Pokē, Mon!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When a friend gives you a block of yellowfin tuna, make Hawaiian pokē!

And so my friend Erin passed along another chunk of yellowfin tuna. And after making ceviche and pokē (in that order) the previous time she gifted me tuna, I decided this time to make pokē and ceviche (in that order).

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It was an ordinary Monday, which I decided to transform into an extraordinary Hawaiian Monday. In addition to the pokē (served on crispy won ton skins), I grilled some Korean-style beef short ribs, made some mac salad and some plain white rice. Nothing gourmet, just good, working-class Hawaiian — served with something close to a mai tai. (Rum, OJ, pineapple juice and grenadine). More

A Whale of a Tapa

One of my favorite scenes in the Pixar film, “Finding Nemo,” is when Marlin, Nemo’s father (a clownfish voiced by Albert Brooks) is worried that an approaching whale is going to eat him and his pal, Dory (a blue tang voiced by Ellen Degeneres). Dory says, “Don’t worry. Whales don’t eat clownfish. They eat krill.” Just then, a school of panicked krill passes by, screaming, “Swim away!!!” “Oh, look!,” says Dory, “Krill!” as the massive open-mouthed whale swims up behind them.

Dory & Marlin as the whale approaches

I’m always one for a culinary adventure, but I must say, I never thought I would actually eat krill. After all, I’m a human, not a baleen whale. But things changed when I read a recipe for a tapa called tortilla de camerones in a cookbook by the great Spanish chef,  José Andrés. They were lacy little tempura-like fritters of small whole shrimp originating at a famous restaurant called Casa Balbino in the Spanish province of Cadíz. They looked delicious — right in my “fried” and “crispy” wheelhouse. So I resolved to make them. More

The Greatest Sin

Contemplating a quarter loaf of severely stale ciabatta bread in my kitchen this morning, I was reminded of a staggering statistic I read recently. “The NRDC report said Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year.”

All that stale bread & an overripe tomato can be

As a person with a gut-level aversion to throwing anything edible away, this figure was unimaginable — especially given the hunger not only around the world, but in our own country. Another statistic: “In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.” Children were “food insecure” (i.e. hungry) in 10% of households. All of which brings up a fairly obvious question:

How is it that 15% of America is hungry, when we are throwing away 40% of our food? More

One Man’s Burger Odyssey, Pt. III — the Skinny Girls Burger

So here I am back in the Skinny Girls kitchen — my “burger lab.” Eating so many different burgers, thinking and writing about burgers, got me wondering what I’d learned in my odyssey — besides where to go for a good burger, which I mostly already knew. How would what I had discovered, exposited on, praised the virtues of or extolled upon the deficiencies of ultimately affect my own approach to burger making? Had there been an “aha” moment?

The Skinny Girl Burger

Curiously, the two biggest takeaways came from thinking about Umami Burger, which was one of my least favorite of the places I wrote about (less because of their burgers than my reflexive aversion to anything trendy). More