Wednesday, March 30, 2005

devour a book

I'm just finishing up Anthony Bordain's latest novel (not a book about food, but you can see the chef coming through in certain parts). He's one of my favorite writers, food writers specifically. A Cook's Tour and Kitchen Confidential are definite must-reads for any foodie. I'd like to explore food writing (not cook books) some more, so this week theme is "Food Writing and the Writers who write about food."

Both Bookslut and I Was Just Really Very Hungry have posted recently about writer MFK Fischer. I've read some of her stuff, specifically in a food-writing anthology (name?). After those 2 blog posts, I must read more.

Outlaw Cook is an iteresting food journal.

A zine for food case you wanna get into it. Good info.

Art Of Eating Looks to be a neat literary food journal (printed). You can read excerpt articles here.

An (long) interesting article about food it's changed through the years, where it's at now, what it's all about.

A good list of food-related books. Gonna have to check some of these out!

Food quotes (many by authors).

Leites Culinaria's list of the 20 best food books of 2004. I love lists!

Reading and food...two of my favorite things. Both activities than can be ordinary...if you let them. But I find them both to be enriching experiences. So much to learn, and enjoy! Do you have any food book recommendations?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

don't ask me i don't give a damn, the next stop is vietnam!

For my birthday a couple weeks ago my mom treated me to lunch at one of my most favorite places...Mekong Vietnamese restaurant on S. Grand. Oh how I love Vietnamese food. I had a spicy beef stew with noodles. It looked a lot like this:

looks good, huh? Well, lemmetellya it WAS. very. We also had spring rolls (of course), and since it was my birthday I got a free order of fried bananas! My first fried bananas, by the way, and they were yummy! Rich and crunchy and covered with honey.

So this weeks theme is the cuisine of Vietnam.

If you haven't read Anthony Bordain's book A Cook's Tour, you should (and the show on the food network was one of the best tv shows ever!). now. It's chapters on Vietnam are wonderful. Makes you want to go there and try all these interesting and delicious foods. From an an interview with Bordain:

Dave: Vietnam, of all the places you traveled, blew you away.

Bourdain: I fell in love with the country. I was enchanted. I was just so gonzo over the place.

Dave: Did you make a number of trips there, or are the chapters in A Cook's Tour part of one extended visit?

Bourdain: One trip. I chopped it up province by province and sprinkled it throughout the book to give it some kind of balance. I was so unrestrained in my admiration for the people, the country, and the food; it was such a disproportionately ecstatic buzz that it would have tilted the whole book had I written it in one piece.

The history of Pho. From a really neat website that has all kinds of Vietnamese food info, like a collection of articles and advice from mama.

I have not seen or tried one of these Vietnamese sandwiches, but OMG they look good! I'm gonna have to keep my eye out.

Vietnam photo essays.

Listmania list of good Vietnam related books to read.

Wikipedia entry on Vietnamese cuisine. Always a good place to start.

I encourage you to explore this cuisine. It's one of my favorites. Diverse, healthy, interesting. And if you ever have a chance to attend a traditional Vietnamese wedding, do it. 12 courses. yes 12. I went to one years ago, and it was one of the best food experiences I've ever had.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

intoxicating haiku

Oi. Running late with this week's list o- links again!!! I'm almost ready, but to hold you over a little longer, how about some more food-related postry? This time it's not by me (I know you're disappointed). But it's still good. Check out the Red Wine Haiku Blog! Great stuff!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

and iran, iran so far away...

To a lovely little Persian restaraunt on S. Grand called Natasha's Cafe. I very much enjoy middle eastern food...I mean c'mon...hummus for godssakes! This was my first foray into Persian food specifically. So this weeks links will be all about Persian food.

First, the food we had.We shared four appetizers; Baba Ghannouj (check out alton brown's recipe), Kashke-Bademjune (like Baba Ghannouj with chick-peas and other yummy additions), Hummus (some hummus recipes with beans other than chickpeas: butter bean hummus, lentil hummus, black bean hummus), Walnut-Olive Feta Cheese Spread. It all came with pita bread, some toasted some not.

On to the main courses...Kelly had the chicken kabob, which was very flavorful. Chris had the Beef Kabob, which was also flavorful and prefectly cooked so it was super-tender. Jack had the Chicken Fessenjoon stew, which was very interesting, and yummy (a recipe). Ron was the adventurer of the night, ordering the Beef Tongue (which I had read was one of the places best dishes). I tried that and was pleasantly surprised. It was like an extremely tender roast beef. I forget what james had. sorry. I had the Lamb Biryani Pilaf, which was pulled lamb meat on a rice pilaf with chickpeas and all other kinds of goodness. Everyone wanted to be me :) (Lamb Biryani recipe).

What's neat is that while researching for this post I found out that Tuesday night was the celebration of the Persian New Year, called Charshambeh Soori. This is the blog where I read about it. More about Iran from this blog. I love the Persian New Years saying she posts ""Zardee-eh man az tow, sorkhee-eh tow az man", which means "Give me your healthy red color as you take back my sickly pallor".

A good source for Persian recipes. Mmmm...stew.

Iranian food culture.

Mmmm...more stew.

I love trying foods from different cultures. It's a beautiful, enriching experience. Eating is more to me then plain ol' nourishment. It's a way of connecting to the world, to your fellow human. Opening you taste buds and opening your mind at the same time. It's beautiful...and tasty!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

oh, bologna

I'm running quite late on my post for this week. It will be ready soon, I promise. Busy busy. To hold you over, here's a poem I wrote a couple years ago:

Ode to Processed Meat Products

I must have a sandwich, I must have it now
packed with as many pork lips and parts of the cow.

Then I see it, I stop....i stagger
that grayish hunk they call braunshwagger

Roast beef, turkey breasts? those are for snobs
Give me chopped ham and give me gobs!

Oh, that Oscar Mayer, what he does with meat
that olive loaf he brews is truly elite.

and Carl Buddig he fashions a slice so shiny and thin
My Wonder bread begs “Oh Carl, please let me in!”

Ah, shelf stable, so spongy so PINK
Into your mucous-like goo let my lips slowly sink.

Please don’t forget the souse and transluscent head cheese
Pretty please with mustard I beg on my knees.

Teeth gritted, fists clenched
will my thirst for liver loaf ever be quenched?

Copyright 2005, Ironstef

Monday, March 07, 2005

Meatless Monday

Finally some fun for my vegetarian pals! I tried a Boca Burger last night at my brother's house, and was quite happy with it. Less juicy than a real hamburger, but (with a thick tomato slice, some lettuce and mustard) the flavor and satisfaction factor was good! So I thought today I'd look into some meat substitutes and other vegetarian fun!

And I picked a good day for this research, seeing how it Meatless Monday and everything.

Slate reviews soy burgers and veggie burgers.

There are different types of vegetarians, and they have fancy names.

Peata has a "Cheat Meat" contest. Here are the winners. They also have a "World's sexiest Vegetarian" contest. Vote here!

Speaking of sexy vegetarians, here's an article on the best ways to meet other sexy veg singles.

This vegetarian cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, is absolutely adorable! All hand written with cute drawings. Sweet!

Tofu Bacon? Tofu Car?

The good 'ol Tofurkey was voted best meat substitute of 2004 in Veg New's Veggie awards.

Play Famous Vegan Memory!

Now for some interesting recipes. Tex-mex veggie burgers...yum! Portobello Wellington...good idea! Mock Tuna salad? That's a little iffy. But it's got chick peas, so it can't be that bad.

Veg Blog. good reading.

And here's some examples of the Opposite of vegetarian eating:
The Lutherburger, named for Luther Vandross, is a cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme Doughnut! No, really. The same restaraunt makes the "Ham Dog" which is a hotdog wrapped in hamburger and covered with chili! whoa!
Hardee's Monster Burger has 107 grams of fat!!! ugh.
The 8500 calorie sandwich. yikes.

YAY veggies!