Jan’s “old” brother—long story involving 23&Me—and his wife are stopping by for breakfast. He has few teeth left and they have very standard “American” tastes—so nothing too chewy or exotically spiced. I decided that biscuits and gravy would be to their liking.
Category Archives: Sauces and Spices
Last week, Jan and I went over the hill to Santa Cruz to visit her “new” brother. While we were there, we stopped by a large book store that was going out of business. The cookbook section was fairly picked over, but as I was perusing the fiction section I found a book Izakaya: Japanese Bar food—someone had obviously picked it up and then changed their mind, leaving it “where ever.” Their loss, my gain. This Sunday, I decided to make a Japanese bar style dinner.
I decided to do a Middle Eastern chicken to go with my tabbouleh. Bahārāt (which is Arabic for spices) is a common spice blend in many Middle Eastern countries, but every country makes it a different way. The recipe I decided to use made way too much for four little chicken thighs, so I reduced the amounts to my needs.
In the 1970’s I was working for a diving company based in Belle Chasse, LA. I can’t think about N’Orl’ns (one word) without thinking about the food. For two years I lived off of Muffulettas, Shrimp Etouffee, boiled crawfish, and Jambalaya. Louisiana food generally falls into two main cuisines Creole and Cajun, which roughly corresponds to city and country. I have posted a Cajun jambalaya, but today I decided to go Creole.
I love twice cooked pork, but to make it requires that you have some slow-cooked, Asian-flavored pork to start with—highly spiced Mexican pork will not do. Many American Chinese restaurants start by boiling pork belly, then slicing it, and frying it to make a very fatty dish. In China, what I was served was usually made with lean pork. Traditional, twice cooked pork is basically a Chinese leftover dish—or as my Chinese students called it “peasant food.”
My wife and I have been watching the Netflix series Samurai Gourmet—a magical reality ode to the joys of food. When I asked what I should make for dinner Jan said, “Teriyaki Hamburger!” Looking to the series, I made something like what was served to our hero—a retired “salaryman” who is following his ronin spirit guide on a journey of discovery. I made a salad to go with this.
I decided to get creative with this week’s Sunday dinner. A bit of this and a bit of that to create a new sauce to roast my pork shoulder. It is not strictly a Chinese dish, but more of an Asian influenced roast pork.
When someone refers to Southwestern cooking, most people would immediately assume some version of Mexican cooking—New Mexican, Cal-Mex, Tex-Mex. Mexican dishes with an American influence—or vise versa. However, there were people and cooking going on in the Southwest long before the Spanish got there to influence the cuisine.