Thursday, May 31, 2012

TS-19 (part 1): CDC Pasta Puttanesca

Dr. Edwin Jenner opens the metal blast doors to allow our brave Group entrance into the CDC. They must submit to blood tests as the price of admission. 

Once inside the underground facility, they think their problems are solved. However, they soon learn that Dr. Jenner is the lone survivor and that after the military cordon was overrun, all of the other scientists either fled or "opted out." They are understandably crushed by this revelation.

But for the moment, safety, hot water, food (and wine) are a welcome distraction.

Dinner gets raucous very quickly with the addition of free-flowing red wine. Jenner would have generously opened up the larders of the CDC for his unexpected guests. After the lengthy trip, a carbohydrate-rich meal would have been ideal.

Pasta Puttanesca fits the bill. It contains only pantry ingredients but is packed with flavor, thanks to the addition of anchovies and olives. Break out any bottles of red wine your Group has managed to scavenge. 

And be sure to serve it all on authentic CDC kitchenware and glassware, purchased straight from the Atlanta IKEA.

Take a shower before you go to bed. Breakfast recipes will come in our next blog entry. Sweet dreams....

And when the dead rise; don't get stuck in the library with Shane.

Pasta Puttanesca

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 can (6 oz) pitted black olives, sliced
1 small jar capers, drained
1 can anchovy fillets
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 -14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil; add the pasta and cook according to the package directions for al dente preparation.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add anchovies (undrained) and cook until they begin to melt. Add the parsley, olives, capers, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet. and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes (do not drain) and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.

When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to Dutch oven, tossing well with sauce. Top with cheese and serve.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wildfire: Survivor Stew

After the catastrophic Walker attack on the camp, the Group must dispose of the bodies; both human and Walker. In the hot Georgia sun, the work is exhausting. And particularly icky....each corpse must receive a massive head wound or they will reanimate.

Glenn's insistence on burying (not burning) their lost human friends, including Amy, only creates more work. Upon learning that Jim was bitten, the Group has no choice but to head to the Centers for Disease Control in hopes of finding treatment.

The Morales family decides to break from the Group and make a go of it alone. RIck leaves instructions in hopes that Morgan and Duane will join them at the CDC. Along the way, Jim's health deteriorates further and the Group is forced to call a halt. After hallucinations and lots of gagging...Jim asks to be left behind to face his fate alone.

They make their way to the CDC and have a Close-Encounters-like experience and walk into a white light. Is this the end of our brave survivors? Will they live to see another day or will they end up Walker-Meat? Regardless of the outcome, at least they have a full stomach.

In the rush, they'd have to prepare a quick meal using RV canned pantry staples. This recipe was adapted from a Boy Scout recipe called "Cowboy Stew." We think it can appropriately renamed "Survivor Stew." 

Feel free to substitute whatever canned vegetables and seasonings your Group has been able to scavenge.

And when the dead rise; don't let blonde girls hamstring you.

"We don't burn them! We bury them...understand?"

Survivor Stew
1 can Bush's Grillin Beans (Southern Pit Barbecue Flavor)
1 can Black Beans, undrained
1 can Progresso Creamy Tomato Basil soup
1 can Sweet Corn, undrained (low-sodium)
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 can Potatoes, drained and diced
1 can Green Beans, drained
2 Tbsp. Minced Dried Onion
2 Bay Leaves
3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Optional Ingredient: 1 tsp. Garlic Powder, Kosher Salt, and Pepper

Open all cans. In a Dutch oven, over hot coals, combine Grillin' Beans, black beans, tomato soup, sweet corn and diced tomatoes.

Drain liquid from the green beans and potatoes and add to the stew. Stir well.

Add seasonings and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes (or less if your Group is in a real hurry) until flavors are combined.

Taste and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired. Serve with crackers and then get out of town!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vatos: Fish Fry

Using Dale Horvath's canoe and gear, Amy and her sister Andrea catch enough fish to feed the entire group.

While on the lake, they talk about fishing with their father as chidren; and how he raised each of them differently. And in his own way, he respected what made each of them unique.

That night, around the fire, everyone (except Ed Peletier, who was being punished for not playing nice) enjoys the catch....fried crispy and made better with cold beer.

Hopefully at your survivor camp, there is a safe body of water and enough non-rusty fishing gear to provide for the entire Group. Feel free to add whatever seasonings your Group was able to scavenge in your area. Maryland Zombie Apocalypse Survivors will no doubt favor Old Bay® Seafood Seasoning. Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic will work also.

Of course, no fish fry would be complete without a Walker attack at the end of it. And as the episode closes, our brave Group of survivors have been whittled down yet again. The WDSCB is certain that your Group will be more cautious and post a look-out during your own fish-fry.

And when the dead rise; no crying in the boat!

Fish Fry

1 to 2 cups vegetable oil (do not use lard; just because the Zombie Apocalypse has started doesn't mean we don't have to watch our triglyceride levels)
2 pounds fish fillets, cut up (any kind)
1 cup flour
2 cups dry pancake mix
2 cups seltzer or club soda
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp seafood seasoning (Old Bay or Seafood Magic)

Pour oil into cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and heat on stove or coals to about 425°.

Drop fish fillets into flour and shake off excess. Place fish pieces on towel and dry for a few minutes. 

In a shallow dish, mix pancake mix, club soda and seasonings until a thin batter forms. Dip floured fish fillets into batter and carefully place into the hot oil.

Fry each piece for 3-4 minutes per side. Fish should be golden brown and puffy on all sides. Cool slightly and drain on a rack and serve with baked beans.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tell it to the Frogs: Smoked Bean Hotpot with Fry Bread

At the quarry survivor camp, Deputy Shane Walsh explains to Carl Grimes how they will catch frogs to prepare Cajun style frogs' legs for the group. He claimed that after the survivors tire of eating canned beans they'd be loving frogs' legs.

The WDSCB believes that in addition to his extremely unfortunate hairdo choice in Season 2, Shane is mistaken here also.

The possibilities of canned beans are endless. Trust us, your Group will never get sick of beans.

When the dead rise; beans will save the world.

Smoked Bean Hotpot with Fry Bread

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Minced Onion (reconstituted in 1/4 cup water)
2 cans (15 oz.) Beans, drained (Navy or Great Northern)
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3 tsp. Smoked Paprika
3 tsp. Bacon Salt
1 can (15 oz.) sliced carrots, drained
1 can (15 oz.) potatoes, drained
2 cups stock (vegetarian or chicken)
1 jar capers, drained
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
Black Pepper

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and warm for 2 minutes. Add garlic, beans, smoked paprika, Bacon Salt, and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes, peppers, capers and heat gently for 5 more minutes.
Serve with Fry Bread.

Fry Bread

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup butter flavor shortening
3/4 cup cool water

Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. With a fork or pastry blender, cut in shortening until crumbly. Stir in water and mix until dough forms into a sticky ball.

On a floured flat surface, pat out into a ball. Divide dough into six portions and pat each portion into a six-inch oval.

In a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. shortening over medium heat. Fry dough ovals one at a time for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden and bubbling.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guts: Campfire Sautéed Mushrooms

Amy emerges from the woods at the quarry survivor camp  with a tiny stash of mushrooms. When she is unsure how to determine whether or not they are poisonous, Lori (The Terrible) Grimes  explains that there is only one sure way to tell. The audience is never shown how to make this determination.

At your survivor campsite, you may be fortunate enough to find wild mushrooms. And to have a co-survivor who knows how to gather them safely. If not, dried or canned mushrooms will work fine for this recipe. You may serve campfire sautéed mushrooms over cooked rice, orzo or couscous.

A little Parmesan cheese and some dried parsley will finish it perfectly. Is dried parsley really necessary you ask?.......Yes, we say!

Because when the dead rise; presentation still counts.

Campfire Sautéed Mushrooms

3 cups fresh mushrooms (any variety)
OR 3 jars of mushrooms plus 1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms
(reconstituted in 1 cup of hot water)
1/2 cup honey (OR agave syrup for Vegan survivors)
1 /2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
(reconstituted in 2 Tbsp hot water)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1-3 tsp. butter sprinkles (Molly McButter or Land O'Lakes)
1 Tbsp. dried parsley (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

In a cast iron skillet over the low embers of your campfire,  combine oil, minced onion, and honey. Cook and stir for 30 seconds. 

Add fresh mushrooms (or jar/dried mushroom combination). Cook for 7-9 minutes (fresh), or 4-6 minutes (jar/dried). This will depend on the heat of your Group's campfire.

Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Before serving, stir in butter sprinkles, parsley and parmesan cheese to taste.

You may serve it over hot rice, orzo or couscous.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Days Gone Bye: Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

The AMC series opens with Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes regaining consciousness from a shooting-induced coma.*

He staggers out of the abandoned hospital he finds himself in. Disoriented, Rick is shocked by the sight of hundreds of decaying corpses littering the hospital halls and loading dock. He is quickly rescued by Morgan Jones and his son Duane. 

The three hide out in the vacant home of Fred and Cindy Drake, Rick’s former neighbors. With no electricity, Morgan prepares their evening meal by candlelight using cans of Sterno®. 

We can imagine he used staple items from the Drake’s pantry. Morgan went to great lengths to make life seem normal for his son. Kids love macaroni and cheese so Morgan likely kept the menu simple with this favorite. This very simple recipe can be made with only three ingredients and water. You can easily keep the ingredients on hand for any emergency. Including a Zombie Apocalypse.

And when the dead rise; don’t forget the Sterno®.

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 can diced tomatoes (Italian or any style your Group prefers)

Optional seasonings: Crushed red pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard.

In a Dutch oven over a campfire, or over cans of Sterno®, boil water and cook macaroni according
to package directions. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return 1/2 cup of pasta water 
to pan.
Add pasta back to pan and stir in cheese soup and diced tomatoes. Cover pan and heat very gently
until combined and smooth. If necessary, add the other 1/2 cup of reserved water a few tablespoons at a time. Stir in herbs if you have them and serve.

*In case you were wondering...Rick's last meal before being shot was a burger and fries. After the Zombie Apocalypse, there will be no more McLunches. So we all need to learn how to cook together!