Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “recipe”

LIzette Gonzalez


I am super stoked to introduce Lizette Gonzalez today! She is an incredible talent, a beautiful girl and a woman who knows whats she wants! Check out her interview and get inspired to bake your ass of!


Molly: Tell us about yourself, background and what you are doing now.

Lizette: My name is Lizette Gonzalez.  I am a Chef de Partie (Pastry), residing in Las Vegas but originally from Rosemead, California.  I’ve been baking since the age of 6.  I grew up baking and making cakes galore with my mom in our kitchen at home.  She has taught me so much.  It’s because of her, I am the gal I am today.  I am a proud member of Cutthroat Culinary.  The ideas, convictions, and passion this group has towards the art of what we do amaze and inspire me every day.  I’m currently in the process of starting my own cake business, and possibly a catering business on the side.  I am not your average person, I am different.  I know who I am and what I want.  Every day I am challenged, I learn, and I continue to grow.  Every day I am that much closer to achieving my dream.


M: Wow! Strong-minded person, very cool! When did you start getting tattooed?

L: It was the summer of 2004, I was 19


M: So what was your first tattoo?

L: It was 3 little music notes, the size of a quarter.  Later on it became part of a musical piece.


M: What inspired you to get it and to get more?

L: I was anxious and nervous about my first tattoo, I did not just want anything, and it had to have a story… a meaning.  This may sound cliché, but it is very true.  Music has always been a part of my life since day 1.  In all that I do I’m always surrounded by music.  I listen to almost everything and anything.  From my rock ‘n roll and jazz, to hip hop and alternative.  And let’s not forget my Mexican music.  From this the ideas of self expression bloomed.


“A picture is worth a thousand words”.  All I ever wanted to do was to tell my stories.  Show the world how and why I am the person I became to be.  So much thought has been put into each piece as well as the placement.  For example; My “smile” tattoo created by my beautiful niece, Gina, was originally drawn by her.  Gina has a form of Down Syndrome.  Each day that she is with us is a blessing, as she wasn’t suppose to see past 2 and now she is going strong at 25.  She is my heart and she inspires me.  This tattoo is very visible and those who have noticed it, smile.  Not only has Gina impacted me, but those around me as well, with just a simple smile J.  That joy and happiness people get from seeing this tattoo has the power to change a bad day into something wonderful.  That’s more than I could ever ask for.

There is so much more to share, I’m far from being done with telling my story.



M: Very touching and interesting! Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

L: We express our minds, our feelings, and convictions through our food.  It’s our art, our passion, our story.  Tattoos are another way to show our freedom to express our ideas and emotions through another form of art.  It’s a beautiful thing.


M: Do you own any tattoo magazines, if so which ones?

L: Inked and Tattoo.  On Facebook I’m following Addicted to Ink, and Inked and Sexy, and Women with Ink.


M: Nice! Who do you admire in the tattoo industry? Do you have a tattoo done by him/her?

L: Tim Mueller of Tim Mueller’s Secret Tattoo and Charly Reynoso of Black Diamond Tattoo.  These two artists have a gift in what they do.  I’ve been blessed to have crossed paths with these guys and be able to call them friends.  I have gotten work done by Charly, and I’m currently getting work done by Tim.  It’s amazing to see them work.  Without having to say much they know the ideas and concepts of what I want, and with that I allow them to have the freedom to add their artistic twist to the piece.


Thank you Lizette!! Its always nice to interview talented people who have something to say and thank you all for taking the time to read our little blog : ) !!


Lizette shared an amazing recipe; check it out, try it out, tell us about how it went!


Baguettes with a Twist

Poolish Prefrement

Bread Flour       5.5 oz

Hi-Gluten Flour   5.5 oz

Water                11 oz

Fresh Yeast      5 grams

Combine bread flour, hi-gluten flour, water and yeast. Mix until water is incorporated and the consistency is smooth.

Cover product so that it does not form a skin.

Ferment over night in walk-in



Star Anise      ¼ tsp

Honey             1 oz

Vanilla Extract  1 ½ tsps

Salt                 1 TBS

Cranberries   5 oz

Cinnamon      3 tsp

Poppy Seeds 3.5 oz

Infuse ¼ tsp star anise in half of the water.

Combine poolish, water, water infused with star anise, yeast, bread flour, honey, vanilla extract and salt. Mix at a low speed for 3 minutes (scrape bowl after 2 minutes)

Continue to mix dough at a medium for 2-3 minutes.

Divide the dough into three equal parts. Add ingredients as follo

Dough 1: Add 2.5 oz cranberries

Dough 2: Add 2.5 oz cranberries and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Dough 3: Add 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

In a well-oiled container, cover each of the three doughs, with plastic wrap, and ferment in a warm environment until the internal temperature reaches 75ºF. Stretch and fold after 45 minutes. Total fermentation will be 1.5 hours.

Once fermentation is complete, scale 4 equal strands from each of the 3 doughs (making 12 strands all together). Spray strands from doughs 1 and 3 with water and cover with poppy seeds. Pre-shape into mini baguetttes and let sit for 20-30 minutes, covered in plastic wrap.

Braid 3 strands (one from each different dough mixture) forming 4 different loaves.

Optional  Once braided, shape the braided dough into the form of a wreath. (Do this to all 4 loaves).

Proof for about 40 minutes

Bake at 400ºF (with steam). Bake for 20-25 minutes

Cool down and enjoy!!

Cream Cheese Topping

Cream Cheese, softened    16 oz

Powdered Sugar             1 ½ cups

Vanilla Extract                1 TBS

Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended


Thank you Lizette again! You can check out more of Lizette and her creations at:

IG: @l1zzyg03


If you have a food tattoo or recipe you would like to share, please contact us at either or @knivesandneedles on IG.


Brussels Sprouts!!


Brussels sprouts may not be one of the most popular vegetables, but they are one of the oldest. The first recorded cultivation of the forefather to the modern Brussels sprouts was in ancient Rome! The strain of the modern Brussels sprout was developed in medieval Belgium where it spread over northern Europe and eventually the world.

Brussels sprouts are a relative to cabbage (actually the edible bud of a type of cabbage called Brassica oleracea), kale and broccoli. They are high in vitamins A and C and it is thought to have anticancer properties.

You can roast them in the oven, sauté them, steam them or boil them. You could even try grilling them and they do not lose as much vitamins when cooked as other vegetables. For a simple side dish just sauté them with a little butter and bacon or roast them in the oven with salt, pepper and a little olive oil (450 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes), super simple and delicious!

Choose sprouts that are green and fresh looking. The right ones to pick should have tightly compacted leaves with the whole bulb feeling dense and heavy.  Store them in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.

Cheers and enjoy!!

If you have any food tattoos or recipes you would lie to see up on knivesandneedlesblog, send them to us! We would love to feature you!

Photo courtesy of Michelle Roberts

Fish sauce… on wings!

I was going to write about fish sauce and all of its awesomeness but I’m going to save that for another post when I have more time. But! It lead me to thinking about this awesome chicken wing recipe that involves fish sauce; so I’m going to share it with you.

OK, at first when you hear fish sauce wings, it sounds pretty gross but trust me these wings are amazing. I tried them at Pok Pok in Portland a few years ago and immediately thereafter I sought out the recipe. Now I try to cook them up whenever I can. They are also very good for any occasion/season.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 2 minced
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the drumettes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

What you’ll then need to work your magic on:

  1. In a bowl, whisk the fish sauce, sugar and crushed garlic. Add the wings and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 3 hours, tossing the wings occasionally.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet. Add the minced garlic; cook over moderate heat until golden, 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Pat the wings dry on paper towels; reserve the marinade. Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl, add the wings and turn to coat. Fry the wings in batches until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to a bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, simmer the marinade over moderately high heat until syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain over the wings and toss. Top with the cilantro, mint and fried garlic and serve.

This is what I ended up with:Image

Please be careful when working with hot oil!

I like my wings on the more crispy side so I left them in a couple minutes longer. I served mine with a side of jasmine rice and some pickled carrots and daikons. I hope you enjoy them as I did!

Poaching Eggs with Chad Koeplinger


If you know Chad Koeplinger, than you know it’s a bit difficult to catch him in one place more than a few days, let alone long enough to get to cook with him! So when I found out he was crashing at our place for a couple days, I took advantage of the situation! Chad loves poached eggs and he wanted to learn how to make them so we thought making poached eggs together would be a cool little blog post. Read on!


Simple Poached Eggs




1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice for every cup of water




Always use fresh eggs.

And always deliver the eggs to the pan with a custard cup or large spoon. Avoid cracking directly into the pan.


When using a non-stick skillet cook in no more than an inch of water. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, poach in a deep saucepan containing at least 3 inches of water.


Add the vinegar or lemon juice to the water so the egg white coagulate.

Bring liquid to a boil, add eggs and then remove from heat and cover.


For runny eggs, cook 4 eggs for 7 to 8 minutes depending on their size. More eggs will absorb more heat from the water and will take longer to cook, so for large batches always include an extra “test” egg to ensure you poach your eggs to your liking.


Always remove eggs with a slotted spoon.

Poached eggs can be refrigerated in ice water for up to 8 hours and should be reheated in hot water. Do not re-boil!


Thank you and have a great day! Enjoy!

Recipe of the Day, Make Ahead and Take to Work!


Milanesa de Napolitana with Butternut Squash Puree and a Fennel and Roma Tomato Salad

Serves 4

This is a great go-to recipe that is not really very difficult. I used to eat this all the time in Argentina but it is originally Italian. It is usually made with veal or beef but I am doing it with chicken today. Happy eating!!

BTW, you can check out a bit of the history of the Milanesa on my other blog,!


Fennel and Roma Tomato Salad

1 Fennel plant, thinly shaved and toss into the salad some of the thin needle-like leaves slightly chopped

5 Roma tomatoes, cut in medium-sized wedges

2 Lemons, juiced

1/4c olive oil, start with half and add more depending on your taste on how tart you want the salad

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the fennel, leaves, tomatoes and lemon juice. Add the olive oil to taste and then season with the salt and pepper to taste. Chill until served and serve with the Milanesa and puree.


Butternut Squash puree

1 medium-large butternut squash, trimmed and cut into medium chunks

4-6 TBLS unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and boil until soft. Strain the water out and mash or whip squash with either a masher, a fork, a whisk or mixer with the whisk attachment. Add butter and combine both until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Warm up before serving and serve with Milanesa and salad.


Milanesa de Napolitana

4 thinly sliced chicken breast filets, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper

1/2c flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 1/2c dry breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs are great)

4 TBLS tomato paste

3-4cloves of garlic, minced

2tsp oregano

4 pieces of a good ham

1c mozzarella cheese (fresh mozzarella is amazing)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each piece of chicken int he flour first, then egg, and last press the panko firmly (but gently) onto the flour and egg coated chicken filet. You really want to make sure the panko is pressed onto the meat, otherwise the breading will fall off. Sprinkle a little olive oil over each Milanesa and place them on one or two baking sheets depending on how they fit and size. Put in the oven and bake for about 7 minutes. Take them out of the oven, flip each Milanesa over and top with first the tomato paste, then the garlic and oregano, and after the ham and mozzarella. Put back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starts to turn golden on the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer each one to a plate. Serve while hot and with the puree and salad.


Photos by me

Daniel Albrigo

Daniel Albrigo is quite a force to be reckoned with! Not only is he an accomplished tattooer, his artistry has gained him notoriety in both the fine art and tattoo world. He started his tattoo career in Southern California, and now finds himself working at Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn, NYC. Daniel is one of those people who is incredibly enthusiastic about anything he is involved with, and I knew that he would be excited to share his artistry and culinary prowess with us!


“I’m very happy to contribute to The Knives and Needles blog, it’s a cool experience to have a different platform on the internet than usual.”


Daniel Albrigo-
As a Chef and food lover I’ve always said that if i wasn’t tattooing I’d probably be a chef or cooking somewhere. There is something very calming and satisfying about cooking a meal with fresh ingredients and enjoying the gifts of your labor along with the fruits of this beautiful earth. My wife Brook and I are food connoisseur by nature, we are always chasing a good meal or a new ingredient that we haven’t used before. One of the things that fuels our love for traveling is the access to trying foods from all over the world. after the trip we bring back those flavors and try our own version of what we tried.

My mother and father were always cooking and encouraging us to help in the kitchen, cooking, prepping etc. whether it be a family recipe from my Italian Grandmother Alma, BBQing in the back yard or even my Mom’s famous seafood surprise soup haha, Ive always been cooking even if just making a home made grilled cheese. its just what i know, we didnt ever really order out growing up but rather cooked most meals together as a family. But, after moving to NYC from California my Wife Brook and I try to cook more at home and take advantage of the produce market across the street from our house instead of ordering thai food every night.

Because NYC gets so insanely hot and humid in the summer time there isnt much cooking going on, that is officially when the oven is turned off for the season. i get excited in the cooler months here mainly for the kitchen use and making new meals. This is one of my favorite spring/fall meals, A whole roasted chicken with roasted veg. something that warms the soul and something that is very easy to prep. a meal that the next day you can make a soup or a sandwich out of. (but thats a different post all together)

All hail the ONE POT MEAL

Chef Albrigo


1 six-pound roasting chicken
Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 carrots
10 small golden potatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled but left whole.
1 hour and 30 mins cook time
30 min prep time.
A Cast Iron Pan is my personal recommendation for roasting chicken and/or Vegetables

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from chicken if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. its best to use the chicken at or near room temperature. season with salt, pepper, cummin and turmeric to your likings
Heat cast iron pan on stove untill hot, add olive oil and begin to caramelize the potatoes, garlic and carrots for 10-15 mins. remove vegetables from pan and set aside. add seasoned chicken to the hot frying pan breast side up. Once the chicken is centered in the cast iron pan add vegetables around the chicken and put into the 450 degree pre heated oven.
Bake the chicken at 450 degrees for 30 mins to achieve and nice golden brown color on the chicken. Take the chicken out of the oven and cover the chicken/pan with a foil top which will prevent the chicken from getting too dry and prevent the skin from getting burnt. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees and continue baking for an hour or until the internal temperature has reached 180 degrees.
let the chicken rest for 10-15 before cutting or serving. and Enjoy 🙂


For more of Daniel’s work, please check out and
Thanks, Dad! 😉



Knives and Needles Blog is my latest blog, welcome! This is a blog that I started because I have a passion for food and a love for tattoos. I am a professional sushi chef of over 13 years and have worked all over the world for more than a decade. Over my travels working in various kitchens, I always noticed how many chefs are tattooed. Not only tattooed, but many heavily tattooed. I myself am pretty heavily tattooed. Not to get too deep but this has always interested me and I think that chefs and tattooers have similar personality types; artistic, transient punks who are traditionally low-lifes of society working in a thankless profession. Tattooing and the chef profession have both seen a 180 to their popularity and reputation in recent years with t.v. shows and celebrity stars being formed in this modern-day atmosphere. I want to give all those tattooed chefs the chance talk about something other than food  and  give foodie tattooers a chance to talk about something other than their work with this blog! My friend Ellen Murphy, a tattoo artist from NYC, and Marcus Bui the shop-guy at State of Grace Tattoo are contributing writers as well as myself. And there may be others in the future…! My friend Eric Alegria is helping with this blog as well! Thank you for reading this blog and follow us!  There will be interesting interviews with your favorite chefs and tattooers, amazing recipes, cooking tips and beautiful photos of food and tattoos being shared here, don’y miss out!

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