Friday, March 4, 2011

Ordinary Vegan Meal Time: Drunken Riz avec Pain Brulée least, that's what the online translator called it...

I'm going to do this Ordinary Vegan Meal Time a bit differently. It's based on the impromptu preparation of dish I concocted last night after watching too much Anthony Bourdain and drinking too many beers. The post will take you through my production process, step by step. It's not going to taste good to the sober, and today I can't quite recall what it tasted like last night. Getting excited yet? Good.

In order to properly prepare this dish you're going to need a few things:


Beer - at least a six-pack, doesn't need to be fancy, a decent domestic will do
Wine - in case you run out of beer

Rice - 1 cup
TVP - Textured Vegetable Protein, it usually comes in dried flakes, 1/2 cup
Spices - whatever you happen to have on hand

Bread - one slice
Onion - about 1/2 cup
Garlic - one clove


1. Drink at least three of your beers. You're going to need a good, pre-cooking buzz for this to taste right.
2. Measure out the rice, TVP, and spices into a rice cooker or pot. I used a rice cooker, mostly for the "set it and forget it" ease of operation. I seasoned the rice and TVP with salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and a few more things...I think. Pretty much, if it's in your spice rack, it belongs in this dish. Most of the ingredients I used are incredibly bland, and require ridiculous amounts of spice to taste of anything.

[Note: Remember that you've been drinking a bit by this point. So, when adding the spices, feel free to add a bit of a flourish to your technique. Do some heel spins, yell, "BAM!" as you add the paprika, try to throw pinches of salt from across the room, etc.]

3. Turn on the cooker and drink another beer.
4. Next, we're going to start on the garnish. If you're motor skills are becoming impaired, don't worry, only basic knife work is required from this point on. Dice the onion, slice up the garlic, and throw both into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil or butter.
5. Once the onion and garlic are cooking through and becoming fragrant, tear a piece of bread into tiny pieces and throw them into the pan. Add more butter and continue to cook on high heat. Now don't worry, this is going to be the crunchy counterpoint to our soft and fluffy rice/TVP mixture, so feel free to burn the shit out of it. I certainly did.
6. At this point, the rice should be about done, the fake pangrattato is about to catch on fire, and you should be pouring another beer. Preferably do this last one into a nice pint glass (you're about to sit down to a fine dinner, why not treat yourself with glassware?).

[Note: You'll notice that there are no accompanying photos for this blog entry. While I was trying to fix my camera's tricky battery configuration, my bread was burning behind me. The result was a burnt mess, a broken camera, and a lackluster blog post.]

7. You're almost done. Serve the rice mixture in a bowl with the garnish sprinkled on top. I served mine with some Sriracha and it was fantastic...I think.

In Conclusion

So that's it. I strongly suggest that you do not try this at home. If you can, imagine for a moment the situation in which I found myself last night: delusions of grandeur from hours of watching cooking shows, belly full of barely alcoholic grain-water, and a soul filled to the brim with sadness. I sat, hunched over my coffee table, drinking my last beer in a vain attempt to wash down the crunchy nonsense detailed above. I really don't expect any of you to go through with this recipe. That's okay. I meant to write this out as a penance, or maybe a cautionary tale, warning all of you to never put yourself in the sad position I did.

bon appétit

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