Catfish bánh mì

March 13, 2012 § 9 Comments

Hi!  Hi guys!  I’m still here.  I’ve just been AWOL for a week because of some major project deadlines that required working evenings and weekends (and listening to this song too many times – it gets so stuck in your head!  Thanks SNL.), and that have left me with about the mental fortitude of a barnacle.  I thought the project was going to be done yesterday.  Wrong.  We now have a couple NEW deadlines!  Yippee!

But, those will just have to wait for a moment because I have a sandwich to share with you, and it is a smashing one.

A bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich with any variety of fillings.  Given that my office is in Chinatown, I learned about bánh mì some time ago.  On every corner there is a shop selling dirigible-sized baguette rolls filled with meats and pickles for $2.  But, though I salivated every time I saw someone else gnawing their way through one, I could never bring myself to buy my own.  Call me a street food wimp, but I was a wee bit sketched out by the meat and my thoughts of where it might come from.

I averted my eyes, and hustled past all the signs advertising massive, cheap sandwiches. But then, then fate intervened and brought the world Bon Me, the grand solution to my sandwich qualms.

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Goat cheese crostini with Meyer lemon, olive, and fig relish

February 28, 2011 § 8 Comments

I had never cooked with Meyer lemon before this winter.  In fact, I don’t think I’d ever even tried Meyer lemon before this winter.  Not that this need be particularly surprising.  After all, Meyer lemons tend to be the provenance of California back yards and farmer’s markets, neither of which are exactly easy to find in New England.  And, if you’re not in California it’s a little bit harder to come by Meyer lemons because they have a delicate constitution and don’t much like traveling.  So, you mostly have to head to high end or specialty grocer’s to find them.  And there they cost a few pretty pennies more than your plain old workhorse lemons, which has always led me to pass them by.

But somehow about a month ago I found myself with my hand hovering over the sunny pile of Meyer’s tumbling voluptuously out of a barrel at the market.  I mean, maybe it was time to find out what all the fuss was about.  Or maybe it was just that the saturated goldenrod color of the lemons, the same radiant hue as the yolk of an egg from a very happy chicken, was too appealing in cold, dark mid-January to pass by.  I bought one.  Then I had to start searching for what to do with it.  There is certainly no shortage of options.  You can add zest and juice from Meyer lemons to pastas, sauces and soups or any variety of baked goods.  Because the skin of the Meyer is paper thin and supple you can eat it along with the rest of the lemon, allowing you to slice the lemon thinly and tuck it within the folds of the batter of cakes or quick breads or casseroles.  You can even batter and fry pieces of the lemon as a crispy appetizer.  I decided to go with making a tart.  Which was lovely, but left me with the distinct feeling that the custard filling of the tart was actually enveloping some of the character of the lemon in a haze (albeit a delicious creamy haze), preventing it from shining as much as I had a sneaking suspicion it could. « Read the rest of this entry »

Pickled green tomatoes and “the farmer’s lunch”

November 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

So, one of the really great/really awful aspects of having a blog about what you cook is that it holds you sort of accountable in a way (that way being: to a lot more people) that you wouldn’t be otherwise.  If your family is bored by the fact that you go through two weeks alternating between only spaghetti and scrambled eggs for dinner, well that’s their problem.  But, then if that’s all you have to write about for a whole contingent of people who are strangers yet friends and who don’t have to love you no matter what, well suddenly you find yourself a little abashed and searching in all sorts of nooks and crannies you wouldn’t have checked otherwise for ideas for something new and creative to cook.  I should do a study on whether blogging changes the eating/cooking habits of the people who keep the blogs.  Is it too late to change my dissertation?

Anyway, last week was one of those weeks that was really, truly not worth writing home about (from a culinary standpoint).  Joel was away working in Washington D.C., so I was home alone for the week, and I was incredibly busy with work/school insanity.  So, my meal preparation took a little wonky tour through the land of On A  Shoestring.  Which, all things considered, is not at all a bad place to visit, but which is probably not very interesting to others (like, nothing but really drab, boring postcards and chintzy souvenirs).  I went to dinner with a friend one night.  Prepared steak and roasted vegetables the next, which I progressively ate my way through over the next 4 days.  Then I had sauteed greens with a fried egg.  I didn’t even get my camera out. « Read the rest of this entry »

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