Hello, Handsome

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As the saying goes, a good wok is hard to find. Or maybe that’s my own oddball variation on something people actually say. But the point is that you can’t just wake up one day in the middle of DC, USA and find yourself a wok by nightfall. You have to know what you want, first of all, and then you have to troll the websites and the stores–and, yes, rely on a little luck–to get it. Continue reading

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Tofu Kabobs with Roasted Red Pepper-Maple BBQ Sauce

bbq sauceCurious how much of a slacker I am? Check this out: I made the dish you are about to see for the same event that Gaurav made his chhole curry. That recipe was written up and posted long ago, and I’m only just now getting to this one. And it’s not for lack of reminders. One person has been waiting vigilantly for this.

Also, the photo accompanying this post isn’t even kabobs! It’s the  sauce described here but it’s slathering slices of veggie sausage instead of skewered tofu.

Anyway, enough about my slack-a-day tendencies. Continue reading

Love Them Words!

Time for some vocabulary! Here are a few terms you might see at, oh, say, the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market on a Sunday morning:

Herbs de Provence (as in Keswick Creamery feta cheese with…)–An herb mix usually containing thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, savory, tarragon, and lavendar.

Gai-lan/kai-lan–Chinese broccoli. It looks a lot like broccoli rabe, broccolini, or rapini. Apparently, it’s kinda bitter.

Tatsoi–Asian green usually sold by the whole head. It’s similar to bok choi in look and flavor, but has shinnier, darker green leaves.

Hope you feel smarter, and perhaps a bit hungrier!

Also, overheard at the farmers’ market:

“Did you see that PETA video this week? I’ll bet everyone is forwarding it to you. Terrible!” The speaker, at this point, reached for a toothpick and commenced spearing a bacon sample. “I’m never eating meat that’s not organic again.”

Consider the Life

David Foster Wallace, one of my favorite writers, has gone the way of so many geniuses. That is, into the compost at an early age.

He died at just 46 last Friday, leaving us with so much great work that we can chew on it and teach it and share it for generations, yet he had more great work–we are all sure–left undone.

A writer of both fiction and nonfiction, Foster Wallace has a renowned book of essays named for one on food–Consider the Lobster. I have to admit that I didn’t track down this essay until today. And it’s a damn shame, because it turns out DFW was not only a fiction writer of Melvillian proportions, but also a great philosopher on the matter of eating animals. He mulls over Maine lobsters, those poor-man’s-food-turned-delicacy that troll the seas “with thick antennae awhip,” in a refreshing way. It’s worth a read. Do it for David.

Hey – Whatever You’re Into

This 9/11 anniversary week saw some twisted food stories. Samak Sundaravej, prime minister of Thailand, was ousted for accepting payment for his cooking show. The poor guy just gets off on being on camera kvetching about food. Give him a break! Although the consequences aren’t too grave (he may be appointed as his own successor), I’ll bet Rachael Ray just made a note to herself in a super cute digital recorder about this. “If that bid for Congress comes through, sweetie, the next yum-o tour of the French countryside better be pro bono!”

More locally, KFC moved its ancient, hand-written recipe with those 11 herbs and spices to allow for a security upgrade to the recipe’s regular digs. I’d love to get an interview with ex-NYC police detective Bo Dietl, the guy who signed up to personally escort the recipe. Being handcuffed to a  68-year-old piece of paper describing how to make America’s favorite sold-by-the-bucket greasy chicken… You have to go in for a special degree of crime-fighting kink if that’s your thing.

Curried Chickpeas and a Sunset (not necessarily in that order)

I haven’t posted a photo for a while, and actually haven’t put up anything at all for almost as long. My solution: Combine a random photo with a yummy recipe! I hope you enjoy.

Here goes.

Sunset over a Kentucky field:

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Chhole over rice or naan:

This is an Indian dish that’s similar to channa masala. Serve it with jasmine rice, pita, or naan. Continue reading