June 22 Menu

I'm not feeling inspired these days. So, this week it'll be so-so, and I do feel bad, especially since I left everyone scratching their heads for two weeks. Perhaps, we'll take a trip down to my childhood home, downtown Los Angeles, this week. Friends, if you have some time, let me know what foods you remember from your adolescent days, and I'll incorporate it into a menu so that we can all share in the memory. Please, friends, inspire me!!!

Monday - Gyudon (Beef Bowl), Miso Soup, Steamed Vegetables
  • As an adolescent in LA, I used to frequent this japanese fast food restaurant called Yoshinoya and their "big mac" was the beef bowl. Then I took my daughter to a nearby sushiya a week ago and set a small plate of this in front of her and she transformed before my eyes and started gorging on it. I took the rest home and she did it again at dinner. Whoa, the power of japanese food.
  • http://japaneserecipe.blogspot.com/2006/05/beef-bowl.html
  • Be sure not to get expensive beef, you really need the cheap stuff here to make it taste authentic. Geez, I hope wholefoods has it, but knowing them, it may be beneath them.
  • Also, if you want to make your own dashi, then go here http://japanesefood.about.com/od/soup/a/aboutdashisoup.htm and replace the water and the hondashi ingredients called for in the recipe with this dashi. Also, it may be obvious, but use the leftover dashi base for the miso soup.
  • Top with red pickled ginger.
  • For vegetables, whatever is in season.
Tuesday - Soft Tacos and Steamed Corn
  • I lived near the corner of Union Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, and you couldn't walk more than two blocks before running into a taco truck. Back in those days, you would get two for $2.
  • http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/carne_asada/
  • After the tacos, I would make my way to the corn woman. She sold steamed corn smothered with butter, mayo, paprika, parmesan cheese, and a bit of lime juice, if I remember correctly. If you don't believe me, see this:
  • http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Vegetables/Mexican-Style-Corn-on-the-Cob.aspx
  • Always have avocado and sour cream handy.
  • Oh, and chop and prep vegetables for tomorrow's dish.
Wednesday - Noodles in Black Bean Sauce
  • If you have a critical mass of koreans, then you will have a chinese korean restuarant that serves noodles in black bean sauce. I've had this recipe on here before, so now we can use up the leftover black bean paste.
  • In fact, for the longest time, I didn't realize that our neighborhood chinese restaurant was not really chinese food. It's like how some people think shopping mall chinese food is chinese.
  • And, I would usually order a plate of kung pao shrimp, but without a deep fryer, I'll save that recipe for a later time.
  • http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/jjajangmyun
  • I will warn everyone to prep a day ahead with chopping vegetables. It can get tedious. Oh, and this dish is usually served in a bowl, not a plate.
Thursday - Fettucine Alfredo with Broccolini
  • If you couldn't tell already, I didn't have the most worldy upbringing. It was basically either fast food, street food, or korean. I never had authentic italian food at a restaurant, nonetheless, until I was about 7 or 8. For my older sister's graduation, my sister suggested an Italian restaurant on Melrose Street. I can still remember the white trellis gateway we went through and the first taste of chocolate mousse. Even to this day, I try not to eat chocolatte mousse unless it is a very special occasion. Weird, I know, but what's even more weird is how many special occasions there are in an average week.
  • I can't seem to remember the exact dish I had that day, simply because I probably had no idea of what I was eating. In fact, the reason why I remember the mousse so fondly is because the actual dinner was pretty much uninteresting to me at that time. So instead, here's a link to fettucine alfredo, probably one of the first recipes I learned. My older sister taught me this recipe so that I would never go hungry if I lived by myself. She's such a forward thinker - but as life would have it, I have never lived alone in my entire life. I have always had roommates of one kind or another.
  • http://www.recipezaar.com/Better-Than-Olive-Garden-Alfredo-Sauce-141983
Friday - Leftovers
  • And if there aren't any, then Pizza!
Shopping List for me:

  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - shitake mushrooms (or get dried ones), seaonal vegetables, cilantro, limes, asian radish, cucumber, broccolini
  • Meats, Fish, Poultry - thinly sliced beef, flank steak 2 lb, pork belly 1/2 lb
  • Dairy, Eggs, Juice - orange juice, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, heavy cream
  • Condiments - fresh tomato salsa
  • Specialty - kombu (dried kelp), red pickled ginger, corn tortillas, udon type noodles for jiajiang myun
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - zucchini, sweet potato
  • Specialty - black bean paste
Notes of the week:
1. When making dashi, try not to forget to sieve out the bonito flakes - duh?
2. Nobody has the right sliced beef for the beef bowl - but we still enjoyed it. And note, the proportions in the recipe are really not that accurate.
3. Pita does make an acceptable substitution for the corn tortillas, but it definitely interferes with trying to get those memories to come rolling back. Great carnitas recipe, by the way.
4. Something about the black bean noodle dish just didn't come out right. I'll have to compare with other recipes out there, but my wife thinks it lacks sugar. I can't believe it sugar.
5. My daughter devoured the alfredo. Was it the 1/2 cup of butter? The additional heavy cream? The loads of mozarella cheese? And if not all that, the parmesan cheese?


Steve said...

yeah, the tacos in Westlake were good... but not as good as the fried chicken in Inglewood.

johanna said...

glad to see you back.