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Revived Pizza

18 May

Revived Pizza 2

I said in an earlier post that pizza’s like sex: even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. But one of my brothers-in-law disputed me on this, stating that bad sex can be, um, bad. I neglected to get the details of this, but I concurred that he might have a point, philosophically.

Since then, I have pondered, cogitated, and thought (all at once I might add) how to surmount this rub. So I revised my statement to him, stating that pizza is still like sex: some is better than none. I cannot imagine anyone arguing with that.

I got this recipe idea from the Eat Like a Man cookbook I received for an XMas present a year or two back (cool blog:

To be brief, don’t just throw a piece of pizza in the microwave, and I again get philosophical on you: we cut too many corners these days, myself included, while the alternative is well worth the few extra minutes (resorting to masturbation chimes in here somehow, I think). Just like a cooling fall day that’s warmed by mom’s oven baking something, an oven-heated pizza slice warms the heart and only takes  few extra minutes.

Revived Pizza


1 slice o’ left-over pizza

Parmesan, or a cheese that gets your pheromones a-flaring and your thighs a-tinglin’

1 egg, poached (best), basted (excellent), fried (good), scrambled (o.k. but somewhat ghetto), or hard boiled (ghetto)

Ground black pepper

Makin’ It:

Heat the oven to 450°.

Sprinkle the pizza slice with the parmesan. Put it in the oven for a good 8 minutes until the cheese is bubbly but not burnt.  Meanwhile, get the egg ready.

Remove the slice from the oven, place the egg in the center, and then douse it liberally with black pepper.

Eat it with a knife and fork, making sure to get that beautiful yolk on every bite.

Revived Pizza 5

I feel guilty in a sense because this is sort of a cheating post in terms of a “real” recipe; rather, this is an idea, but it’s a fucking brilliant one. In any case, some post is better than no post, right?

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013



11 Feb

Chilaquiles 005

Chilaquiles 015

I used to call this dish “Chili-killies” until I was instructed about the error in my pronunciation by some pretentious bastard, I’m sure.  But my relationship with chilaquiles has been fraught with problems over the years.  It wasn’t until recently that all became copacetic between me and this delectable breakfast or dinner treat.

The main problem I had with chilaquiles had nothing to do with the dish itself. Rather, it was a profound fuck up in the kitchen, one that dictated the direction of an entire Saturday, that scared me away from them so I wouldn’t have to relive that experience.  Let me explain in a more narrative voice…

It was a brisk Saturday morning and I, in my shorts and T-shirt, decided that I wanted to make something special for me and my lady for brekkie.  The idea of breakfast nachos appealed to me for whatever reason, so I reminisced about chilaquiles, a dish comprised of tortilla chips immersed in enchilada sauce, topped with cheese and eggs and all sorts o’ stuff.  This was my direction that morning.  I would make this happen.

So as I scoured the pantry in our 888 square-foot house, I noticed that I was out of a few items.  I needed pinto beans and tomato sauce, which required a quick trip to the store.  I made it there and back with no problem, and I proceeded to make the sauce.  Of course, the first time one makes anything, it always takes a bit longer, and I was in no hurry.  I then realized that, like a jackass, I forgot the tortilla chips.  So, in the car I went again down to the store and got some chips.  I admit, I was annoyed, which will make me hurry more than normal, which is bad news in the kitchen.

By this time, which was about an hour and half after I initially had decided on making this damn breakfast, my wifey woke up, rubbing her eyes because she doesn’t have balls to scratch.  She was as excited as I was about the prospect of chilaquiles that morning, and I was putting the finishing touches on this monster of a dish, laden with chips and beans and sauce and sour cream and cheese and you name it.  The oven was set at 350° and it was time for them to bake.

I believe my exact words to my wife were, “Look at this goddamn beautiful thing!”  The oven door was open and two racks were in there.  As I thrust the baking dish into the oven, its side hit the middle of the bottom rack.  Since I wasn’t expecting it, I fumbled with it.  The whole dish flipped forward, and with a giant whoosh and an ensuing sizzle, the entire mess of chilaquiles covered the racks, bottom, and sides of that piping hot oven.

In those three seconds, my entire Saturday’s course was decided for me.  There would be no picnics or wine tasting that day because I got the pleasure of cleaning the equivalent of meconium from an oven for about 4 hours.  It was such a fuck up that I couldn’t even be mad.

I hope that wasn’t too much story for little pay off. I think I just needed to reflect, and I do feel much better now.

Anyhow, these babies are easy to make as long as you don’t literally throw them in the oven as I did.  I found a recipe years ago online by someone named Jeanne Lemlin, but I have improvised with it quite a bit.   You can top them with nothing or with eggs any style.  In the pictures, those eggs are poached and there’s something about the yolk dripping over it that welcomes me.


Serves 4 to 6


1 cup salsa (I dig on the hot stuff myself)

2 cups canned tomato sauce (1 14-15 oz. can is fine)

1/2 cup water

1 4 oz. can diced green chiles

1 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1 bag o’ plain tortilla chips, about 8 cups of them

1 cup sour cream

2 cups cheddar, Mexican blend, or jack cheese

4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup sliced black olives

2 eggs for every serving, any style (optional)

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine the salsa, tomato sauce, water, chiles, beans, cumin, and oregano in a bowl and mix it well.  Pour about half of it in the bottom of a baking dish (I used a 9″x 13″ one).  Top this with half of the chips, and crush them down a bit to make an even layer. Drop spoonfuls of half of the sour cream over the chips, and then sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Top this with the remaining chips, sauce, sour cream, cheese, and all of the olives.

Bake this guy for 35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly, like Jessica Simpson.  Remove it from the oven and cut it into squares like a lasagna.  For each square, top it with some of the green onions and the eggs, if you’re doing that.

Chilaquiles 009

If you like some heat on this, the Trader Joe’s Habanero Sauce is no joke, by the way.  Careful. (

So now I make chilaquiles with reckless abandon without the fear of oven cleaning or mispronunciation.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Green Eggs and Ham

27 Nov

A few weeks back, I wrote a post called “The Shame” wherein I describe an off-the-cuff meal involving a bagel thin, a breakfast sausage patty, a fried egg, and some sriracha sauce.  (  The concept behind this dish, the idea of some sort of bread topped with a meat, and then topped with an egg and sauce, has many manifestations, both obscene and elegant.  The above example, Green Eggs and Ham, is more on the elegant side.

I have always wanted to try Green Eggs and Ham just based of the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss (which I learned is actually pronounced “soyce”, which rhymes with “voice”).  It’s strange that I hadn’t heard of any recipe for this before I read the Eat Like a Man cookbook, but there it was.  It was then that the whole concept of it all smacked me in the head: the Eggs Benedict idea can take on many forms.  While I will focus on Green Eggs and Ham here,  I will list some variations at the end of this post.

Green Eggs and Ham

(serves 2)


4 eggs, poached or fried

2 English muffins, split and toasted

Ham, 4 to 8 slices of any variety (I love capacola on this, but in these pictures, I used leftover Thanksgiving ham, which also is excellent)

1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto (I use the store-bought refrigerated kind, which is perfect)

Makin’ It:

Poach or fry the eggs.  For your information, poaching eggs is totally easy and probably the healthiest way to eat an egg.  To do it, boil water in a large saucepan and add a teaspoon of vinegar to it.  Crack the egg into a measuring cup.  Get the water swirling…like a whirlpool…and then, with the measuring cup as close to the water as possible, drop that baby into the vortex.  Repeat with the other eggs and let them cook for three minutes.  Remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl until you’re ready to assemble the Green Eggs and Ham.

This is how easy this is.  Place the toasted muffin halves on the plate and top the ham.  Top each muffin half with a poached egg.  Then, put a dollop of pesto on each egg.  When it’s done, you’ll have this:

The first bite you take of this, try to get every element: muffin, yolk, egg, ham, pesto…and you won’t believe this flavor.  There’s nothing more to be said about it because it’s THAT good.

I serve it with fruit, but if you want to go big, throw some hash browns or breakfast potatoes on the side.

Drinks! Have you gotten into prosecco yet?  If not, go pick up the $6.99 bottle at Trader Joe’s and you’ll be hooked.  It’s a crisp Italian sparkling wine.

Mimosas work well here too.

This can work as breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner and everybody’s happy.


Eggs Benedict: English muffins + ham + eggs + Hollandaise sauce (packet mix is good for this)

Steak Benedict:  English muffins + steak + eggs + Hollandaise

Eggs Benito (as in Mussolini): polenta slices + capacola + eggs + marinara sauce

Green Huevos and Jamon: English muffins + ham + eggs + salsa verde or a cilantro-based salsa or green taco sauce (i.e. something green)

Mushroom Benedict: English muffins + mushrooms (see recipe) + eggs + hollandaise or pesto (

Obviously, your imagination is the limit here. Whatever is in the fridge that sounds like it would work, make it work.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

The Shame

11 Nov

Today was a date day.  We got grandma to watch the kiddo for five hours. We had a picnic overlooking the Nipomo Mesa on a clear, brusque day at Laetitia winery, 15 minutes up the road from us.

Some Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus with flatbread, goat cheese brie, the Trader Joe’s Napa Chicken Salad, crackers, a baguette, some Laetitia sparkling wine for the wife, and a Laetitia pinot noir for me…life is good.  This is why we moved to the central coast from Orange County: not a fake tit or humvee in sight.

But this was from 1:30 pm to about 4:00 pm.  After the winery, we went to the bowling alley bar (Rancho Bowl ’tis called in Santa Maria) and proceeded to drink a few Pabst Blue Ribbons on tap poured by Tommy, a 75 year old curmudgeon who knows everything about everything.  We love this place for obvious reasons.

By the time we left for home, ’twas around 6:00 pm.  The kid got dropped off by grandma, and bathtime was slated.  But because of our oddball picnic, I got hungry.  Of course, I could’ve made a sandwich or something, but when I opened the lunchmeat drawer, it beckoned me: a half chub o’ Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage waiting to be used.  Oh, the shame of even thinking about it…

So I constructed something called Eggs Zebediah, the name intending purely to ackowledge our sausage eating and inbreeding forefathers.


a chub of sausage, made into patties

a Thomas’s Bagel Thin, toasted

two eggs, fried (I use cooking spray for this, thus giving myself some dignity)

a swirl of sriracha, or whatever sauce tickles your taint

Makin’ It:

Cook the sausage patties.

Fry the eggs.

Toast the bagel thin.

Split the bagel thin and place the sausage patties on each bagel half. Place one egg on each sausage-topped bagel half. Circle some sauce on each egg.  I ate it with a fork and knife and it was absolutely indulgent, especially when the yolk broke and I got to wipe it all up with a forkful of bagel, sausage, and egg.

Should I start a “stoner food” category?  Perhaps…

But, oh, how I feel the shame…

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

Blueberry Pancakes on a Sunday Night

29 Oct

I love nights like this.  Once in a while, breakfast for dinner just works.  It also rules that my wife wanted to make pancakes.  I wanted blueberry pancakes, but, alas, we had no blueberries except for blueberry pie filling.  Did this stop the woman?  Nope.  It made it all the better.

Interesting Points:

  • Once every two years, my wife will cook for me.  It’s not that she doesn’t want to.  I’m too much of a control freak to let her.  My back is thrown out at present, so I relented, to my benefit.
  • I could never figure out how come her pancakes are so fucking good.  They’re dense, flavorful, and altogether filling.  How?  She told me that she pats the cakes down as they’re cooking because she doesn’t like “cakiness.”  This is brilliant, in my opinion, because I don’t want air.  This is how she does this.
  • She strained the blueberry pie filling, but kept some of it to make blueish pancakes, which also did the trick on presentation.
  • My 4 year old child proceeded to forgo the pancakes in favor of mopping up the syrup with his bare hands.  How can you blame him?  If syrup had alcohol, Aunt Jemima would replace Jose Cuervo in a heartbeat.


  • Cold beer and cold milk in a frosty glass.

This meal would be complete with a fruity sausage, but we were too lazy to go to the store.  It didn’t matter.

Until later, drink, eat, and peace out.