Friday, May 26, 2006

goma ae

goma ae some sort of japanese spinach dish using sesame (i think goma = sesame). i found a bunch of recipes online, and they all contained soy sauce, and some sort of sweetener or sake. boiled up a bunch of spinach.. ~2 mins to cook it. stuck them in some cold running water to cool. squeezed out the water (and probably a good deal of vitamins, oh well) then chopped into 3-4 cm lengths. dressed them with about a tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 of some weak mirin (a sweet sake), and some sesame seeds i toasted in my frying pan.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

garlic mashed potatoes

i took 3 large russet potatoes, boiled them for an indeterminate amount of time until they were cooked. took an entire bulb of garlic, peeled the cloves, then tossed that in the boiling water to cook for 5-10 mins before the potatoes were done. drained them. then smashed em as well as i could with a wooden spoon. i mixed in maybe 1 cup of Trader Joe's chicken broth, 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, a tsp of margerine and a scattering of finely chopped green onions. added a lot of liquids to keep it from being dry. didn't really keep track of how much stuff i used. but it came out really rich and garlicky (the whole apt, in fact) and the roomies approved. except for the extreme lumpiness. hey--the lumpy gives it character. it's um.. vintage.

fresh blackberries and homemade whipped cream

step 1: pour heavy whipping cream into small container and shake shake shake! (much easier than whipping it... with chopsticks)

step 2: note the thick, but not stiff, consistancy of fresh whipped cream on top of some really really really ripe and sweet blackberries. in season, and really cheap right now. for berries, that is.

step 3: take another messier picture and eat the yummy mess

Monday, May 22, 2006

soup + crunk

what i ate when i got sick last week.

this stuff is gross. stay away. only potable for the truly crunk.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lunch at the Estate

lunch was soooo good. i wish i had a camera with me, but even so, i probably wouldn't have used it. it'd feel more than a little weird to me to whip out a camera when eating in the company of other people who aren't used to that particular eccentricity. after all, i'm no food critic or photographer.

went over to katie's and they'd prepared a very french feeling lunch of baguettes and smoked salmon. spreads like butter and little bowls of toppings like lemon, capers, and minced red onions made it feel very rich despite being very simple, yet flavorful, fare. i also tried some homemade mayonaise with a hardboiled egg. i usually hate mayo with a passion, but this stuff wasn't bad fresh, made with mustard, oil, egg, and whatever else was put in. the light yellow mayo was more like a very thick creamy sauce than the fluffy oily stiff white stuff in kraft. for dessert were fresh strawberries sliced up with a little sugar and a dollop of creme fraiche. btw, i do not eat slow! i'm er, savoring!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

salad and.. more gruel please?

salad tonight. bought a bag of spinach, arugula, red leaf, etc. mix. diced in some avocado, sliced a couple mushrooms, half an ear of fresh corn, some canned tuna, feta cheese, plus some crunchy shallots. dressing was lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt, pepper. the other half of corn on the cob. the last of the onion bread. behold my lack of aesthetics!

here's some i made with dried flounder. used brown and calrose rice mixed together. messed up b/c i didn't stir frequently enough so the bottom burned a little, but salvaged it so it doesn't taste like an ashtray. topped with chinese pickled cucumbers and some green onions. seasoned with salt.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hot Mango Relish

some onion and poppy seed covered round bread i got from the co-op toasted and accented by some mango relish. I have not one, but two jars of Patak's Mango Relish (one is mild and the other hot). Patak's jars o' stuff can usually be found in any american market with an ethnic food section, though pickled garlic and chutney are probably the only types you'll find. it took me several months to find a place that sold hot mango relish after the nearest albertson's stopped carrying it. behold my genius.. all i had to do was head on over to the DB Indian video rental and sundries market at the intersection of Prospector and Golden Springs. it's in the same plaza as the ACI institute (the SAT place) and Al Jibani Halaal middle eastern market, by the middle school. shelves and shelves of pickles, spices, and a whole bunch of other funky things.

here's what the mango relish looks like inside the jars. er.. delicious? almost to the bottom! the hot one is the drowned in red oil. oooh.. the oil.. is very tasty indeed because the salt, mustard, chile powder, fenugreek, acetic acid, and "spices" (how descriptive of the label) flavor has imbued the oil.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

old and moldy posts

so i got bored and didn't feel like studying, so i finally posted some rather old things here that have been rattling around in one place or another that fit this food theme.

for clarification, i lived in dorms without stoves during 2004. had to eat in the dining halls. but i had a rice cooker, microwave, toaster oven, and an electric cooker. in 2005, i lived in campus apts, so i still had to go to dining hall, but the apt had a kitchenette as big as a closet. now i live in an off campus apt with a very big kitchen. alas, no more meal points to spend in the dining halls.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

shortribs and green beans

i got really hungry. 15 mins. since i don't usually have them, here's some ACTION SHOTS!

finished product

my standard rice wine, garlic, sugar, soy and chili sauce for the green beans (got 'em at the "farmer's market" at school on tuesdays). leftover pasta. beef shortribs quick marinaded and cooked with soy, vinegar, rice wine; used 1:8:1 ratio, respectively. the green beans got some meaty flavor 'cause i cooked 'em in the same pan right after the meat. short ribs were a bit fatty, but it was a tasty fatty. and like all shortribs, lots of connective tissue = tearing apart with teeth and hands. grr, me animal. me eat more animal! just enough left over for another meal...

breakfast was eggo waffles and coffee with choco syrup. btw, those are corelle dishes. unfortunately, the "butterflies" are in LA.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

the daily edition

my friend decided to go on an oatmeal diet. that lasted for 5 days, tops. and broke it with a quarter pounder and apple pie, or something like that. so for your benefit, what i ate in the last 24 hours:

stovetop oatmeal with dried cranberries
some cinnamon toast crunch cereal
little bit of liverwurst
big bowl of pasta in a hon tsuyu (soy and bonito fish flavored) broth
a powdered donut
a honey tangerine
a mc donalds ranch blt combo with fries and a coke (gasp! i ate something other than dessert at mcdonalds for the first time in months, and the third soda in the past month. it was damned tasty)

and the day before yesterday:
oatmeal with dried cranberries
coffee with a shot of peppermint syrup (soooo good!)
ONE banana chip
pasta with olive oil, garlic, cayeanne pepper
3 frozen bbq wings
pita and pesto hummus
stirfried celery
orange juice
a couple strawberry flavored egg roll biscuit things
two fried eggs
some more pasta
some lentil soup

hmm.. in hindsight.. not as much veggies and fruit as i would like.. i haven't made a trip to the market in two weeks. tomorrow would be good.

so here's the funny thing about mcD's. i was over at a friend's house playing cards and watching shows.. typical chillout, until i got really really hungry. thus the walk to the mcdonalds. it was 12:50 when we got there, and they didn't let us in because they close inside service at 1am so we had to walk through and order through the uh, drive thru. kind of funny, as there was a car in front of us, and a car behind. so i got up to the pickup window when i notice this spectacular machine inside. man.. i wish i had a camera. apparently drinks are not dispenced by hand any more. there's this cup holder carousel underneath the soda machine that looks like it fills the cups automatically with ice and the appropriate soda after pushing a button or two to queue up the next few drinks. after one's filled, it rotates and auto fills the next cup. frees up the guy to do other stuff.

dunno how i feel about that though. it's efficient and all but.. makes me think about the balance between humans and technology again. not for this specifically as for other more important interactions and tasks. i think some technology is gratuitous when there are humans to do it. and yes, even when it seems demeaning... somehow replacing a person with a thing is even more so.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

something's fishy...

fish sauce. my aptmate has a mini Cock brand bottle of fish sauce (24 fl OZ flying lion brand bottle is mine. richer and less salty--cock brand sucks). The label has a seal of a rooster on it and there are squid, pompano, shrimp, and crab pictured. None present in the sauce itself, which is an extract of salt, fermented anchovies, and water. Traditionally, fish sauce is made in barrels in which layers of fish and salt are alternated, and allowed to sit around and ferment until you get this glorious salty savory brown juice. It's actually not fishy tasting and complements pork. I've seen it used watered down and mixed with other liquids as a dip, a marinade, in stews, and with braised vegetables. There's probably plenty more uses for it that I don't know about. It's more of a south asian (esp. viet and thai) sauce. on an interesting historical note, the ancient Romans also used a fermented fish sauce called "garum" which was even mixed with wine. the vietnamese name is nuoc mam. i call it yu low in cantonese. but chinese are more likely to eat and cook salted dried fish 鹹魚 than use fish sauce 魚露 jyu4 lou6 , i think. "salty fish and diced chicken fried rice" is a popular and very tasty fried rice typically found in cantonese restauraunts. it's one of my favorites. this menu for the canteen at The Chinese University of Hong Kong has a couple of dishes that use the flavorful stuff. i think dried fish is seen as a slightly lower class type of food, but some salty dried fish (whole or fillets) can be quite expensive--i've seen some selling for 30 dollars a fish!

fried egg, rice. to the right is something i was playing around with that actually turned out decent. it's canned squid sliced up and cooked up with yellow crookneck and italian squash, and bamboo shoots in a saltyish shrimp paste (it might be made with brine shrimp... which i once owned in the form of Sea Monkeys) and garlic sauce. i was thinking of those stewed seafood and vegetable dishes in flip cuisine.

realizing that the cholesterol from squid and eggs were going to do me in, i wanted to make something that wasn't so killer and discovered a burning craving for teriyaki. i'm so lame, i only wanted the sauce, but not that lame.. so there's a pitiful stirfried onion to make it a little less sad.

i was really hungry when i got home last week so i started making a fried egg... which wasn't enough, so then i fried up some rice with soy sauce, minced garlic, and chili garlic sauce... which seemed kind of ghetto, so i sliced up some chinese dried sausages and threw those in too.. but it seemed lacking so i mixed in an egg... but it needed finishing touches so i sliced in some green onions... and then remembered i had some leftover squid... then decided it needed a bit of crunchy shallots to top and.. well, i got this strange looking fried rice.

somehow, there weren't enough food groups present, so i stirfried a bunch of celery in a thai basil chili garlic sauce.