Food for Thought
Dinner Last Night

On Monday night, I had some free time so I decided to cook dinner.  It was the first time in a while that I had some free time, so I decided to try and cook something that I had previously never done.  At the same time, however, I’m on a budget so I didn’t want to cook anything too extravagant.  After some quick searching on the web and suggestions from my roommates, I chose to prepare some fettucini with a homemade chicken alfredo sauce.  The recipe was quite simple and easy to follow, and I was very impressed with how it turned out.  I also managed to feed 3 hungry college guys for $31.84, all the while using all organic ingredients.  I’ve included the recipe below for those who would like to try it.  Finally, I forgot to take pictures to chronicle this dinner (sorry to all those who prefer the pics!).

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

1/4 cup butter 1 cup heavy cream 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

Founding Farmers Dinner

I have not updated in a while, as recently I have been very
busy doing school work and working at Potbelly’s.  For those of you
who take the time to read this, I promise to post more frequently in
the future.  For this post, I would like to write about a recent
dinner I shared this past weekend with my best friend Darwin and his
mother.  His mom picked out a restaurant called “Founding Farmers”,
located right next to the GWU campus.

Darwin and his mom are avid frequenters of this restaurant, and upon
eating there I quickly found out why.  Founding Farmers is a
restaurant embodying, in my opinion, the positive qualities that all
food establishments should strive towards.  The restaurant attempts to
purchase all of its ingredients from local farmers, as I learned from
its web-site.  The restaurant has an extensive menu that varies by
season.

In reminiscing about this dinner, I think that a particular dish that
I enjoyed serves as a microcosm of the ideology that fuels Founding
Farmers.  As a general rule of thumb in cooking: the less ingredients
a dish has, the better those ingredients need to be.  Keeping this in
mind, I ordered fried green tomatoes as an appetizer not only because
I love tomatoes, but also to test the quality of the restaurant’s
ingredients.  A fried tomato is just that - a simple tomato with a
fry-coated crust.  Yet these fried tomatoes turned out to be
absolutely delicious.

It seems to me that people get caught up in buzzwords when talking
about food these days, like “green”, “sustainable”, or “eco-friendly”.
 And while there are certainly legitimate concerns surrounding these
buzzwords, I think that for the most part, people are missing the
point.  Food that isn’t messed with by pesticides, hormones,
herbicides (or anything else for that matter), simply tastes better.
And for anyone who shares my hedonistic love for food, better tasting
ingredients are always a good thing.

As for the rest of my meal - I had deviled eggs as another appetizer
and Lobster macaroni with smoked Gouda cheese as an entrée.  Needless
to say these two plates were also delicious.  For anyone who wants to
know more about Founding Farmers, here’s their website:
http://www.wearefoundingfarmers.com/.  And for those of you who don’t
like to read, here are some pictures of the soirée:

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Jack enjoying the food

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Fried green tomatoes

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

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Darwin nomming hard

Evening in Annandale, VA

Tonight my roommate and I found ourselves with some spare time.  We decided to go to Annandale, Virginia because there is a decent Korean town there and my roommate graciously offered to buy me a Korean dinner.  We ended up going to a place called Han Gang, named after the river that flows through my roommate’s hometown (Seoul).  As we walked into the restaurant, I noticed outside a paper stand holding copies of The Korea Times, and upon entering all the servers spoke to my roommate solely in Korean.  I therefore concluded that this restaurant was pretty authentic, a presumption that was affirmed during the course of our meal by my roommate.  My Korean roommate (an avid carnivore) ordered Bulgogi, a beef dish that was prepared right before our eyes on a grill set in the middle of our table.  Bulgogi literally means “fire meat” in Korean, a reference to the grilling of the meat.  This beef was cut into thin pieces, grilled with garlic and sauce, and then served wrapped in a leaf of lettuce.  To go along with the main course, there was a large number of side dishes incorporating various vegetables.  The number of small side dishes platters startled me, as it was many more than I am accustomed to in typical, Occidental cuisine.  

As for the flavor - I noticed a general combination of both salty and spicy tastes.  This is probably because Bulgogi is typically made with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.  I have yet to find out what the ingredients were for all of the side dishes we had, but I do know that we ate: kimchi (a traditional Korean dish made of various fermented vegetables and spices), seaweed, a tofu dish, miso soup, white rice, and some type of raw, spicy peppers.  My roommate told me that Korean food relies heavily upon spice, and he was wasn’t lying.  He also told me that in comparison to what he eats in Korea, the beef had a slightly different (yet indistinct) taste but everything else was very authentic.  This was my first time eating authentic Korean cuisine, and overall I was extremely pleased.  Here are some photos of our dinna:

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Intro / About Me

I created this blog out of my love of food.  The purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts about food, and to chronicle the food that I cook myself.  My love of food began at a very young age, and ever since I can remember I have been cooking for both myself and others.    I am lucky enough to have grown up in a family that both endorses and encourages my passion for food.  I also grew up in a unique gastronomical situation, for my father is Swiss and my mother is from Tennessee.  Growing up in the Deep South (Louisiana, to be specific), I was regularly accustomed to eating a combination of both traditional Southern fare and Western European cuisine.  My roommate this year, however, is South Korean and has piqued my interest in cuisine from outside my Occidental background (the food that has dominated much of my life).   

   My love and interest in food took a much different turn after my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  She became more conscious of what she ate as a result of her research into the unhealthy dietary practices that promote the spread of cancer. Luckily, she furnished me with copious items of information about certain unhealthy foods which I should avoid.  I hope to share this information with all of you in my future blog posts.  My cooking now reflects, for the most part, an attempt to avoid unhealthy ingredients and practices.  I also try to use ingredients that come from small farms/organic ingredients.  Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivorous Dilemma really alerted me to the importance of using these types of ingredients.  I highly recommend reading the book.

  For those of you who don’t know me, I am currently a sophomore at George Washington University.  This year my dormitory hall includes a kitchen which has made me extremely happy to cook for both my friends and roommates.  I have recently taken a job working at a local sandwich shop called Potbelly’s. The work can be strenuous and repetitive at times, but it is the first time that I have worked in the food industry and it has been a great learning experience thus far.  

 I guess I’ll wrap up this post by sending a “shout-out” to everyone who takes a look at my blog.  Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, etc.  And thank you for taking the time to learn about my culinary inquests.