Friday, May 1, 2015

Annual food edition: 2015 -

I have two pet peeves when it comes to  restaurant food:  I feel like someone is having a  joke at my expense when I order something from the menu and a tiny little  (⅔ cup) serving shows up in a large bowl with a wide rim.    And when the entre is served it too is a small portion served in a great wide (mostly empty) plate… Who are they kidding? – it makes me feel disrespected – its even worse when the food isn't that good and overpriced!…I don’t get it … what are the large plates and small servings supposed to signify? I think  "The emperor has on clothes!" and we are all afraid to say anything because we think it would be uncool...
Salad course

Just as bad are places that serve great huge mega servings – every serving -  excessive… more than any human being can or should eat…more than you want…this can only be a scam to sell more food and raise prices to cover it.  To learn how it really works read this:

No wonder so many Americans are over weight! ( My mother taught me to clean my plate...)
I much prefer eating in a good ethnic restaurant – and the Bay Area is full of them – there are a wealth of opportunities.  Within a mile of our home we have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Indian, Pilipino, Mexican, Hawaiian… and if we go just a little farther afield there are foods of Lebanese, North Chinese, Korean, Afghanistan, Vegetarian Indian, Japanese sushi, Cantonese  … and still father away Russian, Persian, Portuguese, (real) Italian,  and Indonesian.  Over the years we have tried many types of food  and have a passing knowledge of the foods of many cuisines.

A Thai curry

 (I urge you to cut and paste these recipes and open them at your leisure...)

We have travelled quite a lot and are open to trying most all foods of the world. (Even grasshopper tacos in Oaxaca, and well roasted guinea pig in Peru served with Fava beans.  Meat and potatoes are seldom a part of the Zlatnik family diet.  As we travel, we have returned home with certain food ideas  that are now part of our mainstream diet.  I dont want to give you the impression that we only eat 'ethnic food' - but we have one or more of these dishes each week.

1.     Chicken Pozole (Mexico)
We were first introduced to Pozole in a Pozoloria restaurant in Cuernavaca - It has chicken or pork, hominy, and a mild soup 

Pozole may contain shrimp, chicken, or pork

2.     Izmir Kufta (Turkey):
First had aboard a turkish sail boat traveling along the S.Coast of Turkey...Lamb and grain
Ground lamb and grain
3.     Korean beef/ tofu patties (Korea) :  Judy took aa Asian  cooking school when I went to U of Hawaii for a year study grant - she would make this and we would have a picnic on the grounds of the East West Center - by the Koi pond...
tofu, ground beef, garlic 

4.  Mujadara "Potage" ( Lebanon):

This is the pottage of Old Testament fame -  first eaten in Syria, but a similar dish in Turkey
Rice and Lentils

5.  Cowboy Caviar: (Kansas)  A standby for political events at our house - served with taco chips...everybody loves it!

Vegetables, beans, salsa

6.  Kalamata baked chicken: (Greece) My sister often baked this - the village people in S. Greece drop this off ( uncooked)  at the village  bakery on their way to church Sunday morning and then pick it up - all cooked - on their way home.

7.  Chicken  curry:  (India)  With chicken curry there are a lot of variations - just stay away from curry powder.  I go to an Indian market to buy my spices... cheaper and better...   Learned to appreciate living in Fremont.

8.  Hummous: (Syria):  Please note that all everyone has their own recipe for hummus - we use less tahini, less garlic and less lemon juice...  First eaten when I had lunch with a new acquaintance in Syria - Garbanzo bean paste - served with vegetable slices or crusty bread or chips

Garbanzos, garlic, tahini, a bit of lemon juice

9.  Chicken Chakhokhbili (Russia/Georgia):  First discovered in the Russian restaurants of San Francisco.

Beef, onions, tomatoes ( said to be Josef Stalin's favorite dish)
10. Beef Borscht:  (Ukraine)  Comfort food at its best - just the dish for a cold winter evening.... We have encountered this abroad and at home
Beef, cabbage, beef soup

11.  Tunesian Vegetable Stew: (Tunesia)  One of our all time favorites - Judy discovered it

12.  Our never fail source - well researched - tried and tested new ideas: Moosewood Recipes:  Vegetarian - but its easy to add a bit of meat if you are inclined to do so.