Treat your salads with a bit more respect. Don’t overload them with toppings, or douse it in some sort of dressing. A salad is a wonderful canvas to explore flavors and textures and you do your salad discredit when you think of it as a dumping receptacle for nineteen different toppings or merely as a dish to be ignored on your way to the main dish. DOWN WITH BORING SALAD!
And because nothing tastes better than effort, here’s how to make your own quick pickled shallots.
Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well.
Some people want to be pampered on their birthdays, to have all their favorite things lined up in a row so that they don’t have to go anywhere or want for anything. Some people want big gifts. Some people want a quiet dinner out. Some people wish to forget the day all together. I, however, only want one thing, always: adventure, and more power to you if it’s a surprise. This does not mean I expect an Indiana Jones escapade every year (although on second thought, yes it does), but it does mean that creativity has to be involved. If we’re going to be pampered, make me climb a rocky cliff to get there. Give me a big gift, but hide it in a garden maze. We can do a quiet dinner, but let’s go somewhere that we have never even heard of before. I have a lot of stuff; what I want are memories that I can share with someone.
No gives a better gift than my mom because she understands this. Earlier this month, she got me one of those neato new-fad box services called Taste the World. It’s a service like Loot Crate or Trunk Club where every month I get a new box with varied items related to a theme, in this case, international cuisine.
This week’s ICANCOOK is based off of a recipe I learned from the first box which was from Sweden. A Swedish smorgasbord can have some unique flavors in it (you ain’t had black licorice until you have had Swedish black licorice, and I fucking hate black licorice and this shit was delicious), but everything was still delightful because how can you go wrong with things that are filled with bacon and onions? AND I HAVE FIVE MORE BOXES COMING, all from different countries and all being shared here and on CookEatLive.
Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well
If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, I would tell him to put down that party-sized bottle of cheap Moscato wine, to suck it up and buy a new pair of shoes (I usually end up taping them to my feet), and to clean my goddamn kitchen more often. A clean kitchen is not just about sanitation, but also speaks to the foundations of cooking good food for other people.
No, I’m not going to tell you what it is; that’s why I made the video. So watch that. And remember:
Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well
Only three more weeks until the premiere of my new show Cook Eat Live. This recipes comes from a cookbook Christmas gift, The Complete Asian Cookbook Series: China by Charmaine Solomon, and I learned a lot of new techniques that I will continue to use in the rest of my cooking. For example, frying dried chilies in oil works wonders in making something spicy. It does mean you need excellent ventilation because the smoke from frying hot peppers is something akin to riot gas. #whydoesmyskinburn