Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sugar cane.

Even though we've left Asia, we thankfully haven't left the food behind. Just after we got back to the US, we attended a Thai cooking demonstration at an Asian grocery store in Albuquerque. We've had good luck with local Vietnamese restaurants (though not Thai), and we've been experimenting in the kitchen, on meals like kaeng massman, green mango salad with crispy catfish, and canh chua. We even started the year by making a New Year's Eve feast of Cambodian catfish sandwiches, banana flower salad, and grilled beef salad rolls (the vodka fizzes Bordeaux mixed to drink and the glazed bananas and cinnamon ice cream my sister served for dessert weren't strictly Asian, but paired nicely). The past year and a half were spent mainly trying new dishes and experimenting with unfamiliar flavors; this next year will hopefully be about making some of those flavors our own.

On the side, we've been pursuing some other food interests. I've been doing a lot more food-reading, and have been studying a diverse selection of cookbooks (including the Time Life volume on Southeast Asia, from which the above photograph was lifted). I've been enjoying breakfast, from simple bowls of muesli and fresh berries to decadent almond french toast. We've also been experimenting in baking: last weekend was a two-layer cinnamon and chile cake, this weekend will be homemade donuts.

What are you enjoying eating lately?


A Girl in Asia said...

Cinnamon and chile cake sounds delicious! I'm in Sydney on holidays and have been trying to have as much food as I can that I can't find in Saigon. E.g. the other day I went to a Macedonian bakery and had bureks, a pastry filled with cheese, and have been having lots of Lebanese too!

christel said...

pineapple and pear sorbet, yes please

Gennaro said...

Love the image. It has a nostalgic feel to it.

The Vietnam/Thailand/Cambodia are has some of the best cuisine in the world. I found that Laos doesn't keep up so well.

Lara Dunston said...

Eating lots of fresh seafood (can't get enough of the oysters), Asian food, 'bush tucker'-influenced dishes, and contemporary Australian cuisine as we travel Down Under.

Just catching up on your blog - we've been on the road a lot - and linking to you today in a post on what makes a blog cool for me.

a said...

Citrus citrus citrus!!! I'm totally overwhelmed at the moment. Oranges, grapefruit, pomelos.

I too have been making great breakfasts. Oatmeal, an array of hot cereals, and french toast. All of these are accompanied by fresh roasted coffee.

I do miss Asia; the street treats, the great restaurants, and the abundant tropical fruit. Fortunately, California provides and I'm currently cooking some of the best food in my life.

annamatic said...

I just read Jen Lin Liu's "Serve the People," and it's made me a little obsessed with making dumplings and noodles. No more store-bought wrappers!

Robyn said...

I pore over my mom's Time Life foods of the world cookbooks whenever I'm in Abiquiu. I don't know about you, but I think the Asian volumes were well ahead of their time.

Karachi Hotel said...

This is nice job,
I like eating and cooking so for.Please let me know the different recipe of the chines sweets dishes.