In case you like thinking about food as much as I do, here are some dishes I have cooked recently. Since I rarely feel like I have the time to spend a leisurely evening cooking, I generally avoid making anything very involved, but whatever I make usually ends up being tasty.
The kale was from the farmers market. I could eat piles of the stuff. I cooked it in olive oil with some minced garlic and a dash of fish sauce. The sweet potato was just baked. I baked five at once and ate them over the course of several days, as you will see below. I don’t buy meat very often, but I heard about this new Korean barbecue-inspired chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s, and I was intrigued, so I decided to try it. Well. The flavor was good, but the texture was a little weird. Maybe I should’ve known better.
Last week, the temperature shot up into the high 90s and stayed there for days. I didn’t feel like eating hot food, so my thoughts turned to potato salad and pasta salad and things of that nature. I bought some mayonnaise and mustard, neither of which I’ve had in my fridge since moving to Los Angeles. I had all these eggs leftover from the dozen I’d bought to make a couple of pans of brownies, so I turned them into an egg salad with red onion and celery (the latter also from the farmers market). I’ve since used the mayonnaise in a tuna pasta salad (with more red onion and celery) as well.
Okay, this dish was a little more involved. And it has a bit of a story behind it. Last year, I discovered some Cooks Illustrateds in Beth Shalom, the house I was living in. One of the issues had a delicious-sounding recipe for Thai basil chicken. I decided to cook it for a house meal, except with tofu, since our communal meals were vegetarian. I bought a big bag of slightly-past-its-prime Thai basil for almost nothing from the international grocery store and used dried Thai chilies from the jar that the previous residents of Beth Shalom had left behind. This dish also includes garlic, shallots, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Anyway, it turned out amazingly good, but very, very spicy, so much so that I think one of my housemates had to eat something else for dinner (oops). I kept thinking about making it again (with fewer chilies, perhaps), but I never got around to it. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I found a vendor at the farmers market here selling Thai basil (he also has lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves!). I immediately thought of this recipe and decided I had to finally cook it again. I didn’t have a food processor this time around, which meant more chopping. I also used fresh chilies instead of dried, so I figured I could use the same number as before. And it turned out just as good as I remembered!
P.S. I am aware that all these non-pasta meals are pictured served in pasta dishes. I do in fact eat pasta out of them on occasion.