Mash Ups: A North Carolinian’s take on an Indian burrito in London

Food Reviews, London

Hi!  My name is Amanda from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and I am excited to join Epic Portions.  For the next five and a half months, my husband and I are living in London.   I hope to document this experience through food – the good, the bad and the weird.

So far I’ve been in London town one week and have already had some food highs and lows.  One of my more positive experiences combines two cuisines I adore – Mexican and Indian.  This mash up seemed suspect so I had to try it.  I choose the warm, flour tortilla filled with tandoori chicken, grilled paneer, topped with a tikka masala sauce.  I then added chana masala (chickpeas), pilau rice and crispy onions.  The burrito was finished with Raita (Mint yoghurt) and then expertly rolled in tin foil and packaged for me to take home.  In a fast paced city like London, the “take away” shops are buzzing around lunch time with a bit of Seinfeld soup Nazi mentality.

So how was it? Verdict: delicious and satisfying.  Even better, Bombay Burrito delivers and I will have many opportunities to indulge in different combinations in the future – even on those rainy London days that I can’t fathom leaving the house. They offer tacos, salad bowls and curry bowls as well, all mixing different Indian flavors with the Mexican plating.

I’m excited for the adventures in food in and out of London over the next few months.  Yelp, food apps and other online tools make it easy for you to find exactly what you want to eat and within a comfortable travel radius.  Deliveroo and other services will bring basically anything you want to your front door.  Stay tuned for more on this culinary exploration.

Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza

Beer/Drinks, Funny, Randoms

Oh…hi there. Sorry if I startled you. I know it’s been a long time. Quite frankly I’m surprised how often many of you still visit. All of us are flattered. Truly. I’m personally proud of about 68% of what I wrote for this site. That makes me more popular on Rotten Tomatoes than season two of True Detective.jollypumpkinoro

Anyway, I stopped by to speak to you of a beer, a beer so glorious that its name must be shouted from the rooftops of the now abandoned Epic Portions building. That beer is Oro de Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin. Oro de Calabaza has been around for a while, but it struck me that I still have a forum to spread a measure of joy in this world. Why not do something for the good of society for once?

Since I long ago gave up trying to describe the nuances of beer, I’ll let the good people at Jolly Pumpkin do the talking:

Brewed in the Franco-Belgian tradition of strong golden ales. Spicy and peppery with a gentle hop bouquet and beguiling influence of wild yeast.

Now, normally I would not let use of the word “beguiling” go unchallenged. But upon reflection, I can think of no other word that better describes the influence of the wild yeast. (I think the wild yeast adds deliciousness.) If it is for sale in your area, consider yourself fortunate. That is all. Good night and good luck.

P.S. — Oro de Calabaza translates as “Golden Pumpkin.” Due to the awesomeness of this beer, I hereby claim that the act of pouring this beer on your partner during the act of intercourse be called a Golden Pumpkin.

I Skipped Downton Abbey to Write an Epic Portions Rant

Other Recipes, Rants

Well, here it is, Martin Luther King Day Eve.  My children are nestled cozily into their beds,  and I am spending the evening in quiet contemplation of the contribution of a great man — Dr. King.  Also, I’m drinking beer, playing the guitar, and watching the episode of Downton Abbey I recorded earlier this evening.  Or so I thought.

As I reached into the fridge to grab another Short’s Huma Lupa Licious IPA, a beer as awesome as its name is ridiculous, I happened to glance at a bottle of A-1 Steak Sauce that has been in my refrigerator since the Pre-Cambrian era.  On said bottle is the laziest recipe I have ever seen in my life for a Slow-Cooker Pot Roast. 

I found the recipe so lazy, so repulsive, so against all that is culinarily good and true, that I had to put Downton Abbey on hold for thirty minutes to rant about this garbage.  The officious Brit bastards can wait…

Before I begin let me say that I am not opposed to using the slow cooker to make life easy, or taking shortcuts on occasion.  Sometimes, it is a complete pain in the ass to have to cook a dinner for your family every night, and I say that as someone who loves to cook.  But, like in most other parts of life, there are limits to what one will accept as a shortcut.  Let’s look at the recipe:

A-1’s Lazy-Ass Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Difficulty:  A quadriplegic chimp could do it.

Time:  Wasted.

½ cup A-1 Steak Sauce (of course, what’s the point of the recipe if you aren’t trying to sell bottles of your product).

½ cup water (straight from the tap, especially if you are from West Virginia).

1 package onion-mushroom soup mix (ask your cardiologist which packet of onion-mushroom soup mix is right for you).

— That is the one that annoys me the most.  Why not, I don’t know, buy some actual mushrooms?  And garlic.   A cow died so it could be your dinner, show it some fucking respect, A-1.

Continuing…

2 ½ lbs. boneless chuck eye roast (proceed to apologize to the Cow-Gods for the crime against Bovinity that you are about to commit).

1 lb. baby red potatoes (preferably, the pre-packaged kind).

1 package of baby carrots (they outright say it this time).

1 onion, diced (I think that means to chop it up a bunch).

Put all the above ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 8-9 hours.  Seriously.  Cook the shit out of it.  Insult its mother at least twice during the cooking process.

That’s the recipe.  I shit you not.   And I’m not trying to be a food snob, we can make A-1’s recipe work.   How about red wine and or beef broth for the liquid instead of water?  Throw in a bay leaf or two and you might be on to something.

That is all.  Farewell again, food blogging.  I’m sorry but I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to write about Quinoa/Sweet Potato bullshit on a regular basis.