terrific, pacific.

We need more vegetables. Back in our former lives, we vaguely remember making a couple of broccoli things that we used to eat all the time, but I can only seem to find this one, from an oft-used and now dilapidated and barely-usable pan-Asian cookbook called Terrific Pacific by Anya von Bremzen.

You can see that this was a well-loved cookbook, despite the mid-90s graphic design nightmare that is the cover. That is the whole book really. As a physical object, this thing is quaintly misguided, dated, and, um, shoddy (! damn, grrl, wtf? It uses Curlz MT, OK?).

But the content! I'd kind of forgotten about it until this week, but looking at it again, it's one of the most useful cookbooks we own, almost every sidebar is informative in one way or another, and the recipes are well-selected and authentic.

Since it's only $0.01 from Amazon I should buy another one, because as you can see, this one has fallen apart into 10 or 11 sections. Not so useful for actually finding anything, but kind of nice as a random-access nostalgia generator: for example, the "Cooking Squid" page sticking out of the top reminds me of one of my earliest bachelor gourmet cooking attempts, where I actually did that thing that cookbooks always fucking tell you to do. "Go see your local Asian fishmonger for the freshest (and cheapest!) fish around."

I went to Buford Highway to one of the "International Farmers Markets" (really just a big Asian grocery store), and as the only non-Asian person there, I must have provided a few minutes of good entertainment trying to pantomime "squid" and "dead, please" to the non-English-speaking guy with the dirty apron and the big knife.

But when I got it home, it was in fact squid and thankfully dead. And I did cook it the way Terrific Pacific told me to (3 minutes, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, basil, lime, sugar, cilantro, mint, basil). And while I was doing so, a repairman came to fix something, probably something one of our friends had pissed on or threw up on or otherwise destroyed, and he said: "Man, what the hell you cooking? You a chef or something? Smells like a damn restaurant in here...I got to get me some lunch after this".  


broccoli with miso sauce.

2 tbsp shiro miso
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp raw sugar
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste



Zora said...

Yum! Will try. Have been craving miso since the bacon-sub discussion. And have been craving vegetables since...last summer?

MEM said...

I know. I'm craving vegetables, but this weather is preventing me from moving beyond "warm potato". And yes, Mara brought up your name in relation to miso/bacon experiments and that this is probably a good test case....