Last Friday, Nathan and I randomly decided to treat ourselves to a dinner at Incanto, one of our favorite restaurants in the city. I remember the first time we tried this place out was on a Sunday night after a strenuous and stressful weekend of moving (note to self: never try to move with just a pickup truck again). We of course had no idea it was the sort of place you should make a reservation for nor that the chef is famous for his offal-ness (ha ha), so we just stuck to the more “normal” sounding stuff on the menu.
I lack discipline. I really do.
If you’ve ever gone food-shopping with me, this will be no surprise to you. Just last week alone, I made two impulse buys – a bucket of ‘ugly’ fresh shitake mushrooms at the farmer’s market (“it’s such a good deal!”) and a whole bunch of shiso leaves at the Japanese store (“but I must have them for the umeshiso rolls!”). It doesn’t sound like that much, you say? Well, did I tell you that we also subscribe to a weekly delivery of organic produce from Terra Firma Farms? This makes our fridge is a veritable garden, but one where we’re sometimes faced with the task of figuring out how to combine various ingredients that are all going to go bad soon. So… shiso, shitake, and my general laziness in trying to find something more ambitious to do with them resulted in a simple Japanese-style pasta dish.
For a while now, every time I would open the freezer, there would be a few tubs of this pork broth I made a few months ago, taunting me to find a use for them. Honestly, I can’t even remember exactly why I had pork bones to make broth from – I guess we took the meat off for some other use? Anyway, what can you do with pork broth? I toyed around with the idea for a pork pho for a bit, but having never made regular beef pho before, I was hesitant to attempt my first pho with an alternate meat. Then, in a moment of revelation, I finally figured out where in the noodle world pork broth fits… Ramen! (duh)
Last weekend at the Alemany farmer’s market, it seemed like everybody and their moms were selling okras. Most of the stands had big cardboard boxes full of giant okra pods. I don’t know if I’m totally making this up or if someone wise actually told me this, but aren’t giant pods supposed to be stringy and tough? Bleh.
So there I was, amongst all the ruthless Chinese ladies with sharp elbows (I’m allowed to say this because I’m Chinese), picking through the box of giants to find the babies. Said babies then ended up in my cauldron for a hearty Bhindi Masala – mwahaha.