Fire and Salt

In a throw back to my earlier (happier) days, this is a review about someone else’s food.

As days of being an annnoying fastidious critic on other peoples’ creations are a bit behind me now, I try to take my chances when I find them.  Although this is not without its risks.  In contrast to when I speak about my food, the problem being that I cannot be as free with my critique as I would really like to.  Given that I live with this cook, a cost benefit analyst must be carefully carried out.  Is it worth it to make some points, tactfully of course, of how the flavour might be enhanced?  How the presentation might be improved?  How a slight tweak in ingredients might make things better?

Sometimes, I find that it is better to hold my tongue, least I had the kitchen sink thrown at me.  Fortunately, I live with a talented chef and as she will probably read this it pays to stay in her good graces.  A whirlwind of anger or frosty cooking is not really worth it even if I think critique is justified.  Then again, even if I voiced it, recent political events show that you can easily get away with lies and it looks increasingly like much worse too.  Yet, let us return to thinking about happier things.

Beef bulgogi, beef steak, pear, garlic, spring onion, ginger, red pepper sauce and soya sauce.  I had a bit of a sneak peek of what the texture of this would be on account of  much grunting and wet smacking noises emanating from the kitchen one fine morning.  There was a bit of violence being done that morning as the beef was been beaten into submission.  While having my morning coffee, I could not help but think that it is better the cow than me.  As an additional positive, such activity resulted in particularly tenderised meat.  Succulent, salty, sweet with fresh onions and sesame seeds to add texture delight.  Excellent paired with Jasmine rice.

Gochujang pork, garlic, sesame seeds, green onions, sake, mirin, gochujang sauce and chilli.  Also subjected to the same treatment as the beef, this little piggy entered the frying pan rather bruised (and tenderised).  As a nice contrast with the cow, this sauce is not for the faint of heart as it is rather spicy.  Heavy but smooth spicy bean taste with fiery notes set off fireworks in my mouth.  Needed some water to put out the inferno.

Pear tart, puff pastry, almond filling with baked pears.  After resting from my labours (I mean eating the two meat dishes above), I was convinced to start my newest venture.  Making a pear tart as one particular treat that I miss in these days of closures are sweet treats.  Cakes, buns and other baked items have sadly disappeared from view.  Instead, I will have to make do with my own meagre substandard creations.

To buffer myself from disappointment, I set my hopes very low and against this backdrop any success seems monumental.  Flaky base, airy comport, even more exciting topping.  As I sat down in self contendent delight much to the annoyance of my fellow chef, I thought that such triumphs are a double edged sword.  If I can make things like this (at substantially lower costs), why do I feel the need to grab a take away from a nearby cafe?   There is nothing else open outside anyway.

So I might as well lounge at home.  Dreaming is less strenous on the legs and wallet.



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