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and a recipe for tahini fudge
Real quick, I wanted to remind you guys that we are having a Back-to-School subscription sale here in The Broiler Room. Join by 8/28 (no code required) and you’ll get 20% your subscription for a whole year even if you just pay month to month. You’ll get access to our back catalog of hundreds of recipes and new ones each Sunday for just $4 a month. Not too bad if you love food.
OK, back to our regular programming and a free recipe below.
Leading up to our fifth book Hungry as Hell’s release on October 31, we’re taking some time each month to look back over all our books and spill some secrets. This week we’re taking one last peek at Fast as Fuck, our third book, originally published in 2016. Like Matt told you, this book is a love letter to California. As the only Californian in the company, I wanted to brag about the place that I’m from and that millions of you love to visit. I get tired of people showing off the same 5 vacation spots when this state is so full of beauty and weirdness. It’s the third largest state in the nation, behind Alaska and Texas (natch), and the most populous. That means we’ve got a lil’ bit of everything. Mission burritos, cobb salad, ranch dressing, popsicles, and taquitos were all invented here. People on the outside might think of Californians as vapid health freaks who only drink juice and smoke weed (which we do enjoy), but I promise we all love to fucking eat. We want to eat ASAP, that’s why fast food was invented here and why all the recipes in this book take less than an hour to make. Californians like their dinner fast as fuck.
I grew up in the Bay Area but spent most of my adult life in Southern California. Despite being in the same state these two regions are in a constant culture war. It really boils down to misconceptions about the two anchor cities: San Francisco and Los Angeles. People in the Bay Area think they’re better than everyone else, more sophisticated, more cultured, and surrounded by more beauty than people in other spots in the state. People in Southern California think they’re better looking, more fun, have better Mexican food, and are the “real Californians'' compared with San Franciscans. The people in the Sierras, the desert, the Central Valley, and the redwoods are all annoyed by these two camps acting like the stars of the state and hate both places equally. Everybody is a bit right and a bit wrong. California is too big, too full of people from all over the world to be only one thing. Just like my recipes in Fast as Fuck, this state invites you to take what you need, whatever sounds right to you, and leave the rest. Customize it anyway you like. California has enough for all of us.
There are a couple things that make this book stand out from the pack. It’s the first book in the series to have estimated cook times and icons dividing up the recipes. I wanted these features to make the book more user friendly, even for novice cooks. Secondly, it has the dumbest feature of any of our books, the Tourist Traps. These little pop-outs in the text are ridiculous half-truths or silly as hell statements meant to make you laugh as you figure out what’s for dinner. No one has ever mentioned them in any press or any comments on online but they still make me laugh. I have zero regrets.
Lastly, Fast as Fuck is the last book to have A LOT of cocktail recipes. I’ve never been a big drinker and I drink even less now so you won’t see this kinda content much. But all the drinks in this book are named after cool people and some of my best friends so they remain close to my heart. Apollo’s Fury is my favorite so if you have a copy, go read the headnote to that recipe. It makes me laugh to this fucking day. One of my favorite recipe photos in the Fast as Fuck is for the Tahini Fudge. It just looks like San Diego to me. The sun-bleached wood, the pottery, the little bougainvillea creeping in the shot are all classic San Diego. The recipe is something I started making when I lived down there so I wanted to style the shot to match that memory. Whip up a dish of this and time travel to the floor in my living room a couple blocks from the beach where we snack on tahini fudge, play Mario Kart, and laugh away the day before our shift at the grocery store. There are worse places to be, trust me.
Makes enough for 4-6 people
1 cup tahini
1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup coconut oil
4–5 medjool dates, pitted
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped pistachios*
Grab an 8-inch square baking dish and grease it up.
Throw the coconut milk, tahini, powdered sugar, oil, dates, and salt all together in a blender and let that shit run until it looks all smooth inside. Pour into the baking dish, sprinkle with the pistachios, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Store chilled.
* Pistachios look and taste fucking great, but if you’re trying to save some cash any kind of chopped nuts would work.