Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

The year started with hearing the ring of my father's voice a few minutes past midnight. What a wonderful way to start the New Year!

For our New Year's feast, we ate a few dishes that Bug and I made the past few days and things we picked up along the way shopping at our regular 3 Asian grocery stores on New Year's Day.

Gumbo. Phenomenal. It was extra spicy this time with the addition of spicier than normal andouille sausage. Miles Market was selling it for pretty cheap - four large sausages for just over $4. Oh, he also added habanero Tabasco sauce. The shrimp was decently priced at the West Side Market - $7/lb for 21 ct raw shrimp. I am also glad that we found a recipe for roux that doesn't require oil! (Blasphemy!) No, I can't tell the difference in flavor or color.

Rogan josh. Very tasty and spicy! It was Bug's first time making this from scratch. My tongue got fuzzy-numb when I ate this. I wonder if it's from the cardamom. I blame everything wrong with a recipe on the cardamom since our pho disaster. I wonder how different this dish would have tasted had we used ghee (clarified butter) instead of vegetable oil.

Namul. It took me an hour to pick the roots off of each sprout, but it was worth it. I also strayed from the recipe by adding chili pepper flakes. I tapped the bag of flakes and 1/3 cup spilled out over about a pound of the bean sprouts. It looks pretty...yeah.

Sardines. We received 2 cans of Mega sardines Afritada style as a gift while shopping at Good Harvest. We love this place, even though their parking lot SUCKS, because they give out treats to customers. In the summer, we often get those cool tubs of lychee cups! I am not really familiar with what Afritada style is, but whatever it is, it tastes great! This tiny can, the size of one of those tiny cans of tomato paste, had around 5-7 sardines, potatoes, peas, and tomatoes. The nutritional fact box said this was 3 servings though. It made me feel like such a glutton since I ate the whole can by myself.

Fukujinzuke. This tasted great with the rogan josh. The crunchy texture and the slight sweetness balanced the brown herbal flavor of the rogan josh. I suppose that's why it goes so well with Japanese curry.

Kim chee. We cheated and bought a jar instead of making it, since I wanted kim chee jjigae this week instead of waiting a few weeks for the homemade kim chee to cook.

Bok tong go (steamed rice cake). You never know how much you miss something [fresh] until you can't have it anymore. The Star Bulletin has a great article on this treat. It's hard to get this out-of-the-steamer fresh here. At best, we get it a day later. I've bought them where it's so dry, it feels like I am eating dried up Elmer's glue. It's $1.25 for two slices, each piece is about 2" x 3" x 1" (short, yeah?).

Pork buns. I was never really fond of these while growing up. I still am not totally sold on it. The slightly sweetened bread is what I LOVE. As a child, I would eat the bread edges off the manapua, like one would eat an apple or pear, and leave the middle part with the meat for my mother. I wanted to do it this time, but Bug wasn't fond of it and I didn't want to waste my 59 cents.

Mixed bag of treats. I love the bags of mixed Japanese pastries. I picked up one that had dorayaki and monaka. Mmm were they good. I was tempted to instead buy some mochi to heat up and roll in kinako powder, but I didn't. I'll save that for a later date. I miss eating fresh kinako mochi at the buffet at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Full belly! *collapse*

- Cassaendra

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