It was "half price all vegetables" at the Maroc on Saturday, so I spent the amount I was planning to spend and bought twice as much stuff. Above: 5-minute sugar snap peas in butter. Below: Ottolenghi's roasted fennel with goat cheese and lemon zest; vadouvan salmon with what should've been Ottolenghi smashed ginger cucumbers and a beet chutney from Nigella; torrential downpour at Paviljoen van de Dame in Paterswolde; Ottolenghi's cauliflower cake; an excellent kaas/worst plankje from Maallust in Veenhuizen; windowsill snails making off with almonds and cat food; something dreadful-looking from the Coastal Maine Cookbook.
These, having followed the directions exactly. Well, I baked them for 32 minutes or so, looking for that "papery skin on top", but instead kind of dried them out so they cracked and had to be glued back together with salted caramel. Still the best brownies ever. I didn't follow the salted caramel recipe in the link, I bought some Bebogeen and melted it in a saucepan then added some brown sugar, salt, and butter until it tasted right.
The idea was to get it to taste something like La Costeña's salsa verde. The jury is still out on that, but it's a pretty good green salsa. Here's what I did.
a handful of cilantro
4 green or red Holland peppers
1/2 an onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup water
a pinch of cumin seed
a pinch of oregano
Cook garlic and onion with the tomatillos, water, cumin, and oregano in a wok or something until the garlic and onion don't seem raw anymore. Then throw that and everything else in a food processor and process. This makes enough to fill one Heinz ketchup bottle (pictured).
Looks like the Europeanization of VDuck is nearly complete: I'm maybe going on a summer holiday in August, along with the rest of Europe. Maybe everyone else will all be somewhere other than where I'm (tentatively) going, places which have been chosen very nearly at random except for Zahara de los Atunes, which is the point of this vacation: driving from Amsterdam to Zahara de los Atunes, Go ahead.
La Tortue. They have a restaurant that serves a vegetarian menu! But there's no way we'll arrive early enough to try it. Dinner only. La lieutenance. Supposedly always has one vegetarian starter and one vegetarian main on the menu, open for lunch, which will be our only real possible sit-down meal in Honfleur, which we probably won't do. La Feuillede Vigne. Thus, we will get groceries here. According to Saveur, it's like "an Aladdin’s cave of tasty tipples and artisanal groceries; it has about 800 wines and spirits on sale, plus rillettes, oils, vinegars and terrines." Except they're not open Thursday, which is the day we need them to be open. Fuck. Gribouille Honfleur. This badly translated article actually has a lot of good addresses and ideas, maybe one of them will actually be open when we're there.
4 AUGUST to MONT SAINT-MICHEL A rocky tidal island! The new parking area next to La Caserne is 2.5km south of Mont St-Michel. To get from there to the Mont, you can either walk or take a free shuttle that lets you off 300m from the Mont’s main gate. Shuttles run 24 hours a day – regularly from 7am to 1am, when summoned by phone after that. Count on spending 45 minutes to an hour to get from the parking lot to the abbey.
La Sirene. Touristy islands are generally not known for their food, so I am guessing we should bring a picnic or something, but just in case.
8 AUGUST to MADRID "The most Spanish of Spain's cities". Gastromaquia. Best-looking vegetarian friendly place I've found. Should probably reserve. Rayén Vegano. Small, organic, vegan, reservation mandatory. Artemisa. Big menu, can't get excited about it but we'll have to see what our vegetable needs are after 5 days in hostile territory.
El Refugio. Where we tried to eat last time, but they were "Closed Wednesdays." I like this TripAdvisor review: "We had an awful experience in that restaurant . We had a friend with intolerance to different food and they advised us to eat at home next time Because we are the nightmare of waiters. Very poor portions, too salty to make you drink. To avoid. they probably didn't expected we were food bloggers." You're not food bloggers.
Went to Som Tam Saturday night and the food is as good as ever, plus the aesthetics of the seating situation are dramatically improved. And thank god the service hasn't reached TripAdvisor levels of acceptability: the restaurant is #2,060 out of 2,828 restaurants in Amsterdam at the moment, which means you can still go there at 21:00 on Saturday night and have an affordable delicious num num time.
Very weird. The apartment smells like I just made hamburgers. I feel like I just had a hamburger. And yet: what really happened was that I stumbled into some food porn last night and got a hankering for, well, p-p-p-p-protein, and one thing led to another, until.....
Well, no, not quite like that. But true, food porn last night. And today, there I was, I'm cleaning out the fridge. And I thought yeahhh there was some sauerkraut in there wasn't there, so I wondered, heyyy is there any way to combine the zhoug I made last night with sauerkraut. I meannn (ok, what is happeningggg), they both have caraway. And that made me think of the ol' tempeh reubens. So I googled the components of each in a big long search string, and one thing led to another, until.....
Ok ok long story short (really?) I'm giving "all this backstory" b/c I think, well: I think I may have accidentally invented a meatless meat that doesn't taste horrible and is full of real ingredients.
Basically: make one batch of zhoug, and one batch of tempeh for tempeh reubens, in fact you prrrobably don't even need all the seasoning from the reubens I don't think, just 2 tbsp of prepared mustard and 1/4 cup of soy sauce and mwah some amount of black pepper. Then combine in a food processor to some still barely-textured mass.
Form into whatever shape you like, and fry up. Adorn with condiments, definitely Heinz ketchup, no they're not a sponsor but they sure fkn should bbeeeeee; some kind of pickle, those are homemade quick pickles. Some kind of creaminess, and wellll avocado really is an ok mayonnaise substitute in some situations. And then the red onion I just didn't have and couldn't be arsed to go get. Oh and it turns out the sauerkraut? Was moldy. I mean...yeah. Anyway: "More later."
This is an often-NSFW, mostly gluten-free kitchen notebook that also occasionally threatens to turn into something else and fails, thus remaining its same old cryptic and superficial self. These posts begin to fail to explain (start at the bottom).