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Monday, August 18, 2008

I'll play

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (Okay, so I haven't had nettle tea, but I've braved stinging pain to make my own nettle soup before)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (I have had alligator. I think that counts)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (Another one where the name does not even come close to describing what it actually is.)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (so good)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (I had grasshoper sushi once)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzleo
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong (this is a tea that tastes a lot like a smoky, peaty single malt. Delicious.)
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Well, I got 56...not bad for someone who's been mostly vegetarian for 12 years...

Playing with Food Redux

My friend at Central Standard posted this list of 100 things every omnivore should try in his/her lifetime. Check out my results and add your own to the comments. Even most you vegetarians out there could answer a few of these. (Meatitarians too.) Of course, I added some comments to some of these items.

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (However, I have had alligator. It tasted like chicken.)
6. Black pudding (One in a long line of British dishes that are nothing like their name. Pudding my ass.)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (I can't believe that there is actually a cheese out there I have yet to try.)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (Anything from Boon's Farm fits this category.)
19. Steamed pork buns (We called it "pork butt" and it was smoked as well.)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (One word: duck.)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (Another one where the name does not even come close to describing what it actually is.)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (Not in MO, though.)
29.
Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut (Out of the barrel is acceptable; from the can not so much.)
35.
Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I usually enjoy a scotch with a cigar, but the cognac can be nice.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (I believe this includes Jell-O shots.)
39.
Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat (The Jamaican joint in COMO serves a dish of this that is frickin good.)
42. Whole insects (I haven't eaten any by choice. We all eat several thousand over our lifetime, mostly while we sleep.)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk (I remember the Middle-Eastern celebration we had in 4th grade. One classmate brought in some goat's milk. The chocolate was my favorite.)
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (I don't know for sure that the price of the stuff we had was this high, but it was plenty good.)
46.
Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (There's a great Vietnamese place in STL that serves eel still on the bone.)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (I still prefer cake doughnuts.)
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (For a long time, I enjoyed the "vegetarian" version of the Big Mac -- sans all-beef patties.)
56. Spaetzleo
57.
Dirty gin martini (This may sound funny for such a list, but I won't do olives.)
58. Beer above 8% ABV (I almost don't drink beer that's below 6% anymore.)
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (Sweet? No. Bread? No.)
63. Kaolin (I'm not even sure what this is. Wikipedia claims it's a mineral of some sort. I'm not sure how it qualifies as food.)
64. Currywurst (I haven't, but I really want to.)
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (If you have attended a state or county fair, you have had one of these.)
68. Haggis

69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini (I have not had this, but after reading wikipedia to find out what it is, I want some.)
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant

85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (I assume that rabbit counts here. My babysitter in second grade fed us some from her husband's recent hunt.)
87.
Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (I once made kids at camp prove how much Spam they could hold in their mouths and still say some silly phrase.)
92. Rose harissa

94. Catfish (My favorite dish from Betty's is still their catfish with mashed potatoes and corn.)
95.
Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta (Both homemade and tube form.)
99.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
Overall, I nailed 68 of the dishes above. There was only one I would not try (dirty martini -- but any other martini is acceptable). Make your own list or comment below on how your list would look.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Panang Curry with Local Ohio Vegetables (a farmers' market demo)






Ingredients:

4 oz can Maesri Panang Curry Paste
2 large cans of coconut milk (about 40 oz)
2-3 medium onions
4 scapes (could substitute garlic cloves or powder)
3 medium green or purple peppers
A bunch of broccoli
2-3 medium heirloom zucchini
A bunch of haricots verts (French green beans)
A bunch of basil
Kosher salt
Cinnamon powder
Sriracha hot sauce
Safflower or canola oil

Procedures:

1)Sautee chopped onions and peppers for 5-10 minutes.
2)Add coconut milk, panang curry paste, chopped scapes, and a few pinches of salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer / light boil.
3)Add zucchini and stir for a couple of minutes.
4)Add broccoli and stir for a couple of minutes.
5)Add haricots verts and stir for a couple of minutes.
6)Add chopped basil leaves, a couple squirts of sriracha hot sauce (if you like extra spic, a pinch of cinnamon, and another pinch of salt.
7)Serve with jasmine rice.

Variations or substitutions:

The only vegetables you really absolutely need are the onions and peppers. Other vegetables can be deleted or added depending on what is available at the market. The Maesri panang curry paste and sriracha hot sauce are available at Jungle Jims in the Thai and Vietnamese sections, but you could substitute the Thai kitchen red curry paste and chili garlic sauce available at Kroger. You also might consider adding cubed extra firm tofu and letting it cook for at least 5 minutes. For even more fun, you might add a can of vegetarian mock duck available in the Taiwanese section of Jungle Jims.

2008 Columbus Summer Chili-Dog Challenge!

Let me start off by saying that I am still, conceptually speaking, working to restrict my caloric intake this summer, and so far the bathroom scale is mostly moving in the right direction. That said, I couldn't let the implicit challenge embodied in a cover story in Columbus Alive a few weeks back go unanswered: "Dog Days," a parade of local eateries, high- and low-brow, that serve the best wiener-fare this fair city has to offer. I've made it a point to hit all of these joints--yes, even the vegan hotdog cart downtown--in order to have the full chili-dog experience.

So far, I've made it to two destinations: Wholly Joe's (in the Polaris area) and Press Grill (Sho'No'). Both of these places I've been to before, but in my opinion, it's necessary to revisit them to remind the palate what good chili-dogs taste like. This far into it, I've made a realization: I'm no food critic, at least when it comes to chili-dogs. I've rarely met one I didn't like, and even then, I'd still be hard pressed NOT to eat it. Both dogs were good, but for different reasons (poppy seed bun vs. split-top toasted white bun; coney sauce versus hearty black bean chili, stadium mustard versus classic yellow). *sigh* The task set before me is a daunting one, indeed... Pity me, dear readers.

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