Jake's culinary adventures (good food and better booze)


Well-Known Member
May 24, 2005
Madison, WI
VW GTI 4-Door (MKVI)
I'm no professional, nor am I a rib-making champ like The_Finn or Punisher Bass, but I'd consider myself a decent cook. I can do a nice gazpacho or panini, I can make pretty much any Indian food (including some chaats), and I can grill a nice steak or burger. This thread, however, isn't just my cooking, which has been a bit intermittent as of late, but just my exploration of food and drink in all forms.

We're going to start off with Gazpacho, a recipe which I just used this week. Gazpacho is a classic summer recipe, created by the Spanish in Andalusia as a cold bread-based soup for summer days. Once the tomato and bell pepper were introduced to the recipe in the early 1500s, the character of the soup changed. Since my grandmother always cooks this at least three times a summer, it's been a mainstay of my time at home and always conjures up fond memories for me. Unfortunately, I didn't want to cover my camera with tomato juice, so I have no pictures from when I prepared it this week although I have a few notes on possible missing ingredient improvisations.


16 oz. tomatoes (peeled or unpeeled depending on preference)
1 large cucumber, peeled & halved
1 med. onion, skin off & halved
1 Med. green pepper, quartered
24 oz. tomato juice
1/3 C olive oil (it's not as good with other veggie oil)
1/3 C red wine vinegar (see if you can find a 7% acidity vinegar, you can substitute others, but it's really best like this, add more to taste)
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce (add more to taste)
1&1/2 Teaspoons salt (add more to taste)
1 clove garlic
Avocado and Cilantro garnish

In an electric blender/Cuisinart, combine one tomato, half the
cucumber, half the onion, a green pepper quarter, garlic clove and 1/2
cup tomato juice. Blend for 30 seconds to puree,
In a large bowl, mix the pureed vegetables with remaining tomato
juice, 1/4 C olive oil, the vinegar, Tabasco, and salt. Then puree most of the remaining tomatoes so that the unpureed tomatoes constitute roughly 1/4 of the original total amount of tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and tabasco to taste. Chop separately into very small dice: remaining tomato, cucumber,
onion and green pepper. Add to all the rest of the ingredients.
Chill for about two hours. Serve with cubed avocado and chopped

The key here is to tailor the soup to your tastes. I personally like either very simple tastes, like much japanese food, or very bold flavors. In this case, I chose to use about twice/three times as much hot sauce as the recipe called for, partially because it was Indian knockoff tabasco and partially because the soup didn't seem flavorful enough. I probably should've used a bit more garlic. I also loaded up on the salt and used a bit more vinegar, because the tangy flavor in red wine vinegar (from fusel oils?) was just not nearly as obvious in what I had, which was pretty much acetic acid, water and sugar. If tomato juice isn't available, tomato puree diluted with water works nicely. I used a two parts-one part puree to water dilution, which was okay. I also didn't have the avocados or cilantro, which are a nice touch, but not necessary. The avocado does improve the taste, so it's worth having if possible.

I also made some garlic bread, which was a baguette that I put garlic butter on (lots of butter, cloves of peeled garlic, cuisinart, blend until easily spreadable) and then toasted until crispy and delicious. The two dishes go well together.

Good luck.

I know derek. I fucked up on that one.
FUCK YEAH gazpacho i doubt there is anything better on a hot summer night than a cool bowl of gazpacho with a dollop of sourcream (Cr?me fra?che whatever) ... I have a great recipe that uses watermelon instead of tomato that is fantastic.
If you're feeling adventurous, give this recipe a whirl. It's my fave, bar none.
Well okay, I fucked up as of late and I haven't been carrying my camera around much so I have no new pictures to add. I do have a couple of recipes though.

Breakfast a la Jacob
Eggs in the basket/bullshot/one-eyed egyptian
This has been called more things than pretty much anything else I've ever cooked, but it's easy and tasty.

Start with a piece of bread, a greased frying pan and a cup and an egg. Use the cup to cut out a circle from the center of the bread. Toss into frying pan. Put holed bread in too. Then you can do whatever style you want with the eggs, I usually do it fried for simplicity, but I have done it other ways. Crack the egg/pour the egg into the hole in the bread. I usually let a little white fall down first and start to cook for like 5 seconds and then dump the rest in over the top so the yolk doesn't fly out that way. Flip both pieces at the same time when the egg is close to being finished. Cook for another minute, take a sip out of your bloody mary and then put the finished product on the plate. Some people like to eat the bread circle with jam. You say potato and I say fuck you. It's much better with just salt. If you've timed this right, part two will be finished about now too.

Part 2
Homemade hash browns

Start with potatoes, shredded. The shredding is a pain in the ass if you do it with a knife, like I did. Use a food processor or grater if one is available. Heat some oil in a flat-bottomed pan, dump the potato in and fry. Add diced onion and a little chili sauce and pepper if desired. Fry until golden brown, then flip and fry quickly and serve.

Improvised Easy Dinner (IED)
Chicken stirfry

Boil two cups of rice. Lightly pan-sear 6 ounces of chicken mince (other meats can be substituted). Sautee some (1-1.5 cups total) onions and bell peppers/capsicum. Add about 5-6 tablespoons of your favorite/available sauce. I wanted to use teriyaki, but all the store had was chinese oyster mushroom sauce. Put the whole mess in a wok with a few ounces of water, little bit of chili oil and stirfry it. Serve hot.
For desert: Easy peanutbutter chocolate fudge.
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
5 oz milk
3 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar

Fill a big pot with water, place a smaller pot/bowl that fits into the top of the larger pot into the pot and put the peanut butter and chocolate in here. This way, you're using indirect heat so everything melts more evenly. Once you've melted the peanut butter and chocolate together, fold in the milk and then the sugar. Use low heat, so the mixture is easy to stir. Line a pan with wax paper and put the mix in. Chill for at least two hours and then cut into one inch squares. Store in an airtight container.

I had to improvise a bit here, due to lack of chocolate chips. I used a bunch of dairy milk instead, which meant I cut down on the icing sugar, which meant it never solidified quite right, and kinda melts whenever it comes out of the freezer. Still damn tasty though.