Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

for either kind of emergency food plan

leon's, ideal and open harvest stock these aseptic indian entrees and sides. in both flavor and nutritional value, they are better than any other prepared food on the shelf in the grocery store-- even compared to canned and frozen competition. if you find them on sale, stock up. the packaging gives them the shelf life that you'd expect from canned food. i got the lentil soup on the left for 1.50 at leon's recently.

they're also the only complete prepared meals that i can think of that would require no utensils to open, while not requiring refrigeration before opening. each bright clean shiny paper box contains a thick foil pouch, which you tear open. i'm not sure what kind of emergency situation in which one would find oneself with no can opener (in one's own kitchen)... but i guess if the zombies came and you had to use the can opener as some sort of defensive device, you can still eat a satisfying and fortifying meal afterwards even if the power grid remains inaccessible.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

nine o'clock problems, but my experience wasn't one

i am actually watching shattered glass on ifc as i write this. and i was listening to the grey album on my way to the market.

the journal star ran a story about farmers markets today, a sunday feature with lots of pictures. it listed some markets in lincoln and neighboring towns. it listed the sunday market on old cheney as starting at nine. which i thought was odd, since i knew it starts at ten... which, truth be told, i feel is strangely late in the day for a farmers market to begin.

i approached the market this morning shortly after ten, and it was more crowded than usual. i think some people read the paper and headed down early. i asked a vendor that i know if i was wrong about the start time or if the paper was. she said the paper had the wrong start time, and that it had caused some confusion and unhappy customers an hour before.

i had a pleasant shopping experience, though, because i don't believe what i read in the paper, and because i got everything in the picture for $3.35. clockwise from left: a few infant yukon gold potatoes from an organic farm (they do grow in the dirt, you know) for a dollar, a pepper described as "sweet-hot" for a quarter, two tomatoes that were green yesterday for 75c, and these tiny eggplant that look like pieces of candy... they were $4#, so this handful cost $1.35.

i chose these ingredients knowing that i had onions at home, as well as lamb bought on sale. stopped by the super saver that's across 56th from the market for the rest of what i needed.

twenty-four cents at super saver

put the sauce over the top for less than a quarter. three key limes and twice as many thai hot chiles.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

hollenbeck farms beef, shadowbrook farms braising greens

can't wait for the old cheney farmers market tomorrow morning. a couple weekends ago i bought there what you see prepared here: steak from hollenbeck farms and braising greens from shadowbrook.

i cubed and marinated the meat in some creamy balsamic dressing, then seared over high heat in a heavy pan. after the meat was browned i reduced the heat, added the greens and a cup of water, and put a lid on it. about ten minutes later, it was done enough for me. (young greens have the nutritional value of their mature counterparts, but cook in a fraction of the time.) i paired it with brown rice but it would work with noodles as well.

with almost no effort, i had a tasty and healthy meal... because of using quality products. it's not the way i usually prepare red meat, but it was still tender and flavorful. and it smelled fantastic... my dog wouldn't leave the kitchen while it was cooking... and co-workers were asking about it the next day when i warmed some up for lunch.

Friday, July 25, 2008

take-out review: o yummy asparagus tempura rolls

i have shared these asparagus tempura rolls from o yummy with friends vegan and not, and invariably, their eyes roll back in their head at some point.

they're even better in the restaurant, when the fried asparagus is still warm; but it's the best sushi take-out option around. $5.95 for eight rolls. reasonably-sized rolls. (really, a roll should fit in your mouth, right?)

if you're going to be near 48th & highway 2 (i think they're trying to call that nebraska highway now), you should call ahead for an order of these to go... unless, of course, you want to enjoy them in the restaurant with some tasty raw fish.

fadeout music, to the tune of "new york, new york":
i'll eat raw fish there,
i won't eat that just anywhere...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

pulled pork sandwich with slaw

the way it should be.

cetak's sells pulled pork, and it's good. i made the cole slaw with broccoli stalks marinated in equal parts balsamic vinaigrette dressing (had a bottle already open) and white wine.

according to this wikipedia page, the etymology of the term cole slaw is dutch. this is not one of the better-written wikipedia pages i've come across; but, then, i didn't use any cabbage in my slaw, so we're all playing fast and loose with the rules.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

happy birthday: red, white and blueberry pie

this was a hot-weather holiday snack made in a kitchen that was not my kitchen, so i followed my earlier advice about packing ingredients in, keeping utensil needs and mess simple, and allowing for variation among dietary restrictions.

one trip to one store on the way over: super saver. i bought one chocolate crumb pieshell (1.29) and a six-pack of small graham cracker crusts (above, 1.49). the filling is a pint of fresh blueberries (2.50), which i washed; one four-pack of strawberry gelatin cups (1.19), which i cubed right in the bowl in which i mixed everything; and half a bag of miniature marshmallows (99c). i tossed the filling in 12 oz of chocolate pudding (also 1.19).

the big chocolate pieshell got filled with all the ingredients (like the little guy above). the other smaller pieshells were filled with some but not all of the above ingredients, to suit more tastes in the house. Chilled until someone wanted to eat some.

this worked because fresh blueberries were, then and now, exactly in season (and at their most inexpensive); and the red, white and blue theme was suggested by the holiday. i would have chosen vanilla pudding except i wasn't sure if the gelatin would turn it pink. fresh blueberries in pudding are wonderful... and they stay on your fork.

take-out tip: parking at vung tau

a busy restaurant can be an indication of the food (as good) as well the parking (as bad).

i stopped into vung tau for some pho, and this picture is of the leftovers from my large bowl of the #4. yes, that's tripe in the foreground, on top of the jalapeno. the broth was amazing. i could have this soup once a week for the rest of my life.

anyway, seeing the steady stream of people for both dine-in and take-out lets you know the people in the neighborhood trust the restaurant. it also meant there was no parking out front. there is a parking lot for vung tau, though... you can access it from the first driveway north of y street on the east side of 27th, or from the alley east of the restaurant on y.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

broccoli slaw 1.17 ea at super saver

that price is good through july 8th. good time to try it out if you haven't. high in nutritional value, neither aggressive nor bland in flavor, already julienned.

this is a bag of slaw, tossed with the dressing on hand that sounded the tastiest at the time-- a creamy balsamic. that stuff that looks like meat is actually strips of pumpernickel bread. sounds strange, tastes great. i will try this again with some sliced rare beef.