All posts by Matt

New ebook: Fringe Fermentation

My first ebook is live on Amazon! Fringe Fermentation: The guide to brewing cider, mead, and country wines at home. Check it out!

If you read it, please leave me a review so I can get feedback.

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Perfect Poached Eggs

20140224-224109.jpgI’m a huge fan of eggs; you know this. To me, a perfectly fried egg on sourdough toast is the epitome of deliciousness. The crispy caramelized white shatters like glass and the thickened, but runny, yolk soaks into the bread like gravy. But my once and only true love has recently been usurped by one better: poached eggs on toast.

Where a fried egg has crispy whites, which add texture but are somewhat boring, the poached egg has a luxuriously silky white that is almost like custard. And where the perfect fried yolk is difficult to obtain, always either too runny or too cooked, the perfect poached yolk is a mere matter of timing. Once you find that sweet spot your yolks are perfect forever.

Continue reading Perfect Poached Eggs

No Knead Sourdough Bread

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I made this! You can too!

If you’re not making your own bread stop what you’re doing right now and take a good hard look at your life. If your answer is, “I don’t eat bread” seek professional help immediately; report back here after reprogramming. If instead you are one of the, “I don’t have time to make bread” people, just imagine that you are one of those weak minded characters from a 1920s black and white movie. You have been driven to hysterics and I’m Clark Gable, come along to smack some sense into you.

You CAN make bread at home, and it’s fantastic. It ISN’T hard, I literally spend a total of less than 5 minutes per loaf. You SHOULD do this, we were spending up to $5 for some of those ‘artisan’ breads and you can make the same thing, at home, for $0.40 in ingredients and $0.10 worth of natural gas. And NO you don’t need a bread maker; in fact you don’t even need to knead it.

Continue reading No Knead Sourdough Bread

How to Make a Sourdough Starter

20140212-214810.jpgIf you start baking your own bread, you will instantly be amazed at your own awesomeness. Homemade bread is seriously one of the most satisfying things you can make; it’s easy and it looks beautiful.  But beware, your spirits will fall, ever so slightly, when you bite into that first loaf. The problem: it’s bland.

Afterwards you may find yourself seeking flavor. ‘Perhaps if I substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour’ or ‘Maybe some rosemary and bunch of olive oil would jazz it up.’ Those ideas are fine, but here I’m going to tell you the secret to free flavor. Ready? Sourdough. Continue reading How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Ridiculous Snack: Apples and Homemade Almond Butter

20140205-155208.jpgHello again from Food Lunatic Central; it’s been awhile. This year I set a New Year’s resolution to move more and consume less. Part of this is also to take a serious look at my food costs. As President Truman said, “We’ve got to reduce the cost of living.” But you know me, I still want to eat healthfully and sustainably. Continue reading Ridiculous Snack: Apples and Homemade Almond Butter

The Death of a Chicken

SONY DSCFour years ago, my wife (then fiancé) and I embarked on a grand experiment in urban homesteading: raising backyard chickens. We entered this venture without even a chicken coop, let alone an exit strategy for what to do with old barren hens. As the chickens grew, so did our stress in not having a coop. That problem was eventually resolved, along with the myriad of other small problems that have cropped up along the way. But the issue of what to do with old birds continued to not raise itself. Continue reading The Death of a Chicken

Coconut Macadamia Mahi Mahi with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Succotash

There was a deathly calm over the whole boat as we drifted past the kelp paddy. After a day of trolling and searching, we had finally found the huge floating mass of sea weed; and its hidden promise of fish. There was the initial flurry of activity. As soon as the boat revved down baits were grabbed and lines were cast, along with elbows and curses. But now nothing, just quiet. Continue reading Coconut Macadamia Mahi Mahi with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Succotash

Poke Burgers!

Each year tuna migrate up the California Coast, following warm water currents from Mexico to Japan. These currents are unpredictable, so that each year a different set of species is found offshore. Some summers, anglers only see one species all season; maybe albacore or yellowfin. But every now and then the conditions are just right, so that a whole mixed bag of fish moves through. This summer was one of those times and it was a banner year for offshore fishing in San Diego. In a single day, anglers had the opportunity to target bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, yellowtail, and dorado (Mahi Mahi). Catching all 5 in one day comprises the “Grand Slam” of San Diego offshore fishing. Continue reading Poke Burgers!

Orange Chocolate Saison

I’m now going into my second year of homebrewing and it’s starting to get wild. Sometimes hobbies fade, but this one still seems to be picking up momentum. In the beginning I was brewing almost exclusively out of the essential Brewing Classic Styles recipe book, with a few clone recipes mixed in. I think this was a good start, because it helped me learn about malts, hops, and yeast; their varieties and peculiarities. I am by no means an expert on these things after 2 years, but I recently decided it’s time to grow up. Time to start making my own recipes. Orange-chocolate saison was one of the first.

Continue reading Orange Chocolate Saison

Smoked Tuna over Whey Bulgar with Sautéed Mushrooms and Peppers

This is a fall-appropriate meal that I threw together with the contents of my pantry, freezer, and dwindling summer garden. I have a freezer full of smoked tuna from the summer offshore fishing season, and I picked the peppers from my garden 5 minutes before throwing them in then pan. Grains, whey, and mushroom are just ingredients I tend to always have around. Continue reading Smoked Tuna over Whey Bulgar with Sautéed Mushrooms and Peppers