Monday, May 30, 2011

Tickled Pickled

I feel an uncontrollable urge to pickle everything right now....

Master Quick Pickle Recipe (Adapted from Momofuku Cookbook, David Chang)
225 ml Water- piping hot from the tap
125 ml Rice Wine Vinegar
6 T Sugar
2 1/4 t Sea Salt
(I added coriander seeds and fresh chillies to mine)
Mix all ingredients together and pout over prepared vegetable or fruit.

In my past months of wrapping my head around learning to speak Spanish, French, Arabic, and memorizing Sanskrit. There is really no way in hell that I am going to retain ANY German at this point, while here in Austria. Which is really fine because almost every Austrain I've met here speaks at least 3 languages, and their english is surprisingly far better than mine. When I found a fantastic little Cookbook and Spice Shop near my house in Vienna, one that even has English Cookbooks! I stocked up. Moro Cookbook, A Month in Marrakesh my always "go to" favorite Chez Panise Cafe Cookbook, and the playful Momofuku Cookbook by David Chang. There is nothing quite as pleasing to me than to have those paper pages pass my hands while my eyes fill with the most inspiring text and recipes. It's like plugging in the cord to my chef battery, and re-entering the kitchen with a fresh bag of tricks.

The Asian food outlets here in Vienna are mind blowing! I can get authentic Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Indian products here so easily. And in the land of lush Austrian pastry's, I chose a sesame doughnut filled with sweetened mungbean paste from the Vietnamese shop each day. One that has me quickly retracing the steps in my mind through the streets of Hanoi.

An Artists premier party was scheduled for 10 close friends of the family I work for. With my new bed stand book being the Momofuku Cookbook, I had Ssam on the brain for days! A hot griddle was set up in the middle of the table and around it, decorated was various bowls of scallion ginger sauce, black bean chilli sauce, pickled mustard sauce, thin sliced Austrian beef, fresh scallops, tofu, and pickled papaya, fennel and cucumbers. Chopsticks navigated their way across the table to fry bits of meat, grab a rice ball or a scoop of coriander udon noodles. A crisp French Chablis made it all come together, and the sounds of The Editors played in the background.

In 2 1/2 weeks from now, I'll be packing up my things here and heading to the south of Itlay to assist on this sea bound adventure with my Fairy Foodie Godmother, Peggy. I've got bikini's, boat shoes, and pickled beets.

With love from Vienna X -A

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chef Shoes On

I've moved to Vienna.
Wait... let me rephrase that- I have been moved to Vienna.
3 weeks ago, on a Friday, I was asked to cook and teach yoga to a couple on holiday in Mallorca. By Sunday I had packed a bag and moved to Vienna with them as the families private chef.

At the usual whirlwind pace that I tend to flow at in life, I have jumped right into the creative chaos of living in a new city with a full on daily job. June in Vienna brings sun that shows her face in between the century old buildings, outdoor art exhibitions and wild asparagus.
These beautiful, thin, tender green stems and bundled together at almost everystand at the Nachtmarkt- my daily playground. Steamed with lemon zest and cracked pepper, topped with a poached egg, rain of Spanish sea salt and a sprinkling of Austria's aromatic hazelnuts. Lunch in Vienna is served.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Crusty Bits

The best bits....
That bottom layer of the paella pan where the rice comes up like an olive oil fried, crispy spanish crepe. Dip it in the remaining aioli left in the bowl, like the perfect potato chip. Just nothing else like it.
A Sunday roadtrip across the island of Mallorca to hike the trails from Deia to Soller, and a paella from the heavens. Easy to call this place home.

As usual on my current life path, I will be relocating yet again. I have been hired as a families private chef for the month of June in Vienna Austria. I've just returned to Mallorca today after a week trial in the beautiful city of Vienna. I'll be here for 10 days to pack up my things and to cater a yoga retreat by this inspireing yogi.
Why do I ever unpack my bag in the first place...?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Camel Nights

One of my favorite photos of our first night on beach Camel Safari near Sidi Kaouki, Morocco.
.... My thighs hurt just thinking about it.