I have been using the expression “bee in my bonnet” a lot lately. It is really a description of how I have been finding and pursuing foods. I blame the internet.
Whenever I get a particular ‘trigger’ I have a brief flurry of intense research (actually just a simple google search), obsessively pursue a new or forgotten food until I have scratched the itch. Then I move on to the next thing. I am constantly a dabbler:
Jay Caragay’s blog triggered a quest for cane sugar cola. I am counting down to Passover when I can try the yellow cap (Kosher) coke. His quest to replicate the Charlie Trotter 65C egg he ate rekindled my interest in precise temperature egg-cooking. I just use a big pot of water,a thermometer and the lowest simmer flame to maintain the water at 65C for 30 minutes. Served over fried corned beef hash- excellent!
Danielle Glasky’s blog and pictures of her trip to Japan triggered me to go back and watch Tampopo again, which caused me to go out and find a good bowl of ramen. There are several Japanese places within walking distance from my office, but most of the menus didn’t feature ramen. A quick web search found rameniac.com, which brought me to the food court in Macy’s. Noodles by Takeshi featured a shoyu ramen with a tasty broth, really good noodles, shinachiku root and a nice piece of fatty pork.
Doug Zell’s blog triggered a quest for pastrami. Actually that was a trifecta: Doug blogged about Langers in LA, Tonx posted an incredible picture , and the show “Modern Marvels” had some footage of pastrami production for the Carnegie Deli. I didn’t have to research to find where to get a good pastrami sandwich. Steve Dahl(on the radio mornings on 104.3 WJMK) has been the source of many excellent food recommendations over the 25+ years I have been a listener. He rated the pastrami at Eleven City Diner as the best he’s ever had. That place is just a couple blocks from my office so I went there last Friday and had the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had. I have been meaning to try making my own since I saw the Good Eats episode about corned beef. I decided my first attempt will start with a packaged corned beef brisket (Sam’s club). I soaked it in 2 changes of cold water to try and draw out some salt, coated with a pepper, coriander and garlic rub and cooked it in a low oven. When the weather gets a bit better I will try with actual smoking, but I just couldn’t bear to do anything outside last night.
I warmed some up for lunch today- it was quite good. Most pastrami you can buy at supermarkets is pretty lean, I enjoy having more fat for the flavor!
So at the moment I am pretty satisfied. If anyone wants to try and trigger another craving, I'm open to suggestions!