Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another point for my team

Back to the old The Girls Next Door controversy (and here's part 2), I just got another supporter in my camp. It turns out my grandfather likes the show!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Foodie Night and Top Chef

We had our first foodie book club meeting at Jess's place last night, and I was the only guy. I probably should have seen that coming. I got to enjoy some fine company with some lovely ladies and dine on African cuisine from The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson.

Our spread consisted of the following:

Vegetable samosas, spicy okra, spicy tilapia stew, callaloo (a creamed spinach-like soup from Trinidad and Tobago).
Des and I brought yellow rice and red lamb curry (to which we forgot to add yogurt, but it still turned out well).
Finally, we had yummy fried banana fritters for dessert.

Everything turned out really well, the only problem was that we all kind of went in the same spicy direction, so there was little to balance the spiciness from dish to dish.


The foodie book club meeting was a success, I think! It was fun to be able to try 7 or 8 different things from one cookbook, when usually it would take a long time to get through that many recipes on your own. And I liked the cookbook - there are 10-15 pages of different rubs and seasonings that I want to try out - berbere, ras-al-hanout, etc.

As for Top Chef: I cannot believe Lisa didn't go home again!! Spike was sent home instead of her. This has happened two or three weeks in a row, where Lisa and someone else are up on the chopping block, and Lisa stays. And she's been staying not for the food, but because of some technicality that the other person supposedly messed up (last week, not enough leadership; this week, didn't send back the scallops when they didn't look so great - but how could Spike have known that he COULD send back the scallops? If he would have tried, they probably would have faulted him for that, too!). Ridiculousness.

Anyway, left are "Greasa"-Lisa, Stephanie, Richard, and Antonia. Of course no one is rooting for Greasa, but I'm rooting for Antonia, and Steve is for Richard. If Lisa makes it to the Top 3 and one of the others is sent home, I may have to stop watching or send some sort of nasty email to Tom Colicchio.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Culinary experiment

After a nice weekend of kayaking and greasy desserts (deep-fried oreos?!) at the beach, Des and I came home to a hodge-podge of random components from which to craft our dinner left in the kitchen. We had a few frozen striped bass fillets, so we decided to make a variation of the Hawaiian coconut chicken burgers we had last week (which were el bango-rific).

Here is what we came up with:

Fish burger patties:

2 tablespoons coconut milk
3 scallions, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of minced ginger
2 striped bass fillets, diced to 1 cm cubes
1 egg
salt and pepper
Oatmeal for consistency

After mixing all of the above ingredients, shape into patties (we made 3), adding enough oatmeal to keep the patties together. Place the patties into a hot oil skillet (on high)for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip. Finish on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The patties don't look like they'll stick together very well until after the first flip.

Des made a sweet curry relish to go on the bottom of the burger, which really helped to round out the flavor. It was a little bit sweet for Des, but Steve liked it.

1 cup of coconut milk
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon minced ginger
splash of soy sauce
1/2 cup of diced pineapple and strawberries

Reduce all ingredients over medium heat until thickened.

Serve on hamburger bun with the relish on the bottom bun and a romaine leaf on top of the patty.

Try it, it's el-bango.