Pozole (A love story)

Recipe modified from: Believe it or not, I found the original recipe in special edition of Self magazine (“Healthy Eating Made Easy”) – Apparently hominy is a “good carb” that helps you reduce waistline. I’ll go with that.

pozole

There is a big Latino supermarket around the corner from my house and their deli section is always busy whenever I stop by. It also has the small food court next to it where people can sit down and eat what they bought, and I noticed there is this one dish that everybody seems to be having. It’s not usual Mexican fare like Tacos or Enchilladas – It looks like a kind of meaty stew or soup. Kids are excited, women are giggly, and I have seen even toughest-looking men crack a smile on their leathery face over this steamy magical bowl of something.

For the longest time I have been dying to know which item on the menu that is. I would stalk people when they were making orders while pretending to check out the meat section nearby, but that didn’t quite work out as pretty much 100% of the time the exchange between customers and a server was in Spanish, which I don’t speak. Then I tried more straight forward approach where I walked up to the counter and attempted to order the dish myself, but somehow ended up with a bag of beef taquitos (they were delicious, nevertheless – although I’m still unsettled by the fact that my hand gesture of “bowl” could be interpretted as a long, cylinderical object). Continue reading

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Avocado Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe inspired by: My determination to resolve dilemma with mushy avocado

avocado chocolate ice cream

With the ridiculous amount of avocados I consume, I would say I have become quite proficient in projecting when they will reach desirable ripeness.  However, occasionally under rare and unusual circumstances, I miscalculate and end up with ones that are too mushy to use in salad – like this summer in LA when it was 250,000 degrees with heat wave and they went from green and firm to black and super ripe in a flash.

Fear not, though, fellow avocado lovers!  No avocados shall be wasted on us. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my chocolate ice cream rich and creamy with full dairy fat and full sugar (and whatever it is Häagen-Dazs puts in – If they said there is baby octopus in it, I would probably be OK with that).  And I would have been happily settled with making guacamole if this was less than decent.  Well it is actually more than decent.  As a matter of fact, I totally nailed it. Take THAT, heat wave. Continue reading

Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey, Pomegranate Seeds and Pepitas

Recipe with more sensible amount of toppings from:  Sunset Magazine (on myrecipes.com

roasted delicata squash with pomegaranate seeds and pepitas

I was cutting into one of these squashes when my roommate Kerry walked into the kitchen.  “Hey there!  Oh, what kind of squash is…*GASP*  Is it… Is it THAT one?”

Yes, Kerry. It’s THAT squash – It’s that squash I became completely obsessed with last year.  It’s that squash I planned the whole Thanksgiving dinner around, then disappeared from the face of freakin’ planet a week before, which sent me to frantic trips to 3 Trader Joe’s, 2 Whole Foods and 1 Sprouts on one desperate evening.  It’s that squash I then ended up finding at Vons nearest my house (don’t ask me why) and kept secret stash of throughout winter by returning to the store weekly and digging through that big barrel of mixed harvests until I bought every single one that was sold.

It’s delicata squash.  It is back in my life again. Continue reading

Tempeh and Eggplant Ragu with Quinoa

Recipe trying to imitate: Eggplant Ragu from Granville Cafe

Eggplant Ragu

Upon hearing a phrase “fermented soy beans,” we Japanese are probably the only people who would go “Mmmmm…. Now THAT sounds delicious” and even truely mean it.  But why not?  They have given us critical foundation for traditional Japanese flavors that we simply should not live without – Soy sauce is made of fermented soy beans, for instance, and so is miso.  And let’s not forget that dreaded but addictive natto.  Mmmmmm.

So as you can imagine, I think quite highly of fermented soy beans and believe anything that comes from them, even if it is originated outside of Japan like tempeh, cannot be not awesome.  But all these make it kind of ironic that my favorite tempeh recipe couldn’t be farther away from any Asian flavor.  Continue reading

Salad with Fresh Figs, Cheese and Nuts

Recipe coming from: My romancing of fresh figs and all the recipes out there that I tried to find a perfect combination

fresh fig salad

If I were to be given three wishes, one of them, naturally, would be to make fresh figs available all year around.  Ridiculous, I know.  I have a car that tells me how to get to new places and a robot that sweeps and mops the floor.  Yet we still have not figured out how we can produce this most delicious fruit throughout the year?  I mean, I see bean sprouts any time of the year, and everybody I know seems to hate them.  Seriously, people… PRIORITIES.

With the promise of the 21st century science failing me, I have no choice but continue to obsess and have as many of these little gems as possible from the moment they hit the fresh produce section mid to late summer until the end of September when the short season ends.  That means – A few more trips to Trader Joe’s, and I have to endure many figless months all over again. Continue reading