November 3, 2012 § 21 Comments
When I came up with the idea of making breakfast arepas, I felt extremely innovative.
I was first introduced to arepas several years ago in Boston by a friend of mine who excels in the sniffing-out-cheap-but-good-street-food department. I enjoyed the golden cheese-filled corn cakes a lot – it’s hard not to like warm cheesy corny stuff – but they didn’t excite me to the degree many other street foods (did somebody say kimchi tacos?) do.
Why? Probably because, for unknown reasons and a shameful lack of imagination on this front, it took me until just days ago to realize that you could stuff an arepa with more than just cheese or cheese and beans. So much more!
A few days ago, I saw an image of arepas filled with avocado, pork, and salsa, and my immediate thought, because there are few things on this planet I love more than avocado + egg for breakfast, was “arepas filled with avocado and fried eggs! ImustmakethisandeatitNOW!!!!” And I felt very clever for having such a unique idea.
Then, last night I was texting with my brother who lives in Manhattan (he has power back! Yay! I hope everyone else still without power also has it restored ever so quickly!) who had written to me to tell me that I really needed to try making a bourbon and maple syrup milkshake. (Um, yes, clearly I do.) Somehow it came up that he had eaten an arepa for dinner, and I told him excitedly, “guess what! I’m making breakfast arepas tomorrow morning!” « Read the rest of this entry »
January 6, 2012 § 26 Comments
Let’s take a moment to reflect on couscous, shall we? My family, as I recall, seems to have discovered couscous some time part of the way through my tenure in high school. I don’t know how my mother stumbled on it or decided to purchase it, all I remember is that she served it for the first time for supper one day (alongside pork tenderloin and acorn squash if my memory serves me correctly, which it tends to when it comes to meals), and it felt like the epitome of novelty.
I was certain we were eating something flashy, exotic, new, the food equivalent of getting the first version of the iphone, right when it came out. And this fit in lockstep with my budding epicurean ideals – which back in high school, I’ll admit, were more about the appearance of sophistication and taste than anything else. High school. Jeez.
Back then we just ate the Middle East brand couscous with the spice packet mixed in. That was fancy enough for us. (to extend the iphone metaphor: my phone gets internet!!! Oh my gosh! It totally doesn’t matter that it can’t seem to actually make phone calls most of the time…) But, as couscous has completely mainstreamed, I think most of us have come to expect a little more in the preparation of this tiny noodle. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
Sometimes as a result of my general lack of planning in procuring groceries, followed by a lack of meal planning until suppertime is near at hand, I find myself stuck in kind of an improvisatory cooking rut. It looks a little something like this. Emily’s One-pot Wonders: chop and sautee meat remove from pan (or open can of legumes); chop and sautee onions and garlic until soft, add random chopped vegetables and cook until beginning to be tender; add a blend of Italian spices or Moroccan spices or Latin American spices or Indian spices or just salt and pepper; add back meat; throw in a can of tomatoes; simmer; eat. All things considered it’s not bad at all (sometimes it’s even downright tasty!). But, after doing this for a certain period of time, I find it does start to get old. At that point, Emily-with-slightly-higher-expectations has to take rather-lazy-Emily by the shoulders and give her a good shake, and say something like, “you are a lazy ass! I think, at least I hope, you can handle getting 2 pots dirty. Try making something that requires at least a teensy weensy bit of foresight, for heaven sakes!”
And, usually I listen. This enchilada recipe is one of my most recent forays back into the world of cooking what might actually deserve the term a dish. It’s a recipe I originally got from a couple of friends back in college. It was so ooey-gooey-cheesy delicious, it quickly became a frequent guest at our dinner table and generally led to fights over who got to have the leftovers for lunch. I stopped making it because it somehow in my mind transformed into one of those recipes that just has too many steps that you don’t want to bother with – which is strange because it doesn’t! I think maybe the problem was I remembered the way the original recipe called for you to dip each individual tortilla into the sauce and shake it off before filling it, which led to catastrophic messes in the kitchen. But, this step is totally unnecessary if you just coat the bottom of the pan with sauce and then pour the rest over the top. « Read the rest of this entry »