Tagged: shallots

The Real Meal.

Anyone else in dire need of a truly wholesome meal? Both my hands are up with outstretched arms. See this white flag? Yup, I finally surrender. The gig is up, sugar, we were in it for the long haul, but it’s over and done. Finito. I’m abjuring the tempting evils of my beloved dulcet treats. Okay, fine, I was being a tad melodramatic. I’m not officially nor indefinitely forgoing sugary substances, but most definitely for the time being (as in, the next few days or so). Especially since the past several days have been admittedly anything but sweet – from multiple canker sores and an excruciatingly sore throat to fever outbreaks and unbearable body aches. I know, I realize nothing about this description of my sickly physical state sounds the least bit appetizing so I’ll leave it at that and spare you the gritty details. Although I must say, summoning whatever dwindling energy I have left to write in this *eh hem*, ravishing and oh-so-vital blog can certainly work up an appetite. Wouldn’t you agree? Ya hungry yet?

Actually, my energy is slowly but surely reviving as my body is resiliently healing, with the indispensable aid of pain killers, antibiotics, and duh, quality food. Interestingly enough, this complete meal ensemble came together accidentally, as do most noteworthy kitchen  masterpieces. I initially came across a brussels sprout and shallot recipe from Bon Appétit that instantly had-to-be-made due to an ineludible cosmic force of attraction. Fortunately and unfortunately, this force steered me to a dish I wasn’t immediately attracted to. The unfortunate bit being that unlike the hundreds (well, 199 to be exact) that raved on and on…and on about how delicious, perfect, and oh-mah-gawd like fabulous this dish was, I found it a little…well, disappointing. It reminded me of sauerkraut (not that I dislike it) or this one Rachael Ray recipe I tried out for sweet and sour red cabbage that I miserably ended up discarding (what a waste!). As open-minded (or, I suppose ‘open-tummied’) and un-picky as I am, I guess I have what you might call an aversion to this relatively unfamiliar quasi-bittersweet flavor combination. Nevertheless, the fortunate part far outweighed whatever the heck it is I just carped on about for the past few lines. Honestly! Did I not mention that this brussels sprout recipe is a blue ribbon one (only the best of the best at epicurious!)? Obviously, if anything, this indicates it’s me there’s something wrong with.   Continue reading

Side Effects.

Something noteworthy about Koreans is that they love their sides. At any and every Korean meal, in or out of a restaurant, you are absolutely guaranteed to have 반찬 (ban chan, or side dishes). It is usually the prelude and then also the accompaniment to a wonderfully orchestrated meal. While other cuisines may not be so elaborate on their sides, I still find the necessity to have some form of them in every meal. Even if they may not be extravagant Korean sides, I’ve managed to make, create and master some delicious American sides to be served alongside any magnificent meal. The most simple ones tend to be the most useful and versatile for adding that extra oomph to glitz and glam up any entrée.

Although cooking the perfect meal can presumably imply an overbearing amount of time and exhaustive exertion of energy, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. If you strategically break down your to-be-executed meal, each step involved really isn’t too bad. Simple sides can make your already fabulous meal more wholesome and they shouldn’t be marred by excessive ingredients and complexity. For example, these recipes for Wilted Spinach with Shallots and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are straightforward and easy to make to go along with any meal. The spinach has a fresh tartness from the lemon juice and  a savory flavor from the shallots while the potatoes have a rich and creamy flavor from the butter, milk and buttermilk. Continue reading