Words and photos by Ola Mazzuca
Last year, I received a wonderful gift from my parents – a cookbook that received rave reviews and coverage in various metal magazines, from a publishing company started by one of my favourite writers; Ian Christe’s Bazillion Points.
Annick Giroux is a multi-talented metal chick, dividing her time between graphic design, DJing and cooking the heaviest of metal meals.
Her book, Hellbent for Cooking, is a compilation of culinary classics of every culture from metal bands and artists around the world. It is a celebration of a simple yet exciting marriage between music and cuisine, where Giroux proves that the portrayal of metalheads being junkfood-lovers false.
I have decided to record my thoughts and experiences while cooking my way through Hellbent for Cooking, also providing my view on the bands that graciously donated their recipes.
In this installment of the Blasphemy Blog, I explore a variety of ethnic dishes that include fragrant additives and exciting flavours. Please enjoy my journey through preparing these awesome meals straight from the recipes of the heaviest of bands.
Hellbent Meal #7: Superb Salmon Filet
By Ashmedi of Melechesh
I had always perceived fish to be challenging to cook but was pleasantly surprised upon preparing Ashmedi’s clean-cut, lemony salmon dish.
Packed with Omega-3 and many vitamins, salmon is a great source of protein and a classic evening meal. My take on the recipe introduced a side dish of a grilled polenta square, a tiny collection of sautéed colourful veggies and a sprig of rosemary.
Author’s Note: I LOVE Melechesh. Their Mesopotamian/Sumerian themed black metal from Jerusalem (now that’s blasphemy) puts my mind into another state, transporting my imagination to vast lands. Rebirth of the Nemesis, TIAAAAMMMATTTT.
Hellbent Meal #8: Full Throttle Chicken Curry
As a huge fan of curry dishes, may they be Caribbean, Indian or Thai variations, cooking this dish was no challenge and made for a hearty one on a rainy spring day.
I added extra pepper and the two tablespoons provided an overly generous taste that was a spicy treat for the soul and sinuses. The only downside of cooking curry is that when the steam from the pot rises, it clings to the fabric of my clothing.
Served with a side of naan, an oven-baked flatbread typical in South and Central Asia, and jasmine rice (no basmati in the house!).
Curries are popular around the world, from Asian countries to the United Kingdom and United States, which is why it’s no surprise that Feinstein is far from Indian, as The Rods hail from Cortland, New York.
Hellbent Meal #9: Frijoles Borrachos
Accompanied by Maria Del Carmen Guacamole, an appetizer from Armored Saint’s Gonzo Sandoval
Frijoles borrachos is Spanish for “drunk beans”, which is a precise description for the protein-rich base of this meal.
After an overnight soaking in Warsteiner, a German Pilsner beer, the red kidney beans I had chosen to use for this Colombian dish had been properly intoxicated with the malt, barley and hops of the booze, as its strong fragrance escaped a large pan while the beans boiled in water.
After adding pureed carrot and Italian pancetta to the mixture, it became thick and hearty, the flavours complimenting each other with tastes of sweet vegetables, salted pork and bitter alcohol.
The guacamole was tangy at best with fresh avocadoes and finely chopped tomatoes and jalapeño pepper, making for a great green dip that complimented fried pieces of plantain, a banana lower in sugar content, that is popular in South American cuisine.
Contemplating between eating the dish with blue corn chips or arepas, we settled on the latter. Arepas are flat, round cornmeal patties that can be grilled, baked or fried and like the plantain, are popular in South and Latin America, especially in Venezuela, where my mother was born. These cornmeal treats come with endless pairing possibilities from topping them with guacamole to cutting them in half with fillings of cheese, meat, eggs and of course, the drunken beans.
If any of you skids ever decide to make arepas, make sure you use Harina PAN corn flour!
Witchtrap is a band of wicked thrashers from Medellín, Colombia that play at breakneck-speed with their energetic, American influenced sound. Check out “Metal Mania” off of their 2007 EP Nightmares Of The Dead.
A household heavy metal name, Armored Saint hails from Los Angeles, California where they established a solid career with former Anthrax vocalist John Bush. Drummer Gonzo Sandoval and his brother, Phil, are the founding members.
Thanks to my parents, Stella and Frank Mazzuca, for arepa assistance, photography and support!