Those would be a taco and a tostada with sauted shrimp, a sweet and sour crunchy salsa, and avocado cream spiked with lime Cholula!
The salsa has green mangos, ripe mangos, jicama, shallots, cilantro and lime juice. I took out the green mango from my submission for the recipe competition but that was just catering to the competition. Green mangos are so good and they are a perfect match for the creamy avocado that rounds up all the flavors!
This was my recipe submission for a competition. Let’s see what happens!
Garlic mustard Cobb salad with feta, eggs, smoked bacon and red onions served with Deviant Dale IPA and honeydew melon with feta cheese
Product: These greens are an invasive species that grow as a weed. The leaves are very delicate in texture and have a very pleasant combination of garlic and bitter mustard flavors. The flowers are milder in taste and more delicate in texture. You do not have to go too sweet on your vinaigrette. Be aware of the saltiness of your feta and your bacon.
Process: Boil egg (cover with water, bring to boil, turn off heat, leave submerged in cooling water until salad’s ready) / Chop bacon into half inch squares sautee on medium high heat until some of the fat has been rendered / Add onions, stop somewhere between sweating and caramelization. Let cool and add to salad warm / Collect and roughly chop leaves to make fluffy bed / Wedge your tomatoes / Assemble salad / Dress with a red wine vinaigrette
I need to make some of this!
Foraging in the spring is fantastic. Although it is premature for morels or fully developed flavors, it’s nice to say hello to the bounty sprouting out of the forest floor. It was the end of a cold April when we ventured into the forests of the Hudson Valley.
Friendly garter snakes were scurrying through warm leaves on a quest to find the safest sunny spot when I reached down to taste a leaf of mustard garlic. In terms of developmental sequence, I found out that the mustard oils flavor the leaves after the garlic flavor has been developed. There was barely any hint of mustard in these garlic mustard leaves.
Here is what I’d done with my harvest last year, I can’t wait to go out for them again.
The mushroom in the first two photos is a Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus). It smells like watermelon rind and citrus. Very fruity…
I’m foraging again on Sunday!
That’s a Grumpy Russian with a pork schnitzel, Gorgonzola, and a lightly acidic slaw! The bun looks like a pretzel but it’s a sweet brioche… An all around balanced sandwich with a name that conveys attitude! This is good @ Schnitz’s NYC, Smorgasburg, Brooklyn (at Brooklyn Flea Williamsburg)
Some late winter photos from right outside of my dorm room overlooking the Hudson. This is the view that welcomes me when I return from class to my room… Sunset is a quiet time, seldomly interrupted by the hooting of a passing train. Dawn displays a huge contrast with the chipper birds awakening from their slumber into full song. My favorite time of day — also referred to as ”Kusluk Vakti” in Turkish — the time of birds. That’s when I walk to class, sipping my coffee and eating my banana to the beautiful song of the birds right outside my dorm.
The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
Steven Schwagger, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, Cornell University as quoted in Culinary Fundamentals lecture at the Culinary Institute of America
Have you ever thought about recipes as models? That’s what was implied at my first Culinary Fundamentals theory lecture at the Culinary Institute of America. In other words, recipes are imperfect statistical models that provide guidelines to interpreting the world around you and/or creating a somewhat consistent result.
I’ve always thought about recipes as algorithms that produce a consistent result. But this is a misnomer and the concept of a statistical model fits the bill as it attempts at controlling variation without eliminating it.
For instance, the simple formula we learn for pureed soups is:
- For vegetables: 1 lb of vegetable : 1 quart of stock
- For legumes: 1 lb of dry legumes: 2 quarts of stock
To get the light nappe (coating the back of your spoon) consistency, does it make sense to abide by the recipe 100% or to course-correct along the way? Which one will produce better results?
Rhetorical questions aside, what intrigues me the most (and most geeks who care as much about words) —about using the right words to describe what a recipe is and what it isn’t— what makes a good cook is understanding the statistical variations of a recipe. We must know recipes and other general guidelines but understanding the science behind recipes will better allow for adjusting along the way to produce the best results.
In short, a cook is someone who applies recipes and adjusts them along the way to account for variations in the results to produce a consistent product.
Let’s see how my perspective will evolve.
Hmm… Evolution, eh? Variations in a model. Cooks selecting for best results. Sounds like another statistical model — artificial / natural selection… Maybe another topic for another post…
While the Bonomos are from Turkey, Turkish Taffy is really not Turkish!
There, I said it!
I had my first banh mi at Guy’s American Kitchen off of Times Square — what an underwhelming experience that was. The baguette was dense and stale with no crunch and completely cold. The mayonaisse was superfluous and the fries that the sandwich was served with were soggy. It was so underwhelming that the experience stayed with me after three months.
The banh mi experience is very different in Little Saigon in San Fransisco. I had the early bird advantage this morning. I was at the shop on Larkin by 7:45 when the bread was crunchy and toasty, and the carrots, cilantro and hot green chilis were fresh.
I tried two sandwiches. One with pate and another one a combination of fancy pork and roasted pork. The banh mi sauce brought the whole sandwich quietly rather than being on the front, which I find is the case with some banh mi.
When you make a simple sandwich such as banh mi, it’s always about the freshest ingredients and not about superfluous bells and whistles you put on the sandwich.
Jack fruit chips are available at the counter!
Little Saigon, San Fransisco
It’s a beautiful thing to walk through San Fransisco to meet an old friend and have your first coffee as the city’s still in slumber.
My final stop before culinary school in Hyde Park, New York.
@ Blue Bottle Coffee Co, Ferry Building Farmers Market, San Fransisco
During my late teens, I played waterpolo with people who became some of my best friends. We were serious contenters in the 2nd league but we were the best in the nation when it comes to eating. My favorite eating companion, Roy, was the pivot defense of our team and always inspired an extremely enthusiastic attitude towards food.
A tournament took us to the Syrian border to the historical city of Antiochia / Hatay. With an amazing food culture, the city is studded with amazing shops where you can buy some of the freshest Kanafeh / Kunefe. The vermicelli (i.e. Kadaifi) is made in the back of the store; the cheese and the butter are great local varieties. Ahh! And they serve it with fresh, whole milk.
Walking the streets of Hatay was probably the closest I ever came to a sugar coma — that was after the third Kunefe. If I’m not mistaken, Roy went for his fourth.
The photo of the Kunefe here was taken in Tahtakale, Eminonu — it’s right at the Tahtakale exit of the Egyptian Bazaar. It’s an Antep restaurant but I’m not cultivated enough to say I know the difference between a Hatay and an Antep Kunefe. They’re both crunchy, cheese, and rich with butter. They’re both doused with gallops of warm syrup and topped with some of the greenest, most flavorful pistachios there is.
The first thing I ate in Mumbai was a vada pav, and it shall be the last thing I eat until I return! Packed with flavor, puffy and slightly crispy on the outside… Doused with chutneys and stuffed into a soft bun. Oh, vada pav, my favorite Indian street food. You will be missed…
I’ve negotiated a stop at the Juhu Beach chaat stands before heading to the airport tomorrow night!
Photo near Crawford Market, Mumbai
Lotus flower bites, khao choi, sweet and salty coconut milk with coconut crisps, pandan wrapped, deep fried chicken
A mixed appetizer plate at The Local
Skhumvit 23, Bangkok, Thailand
Tamil Nadu has a great coffee culture. Thanks to coffee, I find that Chennai and Pondicherry are the only places on my travels through India where shops open before 9 AM.
Lucky for me, there is a coffee shop at every corner! The wet market in Pondi even has a delicious smelling coffee roaster, which reminds me of the Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi store between the Tahtakale Markat and the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul. The smell infuses the entire block with the best smell in the world. I love food markets. I love food markets with coffee roasters even more.
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India
Yes, there is French food in Pondicherry. Everywhere! Here is a rillette at Maison de Rose. Following the French guy who buys 16 baguettes at Baker Street every single weekday at 10:30 paid off.
Also, the space at Maison de Rose is excellent.
That’s a new front for me — stalking for food. I recommend it!
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India