anti-fergettinizin' mechanism.

For a long time I seriously considered writing some ind of a cookbook, but now more than ever I'm pretty sure I don't see the point of it, we hardly really need one more stupie person telling people how to cook, etc.

But, I saw this quote today and it reminded me that I always kind of did imagine saying something about salt in my imaginary cookbook. Not to sound like I know what I'm doing, but carefully salting and tasting every component of a dish before it's served is probably the most important thing I do right in the kitchen.

But also, one should always keep in mind Peter Gallagher's wise, wise wisdom from Sex, Lies, and Videotape:

Graham (to Ann): Dinner was very good.
John: Yeah, it wasn't bad, honey. Usually Ann achieves a kind of critical mass with the salt, but, uh, tonight was...I always tell her, you can always add more, but you can't take it away.
Ann: Yeah, you say that, don't you?


Anyway. Here's what I saw today, I'm agreeing with the "use more than you're comfortable with" part, not the "salt things until they taste like the sea," though I can see experimenting with that:

Nosrat frees her readers to use their own senses instead of measuring cups. 
She says we should salt things until they taste like the sea — which is a beautiful image, but also sounds like an awful lot of salt. 
"Just use more than you're comfortable with, I think is a good rule for most people," she says. You know, especially when you're boiling things in salted water, the idea is that most foods don't spend much time in that water. So the idea is to make it salty enough that the food can absorb enough salt and become seasoned from within. A lot of times you end up using less salt, total, if you get the salt right from within, because then the thing isn't over seasoned on the outside and bland in the center."


This post was originally just to remind all y'all that if you make a big pot of great black beans on Saturday, you can certainly have a few then, but then the next day you can make this salad, and the day after that you can make a soup like this one minus the wine and the full can of chipotles...and it still doesn't feel like too much black beans.

None of which has to do with the above picture, which was about trying to create a satisfying vegetarian version of the Dutch classic of white asparagus with buttered potatoes, ham, hard-boiled egg, and more butter. My ham substitute was mushrooms cooked in quite a lot of, yes, butter, with smoked salt and smoked paprika, not bad at all.




Vegan recipes: occasionally difficult to title appetizingly. Title aside, this Anna Jones thing was delicious, fluffy like a Spanish tortilla, creamily starchy like french fries with mayo, and spicy and herbal like a falafel. OK I guess it was really truly only like a tortilla. Served with a spicy mayo, which you'd almost never do, egg on egg crime and whatnot. Wait what am I talking about you'd totally do that. I myself used to do that all the time, toasted bread, egg over-easy, mayo and sambal badjak, it's called the Sjako. That's a good sandwich. Chomp.


carrot and chickpea flour pancake with lemon-herb mayo. 

150g chickpea flour
230ml homemade oat milk or other non-animal milk of your choice
2 tbsp EVOO
2 medium carrots, grated...I decided that I hate grating carrots enough to buy pre-grated
1 or 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil for frying

4 normal gherkins or 8 cornichons
1 fresh green chile
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
4 or 5 tbsp homemade vegan mayo (this recipe, is, in fact, nearly indistinguishable from trad mayo if you bump up the lemon and the mustard a little)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
the zest of 1⁄2 an unwaxed lemon, or 1 tsp of Moroccan preserved lemon rind

a handful of mesclun for serving.

Serves 2, which is important to note. Also important to note: in order to get this looking awesome like the picture in the book you've got to have your tortilla/frittata-flipping skills happening as well as two cooperative skillets. Somehow mine worked.



This is not cheese, it's cashews and tapioca starch and a bunch of other stuff designed to emulate Camembert. OK, don't think of it like that, but goshdarnit if it isn't kind of cheesish.



falafel taco.

Serendipity? I didn't invent this unholy bastard mess but I should have. Above: storebought taco shell filled with: avocado and shredded iceberg dressed with lime and salt; momofuku cukes, tomatoes and red onions; zhoug; amba; beet hummus; soy tzatziki; sriracha. And homemade falafel. After a week of pretty awful cooking by me it was time to go for what you know.

Below, the next day's non-taco version.




Always thought that was a good band name. So there's been a thankfully uncharacteristic series of kitchen failures this week, probably related in an either cause or effect way to an also uncharacteristically persistent shitty mood.

This is the first unreservedly successful thing I've made in days.



1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cacao
50g dried coconut (the cheap kind)
2 tbsp chia seeds
50g dried fruit (i used half dates and half raisins)
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cacao

1 tbsp nut butter (i used pumpkinseed)
1 tbsp date syrup (or agave or maple)
pinch salt

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cacao

Combine first things in a food processor until they're a coarse crumble that's beginning to stick together. Add the nut butter, date syrup and salt, then process again for ten seconds or so, you're trying to get something you can roll into a ball.

Then: shape into balls and roll them in a mixture of sesame seeds, cinnamon and cacao.




Such an uninformative photo. But this was really delicious, a total surprise, veganized by Nelson, original recipe by someone that I have been onstage with more than once, another total surprise. Official adaptation to follow.