Happiness Is...

So, I finally tried the Sichuan Pepper Pickles that we picked up in Flushing a few weeks ago. What took me so long?!?! I plopped a little over a tablespoon into my skillet and sautéed a few slices of beef in it (about a handful--enough for 1 person...I know...way to measure). When the beef was just about cooked, which didn't take very long, I added some two small cucumbers (cut into chunky strips) and stir fried everything together. I added a few leaves of Thai basil from my window garden just before serving.


From what I can tell, it has hot chilis, ground sichuan peppercorns, some sort of sliced green beans, salted soy beans, peanuts, and a few other things. Amazing stuff--I didn't need to add anything else, and this was one heck of a happy-making meal.


Young Garlic?

Yesterday was the Mermaid Parade, and attending was a must, just in case the developers have their way and ruin the sketchiness that is Coney Island. Having finally recovered from some sort of stomach illness (hence my recent blog-free existence) I broke down and had my first Nathan's hot dog--at the original location, of course--and it wasn't that bad. Bloomberg's new calorie posting law, though, put a little wrinkle in that pleasure...ech...

After checking out some of the costumes, hitting the freak show, and taking a ride on the Wonder Wheel (which ROCKS...literally...), I met up with a crew of friends walking down the boardwalk to the Russian mecca, Brighton Beach. While I need to go back and hit the big market that I've heard so much about, we did pop in to a nice little produce place where I scored the things that are in these photos: some kind of young garlic.

Tony had purchased a few of these at the Union Square Greenmarket a few weeks ago, and was told that you can use everything--green stalks and all. I did some searching on the internet, didn't come up with much, so I sliced and diced, and will inevitably use this stuff in a variety of ways.

So far, I used a handful of greens when making some sautéed potatoes, which added a wonderful mild flavor. I also added two of the large slices of the young bulbs to a tofu/olive dip, which gave it quite the garlicky punch.

I think these things have potential!!


Fruity Goodness

Blogging's been slow with the early onset of summer (NYC's too hot for June!), so salads and eating out have dominated the culinary experiences of the last few days. But at least the warm weather's bringing fruit! Along with another batch of rhubarb compote (this time with mystery oranges and ginger beer), I've scored some local strawberries at the farmer's market. Get out and get some this year--I think the proper spring we've had until now in the northeast has produced large, tasty beauties! Sad to see my box dwindle...but hopefully I'll be hitting the Beacon Sloop Club's Strawberry Festival when I'm up there this weekend, so I'll go get some nice berries and hear some Pete Seeger!


Salt, Beautiful Salt

I found this gorgeous flake in my box of Maldon Sea Salt yesterday. Absolutely beautiful, and about an inch wide. It'll be difficult when the time comes to crush it and add it to my dinner. It'll have to be a very special dish...