Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Kitchen Invaders

Aspen poses dual challenges for my food-driven soul.

First, cook food, and cook it cheap! This has its advantages, encouraging jumbo purchases, so that in time I will familiarize and improve my technique with eggs (think poaching), pork chops, bone-in chicken thighs, random cuts of meat, and mangoes, which went on sale and are a hell of a lot of fun to eat!

Second, outings. This one I'm having a tougher time with. Sure, a few bars, the occasional trip to Hickory House, but when the first challenge is mildly successful, should I really consider it my journalistic calling to go explore the 8.95 "Best Philly Cheesesteak in Aspen" over at Zane's Tavern? 3 weeks in, the answer is no, but I can't deny the occasional pang of conscience. Perhaps I should try and order it "Wiz wit" and see what happens!

So without further do, some successes with a little help from Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything," polished up by yours truly.

The first is linguine with bacon and onions in a light tomato sauce. The catch? The onions and tomatoes are cooked in bacon fat. YESSSS! Topped with parsley and pecorino, this is about the closest I've ever come to a nice presentation.

Now for poached eggs. Extra bacon and tortillas lying around, so I go for it, bacon egg cheddar lettuce wrap. As much as I love BLT's, an exploding yolk puts mayo to shame. Now I just have to learn to not overstuff my wraps!


It might have just inspired me to cook it!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The test of the zilber

Behold, Aspen!

Beautiful recluse-town of celebrities, rich people, australian nature-seekers/shop owners, hippies, drunk fiddlers, other nature-seekers, and poor music students.

ok, its really beyond reason to complain about aspen. every day is beautiful, you are surrounded by mountains and green in every direction, almost everyone says hello, the whole place feels idyllic if a little manufactured, and really, who cares if its a little forced?

however, in addition to the occasional driver who doesn't realize that walker trumps SUV, the only thing i can complain about (and complain i will!) is that i am currently living a half-black from the food and wine festival, dreaming about it, reading about late-night poker/fried chicken contests with mario batali and tom colicchio, perhaps even thomas keller! oh the humanity.

in order to cheer myself up, i went to the public library and picked up "how to cook everything" by mark bittman, and am slowly marking up the pages so i can make my next shopping trip really count.

so the current reading list is:
haruki murakami - the elephant vanishes
michael ruhlman - the reach of a chef
Michael Dirda - Readings
training for the GRES