Wednesday, July 22, 2009

put de lime in de coconut

Several years ago I decided it would be a good idea to start writing a cookbook. I got about as far as a rough draft of a table of contents, which was to include all my mom's specialties, and my grandmothers', and my father's (there are a few), and my sisters' and brother's and neice's, and CM's, and mine, and any other family recipes or others I'd found in one way or another to be reliable, satisfying, nourishing, outstanding or just plain old yummy. I've gotten a few of these down in writing but my frustrations with software and its inherent disinterest in foodstuffs have deterred me from getting very far on this project. However, in the interest of not being a total lazy ass, I am hereby recommitting myself to this undertaking and will make every honest attempt to spend 15 minutes per day to add a recipe to the mix (even though I should be spending that time doing crunches. one thing at a time, folks, one at a time.) By the end of the year I should have a pretty nice collection, if I fail to fail at this endeavor.

Now that we've got this new thing they call digital television, there are a few more public channels on the set, including any number of relatively lackluster shows about food. Junkie that I am (oh Iron Chef, how I miss Thee) I cannot help but get sucked in by even the most soft-spoken-round-bellied-meat-eating-city-slicker, much less all those bright-eyed farm lovers and sassy, drunken foragers... Watching all these people make food on camera makes me a) hungry, b) a little aroused and c) aware that CM and I eat very well and creatively, much of the time, both out of something akin to necessity and for the sheer pleasure of it. One of my favorite ways to pass the time is with a knife in hand. En guard! The gauntlet has been thrown...

So the challenge now is to keep up with this task, daily. I'll up the ante (self vs. self!) just a little by attempting to create some new edible compositions
of my very own, as this year's harvest comes in, and if any of them is any good I'll share them here. Until then, an offering from my archives:

Yummy Thai Salad

1/2 c. wild rice (1 1/2 to 2 c. cooked, cooled slightly)
1/2 sm head red cabbage (approx 4 c.)
3 sm carrots, thinly sliced
1 md daikon radish, in 3/4" matchsticks
4 lg or 6 sm scallions, sliced
3-4 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped (15-20 sprigs, stems and leaves)
2-3 tbsp shredded coconut, toasted (cast iron works, or toaster oven... keep watch)
1/2 to 3/4 c. cashew pieces, roasted or toasted
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp rice vinegar
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp shoyu, tamari or other soy sauce
1/2 fresh lime or 1 tsp lime juice concentrate
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp sugar

Throw it all together, change the amounts, see what happens. For something a bit lighter try rice noodles instead of wild rice, use green cabbage and add some fresh mint. Douse with fish sauce. Enjoy...

(btw, I have to admit that I can't really remember if this one's any good, but I did write it down and actually used the word "yummy". Must have meant something...)


Cosmic Monkey said...

BTW Grammar Police, "if any of the ARE good" yo

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just now stumbled onto your blog from a google search on "hickory dent corn."

Your writing is beautiful, stunning, and luminous. My god.

I don't have at the moment to read all your posts but rest assured I will.

fremenine said...

Awesome. What magic can happen when we call things by name... Welcome, and thanks for your kind words.

fremenine said...

Ah, I am but a Humble Public Servant--no Authority, I.

fremenine said...

(...although, having said that, I believe in this case that "is" would be appropriate, because "any" is considered singular. I might be off on that, but in any case, if you're going to ride my ass on grammar you should at least quote me accurately. Yo mama.)