Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What to Eat While You Listen to The Tallest Man on Earth

(Click for the rest of my Tallest Man on Earth pictures.)

I might be musically promiscuous, but I'll always go home to American folk music. One of the things I love most about it is how little has to be done to the tried and true formula for a folk singer to be successful without the music feeling tired - a little charm and wit goes a long way with an acoustic guitar and a slightly gravely voice. I bow my head to anyone who can produce intricate arrangements, but the fact remains, sometimes, all you need from music is to feel connected to someone. Folk music does that for me.

The Tallest Man on Earth is a perfect example of this, his nationality notwithstanding. His live act is a simple set up: a man, an acoustic guitar, and a largely ignored chair. However, when I made my way out of his sold out show in Cambridge this past April, I overheard variations the same thing tripping over each other: "That was the best concert I've been to." Indeed, Kristian Matsson put on quite a show. Whether stomping and howling all over the stage or singing sentimental lyrics so softly that his own voice was overpowered by the crowd singing along, he oozed charisma. I dare anyone who listens to his music not to be cast under his Swedish spell.

The Tallest Man on Earth - King of Spain
The Tallest Man on Earth - The Gardener

To pair with the Tallest Man on Earth's fresh familiarity, I'd go with good old American comfort food with a twist: veggie mac n' cheese and BBQ tofu. Recipes under the jump!

Veggie Macaroni & Cheese
4 Cups of macaroni
Red Pepper
Half a stick of butter (we're going for comfort food, remember!)
2 1/2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 egg
12 oz of the cheeses of your choice (I go for a sharp cheddar heavy mix.)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

First, cook the macaroni so that it is firm. While that's going on, chop up the veggies. I use about half a pepper and 7 florets of broccoli, but if you're not a veggie enthusiast (because I hear those people exist), you might want to use less. Preheat the oven to 350.

When the macaroni is cooked, put it aside and melt the butter in a large pot. Next, put the stove on medium-low heat and add the milk, mustard, and paprika. After about 5-7 minutes of stirring that, reduce the heat to low and add the egg a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add most of the cheese, but save a little if you want to sprinkle it on top (which I strongly recommend.) Once the cheese has melted, add the salt and pepper in to the mix and then add the macaroni, pepper, and broccoli to the sauce.

Now it's time to pour your your mac n' cheese into a baking dish. Finally, sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese on top, and stick the in the oven for 25 minutes.

Easy BBQ Tofu
1 package of extra firm tofu (I use the vitamin-enriched Nasoya)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
Olive oil

First off, drain the tofu. I recommend doing this at least an hour before you start cooking it, but it's not a huge deal if you just press it between paper towels to get the moisture out. While this is going on, mix the sauces together and heat in the microwave for about a minute. Next, put the oven on medium heat and add some olive oil. Grill the tofu until it's golden brown and cook it with the sauce for a couple minutes. Finally, add the cilantro and let it all get to know each other in your pan for a minute or two more, and you're done!

1 comment:

  1. I love this post so much you don't even know.