This is a crazy luxurious dish, containing some of my most favourite seafood in the world, and cream and butter. I’ve had uni sauce for pasta before, mostly in fancy restaurants and the like, but not to this degree at home. Well, ok, we did attempt an uni cream sauce once, with actual fresh uni, but this dish, this dish nails it just so. Just the right amounts of cream and uni and other goodness (mentaiko was definitely the key) to turn something fantastic into something orgasmic.
Whenever I open a cookbook for the first time, I’ll usually skim the recipes with photos first. Are they appealing? Do they make me want to read the recipe? Do they make my mouth water and immediately start plotting out how I might make the dish, and soon?
Restaurant menus can be different. They often don’t have illustrations or photos accompanying the text, and the way a dish is described or written may have to work twice as hard to entice and lure and seduce.
DD and I visited New York in December of 2009. He was there for work, I was there to tag along, partially working remotely as well. We also turned the trip into a bar-hopping and salacious dining extravaganza. During our 5 days there, we managed to sample 3 of David Chang’s eateries: Momofuku Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar, and Milk Bar, though I have to admit that the visit to Milk Bar was just a cursory walk-through – we had been lunching at the Ssam Bar next door, and could not pass up a visit to peek at sweets. I don’t much recall what we had at Milk Bar if anything as I was too full from our decadent lunch.
It’s that time of year. The time when farmer’s markets abound with a profusion of summer produce: eggplants and pattypan squash and green zucchini with their bright yellow cousins. Ears of corn call to be shucked and eaten raw, right off the cobb. An abundance of tomatoes and basil sends one rushing for the good olive oil and oozy burrata. Beautiful golden squash blossoms call out to be stuffed and fried… Even at work, one of my coworkers with a prolific garden brings in trayfuls of her extra produce, to be snatched up by the garden-slackers (i.e., me).
As I’ve mentioned before – I love one-pot dishes: entrees that incorporate proteins, starches and vegetables all in one. I’d never made Albóndigas soup in the past, probably because I thought that having to make all the meatballs would be time-consuming. And while it did take a bit of time, the end result was pretty rewarding – you can even enlist loved ones in forming the little round spheres.
I had received Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home a few months ago, a present from my best girlfriend in Chicago. But I hadn’t really attempted to cook anything from it until I was reminded by Sarah Gin’s post over on the Tastespotting blog that I owned it and tasty things could be made from it.
Mar i Mutanya is essentially a deconstructed paella, where all the components are cooked separately and brought together at the last minute. Unlike a traditional paella where the ingredients might be pre-sauteed and eventually put into the pan to cook with the rice, here, the chicken, seafood, vegetables and rice all have separate preparation and cooking procedures, and are eventually joined together as a finished dish at the end.
Somewhere around the fall of last year, I went on a Japanese cooking jag, inspired by and anticipating our upcoming trip to Japan. We were taking Japanese language courses and I was shopping at Nijiya, weekly. The Japantown neighborhood suddenly became familiar, where it hadn’t before. My mania for Japanese cooking reached somewhat of a turning point when I took a Japanese Kaiseki cooking workshop through the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in December, and cooked up a multi-course Japanese holiday dinner. Continue reading
I cooked my mother’s dish on mother’s day. I was not able to make a trip to Southern California then, but loved that she had made it on the past 2 occasions when I visited last. Kiam Pung translates into Salty Rice, with “kiam” being salty in my parents’ fukienese/ fujianese dialect, which I’m told is very similar to Hokkien, or Taiwanese. Basically I like to think of this easy dish is a Chinese Paella — it’s open to an infinite number of variations, but should always contain 3 essential ingredients (besides the rice, which is a given):
- Soy Sauce
- Some kind of green vegetable
- Some kind of meat or seafood or meat substitute
If someone wanted to ease a friend or family member into trying offal meats, tripe is probably the most logical starting point. Properly cleaned and processed, it takes on the flavors of whatever it’s been cooked in and has great textural complexity. If the person you’re trying to convert can somehow get over the fact that tripe is the lining of a cow’s stomach, it’s one of the tastier, somewhat more innocuous of offal meats. When Gourmet magazine publishes an Asian tripe recipe, you know its time has come indeed. Continue reading
Marcella Hazan, in her seminal Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, wrote that of the thousands of recorded dishes that could illustrate the genius of a cuisine, Pork Braised in Milk would certainly be among the favoured few. Her recipe is exceedingly simple – start with a pork loin roast (bone included), brown it well in some oil, add around 2 cups milk, and simmer over low heat for several hours until tender. She also notes that, if we have access to it, and are not averse to the fact that it might fall apart in whilst carving, pork butt, or Boston shoulder, laced with a goodly amount of fat – is preferrable, but perhaps won’t be as pretty on a plate. Continue reading