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inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #151 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Fri 24 Oct 03 13:11
    
Probably because I did some of my testing on my play, girl-scout
lightbulb Japanese oven!

If anyone's around Black Oak Books in Berkeley next Tuesday at 7:30,
stop in and hear my talk! I'll be making some appetizers. A bunch of us
are probably going to eat upstairs at Chez Panisse afterwards. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #152 of 197: Berliner (captward) Fri 24 Oct 03 13:11
    
I've got the braised pork loins scheduled for Sunday. Even bought a
bottle of (yuck) fresh carrot juice at the health food store. Gonna go
see some Turks about the dates tomorrow. 

Hmmm, side dish with German-available ingredients...
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #153 of 197: Gonna gosee some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Fri 24 Oct 03 14:46
    
I am all over that.

AND I've alerted the publisher to fix the hideous error to "braised."

Ed dude the beloved carrot juice should not induce a yuck--surely
there are some hippies *somewhere* in Germany pressing some fresh? Are
you buying that canned crap?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #154 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Fri 24 Oct 03 15:22
    
It breaks my heart that Germans don't have easy access to fresh vegetables
and herbs. Urban Germans, I suppose.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #155 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Fri 24 Oct 03 15:36
    
And what is the deal with that?? Rich, urbane, sophisticated European
epicureans, with no farmers' market explosion?? Why not Ed?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #156 of 197: Berliner (captward) Sat 25 Oct 03 03:39
    
Forgive me if I eschew the 100,000 word essay on the lack of
sensuality in German culture, but I live in a part of the world where
"vegetables" means cabbage and "seafood" means Matjes herring. A friend
of mine went to Eric's website and became horribly depressed by seeing
scallops mentioned there. If you put a gun to my head I'm not sure I
could find a scallop here. I once saw an Arab vegetable stand guy
trying to convince an old German guy to buy an avocado, and the German
guy was backing away like it was a grenade with the pin pulled.
Seasonal cooking? Fahgeddaboudit: my first summer here I noticed the
smell of roast pork and potatoes all over my building every Sunday,
even though it was in the low 90s outdoors. Herbs? Bohnenkraut (summer
savory) for beans, chives for quark and liverwurst, parseley for
garnish. Spices? Nutmeg everywhere. 

The psychological explanation is self-hatred, a phenomenon one finds
most easily in German women, but which comes out a lot in all manner of
artistic and interpersonal expressions. Why should I feel good? I am
not a good person. 

Rich, yes. Urbane, sometimes. Sophistication largely exists in
attempts not to be German, by insinuating oneself in another, usually
more "primitive" culture. And the farmers' markets are filled with root
vegetables, mostly radishes and turnips. This is why, after ten years,
I'm trying to move somewhere else in Europe where people indulge
themselves more. Sure, there will be frustrations and problems, but
they'll be refreshingly different. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to the Turkish store for those dang dates. And no,
there's no fresh juice at the health food store. I bought a bottle of
100% pure juice (not the sugared kind or the kind mixed with orange
juice) and it's just going to have to do. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #157 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Sat 25 Oct 03 07:14
    
Man that sounds fucking depressing.

How can it be that Italy is so close, yet so far? Get over there, man!

I'm off to Pasadena this morning for the southern cal booksellers
association's "authors feast" event/schmoozathon. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #158 of 197: speedstickwolfers (chrys) Sat 25 Oct 03 07:43
    
We need to send Ed some fresh fruit & vegetable CARE packages.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #159 of 197: Berliner (captward) Sat 25 Oct 03 08:13
    
I'm "not far" from Italy, but them damn pesky Alps. Hey, if I could
find a way to make a living over there, I'd be there in a flash. I'm
looking at France at the moment, though. *They* believe in fresh fruit
and vegetables!

And <chrys>, thanks, but please don't get me arrested. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #160 of 197: Alex Tobin (texture) Mon 27 Oct 03 01:48
    
Luckily, the fresh veg situation here in Holland is much better, even
if most of it comes out of greenhouses.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #161 of 197: Berliner (captward) Mon 27 Oct 03 08:28
    
Made the pork loin and the apple pilaf last night. I'm worried now
because it's getting to be dinnertime and I'm not going to make
anything *nearly* that good for the rest of the week, and yet I've done
it once. Amazing flavors, my friend who came over was totally knocked
out and called his girlfriend this morning to tell her he's making it
for her this weekend. 

It wasn't even perfect: I couldn't find fresh rosemary so I had to use
dried -- and old; I spaced out on the almonds for the rice, and
they're important, I think, for the balance that dish wants. Stupid:
they're right there at my "supermarket," and I crawled around the
Turkish shops that were open on Sunday and nobody had them. And Aaron
brought a Pinot Noir (Domaine de Martinolles, vin de pays de l'Aude)
that was the Wrong Wine, but the guy at the French wine store said it
would be okay. 

None of that made a lick of difference. I'm going to march on, buy
some peppermint next time I'm at the Asian store, and use that instead
of shiso. I'm hooked.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #162 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Mon 27 Oct 03 13:12
    
Glad to hear it went well Ed. The almonds ARE pretty important, in
that they add a lot of pleasant toothiness to it, but they're nowhere
near crucial, as you found out ..... and mint will be a fine sub for
shiso, though it will lend a different character.... (try tarragon
too).

The socal bookfest was pretty great--the Westin made dinner for 200,
all from Breakaway recipes, and it was good; people seemed to like it. 

Before the event, on a whim with several hours to kill, I drove up to
Mt. Baldy, expecting to be turned away because of the fires, but got
through and visited my old monk friends at the zen center up there, and
cooked them lunch. It was great to be back in that kitchen, the site
of my first "wow" moments in cooking good food; I used to help out in
the kitchen there when I was 19--I still remember being transfixed
about how good the food was (and is--they do a wonderful job). The head
monk invited me to stay for a few months, and write the Mt. Baldy Zen
Center Cookbook, something he's wanted to do for a long time, so I may
just take him up on it. 

The highlight of the fest was playing late-nite poker with Jim
McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street, a book of his experiences
with poker/the World Series of poker (he wrote a hilarious article
about poker in a recent Harper's). He coached me with two very basic
and very simple rules: fold quickly if you have a crappy hand, and use
maximum aggression if you have a good hand. I was getting dealt some
sweet cards, so didn't really need to bluff much! I think the ten or so
glasses of bourbon I drank at the table(Blanton's--yummy) somehow
helped.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #163 of 197: It matters who your daddy is. (debbie) Tue 28 Oct 03 09:55
    

and with just those rules you beat out a hundred people! I think you need to
sign up for the World Series of Poker!

so at the zen ctr were the same monks there that were there when you were
19?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #164 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Tue 28 Oct 03 11:14
    
One of the monks was still there, but he was travelling on the day I
visited, so I actually didn't see anyone that I knew, but the newer
monks were blown away that I knew most of their senpai (senior/those
with a longer tenure/experience), and totally welcomed me. The head
monk now is a sweet young-ish kid from nyc; he's the one all gung-ho to
do a mbzc cookbook. 

When I first walked up to the zendo to see if anyone was around, a
woman came out with a frantic look about her. There were a bunch of
people sitting, but it was apparently some group that gets really
offended by the slightest sound. 

The woman took me aside. I *whispered*, in the middle of the mountains
with the wind blowing pretty hard, that I was there to find the monks,
and did she know where they were? She shussed me twice, clearly upset
that her tranquility had been violated, and pointed me toward the
kitchen. I walked over to the kitchen, where it was all laughter and
pots banging--*real* tranquility. I told them the story, we all had a
hearty laugh. They need to make ends meet, so they rent out the space
to People Who Take It VERY Seriously. The contrast was so stark.  

The new monks did give me email addresses of all the old ones
though--my favorite monk, John, went back to his native New Zealand, so
I now have an official excuse to go to NZ sometime soon, I hope. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #165 of 197: Scott Burton (belly) Wed 29 Oct 03 15:57
    
It's rumored that (gower) is featured in today's Los Angeles Times Food
Section. Any truth to this tidbit, Eric?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #166 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Wed 29 Oct 03 16:10
    
Woowoowoo!

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-watch29oct29,1,3560887.story?coll=l
a-headlines-food
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #167 of 197: Scott Burton (belly) Wed 29 Oct 03 20:56
    
You go.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #168 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Wed 29 Oct 03 22:27
    
Why yes, she *did* say "the best new book I've cooked from in months".
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #169 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Thu 6 Nov 03 13:04
    
Someone sent me some pix from the Black Oak reading/event. Visible
perns include debbie, fom, kayo, and ellen. 

http://tinyurl.com/tyl4
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #170 of 197: a meat-vessel, with soul poured in (wellelp) Thu 6 Nov 03 22:53
    
Looks like everyone had a great time.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #171 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Thu 6 Nov 03 23:07
    
We did--and a group of us walked a block to Chez Panisse for the
finale!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #172 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Sat 22 Nov 03 09:57
    
Last night I fixed albacore tataki with Eric's lime ponzu and chipotle (page
22). Instead of lime, I doubled the recipe with 2 kabosu I scored at Super
Mira in Japantown. Kabosu look like lime but have a mild yellow-orange flesh
and a different citrusy flavored juice.

Anyway, it was terrific and I'm thinking of making more of this sauce for an
upcoming crab fest.

The funny thing is, last night I dreamt that I went to an Eric-catered
wedding function that took place in the afternoon, but earlier that day that
same family had a funeral in their home and Eric catered that too!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #173 of 197: Gonna go see some Turks about the dates tomorrow (gower) Sat 22 Nov 03 14:07
    
I get 'em when they join, and get 'em when they depart! That's
hilarious.

Yesterday I got three crabs at Ranch 99 ($2.99 lb.). Pulled all the
meat off, then sauteed a large amount of shallots in evoo and a big
chunk of sliced galangal (Thai ginger). Splashed some fresh-squeezed
oranges into it, a pat of butter, and some white wine, reduced that and
strained it, and gently worked it into the big bowl of crab. S&p plus
two diced avocados, oh my it was good. Just enough galanga to bring out
and heighten the crabbiness of the crab, yet the zing of the galangal
(or is it galanga) cut through the richness of it, producing this
result that seemed to highlight Essence of Crab. I'll be making that
again. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #174 of 197: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 24 Nov 03 15:49
    
> Last night I fixed albacore tataki with Eric's lime ponzu and chipotle

I wish I'd done that. I had a nice slab of fresh albacore last night and was
somewhat disappointed with the treatment I invented for it (surrounded it in
slices of fresh fuyu persimmons, then wrapped strips of bacon around that,
then grilled it in the oven).
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #175 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Tue 25 Nov 03 12:27
    
The flavors didn't penetrate the fish?
  

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