HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/28/13) - First off, I’m a geek, and I’m a foodie, that was born and raised in Paducah, KY.
I’ve had an affinity for video games ever since the first time a controller graced my hands when I was six. My love for cooking took hold the moment I held a knife, and I started my career in food at 14. I’ve spent serious time playing every make and model of video game out there, while working every position in various area kitchens. At 21, I enrolled at Louisville Kentucky’s Sullivan University College of Culinary Arts and graduated with my degree two years later. From there, I spent the next three years in kitchens around the Washington, DC area. I’ve now returned to Western Kentucky and am completing another degree at Murray State University in Nutrition and Exercise Science. In my spare time, I co-host a video game podcast called TADPOG (Tyler and Dave Play Old Games).
I’ve had a strong desire to share my love of food and its preparation with others, and am honored that the good people at Sugg Street Post are giving me an opportunity to blend all of my passions together. I now have a place to present them to the public in the form of The Gastromancer’s Guild.
The Gastromancer’s Guild
When I get together with friends one of my favorite things to do is break out the N64, Gamecube, or Wii and play some four-player matches of Super Smash Bros. It’s a fantastic competitive video game where each player chooses an iconic Nintendo character and battles it out. During this fighting, where you try to knock each other off the screen, your saving grace is often getting your hands on some food items. So this week, Gastromancers, let’s draw some inspiration from these items and weave some tasty spells.
Here is a little example of the inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FO83eZdWks
WEEK 31 – Super Smash Bros.
Maxim Tomato (Apprentice)
1 large tomato
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 oz. melted whole butter
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Core and halve the tomato. Sprinkle the sugar on top of each half, place on a broiler platter and broil until tender. Drizzle with butter and garnish with parsley.
Super Mushroom (Apprentice)
1 lb. portabella mushroom caps
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. fresh thyme
Wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp towel. Scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushroom caps. Combine the oil and garlic and brush the mixture on the mushroom caps. Season the mushroom with salt, pepper, and thyme. Grill or broil the mushrooms until tender, approximately 8 minutes, depending on the size of the caps.
Super Spicy Curry (Alchemist)
4 birdseye chiles
1 tsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. cumin seed
½ tsp. black peppercorns
½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, cut into large pieces
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ small white onion, peeled
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 chicken breasts cut into ½ inch strips
¾ pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
3 tbsp. Thai red curry pasta
¼ cup snow peas, trimmed
1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
Combine chiles, coriander, fennel, cumin, and black peppercorns in a sauté pan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until aroma is apparent about 1-2 minutes. Remove toasted spices to a plate to stop the toasting process and to cool slightly. Blend in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. In a food processor, combine the red pepper, ginger, lime juice, onion, garlic, and salt. Add the toasted spices and blend well until completely pureed, about 1-2 minutes. Periodically use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Heat half of the oil in a wok and sauté pan over high heat until it smokes. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and cook until lightly golden on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate. Heat the remaining oil over high heat until it smokes. Add shrimp and red peppers. Stir-fry until it is slightly orange tinged on the edges and begins to appear opaque, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste, snow peas, ginger, and garlic. Continue to cook for about 1 minutes while stirring constantly to fully incorporate the chili paste into the other ingredients. Add coconut milk to stir-fry mixture. Bring to a simmer. Add browned chicken. Continue to summer until the sauce is slightly thickened, the peas are tender and the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in small bowls, garnish with bean sprouts and cilantro.
Tiers of Difficulty
Apprentice – At this level, very few ingredients and basic preparation are used. Recipes of this level are often components of other dishes.
Journeyman – This is where applications of heat and knife-work may start, but the steps are still few in number.
Mage – A fairly competent level of work is required as a Mage. Recipes of this level require a fair amount of skill, use teachings from the previous tiers, and increase in complexity while adding more techniques.
Alchemist – At this level, very complex single dishes are created that require several applications of numerous techniques, as well as multiple ingredients.
Gastromancer – This is the highest degree of difficulty. This may take the level of the Alchemist, but will be multiplied into several dishes.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Tyler Holland
Photo by Jeff Harp