keryx: (Default)
Richmonders! And other people who don't know Chicago or Italians!

I need to tell you about giardiniera.* It is, I truly believe, Chicago's greatest contribution to the world. If you haven't tried it, that's okay. I will make you some or bring you some or... something. It's particularly fantastic on pizzas and sammiches. In fact, my longstanding problems with tomato-sauce pizza are all pretty much about the fact that most of it does not contain giardiniera.

Seriously. You want some.

* Someone needs to add some citations to that Wikipedia article!
keryx: (Default)
There's a mediterranean restaurant inside a jewelry store around the corner from the office. They make, among other things, the finest falafel I recall eating. They also introduced me to a Greek thing I'm terribly pleased to meet: lemon rice soup.

I stole this recipe from the internets and made my own tonight.

onion or scallions
kale or cabbage, shredded (yay, bok choy)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
a quantity of pepper, turmeric & ginger that sounds good to you
some amount of vegetable oil and soy sauce
a cup or two of precooked rice
4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Sautee everything but the rice, lemon juice and broth, until appropriately yummy (depending on how soft you like your green stuff). Add the liquid and simmer for about 10 minutes. Consume happily.
keryx: (Default)
Now and then, something will remind me that I'm a poor excuse for a Southerner. For instance! I did not know what pimento cheese was. Is. My not-knowing is in the past, but the cheese is in both the past and the present.

It's made out of mayonnaise, shredded cheese (usually sharp cheddar) and those tasty little peppers people stuff in green olives.

I tried to find out something about its history, in part because I'd love to have my theory confirmed. My theory being: someone wanted to make ham salad, but had no ham. And it was snowing. But! They had a block of cheddar cheese. I think the stuff tastes just like ham salad would if it were made of cheese and not ham.

There isn't much of a history on the internet, but it is definitely an Official Southern Thing. They serve it at the Master's Tournament. They also serve it, handmade by my very own roommate & Richmond's finest cheesemonger, at the local organic grocery.
keryx: (birthday)
Cauliflower is a comfort vegetable! I always knew this about broccoli, but it turns out they're related in more ways than taxonomy. Cauliflower makes excellent gratins and casseroles. Nom.

I had a moment today where I realized I just wasn't acting like the person I want to be. Man, that was depressing. So I came home and made what we'll call Try to Be Less of an Ass Next Time Cauliflower. It was pretty awesome. Self-awareness is easier if it's yummy.

Try to Be Less of an Ass Next Time Cauliflower, the recipe )
keryx: (tomato)
If I'm not crazystressedoutOMG, I tend to be a pretty intuitive eater [There are exceptions. My dad buys this cheesy jalapeno dip that I'll eat in massive quantities though it has no redeeming nutritional value & really doesn't help my mental health, either.]. It manifests as insistent demands from some inarticulate part of my mind - not my stomach, really.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with that bit (let's call it the central nervous system for lack of a better phrase) an hour or so after my wholesome vegan lunch. It went like this:

CNS: BRING ME CHEESE. AND BREAD.
Me: We just had lunch! I mean, yes, I feel vaguely grumpy and de-energized. But...
CNS: CHEESE. BREAD.
Me: These pumpkin seeds are kinda the same thing.
CNS: NO.
Me: Look, we're working. This is irritating. Do you want cafeteria cheese?
CNS: EW. YUCK.
Me: What???
CNS: WHOLE FOODS. ONE OF THOSE LITTLE SAMPLE-SIZED CHEESE PIECES.
Me: Are you kidding? You want some wine with that?
CNS: NO. IT'S AFTERNOON.
CNS: BUT A POMEGRANATE TEA MIGHT BE NICE...

I did in fact feel quite good after that; the pomegranate tea was nice, too. But it's strange to be having such a specific conversation with one's hindbrain.
keryx: (Default)
I used the first of my garden-grown yellow squash as a sausage replacement in a polenta last night. At last! Squash I don't hate.

Most recipes with yellow squash are things I wouldn't like with another vegetable, so it's no surprise I hate most everything I tried to cook with it (baked, broiled, casseroled - ew, yuck). So I grew some, and now I'm going to use it instead of meats in things I actually like to eat.

THE RECIPE )

magic soup

Jan. 22nd, 2009 02:06 pm
keryx: (Default)
I think I just ate magic Indian soup. It's just tomato soup, but took like an hour to make.

However.

So, yesterday I was sick enough to merit working from home, though I made it to dance practice just fine. This morning I woke up with no voice & decided against the working & in favor of the home bits of that sentence. Even the process of cooking and smelling this soup made me start to feel less cruddy, and the soup itself opened my sinuses without being even as spicy as my dad's chili. I feel almost normal!

Magic soup! Make your own! )

cheese!

Jun. 11th, 2008 07:58 am
keryx: (finger licking good)
That thing with the alfredo pasta craving, I wasn't kidding. So last night I skipped the gym and made the damned sauce from scratch. I've been trying to buy and cook only organic pastured dairy, and I still haven't found an organic cheese/cream sauce I like.

It was really very good pasta. I added a tuna steak and itty bitty baby spring squashes to it after realizing that buying fish on Tuesday night that you don't mean to eat till Thursday is probably a dumb idea. Where I won, though, was this sauce:
One small container of creme fraiche (which gave it a nice nutty tang)
Half of a cup of hemp milk
One small container of grated parmesan
Healthy doses of paprika, salt, pepper & basil
Bits of Spanish goat cheese not yet finished from last week's groceries

Mix. Simmer till all melted. Done.

I had a little for breakfast when I couldn't talk myself into my normal vegan breakfast, and the sauce had basically hardened into a brick of parmesan - a characteristic it shares with my favorite pasta sauce from Chianti (that mom & pop place in Gayton Crossing).
keryx: (win at life)
I just made the second best pancit I've eaten in my life. And I grew up on Norfolk naval base, so I have eaten a lot of pancit. The best pancit evah? Made by a place in the food court at Waterside. No, really.

Anyhow. Pancit always makes me think about this. About half of my friends until they booted me out of public school in 3rd grade were half-Asian. Half-Filipino, half-Korean, half-Samoan, half-pretty-much-anywhere-there-was-a-US-naval-presence. It wasn't until like college that I realized that was one seriously complicated racial situation, naval housing. Military housing is where the blue-collar folk live. All these boys who join the Navy in their teens, travel around the world, meet exoticised Asian women, bring them home and have cutting-edge (given that you couldn't take a non-white warbride home until the sixties or seventies or something) multi-racial families while retaining pretty conservative working class views on the world.

The military is interesting like that. I wonder how much of my own perspective is colored by growing up with normal being... you know, that.

Of course, at the time, I was FIVE. So what I knew was that all my friends' moms, unlike mine, could cook. They made pancit and lumpia for kids' school things - white people dig pancit. Even my non-cooking midwestern mom picked up a few Filipino recipes.

recipe for second best pancit, in case you're interested )
keryx: (Default)
Beer? Is actually quite tasty.

It turns out that all these years while people were trying to give me beers that were nasty, there were in fact a perfectly decent set of beers off somewhere else. Who knew?

I just thought you might want to know. I'm currently enjoying a tiny bit of Chimay and feeling very monkish in my quiet house with my chalicey beer glass. It's all complicated, like a good chocolate or coffee. Yum.
keryx: (kills fascists)
This is intriguing: [don't read if lists of people's food are painful reading for you] [livejournal.com profile] incendiaryfood. I'm torn. The idea is that one logs one's food for a handful of days. Particularly if one is fat. Without changing habits or anything, just reporting.

I have this salmon w[W?]ellington at home that I bought on impulse at the Crap Ukrops that turns out to have an Awesome Seafood Counter Guy (and argggghh, lobsters). And I'd like to write about that, or about the fabulous Greek yogurt, croissant and cherries [in winter!] I had at breakfast. Then I'd also have to report my new thing as of today, where I bring really really good quality junk food (you know, organic chocolate, dried cow that was treated nicely before someone offed it, smooshed fruit) to the office so that I can still eat constantly in an office filled with sugar but not eat crap that makes me feel blechky and uncooperative later.

It's pretty easy to grasp a theme there, the massive class privilege of everything I eat. Even the meatball sub I had at lunch was at the posh Arby's behind Wilderness Office Park. The classism of my food is nothing new, though. Nor is it something I fail to remember on a daily basis; I know I eat privilege. I keep hot women around to make fun of my pink lady apples for just that purpose.

I like the this is what I eat. so? aspect of food logging for no diagnostic or dietary change purpose. If nothing else, just experiencing it exposes you to all the self-flagellation that's right on the tip of practically anyone's tongue when food comes up.

But. Isn't that like my food privilege? Or my weird thing with potatoes? I mean, don't we already know that? I think I'm trying to put it in a context of radical activism, and while there's some of that, it's probably more about analysis and introspection.

Still, I present the project for your reflection. Does it make you think?

soup!

Jan. 18th, 2006 12:13 pm
keryx: (Default)
I made The World's Greatest Soup last night. It wasn't at all what it was supposed to be (it was supposed to taste North African, for instance, and it was more of a South Asian/European fusion), but it was still excellent.

Not exactly peanut soup )

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