Whole Heartidly

Don’t tempt fate!  Be careful, and omit the hitting yourself in the head later with murmurs of “WHY!!! WHY!!”  and other strong and or obscene verbal jibber jabber. UNPLUG THINGS!

You can’t talk about going through a culinary journey without mishaps.  In and earlier post when I worked at Perbacco, I  wrote about an experience with my thumb hitting a meat slicer, but that is not what landed me in the Emergency Room.  This time it was a Kitchen-Aid Hand blender.  And let me tell you typing without a proper functioning finger that has 5 stitches is like typing with a phantom finger. Again, UPLUG THINGS!

So, I tempted fate by putting my finger through a blender when it was OFF but it was not unplugged, and well, before you knew it a splatter of red and a howl of “OH GOD!” clawed it’s way through the house.   Luckily I had the aid of a co-worker/friend Valerie in the kitchen that day.  She zoomed me away  in her car headed to San Francisco General Hospital.  Off we went.   Sticky shrimp slathered all over a linen towel wrapped around a once gushing finger, a jacket, a bag, keys and a phone.  I was probably more mad at myself for doing such a mindless act, and tell me why is it when it’s during times of urgency do clowns ride bikes wobbly down lanes, pedestrians slowly move as if channelling sloths, and cars cars cars…all move like turtles down a beach.    My mind and heart were racing!

Valerie was there for me every step of the way.   Echoes of screams in the emergency room still resonate through my ears, the sights and sounds of San Francisco Emergency room were very colorful…

Fives stitches later I came home.  2 days later I was back at work.  1 week+ later and stitches are off.  A bit of a headache still present.

After it happened I couldn’t help but to play the horrific scene over and over and oveerrrr again even through my slumber into the next morning…into about 4 days of hitting my forehead.   But you must forget.  These things do happen, and I am sure all cooks at any level or skill will do a major mindless foolish act.  And bless you to pieces if you haven’t.

So with that I say hello something new.  My last day at Zuni Cafe is February 15th 2011,  I told a co-worker of mine Casey just how exhilerating it was to reach a day on the grill when I was entering nearly 100 burgers cooked.  Though only 86 my heart was racing like none other and all I wanted after that was more.  He agreed that cooking is an occupation where you can always strive for more…and that is why many cooks are nutty and passionate. So I felt that same spirit and zest the other night when I worked a night grill shift, I JUST WANTED MORE!!! I wanted each item to come out flawless and as delicious as the first. WOW, I was just so amped.  But will I still be this amped going freelance?

It won’t be the same, but in exchange I will have more free time to create.  There is the such a great feeling of satisfaction and great devotion to putting out good food, and I am lucky to have one stable client for the time being. Come this May it will be 1 year that I have been with my current client Vipul.  High Five!*

By the way, lately I have been carrying one of Paula Wolfort’s cookbooks in my bag religiously and now I just cant cook cous cous any other way. Rinsed then steamed with cheesecloth is absolutely the best and fluffiest way to enjoy cous cous.  Now I just need to see and experience what fresh cous cous really tastes like. The flavors in that cookbook are beautiful.

Click here to visit her website  : Paula Wolfort

Get the book it’s just so great!

Also in the news, a friend of mine Cheryl Taylor who also has a deliciously pretty blog, included me in her post My 5 Daily Essentials. I have collected a bit of cranial inspiration to which I need this blog to be the slate that I will disgorge upon.  And Cheryl has helped me spark another post (can I add she has the cutest little girl by the name of OLIVE)!  That post  will be up soon!   Until then here was this week’s meals.

I was able to return back to work this Monday and from the looks of it this weeks menu was a robust combustion of flavors.

Cous Cous w/Mango, Cilantro, Scallions in a Lime and Chipotle Vin.
Avocado, Blood Orange and Asparagus Salad w/Shallots Lime Juice and Olive Oil
Braised Collard Greens w/ Garlic Tomatoes and Ginger
Chicken Porridge with Leek and Turnips Simmered w/ Ginger
Spiced Cinnamon Lamb Braised w/Collard Greens in a Rich and Savory Tomato and Porcini Broth w/Turnips-
Cous Cous Salad w/ Mint and Ricotta Salata
Spiced Fish Stew w/Grouper and Shrimp in a Saffron Lemon and Paprika broth Oyster Mushrooms, Fennel, Fingerling potatoes, Kale and Plum Tomatoes- Scented w/Fried Garlic and Ginger 


Roasted Stuffed Eggplant w/Dungeness Crab Shrimp and Black Trumpet Mushrooms, over a stewed Tomatoes and Calvestrano Olives.
Collard Green Wrapped Flank Steak with a Parade of herbs over a Light Porcini Brodo  w/Carrots and Spiced Black Olives

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