Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inspiration Night

Sometimes, for whatever the reason, I just feel like cooking. It can be because I had a long (or short) day at work, it's rainy outside (or sunny), I just received some bad news (or an unexpected surprise). See, it can be absolutely anything! One such day hit me a couple weeks ago, right before I went on my trip to Asia. Needless to say, I cooked like a madwoman.

Actually, everything conspired to make me cook. Having just gone to the Irvine Farmer's Market a couple weeks ago, green garlic was languishing in my fridge that had to be used up immediately, or I would risk wasting a full $10! Asian cheapness maintains that food should never be thrown away, damnit. Rib-eye was on a 50% off sale and corn was $1 for four ears. Fantastic. So boyfriend came home to this:

He is so lucky, right? I know, I agree. While the steak was nice and medium-rare and the huge (the size of my palm) succulent scallops seared-but-a-bit-burnt, the star of the show is definitely the one in the top left corner.

Bacon Corn with Miso Butter

Bacon Corn with Miso Butter. Oh my god. One of the best things I have ever made. The recipe comes from the Momofuku cookbook, which is a definite must-buy. The writing is hilarous and moves along in the way that you wouldn't even know you were reading a cookbook, if it weren't for all the mouth-watering photos. David Chang wrote that they only served the dish for one summer because when they did, Momofuku was like "a corn restaurant that served noodles on the side." I wish it were possible for me to taste what the master himself made, though it is highly unlikely. Make that dish!! If you won't buy the cookbook and want the recipe, let me know in the comments and I'll get it to you. Because everyone needs to eat Bacon Corn.

I was underwhelmed by the other side, Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic. For some reason, the dish tasted just a bit slimy to me. However it may be right up your alley. I've never cooked with green garlic before and indeed the dish was very garlic-y and velvety smooth, but just didn't appeal to me. If it sounds like your thing, go on and give it a try.

Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic
adapted from Irvine Farmer's Market
Serves 6

1 large head green cabbage (2-3 lbs), cored and cur into narrow wedges
3-4 bunches green garlic (1-1.5 lbs) green garlic
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cabbage, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain well, chop finely, and set aside. Trim the root end and tops off the garlic so that you hae the white part and about 4 inches of green. Discard any yellow/odd-looking leaves, and then chop garlic.

In a deep, wide pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, green garlic, and a little salt. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft (5-7 minutes). Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly until the vegetables are reduced and very creamy, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add the stock after the 30 minute mark. If there is a lot of liquid the next time you check the pan, leave the lid off for awhile. If the mixture is dry/sticky, add a bit more stock and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

* If green garlic is not available, you may substitute 3 large leeks and 4 cloves garlic

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