The Irish

April 6th, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

HG is very fond of (almost) everything Irish. That includes Guinness Stout, Bushmill’s Whiskey, corned beef and cabbage; Irish butter. HG does not fancy Irish lamb stew. HG prefers the French culinary approach to lamb. Sadly, HG has never made it to Ireland so hasn’t had the chance to dine on Irish oysters, salmon, cheeses and authentic Irish soda bread. HG’s mentor in journalism and style was Howard W., an ex-IRA gunman. HG’s favorite protege in the PR business is Irish-American Bruce M. (he has far surpassed his mentor). HG has fond memories of his sturdy comrades in the rough and tumble world of 1940’s Bronx sandlot football–Irish-Americans Binny K., Mike D., Jackie B. and Kevin M. There is music in an Irish brogue. HG often visited Croke Park Stadium in The Bronx to watch exciting Gaelic football and hurling matches with a background of a few thousand brogues cheering for their heroes. HG’s favorite writer is James Joyce. Yeats is HG’s favorite poet. Sean O’ Casey is a favorite playwright. Yes, there have been some very bad Irishmen. Father Coughlin ( “The Radio Priest” ) and Joe McCarthy lead the list. And, Der Trumperer has recruited a cluster of Irish-Americans–Bannon, Spicer, Pence, Mulvaney — to aid him in his neo-Nazi schemes. Meanwhile, across the sea in Ireland, The Land of Saints, Poets and Warriors, an extraordinary liberal renaissance is taking place.

Asian Pasta

April 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In HG’s last post, the greedy fellow was rhapsodic about pasta. However, with the exception of chow fun, HG did not give sufficient credit to Asia and its many varieties of noodles. Ramen, of course, is the greatest of all noodle soups. (Sorry, Mom in Heaven, it tops your chicken soup with lukshen). HG loves a bowl of Japanese udon noodles topped with pork or chicken. Vietnamese rice noodles are a staple in HG/BSK’s kitchen. Mixed with a bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, and a pinch of sambal oelek, they accompany a variety of stir fries. They are the base for great cold chicken salads with Vietnamese flavorings (fish sauce, etc.). Lovely in soups with watercress and slivers of smoked ham. Great cold semi-soup dish is daughter-in-law Exquisite Maiko’s buckwheat soba in a soy broth covered with slivers of nori. Fans of Thai food dote on the pad thai stir fry noodle dish. Unfortunately, HG has never had a good version. Chinese egg noodles (fresh or dried) are used in a number of BSK dishes. They accompany chicken bulgogi (see the David Leibovitz recipe). BSK uses them in stir fries with vegetables, chicken or ground pork. The egg noodles cook fast and have a nice, springy, al dente mouth feel. Are they the noodles Marco Polo brought back to Italy from Cathay?