Monday, July 12, 2010

Gratuitous Sexiness: See? I Haven't Been NOT Eating ... Just Not Eating OUT!

For your pleasure, some fun pictures of what I've been up to during this winter of silence, enjoying my starter gourmet chef's kitchen. One day, I'll have a red-knobbed Wolf commercial range and wall of sleek Sub-Zero fridges (yes; multiple - I believe in stocking up. Ask poor Boy, who wonders why he can never fit anything in the pantry), or be able to afford the constant maintenance of a sexy Viking Professional kitchen, but for now, I'm content to own a granite-topped, custom-cabineted, shiny black GE and Whirlpool kitchen of my own before my 26th birthday.

Anyway, let's start simple: sandwiches at home can be fancy, too, if you step the ingredients up a notch and plate it neatly. The below is honey whole-wheat bread (Arnolds - no high fructose corn syrup!), local baby arugula, canola oil mayonnaise (half the calories as the regular; half the artificial ingredients as the light), Boar's Head roast beef, a touch of garlic powder, deli-sliced mozzarella, and a handful of Cool Ranch Doritos (which are, quite simply, the Shit). On the side are Keebler's Grasshoppers, the off-season Girl Scout Thin Mints for dessert.

Next up: dinner. Below, you'll find fresh crab cakes drizzled in thick, dripping Boar's Head deli remoulade, which - as a former New Orleanian - is surprisingly tangy and passable even in the Deep South. Red peppers in the pan-fried crabcakes (purchased at -- where else? -- Best Yet) add a special somethin'-somethin' to the cakes, and a hit of hot pepper gives it a nice, subtle kick. Real crab, albeit claw meat, gives it a deeper, brinier flavor that imitation crabmeat just can't compete with, which I decided to bring back down to earth with broiled asparagus spears drizzled in olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, and toasted Parmesan cheese. Pan-wilted spinach in white wine and toasted garlic was just for fun.

One more? Okay, but I can't claim all of this glory for myself. I had my dad over at China East give me a whole cut of his deep-marinated, fresh-smoked red Chinese roast pork, glazed in his own signature sauce. A bout with a broiler a generous dollop of oyster sauce and fresh scallions later, and voila! A delicious accompaniment to the sweetly bland rice porridge I sometimes like to eat for familiarity's sake. A "gluey" (as my mom says; she actually means "gooey"), semi-viscous (depending on how long and how you let it cook ... different times and temps lead to different consistencies) blank canvas, it serves a nice foil to anything particularly savory that you don't want to override in terms of flavor. My roast pork was a bit saltier and more concentrated in flavor, since my father employs professional techniques to keep it moist and succulent at second roast for customers. I, not having that aforementioned Viking kitchen and commerical broiler, am more limited in capabilities.

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