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          Food Obsessions
          • Featured Content
          • April27th

            We drink a lot of water in my household. We used to drink lime-flavored bottled sparkling water. Which I would purchase, a case at a time, every other week. And I was getting sick of it. Sick of all of the bottles (which we recycled, but still) and sick of transporting the large cases of waters from the store.

            It seemed quite wasteful, especially considering all of the half-empty bottles we’d recycle at the end of the week. I didn’t see an end to our bad habit until I saw a soda water machine in action at “High Heels and Hammers”, a local hardware store event for women. It’s a SodaStream, which totally sounds like a late-night- made-for-TV-home-shopping product. And maybe it is, but I saw some potential and a way of getting around those cases of water. It took the guy less than 30 seconds to make sparkling water, and it tasted just like the $1.29/bottle stuff I was buying at the store. And so, it became the answer to my bottled water problem.

            The water carbonator requires no electricity and promises about 6-8 weeks worth of soda water, depending on your weekly sparkling water consumption. It sits in a tiny corner of my kitchen allowing me to make sparkling water anytime. I usually just drink some bubbly with a twist of lemon. This is a good solution for now, but it’s not perfect. But it beats buying nearly 300 bottles of water a year.

          • April26th

            Faux Fish Tacos

            Posted in: cook

            Fish Tacos

            Seduced by Food and Wine Magazine’s April cover, I’ve been eating fish tacos all month. Actually, my taco obsession started last summer with a late afternoon lunch of succulent, yucatecan pit-barbecue style pork tacos with with spicy pickled red onions at Dos Caminos in Soho. I’d forgotten about the tacos until I saw the little meat and veggie beauties on the magazine cover.

            I began my search for fish tacos which began and ended with a few Mexican fast food restaurants. I wasn’t satisfied. The fish was either a cold, fried little fillet or the taco, a wet sloppy mess. I decided to take the matter into my own hands and just make them myself. Not letting a few failed attempts at making fish tacos in the past get me down, I searched the web for recipes. I knew that cabbage played a key role, along with a creamy sauce, of maybe guacamole or sour cream.

            Again, Food and Wine Magazine didn’t disappoint, as they recipe I was looking for – something with lightly seasoned cabbage, guacamole and of course fish. I altered the recipe a bit, cheating a bit with bagged grated cabbage and frozen fish fillets (which I don’t recommend unless you want a really bland piece of fish). I made a quick pico de gallo and added a touch of sour cream to the finished product. The leftovers were a bit better, since I seasoned the fish a bit before popping in the oven and heated the corn tortillas until blistery with grill marks. I’m looking forward to my next batch which will undoubtedly be much better with fresh fish and fresh grated cabbage.

            Food and Wine Recipe: Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Guacamole and Cabbage Slaw

          • April16th

            poached egg and asparagus

            I’m a newly minted workshifter, which means I work from home. I don’t follow a special schedule, so my hours are still pretty much 9-5. But it does mean with a little planning, I can have a fabulous home-cooked breakfast. Excited for spring after the all of the snow this winter, I was eager to pick up some asparagus from the market. It’s just one of those vegetables that marks the beginning of spring and warm weather.

            Fresh from an early morning run to the market, I quickly put on a shallow pot of water to poach a couple of eggs while frying a potato pancake. I love potato pancakes and I reduced the effort of preparation to nearly zilch by buying frozen hashbrowns and doctoring them up with a sprinkle of good onion and garlic powders, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and an egg. The egg is key in holding everything together and works fine with frozen potatoes. I took an even lazier approach to cooking the asparagus by throwing it in a shallow bowl with a little water and steaming it in the microwave.

            The finished dish was a potato pancake topped with a few slices of prosciutto, 2 beautifully poached eggs (although it may not seem so from the picture) and steamed asparagus. Fifteen minutes from prep to table and I was sopping up oozing eggs with steamed asparagus. The prosciutto added the perfect amount of savory saltiness and went perfectly with the potato pancake.? Next time I’ll finish the dish with a little truffle oil when I feel a little indulgent.

          • April15th

            Injera Love

            Posted in: eat

            veggie combo and meat

            A fuzzy photo of one of my favorite meals – vegetarian combo of collard greens, yellow lentils, cabbage and tomato salad with a heaping mound of minchet abish, finely chopped beef flavored with ginger, garlic and onion. This dish is addictive and could draw any lover of savory meats into a local Ethiopian restaurant. Lucky for me, there are several to pick from in the DC area.

            So, what’s so special about a platter of injera, the spongy sour bread lining the platter, covered with small mounds of legumes, vegetables and beef aside from the fact that the injera also serves as an eating utensil? It’s what you don’t see – the spices and aromatics that infuse each small mound with mouth watering and complex flavors . Oh, and butter. Yes, a spiced clarified butter made flavorful with the addition onions, garlic, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon , nutmeg and cloves. It’s no secret that butter makes beef taste better, which is why steak houses finish steaks with a pat of butter.

            But it’s not just the beef.? I’m not a huge fan of cabbage, but I somehow find myself drawn this preparation of al dente cabbage, cooked through but not mushy.? The tomato salad is a simple, zesty mix of chopped tomatoes, jalapeno and white onion. The collard greens are also simply prepared with jalapeno for a little heat.

            And the yellow lentils are a gem. Lentils simmered with a plethora of onions, garlic and turmeric until thick and saucy make for a savory vegetarian dish. While most recipes call for one or two onions, the slow cooking mellows the strong onion flavor. That and the fact that the finely chopped onions are dry cooked first, without any oil, which adds an interesting flavor. I’ve made this dish a couple of times and it is well worth the effort.

            Something about the spices make me crave this food, especially since I love spicy, savory food. While the bread resembles tripe more than anything else, its spongy texture really compliments the flavors of the dishes. Trying Ethiopian food just a little curiosity and a willingness to step outside the box and put down the knife and fork. In the DC area, the best restaurants aren’t really the fanciest in the lot, they are the ones where you find Ethiopians dining. One of my favorite spots is only worth visiting for lunch, when you’ll see Ethiopian families dining.