Archive for November, 2010

Homemade messy and good: Cold soba noodles in a satay peanut sauce


So, with most simple dishes, I realize that thousands of chefs throughout time and space have rediscovered the classic combo. But for me, the cold soba noodles with vegetables in a peanut sauce was a first. And goooooood. In college my roommate came back from studying abroad in Tanzania and made a newly learned dish with peanuts and tomatoes. That was my first experience having tomato and peanuts together and it was delicious.

I should have found a fresh, from-scratch peanut sauce recipe but being in the midst of finals, I don’t have time. The substitution of store bought satay peanut sauce was still tasty.

I made a dashi broth in which to cook the soba noodles to impart more flavor. While they cooled, I fried the green beans (much preferred over steaming or boiling) and then eggs. I threw everything together and added some peanut sauce to lightly coat the noodles.

This is a meal I could eat every night. Comfort food.


FMIOTW gone wrong: Chinese bitter melon

Gross. Well, at least my preparation did not do the bitter melon justice. I went with a breaded and fried version dipped in sweet soy sauce…didn’t work. As you would expect, this melon is BITTER.

Apparently, this fruit is used in traditional chinese medicine and has anti-malaria properties.

Since I’m trying for taste rather than the next blockbuster drug, I’d say pickling these green puppies may be the best way to go. After the bitter melon soaks up some sweet pickling juice, it should become a bright condiment to…well, I’m not sure yet.

bitter face.

Mista (cracker-crust Italian pizza)

A cool, cozy local spot with fresh, tasty cracker-crust pizzas. Service was attentive and sincere. I easily finished a regular Napolitano pizza and thoroughly enjoyed the distinct flavors; arugula, roasted plum tomato, roasted garlic (yum), extra virgin olive oil and mozzarella cheese. I added a little salt but otherwise it needed nothing.

I also appreciated that they attempt to use organic produce when possible. I think an additional social responsibility would be to use local produce when available as well. Despite the organic spin, the vibe is not girly or pretentious as the television was set to the Bulls game and multiple guys walked in to order.

Post-farmers market depression

My cooking inspiration has become a little depressed since my farmers markets have gone indoors for the winter. Don’t worry though, I’m still finding some colorful meals such as the salmon tacos below. I’m starting to prefer corn tortillas over flour…more flavor!

Salmon and avocado tacos!