Happy new year!
Well, this past week was full of new foods which I consider a very good start to our goal of something new each week in 2012.
Last week Milo made Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) and Japanese cucumber salad, and I made Thai glutinous rice. The cucumber salad was the star of the evening. Milo sliced it on a mandoline, salted it, pressed out the extra water, and dressed it with rice vinegar, mirin, and soy sauce. Crunchy, refreshing, and delicious! A fun spin on one of my favorite veggies. Plus, it complemented the chicken well, which was tasty but much to our disappointment did not taste particularly Japanese. Next time we will probably use more ginger and garlic.
Japanese Cucumber salad and Karaage
The purple rice on the other hand, did not match well with the chicken or the cucumbers, but it was fun to try. It turned out nothing like the fluffy, coconutty, sticky rice I imagined. It was very whole-grainish and not really glutinous at all. I cooked it with some water and a small can of coconut milk, per the recipe I found online. It wasn’t a total disaster, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a date or business lunch- it turned my mouth purple. PURPLE.
Thai glutinous rice cooking on the stove
On New Year’s Eve Eve, we drove south to visit our friends in Baden-Baden. We stopped off along the way in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse to do a little shopping, which included picking up some gold medal winning Saumagen to bring to the party. This is a sort of regional sausage specialty. I will leave it at that, I am not sure you want to know more. And if you do, there is google.
I was bummed when we arrived at our favorite Flammkuechen (Tarte Flambe) restaurant in Neuhauesel, Alsace and it was closed. But it was OK, we ended up at La Gondola in Baden-Baden and there I tried something new: swordfish carpaccio. Wow! And the minestrone was fantastic too. That was perhaps the healthiest Italian dinner I have ever eaten–and super delicious too!
Eugen and Sandra had a potluck dinner party for New Year’s Eve, and that was the jackpot of new things for me, highlights were: Leberkaese with sweet mustard from Bavaria (could be compared to a meatloaf), smoked mozzerella curds (similar to the mountain cheese we had in Poland), raw kohlrabi as a crudite, and mascarpone-gorgonzola dolce layered cheese from France. I probably would have eaten all of it, except I was fighting with a cold and trying to keep my cheese consumption to a minimum. That’s probably for the best…
Happy New Year!