Friday, July 27, 2007

Open Source Cuisine

Some dishes are pretty sacrosanct; the lack of even one ingredient will cause me to change plans since it's not worth it. Others are more malleable by nature, or I haven't yet honed my understanding of the definitive version (relatively speaking, of course) and so I feel license to experiment. In this case, Ma Po Tofu, which we love, gets done differently every time as long as pork, tofu, and peas around- although I did make a version of this plenty often during my 18 years as a vegetarian. In this case, the pork was leftover paté mixture that didn't fit in the terrine, and thus already seasoned. The peas couldn't have been fresher, since Milo and I picked them about 10 minutes before dinner, and the tofu was my favorite- really tangy and rich. With some fresh ginger, Shao Xing rice wine, brown rice vinegar, sesame oil and lime basil to finish, it anchored the other dishes quite well: red quinoa, sautéed galia endive, and Chris' beet greens and turnips from last week. The beverage to accompany this rich yet healthy feast, and the welcome rain: a 2005 Latour Montagny 1er Cru "La Grand Roche" which worked very well, since as usual I didn't make it spicy even though I really wanted to.

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