Wednesday, August 29, 2007

bittermelon

This is one of the more baffling foods on the planet. It's intensely bitter, yet people seem to love it. My mom grows these beautiful white ones (they're usually a light green color.)

bittermelon with black bean & garlic sauce
I'm actually not the biggest fan of bittermelon, but D really loves it. But, if you put enough black bean and garlic sauce on something, it will be good, even if it's got a bitter undertone.
[bittermelon, black beans, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, water, cornstarch]

chinese sausage
These are really tasty, sweet sausages. They're a fresh variation of the dried Cantonese lop cheung.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

sushi feast

After a weekend of cooking (short ribs for mom & dad's dinner party, brunch for some friends - sorry, no pics of either ones of these, all repeats anyway) we were having some friends over for dinner and I didn't want to cook anything. Slicing fish didn't count, so we assembled this sushi feast.

sushi
I love raw fish. I was quite pleased with how well the halibut turned out. I did it more crudo-style, with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. I also prefer the Korean style of nori. It's brushed with oil and sea salt and toasted. Very tasty.
[salmon, yellowtail, halibut, spicy tuna, unagi, avocados, radish sprouts, cucumber, masago; sushi rice, nori]

peach cobbler
L brought this for dessert. Not a traditional pairing with sushi, but tasty nonetheless. Very, very buttery crust.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

egg (mc)muffin

I prepping a strata for brunch with some friends, and it seemed to sad too fry this sausage and not eat any right away, so we had egg (mc)muffins. Unfortunately, the sausage shrank quite a lot, so it wasn't terribly balanced.

egg (mc)muffin
I'm not actually convinced that mine is better than McDonald's. It was actually rather awkward to eat because of the discrepancy in patty size.
[sausage, english muffin, egg, cheese, tomato]

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

huevos

I've actually been eating these for multiple meals. It's so easy and tasty, it makes a great snack.

huevos rancheros
Crispy tortilla, soft over-easy egg, queso, and salsa (and tomatoes since we have an endless supply). Yummy.
[corn tortilla, egg, tomatoes, queso, salsa]

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

charcuterie

Meals like this make me realize how spoiled/lucky I am. While in Napa for our 9th (!) anniversary, we picked up a chunk of coppa. Our friends L & E gave us a bunch of figs from their tree, and I still had a bit of Parmeggiano-Reggiano tucked away in our cheese drawer.

figs, parmesan, and hot coppa
This was such a nice snack/meal. The figs were super-ripe and sweet - a perfect foil for the salty, hot coppa. And the cheese is just really great.
[figs, coppa, parmeggiano-reggiano cheese]

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grilled cheese night

Sometimes you just get a craving for some basic grilled cheese.

grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
Nothing fancy here - I used a combination of cheddar and the queso and tomatoes from mom's garden.
[bread, cheddar cheese, queso, tomatoes, butter]

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tuna sandwich

We have an inordinate fondness for tuna sandwiches. I'll have to say that brand does make a difference, though. I had gotten used to Trader Joe's chunk tuna, and this is a can of Bumblebee that we picked up. It's much waterier, and not as flavorful.

Tuna Sandwich
Since we had English muffins, we used those as the base. As usual, egg, cheese, and tomatoes go on top. Our tuna mix is canned tuna, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, grilled onions.
[English muffins, canned tuna, tomatoes, egg, grilled onion, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper]

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Monday, August 06, 2007

queso, continued

More tastiness with the cheese. This time stuffed with avocado and tomatoes.

avocado quesadillas
I had half an avocado leftover so it went right into this quesadilla. Kind of decadent tasting, since the avocado was so creamy.
[flour tortilla, cheese, avocado, tomato, spice rub]

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

chipotle chicken

We didn't have too much in our fridge, and I didn't feel like working too hard, so this is my default meal.

chipotle chicken salad
I'm starting to run low on my chili rub, so I better make a new batch soon. It's such a staple in my kitchen and makes everything so tasty with minimal effort.
[mixed greens, chicken, spice rub, tomatoes, lime juice]

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

not quite ensenada

I came up with this one night when we were living in Boston and there was not a fish taco to be found in the city. It's not exactly true Mexican, and definitely not Ensenada style, but still a tasty California-esque hybrid.

fish tacos
These are super-easy to make. Take a firm white fish (cod in this case), dredge in cornmeal seasoned with chili powder blend (my own blend, here), and pan-fry until done. Assemble in tortilla with mango-avocado salsa and cilantro.
[fish, cornmeal, chili powder (ancho chiles, chipotle chiles, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt), tortilla, mango-avocado salsa, lime juice]

mango-avocado salsa
This is so nice with perfectly ripe fruit. Finely dice an onion and squeeze lime juice on it to macerate. Dice an avocado, mango, and tomato. Mince cilantro. Toss with the onion mixture. Add salt to taste. A finely diced jalapeño would be nice for some heat, if you like.
[mango, avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, salt]

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