The Ceiling Cat special evolves

Reader George made a version of one of my staple “I-don’t-want-to-cook” dishes, the famous “Ceiling Cat Special” that I described in an earlier post. Here’s his photo and email:

I don’t cook, but I asked my wife to prepare your dish for me and it was delicious! I wasn’t brave enough, though, to add yogurt and went with sour cream instead. My wife also added cilantro, I had a lager instead of ale, and I asked her not to mix everything together–yes, memes do evolve.

image (1)

Actually, CCS version 1.0 was made with sour cream, but I substituted yogurt to make it a bit healthier (yes, I do occasionally think about that!). I couldn’t use cilantro as I’m one of those folks to whom it tastes like soap, but, aside from that, George’s version is nicely plated and (sans the cilantro) probably better than mine.


  1. jstackpo
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Cilantro (like some other things) poisons everything!

    • js
      Posted March 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      There certainly seems to be a case of you either love cilantro (coriander down under) or hate it.
      My mother hates the stuff but I love it. So much that I always have 3 large pots of it growing, one just planted, another that I use and the third going to flower for the seeds.

  2. ginistonic
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Another nice (and healthy!) variation is to use brown rice. And, I’ve just gotta say, ‘Cilantro good!!’

  3. gravityfly
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    This looks so good!

  4. davidintoronto
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Looks like there’s “gravy” with the black beans. Was something added? The canned variety I buy are just beans (I usually drain off the liquid).

  5. Posted March 16, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I also substitute yogurt for sour cream for health reasons. It actually is a surprisingly good substitute, particularly in recipes where it is cooked into the dish (such as artichoke dip)

  6. Posted March 16, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I have to try your recipe, Prof. CC. I love all the ingredients — very healthy. I think I’ll try cilantro and jalapeno or habanero peppers too.

    I do a version of this bean/rice combo in my rice cooker, using parboiled brown rice, red/white kidney or black beans, tons of green onions, garlic, thyme, habanero, a whole can of coconut cream/milk or a good dose of the powdered stuff, water or chicken broth. Bits of salt beef, cured pig’s tail, ham or smoked turkey are optional. Very minimal prepping effort. Better the next day and freezes well too.

    • Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I use canned/precooked beans here, as the rice cooker doesn’t work on dried beans. Oh, and I add EVOO to the rice pot too.

  7. John J. Fitzgerald
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    My contribution for St. Patrick’s Day is colcannon.

    This is easy to make.

    Boil some potatoes and then mash them with some butter and/or sour cream. Cook up some cabbage @a ration of 1 cabbage portion to 3 potato portions. Simmer some chopped onion in butter or olive oil. One onion. Blend the cabbage and onion and potato. Add cream to taste and desired consistency. Top with some fried bacon and some fresh chopped chives. Serve with Corned Beef and Guinness.



  8. ratac
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    The “Ceiling Cat special” evolved to a generic Mexican dish.

    • Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your very helpful comment.

      • ratac
        Posted March 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        You´re welcome.
        No, seriously, sorry for my last comment.
        The last week, my mother came to visit me and (as usually) she cooked something similar. I wanted to give some advise, but because I don’t speak your language, I didn´t wanted to writte a comment with more substance, but written in “engrish” (as I´m doing now).
        So there is the advise:
        You can go full Mexican with this and boil the beans with grain salt, epazote (wormseed), cilantro, a jalapeño or a habanero (as Smokedpaprika wants to do) and caramelized onion (as you did with the original CCS). When it´s ready, you could sprinkle Cotija cheese (a dry and salty Mexican cheese) on it.
        With boiled beans all the ingredients in your mix are opcional, except the epazote, I think that you can´t make an excellent dish of boiled beans without the epazote.

  9. Posted March 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I used to think cilantro tastes like soap too, but have come to like it. Freshness may make a difference. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste, like good beer.

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