16.10.17

inspirrring?

In an effort to increase my dopamine levels, I'm looking at burger porn. Well that's not the whole story, I plan to be eating more protein and yeah just wandered off into the dangerous part of the internet where they have pictures of protein between two pieces of bread.

Well OK, it's just that after so much goddamn experimenting with trying to make a truly delicious veggie burger that felt decadent, I look at this list and I see one thing that compels me to make a note. Well two things. OK three: 1) cheese, 2) sauce, 3) onions.

Here's the list, good luck. And remind me to steal some ideas from Block 16. And Mott Street. After looking at this i just grabbed whatever and made a curry-rubbed steak burger with hoisin-aoili, pickled jalapeno, galangal creamed spinach.....just go mess with your forgotten Asian condiments.

+++

28.9.17

pindasoep.

This is the soup that we should've made an extra 8 liters of. One Italian guy tried it, then immediately came back and ordered another cup, and then proceeded to order everything else on the menu over the next hour. Not braggin', just sayin'. That was one of the nicest compliments of the day because it's what I would've done.

So this is pretty classic Dutchified pindasoep I think, it tastes very much like the one I've eaten the most of, from Soep en Zo in Amsterdam (come to think of it, I may have eaten there more than any other Amsterdam restaurant...can that be true?). This recipe is something I can take very little credit for, it was all Nelson's doing except for the hearts of palm and the seroendeng. If it's not dark enough for you, I'd add a shot of ketjap manis.

+++

surinamese peanut soup. 

1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 plantain, more green than brown, diced
1 cup palm hearts, diced
5 allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 or 1.5 liter water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 madame jeanette/habanero chile, whole
300ml natural, smooth peanut butter


1/2 cucumber, julienned
1 cup dark celery leaves (selderij), minced
seroendeng (an Indonesian condiment that's in every grocery store of any size here, basically toasted coconut, roasted peanuts, salt, sugar, ground coriander and probably a few other things)

Apparently you can just throw everything except the peanut butter in a pot for 45 minutes, turn it off, add the peanut butter, make sure it melts/dissolves, remove the madame jeanette, and serve with the accouterments.

+++

26.9.17

ok now it's day one.























Test mission accomplished? The above photo was taken at around 15:00 Sunday, after we'd run out of pumpkin and had to reduce our Tres Tacos to Dos Tacos.

In fact we'd run out of more than half the menu by then. Had we made more food, I'm sure we could've sold 4 times as much banana bread, and probably 3 times as much pindasoep (we should've made this the day before we did make it, stupie). The one "miss" on the menu was this breakfast sandwich idea, which we sold maybe 8 of, and which I'll elaborate on in general in just a second.

Well OK I'll elaborate on it right now actually, in the form of a General Lessons Learned list, some of which are Super Painfully Obvious, but you know, in the frenzy/daze of trying to get the truck open you can easily space on some of the basics, like:

1) Know how much money you started with. Superstupie, I know. I didn't even consider it frankly. And we had the additional complication of also having a clothing stall, and our opening till was split between that and the truck. We eventually came close to figuring it out: we are pretty sure we did €455 in food sales.

2) Write down every order and take names. Another one. The duh benefit is knowing exactly how many customers you served at the end of the day, and plus it's a bit more personal when you ask someone their name instead of sticking your big head out the door of the truck and yelling "TWO TACOS, ANYONE?". Someone we only lost one order, our second to last of the day. She came up very sweetly after 15 minutes or so and said "Um, how long does it normally take?" And we're like, "You ordered food?" We'd just been sitting there congratulating ourselves on surviving the day.

But number of customers served? Yeah, we don't know. We were doing well with writing things down until the lunch rush. We know that we sold 10 pieces of banana bread and 20 bucks' worth of pindasoep. And maybe 35 sandwiches. And 30 or 40 orders of tacos. So we think we had at least 80 customers and probably more like 100. Our research had suggested, amazingly enough, that we should expect to be able to serve between 80 and 100 if there was sufficient foot traffic. Zero idea where this research came from, other than probably Googling "average food truck customers per day".

3) Pricing. I personally think the pricing was right on. It would´ve been nice to ask for an extra euro for the tacos. People would´ve paid it. But a broodje tempeh shouldn´t be more than the 4 euros ours was. Banana bread should probably be a euro per small slice, although it´s pretty gourmet banana bread and could maybe be 2. A little cup of soup for 3 euro also seems right.

4) Keep a pan for cooking new food. In addition to leaving the pineapple salsa at home, this was my biggest fuckup of the day: when we got to the market the black beans were still frozen. We had two cooking surfaces to work with for the day: 1) one induction burner with two possible pans to use, although nowhere to put the pan you weren't currently cooking with, and 2) a big electric skillet. I used the big skillet to defrost the beans while I set up the steam table, which was totally unnecessary foot-shooting. I could've just defrosted the beans in the table. Instead, I dirtied one of our three pans and since we didn't have running water, it became "the bean pan" all day instead of "the place to cook new food." Stupie.

5) Fucking squirt bottles. Uggggghhhhcccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. These were terrible. I don't know how much you have to pay to get a squirt bottle with a wide nozzle where the top won't explode off if it gets stuck, but whatever that amount is, it's got to be worth it.

OK, part of the problem was also my design flaw. It started like this: my formative green salsa memory is from Tortillas in Atlanta back in the 1990s (another recipe here?). They had a squeeze bottle of green salsa on every table, and if, for example, you were taking a two-hour lunch break from work, you (I) could easily go through most of an entire bottle on your shrimp burrito, it was awesome stuff.

So I've long fantasized about passing the same luxury on anyone else I ever served a taco or burrito to. But jesus, no way, not with these bottles, it would be about 4 minutes before someone's day was ruined by a geyser of fragrant, viscous salsa verde. In the kitchen we had enough mishaps to just switch to little bowls about halfway through service. Which leads me to:

6) Spoons. Bring lots of spoons.

7) Don't be afraid to take something off the menu. At some point months ago, we decided that it would be nice to have a savory breakfast sandwich on the menu, since we were going to open around 10:00. I know how it all happened: it was a nice idea, we put a lot of time and effort into it, the components themselves were all delicious....but it just never clicked as a sandwich. Some brilliant person suggested that we should've made it a breakfast burrito, and yes, in hindsight that seems like a much more doable proposition, less bread/dough would better highlight the inner components and a tortilla would also let us leverage our salsa efforts shoot me for using the word leverage but it's accurate. Anyway, my point is: if it's not awesome don't do it.

8) Estimates. This went pretty well: we went through one "steam table unit" of everything except tempeh, which we did twice as much of. I think we sold 25 broodje tempeh, because we bought 30 buns, and there were something like 5 left at the end, so that was pretty durn good estimating. We'd guessed we might sell 150 tacos, so we bought 200 tortillas just in case, and I think we probably sold 120, not too shabby either.

9) Surely something else.


14.9.17

ok now it's day one.

I was sick for three days immediately after have proclaimed Another Fresh Start. Here we go.

+++

sunflower chorizo. 
2 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon dried Mexicano oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Pinch ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons red wine or distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce

11.9.17

day one.

It is.

+++

lazy hummus.

225g cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of a lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Put tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin in a food processor and process until the garlic is totally tiny. Add the chickpeas, then the olive oil, and process to a smooth, well, hummussy consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprankle with paprika if you feelin' fancy like.

+++

"pimiento cheese."

1 cup cashews
2 cups water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 cup this vegan mayo
1 tsp miso
2 roasted red peppers
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp grated onion
salt to taste

27.8.17

the new tapenade.
























hazelnut and red pepper tapenade.

2 roasted red peppers from the jar
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp good, non-bitter olive oil, or hazelnut oil if you are living in a world of luxury
1 or 2 tsp sherry vinegar
handful fresh basil leaves
salt to taste
sugar if necessary

+++



zjft 2017.


















Bottom photo: yes that is a herd of sheep sleeping in the bike path at 11pm and all the white dots are their reflecting eyes.

Above: leaving the city on the way to getting lost for the only real time the whole day, but it was untangleable enough for us to miss the first concert. Which, who knows, maybe wasn't a bad thing, the concerts we did see were mostly annoying as fuck due to I don't know quite how to say this so I'll just say assholes.

The couple who asks you to scoop over so they can sit down, and then proceeds to tell every person who stands in front of them, "sorry please don't stand there," and then when the concert starts they barely look up from their concert program that they're loudly rustling the pages of. We almost didn't survive that one.

I could go on. OJH's cowboy hat and dancing. A swarm of photographers probably doing noble things and thinking they weren't really getting in anyone's way, but yeah, they were. Half the venues not having beer or wine, only coffee. Anyway: we did it.

Below: despite smelling like an infected tooth, Hekkum was rescued by having curious cows and one perfectly located picnic table that was thankfully upwind from the center of its decay.

All in all, yes, 38km of ass-crushing, ball-breaking bike riding. All those things but beautiful and challenging, especially the ride home, zooming through the pitch black country night in between a forest on one side and a canal on the other, down a path just wider than our bikes, not being able to see anything except the pile of sheep that didn't seem at all surprised to see us.









24.8.17

broodje tempeh.

Tempeh attempt #1, based on this, which rings true to me at first glance.
UPDATE: here it is with fixes.

+++

broodje tempeh tempeh. 

400g tempeh sliced typically
2 tbsp coconut oil
big pinch coarse smoked salt

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 small madame jeanette chile, minced
70g tomato paste
2 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp salt
100ml water

Melt oil in wok, add tempeh, stir-fry for 10 minutes so that the tempeh has taken on more than a little color and is a bit crisped up, because you be about ready to de-crisp it during the next step. Add everything else and cook for another 15 minutes.

+++

surinamse pickle. 

1 cucumber
salt
1 cup vinegar
1 madame jeanette
1/4 tsp allspice or 10 allspice berries
1/4 tsp cloves
1 bay leaf
maybe a dash of sugar depending on your vinegar

Cut the cucumber interestingly and salt it. Add the chile and the spices to a pan with the vinegar, boil the vinegar, when it comes to a boil pour it over the cucumbers. Refrigerate. This should really be served the next day.

+++