"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shitake-Bok Choy Soup with Noodles

A rainy, raw day yesterday. I figured a soup or stew was in order, and since we've trying to practice a little moderation, perhaps something vegetarian. I wanted to skip anything with beans because we've been eating all week off of a gigantic pot of vegetarian chili Elizabeth made while she was here and I've been putt-putting around the North Shore ever since.

Shitake-Bok Choy Soup with Noodles seemed like just the thing--pretty quick to make, flavors I like, and best of all I could use some things that have been kicking around in my cupboard for almost two years--bonito flakes and soba noodles.

And although I was thrilled to actually eat the soup because by that time I was freezing (you know how you get that way at the end of a raw day? Chilled to the bone?) I was vaguely disappointed by the blandness of it. I was raised, so to speak, in the Moosewood Era of vegetarian cooking, and almost every Japanese soup I've ever made has not only a bonito stock, but mirin, soy sauce, and a float of dark sesame oil. My instincts were to jump right up and add those things, but I wanted to honor the recipe as it was and see if there was any inherent culinary virtue that I might be missing. I did end up adding quite a bit of salt, and did some musing to Don about the subtlety of the flavors of the shitake and the bok choy, but next time it gets the sesame oil treatment.

And although it was filling with the soba noodles and everything, by the end of the jazz concert we went to later we were famished.

Toast, cream cheese, and watermelon rind chutney to the rescue. Yum.

No comments: