Presenting The Faux Gourmet!

The Faux Gourmet has been on hiatus for a while. I began this blog as a creative outlet during law school. After law school, I started other blogs on other topics and no longer needed this as a creative outlet, not to mention my diminishing free time.

But I kept cooking, kept taking food pictures and garden pictures, kept wanting to share the little tidbits of what I'd made. I occasionally did this on my personal blog (to which, I'm sure, people yawned and wondered when I'd post another cat picture). But I started to miss this space. Of all the blogs I have, this format, culled over several dedicated years and incorporating that adorable illustration by Sam Wedelich (see info the left) is by far my favorite.

So I'm back!

Expect short and sweet posts. Less food porn, more recipes and tips. If you want food porn you can look at any of the 5000 million existing food blogs. I don't have good lighting in my apartment and don't have time to style plates. I just want to make something yummy and eat it. If that sounds ok with you, stick around.

Looking forward to being back in touch!


The Faux Gourmet

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    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Things I Want to Eat NOW

    Food News & Quick Bites: I haven't had a chance to write about it here yet, but if you follow me on Twitter you probably know I'm obsessed with a Cambodian (inspired) sandwich place in Manhattan called Numpang. The flavors are incredible; I salivate all day dreaming of the moment I'll walk up to the booth and be handed a grilled shrimp with coconut sandwich drenched in spicy sauce. Oh boy. They're a bit expensive for the size but the flavor is so good I notice every little morsel.

    But that was before I met Xie Xie. Today I was reading an article on The Daily Beast about Guy Fieri & his haters. One thing lead to another and soon I was scanning a blurb by NYC chef Angelo Sosa, with whom I attended church for about a year and a half when I first moved here. He recommended Hop Shing, a dumpling haunt in Chinatown. Who doesn't want roast pork buns with a sugary glaze? I quickly yelped it & it has officially moved to my must-try list.

    I was tickled to see Sosa on a culture maker/shaker like TDB; it seems, somehow, as much a sign of success as actually working a 4 star kitchen. Curious to see what he's been up to since our paths diverged I clicked on his bio.

    Enter Xie Xie, Sosa's new Asian sandwich shop. I may end up remaining devoted to my true love, Numpang, but that doesn't mean I won't be trying half the things on his menu, like shredded pork shoulder marinated in hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and soy, or his 1000 year old ice cream sandwich with a burnt black fleur de sel caramel center. Take me now! I can't wait to start the brutal process of comparing the rival Asian sandwich joints, one flavorful lunch at a time. (See a review here by someone who has already begun.)

    Also on the sweet side, this weekend from 1-5 is the Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment. The event is a cook-off by amateur chefs followed by a free after-party "with chocolate galore." Um, yes please!

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Lettuce Entertain You

    Because salad is so early 90s.

    First reason why I'm sorry: Lettuce find a nicer, lettuce continue to use puns. And lettuce not forget how fun a good pun can be.

    Second reason why I'm sorry: all photos courtesy iPhone. Apprently Mack Camera is doing battle with Fuji on my behalf to get my camera fixed but point is still...NOT. Gar!

    Third reason why I'm sorry: not to presume you've missed my sassy low-brow cooking but in case you have, I've been away feeding real people in the real world for the past two months. Guests almost every weekend, if you can believe it. Last one for a while left today and I thought I'd commemorate the season of reuniting with old friends by reuniting with y'all. You might not miss me, but I miss you! At least, I miss being able to delude myself I have readers. Same difference.

    Taste & See: Tonight's challenge: Use up 2 heads of lettuce. Not in one night, heavens no. Even my celery munching self is not that much of a rabbit. In fact, I am starting to have a Lettuce Problem. My CSA keeps presenting me with these gorgeous, crisp heads of lettuce faster than I can consume it. And in my laziness, I've started eating...plain lettuce. Salads made of torn lettuce and torn lettuce only. And I've learned something very valuable about plain lettuce. It is...gross.

    But maybe the problem isn't lettuce, but my callousness. Maybe lettuce just needs a little TLC, a little devotion. I pay attention to sturdy vegetables like carrots and onions but wilty little lettuce has been getting no love. I just throw it in a plastic bag and shove it in the fridge, only pulling out a few leaves when the guilt of ignoring it becomes too much.

    Today I resolved I would devote a little more tender loving care to my lettuce. Be gone with these lackluster salads. I would discover other lettucian uses and embark upon a whole new lettuce themed adventure! It sounded impossible, but The Faux Gourmet is nothing if not intrepid.

    Let me tell you, as one who has been to the edge & back: It can be done. Since I'm sure reading about lettuce gets old as quickly as eating it, here's a play by play of tonight's mission accomplished: lettuce wraps. Lettuce takes the place of bread in a fresh and light twist on a burrito or eggroll. The filling is up to you--this was inspired by fellow CSA goodies carrots, jalepenos, leeks & radishes. Enjoy!

    Do It Yourself: Spiced pork & vegetable slaw lettuce wraps

    Dice 1 square inch ginger, 2 large cloves garlic, 1 small jalepeno and saute in oil in large, shallow pan.
    Chop 1 leek (or greens of 2-3 leeks OR 2 spring onions) and add when onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
    When leeks soften, about 1 minute, add 2/3 to 1 lb ground pork.
    Season with a few good shakes of soy sauce, 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and a dash of cumin and coriander.
    Allow meat to cook until browned; turn down heat to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid evaoprates into a thick sauce.

    Buy a food processor. If you already have one, you may skip this step. Armed with your mighty food processor, push 2 carrots, half a cucumber, and 3 radishes (the quantities are, of course, to taste; if you just have a carrot, just use a carrot!) through and make yourself beautiful shredded veggies in seconds.

    Combine equal parts soy sauce and sugar, twice as much lime juice, and a dash of sesame oil. Add a dash of sriracha if you like it hot. Stir to make a dipping sauce.

    Serve with rice and washed lettuce leaves. To make a wrap, spoon a bit of rice, meat and veggies on lettuce. Top with a small spoonful of dipping sauce and crushed peanuts. Fold bottom third of lettuce "spine" up, then wrap soft sides of lettuce around it. You'll get your fingers messy, but hopefully have fun doing so.

    I think I'm going to reward myself for getting this entry together with...another lettuce wrap. Yu-ummy.