Saturday, September 18, 2010

French Cooking and Greg Brown Singing

I am amazed and inspired by my parents garden. It's full of wonderful veggies and every time we head over there I come home with fresh flavorful goodness. Looking at our booty the other night I decided we had the makings for ratatouille, to be quite honest I had never heard of this dish until i saw the cartoon 'Ratatouille'. It's a great movie about a rat that loves to cook. Anyway Ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish that uses an abundant array of veggies that I personally adore. I didn't have an onion so I just used what I had and went with it, it turned out fantastical! All the veggies minus the garlic are from my parents grand garden and so....

This shall be deemed

My Parents Are Unbelievably Amazing Ratatouille!

1 medium Rosa Bianca eggplant quartered and sliced
1 medium zucchini halved and thickly sliced
1 large heirloom tomato cubed
2 small cloves garlic minced
1 heaping tsp thyme
1 heaping tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbs olive oil

On medium heat, heat the oil and garlic in a pan, add the eggplant and zucchini, stirring often till veggies begin softening. Add the tomatoes and the herbs, stir. Cover for 5 minutes letting flavors meld and veggies cook. Remove from heat, and eat!

On a different note, I wanted to share the lyrics to a Greg Brown song that inspired this blog title. I love Greg Brown he's a seriously talented poet. I hope you like it.

Lyrics to Steady Love :
She wants your passion, your caress
She wants your hands on her and a soulful kiss
But she's lookin' for more than just that, son
Gotta be somethin' under all the good times and fun

Oh steady love, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

She might like flowers, might like a poem
Might like it better if you were home
And cooked with her and did a little dance
Where the kitchen is happy, love has a chance

Oh steady love, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

She's seen the cool boys hangin' around
With their sad dark eyes they never settle down
They might've written books or made CDs for the shelves
But they mostly just think about themselves

She wants steady love, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

When the kids are cryin' and the bills are due
And you wonder what you have gotten into
And you think the whole deal is not to be
Give her steady love, you'll find out how hot a woman can be

Steady love, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

I've heard men say, "Well look at that
She's such a babe, he's kinda dull, a little fat"
He must know something about kind and fair
When she needs somebody, the man is there

He gives her steady love, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

Mmmm, steady love
When the chips are down
The kind she can be sure of
Oh steady love

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hankering Answered

Today at the grocery store I purchased a jar of kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish. It is fermented and a little like sour kraut except it's spicy. There are many different recipes for kimchi and a wide variety of vegetables that are used. The most common ones that I've seen are Napa cabbage and daikon radish. It's pretty tasty if you like a bit of spice and that fermented flavor.
Thinking about said jar of kimchi on the walk to pick up Brian's suit from the dry cleaners I got a hankering for Bi Bim Bop. A delectable Korean dish that I got introduced to by a friend who used to live in Korea and makes his own homemade kimchi that is way better than any other I've tried. Anyhow, Bi Bim Bop is another traditional Korean dish that literally translates to "mixed rice". When the Korean BBQ was still on 4th street I used to frequent there with some friends and get a sizzling bowl of Bi Bim Bop.
This said what I made tonight was nothing like traditional Bi Bim Bop, served in a hot stone bowl, chili sauce, with multiple side dishes including cucumbers, seaweed, radish..ect... and all that Korean flare. If there's a Korean restaurant in your town I suggest giving it a try, as long as they are MSG free.
What I made tonight I shall call....

... Nat Bim Bop (serves 2)

2 c. cooked arborio rice
1 c. steamed bok choy
1/2 cup steamed burdock root
2 cloves garlic steamed and minced
small handful pea shoots
2 peeled and sliced lemon cucumbers
1/2 avocado sliced
2 Tbs chopped parsley
2 over medium eggs
4 Tbs kimchi

Divide the ingredients in half and arrange in bowls or on plates. Place the hot egg on the top and dive in. If you want to add some extra spunk add a hot sauce of your choosing. We added salt and fresh ground pepper it twas tasty. It also helps that the cucumbers were grown in my ma and pa's garden, extra love.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Love Me Some Cali Cooking!

Several months have past since I last posted a kitchen wonder. Many brilliant and delectable food items have been created over said months, but alas between moving from West Virginia back to California and planning Brian and my wedding I have been unable to post them. Today I have a simple yet wonderful summer meal. The other night I felt in the mood for sandwiches, a rare desire on my part but I went with it. The sandwich we created was so amazing that we made another for lunch today.
There is a local bakery called Grindstone Bakery that makes mouth watering organic, gluten free, vegan quinoa ciabatta bread. It's a tad expensive but once in while we feel the need to splurge on them. They became the base for the sandwich, I'm calling it.....

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore's Magic Sandwich

The amount of ingredients vary as to how many sandwiches you are making and how overflowing you like them. All ingredients are organic.

shitake mushrooms, red onion, and purple bell pepper sauteed in olive oil till soft.
thickly sliced heirloom tomato
thinly sliced lemon cucumber
thickly sliced avocado
sunflower sprouts
chopped up basil leaves
sour kraut

before piling on the veggies..... spread a honey mustard sauce onto your bread.

Honey Mustard Sauce or Dressing

1 Tbs organic mustard
1 Tbs local honey
1/2 -1.5 Tbs olive oil (depending on how thick you want it)
1/4-1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
dash of salt
dash of cayenne pepper