Monday, January 4, 2010

Day Four

A (very) quick post: I've promised Matt that this will be finished in fifteen minutes so as not to infringe upon our Wire (Season Two) marathon...

Last night was my first "exception" meal, and we did it right at Tiffin in Little India.  Didn't bring the camera and regretted it when my seekh kebab was wheeled out sizzling from the tandoor beside Kim's creamy palak paneer, Matt's rich malai kofta, and David's fragrant biryani, all served in shining copper pots.

Today has been something of a success: the first day without question or compromise.
Whole wheat toast and butter, leftover lamb kebabs and white rice ... Matt and I trekked to the grocery store where we scoured the aisles for truly whole foods.  Ever checked the ingredients on a can of tomatoes?  Nearly every brand contains citric acid and calcium chloride.  (We finally found an Italian import, "Bella Terra", which contains only "selected organic Italian tomatoes in tomato puree, organic basil").  A similar problem with purchasing cheeses: all the orange ones have annatto (coloring), and nearly all contain "animal rennett" or "vegetarian rennett", which I haven't yet found the time to research.  (Eventually picked up a Tillamook extra sharp cheddar containing only milk, enzymes, and salt.)

Dinner was home-made linguine bolognese:  Racconio linguine (durum wheat semolina and water).  We made the sauce by sauteing chopped onion and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil with basil, thyme, and oregano, throwing in some of the C&D farms ground beef, then adding the Bella Terra tomatoes and some Contadina tomato paste (containing only tomatoes) and simmering.  Salt and sugar to balance the acidity, though I'll admit I didn't do a very good job and we were left with an unfortunate tomato paste tinny aftertaste.  (Though Matt loyally claimed not to mind it.)  Ten minutes before serving, we added a couple cups chopped kale and a healthy splash of red wine for depth of flavor.

Fresh grated asiago cheese, and the rest of the bottle of wine to drink, and voila!


  1. Yum. I left a day too early and missed out on something delicious!! Rennet is an enzyme (from the stomach of bovines usually) I think. Its curdling effect on milk is the main step in the process of creating cheese. It's a process, but an entirely natural process, and one that's been around for many moons, so I think it's legit for your purposes. Thanks again for the lift to Midway this morning and good luck!

  2. Thanks, David! Good to know. And we miss you already!!

  3. Just thinking out loud, but citric acid is basically just citrus juice. It is very possible that they used some mass production method to precipitate out the citric acid that went into the tomatoes. However in it's purest form it is most definitely a naturally occuring acid. In fact, it is used by almost all living cells in the Krebs cycle. Anyway, that looks totally delicious!