Recipes. Musings. Portland. Tucson. Fusing Cultures Through Cuisine
You are quite strange. This week has been odd and trying. Trying to wrap one’s mind around natural disasters, political upheavals and social unrest while adjusting to the changing of the “seasons” (from hot to hotter) can be a lot to take in all at once. How do you digest such traumatic events? How does one mitigate these happenings when all the spring break-o-philes in your building have declared it pool weather? Beer pong, Budweiser, bikinis and hillbilly horseshoes; apparently they did not get the panic button memo.
Living in the desert can be frighteningly serene. Aside from chugging 4 Nalgenes on a daily basis, you’ve kinda got it made. It’s March and I’ve been rocking a tank top since January. I had spent 26 years of my life never having seen a snow shovel. I play in roadside plow snow run off when visiting “weather” and “season” based parts of the United States despite the concerned stares of family and loved ones. I can’t understand how one drives in the drizzle let alone fends off a 10 feet of land starved Pacific liquid vengeance and firebombs of toxic goo. Trying to grasp the frailty of human life, the fallibility of human invention and innovation and the struggle for basic human rights and representation have been dismal to say the least. And the further I seem to delve into these ponderings, the murkier the water becomes. How does anything in one’s life seem relevant when compared to such global disarray? Living your life seems downright inappropriate if not filtered through this malaise of misery.
After about 5 days of uncharacteristic moodiness and following a lovely libation-influenced conversation with my most peopliest of peoples (god bless Bing + Ellasante + Tippins), I made the conscious decision to say “fuck it”. What are we doing with this negative energy and self-hate? As my good friend L. asked, where does all this ill in the world go? Are we just sending out this banner of sorrow to the universe, only for it to pool up and explode episodically into a new movement of human terror? (I am lucky to know such overwhelmingly insightful and drop dead gorgeous souls). Self-loathing and survivor-comfort-guilt-time is over. It will be our turn soon and we’ll take it as it comes. For now, I’ll see your destruction and I’ll raise you a delicious.
So romancing the plate ensues.
When in doubt – Sea bass. I had no doubt. Sea bass. Of course. Our CSA had the most luscious swiss chard and pecans. I was mesmerized. The only thing that was missing was a bright and beautiful fennel san marzano consume and an asiago frico.
The “consume” was simple but lovely. I sweated down some carrot, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, with bay and fennel seeds added some chicken stock and san marzano puree, simmered and strained with a touch of cream.
The pasta was just olive oil with a slow infusion of garlic and crushed red pepper. I cut the chard into thin ribbons and just gently wilted them into the pasta.
The frico was a total trial-sans-error experience, the kind of thing that comes together when you are in your element. Traditionally they are made with flour but this was just asiago and parmesan on low heat and cut to the desired shape. I also made a few asiago frico cigars but they made the plate a little too busy.
One hot sear on a pan – 3-4 minutes on each side with a quick 4 minute roast in 450 degree oven and perfection.
My drink game is off. The idea was a greyhound with lime and cardamom. I’m sure that once I can get over my hatred for all hard liquor I will come to terms with my mixology failures. But until then 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.
Plug in. Thanks life.