After 18 dishes in the last 10 months, we’ve hit a milestone: A repeat dish.
We’re all guilty of spice hoarding. Deep in the back of your spice cabinet is something you don’t use – cloves, mace, in my case, cinnamon. And then there’s the stuff you see at specialty markets, thinking you’ll find a day when you need that exotic-named, richly-colored powder you’d never heard of before.
After spending two weeks in Europe, it was back to the grindstone – with another trip to the Muslim world.
This time, I was cooking Nihari, a national dish of Pakistan, and a contrast from the rice-and-meat heavy influence of most of the Middle East. Hell, in the U.S., we’d call this fusion cuisine – a mix of Indian and Middle Eastern influences.
One of the most important culinary lessons I’ve learned came from my good friend Lindsey in New Jersey. A few years back, Linz was visiting the Pacific Northwest for a few days and taught me all about cooking the humble bean.
One of the unexpected pleasures of this project has been the joy of weekend visits to ethnic markets. Portland is hardly a multicultural utopia, but it has its share of great, friendly ethnic grocers who stock hard-to-find ingredients – usually at prices way lower than I could expect to find online.