Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Meal You Should Never Have Before Drinking Ayahuasca

Okay, so while I'm the heretic of the newish ayahuasca diet--no oil, hot peppers, pork, salt--I'm not crazy. Some things just don't go well together, as in can cause a hypertensive issue--which means potential heart attack.
    The meal I intended to make tonight, because it's chilly, was Uncle Clem's Chicken. He won a national award for it and he was my godfather. For that you lightly steam three bunches of broccoli flowers (tops). While you're doing that you cut two whole or four half chicken breasts into 3/4 inch squares, flower them, season with good sea salt and cracked black pepper, then saute them in a hot pan with garlic and olive oil till browned on the outside but still basically raw on the inside. When they're done you put them aside for a moment. You drain the broccoli, slightly undercooked even from al dente, and put that in a baking dish. Add the chicken with garlic, reserve pan juices.
    Make a sauce of a large can of organic mushroom soup put into a pan with a big spoon of whatever mayo you like, heat, add the bit of olive oil and garlic left from the sauteed chicken. When it's a good sauce, pour it over the broccoli and chicken. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese, then bake till the cheese is browning and the sauce is bubbling. Serve over rice. Man, that's one hell of a freaking meal. Fattening, of course, despite the broccoli, because of the mayo and cheese. Worth the pain twice a year.
    But while I was at the store getting the ingredients for Uncle Clem's, I suddenly imagined making good macaroni and cheese. So I picked up the ingredients for that as well, imagining it later in the week. But plans changed and I'm making the mac and cheese tonight.
    First I'm cooking a pound of elbow macaroni in salted water till it's al dente or slightly less than that. When ready I'm draining that and getting it under cold water quickly to keep it from continuing to cool.
    Then I'm gonna cut a nice ham steak into tiny cubes and saute them with garlic in olive oil and diced red onion. I'm gonna pepper it, but no salt. Ham's got enough salt to kill you. At the last second I'm going to toss in some minced red pepper and half-a-dozen organic scallions, sliced so we have a bit of color and extra veg.
    While I do that I'm gonna take a good heavy stainless steel pot--I'd use copper if I could afford it--and make the sauce: 12 ounces of aged Swiss cheese. One and one-half pounds of aged cheddar. One cup of organic whole milk to keep it from simply scalding to death. When the cheeses start to melt into the milk I'm going to add 6 ounces of aged parmesan, freshly grated, and 8 ounces of fresh, smoked mozzarella. If I need more swiss or cheddar, I'll add it, but in the end it ought to be perfect. Only spice will be that gorgeous cracked black pepper I love so much.
   Then I'll pull the ham bits and toss a couple of bundles of organic spinach into the pan till it's seared and savory and sassy.
   I'm going to put the elbow macaroni into a slightly greased baking dish. I'm going to put some really good breadcrumbs on the macaroni. Not too much, just for a crunchy touch. Then I'm going to put the spinach and the ham bits with the garlic, red pepper, and scallions, and any left over pan juices into the sauce and then pour that sauce all over that macaroni and make sure it gets everywhere. I'm gonna top that with a bit of breadcrumbs sauteed in just a touch of butter--I mean one tablespoon, okay?--and then add a nice finishing touch of more parmesan. I'll bake it at 330 till the cheese on top and the bread crumbs are brown and the sauce is bubbling in the baking dish, about 20 minutes. Let it sit 15 minutes, then serve in a bowl surrounded by broccoli florets with a side salad.
    Okay, so that's two zillion calories. Forget that. The reason you can't have it before ayahuasca is that all of the cheeses except the mozzarella are fermented. And the mozzarella is smoked. Fermented cheeses, while not on the official ayahuasca diet, are verboten when drinking ayahuasca because of potential hypertensive problems. Smoked things are not recommended either for a similar reason. You do not want to be serving ayahuasca, or allow anyone you know to serve ayahuasca if the people drinking have had aged/fermented things. Or nuts. Keep the nuts till later. Keep the wine on the shelf. Keep the cheeses, other than farmer's cheese and the like, out of your system. I may be a dieta heretic, but I'm not going to allow any of my guests to freak out or have a heart attack that was very preventable.
    So yeah, this meal will probably kill you with calories even if you're not drinking ayahuasca. But it will definitely increase the chances if you are. Be careful out there, okay?

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