Day 3 lunch: I am worried about not having as much time to cook during the upcoming work week, so I decide to batch cook as much as possible on Sunday. I stir-fried a bunch of yuchoy with ginger, had some of that for lunch, and refrigerated the rest. And I marinated chicken thighs in a garlic ginger miso sauce in anticipation of dinner tonight.
Day 3 dinner: the marinated chicken turned out quite nicely. I didn't expect the sauce to caramelize so much, but the color is kind of cool! I guess it must've been the sake and sugar that did it. I even had time to back a black sesame coffee cake tonight.
Day 2 lunch: Reheated chicken soup, washed the watercress, and boiled the watercress in the chicken soup and ate that for lunch. Awesome! Super-easy and fast!
Day 2 dinner: The marinated steak from the day before was AMAZING! Sauteed for 2 minutes on each side, and then let the steak rest for 5 minutes before diving in. Nice brown peppery and flavorful crust on the outside, and very very tender pink meat on the inside. Perfect medium-rare just the way I like it! Had half a steak with a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon. Put the rest in the refrigerator for another day.
Day 1 dinner: - Made ginger chicken soup, had some, and refrigerated the rest for the next few days. - Made a big pot of white rice, and refrigerated most of it for the rest of the week. - Sauteed one of the rib-eye steaks for dinner and marinated the rest for the next day to cook. - Prep/cooking time: Chicken soup: prep15 minutes; cooked in pot for 3 hours, but doesn't require any work except making sure it's not boiling over; minimal effort required. Rice: prep 5 minutes (or less); cooked in rice cooker for 30 minutes, minimal effort. Steak: 30 minutes to let it warm to room temp, 6 minutes to saute in pan (medium-rare), minimal effort Marinating steak: 20 minutes to prep marinade (black peppercorn, crushed garlic, rosemary, shallots, olive oil), 20 minutes to cook the marinade in a sauce pan, 30 minutes to let it cool to room temp before putting it in a ziplock bag with the ribeye steak to marinate overnight. moderate effort.
I was inspired by this 2008 Daily Kos posting, which discussed Peter Menzel's photography project to document global food disparities. Peter Menzel visually highlighted the inequities in food access across the world - and for me, it really hit home how heavily the average American meal relies on unhealthy, over-priced, packaged, and processed foods. We pay so much for our unhealthy diet. It's a stark contrast to the food consumed by families in other countries, particularly resource-poor ones.
So I am going to try an experiment this week - attempting to cook more healthy meals from scratch, while trying to not let the cooking overtake the little free time that I have. I bought 81 USD of groceries from Super H Mart (a korean supermarket chain in Atlanta), and will use the food from this photo and the old food that's been lingering in my fridge to cook as many meals as I can.
The list of foods from my trip and from what is already in my fridge:
Courtesy of Albert and Ferran Adria (of the former El Bulli). The bartenders there are called cocteleras, which literally translates into "shaker." And if you happen to find yourself at this little dream of a bar on a Saturday night in Barcelona, make sure you ask Miguel, coctelera extrordinario (see 2nd photo below), to shake you a few or more...
Wholesome locally-sourced goodness, courtesy of the people who brought you Holy Taco. One Eared Stag in Inman Park was a lovely spot for Sunday brunch. They had fresh and delicious East Coast (Canadian) oysters served with a light green apple vinaigrette. Can't wait to try it for dinner!
Atlanta has Korean BBQ, and Atlanta has Southern BBQ. But the two grilled meat cultures rarely mix... until Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee met and decided to open up their own Korean-influenced Southern BBQ joint, Heirloom BBQ and Market, out on Akers Mill road. This was definitely worth trying out - especially the tender brisket and hearty ribs paired with sides of kimchee and sweet potatoe chips. A refreshing break from the usual BBQ.
My first stuffed quahog (pronounce KO-HOG) ever and it was sublime. The quahog is a thick-shelled large edible clam about 5 to 6 inches in diameter, celebrated throughout Cape Cod and nearby islands. There is even a Cape Cod Quahog Day in which Doug the Quahog, his interpreter Johnny Quahog and the Quahog Security Team predict the number of beach weather days for the summer. Iggy's in Warwick serves up a lovely rendition of quahog stuffed and baked - perfect for washing down with a little bit of Iggy's own Root Bear and/or local Rhode Island strawberry juice. YUM!
Finally had a chance to try the famous Black Label burger ($26) at Minetta Tavern with its carefully designed burger meat supplied by Pat La Frieda. And it was ALL THAT and more. The burger was so perfect, the meat so juicy and tender that no sauces or condiments were needed to supplement this perfect little combo of pampered beef & custom brioche bun. Making of the beef patty is a closely guarded secret, a unique combination of dry aged ribeye + skirt steak + brisket from prime beef sourced from Creekstone Farms, Kentucky. However, Serious Eats has a great blog entry explaining the creation of the best burger in the world. We also had the dry aged cote de boeuf with finger-lickin' good roasted marrow bones. Like liquid umami... Mmmm. I have never been so happy to be a carnivore. Dinner ended with the best chocolate souffle i have ever had in my life - all lightness, air, and rich chocolate.
Woot woot! There is decent Cantonese comfort food available in Atlanta! For a good salty Canto fix, go to 5385 New Peachtree Rd, Chamblee, GA30341, look for the Chinese strip mall and the food court inside. You'll know you're in the right place if you see old Chinese men playing chinese chess at the tables. For the South, this place was passably authentic, and probably the best available here in Atlanta.