Cooking and writing by Ola Mazzuca; Photography by Frank Mazzuca
This installment of Blasphemous Meals brings you the very best of winter’s warmth from Hellbent for Cooking. These dishes are hearty and fire the soul. Just because winter is over doesn’t mean that heavy food should be eliminated with heavy metal.
Enjoy the following foodie ventures from the Blasphemy Blog test kitchen. Winter may be grim in a headbanger’s world, but spring is pretty cool, so prepare for the season as you warm up to multicultural fare from Sir Lord Baltimore, Trouble and Abigail.
Flounder Filet Oreganato
By John Garner of Sir Lord Baltimore
Let’s face it. I love fish, and if I could be a “pescatarian”, I sure as hell would. Life without beef or poultry wouldn’t be so bad but one without gifts from the sea? I’ll lose my shit if I don’t have my weekly fix of fish! Grilled, baked, fried, smoked or raw – a healthy dose of alternative omega 3 never ceases to satisfy my foodie nature.
How ironic it is, as I once aspired to become a marine biologist… before I failed grade nine science class.
Brooklyn’s all American rockers Sir Lord Baltimore share a simple dish that’s quick to prepare and not too extravagant in flavour. This meal was something I wouldn’t usually gravitate to, as chutneys and marinades to compliment the meat intrigue me. I couldn’t find flounder at my local grocery, thus settled for basa – a white fish native to the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam. It is mild, firm in texture and can be prepared in various ways.
Picture the Oreganato as a breaded fish schnitzel, if you will. Dipped in egg batter before covered with Italian breadcrumb blend and pan-fried in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), the basa remained light in taste despite its crispy exterior.
Garner suggested a side pairing of mashed potatoes and greens, inspiring me to take a spin of my own. Sweet & white potato mash blended with chives topped with fresh ground pepper and spring mix greens with balsamic dressing and mandolin-sliced pear were fresh, healthy accompaniments beside a robust glass of red.
Ronnie Cole’s Turkey Chili
By Ron Holzner of The Skull (ex-Trouble)
There’s nothing more comforting than a lean, hearty chili on a cold winter day and that’s exactly what Ron Cole’s recipe brings to the table with light, tasty turkey and a harmony of spices that hit the perfect note.
An aroma of paprika, cumin, chili pepper and cayenne fill the kitchen as I stir a heaping pot of the ever-reducing mixture. With great jalapeno and green peppers thrown in between a rich tomato paste, a variety of colours bring life to the chili. For extra protein, beans are a must, and this chili called for red kidney – though I prefer black pinto for a more Mexican vibe.
Pairs perfectly with multigrain tortilla chips and a Stella Artois.
War Miso War Soup
By Yasuyuki Suzuki of Abigail
It arrives in a little black and red bowl with a bento box from your favourite sushi place. Piping hot, aromatic and light, its broth is a serving of seaweed -infused comfort food. Miso soup is not only healthy, but a staple in Japanese cuisine. Can you imagine eating unagi maki without it?
Miso is produced with fermented rice, barley, soybeans and salt. It is a seasoning, often in the form of a paste used for a variety of dishes. From fish and meat marinades to soup stocks, it is a versatile ingredient high in protein, minerals and vitaminB12. Studies have also claimed that miso treats radiation sickness.
Yasuyuki Suzuki’s homemade take was earthy and easy to make. This was the first time I have had miso soup with diced taro, a starchy root vegetable similar to turnip. I’m lucky to have access to a great Asian grocer in the GTA that offers a wide range of foreign food products, where I also purchased my fresh and fried tofu. There was a vast selection to choose from!
Preparing Japanese food at home can be intimidating at times, but this miso soup turned out to be as badass as the blackened thrash of Abigail.
The next time you’re inspired by an Asian dish, don’t hesitate to hit up your local Chinatown to get the right ingredients and experience a culinary adventure.
If “the most evil band in Japan” can make a dish this dainty, you can too.
Enjoy responsibly with a shot of draft sake.
Photographs by Frank Mazzuca