So, today I'm at a Vietnamese-themed potluck, and because I love them, I decided to make banh mi. Party sub style, using two full-sized baguettes from Trader Joe's. But I decided to make grilled pork. Now, traditionally, the pork is cooked, then sliced. But I wanted bigger flavor than that. So I made a marinade consisting of:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha
Three inches of ginger
2 large cloves of garlic
One stalk of lemongrass
About 1/4 cup packed cilantro
The whites from one bunch of scallions
It only took a year, but I finally got around to eating a cone-shaped empanada, or emconada, from the food truck that sells them, Emconada.
What is it? Well, it's a cone of fried dough, stuffed with braised meat or seafood, served with rice or greens and a cup of salsa. Two of 'em plus the rice or salad is eight bucks, which is perfectly reasonable.
The meat's good! I'd rate the pulled pork among the upper end of food truck pulled pork - not quite Cafe Racer or Hola Arepa good, but better than most. The chicken was even better, with a brighter flavor.
Let's try this again.
Sitting in a Pei Wei, wondering how awful their new sushi can be. I've spent the entire day on a Grand Rewiring to accommodate a necessary new receiver, so no kitchen time at all today.
Which capped off a largely uneventful week. I did make one tactical error - tried to make salmon cakes before realizing how few bread crumbs I had, so instead we had loose salmon piles.
Discussion topic for the week - your tactical errors. Not dropping stuff or burning things, mistakes in planning forcing course corrections.
If I'm gonna make ice cream myself, I'm not making strawberry. I'm not making vanilla. And I'm not making Americone Dream. I can buy those. I'm going to make ice creams I can't buy, or can't buy easily.
The nice thing about Costco is, you can get the base ingredients for about four batches of ice cream for less than 20 bucks. A half gallon of heavy cream is four two-cup measures. A gallon of whole milk. Two dozen organic eggs. Boom. You're ready. Everything else is flavors.
It's ICE CREAM WEEKEND!
So far, I've made a sweet corn and buttermilk base that's going to get churned shortly, and a raspberry ice cream that's going to get chilled overnight, churned, and have dark chocolate chips mixed into it.
Then, tomorrow morning, mango/cinnamon basil. And then I'll see how much dairy I have left. Turns out making custards is easier than I thought once I found out that you can either dip a spoon in it, wipe your finger along the back of the spoon, and gauge the resulting line, or stick a Thermapen in it and stir it until you see 170. Guess which one I picked?
So, yesterday, I started a jar of emergency pickles.
I mean, I knew I'd be starting a jar of pickles eventually. It always happens when you have a CSA and that CSA grows cucumbers. But I thought maybe I had a couple of weeks.
But then I reorganized all the vegetables and found that one of the five cukes from previous weeks had gone bad. It had slimed the other cukes in the bag. And this week's box gave us two or three more. So, emergency pickles!
I was going to try a new food truck for the first time today. Really I was. And I had options. There was a barbecue truck, and a place that had a "chicken waffle sandwich", and a Taste Of Twins Stadium truck, which killed my soul a little, but I'm getting ahead of myself. And then I found a loophole. I went to a new truck I've been to before.
Another fairly slow kitchen week - dishes largely driven by ingredient necessity rather than creativity. Fish, potatoes and salad on Tuesday, leftover dumplings and Napa slaw on Wednesday, gyros from Ariane on Thursday because lazy.
Yesterday got to be a trucklunch day, so I met up with Cathy, headed to the 2nd Ave stretch ot trucks, and finally decided to try the newish grilled cheese truck, O'Cheeze.
And no, I cannot, in good conscience, approve of the name. I mean, I see what they did there - Midwestern exclamation pun, Irish spelling, gratuitous Z, but come on. Luckily, the name doesn't matter - the menu does.
The cassoulet shopping and planning has eaten up most of the cooking energy and space this week, so the veg has been piling up. A giant teardrop cabbage in this week's box has made fridge space... interesting, to say the least.
Since I'm in the midst of the least seasonal dish on the planet, this week's question is:
What do you love to eat even when it's completely out of sync with the local weather conditions?