Californ-i-a

May 17, 2010

                                                                                I am feeling really revved up about food again.

                                                              

                                                        And not just about the epitomic  In-N-Out burger (Animal Style, please.)

I spent a week in Northern California with my favorite person on the planet, wife, and bloggette.  Nothing could have been a better reminder to me why I love food.  We ate, we walked, we shopped for food, we talked about food, we ate, we talked about recipes, we brainstormed meals, we packaged baked goods in tiny homemade wax paper bags, we did yoga (i almost puked in Bikram, ok?), we picked cherries, and we laughed a lot.

Even with all the eating, I feel somehow lighter, and better than when I left.

Here’s why, maybe.

Reading: There are fabulous magazines and cookbooks scattered all over the Stein’s home. Recipes from Martha Stewart Living and Vegetarian Times are clipped and spill out into homemade binders. All were discussed, ooo’d and aaaah’d over. Steph threw Carlo Petrini book after Carlo Petrini book to me to leaf through or read on the plane. I laid in Steph’s bed and read all the autobiographical parts, and skimmed the recipes of Sophi Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights. I almost rolled my eyes at the title, until I fell madly in love with Miss Dahl. She is clever and self-aware/deprecating, and so goddamned charming Her recipes range from vegetarian stews to her hangover cure recipe with includes, so closely to my own heart, a coca-cola. Her narrative about her unlikely super model body and her relationship to food is funny, honest, and a pleasantly easy read.

Shopping: I have visited San Francisco before, and found it to be a fine city. The hills give me chestal anxiety, and I never thought about moving there. That was until I visited the Rainbow Grocery.  I could EASILY spend an entire Sunday afternoon there, buying EVERYTHING IN BULK! I would buy tiny vegan ravioli, falafel mix, almond butter, Matte Latte tea, and the scentiest curry powder all in bulk! BULK! This is love. Also, honorable mention is the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop. Your peonies, and employees are beautiful.

Cooking: With any luck, Steph will be baking in an adorable bakery this year. I helped her package her vegan walnut cookies and homemade wheat thins in ephemeral wax bags with tea-stained tags. I cannot bake for my life, and so this was my contribution. We collaborated on Catfish Tacos with spicy slaw and strawberry margaritas (RECIPE AFTER THE JUMP!!) and vegetable dumplings with spicy honey pork tenderloin. Each of us knew just where to go, just what to do. She instinctively to making homemade tortillas (Who could be better wife material??) and me to drying the catfish in a big cast iron skillet. I love cooking, and I love Steph. I could love nothing more than cooking with Steph. 

There is more to be psyched about coming up. My little garden is coming along swimmingly. Stay tuned for adorable photos.

Catfish Tacos:

1 pound fresh Catfish

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons good mustard

few splashes hot sauce

1 teaspoon each of of salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder

tortillas (homemade if you’re baller, although I can’t tell you how to make them)

Spicy Slaw:

1/2 head red cabbage

3 carrots shreded

1 big green onion

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon sauce from canned chilis (more if you like it spicy. seriously be careful though, this is hawt)

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine milk, mustard, and hot sauce. Combine dry ingredients separately.

2. Cut the catfish into slender strips, and soak for a few minutes in the milk mixture

3. Preheat your (preferable cast iron) skillet and oil to medium high heat. There should be just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

4. Dredge that catfish, and let’er fry.  Make sure to leave enough room in the pan. Fish is done when it is firm to the squeeze.

5. Let the fish drain on a bakers rack with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and lime juice.

For the slaw, mix the wet ingredients together to make the baller spicy/cool dressing. Toss with the shredded cabbage, carrots, and onion about 20 minutes before serving. 
Assemble tacos with spicy slaw, avocado, and a little hot sauce!

Strawberry Margaritas:

15 or 20 fresh strawberries

good silver tequila

orange zest

6 limes, juiced

1/4 cup raw sugar

Make a simple syrup with the sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Add the zest of an orange (I hate cointreau, so here’s how I get my orange in) After the syrup cools, puree with the strawberries. Shake Straberry puree with ice, tequila and lots of fresh lime juice. Get CRAZY.

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3 Responses to “Californ-i-a”

  1. royalnonesuch said

    Megan Moore, please come to Providence and eat with me. I can’t eat an entire CSA cheese share alone.

    Okay. I probably can.

  2. meganwmoore said

    You truly know the way to a girl’s heart. What kind of cheeeeeeses have you been getting?

  3. Steph said

    Ah! You made me smile so big! Post-ess with the mostess. love you…

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