Monthly Archives: August 2009

death of a salesman

Chris’ last meal is rare steak and tomatoes. He is far from his deathbead but did just lay his job as a guitar salesman to rest so I thought I’d make his fave dinner to celebrate. The photos are bad/blurry because we are having a bit of a heat wave and I get in-the-literal-way-not-in-the-sexy-way hot and bothered by the heat. I wish I had a good pic of everything together because it did look quite lovely and summer-y but I don’t.



We had a simple tomato salad with my new favorite sweet treat, kumatos. I (hardly) roasted some beef tenderloin, sliced it up and served it with a sauce I’d read about in my trusted copy of Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries. I love this book. It chronicles an almost day to day account of things Slater eats/makes and includes recipes and lovely photographs. I always read it while I am eating something I wish were more exciting e.g. cornflakes or a plain salad.

The sauce was delicious and went suprisingly well with the beef. The uses for it are pretty limitless – I think it would make a nice dip, a sauce on top of some tofu in a rice bowl or as a spread in a sandwich. In any case:

  • Blend (I used a hand blender) a small handful of mint leaves (approx 25 leaves), a few cloves of garlic, two egg yolks, the juice from 1/2 a lemon and 1 tbsp of grainy mustard until its one uniform fragrant pulp
  • While blending slowly add olive oil until mixture has consistency of a thick cream












Q: What should one make if one invites an old friend over for dinner and wants a dish that’s fun and participatory and can be lingered over?

A: Cold rolls!


A breakdown of roll insides:

– grilled extra firm tofu sliced into strips

– julienned cucumber and carrots

– sliced green onions

– torn lettuce leaves (I used romaine)

– bean sprouts

– basil leaves and cilantro sprigs with stalks

– cut lime wedges for squeezing

I made a dipping sauce by reducing some red wine vinegar with brown sugar (about 3:1 ratio) on the stove top and then adding a whole bunch of chopped fresh cayenne chilis (with seeds).

Each person can roll their own fresh cold treat. Boil some water, put it in a big-ish bowl and find a lid that fits. Leave the bowl of water on the table, dip 1 paper in and let it sit until totally pliable. Lift paper out with tongs, fill with fresh insides of choice then roll, dip, catch up and enjoy.


summer succotash (new! improved model! now with no suffering!)

I am so excited for corn season and wanted to make something with the first corns which are showing up in the markets. I realize succotash usually has lima beans in it, but I don’t really like them. 


The making of this was totally painless.

– Fry up some bacon in a big skillet, make it crispy and put aside

– Drain off a bit of the bacon fat, throw in 1 medium onion and some garlic and saute until translucent

– Add chopped okra, zucchini, corn kernels, cayenne chili pepper and some tomatoes (the order of which depends on how big/small you cut the veg and how crunchy/cooked you’d like them to be)

– I meant to add some fresh herbs (either basil, cilantro or parsley), but forgot (if I had remembered I would have sauteed them with all the veg right before I serving)

– Finish with lots of black pepper and fresh squeezed lime juice to taste

– Plate it and top with the reserved bacon