Monday, August 01, 2005

NoCal LoCal Eating

I know, I know. The title today is unbearably cheesy... And no, that is not No Calories, it is Northern California...

And this is going to be a short post, because I am insanely tired and very, very sleepy... This week is my first week with a 15 mile/week run, so I've got that going against me too. I ran a very solid 4 miles today, and I am just about ready to go nighty-night.

I'm joining Jen and Locavores, along with a whole bunch of bloggers including Sam (who keeps me up-to-date on various blogging events), and eating locally as much as I can for the month of August. Well, maybe that's not exactly accurate. I eat locally pretty much year around as much as I can, so I'm really just piggy-backing on another fun community event!

What I will do is relatively simple and actually a very integrated way of my life as it is. I will promise to eat exclusively local fruits and vegetables this month, purchasing fresh produce only at farmer's markets and boycotting all grocery stores. I, however, will not be able promise my meat sources to be local, although I will try (as I always do) to buy local meats. It's simply not realistic for me, living in the Tri-Valley (Hickville) section of the Bay Area...

So, to kick off my first day in August and my participation in the local foods event, I made dinner that was entirely based on produce from my patio (pot-)garden (no, no, not that kind of pot! Planter boxes, silly!). My tomatoes are doing really well, as are my basil plants.

I simmered my tomatoes in sake with a dash of dashi (not local - Japanese bonito, sake, and soy sauce) and added some canned crab and frozen shrimp (where I deviate from my 'local' promise again). I cooked some spaghetti (again, not local! It would be so hard if I wanted to go 100% local!) and mixed in fresh basil (from my garden - phew) and tomato-crab-shrimp sauce to the spaghetti.

It was satisfyingly tangy enough to trigger my appetite after a long, hot day, while being filling enough to provide me with enough energy to recover from my 4-mile run.

My conclusion from my first day of eating locally: it's much easier for produce and near impossible for Japanese essentials - I can't imagine finding local bonito flakes, though I'd be happy to find someone prove me wrong!


Anonymous said...

The tomatoes and basil really made the dish. But you forgot to mention another local "produce" - the red hot chili peppers in our garden. That's local and the "high" you get from eating these peppers would rival the wine "buzz", I tell ya.

Uchipu said...

Bonito dashi in pasta??
my my my

I noticed you put dashi in everything~ Fusion is fine...but try going authentic for a change. Remember that episode in Oishinbo where Yamaoka-san's Hiyashi Chuka was beaten by Kaibara-san's Hiyashi Chuka because he used all authentic ingredients?

With this dish I would've:

Peeled the Tomatoes first (you know the ice water method...)

Use good extra virgin olive oil, throw in the chilis and heat the oil and chilis together. (pulls out the heat of chilis to integrate more with oil)

Throw in some thinly sliced garlic, lightly toast it in oil.

Toss the tomato, crab meat & baby shirmp, lemon zest into the mix.

Toss in the pasta - ladel in 2 scoops of pasta water to thin out the sauce and allow the slighly over aldente pasta to soak up the sauce & cook to perfection in the sauce.(make sure you cook pasta in water as salty as the ocean)

Turn off heat, throw in thinly chiffoned Basil Leaf, add a little black pepper, toss in a bit of freshly chopped parsly.

:) YUM

admin said...

That looks delicous. I wish you could cook for me.

Alice said...


Your peppers are scary...


But dashi is SO good!!!


Thanks so much for the compliment!

And of course, the Pope. I will be glad to cook for you any time!!