When Food is Love

April 5th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

When I was a young kid we used to visit my Grandmother Sophie Slansky in Frydek Texas at least a couple of times a month. I always looked so forward to this trips because of the way she fried chicken.

As the years passed due to my interest in studying diet, I got away from a lot of the Czech and Southern Food. You see I am adopted and my blood type is type A. I do not have as much acid in my bloodstream as my parents do. Therefore it is hard for me to break down a lot of protein and carbs like Bread, Wheat and Rice.

I had hypoglycemia as a teenager which is an early form of diabetes. Luckily for me my Mom who has been a lifelong gardener and “do it yourselfer” discovered natural ways to reverse this rather than have me put on medications.

I eat to live now and enjoy cooking especially with family and friends.

I always found the happiest cultures the ones that pay attention to detail and enjoy the fruits of the earth, the finer things in life. One can develop a sophisticated palette for wine, women and song and a plethora of other the offerings from This Garden of Earthly Delights.

Cultures like the Italians and the French and the Japanese have perfected the art of fine dining and it is done with passion and it is beautiful. I am convinced that when you eat food that is made with Love and with passion it becomes invigorating for the body and the spirit when made that way.

My Grandmother was the first person I saw make food this way.

She would spend the whole day in the kitchen preparing things and it was so good. She would massage my shoulders as I ate the chicken and to this day when I eat fried chicken I go “into state” and can feel the love.

There is no way that food is bad for me when I feel that way when I eat it.

I have a friend named Mark that is an incredible builder and a landscaper. He also is a great cook, when we met we discussed cooking alot and I discovered he had not tried Japanese cuisine yet.

I took him to Yumeya (means Dream in Japanese) Kei’s old restaurant and the rest is history. He loved it and we have been eating as friends ever since.

Me and Mark have been busy and I hadn’t seen him in awhile. Imagine my surprise when he called me up and said;

“Get over here right now, I just made sushi.”

It was awesome, I went over to his place and he did a great job.

Here he is:

This is the sushi he made:

I drove to Houston to see my parents before SXSW and cooked them an Italian Meal.
“Chicken with Rosemary and special touches” an amazing recipe I learned from Lidia Bastianich.

As an appetizer I sauteed some asparagus with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. A great special touch Kei taught me is to peel the asparagus before you cook it. It takes a little work but is mega-worth it as the asparagus absorbs the flavor and the aroma.

I melted some “Manchego” cheese on top that was a special touch as well. Manchego is a spanish goat cheese they have at most deli’s and it is a great compliment to wine.

Here is the main course The Chicken with the Potatoes. It was amazing and the fresh rosemary is the key. I will be posting all these recipes in the Lion’s Den

Here are the “folks” fixing to dive in.

I am a better cook than most of the women I have ever dated and I love cooking. It is just like music to me or painting. The chance to improvise and stimulate the creative juices and get them flowing. Most of my friends enjoy cooking and that massively has it’s advantages.

While In Austin my good friend Richard Garza (whose Mom is an incredible cook) took me to the Salt Lick. A legendary BBQ haven on the outskirts of town that is incredible. This was my second time as me and my girlfriend broke the place in a few months ago when we were there.

One of the many things that I love about my girlfriend is that she will eat anything. She is open to new experiences and the first time she went to my good friend Kei’s restaurant she took care of business. She even ate Ika (which is raw squid) her first time and loved it!

This is Richard’s “fly new ride” some kind of crazy BMW that has the coolest headlights ever.

We jumped in and we went to The Salt Lick. Here is what their brisket looks like:

It’s all you can eat and quite a popular place so plan on waiting an hour sometimes to get in and remember it’s BYOB.

When I got home me and my girlfriend made Grilled Steak and Chicken with Veggies.
I will share this recipe with you. You have to try it, it is so simple and so damn good!

Simply buy 3-4 Chicken Breast and a Black Angus Ribeye Steak.

Cut the meat into cubes and set aside.

Buy one yellow or white onion, A Red Bell Pepper, a Yellow One, and an Orange one.

Buy two green zucchini’s, cut the veggies up and in a large Ziploc bag combine all together with 1/2 Cup of Honey and 1/2 Cup of Teriyaki sauce. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder and Sea Salt and cracked black pepper. Shake the ingredients well and as you zip up the bag. Leave the corner open and suck all the air out of the bag to condense the ingredients. Let sit in fridge for 4 hours. The simply out on skewers and charcoal grill 5 -10 minutes a side depending on your preferences.

What works here is the honey, as it creates a seal to the moisture of the meat and vegetables and avoids the dryness that is undesirable when grilling meats and vegetables:

Here are the skewers “pre-grille”

Here they are post grille:

Here they are on a plate on the way to Allie:

Here they are on a plate:

Here she is holding the “key ingredient”

Here you can see how the texture and the steak is cooked just right due to the marinade:

So welcome to the first “food blog” and I look forward to sharing recipes with you. Send me your favorites and I will see you soon.

I wanted to leave you with a picture of two of my favorite things.

1. Ichiko- Japanese Vodka distilled from Barley. Japan’s Shigechiyo Izumi credited shochu as his secret to a long life. He lived to 120, so I guess he did something right. The beverage native to Japan’s southernmost island, Kyushu, was good enough for Mr. Izumi, then it’s good enough for me. Kampei!

Ichiko can be best described as tasting like “rainwater” it is divine and a spirit and very refreshing!

If I had to have one last food to choose that I would eat before I “cash in my chips” it would be this:

Blue Fin Toro sushi, in Japanese; “sushi” mean with rice. A lot of folks like the sashimi and I do sometimes as well. But my personal preference is the way the fish compliments the rice in Nigiri sushi. I have never had this as good as my great friend Kei Nagano makes it.

By far he has the “Midas touch” Kei can look at a piece of fish, a filet; and tell you what direction the head and tail were in. He is that calibrated to detail and it shows in even the way he cuts the fish.

Until Next time live your life like there is no tomorrow and remember, when food is love you are doing something right. You may have noticed that besides The Ichiko nothing in the food we talked about came from a can or a bottle. There was no fast food, just natural ingredients that we could always find in nature. That’s the way you do it!

Much Much Much Love,

Eric

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