Homemade Ramen

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We have a sad state of affairs here in the US of A. It is widely accepted that ramen, which in reality is a tasty treat that punches you in the face with savory goodness, is a packaged POS loaded with sodium and MSG. Oh sure, some clever folks will take the noodles, toss the “flavor packet” (ie, poopie pouch), add some julienned carrots and various vegetable florets, and call themselves the next Emeril. And this is appealing because that fleeting mistress Time beckons everyone to do other things in life, rather than spend a few more minutes crafting a meal that’s actually worth eating.
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Kosheri: Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice

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I am in the throws of an intimate relationship with Ottolenghi. I take it to bed, fall asleep with it in my arms, and think about it when I’m strolling through my day. As much as I hate the use of this word to describe anything related to food–it sounds so damn pretentious and snobby– the book is approachable (ahh, there it is. And now you can hear the local sommelier going on some preachy diatribe about approachable tannins and relatable mouth feel..blah blah blah). But in all seriousness, Yotam Ottolenghi & Co simply deliver recipes and techniques from an unfamiliar culture to me in a way that excites and delights. So frequently I find cook books to be an exclusive conversation between a chef and his mirror, an arrogant array of feel-good notes about how great that sourdough starter was one time at band camp. I do not like that.
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Apple Almond Tart

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Food ruts? Yes, I’m familiar. It really hits that you’re in the middle of a funk when a completely brilliant, original recipe or concept crosses your path. The simplicity. The beauty. You smack your forehead and cry out to the abyss “Of course! The bean IS the sauce! It all makes sense again, great merciful god above me!” Then you slide down from the euphoria and excitement into a bottomless pit of depression: “I am clearly incapable of such originality. I do not deserve this whisk. I shall curl into a ball and eat Kraft cheese products until my pants explode.”

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