I have lots of cookbooks. Even after the pre-move cull I must still have close to 150. At least. Some people have ‘favourite’ fiction authors. I have cookbook authors that I follow. Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver and Sri Owen come to mind. I tend to buy their cookbooks because of their philosophy on food and on life (is there a difference?)
One of my all-time favourites is Naomi Duguid and her former partner Jeffrey Alford. Their books are brilliant. Part photo-essay, part sociopolitical commentary, part travel guide to all the places I want to go and some that I’ve been to.
Burma is Naomi’s first cookbook on her own and I love it. It inspired tonight’s dinner.
Eggs are hard cooked, cooled and peeled. The whole eggs are then shallow fried in oil mixed with a pinch of turmeric. Once the skin blisters they are removed from the pan and sliced in half once they are cool enough to handle. These particular eggs were gifted to me by my neighbour from her farm just outside of town in the Wilno hills. Free-range, organic, off-grid, hippie chickens 🙂
The rest of the recipe is pretty straightforward. Cook onions and garlic with some cumin seeds, add sliced green chilies, add tomatoes, cook down and season with fish sauce. The cumin seeds were my addition because I put them in everything I can.
The eggs are added back in and gently reheated then it’s served over rice.
Pretty much every culture has a version of eggs cooked in a sauce from shakshuka in Israel to ouef en meurette in France I generally tend towards Indian renditions but this southeast Asian recipe was great.
More tough times at my former work. Pray for them if that’s your thing.
And on another note, my real estate agent stopped by yesterday to check out the kitchen reno. She was gobsmacked (gotta love that word) by the transformation. She said it was inspired :). You should all come see.
It’s cool and rainy here in Ottawa but that won’t deter me. I just had breakfast at Moe’s which is apparently the world headquarters of the Elvis Sighting Society. Who knew. And they make a pretty good Benny. Now I’m headed downtown to check out the Byward Market and maybe after I’ll see if the. Parkdale Market is open yet. I long for REAL market season to restart.
This recipe for potato curry landed in my inbox via some blog that I follow. I modified it but it. Was simple and good.
And a big veg stirfry also made it to the table this week.
I had lots of company this past weekend and I got to cook.
A leg of lamb with roast potatoes and a salad for Saturday was repurposed into another company meal on Sunday and a different meal on Monday.
I’m still cooking from Jerusalem. It’s my favourite book of the Ottolenghi trio.
Monday I had a quiet day without company and I made idlis and dal. It was good but I really need to try to make idlis from scratch.
I follow a blog. Called Veggie Belly written by Sala, she lives in Portland OR, works in IT, and blogs about food. Her post today caught my attention right away and I ended up making it for dinner.
I’d never had anything like it and it was awesome. Here’s the link to her post http://veggiebelly.com I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that in place of the Sri. Lankan curry powder I used some of the Bengali 5 spice mixture I blended up the other day – fennel, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds and kalonji
Start by sautéing aromatics. Add the spices. Add the soaked cashews, coconut milk, tomato and water.
And cook at. A “lively simmer” for about 40 minutes.
I tried to capture “lively simmer” on video But couldn’t seem to upload it from the phone.
The result was, as you can imagine, awesome. An incredibly rich and flavourful dish. Definitely a recipe to keep for special occasions.
An email from a friend reminded me that I never posted final kitchen pics affter the reno. I was too busy cooking after such a long drought. I’ll get some posted soon.
And happy thoughts seemed to have worked. It sounds like my bro had a good day.
The sun seemed to shine right through an early evening rain shower. Killaloe really does have a silver lining.
Rain or Shine
The first real spring-like weekend just passed. I had neighbours over for dinner Saturday for some bengali food – beef bhoona and kichuri. Sunday I had some other neighbours for dinner and made mung dal in coconut curry and a Sri Lankan beet dish where the beets are simmered in coconut milk. The beets were luxurious. I also got a 2 hour hands-on lesson in pruning pear trees from one of the people I fed. I think we all won.
Tonight I opted for simple / clean the fridge type food. Some hummus I made last week with rice cakes, some celery root that has been staring me down from the veggie draawer for too long and a green salad. I also made a huge pot of soup to take to work with things I rescued from the upstairs fridge at work and I burned some eggplants for some future purpose. Success all around I think.
Oh ya, and I made my maple syrup.and I hung laundry on the line to dry for the first time this year 🙂
I tucked most of the syrup away iI the freezer to prevent me from drinking it all as a bedtime snack. I call it my “safety plan”.
And lastly, happy thoughts for my brother who has a big day ahead of him tomorrow.
Red kidney bean curry with rice – brown Jeera rice this time.
With a little yogurt and some nectarine pickle it’s just about the perfect comfort food.
Sadly, I learned that the place I used to work is in the market for a new ED. My heart goes out to all the good folks there and I hope the transition goes smoothly.
My windows and doors have been open all afternoon and it’s glorious out. The snow is melting and wee bud’s are poking up in my neighbours garden.
It’s the kind of Sunday where I have a few projects on the go. My kitchen really looks like I live in it.
Mixed seeds are sprouting on the counter.
A couple of jars of cabbage and leek kimchi loaded with ginger, garlic and chili powder are fermenting on the counter. My friend Hellen went to great lengths to get me Korean chili powder. It’s called gochugaru and there’s really no substitute to get the flavour.
And the late afternoon sun is making a jar of peach jam glow. It tastes like summer.
And I’ll dedicate a full post to it later but I’m collecting sap at the cottage and boiling it down to I maple syrup. All in all a pretty good weekend.
I often start cooking dinner without a clear idea of the end product. I build it as I go and sometimes it becomes something completely different mid stream. A horse of a different colour. I think I inherited that from my mother. That’s the kind of week it’s been in my kitchen.
Sunday I had a vague vision of making something with red lentils because they cook quickly (and they were at eye level in the cupboard). I started cooking the base of spices and ginger/garlic/onion, added the tomatoes, and then decided it was going to be soup. I added water and the lentils and let it simmer. Then I noticed a half carton of buttermilk and the chiptole peppers in the fridge so I added all that. It sounds freaky but it was really good and hit a lot of the right flavour buttons.
Monday I heated the leftover soup in a fry pan and cracked eggs into it.
They poached in the sauce. I served it with freekah (firike) and it was great.
Tonight I cooked wheat berries in the. Pressure cooker and then went to the fridge to see what I could do with them. I sautéed leeks and carrots and garlic and thyme.
I added some bamboo shoots pickled in. Chile oil that I bought because I liked the jar. Then I added the cooked wheat berries and about an ounce of blue cheese. I served it with more of the bamboo. The cheese turned into a loud sauce. Very good.
In a pottery bowl that. I made in my favourite colour.
I did my Will and Powers of Attorney today. It doesn’t make me more or less mortal, but it makes me stop and take notice.