Feast One – The Results

One advantage of being 15 hours ahead of my previous time zone is that i get to complete all my preparation and consumption in time to post a blog entry before the majority of readers are even out of bed. makes me feel like i am ahead of the game.

completed sandwich

completed sandwich


Overall, despite my initial misgivings concerning the simplicity of this week’s plan, i will have to say that it was an overwhelming success. things went relatively smoothly and turned out absolutely delicious. this was definitely the best meal i have had since my farewell meal a few weeks back.

I made a few on the spot modifications in the grocery store based on availability. you may ask yourself, what sort of grocery store would not have fresh basil. the answer to that is the one at Osan Air Base, South Korea. disappointing but improvisation is the order of the day. In place of the planned herbs, i used a scant amount of cilantro and it turned out to be a good call overall. also, there was no sourdough to be found. granted, my normal nerdiness, i would have baked my own for this project but that will have to wait for permanent accommodations. Instead, i substituted a mini baguette that served well but honestly i consider a mistake because of the bread to filling ratio. baguettes are too bulky in my opinion for this type of sandwich and overpower the ingredients. a positive change is that i got a wild hair and picked up and avocado to slice onto the sandwich, a very good call if i do say so myself. i also ended up using kalamati olives (probably misspelled but you know what i’m talking about). i saw those as favorable over canned black olives and with the exception of having to pit them myself, they worked out great. i skipped the mozzerella in favor of an aged sharp provelone, outstanding counterpoint to the other toppings.

ingredients prepped for tapanade

ingredients prepped for tapanade

this leads me to the lessons learned today. i see these 48 feasts (47 now!) to be not only a way of passing time and entertaining myself but a method of developing my culinary acumen. i was fairly put off by the lack of any real cooking method in all honesty but today has taught me that there are lessons to be learned in simplicity. here is what i am getting at. my wife and i are absolutely crazy for garlic. we put it in almost everything. but it is invariably cooked in dishes. delightful, delicious but i was missing part of the picture. the fresh chopped garlic, uncooked, in todays dish was a revelation. the heat of its sharp bite woke up my sense of taste in a way that is absolutely indescribable. i would urge everyone reading this to take the time to sliver some fresh garlic and put in uncooked on your favorite savory dishes. thin slices over pasta would be heavenly, a few freshly diced pieces over a salad, and as i will be doing in the future, wafer thin slices as a layer on sandwiches…

sandwich ingredients staged

sandwich ingredients staged

the tapanade itself turned out to be almost like an italian salsa given the fact that everything was cut to small dice instead of pureed as you would prefer. it turned out great, excellent flavors and color combinations but a little messy as it wasn’t really a paste. i have taken pictures but don’t have the ability to upload them yet given my transient state. i will as soon as i can.

Food Porn at its best

Food Porn at its best

finally, i have sketched out the next 2 weeks of meals but you’ll have to wait for details. i have to give you something to read about in the coming week. suffice it to say, the theme will be “embracing al fresco”.

ready to eat

ready to eat

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8 Responses to Feast One – The Results

  1. staca says:

    Mmmmm…..garlic………****drooooool****

  2. 47 and counting….
    Scottie and I raised a glass and toasted you last night–a tradition we will embrace every Sunday from here on out. Love you.

  3. xtnadln says:

    Sounds delicious, honey, you will have to add this to our repertoire of meals. Do you think a hint of red wine or balsamic vinegar would have been too much? However, withe avocado and cilantro it sounds more like a Spanish tapanade.

  4. Greg Senior says:

    I’m going into Garlic withdrawal, nobody here uses it or says they like it, tho when i do slip it in they don’t complain. your mention of garlic, reminds me of a wonderful Spanish shrimp dish i had fire tossed with garlic oil, then fresh garlic slices on top, a little soft loaf bread and a nice wine, was a good meal. Hang in there, your improvision skills are working great

  5. Joe Wallace says:

    The bite of fresh garlic is something else, innit? I also STRONGLY suggest trying pickled garlic–a fascinating experience. Not for the faint of heart, but very tasty.

    Alrighty then, Nelson—when are you going to start brewing your own beer? If you think cooking is a challenge, try THIS one on for size. You can do five gallon batches without having to go seriously hardcore. Now that I have space, am quite tempted to start experimenting.

  6. Joe Wallace says:

    PS–Brandy is basically re-purposed wine and would be quite easy to make even in your current circumstances. Interested?

    Factoid–brandy’s origins include the results of experiments by Arab alchemists who tried to make medicinal remedies. Interesting that Muslim cultures call alcohol “liar’s tears” yet were trying to make medicine out of the stuff.

  7. Kristen says:

    I’m glad you first feast was a success, and it sounds pretty yummy to me, especially since I broke-up with bread.

    As a lover of all things garlic, I can totally see where you are coming from, but be careful, too much garlic and you will start to smell like a native!

    I’m also picturing your dorm room in a few weeks, with an herb garden in your window and 2 illegal hotplates hidden in the wall locker!

    Looking forward to your next creation!

  8. Beast of Bourbon says:

    Kalamata olives, and they ROCK. Thanks for the cruel photos of yumminess, you bastard.

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