Tuesday, September 26, 2006

the non-mandatory potluck

a couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of a going away party for my friend Lara who is spending part of the year studying in spain. it seemed cheap and fun to eat in so we planned a "food-optional" potluck. as some of my friends noted, it's probably better off that way unless we wanted frozen burritos for dinner and stomachaches for dessert. i made some appetizer-type things with a recurring theme of about 3 ingredients in different combinations.. kind of like pho. seriously, those pho restaraunts could cut their menu in half if they just had a single listing of types of meat to put in their noodles instead of listing every possible combination of rare steak, well done flank, tripe, etc. hmm.. i'm deviating. well, i had rounds of toasted french bread i'd rubbed with garlic and topped with either tomato with herbs, thick-cut ham, or brie cheese. and on a brilliant suggestion from a comrade in college cooking, wrapped some of those foul pillsbury instant croissants around fillings of vegetables (leftover from lara's dish) and ham and baked as the istructions dictated. it didn't turn out tasting bad and people thought they were cute.

much cuter was the vegetable lasagna lara and her friend made from scratch! check out the bell pepper octopus and sea star. that ups the tastyness 10x because of the cute factor. it had bell peppers, mushrooms, zuchini, tomatoes, onions, and a whole lot of other stuff in it which i can't remember. they layered it with mozzerella and topped with parmesan and a little bit of gorgonzola. the gorgonzola really added a bit of kick to it.

that and a really ripe pineapple was enough to feed 7. i heard that a good way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is to smell it and if you can pull out one of the topinner leaves easily.


mmm green beans and daikon

salad. lettuce, green beans blanched in chicken stock, olive oil canned tuna, capers, minced garlic, olives, green onion, chili pepper, lemon juice.


tossed a couple whole italian squash and simmered in canned chicken stock + random dried herbs and those pizza parlour hot pepper flakes. added couple handfulls of tender green beans to simmer ~ 3 mins before finish. soup plus a veggie fix.


taro bread from 99 ranch. soft purply bread with ribbons of sweet taro paste baked into it. and yes, i eat off of newspapers. they make classy recyclable dishes.


i didn't want to feed my friend rice and kimchee for dinner so scrounged around for some "instant" food. luckily had a can of thai tom yum soup into which i threw half a diced daikon, a package of soft tofu, green onions, and an egg. then separately cooked some "fresh" store-bought udon left over from a couple days before and served with the soup. frozen chinese dumplings. the canned soup (from 99) had slivers of ginger, lemongrass, etc in it and was surprisingly good.


didn't have a camera around when i made this gross sounding dish of hamburger meat and diced onions. tossed a bunch of seasoning into it including bbq sauce. had it with more of that simmered squash and some pasta.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Got Crabs? Let's Party!


in japanese katakana, "Paa-tii Tai-mu"


yummy. very crunchy. coated in some really-bad-for-you orange sesame glaze. very salty. very good with drinks. different parts of it had different tastes... i like the rich innards, brain, and goo tasting parts. dunno what it actually is? in chinese it's "蟹膏" ?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

mort the tort eats

so i've been really really busy these days and my camera charger is up in LA (where i am not) so haven't been keeping track much. been eating a lot of salads, and tons of seasonal fruits. figs, raspberries, srawberries, peaches, concord grapes, watermelon, regular grapes, mangoes, etc. mort has also been enjoying the fruit.

here's a video of him eating bananas...

p.s. how convenient for me that qqq stole the video and it is already up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

lotus root soup and mango sticky rice

home-cookin' style soup. don't have all the ingredients my mom uses for this, but i make do..


4 fresh lotus root bulbs
handful of dried shitake mushrooms stems trimmed and reconstituted
handful of soaked and rinsed dried foxnuts (i have no idea what they are)
1 lb of mysterious "Prok For Stew" (i usually use shoulder. pretty much anything except for superlean expensive loins and chops will do =)

broke apart the bulb segments from eachother to wash out any mud that may be in the holes. dumped everything in a large pot including some of the mushroom water (watch out for the sediment) and covered with water. brought to boiling on med-high heat and skimmed off the frothy gunk. reduced heat to low and simmered for an hour and a half (my mom uses a slow cooker overnight) salt to taste. after cooking, i sliced up the root to serve with the soup. and as with most soups, it takes about a day for the flavors to get really good.


mangos with steamed coconut glutinous rice

2 cups glutinous rice
1 can of coconut milk
.5 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

first time trying out a south asian recipe. been craving this dessert for weeks, but going out to restaraunts is too expensive for this cheapskate! soaked the "lo mai" (not regular rice. it's sole as "sticky" or "sweet" or "glutinous rice") overnight in a bowl withjust enough water to cover. the next evening, put the glass bowl in a steamer for 20 minutes. if using a bowl like me instead of leaves to hold the rice, steam for longer.. my rice came out just barely cooked. oh, i lied.. i skimped on the coconut milk b/c i didn't want a heart attack and like things on the light side. i heated in a small saucepan about 3/4 can of coconut milk and .3 cup of sugar and the salt. when the rice was done, i mixed most of it into the rice and saved some to spoon over the mangos.