Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Asia Witherington Large

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I saw Asia on IG and had to get an interview with this beautiful and talented lady! Check out what inspires Asia cook and her thoughts on tattoos!

Molly: Tell me about yourself, please include what you are doing now

Asia: I am a born again Christian, child of God! I’m a mom of 3 and a newlywed wifey! In my past I was a tattoo artist of 17 years and a pinup model. I’m now a baker and established cake decorator and owner of Jireh Cakes!

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M: So how did you get into baking?

A: After surviving a tragic divorce and loosing everything I had down to my tattoo shop equipment, I was given an opportunity to cook and bake when looking for a new profession. The Lord basically threw baking in my lap! I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back since.

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M:  Wow, that takes guts. What do you enjoy most bout cooking?

A:  What’s not to enjoy. Cooking and baking is everything to me. Feeding others and helping them create happy memories! Mainly knowing its something God provided me with to survive. The Lord is really good.

M: So, what was your first tattoo?

A: At 15 I took a needle and thread with India ink I had from art class, I tapped a small yin and yang onto my left ankle. Hideous.

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M: Haha! Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

A: Being in the industry for so long I have many people I admire. Since I’ve removed myself from that scene I don’t talk to anyone. I’m very out of the loop.

Clint Cummings, Johnny Jackson, Myke Chambers, Anthony Zamora, Zack Ross, David De La O (butter), Michael Oureque, Jesse Alvarado, Bunny Switchblade…the list goes on.

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M: If you could get tattooed by anyone right now, who would it be and why?

A: I’m out of space so there will be no more tattoos for this girl!

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M: Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?.

A: You can’t explain it, it’s just you are, or your not.

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M: I know you said space is limited, but what would your next tattoo be?

A: I do want to put Jehovah Jireh in a banner on an anchor on my left hand I did about 6 years ago. It comes from Genesis 22. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. He took his son to build an alter and obeyed Gods command. Just when he was about to sacrifice his son, he saw a ram tangled in the bush by him. God had provided for them. To thank The Lord, Abraham named where the alter was Jehovah Jireh because God provided for him. God provides for us all (hence Jireh Cakes). He will make a way out of no way and will turn our mess into His message!

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Thank you, Asia! You can catch more of Asia on FB or IG here…

Www.facebook.com/jirehcakes

Instagram:  @Jireh_cakes

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Are you a tattooed chef or a foodie tattooer who wants to share their work inside the kitchen or studio? Contact us at knivesandneedles@gmail.com, we would love to talk to you!

Cheers!

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Sean Yanagi

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Sean Yanagi is a talented chef who gets tattooed by my friend Jill Bonny aka Horiyuki of State of Grace Tattoo Studio. I met him the other day and we got talking about restaurants and cooking. So it was only natural to interview him for this blog!! Read on and find out Sean’s thoughts on food and tattoos! Cheers!

Molly: Tell me a bit about yourself, please include what you are doing now

Sean: My name is Sean Yanagi and currently a line cook. At an early age I’ve always been enriched in food and the culture through family and just a natural curiosity but never really started to cook myself besides a microwave and late night top ramen till my late 20’s. Unwittingly I found cooking as a new hobby, Since then I’ve been hooked. School was really never meant for me so I spent most my career in the bleak hole of retail. After a long and an impassionate day of work I’d come home to cook off works stress and found cooking calming and therapeutic. Cooking a satisfying meal would simmer away all the loathing I had in the day’s work of retail. I decided I wanted to cook as a profession and once I started I felt right at home, working with people that actually had passion for what they do and worked to at least their best abilities. These eccentric, oddball misfits was an environment of people I felt at ease with where I can speak my mind and keep it real no bullshit aside. “By the ticket, take the ride” so to speak

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M: I always loved that about cooking, every kitchen is a motley crew! What is your favorite thing to cook?

S: My favorite thing to cook is anything low and slow to some good music, like cooking up some Gumbo to the sounds of Sidney Bechet or a nice Bolognese relaxing to some Pavarotti.

M: Woah, cool!  When did you get your first tattoo?

S: i got my first tattoo when i was 21, i wanted something i would not regret so i got my last name

M: Nice! Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

S: The work that really caught my eye was from Jill Horiyuki Bonny. When looking for Japanese style tattooing I really appreciated her attention to detail, her work with color and classic style in her art. I also admire Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura, Luke Stewart for Japanese art and Jun Cha for black and grey all artist I’d like to get work from done.

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M: Thos are all really great artists and people! Do you go to any convention, if so which ones?

S: None

M: Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

S: I feel cooking and the art of tattooing come together well because each has its creativity, freedom, culture, history and boldness, all ingredients that on the  palate bind well together naturally.

M:  What is your next tattoo gona be?

S: I’m in the progress for getting a 3 quarter sleeve Japanese cherry Blossoms in the wind

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M: What cooking magazines do you read?

S: Bon Appetit and Food and Wine

M: Love those! Do you own any tattoo magazines?

S: None

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M: Any cooking advice for a novice?

S: Always prep ingredients ahead of time before you start cooking called “Mise en Place” you’ll find the cooking experience more enjoyable and learn more from it. Also use your instincts, if you feel something is not right change it remember its just cooking have some fun with it.

Sean gave us an amazing recipe for beef yakiniku! Yakiniku is grilled beef Korean style and its one of my personal favorites! Thank you Sean!!

*Sorry I measure my ingredients by eye  so if you don’t feel comfortable you can buy pre made Yakiniku sauce at the Japanese market

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Yanagi’s Beef Yakiniku With Shishito Peppers

  • Flank Steak (or sliced Flat meat specifically for Yakiniku at the Japanese market) Preferred

Yakiniku Glaze and marinade

  • Japanese Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Minced Ginger
  • Minced Garlic
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey
  • Japanese Spices(Shichimi Togarashi)
  • Scallions
  • Hondashi
  • Black n White Sesame(for garnish)

1.               mix all ingredients and steak into zip locked bag and marinade for at least 4 hours

2.               mix another batch of Yakiniku sauce and cook to reduce in a sauce pot to make a nice glaze(add corn starch mixed with cold water if sauce hasn’t thicken enough)*make sure there are no m

lumps in corn starch mixture

3.               Grill beef to your liking.

4.               lay beef over a bed of Japanese rice and drizzle with Yakiniku Glaze then add a layer of sautéed Shishito Pepper and zest Yuzu on top

Sautéed Shishito Peppers

  • Shishito Peppers( Sliced)
  • Kumquat(Thinly sliced)
  • Oil
  • Yuzu zest
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Shichimi Togarashi
  • Scallions

1.     Heat oil in sauté pan on medium high heat, add peppers, scallions and Shichimi Togarashi spice when oil is hot.

2.     cook until peppers are slightly still crunchy to the bit

3.     add kumquat, yuzu and ponzu sauce to mix in and turn off heat and set aside

 

sean tokyo

Thank you Sean!!!!

Send us your tattoo photos or recipes, we want to feature you!

http://www.knivesandneedlesblog.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!!

Quick Spaghetti w/ leeks, chile, & 2 cheeses.

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This is one of my go-to quick pasta dishes. Super easy and with little prep work, it’s perfect for when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time making dinner.

I used: (if I can remember correctly)
2 leeks, thinly sliced
A pound of spaghetti
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 Thai chile peppers (has a nice kick)
A few dried peppers
A nice sized knob of unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
A few cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pecarino romano
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
So start off by melting the butter in the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook them til they’re wilted. Then throw the garlic, Thai chile, lemon juice, and dried chiles in there. Cook for a few minutes.

When it starts to smell amazing, throw in the cheeses. When they start to melt toss in the cooked spaghetti with some of the boiling liquid. Toss on low heat until the pasta is all coated.

Serve in a shallow bowl. Top with more parmigiano and fresh black pepper. I couldn’t find my cheese grater so I had to use my knife haha.

I apologize if I left anything out, I’ve had a few glasses of Chianti. Cheers!

Tattoo Tuesday

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Tattoo Tuesday by Chris Mercer!!  Thank you Chris!!

Send us your tattoos and recipes, we want to feature you!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!

Tomatoes

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Well October has arrived and what better way to start the scariest month of the year than to bring up the creepy, scary tomato. What do you mean the scary tomato, you ask? Well for over 200 hundred years the tomato was considered an inedible and poisonous plant. The tomato was dangerous food to eat as many people wound up sick after eating the fruit. This was because at that time aristocrats ate off of mostly pewter plates with pewter utensils. Lead in the pewter broke down and leeched into the highly acidic tomatoes.  This obviously led to lead poisoning (ba da bum ching!). The tomato was considered a Solanceae plant in Europe, the same category as the mandrake or the deadly nightshade (deadly and ominous plants). Tomatoes did not shed its infamous rep until around the 1800’s around the time the pizza was invented in Italy.

The plump veggie/fruit had a much better reputation in Mesoamerica, where they originated. Ironically, Tomatoes were brought to Europe by early explorers and brought back to the Americas with the Italians who paid little attention to their reputation and regularly enjoyed eating them. Thus the pizza, thank you Italy!

The name, tomato, comes from the Aztec word, tomatl. And In German history, the tomato was thought to conjure werewolves and was integral in lycanology. Creepy!

Nutritionally tomatoes are the ‘renaissance man’ of nutrition. Tomatoes are jam-packed with Vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. They help fight sun damage to your hair, skin, improve bone mass, and are a natural cancer fighter.  The tomato also regulates blood sugar and is an anti-inflammatory. What a talented food!

Lastly, there are many varieties of tomatoes. Many, many, many, many varieties. There are literally too many to name! Here is a good resource to read up on the different varieites, http://njaes.rutgers.edu/tomato-varieties/.  You will be surprised on how many there actually are! Choosing ripe tomatoes is not that difficult. Make sure the skin is unbroken and intact and the tomato should be plump yet firm not squishy or too juicy. The squishy ones will be good for cooking sauces or soups with, however.

One more note: the acid from tomatoes and the lining of cans (BPA or Bisphenal-A ) are not a good mix. It is more of a health risk with fetuses, infants and small children. So buy glass canned tomatoes whenever possible!!

Her is my recipe for basic tomato sauce, it never fails to impress people! And you can freeze it!

1- 1 1/4c olive oil

10 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4 yellow onions, roughly chopped

4-6 fresh Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 TBLS dried oregano

1 tsp dried chili flakes

1/4c red wine

4 16oz jars of glass jarred tomatoes (I found them at Costco of all places!)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1/2c of the olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high. Add the garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and chili flakes. Let the onions sweat until they are starting to turn translucent and become soft. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol, about 2-3 minutes. When the alcohol is cooked off, add the jarred tomatoes and bring the sauce to a very slow simmer. It should bubble every 2-3 seconds, not a full rolling simmer. Turn the heat down and let slowly simmer for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, transfer to a blender or use a hand blender and puree the sauce smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now let the sauce cool and then divide it into plastic containers in portions you will eat later and place in the freezer. Enjoy!!

Get out and buys some tomatoes today and enoy this amazing food!!

Cheers!

Photo by the lovely Michelle Roberts!!

If you have a recipe or tattoo you would like to share, contact us at knivesandneedlesblog.com

Peas

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Peas are a classic side dish where I grew up. And I bet many people could say the same. This may be because the pea is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables. Archeologists say man as far back as 5,000 years have been eating the tiny green orbs. Over time cultivating them into a thousand different varieties around the world.

The origin of peas was hard to track down but most sources have quoted the Middle Asia and Near East regions from the north of India to Afghanistan and Iran to be ancient centers for agricultural development. The earliest evidence of pea consumption is said to be a cave in the Thai and Burmese border.

A few examples of pea usage through the ages:

Dishes like pea soup made from dried pea varieties were sold on the streets in ancient Greece.

The Chinese grew smaller peas and they could be eaten whole and raw.

The British bred many varieties, including white and yellow peas.

And the pea was the first vegetable to be canned. 

Peas can be eaten raw, steamed, stir-fried, mashed, stuffed into pastries, or in soup. They are very low in fat and high in phytonutrients which can lower the risk of stomach cancer and work as an anti-inflammatory. They are also a sustainable vegetable. Planting peas can give soil important nutrients and can be great for crop rotation. Yay for peas!

 

 Here is a recipe for one of my favorite ways to eat peas, good ol’ fashioned split pea soup!

 

Split Pea Soup

 

1/8c olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbls dried oregano

2 carrots, medium diced

2 celery sticks, medium diced

4 red potatoes, medium diced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 pound dried split peas

8c chicken or vegetable stock

½ pound thick cut bacon or ham, medium slices

Salt and pepper to taste

 Place a large enough stockpot (maybe about 4-5 quart stockpot) on the stove and turn the heat on medium high. Add the olive oil and let it heat up for about a minute. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano. Let the onions sweat for 2-3 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Then add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Add the salt and pepper and let them sauté for 2-3 minutes. After the vegetables have cooked for a couple minutes, add half of the split peas, chicken stock/vegetable stock and bacon/ham. Turn the stove up to high and bring to a light simmer. Turn heat down and simmer for 35 minutes. There will be some foam while the soup simmers, skim the foam off with a ladle or spoon. At the end of the 35 minutes, add the rest of the peas and keep the soup simmering for another 45 minutes or until the peas are at the desired softness. Stir the soup once in a while to keep the vegetables and meat from sticking to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with oyster crackers or a nice chunk of bread. Great for those winter nights, and it freezes nicely so make tons!

 

Photo by the talented Michelle Roberts, thanks Michelle!

Contact us if you have something you think we would want to share:

@knivesandneedles

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

Cheers!

Tattoo Tuesday

ImageTattoo Tuesday done by none other than Timothy Hoyer!! Thank you Timothy!

Send us your food tattoos or recipes, we would love to feature you!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

Cheers!

 

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