Happy 2017, my friends! My year started off inauspiciously with my phone suddenly not working, so I have to send it to LG to see if it’s salvageable. (At least my old Razr smartphone is functional so I’m not completely without a phone right now. Here’s hoping it can hang on until August when my upgrade is finally available.) The weather hasn’t helped much in that it’s been dreary and rainy for the past few days, and while I know we need the rain, it doesn’t help with the whole getting back in the swing of things all that much. Read More
Remember how I mentioned that August had been a difficult month? Apparently the month wasn’t finished with us at that point, because last week came more less-than-pleasant news, albeit news that could prove to be good in the long run. What was honestly the most difficult about all of this was having to grapple with it alone as Michael was away all week for business, and what was going to be a week filled with some interesting new salads I wanted to try ended up being one in which I didn’t want to eat much of anything. Ricotta dumplings, a two-cheese omelette, and leftover pasta from the weekend made for a somewhat pathetic sabor de soledad, but comfort food was definitely the thing I needed just to make it to Friday. (I apologize for being a bit oblique, but it’s for the best.)
By sheer coincidence we had planned to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar as part of a delayed celebration for Michael’s birthday (a departure from our usual trip to Keen’s, but one he requested) and it ended up being just what the two of us needed. We were there right as it opened, got two stools right away, and proceeded to demolish our bowls of ginger scallion noodles (me) and Momofuku ramen (him). I can’t honestly say what took us so long to finally come to this restaurant given how much we rely on the Momofuku cookbook for interesting meals at home, but nothing proved the adage “better late than never” like our lunch on Saturday. Read More
A few months ago when the weather was extremely cold and grey and we were in search of serious culinary projects, Michael and I finally broke down and made ramen completely from scratch, including the noodles. The stand mixer and pasta machine were brought out, dough was wrestled with, and we watched the “Noodle” and “Tokyo” episodes of Mind of a Chef at least twice that Sunday as I wrestled with the extremely elastic dough. Our copies of Momofuku and Ivan Ramen were splayed out on the counter as we needed to reference them, and the whole apartment was infused with the scent of roasted pork bones and poached chicken as the broth simmered all day.
I had to bake a few batches of sodium carbonate so I would have more than enough to add to the dough mixture, and Michael felt compelled to write out the equation on the kitchen chalkboard because of course he did.
That first batch of from-scratch ramen came out exceptionally well: light, hearty, and oh those noodles had just the right amount of chewiness. We didn’t use all of the six-ounce portions that night so the rest went into the freezer, and this weekend we both decided it was time to finally use them. Read More
Neither Michael nor I said the actual words over the course of the last week of 2011, but in retrospect it was pretty clear we were both missing our tiny kitchen after four days of holiday celebrating with not much opportunity to get behind the stove. Day two of our mini-we-miss-New-York-Week (subtitle: the week we bounced back and forth between Tom Colicchio and David Chang’s cookbooks) was another “let’s take on a Serious Project!” day–although while this is a dish that takes some time to make, with a little planning I could see us enjoying this on a random weekday evening. It was also a great opportunity to break in one of our Christmas presents (although that is a very poor choice of words given what it is): Read More
Were I not fairly certain that doing this would elicit more than a few odd glances (and if it lasted more than a day or two), I would make an enormous batch of David Chang’s ginger scallion sauce, dole it out into quart-sized containers and give it to people as holiday gifts. While not nearly as festive as a plate of Christmas cookies, I would dare any recipient to not fall for this sauce/condiment at first bite. It goes with virtually anything we’ve paired it with so far, from ramen to rice noodles to hanger steak; it’s rather economical to make over and over again once you’ve purchased a good supply of grapeseed oil, sherry vinegar and soy sauce; if you get the right kind of soy sauce (Tamari), it’s virtually gluten-free. Sure, the sodium content is higher than some would like, but it’s not so bad so long as you avoid eating the whole bowl yourself in one sitting.
It doesn’t help that it is all too tempting to do this, but self-restraint, people: show some and your forbearance will be rewarded. Read More
I know, I know. We’re egregiously late in jumping on the David Chang/Momofuku bandwagon, but better late then never, right? This is what I’m chanting to myself as I write this post, feeling horribly out of date for never venturing even once to the East Village to try one of his Momofuku iterations, but in my defense I always assumed that all of his places were expensive and difficult to get into–and we really didn’t eat out that often anyway. (People who have asked me for restaurant recommendations know this all too well, as I end up usually directing them to various food stores rather than a lot of restaurants.) It’s not that we never ate out, but venturing to restaurants that didn’t publish menu prices seemed a little risky, or at least that’s what the pragmatist in me would rationalize. Feel free to correct me in the comments. Read More