Monday, May 03, 2010

Getting my food porn mojo back

The last time I blogged about cooking-- and I mean grown-up cooking, and not of the dicing, steaming, pureeing, mushing, baby food variety-- was (surprise, surprise) before Sophie was born. Since then, our cooking adventures have been far and few between, and obsessive photos of food, replaced by obsessive photos of Sophie. Lately though, as Sophie begins to learn how to play by herself a little more and is quite happy sitting in her high chair chewing on whatever toy or unfortunate non-essential household item that happens to be within her arm's reach, I'm getting my cooking and food porn mojo back bit by bit. She's also going down to bed earlier and easier which allows us to finally emerge from that early-infant haze where pre-cooked Trader Joe meals and Lucky Kitchen take-out were lifesavers.

And so last week, I attempted to recreate one of my mom's signature dishes- tau yew bak, which is essentially a slow-braised pork belly in soy sauce. We managed to find fresh pork belly at Whole Foods (sold as pork side) and I threw in some aromatics (star anise and a cinnamon stick), dried beancurd (tau pok), Chinese mushrooms, and hard-boiled eggs. I let it simmer for close to 2 hours and the end product was satisfyingly close enough to my mom's version that I might try making it again soon. It was rich, flavorful, and comforting- everything we needed in a one-pot meal, and then some...

And yesterday, for lunch, inspired by the pack of Havarti cheese we had in the fridge, and half a loaf of Parmesan-pepper bread from Zingerman's we had bought the day before, I put together a grown-up grilled cheese sandwich with apple and bacon.


It came out deliriously good- crunchy and toasty from the generous slathering of butter before grilling, melty and gooey from the cheese, smokey from the bacon, all well-complemented by the fresh, crisp tartness of the apple. Next time, I'll experiment with another cheese, a different bread, and maybe pears. Yup, Serene Koh's got her cooking mojo back... :)

1 comment:

A said...

Beautiful.

I love that bowl with the two doves.