Roundup of Food Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed
For once, the photo is completely unrelated to the post. That’s a photo of me spinning fire on a rooftop in Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY, USA) on July 4, 2004. Photography by Dov.
Why am I posting a photo that isn’t of food? Well, I’m moving on April 1, so I’m having trouble finding the time to cook and take photos and write amidst all the packing, especially with half my kitchen in boxes. But I can’t have a post without a photo, and I’d hate to disappear and have you think I ceased to exist.
So! In no particular order, these are a few food blog posts that I’ve enjoyed. I tend to bookmark the interesting essays and the recipes I want to try out, but time never seems to happen and my bookmark folders get clogged up.
I know I have readers who don’t really follow any other food blogs, so I want to point them towards what I consider to be the best posts out there. Some are recent, some less so, all are interesting and look delicious.
I’ll probably do this again from time to time, when I’m busy and have a few food-related links piled up that need to be shared.
Umami: Making the Tongue as Powerful as the Body by Stacey over at Paper Palate is an interesting look at what makes foods scan as satisfying in a savory sort of sense.
Barbara at Tigers & Strawberries wrote a marvelous essay about Making Spices Friendly With Each Other. She focused on how speaking the languages of the different spices and learning to build flavor through their mix of personalities is vital when you’re cooking Indian food, but I think it really applies to anything you do with spices in the kitchen. It really helped me understand a bit better how to begin mixing spices without having to follow recipes.
Another good resource along those lines is Kasma‘s exercise in balancing flavors. It reminds me a bit of the parable of the man who kept adding more and more sugar to his cereal, but no matter how much sugar he poured in, his cereal wasn’t getting any sweeter. Finally he added a touch of salt, and suddenly his cereal tasted sweeter to him than he could bear. This is usually cited on how we need the bad times to appreciate the good, but it says something real and true about balancing flavors as well. I’ve never made a curry that wasn’t made far firier when I added just a dash of brown sugar.
Barbara also has an interesting essay up on Ten Steps to Better Wok Cookery.
I’m such a huge fan of raspberries and cocoa nibs that I’ve been wanting to make these raspberry muffins with cocoa nibs over at Chocolate & Zucchini for ages. I also really want to try her leek and apricot strudel, except without the pine nuts. And without the bread crumbs. And maybe with homemade lemongrass ricotta instead. Maybe I just should just play around and adapt the recipe and then post my version here.
Ralph Robert Moore‘s recipe for sea scallops in cream sauce is everything a recipe should be. He writes about tumbling scallops around “like fat blind babies”, about using your hand to hold a bag shut “like shutting off air to a throat”. All recipes should be so vivid. The scallops turned out fantastic, too.
I adore anything involving currants, so I can’t wait for them to come into season so I can try out this red currant tart from delicious:days. I can’t stop eyeing the nougat semolina dumplings over there, either.
I can’t wait to try out this tomato onion tart from Helen at Beyond Salmon. I just need to pick up some cherry tomatoes and I’m set. Also from Helen is a rundown of her technique for pie and tart dough, which is an excellent explanation of how to make superb dough if you have the time.
It’s all Saffron Hut‘s fault that I’m craving upma kozhakattai (steamed rice dumplings) now. I’d probably make them without the coconut, though. I’d also love to try her besan burfi. (Those, I’d make without the nuts. Boy, am I picky. Maybe toasted oats or cocoa nibs or dried currants and cranberries instead.)
Just look at this photo of young tamarind by Austin over at Real Thai. I’ve never seen tamarind like that, only older ones with brown, hard shells in the supermarket. How delicate they look when they’re young, all fairy princess with gossamer wings, sugarsweet and fragile. I have no idea how they taste (very tart, if they’re anything like the tamarinds I’m used to), but I can’t look at that photo without thinking of sugar castles on glass mountains.
Hungry in Hogtown is inspiring me with all the molecular gastronomy lately. I’m particularly impressed by all the El Bulli recipes being enacted over there, like the caramelized trout roe and the yoghurt tacos. Feel free to get me a copy of El Bulli: 1998-2002 as a housewarming gift. Your rewards would be tasty and numerous.
Okay, that’s all for now. Get out there and explore!