Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


A New Way to Cook

Having exhausted myself on Cooking Thin for the time being, I've been combing through my excessive collection of cookbooks in search of other inspiring options. I have about a week's worth of recipes from Super Natural Cooking that I can now put together at any given moment (minus one or two ingredients). I expect we'll have some Otsu this weekend.

I also pulled out a book of mine that I got sometime between 1993 and 1997, when I was living in Vancouver, BC. Several pages in the section on rice and noodles are filthy, marked, and well-used. When I was living in Vancouver on my husband's grad student stipend, we couldn't afford the recipes that called for shrimp or salmon or steamer clams and I haven't looked much at it in the last decade or so. An interesting book of Asian fusion cooking, it was good for its time but many of the recipes rely very heavily cilantro, ginger, garlic and lemon or lime over and over. I guess a decade ago, those were ingredients that were common enough that it was safe to build a recipe around them with slight variations and still capture some of that "Pacific flavor" but even trying very hard to only pick recipes with the most differentiation, I felt my mental palate beginning to tire. I'm still interested in trying a couple of the recipes I've flagged but I have to admit they show their age a bit. Still, the Thai Papaya Shrimp Salad sounds good enough that I'm going to give it a spin as soon as my green papayas are sufficiently ripe.

Another book I've had for the better part of 7 years is one that I've looked through once in a while but never tackled in any meaningful way. This weekend I went through it thoroughly. Unlike Pacific Flavors, A New Way to Cook remains fresh and enticing. With my current nutritional goals in mind, suddenly this book was singing to me. I went through it thoroughly over the weekend, taking notes and marking out almost a dozen recipes that I can hardly wait to try. Cabbage Braised with Smoky Ham and Riesling. Sesame-Crusted Swordfish with Cilantro and Coconut Chutney. Honey-Cured Pork Loin with Juniper and Fennel Seed Rub. Beans with Wild Mushrooms in Fennel Broth. I'm so excited about these new flavors, I can barely contain myself. I didn't have the energy to make homemade fennel broth when I got home from the store tonight at close to 10pm, but soon, very soon, it will be mine.

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