Friday, September 25, 2015

A Food Blur

The last couple of weeks have been a total blur. Crazy business last week and playing catch up this week. Working on a new restaurant project. Dealing with upcoming fall winery catering. Working through the details for a bunch of big parties over the next few weeks. It's all enough to drive a person crazy. Pardon me if I don't remember when or if we ate any of the following dishes over the past couple of weeks. Call me surprised that I had any energy at all to cook. It all ran out last night. With a belly full of cheeseburger, I passed out at 8pm and didn't budge until 6am. Be thankful for business, I have to keep reminding myself, and also that not only on "Game of Thrones" is winter coming.

Real Pho, No Garnish
I vaguely recall that I made pho on a Monday when I had all afternoon to make the broth in which to quickly cook some fresh rice noodles. The broth was classical with beef bones, charred ginger, charred onion, and a hint of spice, right up until the end when I put a handful of fresh kaffir lime leaves in the broth to give it a haunting quality. This broth was so outstanding that it did not need any garnishes to get in the way.

Strozzapreti with Fresh Tomatoes, Butter, and Garlic
This was a quick Sunday night supper. I sweated some slivered garlic in butter and tossed in a bunch of peeled and seeded tomatoes for the world's quickest pasta. The days for fresh tomatoes are winding down quickly. Gorge now.

Fried Rice
Another quick meal, a clean out the refrigerator meal. Scrounging in the fridge yielded lop cheung, green onions, a rough-looking carrot, cilantro stems, and red and orange peppers. I make my fried rice Thai style with white pepper and fish sauce. A little prep aside, this is an effortless meal and a great way to use up all those odds and ends in the fridge.

And the coma-inducing cheeseburger. Slow night last night and I got home early enough for dinner. Ann wanted Five Guys. Ed doesn't like their burgers. We compromised. Ann picked up some burger, cheese, buns, and chips at the grocery on the way home. I got there a few minutes later and prepped all the toppings. A couple of glasses of wine later, outside to the grill, where I grilled what is quite possibly the last burger of the year, for it is getting too dark too early from here on out.

This burger photo pleases me. This is a cheeseburger in its natural habitat, hot, on a plate, cheese sliding off the side, lopsided, lid all smashed because the package got manhandled on the way home, getting ready to get slammed. Have you ever seen professionally shot burgers, with the carefully pinned on lettuce, the cheese that was hit with the blowtorch, perfectly lit so there's not a shadow anywhere, condiments artfully put on with a squeeze bottle and a Q-tip? Those burgers are like women with the big fake boobs: they don't look real because they aren't. This, friends, you know is a real burger. And it was awesome, I assure you.

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