inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #126 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Mon 20 Oct 03 21:32
    
Whew, back after four lovely days in Seattle (it only rained at
night--days were big blue skies) at the warm and loved-filled home of
the incredible <choco>. 

Thanks for putting up the pictures, David. 

More tomorrow--need REM!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #127 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:42
    
>Classically trained, Ledeuil is an aromatics junkie, and aims to show
the layman HOW TO INCORPORATE ASIAN PRODUCTS INTO EVERYDAY RECIPES 

This dude sounds wonderful--thanks for mentioning him, Maya. Talk
about an excuse to go to Paris.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #128 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:44
    
>Eric, my local paper carried a nice review of your book from the AP
wire last night. No byline, sadly. Would you like a copy of it?

Thanks Cynthia--several people sent me the AP story. 

The good news is that the LA Times on October 29 will run a review of
Breakaway!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #129 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:53
    
>When Eric gets back, I want him to comment of the tofu that comes in
the aseptic packages.  Good? Bad? 

I haven't found anything in SF markets that I like/want to eat. It
tends to sit way too long, is way too firm, and tastes like rancid
cardboard. Someone told me that San Jose tofu company makes superior
tofu, but I haven't found it yet. One tofu company in Seattle makes a
delicious ultrasilken tofu, available at Uwajimaya. 

There's nothing wrong with those packages per se--that's how they're
sold in Japan, too. It's just the tofu that sucks. 

Well, not sucks, but isn't what turns me on about a tofu. I think it's
mainly meant for Chinese cuisine, meant to withstand exceedingly high
temperatures and to still stay together. I like the panna cotta-like
oburodofu, on which I pile my fruit, pickled ginger, and olive oil. But
some of the firmer ones *can* be used well in baked casseroles, though
even with those the soft stuff just tastes better somehow. 

I like to make tofu from scratch, but it's time consuming, messy, and
uses lots of large pans. The result is generally worth it, especially
for special occasions, but it's not something I can do as often as I'd
like to eat oborodofu, which is every day. 

I've said this many times, but some enterprising young pern should
really make some kickass oboro, and sell it to every Japanese
restaurant in town; I'm pretty sure most would buy it, if they could.
I'm amazed no one has done this. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #130 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:55
    
I specialize in facial-contortion photos. 

Love, Barney!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #131 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 21 Oct 03 21:09
    
I was impressed with the food scene going on in Seattle, especially
with the fish. (johnross) told me that Uwajimaya (where he kindly
brought me) is only the third or fourth-best fish market in Seattle,
but I sure liked what I saw, fish cut in every way, left whole, left
alive, all of it. Made Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley--said to be the
best fish market in the Bay Area--look like a convenience store. 

<choco> took me to a most impressive little farmers' market near
University, where we stocked up for a few special meals. Didn't explore
too many restaurants, alas . . . . 

The NW Bookfest was pretty great, though the crowds weren't exactly
teeming. Having a 10:30 timeslot probably didn't help. But I think the
people who were there had fun. Incredibly, no one could taste anything
I prepared--apparently they didn't have the permit needed or something.
Some guy in the front asked if he could at least hold the plate and
smell it! So we passed it around, like an odd offering, reminscent of
grade school, when you were supposed to admire/examine some trinket and
pass it on . . . . 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #132 of 197: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 22 Oct 03 09:57
    
Wow, cool... and the LA Times on October 29!!!  That's huge.  Wild
suggstion: Send a clipping immediately to the Food Channel, to the best 
contacts you can find there, either for being interviewed/reviewed, or 
to start wotking on getting a show.  I'd watch it.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #133 of 197: John Ross (johnross) Wed 22 Oct 03 10:58
    
Just to answer the inevitable "so what's the best fish market in Seattle?"
question, it's Mutual Fish, on Rainier Avenue South.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #134 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 22 Oct 03 11:15
    
If you're in the South Bay, there's San Jose Tofu:

<http://www.japantownsanjose.org/merch13.html>

if you don't mind "poopular."
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #135 of 197: Berliner (captward) Wed 22 Oct 03 11:27
    
Hmmm, poopular tofu...I'll have to think about that. 

Say, Eric, here's a completely stupid question. I'm thinking of making
your pork loin, since I can actually get everything it specifies --
and I even bought a zester today! -- but...they cut a lot of stuff
different here. What I can get is something called a pork fillet, which
is long and round, sort of like a filet mignon. They weigh in at about
a pound. Are these sliced up in the States? Or am I looking at the
wrong hunk o' pig?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #136 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 22 Oct 03 12:30
    
I loved how thinly cut beef and pork was in Japan (for sukiyaki, shabu
shabu, etc.). Here meat comes in hunks and I have to cut it thinly myself.
So I thaw it until it's still a bit frozen, and it's very easy to cut thin
slices in that state. Japanese supermarkets in the US will sell meat cut
thinly.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #137 of 197: Berliner (captward) Wed 22 Oct 03 12:48
    
With all the marbling, those thin sheets of beef look like art. 
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #138 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 22 Oct 03 12:48
    
I just called the poopular San Jose tofu co--nothing soft, all firm.
Sigh..........
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #139 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 22 Oct 03 12:50
    
>Wild suggstion: Send a clipping immediately to the Food Channel...

Great idea Gail, thanks--I'm just glad I have a publicist I can call
who will do this crap for me!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #140 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 22 Oct 03 12:57
    
Ed, you're talking about the pork loins with umeboshi/dates/walnuts,
right? If so then yes, you can definitely use the "pork fillet." You
can find umeboshi? I must say that that dish is probably my fave in the
book  .. . . mmmmm.........

Yeah the cut thing abroad is challenging--i was often frustrated with
the cuts in Japan (mainly because it was difficult to buy anything in
any kind of quantity.

And speaking of quantity, <debbie>, <haynes> and I wanna buy a whole
organic pig that's had a great, happy life. Anyone know how to do that?
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #141 of 197: Berliner (captward) Wed 22 Oct 03 13:00
    
Raise one? 

Thanks. The "fillet' comes home tomorrow.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #142 of 197: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Wed 22 Oct 03 13:59
    
I've made it a few times (it's popular in our house), once with a
regular pork loin, one with a thick pork chop with bone attached, and
once with pork shoulder when I was doing it for a crowd.  All worked
well.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #143 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Thu 23 Oct 03 11:06
    
I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to "sponsor" a pig at a farm. You get
photos of how nicely it's fattening up, how it gets to run freely in the
sunshine and eat flowers. You contribute a little money toward its upkeep.
Then one day, you get to stock your freezer.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #144 of 197: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 23 Oct 03 16:41
    
re the end of #140: Eric, the Humane Society of the United States
(202/452-1100) published "The Humane Consumer and Producer Guide:
Buying and producing farm animal products for a humane sustainable
agriculture" several years ago. I think it has not been updated since
the original edition in '93, but HSUS's farm section (there's a
director of it) can probably point you in the right direction to find,
shall we say, "Some Pig."  
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #145 of 197: John Ross (johnross) Thu 23 Oct 03 17:22
    
I can point you to a pig farmer who has an FDA approved slaughterhouse. But
he's in the San Juan Islands, which might be inconvenient.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #146 of 197: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Thu 23 Oct 03 17:27
    
(I hope that slaughterhouse is USDA-approved, not FDA. FDA inspects
plants that make potato chips, Special K, Yo-Hos, spaghetti, etc. --
all foods, in fact, except meat and poultry.)
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #147 of 197: John Ross (johnross) Thu 23 Oct 03 18:16
    
Oop. Yes, you'r right. USDA inspected and approved.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #148 of 197: Eric Gower (gower) Thu 23 Oct 03 23:13
    
Thanks for the tip, Steve. I'll try and find it online. And yeah, San
Juan Island pork, delectable as it sounds, may not be quite local
enough....

I like frako's sponsorship idea too--gives new meaning to Foster
Parent!
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #149 of 197: a meat-vessel, with soul poured in (wellelp) Fri 24 Oct 03 00:48
    
I just got the book, and it's gorgeous, Eric.  I haven't decided which
recipe to try first. But I'm looking forward to whichever one it will
be.
  
inkwell.vue.197 : Eric Gower: "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen"
permalink #150 of 197: mother of my eyelid (frako) Fri 24 Oct 03 13:07
    
We had Soy-Tarragon Chicken with Green Onion and Shallots (p. 77) last night
with potatoes and asparagus, and I just finished up the leftovers over white
rice today. Very very nice. Tarragon and chicken thigh meat go together so
well. I was constantly peeking into the oven to see if the meat was getting
too dry and didn't let it bake for the full 35 minutes--more like 20--but it
was done, fine, and not dried out.
  

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