Ah, yes, it seems like a lifetime ago — though it was merely a few bewilderingly months back — that I was contemplating a trip to Chicago later this year.
How I looked forward to taking one of those architecture-themed boat ride tours on the lake that I’d heard so many good things about. How my husband was salivating at the thought of deep-dish pizza and loaded Chicago-style hot dogs. How I had looked forward to trying one of the restaurants by chefs Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan. How I had already circled on my calendar the exact week I should start trying to snag a coveted reservation for my bucket-list meal at Alinea.
So much for that.
I have friends who swear they’re curtailing any traveling whatsoever until a vaccine is available to defeat this deadly virus. Me? I can’t say that getting on an airplane holds any appeal for the foreseeable future. If I do venture out of my area when restrictions are finally lifted, I think the car is the way to go, because I wouldn’t want to be too far from home with so many ifs, ands or buts still looming on this precarious horizon.
I love deeply charred cabbage because hitting it with fierce heat brings out its inherent sweetness as it caramelizes.
As such, I’m always looking for new ways to flavor it. This one especially appealed at this time because all it takes is red miso, butter, and lime — all of which I had handy already, which is no small miracle these days.
This recipe was originally intended for one green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges, and cooked in two pans. I actually used an arrowhead cabbage, an heirloom variety, that’s indeed shaped like a pointy arrowhead or cone. Grown by Pescadero’s Fifth Crow Farm, it tastes like green cabbage, but is just a tad sweeter.
I love carrots — now more so than ever before, too.
That’s because during this unprecedented shelter-in-place mandate, I’ve been relying on delivery services to get all of my groceries.
As someone who’s used to combing through new cookbooks to hone in on an inspired recipe to try, then racing out the door to a grocery store or two to find just the right ingredients called for, this has been an adjustment.
Now, I let the ingredients solely dictate what I make. And because I only schedule deliveries once every 7 to 10 days, it requires a lot more planning. I covet peak-season produce, of course. But because so much of that is quite perishable, I also need a mix of sturdier fruits and veggies that will last at least until the next delivery.
That’s where carrots are a godsend. They hold up well in the crisper drawer for weeks, and they can be used in so many ways, both raw and cooked.
The book is by chef and TV personality Rika Yukimasa, a Japan-native and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
While working as a commercial producer for a huge advertising firm in
Japan, Yukimasa wrote cookbooks on the side. It wasn’t long before that
became her vocation. She’s now written more than 50 cookbooks. She also
hosts a popular cooking show, “Dining with the Chef,” which airs in 150 countries, including on PBS in the United States.