Monday, August 10, 2009

We All Make Mistakes - Alamo Soup

Today the Conquistadors learned a vital lesson - we are absolutely not invincible. We knew that from the start, but this was our first massive failure. For the record, it was Luke who was saying that we shouldn't follow the directions on the package of Udon Noodles, and just wing it. There will be no recipe given here, as we do not want anyone ever to repeat our mistake. I will tell you this of the forbidden food: we were attempting to make Udon noodle soup. That is all the information I can disclose in good conscience.

In lieu of a recipe, please accept this sage advice: do not burn chicken, do not overdo noodles to the point of sogginess, take it easy when it comes to soy sauce, and don't add onions where they are not welcome.

We decided to call our Conquista-flop the "Alamo Soup," as it should always be remembered whenever we are planning on doing something without any directions. The dog wouldn't touch it, the garbage disposal complained when we tried to pour it down, and when we threw it outside, everything within its splash radius withered and died. This stuff was toxic. I will have to end this short, as I feel the need to go and hug some trees to get back on Mother Nature's good side.

Always remember...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Spicy Bacon Buffalo Ranch Chicken Super Sandwich Extravaganza

The ground shakes...
Children scream...
Buildings tremble...
And in a brilliant and dazzling display of light, Matty descends from the heavens, with a frying pan in one hand and a spatula in the other. Oh, joyous day!

Yes, I am indeed back, and actually have been for a while... but now that Lukas, Karsten and I have the house to ourselves (as the others are on a road trip down to Davidson college), we were actually forced to make something delicious. Well, by golly, we succeeded!

What we're looking at is a sandwich, of the chicken variety. We put on chicken, cheese, bacon, and some delightful sauces, and it turned out just heavenly. The whole thing is pretty basic and we were able to make it all from scratch, but the actual frying of the chicken did prove to be a bit of a challenge. We went in with low expectations since we were working with Karsten, the non-Conquistador brother. He was eager to help, and he actually did most of the brainstorming required to get the vision for our bodacious burger.

What you need:
- chicken (amount depends on how many burgers you're making)
- egg (enough to coat however much chicken you are using)
- flour: we actually used potato flour, as we didn't seem to have any regular flour. You might want to plan better than we did.
- breadcrumbs: ours were Italian.
- oil (enough to fry that chicken)
- cheese: we used provolone, and it was good.
- ranch dressing / tiger sauce
- Kaiser rolls: you could use a different kind of sandwich bun, but you'd only be cheating yourself.
- a dash of irony (see below)

You're going to start by cracking open your egg(s) in a bowlish-type thing, and then - this is where the dash of irony comes in - flopping the chicken around in the egg. Once your chicken is all eggy, roll it around in the flour and then the bread crumbs. Next, it's time to fry your chicken in a large skillet with oil. Move it around and flip it periodically, and if you are going to add salt and pepper or other ssssssspices (which we recommend you do,) now is the time to do it. Put some paper towels down somewhere to place the chicken on when it is done frying; you will want to absorb some of that grease. Cook your bacon in another skillet - we had Karsten on bacon duty and myself on frying duty. Again, you'll probably want to grind on some pepper while it's sizzling. You can microwave your bacon... if you have a weak soul.

Then we come to the actual construction of the sandwich. First (and optionally) put any spices you want on the chicken - cajun, chili powder, tiger sauce, pepper blend, whatever. Put enough chicken on the bottom bun to cover it, then put your cheese on top of that. On top of the cheese goes the bacon, and on top of that goes your sauces; ranch is a must, and tiger sauce goes quite well with it too.

Once it's all made, you may want to put it in the toaster oven to melt the cheese and give it a little crispification. Eat.

The general consensus was that this was a triumph; a huge success. It is hard to overstate our satisfaction; this was some quality food. Yes, it did take some time and effort to prepare, and it's not very exotic, but everyone present said they would definitely eat it again. (In fact, we had made a lot of chicken, and at least Karsten and I made second burgers.) We apologize for the long wait between entries, but this one was a definite keeper. And thus, I have made my triumphant return! Look forward to more strange and mysterious adventures in the world of delicious from the Culinary Conquistadors!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Salad Don't Run.


A lush utopia where freedom is freer*, bison roam the plains**, and a global melting pot exists to better the lives of immigrants from around the entire world***. American is SO awesome that it takes the name of two whole continents to represent one country! The other countries to the north and south seem to understand.

*Yes it is possible. **In significantly diminished numbers. *** This probably isn't true

It is only in the U.S. of A. that a salad like the one you are about to be introduced to could truly be realized. Is it because of the abounding ingenuity in this country? Is it because the Culinary Conquistadors (also borrowing* a name from South America) have unparalleled experience in the world of food preparation? No, believe it or not, neither is the case... it is because America has one more thing that other countries yearn for.
*No we won't pay you for it

Hot dogs.

Yes!! Believe it! We have created the Spicy Hotdog Salad!
How marvelous! Stupendous! What glory could a hotdog salad possibly contain??

Well, I'll tell you.

The story starts, of course, with my discovery of the Angus Beef Hotdog.

Yes, it's capitalized. The most fascinating of the hotdog
species, the angus beef dog is the king of weiners. You may think that all hot dogs are the same. If this is the case, please eat a Bar S hot dog and then an angus beef Ballpark frank and come back with a written apology. There are some foods in this world that truly are indistinguishable when it comes to quality. An organic onion and a regular onion, for example, may taste quite similar. Hot dogs, given their somewhat... unsavory nature, tend to vary quite significantly in this respect. We decided to use the best for our creation, and we suggest you do the same.

Torry, the 18 year old of the Treu sons, stood in for Matty in his continued absence and was
the champion griller of these beauties; I handled the salad-portion. If you wish to create this healthy* dish yourself, you need only compile the following ingredients**.
*It does not actually follow that simply because something is a salad, it will make you healthy. ** This should make a meal for ~3 people.

- 1 pack of angus beef hotdogs (we used Ballpark)
- pine nuts (optional)
- shredded cheddar cheese

- shredded pepper jack cheese
- genoa salami (you knew it had to make an appearance)

- diced red onion
- American Mix salad (or could compile your own greens)
- 5 Lettuce Mix (see above comment)
- Yellow heirloom (?) tomato
- Tobasco green pepper sauce (can substitute vinaigrette if you dislike mildly spicy dishes)

The first step is to shred your cheese / dice some red onion and tomato if it hasn't been done
previously. Also take some salami slices and cut them into 1" x 1/2" strips. The amount you add is up to you - we used 4 slices of salami and maybe 1/4 of the tomato and onion. Take your lettuce / salad mixes, place them in a large salad bowl. The American Mix consists of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, and slices of radish, the 5 Lettuce Mix is fairly self-explanatory. The order of adding ingredients from this point on is mostly arbitrary: add your tomato, onion, both cheeses, salami, and pine nuts. At this point you may want to give your salad a preliminary tossing to mix it up.

Take your hot dogs, we used 6 for the salad (and may have eaten the others) and grill them. Once they are finished, slice them into 1/2" or so segments and toss them in the salad. Finally, take a bottle of green pepper sauce (you may know this at the green sauce from Chipotle) and splash it alllllll over your salad. seriously we used like 1/4 of a bottle. It is a mild sauce so it never gets overwhelmingly spicy regardless of volume. Finally, do another thorough salad tossing, now with all ingredients.


The wonderful think about America is it is full of lazy people! Or is that the not-so wonderful thing? I forget. Either way, this salad requires minimal cooking and skill to create, so really anyone can make it. We hope you do. It was unanimously agreed that it was delicious, and was definitely something new. So next time you are out of hot dog buns, consider a salad version. You'll likely trick yourself into believing that you are eating healthily and will surely enjoy it.