Catfish and napa cabbage


I wish the whole world could eat this.

I usually make it with shrimp but any seafood will do. So will any other vegetable. 

My brother called today and I told him about this. He has all seven magical ingredients listed on the front page of this blog. 

I had to convey each ingredient is rather gross on its own. We both dislike sake, fish sauce is fermented anchovy similar to ancient Roman garum but not nearly that gross, sesame seed oil is intolerable on it own, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, but then together they push out the profile and they blend with vegetable water beautifully. The heat from scant minimal cooking damages the delicate cabbage cells that are filled with water and the cabbage releases its water as it cools in the serving bowl and blends with the seven magical ingredients to produce the most amazing broth in the world. I mean it. No exaggeration. The liquid at finish is incredible. About a cup. And you go, "Oh man, this right here is ambrosia." This is the food meant for gods. 

Not really.

It's the most incredible food meant for humans. 

It's what being human is all about. 

And when your body dies and your spirit moves on then no more napa cabbage for you! 

And no more seven magical Asian ingredients. 

This here is for earth. 

And for earth alone.

Two poached eggs on potatoes

This is so delicious so satisfying so perfect that I made it twice in a row.

Two eggs are brought out of the refrigerator and allowed to rise to room temperature.

A potato is peeled and grated into water. The water drained to discard potato starch. Fresh water added. Cooked in the microwave for four minutes. Drained again. Now the potato is nearly completely cooked and can continue cooking in the pan until it dries out and fries. 


A jalapeño pepper is diced and cooked in the pan in oil

Butter added.

The drained potato shreds are added, spread out and allowed to fry. 

Moved around a little bit. Flipped.

For the poached eggs, a small pot of water is brought to the boil with generous vinegar and some salt.

The water is taken off the heat so it's no longer boiling. 

Two eggs are cracked into the vinegar-water. 

The vinegar causes the egg whites to pull together around the yolk. Without vinegar the egg whites will spread throughout the water. 

Both types of egg white and egg yolk all three denature and cook in water at temperature below boiling. Time is the factor. The more time, then the more cooking. The thing is, the water is cooling as time passes. Depending on how cool the eggs are you might want to put the pot back on the heat. But not so high that it boils. 

Lift out the eggs with a slotted spoon. 

In this manner you control the egg whites and the yolks remain tender and never overcook. 

The second poached eggs with potatoes are the same thing except escalloped potatoes. 

A potato is peeled and sliced into milk.

I let the potato starch be the thickening agent. 

That did not work all that well. A bit of flour would have created a thicker sauce.

Mustard is added and mixed into the milk.

Sliced onion is added.

Strong cheddar cheese and butter is added.

Chile flakes are added.

Salt/pepper and nutmeg.

Baked at 375℉ for one hour. Ten more minutes would have been fine.


But the hashed browned version is better. 

The sliced potatoes are trickier to eat. They must be cut with a fork to fit on it. It was eaten straight from the pan.  It's altogether messier. 

The hashed browned version went into mi boca and swallowed down to mi estomago faster than I could fully appreciate them. I was all, "What? What? You mean this excellence is over already?" While the escalloped version took much longer to cook and much longer to eat with greater fussiness of cutting the potatoes into pieces, sliding them through the wet sauce and eating them over and over and over a million times until the whole thing goes from too hot to too cold and by the end I was all, "Get this thing away from me. Ugh."

A little too much mustard. 

To compensate for this shortcoming in excellence the following photos are provided as supplemental art. They contribute nothing to the discussion. 

Some are full size, some are half size, and one is regular 1/25 size. 


Suitable for framing. If you had a weird little kitchen with weird little art.

white eggplant, peperoncino, scrambled eggs with cheese and hot red peppers

The white eggplant was grown on the patio. It is tasteless.

2-year old miso is added to compensate for this flavor shortcoming. Along with a bunch of small Italian peppers also grown outside on the patio.

Those two things, white eggplant and peperoncino are all the blah. Nice as plants. Not so nice as vegetables.

Oh. I put an apple in that for the heck of it.

The scrambled eggs are cooked gently as a failed sauce. I must say they are very good. They'd be great as a thick sauce over English muffins or sourdough toast. 

Cherry pie

Single serving cherry pie.

These were on sale at the grocery store for 49¢.

I expected it to be gross but it's actually rather good.

It reminded me of my niece's wedding reception in Iowa.

In a barn!

How outlandish. Who even heard of such a thing?

My nephew told me it's actually rather common.

Tiniest church I ever saw.


I saw tinier churches but not holding weddings.

For the reception my sister made 400 tiny pies. 

They could have been turnovers, but no, these were pies. 

Here's the thing about shrinking pies to individual size.

You have to shrink the thickness of the crust as well. Or else the pie will be mostly crust.

My sister made regular thickness pie crust so that left only enough room for a teaspoon of filling. 

Everybody loved them.

Loved LOVED LOVED them. 

This created a bit of a problem because my sister-in-law loved them too and she and my brother both watch their sugar intake. They're both extremely food-conscious. Food-elitists, actually. So my sister-in-law grooving on these pies on the way home was cause for concern for my brother who doesn't want his wife turning fat. 

Nag. Nag. Nag. 

They also used a tractor to make the ice cream!

Now, you've heard of Kitchen Aid mixers with special attachments, but I've never heard of a tractor with an ice cream attachment. But there it was right in front of my eyes. The two old dudes who did this were all, "Oh yeah, we do this all the time." 

This manufactured pie has appropriately shrunken thin crust. When re-heated in a regular oven back to original tenderness, then the whole pie is excellent with appropriate crust to filling ratio. 

I should have bought more. There was a whole pile of them.

And that tells me to check out that goofy somewhat hidden side aisle inside the store for more excellent discounted items. You never know what you will find in there. Crap they want to get rid of. 

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