Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food | Ramen Master, or How to Reverence the Ramen

Oh yes, my gentle foodies, savor it all, have affection for, caress and apologize to the pork, then just eat it J
From “Tampopo”.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Food | Tonkatsu serendipity

Couple of days ago, I had an urge to ‘clean up’ my virtual acumen, but what it resulted in was revisiting blogs, sites, diverting to new blogs and sites, establishing a new social link, checking out the current social links, wondering if I should look at or follow new links, adding new ‘Likes’, subscribing … put simply, the opposite of ‘clean up’. The intention was there but not the will. One of the blogs I revisited was Japanina’s Food Corner: Tasty Tonkatsu! One of my favorite Japanese cooked dishes, no doubt because it reminds me of my home’s comfort food. Tonkatsu is a breaded, deep fried cutlet similar to the Italian cotoletta, Polish kotlet schabowy, Austrian or German or Israeli schnitzel, or any other national variant. What makes tonkatsu different for me is the use of panko and the serving style of washoku, that is with rice, miso soup and tsukemono. This is when I started wondering what Francis the Dog and Chef de Francis are up to. Lo and behold, the video featured at their YouTube site was of how to make katsudon: tonkatsu finished off with cooked egg and served on rice. Tonkatsu! Of all things! If the craving continues, I will have to do something about it.

Here is the Cooking with Dog version, but if the egg part doesn’t grab you then see Japanina’s version, one I prefer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fashion | Tom Ford

Born in 1961, Tom Ford was a very fastidious boy that cultured his obsessive nature any chance he could get. He grew into a man of great creative, and otherwise, successes. And that’s just in his early 30s. How heady that probably was. At least some of the time. Then he walked away. Pursued his dream of film making and eventually came back to fashion as his own man, under his own name, and wiser. The “Tom Ford OWN Visionaries” documentary shows a man of great talent with compulsive drive to create and work, with an almost singular point of view and an awareness of his accomplishments, but one not without fragility and grown self-awareness. As a public persona, he puts a very good front. He doesn’t have to. And concludes like a belly rubbing happy sage, “I know one day, I’ll be irrelevant, because no matter how hard you try, there is a cultural window where it is your moment, you’re in that space and you can cling to it and cling to it and cling to it, but eventually your window’s gone, your time on earth is finished, you might as well leave … I could absolutely die tomorrow, I would not care, because I feel like I’ve lived, I feel like I’ve had a great life, I feel like I’ve experienced everything I could experience in my life. I don’t want to die, there’s lots of other things I’d like to do; I’d like to think my window is not gone quite yet, but I’m comfortable enough, and in peace enough with having lived and having experienced that death doesn’t freak me out at all. Nothing, nothing lasts. And that’s in a way the beauty of it all, once you can accept that nothing lasts. And at this point in time, I’m not going to do anything that’s not fun … I’m not going to waste any more time. If it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it.” Reminds me of Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address. Yes, two very exacting individuals, but with Buddhist notion of impermanence. I’ll take it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Booze | A ray of sunshine


Lemon juice is like crisp rays of sunshine. Tart sunshine. Now that summer has announced itself early in this part of the world (no more teasing with those few days here and there followed by cool nights, then more cool days), it's time to find lemons. Perfectly squeezed lemons. Sweetened lemons. Bottled lemons. Steeped in alcohol lemons. Limoncello! This Italian liqueur hails from Southern Italy, and is produced and maybe even originates from the Gulf of Naples, Sorrentine Peninsula, Amalfi coast, Procida islands, Ischia, Capri, Sicily, Sardinia, or Maltese island of Gozo or elsewhere - who knows - I'll let them fight it out. What I do know is that it looks good, is crisp but sweet underneath it all, and makes me smile. Cue in "Matrimonio all'italiana", "Ieri, oggi, domani", "8 ½" ... Buona Sera Tutti!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Food | Konbu shitake broth with shitake mushrooms tofu and ramen

To make konbu stock you need a bit under 2 cups / 400 ml of water to a piece of dried konbu (4 by 4 in / 10 by 10 cm). Do not wash off the white powder on the surface of dried konbu since it adds to the taste. Wipe with a damp cloth if you really must. Place the water and konbu in a saucepan and let it soak for 2 to 3 hours, even 4 if you happen to run errands why waiting. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Just before water boils, remove the konbu. Your stock is ready! In a meantime, wash dried shitake mushrooms under cold water to remove any grit, and then soak in boiled water till they soften and flavor the water. Prepare dry soba noodles per directions on their packaging. Cube some hard tofu. Combine the konbu stock with shitake and the shitake flavored water, and warm the broth. Place the soba noodles in a bowl, and arrange the shitake and the tofu cubes on top. Pour the konbu shitake broth, and add shredded nori if desired.



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