100th post, chilean sea bass, kitchen finale, miso marinade

100th Post

30+ hours after my last post, I removed the marinating sea bass from the refrigerator and wiped away any remaining marinade.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, greased a cookie sheet and put the fish in for about 11 minutes. While that cooked, I removed the kernels from three ears of corn

and heated it in a cast iron skillet with about a half tablespoon of butter over high heat. When the corn began to brown, I threw in a handful of cherry tomatoes and continued to saute.

Just when the skins started to burst on the tomatoes, I removed the pan from the burner and added a generous pinch of

While the corn cooled, I removed the bass from the oven and turned up the oven to broil and cooked the fish for another three-five minutes, giving it a bit of color.

When the corn cooled, I hit it with a bit of lime juice and added one avocado that I had cubed up.

While it wasn’t as good as the one Chef Miyake offers, this version was pretty damn close. The fish flaked off beautiful and the richness of fish was definitely complimented by the lightness of the salad. And, while it was my first time adding it, the salad also benefited from the smokiness added from the chili salt.

Not a bad send off for the kitchen that frustrated me so often and yet was home to many a fine dish over the past four years.

black cod, miso marinade, Miyake addiction

Post #99.5

In what will be my last post for a while it’s somewhat appropriate that it be a bit of a celebration. So, just before I pack up my kitchen and live off of take out for a while, I’ve decided to make one of my favorites: Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass–an interpretation of one of my favorite dishes at Miyake.

The marinade is simple:

Light Brown Sugar, Ponzu or Rice Wine Vinegar, Ginger, White Miso

and a bit of Sake.

I’ll just point out that this is just not attractive… at all.

Grated ginger goes into about 1/2 a cup of miso, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, just enough Ponzu and Sake to thin out the Miso and added a tablespoon of Peanut Oil

And the Chilean Sea Basssteak will rest in the mix overnight….

..until then, I’ll reflect on the life of my miso paste.

buckets a plenty, container garden, tomatoes, urban farming

Bucket Bounty

Lemon Thyme
Purple Basil
Thai Basil
Carmen Peppers
Green Zebra
Sun Gold
Black Cherry Tomatoes

After a successful harvest last year of Yellow Pear and Sun Gold tomatoes– grown in 5 gallon buckets indoors set in windows—and the addition of outdoor growing space on our new deck, I’ve decided to get really optimistic this year in my growing adventures. Going from 3 buckets to nearly 10–I have cukes, lettuce and peppers being started by a friend and don’t know their varities–I’m hoping to successfully go all summer without having to purchase a single tomato with enough left over to get me well into the fall.
Will it work?
Will the rains hold off unlike last year?
Will Sophie, our herbivore cat, find a way to get outside and eat many of my herbs like she did last summer?
I’m hoping for a ‘Yes’ answer to two out of three of those ponderings.
Only time will tell, though, as we have another two weeks before we settle down into our new digs. In the mean time, I’ll be armed with neem oil to fight off the aphids that destroyed my pepper and lettuce plants last year. Many will parish but I’m just hoping that it’ll be the bugs and not the fruits.
What are YOU growing this year?

Grateful Dead, pot marijuana, under the influence

NYTimes Dining Gets High

Photo illustration by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

It’s my after work cocktail, my sometimes social lubricant and my best friend to fight off insomnia. Now, the NY Times is focusing on marijuana’s influence on some of the best chefs in the US and the reality of it’s casual use in culinary circles (Thanks Kate for the heads up).

Roy Choi, who owns the fleet of Kogi Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles, likens the culinary culture that has grown up around marijuana to the one that rose up around the Grateful Dead years ago. Then, people who attended the band’s shows got high and shared live music. Now, people get high and share delicious, inventive and accessible food.

This is where I am, raised on the notes of Jerry Garcia and the world of Phatty burrito’s. As I’m packing up my apartment to move soon, I’ve come across printed pages of hippie cookbooks, with special ‘baked’ recipes, and over 9 boxes of Grateful Dead related bootlegs. It’s the community atmosphere that being a deadhead instilled in me that has completely carried over to my love and sharing of food. And, as it happens, the smoking of marijuana followed along with me.

But, honestly, this is a simple story that can be traced all the way back to 1954 and Alice B. Tolkas and her cookbook that included “Haschich Fudge”, though it’s purported that Ms. Tolkas didn’t realize that it had cannabis in it until well after and the recipe was nixed from American publication of the book.

But be it brownies, rice krispie treats, caramels or cookies, marijuana can be incorporated into any where that butter may show itself. One of my favorite examples, was a few years ago during the Forage! Grow! Kill! Deathmatch when someone served mussels with a pot butter sauce. I thought it was a brilliant use and wished I was there to have tried them.

Thanks to Johnny D for his pics and report!!

But, will we be pairing our Lemon Freeze or Chem Dog in the way that we do our Malbec’s or Pinot Noirs any day soon? Not likely. Marijuana use will stay in the background, like it always has but I think some will be more likely to ask “What are they smoking?” when they see some mind boggling fusion combination or decadent dessert on our dining menus.

**ed. note: This post was written under the influence of Matt’s Sock Saunders coffee**

baking, baking while baked, cheesecake, milk choclate

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I have to say, I haven’t been cooking much of late. The past month has flown by between looking at new apartments(we found an amazing one on the border between the Old Port and the West End), celebrating our birthday’s and our work schedules. I feel like we’ve gotten take out more in the past month than the first 5 of the year. So, to force myself into the kitchen for a little while..and to make us a celebratory cake for scoring an unbelievable apartment(a chef’s stove! a dishwasher!), I found a painless cheesecake recipe online and went to task.

I took the recipe from Epicurious.com, made some adjustments(omitted the topping;used vanilla bean instead of nutmeg; used pecans instead of hazelnuts and 365 Lemon wafer cookies from WF’s instead of chocolate cookies; Fage Yogurt instead of sour cream):

Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake

by Basha F. Gelman: Mountain View, California


  • 7 ounces chocolate cookie wafers (about 27 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup husked toasted hazelnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake on Foodista

Boda, thai, Thai-o-rama

Thai-o-Rama pt. 6–Boda

When we were polled by A., organizer of the ongoing Thai restaurant adventures and gate keeper to Portland Food Map, as to where the next restaurant should be there was one clear winner: Boda. I was one of two that voted for another choice but, really…why fight it? Since I published my review in March, the Missus and I have been there a few more times and still have yet to have a bad experience. So, as it happened to be, last week we also celebrated our birthdays–my partner and I share the same date..creepy, I know–and a friend invited us out to celebrate and indulge in some peanut laden Thai food while his allergic girlfriend was out of town for the weekend. Again, why fight it?

Because this was our friends first trip to Boda we ordered a variety of dishes:

Miang Kum Som-oh ( 4 bite-sizes of pummelo fruit salad on betel leaves with toasted coconut, peanut, lime, ginger, shrimp, and shallots in a flavorful palm sugar dressing)

Taro Fries

Jalapeno Pork–Think ‘popper’ with ground pork instead of cheese.

A couple of grilled shrimp and chicken skewers and then our entrees:

Beef panaeng: Braised beef in a flavorful panaeng curry paste (salty and sweet with aromas of Thai basil and lime leaves with a background taste of peanuts) and coconut cream, served with jasmine steamed rice. Panaeng curry is one of the most popular dishes in the Thai repertoire.

Fried Rice with Crab: Stir-fried jasmine rice with Jonah crab claws, Maine crab meat, onion, green onion, garlic, egg, fish sauce, and Thai bird chili. Fried rice made its debut on the streets of Thailand about 80 years ago. In Thailand, fried rice always comes with a few slices of cucumber as well as a few wedges of lime to squeeze over the rice.

From the first bite of the Pummelo fruit our friend seemed to float away in happiness. I watched his face for the same reaction I had when I had my first taste of Boda and it took only seconds. He nodded his head and smiled. And he reacted, in turn, to every dish that followed. The taro fries, coming in more of a steak cut than the past shoestring variety, were the best batch we’ve had to date. Just crunchy enough, while being more meaty than they had in the past. The pork stuffed jalapeno’s were addictive, to say the least. The pork held a nice lime bite, which coupled nicely with the kick of the pepper. I hope this special app. sold well that night, because I’d like to see this on the menu again.

Again, I found myself unable to veer from the Beef Panaeng and was just as blissed out as the previous times. If I were to lodge a complaint, and it would simply be for the sake of it, I do wish they served just a wee bit more of the curry with the dish. Make the beef swim, I’m not picky, I just want more of it.
The Fried Rice with Crab was beyond any expectation that was held at the table. The rice was perfectly done and was more than generous with the whole Jonah crab claws, which you were hitting with your fork every time you set it into the mound of rice. A chili sauce, that was served on the side, gave you the option of firing things up a bit more if you so chose to do and was definitely appreciated by our friend who ate the rice down to the last grain.

So, what can I say? Boda, in my book, is the best Thai place in town. If you go, don’t go there with preconceived notions based on Take Out Thai. Go with an empty belly and an open mind. And try a lot of different things. Order enough for left overs, trust me on this the panaeng is quite yummy cold when you’re intoxicated. But, by all means, just go.

Boda on Urbanspoon