger. Like 1 1/2 teaspoons if you're using the dried stuff, and if you have fresh ginger laying around, then fashion yourself a medal because you've already won life. Add the zest of an orange. Consider locking the door because you've just defied Mother Nature and you are about to feel her wrath on the back of your neck. Bake for about 50 minutes or something. Circle around the bread, touching the pan and burning your fingers, finally letting it cool for a least a few minutes already. Pen the second part of Unwavering Citrust, wipe off the flour that is on your temple and walk around triumphantly.

Monday, March 3, 2008

That Fading Light

Part one of the series Unwavering Citrust. The cinnamon variety is a steadfast shelf occupant; the coveted orange flavor was merely a myth whispered about in distant warehouses. Then, suddenly, Tamalehawk started seeing this anomalous offering popping up on supermarket shelves after years of fruitless searching. He likes to attribute its reappearance on the market to his dogged pursuit, confident that he single-handedly nudged public demand high enough to create supply ripples on the Pillsbury corporate radar. It was very similar to how Tommy Lee Jones is always hunting someone in every movie. Undeniable proof that if you flap your wings dejectedly in the dim glow of enough refrigerated displays, someone will eventually take note of your awkward tantrum and quietly resign to shut you up.

His citrust soared again after eating the veal osso bucco at Erba. Following an excellent white bean and rocket bruschetta, the orange-laced interpretation of the classic left Tamalehawk reeling as he clawed at the pillow-soft veal shank. The shank! The most reviled of all cuts, too similar to the natural leg to be consumed without shuddering! It would have been a real turning point had he not been too busy shoveling shank into his beak to turn. He's 3 for 3 with Erba, for those counting. Update: Erba is totally closed.

Friday, February 29, 2008

When In Doubt

The secret behind these strangely addictive strawberry candies? Tamalehawk is convinced it's the two different kinds of wax. Many candymakers would be content to add only one wax; the Spaniards behind this little coiled cobra go for the Carnauba Wax and Beeswax blend, masterfully churned in burning urns over long-flaring flames. Something about its fragrant and convincing bouquet, its tough but yielding texture, and the fact that they are imported and "hand-packed". Somehow the fact that it was touched by hands is reaffirming to him.

Tamalehawk forgot to comment on a recent Twin Anchors visit, his favorite rib shop in the city. Everybody knows that his ultimate ribs are dry-rubbed and air-dropped in from the 'Vous in Memphis, but in the meantime, there's nothing better than piling into the tiny Twin Anchors dining room and shoveling a full rack of zesty ribs into your gullet with cartoon enthusiasm. Encircle the table with some smack-talking tanagers and you've got a night to remember.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Journey Concludes

It's hard to describe the level of obsession Tamalehawk has forged for these brownies. Simply put, this represents the apex of his lifelong brownie journey, the culmination of three decades of hope and heartache. These brownies sit besides the first and most powerful brownie memory Tamalehawk has, still strikingly vivid all these years later: a small hawk, barely able to fly let alone hunt, waiting patiently in a long line of small hawks in the schoolyard to buy a giant slab of frosted brownie with colored sprinkles for fifty cents. Ten minutes of anticipation and finally he was able to step up to the giant pink bakery box, fluttering in the midday breeze, and claim his long-awaited walnut-studded prize. The rest of recess never mattered; so transfixed, it was rare he ever made it past the curb.

The Cook's Illustrated recipe for Classic Brownies feels fussy and starts off tedious. What are you asking us to do with the foil? Fold it in half and then into a strip? Whatever. Cake flour instead of all-purpose, huh? OK, he'll give you that one. Definitely go with the microwave method to melt the chocolate; the double-boiler is for suckers and zabaglione. Tamalehawk was skeptical, until he got a look at the crusty light brown top in the oven. Miles away from the black soupy fudge of box brownies, this batch reached into Tamalehawk's soul and blazed for him a perfectly primmed path to his youth. He can't even bear to give any of these away.

Chase The Dream

Assembling a stylized Mexican street taco can be, to Tamalehawk, one of the most affirming acts available. Frought with self-discovery, one's taco architecture speaks volumes of who one is, and who one hopes to someday be. Several slabs of avocado to slant the flavor profile into creamy's favor? A tangle of grilled onions so it bites back? A sprinkling or avalanche of queso fresco that you finally got the guts to buy and really regret ever having lived without? One cilantro sprig or several? Maybe you'll just wind up eating the skirt steak off the plate, sans tortilla or toppings. That is for you to decide.

Tamalehawk ate at Tizi Melloul a while back. Situated right across from the nest of a red-legged honeycreeper he knew from back in the movie-slinging days, this spot radiates a Moroccan vibe, he guesses? Judging by the maroon and gold-tassled pillows, the dramatic draperies, and the too-close tables, it's shooting for Moroccan. Though definitely not Tamalehawk's kind of place - the precious, unpronounceable name alone would cause him to keep walking - the food was great. The appetizer inspired him to make an apricot chili glaze at home, and the crispy pork belly delivered on every hope he had riding on it. Plus, he completely dusted the valet by parking in the public lot two blocks away for four bones less. Take that, urban luxury.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Milestone

Well, we did it. 100 posts. Tamalehawk wishes to thank everyone who follows his culinary pursuits and the lazy arc of snap decisions that comprise it, and himself for eating so many delicious, weird, and intriguing things. Together, everyone soared on wings of discovery, shedding feathers of fear over a city clamoring at the promise of a life-altering quesadilla, or a heartbreaking chili, or a menu revelation. Can you hear the clamoring? It has reached a deafening din!

A lot of exciting things on the horizon. Tamalehawk has been using the waning moments of relative quiet to eat like a small, carefree bird. He hopes to always be drawn to the idea of ordering something called The Mess from a local sandwich purveyor. It has fries and coleslaw directly on it, which positions it squarely in Tamalehawk's downy wheelhouse. That sandwich, in myriad ways, reflects the true nature of life itself; everything crammed together unnaturally, working together to make something that, in time, feels natural, and in some more time, achieves greatness. He hopes that whatever the future holds, he can always appreciate the mess that might come with it. All this introspection is making him hungry.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Midnight Rambler

Sometimes it's late and you are starving and you convince yourself it's OK to eat like a freshman flush with your parent's cash and no desire to live until tomorrow. Although it is a mercifully infrequent occurrence, you rarely have to twist Tamalehawk's scapulars to sell him on a Wendy's run. Decades of tinkering in the food lab have constructed what, to much of modern man, is considered the paradigm of fast food chicken sandwiches. Then, in a fit of unbridled hubris, they put bacon and cheese on it.

We know that dipping your fries in the Frosty is a mandatory taste explosion. A impulsive experiment confirmed that there was no correlatable effect when Frosty is applied to your chicken sandwich. No detrimental change, just no worthwhile enhancement. Also, it's a small thing, but Tamalehawk loves the cornmeal-dusted buns. He doesn't know why, but he wishes everything was dusted with cornmeal. They also have a sandwich called the Baconator, and you have to have an old-school pair of brass clangers to put that on today's market.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Iron Grip

Are you guys eating these? It's that time of year, when scores of scouts bumrush grocery store thresholds, milling and giggling and hawking the nostalgic favorites for a stiff five dollars a pop. You can refuse them, drive past the droves, but eventually you will buy a box from your mom who bought too many, or your co-worker whose daughter's pleading face is staring at you from a ceramic frame on her desk.

They've got a stranglehold on supply, spiking the demand to unnatural proportions even though, really, in general, there are way better cookies out there. Given the choice, Tamalehawk will do the Coconut Blast-offs or the Cinnamon Tingles. Still, eating these Peanut Butter Patties did inspire the courage to eat three more, the confidence to dip the paraffin-encrusted disk into orange juice, and the character to finish off the package when it's so close to be being done anyway. Also, it's a shame about the girl whose face is near-completely obscured by the Girl Scouts graphic. Tamalehawk hopes her mom wasn't too disappointed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On The Brink

The reasons Tamalehawk rushed this protatotype to market are two-fold: First, the raw materials had been lingering on the fridge without consideration for some time, and second, a few recent remarks by some ptarmigans in the media have implied that he may be slipping, content to buy precious pre-made products from Trader Joe's or phone-in a pasta dish.

He'll admit it is getting tougher to take strides in the kitchen. This time, he wanted to make something that was a cross between a grenade and a potato, or a grenato, by coring a Yukon Gold potato, stuffing it with something good, and putting the pin back in. His experiments yielded promising results - a delicious molten core baked from the inside, exploding like shrapnel when dissected. As he moves to the next phase of development, he would definitely par-boil the potato first to facilitate easier pin removal. Pictured, he went with sofrito as the incendiary material, but in future iterations, he would gladly go with nacho cheese, gravy, or even some kind of soup.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Sudden soup: Sweat some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Take the corn out of the freezer door and untwist the bag. Extract the zucchini from the depths of the crisper and inspect them. Decide that this is their last chance for greatness, and that it's up to you to deliver on their potential.

Next, move the pot off the burner because all of your ponderous regret has put the onion and garlic in serious jeopardy. Get your head in the game, lower the heat, and move the pot back. Peel the zucchini until you get tired of doing it, chop off any parts you can't in good faith feed to someone, cut into chunks and throw into the pot. Toss the corn, salt, thyme, coriander, and optional turmeric in and let it rip for a while. Plaintively sing a folk song in memory of the peppers who couldn't be there with you. Then add chicken stock, then take your immersion blender on its maiden voyage and puree the hell out of it. Be sure to maniacally splatter vegetal viscera all over your midsection like you are Larry Drake in Dr. Giggles and the soup is Doug E. Doug. Taste it, correct the seasoning, and eat it if it came out OK. Feel competent enough to get you through another eerily dreamless night.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Deadly Invitation

Part two of the series Diner Sandwich Revival. The patty melt, arguably the stoic grandfather of the melt genre. On millions of menus, it's easy to overlook this gentle giant of the national dinerscape. It wasn't until Ladyhawk went on a three-day multi-city patty melt jag that Tamalehawk was forced to pay homage to what, in many cases, is better than its burger brethren.

Let Tamalehawk explain: You've got the signature grilled rye bread again, which is better than the standard bun you will likely get. Then the cheese - the cheese really comes alive upon the patty stage, relaxing all active cultures into a web of stunning coverage, forming a new, symbiotic relationship with the caramelized onions, themselves a pivotal part of the flavor balance. Tamalehawk also learned this from the television set: don't overwork the ground beef, it makes it too tough. Also, season the outside like you would a steak, instead of mixing it in - salt pulls moisture out and makes it too dry. Now he goes straight from package to pan, the satisfying sear sending seriously sonorous signals to his stomach. A word of caution: as it's an intense experience, don't get too caught up in your pursuit of the patty melt; you can suddenly burn out and find yourself grabbing for salad in an attempt to ease the gathering meatlock within.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Unknown Horizons

Hard to argue with a blueberry morning. Preceded by an egg sandwich dawn, and followed by a falafel afternoon, a cupcake dusk, a skirt steak evening, and a milkshake night - you've got a perfect day on your wings. For starters, Tamalehawk will eat anything that has been selected. It makes him feel special, which is a nice feeling early in the morning. Next, he will gladly consume anything that claims on its very packaging to have an Incredible Taste. He means, you have to right? It's not just edible, it's incredible. Also, a Perfect Crunch? Yes, cereal merchants, he shall undoubtedly taste your efforts. If the perfect crunch has been engineered, you better believe Tamalehawk wants to be on the forefront of that discovery.

Blueberry Morning largely lives up to its claims and, save for some horrible copy on the back of the box which makes for an unpleasant table-read, it is a certainty that he could eat the entire box in one sitting if left unsupervised. Next on the agenda, he will bravely test pilot Honey Bunches of Oats studded with real dried peaches. He is hopeful but cautious. If they're using the same technology they used to dry tiny wild blueberries, then morning can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Hero Within

The first in a two-part series entitled Diner Sandwich Revival. The tuna melt is a crapshoot in any region or restaurant. Let's face it, the two words clang cacophonously together, conjuring an image that could easily be incongruously unappetizing. Nonetheless, it perseveres as a recognized part of the American diner canon, so a certain modicum of respect is due. Tamalehawk would rarely pull the trigger on this ubiquitous option, for fear of what might emerge from the kitchen. Will it be open-faced? On an English muffin? Will pineapple slices somehow be indicted? That unsavory uncertainty is often quite enticing to Tamalehawk, but in this case, he'll usually peruse for a more foolproof option.

The star in any classic melt is the rye bread. Mild but flavorful with an even toasting consistency, the rye bread is responsible for bring the melt genre to prominence nationwide. On the bread tip, Tamalehawk wishes to endorse Panes, a family-run cafe on Sheffield and Wellington. He called a lunchtime audible and picked up a roast beef sandwich with fresh farmer's cheese and ranchero sauce on fresh focaccia, cream of broccoli soup, and a tortilla salad. The menu is entirely excellent sounding and shockingly affordable. He will be back for the white chocolate rice pudding, Oaxacan pork sandwich, and fresh baked sourdough loaves. Dining local never felt so right.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Naturally Selected

So, good riddance green peppers, Tamalehawk guesses, right? Having hit the culinary scene, the red brethren deeming green unneeded even in fajitas. Red was ripe for stardom, and quickly made greem seem dated and maybe a little passe. It could bring the full sweet flavor to the party, or stand out in a bed a lettuce. You couldn't make an appealing soup with green. Red could accomplish it all and make a dip at the same time. People everywhere were making the switch fast and permanent, and even its lower price couldn't bring the green bell pepper sympathy.

Tamalehawk is often a creature of comfort, but his restless wings need to swing a wide and regular arc around the outer perimeters of the familiar. He wants to fill this pepper with something strange and roast it, an arranged marriage forged in the heat of another's will and hunger. At the same time, he wants to leave it alone, praise it for the perfection it achieved without an ounce of intervention. The green pepper shouldn't be blamed for its inferiority; it is the perfect idea right on the verge of ripeness.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Tamalehawk knows he has quality friends when they give him food as a gift. Especially condiments. A new condiment can keep him transfixed for months, agog from the absolute abundance of applications, excited by the endless eating events in which the consuming condiment can be consumed. He pushes it to the cutting contours of its capacity, crossing all semblance of sanity in a quest to conquer the myriad mysteries within.

He's not sure what makes this Spicy Chili Mayonnaise a good indicator of Country Living, but regardless, it is going to be applied to nearly everything Tamalehawk's last shred of reason allows him to. A great condiment can make him pull the trigger on an otherwise boring menu option. Grilled chicken sandwich? Meh. What? With cumin-lime mayo? He's listening. Falafel sandwich? No than- wait, with jalapeño hummus? Let's do this. Also, don't think for a second Tamalehawk won't order one menu item with the condiment from another. Because he has, as often as is necessary. As should you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Protect and Serve

Peanut butter is a food that Tamalehawk will eat on his way to the grave. Lapping it up, heaping featherfuls, dipping his beak straight into the jar with a wild look in his eyes. It's the rare food that comes close to perfect in its commercially available form - a uniformly velvet viscosity, the luxury of creamy or chunky, edible in sandwich form, and packing a potent protein-punch to the solar plexus.

Whether it's a surreptitious swipe at night or a formal post-meal dollop, peanut butter always manages to spackle the hunger void shut. Tamalehawk learned a secret trick from an old condor friend: Add two tablespoons of peanut butter to your ramen noodles with the sodium-flavored packet, then crack an egg right in the water and swirl it around. Split the resulting mass of noodles with your friend and laugh confidently, knowing that the meal you just made cost you about twelve cents and is guaranteed to last a long day of perching.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hard Times

This chicken got sprung on parole after about nine months on ice. No one knew he was out. He didn't even call his family. He just collected his personal effects and moved on down to the fridge. A free bird. Got a job, was minding his own business, but before you know it he was running with the wrong crowd again. Thyme and butter and paprika and those dudes. In the oven in no time. Sad story, happens every day.

What else. Tamalehawk executed a second order from his new Chinese take-out place, Silver Seafood. He keeps wanting to say Silver Surfer. This time around, the sesame chicken, moo shu pork, fried rice, and egg rolls all made solid appearances. Also, the hot and sour soup is outstanding. He is pretty sure there is octopus in there but it's so fresh and good he eats it all anyway. Added bonus: for the second time, the delivery man has found a way to slip past the locked front gate and make it all the way to Tamalehawk's front door undetected. The sharp knock is enough to scare him half to death, but he'll trade that for having to trudge out in the snow any day.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Chasm Calls

Tamalehawk is happy to recommend Apart Pizza on Montrose, a place he had long ago spotted in his travels. It is thin and cut into slices like pizza was designed to be. They call it "Italian style" but it's close enough to Tamalehawk's native New York style to send him back to the old days. Pictured is the dessert, called filoncino, that he ordered as a climactic denouement to his margherita pizza. Who orders dessert from the pizza place? Firmly in the dessert zone, he had to come up with something to calm the roiling riot in his stomach the following night.

Emergency dessert: Preheat oven to 350. Take single remaining pie crust from freezer where it has been since Thanksgiving, peel the three layers of foil off, and leave on the counter to defrost for fifteen minutes. Sit down and watch some TV. Forget you were in the middle of making something, then remember. Put the crust in the fridge because you've let it get too warm. Take out Nutella and raspberry preserves. Watch TV standing from the doorway. Take crust out of foil tray and cut into squares, place them on a cookie sheet. Place a spoonful of Nutella and preserves on pie crust squares, making sure to get Nutella on the counter and the back of your hand somehow. Fold the square over to make a little triangle wonton and press the edges tight. Bake it until it's golden and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat it too quickly and grip the sink tightly and you attempt to cleave the molten filling off the roof of your mouth with one hand while grabbing for another triangle with the other.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Historically, leftovers get a bad rap. The very name invokes their legacy of neglect; "left" as in left behind, still sitting in the pot on the stove, half-chopped on the cutting board, "over" as in done, no longer hungry, not worth eating at this time and probably not the next day because you just had it and it was OK but today some of the guys in IT are getting Thai food so maybe Wednesday.

Typically stuffed in Tupperware, stacked and tucked behind lingering milk, obscured by cured black olives, in the back near the beer, hiding behind refried beans who also have no means of again being eaten. Tamalehawk doesn't always triumph in his efforts to leave no morsel behind, but he loves a quality leftover. He doesn't cook often enough, and when he does, he prefers there to be something left for the next day when the feathers settle. Sauces, stews, and marinated marvels mostly improve after a chance to consider themselves overnight, and that's one less sad-wich Tamalehawk has to hurriedly assemble before work.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Against The Grain

Of all the things that Tamalehawk will eat directly from the pan, cold, while standing with his jacket on, and there are a lot of them, cornbread is his favorite. Brownies rank high. Coleslaw. Maybe some kind of orzo salad. But cornbread - cornbread confidently creeps to the top of that list.

Sweet and savory, prisoner to no one culinary genre, and comforting, it feels wrong to label it as just a side item. It feels right to cut it into adorable squares so you can easily eat six in one stand, prying them free with a knife, and not feeling at all guilty about pinching all the crumbs together into a beautiful bonus bite. OK, so maybe corn muffins are better. Have you had the corncakes at Wishbone? It may seem like an unorthodox choice and you may feel trepidation, waging a silent mental war as to whether you want them or the crabcakes, because you've confirmed that you definitely want something caked. Believe Tamalehawk, he's been there. Spread your wings for once and do the corncakes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deep Cover

Informal poll: How do you prefer your French Toast? Cinnamon-laced and sprinkled with powdered sugar, or maybe enrobed in an edible armor of corn flakes? Tamalehawk approves of places that offer the trio of triangles on the side of his eggs instead of pancakes. It's just a little touch that says, "Hey, customers, we appreciate your varied palettes. Breakfast is a highly subjective meal. More coffee? I am a waitress from the 1950's." Maybe Tamalehawk is too into breakfast, but from the great heights he soars, it's hard not to view every meal through maple-colored glasses.

Ladyhawk insists on a savory variation -- an eggy bath with no trace of sweet, coated in a sheen of salt and butter until they look like a snowy Chicago sidewalk. An experience Tamalehawk first found baffling but before long came to appreciate. He's not a purist and encourages customization. Also, a brief related shout-out to the Monte Cristo: breakfast and lunch started a business together selling deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Living Fast

Tamalehawk never set out to take glamour shots of Taco Bell chalupas, but it just goes to show that you never know where the tradewinds will carry a journeying bird. Nothing about the clandestine clamoring for Dr. Moreau's Mexican monstrosities is something to be proud of; the subsequent sorrow of such sad shambles south of the Border always outweighs whatever fleeting glee the varied Value Menu brings. Still, Tamalehawk is just a predatory bird with impulses, and sometimes, in the face of the awaiting regret, Taco Bell just sounds like such a perfect idea.

So, OK, what do you get? The beef and potato burrito on the Value Menu is a solid option, pleasantly filling, as potatoes wrapped in flour are wont to be. The above chalupa marks the first time Tamalehawk ever splurged and ordered steak instead of the standard seasoned beef simulacrumbles. It rocketed to the top of his favorite bagged-meat shame-treats, in a league with KFC, Burger King's chicken sandwich, and the one time he and some fearless friends faced the chest-grabbing Wendy's triple stack. Even journaling these exploits gives him heartburn.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Fundamentals

Let Tamalehawk break down some basic nacho regulations. As you know, nachos are a year-round snack, with a peak season that runs from April to August, when outdoor dining is a more viable option. While there is no official governing body to enforce and review these rules, Tamalehawk likes to think that after serious soul-searching you can determine whether you are the Nachosen One.

First, there shall be no nacho-eating in a movie theater. The distracting crunch is a major infraction, punishable by chorus of shh-shing and barely-suppressed mutters of irritation. Movie-theater munching may be allowable in certain circumstances, such as when you're the only person in the theater, you own the theater, or it is an ironic showing of a Christopher Lambert movie. Next, sporting event nachos are permitted, as are pool-side nachos unless you are a lifeguard in which case gross. In all cases, the provided provisions must be observed: no ostentatious finger-licking, no cheese-to-seat contact, and no open-mouth chewing. When in Mexico, local nacho-chomping ordinances must be respected and upheld.

Friday, January 25, 2008

On The Mend

A small Tamalehawk has vivid memories of deli counters filled with stacks of cutlets, scallopinis, and chops, breaded and ready to be hastily heated and eaten. Now, since he's still recovering from chicken burnout, which is a real disease, the cutlet is among the formats which Tamalehawk is always down for. With a little practice, he'll even learn to make them without cross-contaminating every surface in his nest.

Which chicken shape is the best? Finger? Wings? Drumstick? Nugget? Cast an imaginary ballot in your head. Tally them using your favorite method. Tender is a contender. Tucked tight beneath the oafish breast, the tender is exactly that; everything the breast longs to be but fails at. If you said wing, Tamalehawk will now hear your argument. Strictly Buffalo style? He once roasted a whole chicken upside-down by accident and that seem to work well, deploying a lot of the juice to the breast where it's needed, and flipping it over near the end to crisp the skin though. And the subcutaneous butter It seems like Tamalehawk might pull through after all. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Taken For Granted

There's not a lot to say about the potato that hasn't been thoroughly purported already. Diners worldwide seek refuge in the starch quarry, staking baked potatoes and hammering hash browns like eating is illegal.

Tamalehawk always eats 40% more fries than planned, even diving beneath the discarded napkin to mindlessly masticate...oh, you get it. Potatoes are like the friend you first meet when you get to a new junior high school. You're super excited to know anybody, but you haven't had time to scope out any other potentials. Then he starts walking with you to Civics class like he's your girlfriend and finally you want to just be like "For the love of god, Josh, back off for a minute! I'll see you at lunch!" and stalk away, leaving Josh there with a tenuous grip on that stupid Trapper-Keeper he hasn't realized is cripplingly nerdy. It isn't until senior year, when Josh has to suddenly move to Akron with his step-dad for mysterious reasons, that you realize he's been through some weird stuff and it wouldn't have killed you to be a little more patient with him. Ahem. Potatoes.