Sunday, March 15, 2009

EDF: Days 4 - 7

Day 4: Russell Peters!
Instead of staying home and cooking I went out to see a fantastic stand-up comedian, Russell Peters, at the Chicago Improv and ate some food while I was there.

Days 5&6: New York City!
Had some good food in New York but nothing I couldn't have made myself, if in fact I were to buy octopus and braise it. Ironically, I studied a cute octopus model at the Natural History Museum that very afternoon.

Day 7: I arrived home from my weekend trip and studied the contents of the fridge. Now I'll admit that some things in there have not survived the week (or two or three) that they've been patiently awaiting my culinary inspiration. Disturbingly soft jicama and withered mint leaves were promptly discarded. The teaspoon of whipping cream which remained after I made cream braised brussel sprouts did not need to be saved any longer. And the first wheel of brie from the buy 1 get 1 free sale was ready to be finished with some crackers while I made dinner.

Feeling good about my progress, I focused on the most perishable items remaining in the fridge: an open can of coconut milk, scallions, and a bag of sugar snap peas. I thought I could combine these items with tofu from the pantry to make some kind of coconut curry.

I went with the first recipe I found online. I had all the spices, could substitute sugar snap peas and carrots for the recommended bell peppers and mushrooms, and the reviewers raved about it. Picking a recipe is an art, nearly as challenging as making one up myself. The last few weeks I've had some misses, when recipes turned out less delicious than I thought they would. But those were recipes from cookbooks and magazines, not online, and there were no reviews. I love reading reviews. I may not agree with every reviewer but on average, when the reviews are great I like the recipe.

So I drained my tofu, soaked some glass noodles in boiling water to use them up instead of rice, and cooked up some vegetarian coconut curry. Not bad for a Sunday night.

Coming up...let the challenge continue because I have no time to go to the store anyway.

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