Archive for March, 2009
One of the best things about New York City is the variety of food you can get at any given time within walking distance. With so many people always on-the-go, the food culture here is largely dependent upon convenient store/delis. It’s a place where one can buy magazines, beer/alcohol, and a sandwich all in one location. I’m not sure how we would survive without such places. We may not have a 7-Eleven or Target close by, but we do have the best breakfast sandwiches known to man. The most basic is the “egg and cheese on a roll”. This is not just any roll though. The bread is light/airy, yet chewy at the same time. Some believe it may be the New York water that the bakers use in the dough that makes it so distinctive.
I love a little bacon added because of the textural difference and balance of flavor it gives to the already soft and moist egg and cheese on a roll. And since I’ve been trying to budget just like everyone else during this time in the economy, I decided to make my own. This is a rather self-explanatory recipe that anyone can make. I was also thinking how chopped chives would be great to scramble the eggs with (or any fresh herbs for that matter).
1 Roll (cut in half)
1 slice of American cheese
1 slice of tomato
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning (can substitute w/ chives or any fresh herb)
2 slices of bacon
1 tbsp of butter
Slice roll in half. Whisk egg , italian seasoning (or fresh herb), and s/p together before cooking. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and scramble egg misture until well done, yet still soft (do not overcook). Layer on scrambled eggs, then slice of cheese, and then tomato slice on top of cheese. Use same skillet to cook bacon until well done. Place bacon onto a plate with paper towel to drain excess grease. After a minute, layer bacon on top of tomato. Then bring sandwich together. Place a dollop of ketchup on side of plate for dipping sandwich (optional).
I thought I had everything figured out as I approached my late twenties. I decided to move back to the SF Bay Area in order to pursue a life of normalcy. My thoughts of life in New York City for the next 5 years seemed irrationale. I could not fathom the idea of not ever owning a home w/ a backyard. This was a definite sign that my biological clock was ticking. Besides, all of my relatives live in California, so it would’ve been an easy move. Although it was comfortable living a “normal” life in the suburbs of SF, I couldn’t help, but crave walking the street of New York City again. Throughout the two years in Hayward, I became even more obsessed with anything food related. I loved various PBS shows that had such great impact on my thoughts of food, culture, and the way our world has evolved based on mass consumption. Such television series included A Chef’s Story and Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie. Other than absorbing all this knowledge via PBS, I would cook almost everyday with my aunt whom I was living with. She served up many dishes that reminded me of my childhood and there were many times when I expressed, “Oh! I haven’t had this dish since I was 6 years old!”. Whenever there was such gratitude, I would always think of my grandparents. I felt close to them once again.
Today, I walk the streets of New York City once again. This time, refreshed and a good heart in mind. Only positive transformations await.
A month after being in New York City, I started to crave home cooked meals again. During my stay in California, I made sure to take notes while my aunt stirred. As I got older, I started to realize that these home cooked meals are to be cherished years down the road. This is a part of my childhood, but more importantly, a part my culture and I don’t want to lose it.
When I started to crave home cooked meals, I would utilize my aunt’s recipes and put a twist on it. For example, this Pork and Okra recipe is a Vietnamese/Filipino fusion dish. It’s really simple.
Pork and Okra over Rice
1/2 lb of lean ground pork
4 cups of fresh okra (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1-1/2 tbsp of Barrio Fiesta Sauteed Shrimp Paste [spice or mild] (Filipino base for the dish)
Cook ground pork over high heat until it starts to become dark brown. Add chopped okra. Last, but not least, add sauteed shrimp paste. Stir for about 5 minutes until okra is tender.
Serve over rice.