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.

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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

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rollin

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!

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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.

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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. 

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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