Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catharsis & The New Series

My blog is my castle.  I moderate comments for the same reasons we lock our homes, to keep out unwanted guests and yahoos.  Primarily, that most wretched incarnation of commenter, the ANONYMOUS.  I liken an anonymous commenter to a hit and run driver.  They pop in, release their bile, do their damage and run away.  On LC, If you do not leave at least an email address, I won't post the comment, good or bad. 

See, you can "Have Your Say," but I reserve the right to do something called RETORT.

To Mr & Mrs Anonymous Commenter, butch up, toughen up, and grow up.  Leave a name, or email address so the bloggers that you are giving your unwanted advice to, can hit you back.

THANK YOU, to all who commented yesterday and actually left a name or email address.  I had something to say and judging by the comments, many of you had something to say.  The conversation was great and profound.  It really is not a surprise, judging that most of you who commented are some of my favorite bloggers.

Yesterday, one of the themes was inspiration.  I would like to keep that theme going today.  Another one of my "Mount Rushmore" foodies opened my eyes to a possibility that, frankly, I am a little embarrassed that I did not realize myself.  I am by nature a deconstructor in the kitchen.  If you read LC you already know that I love to reinvent or reimagine classic dishes.

Tanatha from I Just Love My Apron recently deconstructed one of my dishes.  A real honor that someone as talented as she would take a shot at redoing a dish from LC.  She took my black bean & catfish dish to a whole new level.

So, the new series is not Pissed Off Rant Wednesday, Alisha, AKA Magic of Spice from The Ardent Epicure, although it does have a ring to it for sure!  Alisha is a wonderful Friend and fellow cook, she also shares my love of the show Fringe.  Check her site out, it's impressive. 

The new series will be Foodie Friend Deconstruction Saturday.  I see so many fantastic dishes out there that I know I will never be short of material.  Be on the lookout, I may be coming to a dish near you soon...

The first person whose inspiring food I shall be working with is Faith from An Edible Mosaic.

Faith is a worldly and talented cook.  She makes food from all types of cuisines.  So, it is easy for me to draw inspiration from her blog.  If you do not know Faith, do yourself a favor and click on the linkage above and check out a truly great food site.  By the way, today is Faith's Birthday, so wish her a Happy one!

It must have been an extremely wise philosopher or a sage that first uttered the phrase "There is a first for everything."  Such is the case on LC!  After nearly 5 months of doing Guest Posts someone who agreed to do one did not come through.  Not a word or an "I'm sorry", nothing just vanished.

Luckily I have a true friend who stepped up and offered me a post.  Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron is a real sweetheart.  Thanks, T! So, she makes her unprecedented 3rd appearance as a guest on LC!  My prediction is that it will not be her last!

Guest Post Spotlight Thursday

This post was Tanantha's entry into our Quickies Cocktail Challenge, a fun and flirty non-alchy drink.  Along with her deconstruction of my Pan-Roasted Catfish with Black Beans.




As mentioned in the last post, I was going to be working on an entry for Denise's Quickies Cocktail Challenge over the weekend. I did! Phew. I'm glad I worked on it on Saturday, as Sunday was hectic due to Bella's  incident - poor thing. I had baked brownie bites and left them on the dining table before leaving for a Birthday party. I forgot to move one chair close to the table. She's smart enough to get on there and to the table without knowing those tempting chocolate treats could cause her  death! Sure enough, she was up all night running around due to a high sugar level and heartbeat. We had to take her to the pet emergency hospital. It was an expensive lesson for us.

Never trust your dog with food on a dining table! I wish she knew what was going on and wouldn't do it again (sigh)

Okay, back to this challenge. The Quickie Cocktail Challenge is a joint challenge between a talented sweet Denise Fletcher at Quickie on a dinner table and the smart supportive Lazaro at Lazaro Cooks. I'm glad they are open to non-alcoholic drinks! I'm a light weight and wouldn't be too convincing to create an alcoholic drink. It's like a monkey teaching fish to swim. The prize is a copy of Denise's Cookbook - Quickie: Morning, Noon, and Night. It contains awesome recipes for any time of day!

I went to a farmers market and got fresh raspberries and was thinking of what to do with them. I also had rose water left in pantry from my rose water infused creme brulee; the guest post for Lazaro. I wasn't sure how to put it together until I recalled one of the posts from Silvia at Citron et vanilla in which she infused berry and lychee. So, I added lychee as one of the ingredients. Lychee also goes well with rose water so it is a perfect candidate! Now, comes to the "stunt man" for alcohol. I could use sparkling water, club soda and such but I needed something a little sweeter. Ginger Ale came to mind. Here we go, the 3 amigos in one glass.

I hope it's sexy enough but not too dirty haha.


Ginger Ale, Lychee, and Raspberry - The 3 Amigos Drink
Yield: 3-4

1 (14 oz) can lychee in syrup, drained
1/4 cup fresh raspberry
1/2 tsp rose water
Ginger Ale
4-5 Ice cubes per shake
Cheese cloth (optional)
Bartender Shake/Mixer

  • Add lychee, raspberry, and rose water in a blender. Puree it until mix and has no chuck of fruit.
  • If you wish to have a clear looking drink, use cheesecloth to sieve the remain and chuck. If you don't have it, don't worry at all. A little chuck of fruit doesn't make the taste different. 
  • Add ice cubes in a shaker, follow by 1/4 cup raspberry and lychee mixture. Finish with ginger ale until almost full. Close the cap. Shake to mix well. 
  • Be careful while shaking. You will feel a pressure from the soda pushing the cap out. Make sure you close and hold it tight.
  • Pour in a glass and garnish with raspberry and lychee.
  • Repeat the first step for the next glass.

with some pulp

As Lazaro is one of the two behind this challenge, I will post another recipe inspired by his recipe - Pan roasted catfish with black beans. This is a guest post for Patty at Patty's Food. He made a flavorful soup and a sustainable fish. He's like a fish and seafood master to me. I deconstructed it to a sandwich. It tasted delicious! Keith also loves it! I adjusted a few ingredients to the ingredient access on my end. I also breaded catfish with cornmeal as they go well together. Catfish and cornmeal -Louisiana style. It's full of flavor and healthy. The original recipe you can find on his blog here.


For the black beans:
1 can black beans, drained
1 tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt
white pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
splash of dry white wine

Heat up a skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Swirl to coat. Add shallot, and garlic. Saute until tender. Add onion and cook until it's translucent. Add beans and all the seasonings. Mix well and cook until the bean liquid is almost dry. Add tomatoes and wine. Simmer it for 10 mins. It should become dry enough like paste but still moist. Smash it with fork or wooden spoon.


Catfish fillets, skinned

Dry fish with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in cornmeal. Heat up skillet with oil. Pan fry the fish about 5 mins on each side or cook through.

Assemble by spreading bean paste on toasted breads, mascarpone, chives, fish, and another teaspoon of mascarpone, then top with the other side of bread.


Please visit I Just Love My Apron for more of T's great work!


  1. I still think 'pissed off rant Wednesday' would make a good one! And I can't imagine anyone leaving you a snarky remark!

    All aside, that cocktail looks fantastic and so does the dish! I'm heading over to Tanantha's blog for more. Great job!

  2. Posting rude comments under anonymous?! the nerve! The only person who comments anonymous on my blog is my dad (once or twice, he can't figure out how to use blogger) which is cute/funny.

    I love the sound of that drink. I would spike it with some vodka. And awesome job Tanantha on the dish reconstruction!!

  3. How come every time I leave the internet for a couple of days I miss all the drama? :O

    But in response to your post yesterday - I completely agree about the comment game. I do usually comment back to someone out of courtesy but I never expect them to do the same - and I'm almost always interested in what I end up commenting on anyway, so I don't feel like I'm just participating in a you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours game. And as I've told you before, if I don't have the time to read the entire post, then I don't have the time to reply. It's funny, because sometimes you can kind of tell when someone didn't read the whole thing. :P

    Moving on!

    I'm sorry your guest poster bailed on you. I mean, it can get be difficult to think of something to post about but it's not so hard that you have to fall off the face of the earth to avoid it. o.O But thankfully Tanantha's as awesome as she is. :)

    Tanantha - I'm sorry about your dog! Mine once ate about 1/4 of a chocolate donut that someone left on the side of the road (seriously, who DOES THAT?) before I figured out what he was doing. He was fine, thankfully, but he had this stupid dog grin on his face the rest of the day while I was worried sick that he was going to die.

    Everything looks great - I'm especially loving the fact that you made Lazaro's catfish dish into a sandwich. Portable gourmet food. Awesome. :P

  4. Oliver is doing just fine (two walks a day, one brushing a day, eating top notch food and reclining on our down pillows the rest of the time--it's a dog's life) and sends regards to Audi and "little bitty kitty".

    I like the idea for your new series. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks--and I'm not referring to Oliver.


  5. You're definitely not alone, Lazaro! Stay strong, haha. On another note, how flattering is that to have someelse else be so inspired by a dish you create to want to offer their version of it. That sandwich looks great! Glad she was able to step in with those recipes :)

  6. come to think of it, i'm not even sure if wordpress allows my readers to comment anonymously...hmmm. but i'd have to agree, if one is going to comment anonymously, at least have the guts to leave an email. then again, it'd probably be a fake email anyways.

    i love your idea of foodie friend deconstruction saturday! sounds like so much fun. like i said, you have the talents to do that. i tried and my cookies turned into i'm a bit afraid of what my dishes would turn into. i know you'll have lots of fun with that Lazaro! more power to you! what a wonderful way to stay connected to your friends as well - brilliant!

    Tanantha is such a sweetie isn't she? and a sharp one too, i'd have to say. (Tanantha, you know exactly what i'm talking about ;-)) i always love visiting her blog and seeing what she's been up to. i think i found her blog through your guest post too, so thank you Lazaro!

  7. i've never used rose water before that looks so interesting!

    Lazaro-- i don't get anonymous comments! (knock on wood) some people need to man up a bit!

  8. omg LeQuanis, you make me laugh so hard about the cookie and bun thing! LOL. I think you cookies are adorable and look good seriously!

    Laz, your opinion on anonymous comment is so true and kinda hilarious. Grow up people! Thank you so much for you kind word and mention. I'm really flattered *blush*. It's my honor to be at LC. You know you can just give me a word, and I will hop on here to help. Can't wait for the new series to begin. How exciting and I have something to look forward to!

    Thank you everyone for making my day much better.

  9. I got a great anonymous comment the other day asking if I was a spastic...well at least they left a comment...right?

  10. I have only had one anonymous comment that I didn't post. Mr. Anonymous said that I was a bad person for having my husband kill the rattle snakes that were by our grill when I was grilling steaks. He said we should have captured them then released the snakes somewhere else. Our neighbor has very small children and all I could think of is, what if the snakes get out of our yard and into theirs. Other than that, I really enjoy reading the comments and leaving comments on other blogs.

  11. My personal favorite was someone who accused me of plagiarism on a post where the title included David Leibovitz's name!! Better yet, they had signed the comment using someone else's name! Go figure. Most of the worst are anonymous and you've got to figure they wouldn't be snarky if they weren't hiding behind the anonymous veil... cowardly. I love reading comments, doesn't everyone? My only regret is that I don't have more time... I wish I could linger but there are days a quick word is all I can manage.

    Sorry you lost your guest... so rude. Look what we got instead.. how cool is that? Tanantha did a fab job and made me smile with the dog story... my Saint Bernard ate a whole chicken once.. I was terrified about the bones so didn't punish him as I should (I love a rascals anyway...)

  12. Hi Lazaro, after reading this post, I checked your post from yesterday. I’m sorry that you experienced a bad case of comment game. Unfortunately these people like to play this kind of game and hide behind “ANONYMOUS” because they know they are “coward” and not playing “fair”. I started blogging because like you and many others, I love food, eating, cooking and sharing my recipes, although in my case, I haven’t posted anything in a while :((. I am very fortunate that I met many wonderful people including you, thru food blogging. You’re very passionate on everything that you do, you’re recipes are amazing, and I know you're here to stay.

    Wow Tanantha, I love the 3 Amigos Drink, sounds great and looks really refreshing. I also love your take on the Catfish as a sandwich, and of course my favorite- black beans and the addition of mascarpone, “awesome”.
    You and your husband will be leaving for your trip soon right? Enjoy and have a safe one.

  13. I'm looking forward to your new series! And love Tanantha's deconstruction of course!

  14. Lazaro, waht lovely drink, I love drinks like this, the pictures are awesome.
    About anonymus I hate bad anonymus, all days I have erasers some of them dear, dont worry, all we live.
    I really looking forward to your new series!
    Take care I love your recipes, gloria

  15. keep up the good work, great feelings expressed, looking forward to more of your wonderful posts!

  16. Great posts - both of them... now I am going to go back and read all of the conversation (comments) from yesterdays post... I see LeQuan has a few other sites reflecting, as well... out there.
    ... and I love your deconstructing idea. I just never get things done on a date that they need to be done on (unless I know faaar in advance! :) )

  17. The drink looks so delicious and refreshing! My daughter loves using homemade rose water. She cooks with it all the time and adds it to her drink often.
    Everything looks wonderful though!

  18. Fantastic guest post Tanatha...Love that drink of yours and you know I am crazy over the catfish with black beans :)
    And as for you Lazaro...I think that "Foodie Friend Deconstruction Saturday", is killer :) Plus I do follow Faith, and will have to pop over for a Happy Birthday :)
    Annoying about the anonymous
    And the flaky guest poster...But we got T' instead, so we all came out ahead :)
    Big hugs my fellow Fringe mate...Thank you for the kind words :)

  19. Oh no, sorry about the anonymous bad mouthers. That's the great thing about the 'interwebs' huh?

    I love the cocktail and her spin on your catfish dish! It looks and sounds absolutely beautiful!! Looking forward to yet another great foodie to follow.

  20. Hey, seems to be a lot going on here.... I'm trying hard to follow all the comments here, after a full dinner. I love the phrase "hit-&-run driver". How true!

    Lazaro, your Comment Game & Inspiration post is generating some biz. LOL! Sadly, a lot of bloggers just comment for the sake of commenting. Nothing from the heart :< But looks like u've a lot of supporters here.

    Your Quickies Cocktail Challenge Round-up reminds me of my disappointment. Hahaha! I like Tanantha's entry. A refreshing drink, perfect for a hot weather like Singapore.

    Tho' I didn't win a copy of Denise's Cookbook, I made some really awesome, sincere friends like yourself. Hope I'm not too quick to jump into this. Hahaha!

    Oops, better end my conversation here. It's getting too long........

  21. Oh Lazaro, reg your anonymous comment..... "Not me, not me!" I hope I left my name from the start. Just kidding!

    This reminds me of a joke (no offence in reg to nationalities). You don't have to publish this if you feel it's not appropriate. I believe we're all above 18. Hahaha! Just to lighten the serious mood here. To all readers here, have a good laugh!

    "When an Englishman farts, he says "I beg your pardon!"

    "When an American farts, he says "I'm sorry!"

    Q: What does a Singaporean say when he farts??

    I'll be back with the answer if no one gets it right. BTW, I'm a S'porean :)

  22. Shame about anonymous bad mouthers Laz - don't know why people need to hide when they want to get something off their chest, and sorry that your guest poster bailed on you. Trust the lovely T to come to the rescue :)

    Nice to see your lovely post here Tanantha. I really do like your drink and I'll tell you a secret - I'm pretty light weight too now, in the guzzling department, though I used to do my fair share of chugging years and years ago. Now it's mostly wine I drink. So, mocktails are right up my alley :)I'm thinking the 3 Amigos and that sandwich would really rock together!

    Thank you both for a great read and 2 gorgeous recipes!

    P/s Laz - I kinda like the idea of Pissed Off Rant Wednesday, actually ;) and Shirley, shame on me for not knowing what we're supposed to say when we fart. I'll be coming back for the answer LOL

  23. Your new series idea sounds like so much fun! And I'm truly honored that you chose a dish of mine to deconstruct...can't wait to see what it is! Thank you so much for your birthday wishes, they really meant a lot to me. I can't believe that someone didn't come through on the guest post! At least now we get to see Tanantha's beautiful deconstruction of your Pan-Roasted, does that ever look amazing!

  24. Lazaro & Denise, I'm back with the answer. Actually, I've already given u guys the answer. It's up there!

    "When a Singaporean farts, he says "Not me, not me!" Hahaha!

    To relate the joke, the joker simply change the nationality to make the twist :)

    Your anonymous comment reminds me of this joke.

  25. Stay strong, Laz :)

    That drink looks amazing!

    Delightful Bitefuls

  26. anonymous commenter, really suck. I had one commenter ask why I post so many mexican recipes? really ? how many time to I say that I live in edinburg,texas about 20 minutes from the border...hello??? whatever

    the round up was awesome, I loved that yall added non alcholic perfect for when my mom visits.
    wow I cannot beleive someone would wimp out of their guest post..

    I hope bella is feeling better and I caught your cocktail on denise's blog, love the lychee, raspberry and rose water combo.

    I'm with Mo portable gourmet food,

  27. Dear, dear Lazaro....I so appreciate your visit from yesterday....and your kindness is exactly what I know you would want as well...well said my friend, about these hit and runners. I have missed your posts since school started! I am running around so much that I am left so tired, but when I come home, I EAT A GREAT MEAL...and now that autumn has arrived in our neck of the woods....SOUP is on my mind...have you ever made TOMATO BREAD SOUP? OMG.....a local Italian restaurant serves up THE BEST. That last image is TDF yummy looking! Enjoy your weekend et BON APÉTIT! Anita

  28. Ugh I HATE anonymous commenters! They never have ANYTHING nice to say (unless they are my mother. She's the only nice anonymous commenter that I get. So I'll publish her posts LOL). I feel like if you can't man up to what you're saying then you have no right to be saying it. End. Of. Story.

    Ah Faith, how I adore her. I love the sound of this new series and I love her guest post!

  29. This just sounds like a perfect meal, and that drink just incredibly refreshing.

    I need to work my way backwards in your posts to appreciate your comment on the Anonymous poster. Will do shortly.

  30. I rather liked Pissed off Rant Wednesday as well! However, if we must settle for another title...this will be acceptable. I find deconstruction fascinating and yes, you are very good at this particular technique Lazaro. This was a wonderful guest post, as always. The drink and the food look amazing.

  31. Wonderfully said! I came home from Spain to two new Fringe episodes and I am savoring them tonight when I get home from Open Mic...

    I had to moderate due to a blog troll two years ago. They still come over, but are not as bad as they used to be.

    I have never had any ANON show, but people can be so cruel. My father always said, if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything, but that does not stop people does it...

    Hope all is well!


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