Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flavor Combinations - Obsession Du Jour

Fig and tamarind.

Moroccan Feastival

The other night I made a Moroccan feast.  

A friend was leaving for a trip to Morocco so I wanted to send her off right.  

We were eating traditionally, communally, off platters with our hands.  

I started off with hot towels served table side, and then broke off six courses of glory - three salads - a garlicky cucumber tomato salad, a warm sauteed eggplant in a thick red tomato sauce, and a chilled marinated carrot and parsley salad- all were served with a big basket of torn warm bread for scooping.  Then came lemon chicken served whole.  Next couscous and currants, then the motherload - sweet and savory bastilla, then a bakliva cake with a burned butter mint sauce, next came mint tea, and finally an overflowing bowl of whole fruits. 

If there was a cooks equivalent to spiking a football I would have done it at the end of the meal... and then I would have done some kind of asshole dance too.  It was good... by God it was good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Oh, Hai.  How have you been?  Sorry I haven't written you in awhile but I have been busy learning how to become a proper gypsy.  I've taken up some new hobbies including beard growing, showering with only a Nalgene bottle and a stick of gum, and bird watching. Things are really going great.

So right, where have I been... ?  There was Manhatten, Philly, the Smokey Mountains, Asheville, Nashville, Memphis, Hot Springs NP, Austin, Carlsbad Caverns, Madrid, Santa Fe, Taos, Flagstaff, Vegas, Red Rocks, Death Valley, Mohave Desert, Joshua Tree, San Diego, Los Angeles, back to Joshua Tree, back to Flagstaff - this time for two weeks, Sequoia NP, Berkeley, San Fran and now Sonoma... Oh, glorious, glorious Sonoma.  

I've been in Cali for quite some time and have little concept of time anymore but I think I have been here for (boop, boop, beep, bop... calculating)... almost three weeks.  Holy shit!  That seems like a long time.  Wow.  

It's just so glorious that I can't leave... a perfect storm of ocean cliffs, green green mountains, mossy redwoods, and rolling hillsides covered with vineyards... brilliant yellow mustard flowers blowing in the breeze. Mwa!  

And the food, the wine, the oranges, lemons, Dungenous crab, avocados... Sigh.  Cali cuisine, so distinct, so healthy and so fresh.

Plus, I have found so many new obsessions... Nutritional yeast, canned fish, agave syrup, kombucha...

Oh, and my favorite - Ak Mak

It's SO good.  Flat bread crackery type things that are wonderfully healthy yet really flavorful. They are so light and airy with this really distinct and desirable texture... one that I've never seen before.  And the taste is really complex and all sesame-like.  Mmm!  Plus if you're a God-fearing person they are somehow holy... I don't know how, you will have to read the packaging to know how or why they will get you closer to divinity or whatever but, suffices to say, they are some tasty-ass Jesus crackers...