Cornbread piled with carnitas and other deliciousness

February 21, 2012 § 15 Comments

Last Friday night we went out to dinner with some friends at a postage stamp sized little pop-up restaurant called Whisk, just around the corner from our house.  We had an absolute blast, which was mostly due to being in the best of company, but the seven course tasting menu offered at the restaurant, aka the dining experience, was quite fun too.  The food was legitimately good, fancy and conceptual, though it was not flawless.

Usually I sneer a little at deconstructed this, foamed that, or anything made into a gel version of itself.  It can seem so pretentious.  So if it is going to be done, it either needs to be executed near perfectly or be done tongue in cheek.  At Whisk, it was neither, but they were so incredibly endearing and effusive about their project, so adorably bumbling as they mispronounced Camembert and granita in their excitement, that any apparent pretention was immediately forgiven.  It felt like we were all playing house together, and we got to eat a very delicious meal during the course of it.

And I must say, their plating was truly beautiful and creative.  I love carefully, stunningly plated food.  It has some of the interesting aesthetic elements of abstract art and sculpture, except then you get to devour it!  It is not something I have ever given a try myself though, except for carefully placed mounds and dollops (I do have this idea for a crazy project loitering in the back of my mind that, if enacted, could thoroughly change this, but that is something for the future).  And, when I looked at the meal I created for us the very next day, it provided a pretty amusing contrast to Friday’s edible art.  On Saturday, we ate piles.

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Holy Mole Chicken and Squash Chili

February 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

Ok guys, I’ve got to come clean.  I’m a hater.  Okay, well not really a hater, though I’m worried I’ll come across as such (Hmm, I don’t think “hater” and “as such” are frequently used together in a sentence like that.  Also, I sound like a ding dong when I try to say something like hater.  But I’ve gone and done it, so let’s put it past us, alright?).  I just don’t really get American sports, and I’m afraid I really don’t get the Superbowl.  (I can’t even remember if it’s one word or two.)  Up until college, I kind of thought the Superbowl happened once every four years, like World Cup Soccer (that is, football to the rest of the world) or the Olympics.

The Olympics!  Now there’s exciting sports to watch!  Particularly the winter Olympics.  See, by virtue of how I was raised, I find Nordic skiing, biathlon, long-distance speed skating, and the like, to be the most thrilling displays of athletic prowess.  Oh my gosh.  I lose my words.  I think about the men’s Nordic skiing relay in ’94 and ’98, the EPIC battle between Norway and Italy, Norway losing (gasp) on their home turf in Lillehammer by 4/10ths of a second, then avenging their loss in Nagano, with a dramatic sprint finish by Thomas Alsgaard, beating the Italians by 2/10ths of a second.

Phew!  Heavens.  My heart races and I find myself squeezing the life out of the nearest chair arm just thinking about it.  I have to catch my breath for a second.

Okay, now tell me that that’s not more exciting than the Superbowl.

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Chile beef and roasted tomatillo enchiladas

May 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh…

Yeah, I joined an online group called the Daring Kitchen.  It kind of makes me feel like I belong to some crazy underground cell of culinary superheroes with secret cooking powers.  “Souffle Man!”  “The Chiffonade-inator!”  “Tagine Girl!”  Unfortunately I have yet to meet any of these particular denizens of the Daring Kitchen.  I also have not yet taken the step of wearing a spandex suit while cooking (or have I?…).  But, I did think it would be fun to join because each month you get a challenge of something new to cook, and I thought it might be good for me to be intentional about slightly expanding my repertoire of cooking techniques, lest I find myself roasting absolutely everything I run into.

I was really excited that this month’s challenge was Tex-Mex because that’s something that I don’t do a lot of, but am always happy to eat, in particular because I think cilantro and avocados are so delicious I would be happy to merge with them and become a cilantracado and eat myself.  (Wow, I totally sound like a crazy person!  Er, sorry about that.  I just really like avocados.  Anyway, back to a pretense of normalcy…)

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