Saturday, January 3, 2015

We've Moved!

Go here for the relocated Clean Sink:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

MAIN -- Grilled Sardines

You ever had sardines? Like, ones that weren't in a can before you had 'em? They're easy, really good, not at all "fishy" or whatever people say they are, and high in omega 3s (or so our moms tell us). 

Here we have them with a pangratta, or crispy breadcrumbs. 

There's only three things to do for this dinner:

  • MAKE THE BREADCRUMBS: heat up olive oil in a skillet, then throw in some sliced garlic. Add crumbs and toast. At the end, throw in a little chopped parsley and salt & pepper. Set aside.
  • PREP AND GRILL FISH: Gut the fish like your dad showed you, then scale them. Leave the heads on for showmanship. Rub down with olive oil, then throw on a screaming hot grill for a few minutes per side. Finish with more olive oil, sea salt, and lots of lemon. 
  • BEER: Open and drink and eat the above. We spoon the breadcrumbs over the fish and dive in.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Breakfast Salad

Yep, that's all. Greens dressed with lemon and olive oil, a tomato put under the broiler until blistered, and some basted eggs. A clean start to the day.

Monday, July 8, 2013

MAIN -- Grilled Octopus with White Beans

We've been trying to do cheaper cuts of fish and try different stuff to keep the summer dining exciting. With such long days, we've been filling the afterwork time trying things we've never tried before. 

We had octopus the first time at a fancy LA italian place, on a night we were feeling adventurous. It was grilled and had tones of lemon on it, all over a white bean base. Here, we recreate:

First, par cook the octopus. We had a 5 lb one. You're going to boil it to make it tender. either do it in water, or even better add in some celery, carrots, etc to make more of a broth to cook it in. You'll get way better flavor. Do that for maybe an hour and a half at a gentle boil (not hot water, not rolling bubbles). 

Let it cool, then peep the purple skin off it. It'll come right off. 

Above is the final product. For the beans, just soften a few shallots with olive oil in a pan, then add beans, a glassful of white wine, and let that liquid wine cook off. Then, season with salt, pepper, and lemon. 

Do the final bits on the grill. Brush the following with olive oil and put on a really hot grill: bread, halved-tomatoes, and and the octopus. Get some good char marks, remove the legs from the body, and serve as seen above. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Homemade Pasta - Our Easiest and Favorite So Far

Nicki, rollin' and makin' da pasta. 

We've been trying different pasta recipes. Different flours (all purpose, 00, etc), different mixtures of eggs (yolks vs whole eggs), different blends of all the aforementioned. Here, the best one we've found:

It's 250 grams of all purpose flour + 3 eggs + a tiny bit of salt 

That's it. That's all. Work it together with a fork, then with your hands until it's all incorporated and chunk-less. Cover, let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, then roll it out into sheets. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Main - Smoke Ribs for Dad's Day

  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 cup of Steve’s BBQ rub
  • ½ cup beer or apple juice
  • 1½ cups BBQ sauce
  1. Peel the membrane off the back of each rack of ribs. Generously rub the BBQ spice rub all over the ribs.
  2. These are directions to smoke the ribs in a smoker.Set the smoker to 225F and use your wood of choice . Place the ribs in the smoker and smoke for 3 hours if they are spareribs and 2 hours if they are back ribs.
  3. After the ribs have been in the smoker for 3 hours, take them out and wrap each rack with aluminum foil. Pour a ¼ cup of beer or apple juice with each rack of ribs. Fold over the foil and pinch all the edges to ensure that it is sealed well to allow steaming.
  4. If your smoker can function as an oven (like Bradley smokers) place the ribs wrapped in foil back in the smoker for another 2 hours. It is also possible to use an oven for this stage. Have it set for 225F and bake them for 2 hours.
  5. After these 2 hours, remove the ribs carefully from the foil. Generously coat the ribs in your favourite BBQ sauce. Put them back in the smoker set for 225F for 1 final hour. It is also possible to use the oven for this stage.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Main - Shish Kabob with dirty bread

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • large garlic, peeled and crushed
  • teaspoon dry white wine
  • small bay leaf
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • large onions, sliced thin

  • Marinate for two days. while grilling on skewers, soak up juices with french bread.


    Main - Shish Kabob with dirty bread

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • large garlic, peeled and crushed
  • teaspoon dry white wine
  • small bay leaf
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • large onions, sliced thin

  • Marinate for two days. while grilling on skewers, soak up juices with french bread.


    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    MAIN | Crab Cakes and Football

    The Oceanaire Seafood Room's Maryland-style crab cakes
    Adapted from the Oceanaire Seafood Room. The restaurant recommends serving the cakes with mustard mayonnaise (mayonnaise seasoned with a small amount of dry mustard, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and thinned with a little cream) or tartar sauce.
    2 eggs
    1 cup mayonnaise
    3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 1/4 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, divided
    3/4 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon
    1/4 cup finely chopped onion
    1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
    1/4 pound (scant 2 cups) crustless cubed white bread (about 1/4 loaf), cut into small cubes
    1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, drained of any liquid
    2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
    1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, three-fourths teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, tarragon, onion and celery to make a dressing.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with half of the dressing, mixing until the dressing is absorbed by the bread and the cubes are slightly broken up. Add additional dressing if the cubes are too dry.
    4. Gently mix in the crab, being careful not to break up the lump pieces. The mixture should hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hand. If it is too dry, add additional dressing until the mixture comes together. You might not use all of the dressing.
    5. Divide the mixture and form into 8 crab cakes. Place the cakes on a greased cookie sheet or sheet pan.

    6. In a small bowl, stir the butter together with the remaining one-half teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning. Top each cake with a small dollop of the seasoned butter.
    7. Bake the cakes until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    VEG -- Watermelon Radish

    It's a radish that looks like a watermelon. Cool, right?

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    MAIN | Grilled Octopus with Kale, Tomatoes, and Beans

    First, tenderize the octopus by simmering it at a low boil for about an hour. Then char it on the grill to crisp the skin.


    • 1 small octopus, cleaned (about 5 pounds)
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 2 heads of elephant garlic, cloves unpeeled, separated
    • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
    • 6 plum tomatoes, cored
    • 5 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus 3/4 cup
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 3 pounds kale, center stalks removed, leaves torn into 4" pieces
    • 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini or pinto beans, cooked according to package directions


    • Place octopus and wine in a large pot. Peel 2 garlic cloves; add to pot. Add enough water to cover by 2". Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until octopus is tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Cut octopus into 4" pieces. Remove as much of slippery outer purple coating as possible without removing suction cups.

    • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500°. Add whole tomatoes, drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are blistered and slightly charred. Let cool.
    • Whisk 3/4 cup oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another large pot. Working in batches, add kale and cook until softened and slightly browned, adding additional oil by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season to taste with salt. Transfer kale to a large bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of coriander vinaigrette.
    • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Warm 3 cups cooked beans in a small pot with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette. Toss octopus with half of remaining vinaigrette; grill until charred, about 3 minutes per side.
    • Divide tomatoes, garlic, kale, and beans among plates. Top with grilled octopus, drizzle with some vinaigrette, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    DRINK - Brown Derby Cocktail

    2 oz Makers Mark Bourbon
    1 oz grapefruit juice
    .75 oz honey or honey syrup

    Shake with ice, strain into a chilled glass.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    MAIN - Pasta with Egg

    The pasta below is not what matters. What matters is the egg on top. Try it like this. 

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    MAIN - Seared Scallops with braised chard, semi-mashed white beans, and arugula Pesto

    This is something that's really easy, but looks really fancy and presents amazing. The trick with scallops is a smoking hot pan and not to touch the scallops until a nice sear is achieved and it's time to flip. 


    Saute some chopped shallots until soft, then dump in a can or large cooked batch of white beans. Bring up the temp, then cover the beans with white wine or broth, or both. Cover halfway and let the liquid cook down and absorb into the beans... mash half the beans with the back of a spoon. Squeeze in half a lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.


    Put the following in a blender or processor and press "on": handful of arugula, small handful of park cheese, small handful of raw almonds, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil slowly until a nice consistency is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste. 


    Rip up some chard, including the stems if you like, and sauté in a bit of olive oil. Once they cook down a little, add a wine-glassful of white white and simmer until the wine is nearly all evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

    Do about 4-5 scallops per person. Wash them, then pat them REALLY dry, if they are not dry they will not sear well. Season with salt and pepper, then place on a screaming hot oiled pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side until golden, remove and... 

    Arrange all as seen in the photo. Enjoy. 

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Breakfast - Huevos Rancheros

    1/4 cup chopped onion
    Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeño, and Chili Peppers (to taste)
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    4 tablespoons cooking oil
    1- 16 ounce can of tomato sauce
    Chili powder (Enough to darken the tomato sauce-be careful if you have weak stomach)
    4 flour tortillas
    4 eggs
    Shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese    

    - Chop onion and chili peppers. Mince garlic. 
    - Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a small frying pan on low to medium heat. Add tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chili powder and chilis. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
    - In a larger frying pan, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and fry two tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side. Place tortillas on a warmed plate.

    - In the same pan, fry the eggs (DO NOT turn the eggs). Place one egg on top of each tortilla, and fully cover eggs with sauce (The sauce will cook the top of the egg). 
    - Serve with Refried Beans and warm Tortillas 

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Drink - La Rosita

    It's pink. But it'll level you.

    2 oz. tequila reposado
    1/2 oz. campari
    1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
    1/2 oz dry vermouth

    Shake well with ice, strain into a martini glass.

    Friday, March 30, 2012


    How easy it is.

    ITEM 1:
    Thinly slice albacore that's quality enough to be eaten raw, and thinly slice some avocado. Arrange on plate.

    Using the noc jim from this recipe, strain through a cheese cloth. Keep the juice, toss the whole herbs/etc. Drizzle over your fish and avocado.

    ITEM 2:
    Using albacore, chop or grind the fish to a mush. Chopped is best. Mix in some thai chili sauce, lime, and salt. Spoon into a halved avocado. Spicy! Creamy!

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Thai Style Whole Fried Fish with Sort of Nam Jim

    First, make the spicy sweet nam jim:

    2 garlic cloves
    3-4 red chillies (to taste)
    2 fresh cilantro root
    2 tablespoons palm sugar
    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

    In a large pestle add the first three thing and roughly pound. Mash in the sugar, then add lime juice to taste.

    Gut and descale fish. Perch works well as does snapper, and we've tried branzino and other bass but it's difficult if the fish is too big. Wash well and make some slashes in the skin with your knife. Then rub it all over with about 1/4 of the nam jim sauce you've made, getting it in the cavity and the slashes. Refrigerate the fish for a half hour.

    Pat dry the fish, then dust with flour prior to frying... this will give the skin a crispiness. In a big wok, heat a couple inches of frying oil. Test the oil with a piece of potato... if the potato turns brown when you put it in, the oil is hot enough. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes per side until it looks like the photo.

    Serve whole for a nice presentation. You can watch how to do this here:

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    MAIN - Confused Goal: Spicy Mexican Asian Ahi Poke Rice Bowl

    This is one of those things that you eat after doing something active, like, say, surfing, and you feel great. Not tired or heavy or guilty. If you have a big enough bowl you can layer all the components on the bowl and the eater can mix and stir and pick bits as they like. We didn't have big bowls, so I deconstructed the bowl, which makes it really easy to see what goes into it.

    This bowl should be spicy, so make sure to serve more chili paste or rooster sauce along side.

    1. Rice. Cook this the best way you know how.
    2. Avocado. Slice or cube this.
    3. Greens. I did a quick saute of some swiss chard from our garden in some olive oil. Spinach would work well as would most dark greens. Just make sure to undercook the greens, because once you add them to the top of that hot rice they will cook even more. So leave some crunch to the greens.
    4. The sauce. Serve it alongside. I mixed soy sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, a touch of seasame oil, chili paste, and mashed garlic. You can taste and adjust as you'd like.
    5. Poke. Cube sashimi grade ahi, then add flavor. We added green onion, mashed garlic, toasted pepitas, seasame oil, cilantro, soy sauce, lime, chili paste, and some mirin. We just did it by taste, and ended up with this weird but delicious poke that's not quite mexi and not very asian. Try for yourself and experiment. Just make sure to add citrus last.

    Lastly, those flowers on top are arugula flowers from the garden.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    DRESSING - Cilantro Lime Luxurious Lil Thing

    This dressing is just fabulous, I tell you. Green Luxury. It goes so well with mexican type stuff you may be serving, or on its own as a salad, or perhaps drizzled on some eggs or veggies. As you can see here, we made a salad, putting it on a halved-head of romaine and finished it with tasted pepitas and goat cheese.

    combine following in a blender or food processor:
    - handful of cilantro
    - spoonful of sour cream
    - 3 garlic cloves
    - 1 spicy chile, like a serrano
    - Juice from 2-3 limes

    Drizzle in olive oil until a nice consistency is reached. Taste, add salt and pepper, and taste again, adding more of any of the above things 'till you're happy.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    FOR THE HEALTH NUTS: Arrogant Bastard Onion Rings

    Thanks to our bud Norm for the Arrogant Bastard Keg. You've made us fat and drunk and full of these round gems:
    Shopping List:

    - 4 very large yellow onions

    - 1 recipe Arrogant Bastard Ale Batter (recipe 

    - Vegetable oil, for frying

    - Kosher salt

    For the Arrogant Bastard Ale Batter:

    - 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) cold Arrogant Bastard Ale

    - teaspoon Cajun spice blend

    - teaspoon kosher salt

    - 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle chiles

    - 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

    - 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

    - 2 cups all-purpose flour

    - 1 teaspoon baking powder

    First, make the batter: Pour the Ale into a bowl. Stir in the spices. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add them to the beer mixture slowly, whisking well until they’re evenly and thoroughly incorporated. You may need a bit more or less flour to reach the ideal consistency... It should be just thick enough to coat whatever you’re frying.

    Cut off the ends of each onion, cut in half crosswise (around the equator), and remove the papery skin and thin outer membrane. Soak in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Leave the rings big and fat.

    Drain the onions, separate the rings, and spread them on a kitchen towel to dry.

    Preheat the oven to 200°F. Fill a heavy-duty pan that’s at least 4 inches deep, pouring in oil to a depth of 
2 to 3 inches, and no more than halfway up the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 360°F (medium high on a good stove).

    Dunk the onion rings in the batter and fry in batches until crispy and deep reddish brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as this will lower the temperature of the oil significantly and result in soggy onion rings. Transfer cooked onion rings to a wire rack set over a baking sheet (or directly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet). Season with a sprinkling of salt and keep them in the oven until the entire batch has been fried.

    Serve hot, with a side of BBQ sauce for dipping. (No ketchup!)

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    MAIN - Slippery Shrimp from Yang Chow in LA

    Yang Chow's in LA is really the place. And I'd love to say that I sat down and figured out how to make their famous slippery shrimp, but a simple google search was all it too. Make sure to get all your ingredients ready before you turn on the heat. It'll bring the urgency and the stress level of this way down.

    2 cups peanut oil for frying
    1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon white wine
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 tablespoon ketchup
    5 teaspoons white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup water
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    2 teaspoons water
    5 green onions, sliced

    Heat peanut oil in a wok to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of cornstarch to coat, then drop into the hot oil, and quickly fry until golden brown, about 45 seconds. When done, drain shrimp, and set aside.

    Pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok, then stir in the garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Pour in the wine, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water, stir into the boiling sauce, and boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir the shrimp and green onions into the sauce until coated.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    MAIN - Seared Albacore on Smashed White Beans with Spicy Mixed Red Pepper Sauce

    It seems to be working well with dividing recipes up into groups or steps, so let's stay with that for this, one of the best ways you can treat a beautiful piece of tuna.

    1. Toast Pepitas - In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pepitas till they start to pop and brown. Dump the pepitas on a plate, salt them while they're hot, and put aside.

    2. Slice Lime.

    3. Spicy Mixed Red Pepper Sauce - In a blender or food processor, mix a bell pepper, any hotter peppers you have depending in if you like the spicy, garlic, lime juice, a big spoonful of sour cream, and whizz in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, taste. If you roast the pepper beforehand, the sauce will be twice as nice. This sauce is also good with raw veggies, eggs, etc.

    4. Make the smashed white beans - in that same skillet, fry some garlic, anchovie, and crushed red pepper in olive oil. Don't brown the garlic. Add in a can of white beans that have been drained. Give the pan a shake, stir, then add in a cup of vegetable broth or a glass of white wine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until most of the liquid is gone. With the back of a wood spoon, smash some of the white beans until you've got a creamy consistency, but can still see the shape of some of the beans. Make sense? Put this aside but keep warm..... if you see it starting to dry out, add a touch of water and try to maintain your consistency until the tuna is done.

    5. Sear the Albacore Tuna - Season the steaks with salt and pepper, then on a real hot skillet or grill, cook them maybe 1 minute per side.

    Slice tuna and assemble as seen in the photo.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    BREAKFAST - Sunday Morning French Toast with Mount Gay Rum Bananas Foster

    For the french toast:
    - 3 sliced of thick bread per person. Try danish bread or Hawaiian King Bread.
    - 4 eggs
    - 1/2 cup milk
    - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    - 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Quickly dip slices in mixture and cook in a hot skillet with a little butter until golden brown on both sides.

    For the banana foster topping:
    1 stick butter
    - 1/2 cup brown sugar
    - 4 bananas peeled and halved, cut lengthwise
    - 1/4 cup dark rum, preferably Mount Gay from Barbados

    Melt butter in a large skillet. Add brown sugar and stir together. Add the bananas and cook until caramelized over medium-high heat. Pour in the rum and catch a flame off of the gas stove or a BBQ lighter. Stand back when ignited and flambe. Be careful; a flame will shoot up above the pan. Let flame die down.

    Serve. If it's Sunday morning and you wanna live life, coat the whole thing in maple syrup and drink some champagne with it. Follow with a nap.

    Friday, September 30, 2011


    A wedge of iceberg and some dressing. It was lots of blue cheese, mayo, white vinegar, chives, salt/pepper, garlic. I think that's it.

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    DRINK - Vanilla Bourbon

    I'm a fan of whiskey and of that persuasion I'm a fan of scotch whiskey. because of that, sadly, there's been some bourbon that's sat lonely and undranken (undrunk? undrunken?) on our bar. So nicki, the little legend, had the idea to put some vanilla beans in the bottle, let it sit for another week, and drink the result. We no longer have any bourbon sitting on the shelf. You must try it. It's divine. Then tell the Gatsby's of your luxurious drink discovery.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    More Wings

    we've posted about the best wings in the western USA before (pretty sure they'd win any contest, if a wing contest exists). but we revisited wings last night with great fury. so we'll revisit them again here at CLEAN SINK. Click over to the original post to make your own.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    LAMB Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup and Sweet Basalmic Onions on grilled Sourdough

    Basic burgers are boring and bland. I didn't used to think that, but sure do now. This burger may be the best we've ever had. Three steps here:

    For Onions:

    Saute onion rounds in olive oil; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and pepper. toss in 1/2 cup vinegar and cool until onions are tender, about 20 minutes. Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.

    For chipotle ketchup:

    Mix ketchup and canned chipotle chiles in small bowl. Season with salt. Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

    For burgers:

    Shape lamb into 1/2 pound, 1/2-inch thick patties. Sprinkle patties on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Prepare stove top skillet (preferably cast iron), and Pplace burgers on skillet. Cook burgers until bottoms start to darken and juices rise to surface, about 3 minutes per side. Top with onions and cheese, and place burgers under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubble. While the burgers are in the broiler, also Broil or toast the sourdough slices, then spread em with ketchup. Top with burgers, lettuce, and anything you may like such as tomatoes, pickles, etc. Serve with remaining ketchup to pass.

    DRINK - Budda Belly

    Look a happy budda guy in the eye and your drink is just gonna taste better. Fact.