Saturday, October 22, 2016

Eyeballs In The Trash! ~ Halloween Gourmet Ramen Noodles!






     A Freaky Gourmet Ramen Noodle Creation For Halloween!
     Halloween is a freaky fun time of the year and it is the most popular holiday in modern times.  Las Vegas realizes that adults enjoy Halloween just as much as kids.  Vegas is the place to be for the biggest Halloween party of them all!  
     Eyeballs In The Trash has a weird creepy looking presentation.  Many of the ingredients in this ramen noodle bowl are normal everyday food in Asia.  By western standards, some of the ingredients are considered to be exotic.  The flavor of this creepy noodle bowl is actually quite tasty!  
     Smoked bacon adds a comfortable flavor to the Asian dried seafood ingredients.  The shredded dried squid, dried shrimp and sun dried anchovies give the Eyeballs In The Trash a desired trashy appearance and a pleasant umami flavor profile.  Galangal (Thai blue ginger) adds an interesting flavor to the teriyaki sauce.  The scrappy looking vegetables add a nice touch too.
     Squid ink is a natural black food color.  A simple squid ink cornstarch gel was used to make the black pupils of the egg white eyeball shapes.  The egg yolks were cooked, then added to the pile of trash for that "discarded leftover scrambled egg in a trash can" look that is so appealing to a dumpster diver!
    When presenting Eyeballs In The Trash, the eyeballs have to be peering from the pile of trash in a tastefully eerie manner.  The trash should be loosely piled, so it creates a haphazard three dimensional garbage pile effect. 
    The term "Eyeballs In The Trash" does have many interesting interpretive meanings like; "A homicidal maniac axe murderer's garbage can." ...  "A deranged maniac's paranoid vision of government agents searching through his can of garbage for evidence." ... "A heavy duty bad acid trip flashback from the 1960's." 
     "Eyeballs In The Trash" can also just be nothing more than a saying coined by a teenager who watches too many horror movies.  On second thought, there really is no such thing as watching too many horror movies!  Teens do go through stages of thinking up freaky things to say.  I know, because I was a teen who watched way too many horror movies and I have used the saying "Eyeballs In The Trash" many times.  Kids say the weirdest things.  
     Another good reference for use of the term "Eyeballs In The Trash" was made famous by a music recording artist by the name of Malok.  Hal McGee is a great experimental music artist.  If my memory serves me correctly, Hal McGee was musician who was featured on local public sponsored radio in Tampa, Florida, when I first heard the song "Eyeballs In The Trash" by Malok many years ago.  The song was released in 1990 as "Eyeballs In The Trash", by Malok, on the Electronic Cottage Compilation Volume 1 by various artists.  If you are interested in hearing this strange experimental song, follow this link:  

     *This entire recipe yields 1 portion.  

     Simple Squid Ink Gelée:
     This recipe yields about 2 tablespoons.  (Enough for about 6 to 8 eyeballs.)
     Squid ink is not always easy to find at grocery stores.  It is a natural black food coloring agent.  Regular black food coloring that is a true black color is a relatively rare find.  Squid ink is the classic choice. 
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Add 4 drops of black squid ink.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 2:  Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.
     Add enough of the slurry while stirring, to make a thick jelly.  (Any extra slurry can be used in the next recipe section.
     Step 3:  Remove the pot from the heat. 
     Keep the squid ink gelée warm on a stove top. 
     
     Galangal Teriyaki Smoked Bacon, Dried Shrimp and Vegetables:
     Dried tiny shrimp are available at Asian and Latino food markets.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 strips of smoked bacon that are cut unto bite size pieces.
     Sauté, till the bacon just starts to get golden brown highlights.
     Step 2:  Add 4 petite wedges of savoy cabbage.
     Add 4 bite size pieces of celery.
     Add 1 chopped garlic clove.
     Sauté the vegetables till a few caramelized highlights appear.  (The bacon should be lightly browned by this time.)
     Step 3:  Drain off any excess grease.
     Return the pan to medium/medium low heat.
     Step 4:  Add 2 tablespoons of dried whole tiny shrimp.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground galangal (Thai Blue Ginger).
     Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce the liquid by one half.
     Step 5:  Mix 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch and with 1 tablespoon of cold water to make a slurry.  
     Add the slurry while stirring, as the sauce thickens to a thin consistency. 
     Simmer the sauce till it clings to the vegetables.
     Keep the pan warm on a stove top.

     Simple Squid Ink Gelée:
     This recipe yields about 2 tablespoons.  (Enough for about 6 to 8 eyeballs.)
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Add 4 drops of black squid ink.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 2:  Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.
     Add enough of the slurry while stirring, to make a thick jelly.  (Any extra slurry can be used in the next recipe section.
     Step 3:  Remove the pot from the heat. 
     Keep the squid ink gelée warm on a stove top. 
     
     Egg White Eyeballs: 
     Step 1:  Whisk 1 large egg white in a mixing bowl, till soft peaks are formed.  (Save the egg yolk for the next recipe section!)
     Step 2:  Select 2 hemispherical molds that can contain about 1 1/2 tablespoons each.  (The rounded end of 2 egg shells works well as eyeball molds.)
     Lightly brush the eyeball molds with vegetable oil. 
     Step 3:  Place the eyeball molds on some rice that that is placed in a steamer basket, so they sit level.
     Pour the whisked egg white into the molds.
     Step 4:  Place the basket in a steamer.
     Cover the steamer basket with a lid.
     Steam the egg whites till they are firm.
     Step 5:  Keep the egg white eyeballs warm on a stove top.
     Pop the eyeballs out of the molds just before serving.

     Egg Yolk:
     Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 whisked large egg yolk.
     Gently sauté the egg yolk, till it becomes firm.
     Keep the sautéed egg yolk warm on a stove top.

     Iriko, Blanched Scallions and Ramen Noodles:
     Sun dried anchovy goes by the Japanese name iriko or the Indonesian name ikan bilis.
     Step 1:  Place just enough water in a sauce pot to cover 1 portion of ramen noodles.
     Add 2 tablespoons of tiny sun dried anchovies.  (iriko)
     Place the pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Boil the sun dried anchovies for 3 minutes, to create a broth.
     Step 2:  Add 2 whole green onions. 
     Blanch the green onions for about 15 to 20 seconds.
     Remove the blanched green onions.
     Cut the blanched green onions into 3" to 4" lengths and set them aside.
     Step 3:  Add 1 portion of ramen noodles to the hot iriko broth.
     Boil the ramen noodles till they are fully cooked and tender.
     Step 4:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Drain off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the broth.  
     Keep the noodles and iriko warm on a stove top.  

     Eyeballs In The Trash:
     Korean dried shredded squid is usually sold as a pre-packaged prepared snack.  The dried squid is pre-shredded, then flavored with sea salt and sugar sweetened rice vinegar.
     Step 1:  Place the ramen noodles and sun dried anchovies in a large noodle bowl.
     Try to place a few of the sun dried anchovies where they can be seen.
     Step 2:  Place the Galangal Teriyaki Smoked Bacon, Dried Shrikp and Vegetables on top of the noodles. 
     Step 3:  Use a fork to tear the sautéed egg yolk into pieces.  Scatter the egg yolk pieces on top of the noodles. 
     Step 4:  Place the steamed egg white eyeballs on top of the trash in the bowl. 
     Place 2 small dabs of the squid ink gelee on the egg white eyeballs, so they look like black pupils.
     Step 5:  Scatter the blanched green onion pieces on top of the trashy looking noodles.
     Step 6:  Carefully place a few strands of shredded dried squid snack around the eyeballs on top of the trash to create a three dimensional garbage pile effect.
     Use a squirt bottle to place small dabs of Sriracha Sauce on the trash.

     This is the best tasting Eyeballs In The Trash ever!  This definitely is a creepy looking bowl of gourmet ramen noodles for Halloween!  

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