From the Kitchen #1

A round up of recipes to try and foods to seek out.


Red curry-spiced kabocha soup with Thai basil pesto

This soup had the best red curry paste I’ve made from scratch, as well as a pretty decent Thai basil pesto that I whipped up on the fly. I wish I had written down the ingredients and amounts I used. Unfortunately, my general method for these things is indiscriminately throw stuff in bowl and pound aggresively. The pumpkin soup recipe is adapted from 101 Cookbooks.


Nhom bao

Buns from Battambang Market II

I found these pretty Cambodian-style steamed buns with sausage at Battambang Market II ($5 for 4). When photographing them, I wanted to see if capturing steam on film actually makes food sexier, the way it does in Olive Garden commercials. As you can see, what I wound up with was a blur that looks like I smeared my greasy fingers all over the lens.


Fried bananas with coconut rice and broiled grapefruit

IMG_6303-fried-banana

Somehow, despite having cooked plantains countless times, it never occurred to me to deep fry slices of banana. After seeing this recipe from Saveur, I decided to give it a shot and, well, mind blown. Imagine soft, melty puddles of banana inside puffy batter shells. I ate them for breakfast with some sweetened coconut rice and grapefruit slices thrown under the broiler. If I had had some condensed milk on hand, I certainly would have drizzled it on top.


Basterma

IMG_6696-basterma

How I managed to make it this far in my food exploits without having ever heard of basterma, I don’t know. But I’m obsessed and think this might be my new favorite food. Although the etymology of basterma’s name hints at a relation to pastrami, it’s really more like a bresaola seasoned with all the best spices: paprika, cumin, garlic, and fenugreek. All other salted meats just seem dull and plain in comparison to me now.

At the moment, I’m tempted to get a hunk of beef and some berbere powder and make my own, with an Ethiopian slant. Can home curing your own beef be all that dangerous?

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