[Translate] This is my way of making a fast Vietnamese noodle soup. It seems I’m on a bit of an Asian kick these days… which is Read More »
[Translate] How did I end up making homemade fried pork skins? I recently made a trip to one of the most inspiring institutions created by modern Read More »
[Translate] Dear Sweden: Please, please, please stop making wings with sweet chili sauce, and then calling them Buffalo wings. It is misleading, and frustrating. I love Read More »
[Translate] Believe it or not, Americans do not have the patent of fried chicken. These Korean fried chicken bites have a thin über crispy shell and Read More »
[Translate] When I was younger, I used to eat pho up to 3 times a week! Now, when I’m craving pho, I want it fast! So Read More »
Its a New Year…
… and with that I have been prompted to think long and hard about my work, and consequently what it is I feel has been lacking in this blog. It has increasingly been difficult for me to really zero in on what content I should make, and it wasn’t because I lacked ideas or experiences but because I didn’t really explicitly connect my blog with the greater principles I champion in my life to make it more fulfilling and not to mention more frequent.
- This is not a recipe blog: Sure I might write some up but in real life I don’t like recipes very much. I love cookbooks- but for inspiration. You need to know the techniques so you have room to innovate. If you don’t know why each step of a recipe exists then you should take a moment, dial it back, and learn why. Robots follow instructions without question.
- Waste not, want not: I learned this as a kid, and really it was more annoying than anything since it usually coincided with a bunch of cold brussel sprouts on my plate that I didn’t want to eat. But really, we throw away so much food because we don’t think to ourselves “is there anything I could possibly do with this _____?” Being a real cook means creating and “creativity loves constraints.” So try harder dammit.
- No unitaskers: I got this one from Alton Brown years ago and have probably applied it far more liberally than it was intended. I avoid buying anything I can only use for one purpose. Whether it’s an appliance or a sauce.
For example, salad dressing…
Firstly, for practical reasons since it doesn’t take much to make them yourself and you get a fresher more complex result that you can tweek to your liking, while using ingredients you should have on hand anyway.
Secondly, because pre-made sauces have additives. Some have preservatives, some not. And some have coloring or suspenders to keep them fluid. Not that all additives are super bad, don’t fall for that one, but do you really need to eat them unnecessarily?
4. Know what the hell is in your food. I don’t just say this from a high ethical horse chewing on an organic carrot but for practical reasons. Ever really think about what, say, “tartar sauce” is? Did you think it was made from a tartar plant or? Well, it’s mayo, pickle relish and a dash of something tangy at best. Yes, you could have made it all along instead of running to the store. Be aware.
5. No putting lipstick on a pig, it’s just fine roasted. Know the difference between béchamel and white sauce? One sounds fancier. I surely know how to talk around a subject and use terms to blow your face off. Between studying philosophy and film theory I’ve had a lot of practice, but just as I’ve pledged not to ever name drop in conversation like an academic elitist whore, I’m not doing when I talk about food. No one is infallible (I like words) but that’s not my modus operandi.
These are my principles, and this blog will explicitly embody this from now on beyond the snarky alliterations. My goal is to live by example and help anyone who wants to do the same. Except eating so much fried foods… that’s a cross I must bear but save yourself if possible. Otherwise, I welcome thee to the dark side. We can help each other. (With tips if nothing else)
Looking forward to the New Year. Stay tuned.