Sunday, July 19, 2009


I was really sick for a couple of months, so I haven't posted in a while.  Plus I figured no one but me would notice, so there was very little motivation to keep plugging away.  However, this week has been a memorable one in expanding my cooking repertoire, and I thought I'd record it...for posterity.

Though our neighbors are already giving away zucchini, we're still waiting in vain for our garden to begin providing us with summer bounty.  In the meantime, however, I've refused to buy produce at the store because I know as soon as I do we'll have it coming out of our ears at home.  BUT, I did buy a few small items and checked out an old issue of Cooking Light from the library and had a ball in the kitchen.

First was the Summer Vegetable Saute, which wasn't a very descriptive name, but was my favorite dish of the week.  Corn, black beans, green onions, celery and green pepper all stir-fried with cilantro.  And I can at least thank my garden for the green onions and cilantro, which I otherwise would never pay for at the store and wouldn't have available.

Next we tried a stuffed eggplant recipe, with the eggplant pulp combined with zucchini, red pepper, breadcrumbs (homemade sourdough ones!) and fresh basil, again from the garden.  It was very good as eggplant recipes go.  But I'm finally resigning myself to the fact that although I am a professed quasi-vegetarian, and eggplants are so pretty and purple, I just don't like their taste.  It's a shame, really.  But a fun recipe to try nonetheless.

And finally, I have a few tangential comments to lead into my last experiment.  First, I want to point out that though my family members are very good sports about my cooking, and generally enjoy the wide range of unusual flavors I present them, I remain the lone cilantro enthusiast here.  Second comment is that I've occasionally seen 'green curry paste', or red or yellow, listed in some of my British-published cookbooks.  But I've never seen such stuff at the low-end grocery store I frequent, and I haven't yet had time to search more seriously for it.  I use (standard yellow) curry powder regularly, but have wished I knew more curry variations.

Enter last night's recipe, a green curry fish soup.  Yes indeed.  And it called for tons of fresh cilantro, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Literally, in the blender, since I don't have a food processor.  It had me process my own green curry paste with shallots, cilantro, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, pepper, allspice and coriander.  Aside from burning our eyes for an hour or so because of the finely-blended shallot-essence that was released into the air, it was a hit.  I've never tasted anything quite like it, and I say that with appropriate awe and gratitude.  We used it with fish chunks and some water and vinegar and rice for soup, but if I want to brave the blended onions again I think I have a way to use up all that cilantro going to waste in my garden.  Even Scott, who dislikes cilantro the most, agreed that this was wonderful.

I wish I had taken a few pictures of these dishes, but I wanted to eat them so badly that I didn't bother to stop and get the camera before we dug in.  So I scanned the available magazine pictures, since mine looked exactly the same, of course...  Not quite, and in fact the soup pictured is a different recipe completely, but has enough similarities to what we made to be a rough stand-in.  No one will know the difference.


  1. Them's good eatin'. Feel free to make either or both again.

  2. Good to see you are feeling well enough to start blogging again. I enjoy reading your lists of dinners. I've wanted to do the same thing, but yours are much more interesting!