bnewman: (explorer)
Every time I walk past the lingonberry jam at an IKEA store, I make some kind of joke about "Klingonberry jam", and then I try to figure out what would be in it. This time, I remembered that we do have something in our spice drawer that's actually labeled as Klingon — Auntie Arwen's Klingon-in-the-alley hot jerk seasoning.

Yes, I've been trying to figure out how to make Klingonberry sauce for years just because it makes a good pun. It's also really, really tasty — I tried it on pasta with fake textured-protein "chicken", but I'll bet it would be at its best on real poultry. Considering that lingonberries are a lot like cranberries, this stuff may be making an appearance at future bird-carcass-family-occasions.
bnewman: (Default)
It's too darn hot, but I need a substantial snack. I discovered a while ago that if you puree frozen things without thawing them first, you get — as long as what you are starting with is mostly water, as most non-dehydrated foods are — a substance similar in texture to sorbet. This works great with fruit, but it also works well, although the results are less familiar, with vegetables, including peas which are conveniently rich in protein. I even did one with shrimp once.

I didn't measure, so all quantities are approximate:

2 cups frozen green peas (do not thaw!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemongrass, lemon balm, mint, or something like that
1 tsp fresh ginger
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Put in food processor. Puree. Eat with a spoon. You may find the texture a bit odd, and you may find that some other balance of the main ingredients works better. Also, unlike a real sorbet where there is enough sugar to control the size of the ice crystals during freezing, here the ice crystals are small only because they just came out of your food processor. If you re-freeze this substance it will turn rock-hard, so only make as much as you plan to enjoy immediately.
bnewman: (Default)
[ profile] fiddledragon: "I want chocolate! We don't have any chocolate."

Me: "I could get you a canister of unsweetened baking cocoa and a spoon?"

[ profile] fiddledragon: (paraphrasing) "Um, no."

Me: "I could mix it with sugar..."

[ profile] fiddledragon: "Or honey..."

Way too long later...

I've discovered a new chocolate substance. It has a dough-like consistency, intermediate between a ganache and a tootsie roll and somewhat rubbery, at room temperature, and doesn't appear to change significantly in consistency after a bit of time in either the freezer or the toaster oven. It can be rolled into balls and just eaten, it could certainly be rolled into balls and then coated in real chocolate to make truffles, and depending on how heat-stable it really is, or what it turns into if it isn't, it might make an excellent filling for pastry.

What is it? It's simply a dough containing unsweetened cocoa powder as the sole dry ingredient and honey as the sole wet ingredient. You will have to knead it, and your hands will get sticky — but, oddly, not that sticky, if you mix it with a fork first so that all the honey globs are coated with cocoa first (the consistency at this stage is very strange, sort of like a bowl of rubbery tendrils). Also, cocoa is so hydrophobic that honey doesn't really stick to it...

I will experiment further and report on any other unusual properties of this substance. Or [ profile] fiddledragon and I might just eat it.
bnewman: (Default)
Dear friends,

The month of Kislev is upon us, and that means that Chanukah is coming, and with it, in commemoration of the miracle of the oil, my annual excursion into the art of deep-frying. Last year, there was far too much food for two people to eat, and there easily could have been even more, so this year, you are invited to my first-ever...

Very Unkosher Deep-Fried Chanukah Party

When: Saturday December 8th, after Shabbat (including havdalah) (i.e. around 5:30)

Where: My apartment in Waltham, very near Brandeis

What: Festivities will begin with havdalah, the simple ritual marking the end of the Jewish Sabbath. Then, the wok will be heated up. Songs of the season will be sung, and games will be played, but, really, it's all about

Food: Some selection of the following items will be immersed in 375-degree organic soybean oil for your eating pleasure:

* pappadums
* potato, winter squash, carrot, and beet chips, fries, and/or tempura
* tofu
* vegetarian wontons of various flavors
* fish tempura
* local, seasonally available, sustainably harvested cold-water shrimp

In the main round of deep-frying, the vegetarian items will be prepared first, and the shrimp last, for those who will eat food prepared in a non-kosher kitchen, but not food that has been fried in the very same oil as shrimp (which seems like a reasonable position to me). Almost all items will be wholly or partially local, organic, and/or fair trade, but (as with kashrut) no guarantee of overall purity with respect to any of these standards can be made for any particular item.

Some non-deep-fried items, in particular salad and gazpacho, will also be available.

For those concerned about the healthiness of deep-fried food, you should be aware that properly deep-fried food (which I hope mine is) absorbs very little oil while it is cooking, and is in fact much less oily than pan-fried food (like latkes).

If you would like to come, RSVP. If you are interested in bringing a
potluck item, including items-to-be-deep-fried, feel free to do so and
please let me know what you are thinking of bringing.

[ edit: Further updates will be sent out by email, so please include an email address if you RSVP here. Comments are now screened. ]
bnewman: (Default)
Oil. Lots of oil. The oil lasted for eight days, so we celebrate with oil — latkes, sufganiyot, you name it. In this season, we recall the saving power of our G!d by deep-frying.

The altar of fire in our home is the gas stove, of course, and its most sacred implement the cast-iron wok, seasoned with care and renowned for its power and versatility — it can braise, boil, and, of course, stir-fry, and it's perfect for deep-frying )
bnewman: (explorer)
One of these things is not like the others.

bnewman: (Default)
coconut milk

Don't be fooled — just because it's squeezed from a "fruit" (a nut, really) doesn't mean it's not rich in life-enhancing saturated fat. But, oh, so luscious...

Over a fruit salad of mango, lychee (fresh!), water chestnuts (also fresh!) and silken tofu...

Over chilled cellophane noodles, with honey and cardamom...

In peanut curry, with tofu...

Think of it this way. You get to consume a certain amount of saturated fat in your lifetime. Shouldn't it all be this yummy?
bnewman: (damselfly)
After a brief visit, [ profile] fiddledragon is now home. She did not go home at the end of said visit — it simply stopped being a visit. The new lease with both of our names on it, for us to sign and return, arrived in the mail today. We are very happy and slightly nervous about living together.

Last weekend, [ profile] fiddledragon's father drove up from DC with a vanful of her stuff. Since my current previous roommate, while not here for the summer, has not actually moved out, said stuff is piled around the dining room, although it is now pretty well organized for the time being. There was IKEA, but we will not be assembling it until later.

My apartment now contains the following wonderful things which it did not contain before: [ profile] fiddledragon, a harp, a violin, a spinning wheel and distaff, various textile fibers, a bread machine, a hand blender, colorful socks, swooshy skirts, potted plants, a box of BPAL perfumes, more books, and much more tea.

We are particularly happy about food — we both like to cook, and we each like to eat what the other likes to cook. In the past few days, there have been Thai fish curry, cranberry cookie bars, a Southeast-Asian-style clam stew, portobello mushrooms with peaches and black pepper (a successful vegetarian adaptation of my signature beef dish), and homemade sushi. Nobody is going hungry in this apartment. If you're living in the Boston area, invite yourself over and we'll feed you.
bnewman: (damselfly)
I took [ profile] fiddledragon to Morimoto last night as a graduation present. I had been to Morimoto before, for a snack, but I had been waiting for a special occasion that would justify the full Morimoto experience. We ordered the omakase (tasting menu), a parade of mouth-watering small dishes, each perfect.

As per our request for "no land animals", each of our courses (with the exception of dessert) featured fish, which, apparently, is an aphrodesiac. At least, fish like that is an aphrodesiac — every morsel meltingly tender and delicately flavored.

click for gratuitous food porn )
bnewman: (damselfly)
Because I'm just that kind of pagan

The hazelnut thing follows a ritual schema with which you may be familiar from your own religion:
  • Pick a sacred thing.
  • Is it something you can eat?
    • If not, pick an edible thing that can stand in, symbolically, for the sacred thing.
  • Say something about how the thing, or what it stands for, is sacred.
  • Pass it around and eat some.
In this case, we fill in the schema as follows:
Welcome to my religion ;-).
bnewman: (Default)
Saturday, December 10th, 6:30pm

KoV is a kosher, vegan Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia's Chinatown, about 2.5 blocks from the Center City Marriott and Philcon. On account of a large number of people whom I would like to see while I am in Philly, many of whom are vegetarian or keep kosher, I propose meeting at KoV for dinner on Saturday, around 6:30.

You don't have to RSVP, because I will not attempt to organize — I'm helping to run the convention, that's quite enough organizing, thank you. We will just show up at the restaurant, wait a reasonable amount of time for stragglers, and then get table(s) for however many of us there happen to be.

See you at Philcon!
bnewman: (Default)
You'd think that, with a title like that, this would be an intensely personal post.


It's Rosh Hashanah — shanah tovah, chaverim — and it's traditional to eat sweet things, because the new year should be sweet. Specifically, it's traditional to eat apples and honey together. Well, there are apples in the fridge, and I did buy some honey just for the occasion, but I was pulling out the roasted unsalted pistachio nuts from Trader Joe's when I had a terrible idea: what has honey and pistachio nuts in it? Baklava!

So, it so happens I don't keep phyllo dough lying around in case I suddenly decide to make baklava at midnight on Rosh Hashanah. But there is sliced whole-wheat bread lying around. So... baklava toast!

Baklava toast consists of bread, honey, chopped pistachio nuts, and cardamom. Toast bread lightly. Spread with honey. Sprinkle cardamom. Sprinkle nuts. Drizzle some more honey on top (on the theory that it will help hold the nuts on — this theory is false). Toast again. If you want the nuts to stay on, chop them really fine and shake off the excess, or make it a sandwich.

Speaking of pistachio nuts... )

Speaking of linguistics, I was IMing with [ profile] fiddledragon the other day, and made a number of egregious linguistics puns which I will now present in the form of riddles:
  1. What team of superheroes have giant minimal meaning-bearing robots that combine to form a Word?
  2. What super-villain is their arch-nemesis?
  3. What kind of defensive systems do their giant robots have?
  4. A British syntactician, fed up with arguing with a French colleague, tells him that he has his head up his butt. What is the Frenchman's retort?

Answers... )


Sep. 19th, 2005 01:34 am
bnewman: (Default)
I love my palate.

1 can (14oz) chicken broth
1 scallion, minced
1 quarter-sized slice ginger
soy sauce and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in saucepan.
Bring to boil.
Serve in mug with spoon.

I'm almost over the same cold it seems everyone else had this week — I think that'll help.
bnewman: (Default)
When I take the T's commuter rail into Cambridge from Waltham, I get off at Porter Square. About a block from Porter Square is a mall, the Porter Exchange, with a Japanese food court. Not, mind you, an American food court with a stall that serves Japanese food — a Japanese food court, like in a mall in Japan. This means that all the stalls serve Japanese food, and it is very fresh, and very, very authentic.

I know all this because [ profile] rushthatspeaks just got a job there, at the pastry stand (the sweet bean bun was delicious), and she mentioned it in her journal.

Restaurant: Tampopo
Location: 1815 Mass Ave, Cambridge (in the Porter Exchange Mall)
Item: "Healthy Bowl" (crispy tofu and steamed vegetables over rice, miso soup)
Price: $6

The miso soup was about par for Japanese restaurant miso soup, and not overly salty.

The crispy tofu was very hot, actually crispy on the outside, and meltingly smooth on the inside. The vegetables were tender, and the sweet ginger soy sauce was tasty. But best of all was the rice. The rice was perfect.

Perfection in Japanese rice is hard to find. It is, of course, completely different from perfection in any other kind of rice. The pearls of rice must stick together a little, but they must be distinct, with a certain delicate chewiness. Morimoto — I've twice treated myself to a small sushi snack there, an indulgence I recomment to all sushi lovers in the Philadelphia area — serves perfect Japanese rice, of course. And so does this little hole in the wall in Porter Square.

As a lover of Japanese food who will somwhat often be trying to get a quick bite to eat in Porter Square before catching a train, I plan to be visiting the Porter Exchange Mall regularly. Thanks, [ profile] rushthatspeaks!
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