Thursday, April 23, 2009

American Made

There once was a time when eating Japanese food in this country was an austere, strange, highly foreign experience. Shizo leaves dressed cold sashimi, sake was served warm, and you could find a plethora of seaweed, gnarled mushrooms, and even the occasional yam on the menu. It was a weird affront to our American palates (and portions). To me, this is a good time.

To the rest of America is seems, sake bombs and cream cheese are a good time. When did most Japanese establishments turn into loosely veiled TGI Friday’s? Every time I am convinced to go to sushi, I am struck by the scene of ruckus, tiny- tittied waitresses, yelping sushi chefs, and heaps of mayo. Mayo over muscles. Mayo mixed with cock-sauce, drizzled over a roll. Mayo in potato salad (seriously?). My nimble mouth stretches helplessly to fit in a slice of a California roll the size of my fist… rice is forced out through my lips and piles listlessly on the plate. Chucks of fish and seaweed are gnawed off mid-bite in an attempt to halt my gag reflex. Is this anyway to serve food? And is this anyway to name food: Double Climax, Sexy-Sexy, Blond-Bombshell (see above reference to TGI Friday’s)? At the end of the evening, I am overwhelmed at the staggering amount of food I have managed to pile down and the enormous bill ($20 lunch? Of course!). I’m freakin’ sick of it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Real Slim Shady

Did you know cabbage is one of the best foods out there for you? Rock on with this in-season treat:

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage ala Julia Child

Serves 4 or 5. Sauté 1 cup red-onion slices in a large sauce pan in 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or oil or pork fat until tender. Blend in 4 cups of shredded red-cabbage, a grated sour apple, 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, a pureed garlic clove, a bay leaf, ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, 1 teaspoons sugar, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water. Cover and boil on high heat for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally and adding more water if necessary, until cabbage is tender and liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.

*Note: I often use apple cider vinegar and double the amount of sugar and vinegar (I like it really sweet and sour!). Play with it. It’s a great recipe.