Tuesday, October 18, 2011

simply food.

Teaser: Dinner Salad a la Costco
Many of my simple pleasures revolve around food. I love food. I couldn't live without it. Clearly. But. Since I have had the blessing of living in China and traveling to many places, I have tasted foods to melt the very innards of my soul. I had easy access to the staples of deliciousness. It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. I like a good balance of flavor and healthy-ness. I think some people think that the two are mutually exclusive. But I would disagree. Maybe it's just the foods I was brought up on, or maybe it's just the way my taste buds are wired. I like the taste of fresh. I like the way those green healthy things taste. And all the flavors that you can have pop out with just a bit of the right seasonings.

Simmering in brew.
Anyway. We could talk all day about the foods I like, but there are just some foods that are comfort foods. Unfortunately for me, many of the foods on those list are Asian, seeing as that's where I lived and when I sought comfort, I ate the foods readily available to me.

Many of these comfort foods are easy, simple things that you can often find on the side of the road. You may question the sanitary nature of these roadside tricycle booths, but I haven't been sick or died from it yet, so I'm all for them. Meat on a stick. Vegemables on a stick (yes, I know I spelled it with an 'm'-- extra "mmm" factor). Roasted sweet potato. PERFECT for a cold day when you're out and about and your hands are cold. On this extensive list is "茶叶蛋 (cha ye dan)" or, as some websites call them "marble eggs." Essentially, hardboiled eggs steeped in this broth of tea, soy sauce and some other seasonings. The result is kind of like a cross between Halloween spider webs and Easter eggs. Comfort food. For some reason I had a great desire for them, so our task this weekend was to procure the necessary ingredients and make them.
Finished product. yum.

They were actually pretty simple to make, and after I learned how to hardboil eggs in my rice cooker, it was a cinch. These are great to just keep and eat in the morning for breakfast or stick in a bowl of noodle soups! I'll keep playing with seasoning proportions and who knows, maybe I'll come up with my own cocktail of spices to make the ultimate Cha Ye Dan.

Oh and let me share another revelation of this weekend. I learned how to make the quintessial Asian milk tea. Like the kind in bubble tea (also on the comfort list). Super score in my book. Secret ingredient? Well, it wouldn't be a secret if I told you, would it? ;)

What's on your list of comfort food?

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