WHAT'S AFTER DINNER

Adventures in eating with Miki Kawasaki

Year: 2012

#Mains

IT TAKES TWO

Navel oranges and oil-cured olives with tarragon and sea salt Orange and olive is one of my favorite flavor pairings. After seeing it on a menu with yellowtail crudo a few years back, I encountered it again via old school, pre-soapbox Bittman. It’…

#Mains

A-MAIZE-ING

Corn and miso ramen with vegetables and ground pork Yes, even I will stoop to terrible puns sometimes. I still have some corn flour left over from making the corn cookies, which I’ve already tried using in pancakes. For some reason, corn and miso …

#Mains

WE ARE NOT WORTHY

Yellow rice with sausage, edamame, okra, and pickled onions It’s been a few weeks since any dinner has appeared on this site. Not that I haven’t been cooking – life just hasn’t been able to accomodate the massive “project” meals I usually post. So…

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ACROSS THE OCEAN

Tamarind soup with shrimp, rice, and peas This week I finally had an opportunity to attend a lecture in Harvard’s Science and Cooking series, which normally I wouldn’t be able to do due to classes (thank you Christopher Columbus for the day off?)….

#Mains

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

Squid and baby bok choy over egg noodles This stir fry is a favorite of mine for when I want something fairly quick and easy. I used leftover homemade noodles from last week’s Khao Soi to soak up the briny juices that the marinade for it gives off…

#Mains

IDENTITY CRISIS

Khao soi – curry noodles with chicken, pickled mustard, shallots, crispy noodles, cilantro, and lime Recently I’ve been reading a lot about matters of authenticity and what it means in the food experience. Since about ninety nine percent of the fo…

#Mains

ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE

Doro wott and ye’abesha gomen (Ethiopian chicken stew and collards) with farro More than a week after I moved, I finally got around to cooking a proper meal. That first week was painfully ridden with canned tuna and greasy quesadillas, but hey, at…

#Mains

THE LAST SUPPER

Linguine with meatballs In the last few months my cooking has leant towards spice and flavor heavy dishes – a lot of Thai and Chinese. Of course I love these sorts of foods, but I also had a practical motive in making them: to get rid of as much o…

#Mains

MYSTERY MEAL

Niu Rou Mian – egg noodles with beef and Chinese broccoli Last week, after four years in DC, I finally made it out to Eden Center, a mega strip mall for Vietnamese businesses just over the river in Virginia. All the talk I’d head about it being a …

#Mains

REPEAT PERFORMANCE

Som tam and pad thai I’ve already explained my love/hate relationship with pad thai. Right now, I’m trying to focus on the love, which is that it’s great for cleaning out my pantry. I’m guessing that in Thailand it’s not typically served with som …

#Mains

FOR ALL SEASONS

Minnesota wild rice soup with mushrooms It’s quite obvious looking through my photos that rice is a big staple of my cooking. I usually opt for jasmine, but I ran out of my last bag of it a few weeks ago. I’ll be relocating to Boston at the end of…

#Mains

COMPLEMENTARY COLORS

Corn and potato soup with sorrel pistou, berbere roasted eggplant with merguez sausage / baby eggplants at sunset I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought yellow corn and purple potatoes for making soup. Any third grader could tell you that …

#Mains

CABIN FEVER

Lemongrass chicken with coconut rice and sauteed kale with mushrooms I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve come across an interesting recipe, only to find that the instructions are designed for the charcoal grill. It’s as if all the…

#Mains #Recipes

TOTALLY MOD

Drunken noodles, revised / Stir-fried broccoli tips This past weekend I had set out to make Yotam Ottolenghi’s Malaysian duck curry. However, upon getting to the grocery and experiencing a bit of sticker shock at the price of duck ($15 for one bre…

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CROSS CULTURAL

Pad Horapa – Thai basil chicken with crispy skins This dish is closely related to the Teochew style chicken I made a few weeks back. The Thai version seems to have been heavily influenced by the Chinese, due to the fact that many Teochew migrated …

#Mains

KO’d

Rice with shrimp and chorizo, baked plantains, chayote pickles I’ve got my method for cooking rice on a stovetop mastered. It always comes out perfectly cooked — never burnt, never hard, never soggy. I should have realized earlier that adding a w…

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BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Salted salmon, grated beets with dill, Russian kale, and brown Basmati rice Although the main components of this dish suggest something vaguely Nordic, each item was seasoned with quintessentially Japanese ingredients: rice vinegar and sesame oil …

#Mains

FROM THE SOURCE

Cha ca la vong – Rice noodles with hake, herbs, peanuts and fried shallots Another recipe that is a copy of a copy of a copy. Even if far removed from the source, the abundance of herbs picked straight from my own and from neighbors’ yards made th…

#Mains

DO IT LIKE NO ONE ELSE

Dan dan noodles I love being able to roll out of bed on Sunday mornings, literally walk about 30 paces to the west, and then in a half-asleep haze stumble my way through the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market. For a fairly small market, it packs an incr…

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A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Homemade linguine with basil pesto, trumpet mushrooms, pecorino romano, and pine nuts I had never heard of pesto until I got to college. During my freshman year I had a crummy work-study job ladling food at the cafeteria. On my first day I was ass…

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DESTROY EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH

Teochew style chicken with basil and Sichuan peppercorn Another recipe from Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. The greens are deep fried basil leaves. I love how luminously translucent they become after cooking. Of course, t…

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COOKING WITH KIDS

Goat curry with coconut milk Goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, yet it’s difficult to come by in the U.S.. Luckily for me, there’s a sweet lady who offers it at my neighborhood farmer’s market every Sunday. Goat is ideal for brais…

#Mains

BEING BORING

Pad Thai I never order Pad Thai when I’m eating at a Thai restaurant. It’s like ordering a hamburger at a high end steak house — incredibly pointless and lacking in all the real action. Why order noodles that have likely been adulterated with sic…

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MASTERPIECE-A PIZZA

Aloo Gobhi Naan Pizza One time when I was shopping at Lotte Plaza, I came across a giant freezer full of naan pizzas on sale for $1.50 each. Although I generally try to stay away from frozen meals, I nevertheless proceeded to load my cart with a h…

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CUCINA POVERA

Tagliatelle with asparagus and clams A riff on the ubiquitous linguine with clams using leftover bacon and konbu dashi from shrimp and grits combined with sherry, soy sauce, and a seafood broth made using the shrimp shells.

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EASY A

Fried yellow rice with chickpeas, baked spinach, onions, and feta One thing I’d like to get better at is creating my own dishes without recipes. This is probably when studying old episodes of Iron Chef would come in handy, applying their lessons t…

#Mains

WHATEVER I WANT, WHENEVER I WANT IT

Shrimp and grits with bacon, spinach, scallion This one’s adapted from the Momofuku cookbook. Naturally, it’s got a bit of a Japanese twist, with a konbu and soy sauce base for the grits’ cooking liquid. I was inspired to make this after I got the…

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IN DEFENSE OF PROCESSED CRAP

A sea of sunny yellow / Mac ‘n cheese making fun of side dish raw, macerated kale Here is how I normally prepare mac ‘n cheese: Take one box of Velveeta with shells (the kind that comes with a silver pouch of liquid cheese). Boil approximately thr…

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SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Oxtail in berbere sauce with collard greens and rice This is an adaptation of Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe for doro wott from his pan-African cookbook The Soul of a New Cuisine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen oxtail in Ethiopian dishes before, but it’…

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COCO LOCO

Spaghetti nero with dandelion greens, shrimp, squid, tomato jelly, and tom kha broth / Telephone brand agar agar / Tomato jelly fingers I guess I’m going coco loco this week. I returned recently from a trip to Germany and Switzerland, where I ate …

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PLAYING FAVORITES

Goan-style curry with tofu over a brown basmati and red rice blend Coconut milk curry was one of the first things I ever tried to make on my own and throughout the years has remained one of my chief culinary obsessions. I will probably be forever …

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NO SUGAR NECESSARY

Sopa Tarasca (black bean soup, Michoacan style) Mexican cream (crema Mexicana), which is what that squiggle is, is one of my favorite condiments. Creme fraiche ain’t got nothing on it.

#Mains

NO JERK, NO CRY

Jerk chicken with fried cabbage Ever see this meme? I think the same thing happens every time I try to make Jamaican, or Ethiopian, or Thai, or any other food that I dearly love that is from a place I will likely never visit. I got the recipe for …

#Mains

REMIX

Homemade tagliatelle with lentils, pecorino romano, dill, and tomato Leftovers meal inspired by a recipe at the excellent Greek cooking blog Kalofagas.

#Baking & Sweets

TRASH TALKING

Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies. Sometimes I can’t decide which photo to use, with or without props. So I lied when I said I would stay away from the Milk Bar cookbook. Lindsey made the big mistake of leaving a jar full of peanut butter cups in …

#Mains

THE ROOF IS ON FIRE

Larb nuaa gae (Minced lamb salad) Last week I went to Little Serow, a basement restaurant run by the same people who own the esteemed Komi. Little Serow serves up Isan cuisine, from the northern countryside provinces of Thailand. I’d had Isan befo…

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YESTERDAY’S CREPES

Crepe with Brussels sprouts, andouille sausage, pecan, and pecorino romano A dinner (or breakfast) made entriely out of leftovers: sausage and nuts remaining from this week’s farro dish, buttermilk left from making the funfetti cake, Brussels spro…

#Baking & Sweets

FUNfetti

Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake, for my roommate Lindsey Because even though she claims to be a grown ass woman, we all know Lindsey is really a kid at heart. Although it was quite tasty and not too difficult to make, I probably won’t be trying an…

#Mains

NEW YORK TO LOUISIANA

Farro with andouille sausage and pecans Remember back in the early noughties when a then 20 year old Britney Spears opened the doomed to fail restaurant NYLA in midtown Manhattan? It featured Britney’s favorite Louisiana home cooking crossed with …

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A FRENCH DISH, ETHIOPIAN FLAVORS

Arctic char and lentils cooked in berbere I don’t mind making my own berbere powder in a pinch, but the best of that paprika heavy spice mixture can be bought at Zenebech Injera. Tyler Cowen was not exaggerating when he declared Zenebech the best …

#Mains

DINNER IS SERVED…

Pan-fried noodles with tofu and peppers I’ve been posting photos of my creations in the kitchen to Facebook for almost a year. When I started, I had no intention other than to document the activity that brings me the most consistent joy and sense …