Archive for October 2003

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At Britt-Marie’s yesterday: Goat cheese crusted on the outside with something–breadcrumbs maybe–and baked till crisp on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, served on a greens with vinaigrette salad with plump, red, seeded grapes, halved grape tomatoes, and caramelized pecans.

A latte.

Soft focaccia-type bread flecked with pumpernickel, with butter and salt.


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October 31, 2003 at 3:39 pm

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This has nothing to do with food, but I like it.

On Googlism, I have one description so far:


“huan-hua chye is a self”


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October 28, 2003 at 2:08 am

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Oh, and yesterday’s meal:

Fresh green salad, dressed with a vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, stone-ground mustard, salt, and pepper.

A Magnani’s lemon-rosemary roasted chicken.

Slices of potato-rosemary bread from Grace Bakery.

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October 27, 2003 at 3:56 am

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I woke up and showed Rahul the progress of the compost heap this morning. He left for Sunnyvale to see his brother. I was by then in a cheerful and energetic mood and had a banana for breakfast, then convinced Kyle to go for a bike ride.

Daylight savings time was awesome–I thought I was up so late, but it was still early because we had fallen back. I had a cup of bad coffee and worked in the garden–planted white and pale pink nemesia cascading with tiny flowers in a cloud of vanilla fragrance, like heliotrope, mixed with the cinnamon-scented soft ruffled spikes of stocks–cream, pink, lavender–and purple pansies, a mixture of bright and dark purples, like Roman robes.

We rode our bikes down to the animal shelter on Second Street and took a skinny, brindled pit bull for a walk down by Aquatic Park. There was another pit bull there named Kyle–she was a girl dog, and had a chest a mile wide with those funny bow legs you see in so many massively strong little bulldogs. There were guinea pigs, a brown and white one and a baby TSW hiding under newspaper, and a black and white-spotted, incredibly soft rabbit. We didn’t pet any cats except for Squirrel, although we saw a little black cat make a run for it from the ferals room in the cat room. She was nabbed and brought back by the scruff of her neck yowling and complaining.

Then we rode over to Vik’s Chaat House and had aloo tikki cholle, mango lassi, and masala dosa, which took forever.

The aloo tikki cholle were little fried mashed potato cakes drowned in a spicy watery sauce with garbanzo beans, tasting of tamarind and chile and cilantro. The savory flavor of the fried surfaces of the cakes stood out well against the spicy sauce. We ate them all while waiting for the masala dosa, which took ages to prepare. A small girl kept trying to get more water from the fountain. I was trying to let her fill up my cup and her parents came over and said it was her third cup of water and that she kept going back to the fountain.

When the dosa was done, we took it outside and tore into the two-foot-long lentil-flour crepe with its glassy, crisp, golden surface and slightly spongy white insides, scooping out the spiced potato filling, and dipping it into one of the two provided sauces–one a watery yellow color, laced with potato chunks and spiced deliciously with little black mustard seeds, and the other a spicier, thicker yellow pool the color and texture of a gritty ballpark mustard. I bought a 10-pound bag of basmati rice in an enchanting cloth bag with an elephant on it.

Next time I want what I think is the bhatura puri–a huge puffed fried dough ball, bubbly on the surface like fried won ton, the size of someone’s head.

We ate caramel-laced brownies in the afternoon–far too many.

Then for dinner, late at night, I sauteed nameless Chinese greens (chopped) in a spoonful of garlic paste and red pepper flakes and olive oil, salted and peppered them, then stirred them into spaghetti along with a handful of chopped Italian parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The spice was uneven–it clung to the greens–but all in all it wasn’t half bad.

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October 27, 2003 at 3:53 am

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Rice and beans from John Thorne

Pick over and soak 1 cup raw beans (I used pinto) overnight

Simmer in 8 cups unsalted water for about an hour, then while leaving on heat,

Add 2 cups coconut milk

2 cups raw rice (I used jasmine)

2 chopped tomatoes

Sauteed mixture of minced onion and 6 pieces fake bacon

Salt and pepper

Simmer till tender

Later I added a soffritto (minced saute) of Chinese celery, shallots, carrot, and green bell pepper.

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October 21, 2003 at 2:53 pm

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Butternut Squash Soup:

Microwaved the squash with holes poked in it and covered in Saran wrap for 14 minutes.

Cut up 5 medium golden beets and half a red onion and roasted at 400 degrees in EVOO till tender.

Added oil to a soup pan, toasted coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and paprika, then added the cubed, peeled squash and beet mixture. Barely covered with water and then simmered till tender and pureed, salted and peppered.

Good stuff!

As sides I made pan-fried curried potatoes (oversalted) and a little dish of cut-up red pear, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts.

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October 15, 2003 at 1:01 am

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Last night was yet another roasted chicken night.

This time I didn’t brine it as long (maybe an hour total?) and roasted it on a seltzer can instead of a beer can. It didn’t come out as crispy and delicious. I think I also cooked it a little less time as well.

I pried out the pieces of fat from under the skin and made a Green Pea Pie with those and the giblets:

Diced the fat and the liver, heart, pieces of neck, etc. and fried everything up in a pan (they exploded everywhere in the hot oil, scary!) till crispy, then scraped out the bites and sauteed one shallot and half a red onion, minced, in the chicken fat. Stirred this in with 3 cups (one package from Trader Joe’s) frozen (unthawed) green peas and should have added salt and pepper and parsley, but didn’t, because I forgot… then poured the lot into a homemade pie crust (Joy of Cooking basic recipe with 2 sticks butter instead of 1 butter and 1 shortening), rolled out a second crust on top and crimped it to the bottom crust and cut slits for steam. Baked at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Delicious, buttery, savory, chickeny! The recipe was from John Thorne’s Serious Pig.

I also made corn chowder adapted from this book: simmered wedge-cut potatoes (I cut myself while chopping them) in salted boiling water, then sauteed one yellow onion and bits of about 3 strips of fake bacon and dumped them into the pot with milk and frozen corn. The potatoes should have been russets–these held together too well so the broth was thin and there was too much solid material (corn and potatoes). It tasted pretty good even though I accidentally boiled it instead of simmering.

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October 6, 2003 at 12:04 pm

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