The Gastronomist Manifesto

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Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Leftover Raddichio–Riddichoulous

Some ingredients can be tricky to work with when you have leftover portions from other dishes. Happened to me with raddichio, which is an amazing but excessively bitter green. Like all members of the lettuce family the countdown was on to use it fast or risk wilted spoilage, and I’m too poor for lost produce.

Cheap, easky and delicious solution was Balsamic Roasted Raddichio with Polenta.

Polenta cooks differently depending upon the size of the grain. But if you’re usually cooking rice or pasta don’t be surprised if the recommended time is quite high. A good, evenly cooked polenta can take up to 40 minutes on a low heat if the cut is coarse–the package you’re reading is no typo.

As your pot of polenta gets lovely, you can dress your raddichio. Cut the stem portion off but you can leave them in wedges or thick pieces.. Sorry that I’m not one to measure, but the mixture is salt, pepper, olive oil and a lot of balsamic. If you can’t gauge the appropriate amounts of these things chances are you probably shouldn’t be trying this at all. Just go easy on the salt, the rest with drip off. Set your oven to a hot 450 degrees (F) and when it heats you can pop those leaves in for about 13 minutes. Let them cool and then slice or chop them to your preference.

With the polenta… polenta is great but usually made poorly so few incorporate it as a food staple. Here’s my trick: you have to heavily season that shit. Milk, butter and salt. Start piling it in as you taste. For healthier versions go with stock and aromatics. Thing is, polenta has marvelous texture, but falls short on flavor.

I finished my lunch with a small bit of simple, store-bought marinara sauce (no shame in buying pre-made product if you use it well) and some diced red pepper and arugula for color. I sometimes go overboard with garnishing but I love color.

Oh, and I have soy milk and vegan butter substitute (I’m mainly lactose intolerant) so this was also 100% vegan. Light, simple, comforting.

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Squid and Bok Choy over Curry Rice

Two point knock out with Asian style cuisine. Here I made a killer curry of squid, bok choy and rice

1/3 lbs squid
1 hunk of bok choy
1/2 cup of rice with a teaspoon of curry powder
half a bunch of cilantro
1/2 cup or so of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
a hefty dash of salt and pepper

Started by cooking the rice and curry powder together.

Sauteed the squid for a few minutes, added the bok choy and cooked for about five minutes

Plated the rice, squid and poured a pureee of blended coconut milk, cilantro and ginger.

Viet-Nom-Nom

New camera = new posts. The old camera died and no point writing about dishes if there are no tasty, tasty photos. My lunch today…

 

Complicated? Hell yeah. Measured? Afreaid not. Worth it? F### yes!!!

First thing you will need is pork–loin is a good cut–and marinate that for at least 24 hours. Totally transforms the meat. I used: soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce (found in Asian markets, terribly pungent! Not for everyone), chilies, lime leaves, garlic and a touch of salt. To eventually cook this, low and slow for about three hours at 275 if you’re using a standard loin chop. Chop/shred when the meat is cool.

For the noodles, cook according to package directions. Any ol’ noodle works here. Could be rice, vermicceli… I just happened to use mung bean noodles. Dressed with a bit of coconut milk and green curry paste I warmed in a pan with a bit of a chopped cilantro.

Take your veggies and cut them thin! I used carrot, cucumber, green beans and sprouts. Nice crunch.

The soy-sriracha reduction sauce. Here I wish I wrote down measurements or remembered better. Basically though it was equal parts soy sauce, lime juice with a good hit of sugar and sriracha sauce. Bring it to a boil, then reduce and cook until it becomes thick. Intense flavor in this stuff, use sparingly and I recommend serving it on the side as I did. To make a nice spread, spoon a lump of it at one edge of the plate and drag a spoon over the top to spread. Looks elegant.

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