Sunday, August 30, 2009

Live Blogging: Iron Chef Coconut Battle

9:59pm -- Wow, close score. Good exposure for Mehta, no doubt, but I think the Iron Chef deserved it based on his original ingredients. But I'll still take dinner at Nobu over dinner at Graffiti... Maybe it's just spite. Thanks for reading!

9:54pm -- Well, Jehangir seemed to have impressed them with his desserts, which is not surprising since he was a pastry chef. But was it enough to edge out the Iron Chef?

9:50pm -- Did I just hear "wedge-eh-tubbles"?

9:45pm -- Have just realized that my "live blog" is really lacking in insight and is just incessant rambling as the TV show is on... Sorry readers! My husband is away or I probably wouldn't have subjected you to this! He would have had to bear the brunt of my incessant rambling instead.

9:44pm -- Ponytails on men are pretty passé but I gotta say Morimoto rocks his.

9:43pm -- Look at Tiki struggling with his chopsticks! Get the man a fork please!

9:42pm -- Oooohhhh! The iceberg lettuce was on Morimoto's side? Hard to watch carefully AND write a blog! Sorry Jung-gear.

9:41pm -- Wouldn't cold coconut soup leave a film on the roof of your mouth?

9:40pm -- I don't think Mehta won too many points on originality.

9:38pm -- Oh come on! Pop Rocks?

9:37pm -- It's pretty ballsy to pick Morimoto as your opponent. Unless you have no intention of winning.

9:32pm -- Here's a Kopra Paak recipe that's pretty on-target, but I hate that they call it "Coconut Fudge Delight..."

9:29pm -- My favorite Parsi dessert is shredded coconut with sugar and butter. It's called Kopra Paak and my great-aunt makes the best!

9:29pm -- This is certainly not shaping up to be a particularly healthy meal for the judges. Coconuts are high in fat and cholesterol and there's lots of frying and sugar going on there.

9:27pm -- Coconut maki rolls!! Lovely idea.

9:26pm -- Harold McGee says that the word coconut "comes from the Portuguese coco, which means goblin or monkey."

9:17pm -- I love that Morimoto needs subtitles. And that he brought such a rare ingredient no one has ever seen it before, while Mehta brings out the iceberg lettuce...

9:14pm -- Fish poached in coconut milk... Yum!

9:10pm -- In the commercial break, I'll let you know which side of this battle I'm on. You might think I'd be rooting for my fellow Parsi, but not only am I a big fan of Morimoto, I'm NOT a big fan of Mehta. I once asked him for a donation for a fundraiser and he took the free ad we offered him but never provided the free prize he promised us. Like an elephant, I never forget.

9:09pm -- By way of explanation, I'm particularly interested in this Iron Chef episode because the challenger is a fellow "Parsi" -- a member of a small tribe of Indian Zoroastrians. We're usually fiercely proud of anyone who makes it big -- like Freddy Mercury and Zubin Mehta (no relation to Jehangir, by the way).

9:07pm -- Iron Chef Morimoto-san is such a rock star he just broke his hammer!

9:04pm -- First of all, Alton Brown called him "Juh-hanger May-duh" ... shouldn't Mehta's PR people have told the producers that his name is pronounced more like "Jung-gear Meh-tah?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Up close and very personal with the tomato blight

Martha Stewart has posted a slideshow on her blog that shows a detailed account of the late blight that has affected so many gardeners and farmers this year. The results are, sadly, not "a good thing."

Link: The tomato blight in my garden

When The Heat Is On, Soup Is The Thing

Summer has finally settled in to New York – with a vengeance. After a nice long period of cool temperatures and sunny, breezy days, we're now having the hot, humid weather we usually expect this time of year.

Soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind in this weather, but the truth is that it can be the perfect solution for a quick meal – even when the sun is shining. Warmer weather brings to mind the soups of Asia, like this hot and tangy coconut and lentil soup, which can be ready in about half an hour and doesn’t require much more than basic pantry staples.

One item not hanging around the typical kitchen is fresh lemongrass, which is widely used in South East Asian cuisine. Though available online and in most urban centers, cooks who can’t find it often improvise with lemon zest and fresh coriander. It’s not quite the same as lemongrass, but the simplicity of this recipe means you can be flexible with the ingredients.

To convert the metric measurements, try this site or use the following: ½ cup of shallots, 2 tablespoons of ginger, 1 cup of lentils, 2 cups of water.