Pizza: take two by Anjuli

Posted on 07-01-10 · Tags: ,

Pizza take two

Ok ok, so I didn’t make this pizza. It’s from HUB (that’s Hopworks Urban Brewery) here in Portland. They have good beers, burgers, and pizza. Amen. This one was topped with feta, mozzarella, spinach, black olives, and garlic. I can’t make any claims to its deliciousness other than the fact we had the foresight to pack up after 4 slices last night and bring the rest home to reheat for lunch today in the toaster oven. Oh, and I may have slipped a few sardines in there. This was an excellent pizza yesterday. But today, that feta toasted beautifully, all golden and bubbling; those black olives developed little crispy edges and oh… let’s just say I closed my eyes while eating this slice. But the real secret is that almost burnt outer crust with its earthy goodness (and obviously carcinogenic badness, so don’t eat the totally charred bits) and golden, flaky layers which give way to a decidedly chewy center. I think the following day it’s more pie than pizza. Anything good about a pizza pie can only be enhanced in the toaster oven. Few foods can lay claim to being reborn. Pizza, well, few foods are pizza for sure.

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Donburi by Anjuli

Posted on 06-30-10 · Tags: ,

Donburi w/ fried egg and wilted arugula w/ miso

Is there anything sexier than a perfectly fried egg? Is there anything more arousing than that shockingly orange and plumped yolk, quivering and barely peeking through the white as you prick it ever so lightly with your fork? I think not. The delicious mess of ooey, gooey sunny yolk spilling forth all over your dinner is just about the best thing that could happen to anything. So why can’t restaurants, or diners for that matter, see the egg as anything other than a cheap, rubbery substitute for dinner?

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Home at last (at least for June!) by Anjuli

Posted on 06-11-10 · Tags: , , ,

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PDX, Stumptown, Beertown. In broad strokes (ahem, I’ve been here for a week and a half) Portland feels like Brooklyn on half-time. In place of Manhattan you have monstrous sequoias, pine trees, rivers, bikes, b*tches and beer. The people here are very vocal about putting their money where their mouth is. The city has become a nexus for organic eateries, gluten-free bakeries, and vegan and vegetarian everything (cookies, condoms, leather and lollipops). I’m not particularly prone to labels and imitations – on my food or otherwise, but it’s damn refreshing to be in a place where quality and conscientiousness are part of the baseline.

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Kichidi in a thermos by Anjuli

Posted on 06-09-10 · Tags: , ,

Kichidi

I wanted to share with you a delicious little secret that has been keeping me happy and healthy for the last few months. Matt and I have been on the move a lot lately. We were in India in March, spent some time on the Ayurvedic detox treatment Panchakarma, then two incredible weeks at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School learning tracking and survival skills, and a lot of time going here and there and everywhere. 2010 has been an amazing journey. This spring has been about getting back to the roots of our heritage, nature, and bodies as physical beings.

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Awesome oatmeal by Anjuli

Posted on 05-15-10 · Tags: , , , ,

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been making my morning. Yes, just oatmeal. The simplest foods are the best without fail. This is oatmeal that has been soaked overnight in water with raisins so that it cooks as quick as the quickest oatmeal and turns a velvety smooth texture from the added acid. The soaking also neutralizes the phytic acid in the oats, making the oats more easily digestible and preventing the acid from robbing your body of minerals. It’s oatmeal that’s brought to a boil and simmers softly for five minutes or so while I stretch and wake my body up with a morning yoga. It’s oatmeal studded with plump raisins, sweetened with a glug of Connecticut maple syrup, and dressed up with a good dose of cardamom and cinnamon. Nestled in a bowl surrounded in a moat of hot milk, it is just oatmeal, inspired by Mom and made by Matt. I couldn’t imagine a better way to wake up.

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Asparagus and ramp tart by Anjuli

Posted on 04-25-10 · Tags: , , , , , ,

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A couple weeks ago, our friend Gail brought us some ramps. She had carefully pulled them out by the roots in the woods at the corner of her yard, washed them off, and double bagged them. They sat in our fridge and I wondered what to do! Wild ramps are delightfully potent, sweet and tender but with a good kick, just like the good cousin of a leek would be. In sweet and early spring they are an incredible find. Come late and they will most certainly kick you on your ass. So they sat in the fridge while I thought of pestos and pastas and sauces and stuffings and such things.

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Dandelion dal: Harvest your lawn by Anjuli

Posted on 04-22-10 · Tags: , , , ,

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I’ve been visiting my Mom in Connecticut. See, we’re enjoying the first crop of asparagus and writing a cookbook together. Yes, that’s right. We woke up one morning and this view came out of nowhere. What do you see when you look at this photo? A field of flowers, dandelions, perhaps? A mowed lawn in dire need of weeding? My Mom, well she sees food. On this particular morning she looked out over the dandelions, their bright yellow heads sprouting up through the freshly cut lawn and said, “Let’s make some dal.” This is my first spring outside of New York and I am just adjusting to pollen, let alone a garden and a lawn. Making a meal of this lawn… a dal at that, sounded like the best food idea I’d heard all year. So the following morning she headed out with a gardening fork and cut that first bed of dandelions and piled them into a basket. They were fresh, young, a bit sweet and wonderfully bitter – so far away from that summer bitterness that makes you gag, and nothing like the matured and metallic farmed variety you find in the store.

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Black bean soup + Utah’s red dirt by Anjuli

Posted on 02-09-10 · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

"Black" bean soup

Lately I have been reading about the Japanese cooking philosophy, washoku, in a wonderful book of the same name by Elizabeth Andoh. Included in the principles of the washoku philosophy are considerations of: the five colors (go shiki), five tastes (go mi), five senses (go kan), and five ways… of preparing food (go hō). These principles are used to prepare meals daily, from elaborate multi-course kaiseki to the simplest of breakfasts. While they can easily be identified in Japanese cooking, and the Japanese certainly do a beautiful job of interpreting their philosophy, guidelines like these are an excellent way of exploring any meal or cuisine. While the list may seem daunting, it’s quite simple, and quiet effective in guiding us to create healthful, satisfying meals.

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Carne con chile by Anjuli

Posted on 02-02-10 · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pojoaque - new house and neighbors

Some foods are so hearty and so beloved that selecting one among the many variations is like waging war upon all the others. This is probably the case with beef chili, which some claim to have evolved from a Northern Mexican dish, and some a purely American one. My childhood memory of beef chili would more accurately be: “ground beef with kidney beans,” or the faintest memory of that other, “vegetarian” kind, which never held my attention for more than a few bites. In fact, I never really understood what the “chili” part of the dish was referring to, except for some faint red spice bombarded by too much oregano and cumin.

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Spicy Tuscan soup by Anjuli

Posted on 01-28-10 · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Spicy Tuscan Soup

You can’t go wrong with hearty soups and stews in winter. They make any snowfall feel like the best of snow days, they restore your body and relax your mind, and they simply and deliciously warm you up from the inside out. My family doesn’t eat pork all the time. But when we come across a really good spicy pork sausage, we immediately find a big soup pot to put it in. Allowing the thick coins to soften and infuse a light broth with their rich, spicy, fatty goodness can change your whole outlook on cooking in winter. There must be a group of people out there who have devised recipes that showcase turkey and chicken sausage, but this soup is not one of those recipes. Furthermore, I am not one of those people. The fat and spice is what gives peasant-like soups their umph. It’s why you find yourself leaning in over the bowl and breathing in deep. And fat certainly puts the soul in good ol’ chicken soup.

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