So, we had some company at the end of October. The best part about having company is exploring the food scene nearby, and the best part about doing that now is that we don’t have to fight seasonal visitors to get down to Rehoboth Beach. Saturday, we visited Blackwall Hitch for lunch.
I’ve wanted to go there for a long time. It’s a beautiful restaurant on the outside, which is what initially caught my attention during my first walk through Rehoboth Beach. On a nice day, they can completely pull open the front windows to expose the whole of the restaurant to the outside air. The inside is just as pretty as the outside, all wood finished and dark.
Cookbook of the Month, November 2018
At first look, calling the Momofuku book a cookbook is a disingenuous description. Momofuku begins with an introduction by Peter Meehan that prepares you well for what you’re about to face. There are recipes peppered into long sections of writing about the restaurant’s history, broken down into sections for each that had been opened at the time of writing. For example: the noodle bar as a prominent section at the beginning, followed by his Ssam bar. By now, the breakdown is a little bit out of date. There are Momofuku locations outside of NYC, and now Majordomo is open in LA.
In early September, I had the pleasure of eating at Momofuku at City Center in DC, where I got this book. We ate some intense food. I was absolutely over the moon to be in that building after watching Ugly Delicious and Mind of a Chef season one with Dave Chang. There’s something compelling about the story of the whole business, and this book is an opportunity for someone like me to learn more about it and the recipes that made it into what it is today.
October has come and gone. I cooked out of Lucky Peach for every other meal I made, and I can tell you with certainty, this is a cookbook that I’ll be returning to for years to come. There are many stand out recipes, good for the home cook. That’s what special about this book. No matter where you are, you’ll have to amazon order maybe two or three ingredients, and if that’s too much for you, there’s plenty there you can do out of your own grocery store.
I’ve become obsessed with the slow cooker beef pho recipe out of this book. I’ve never have pho out of a restaurant, but the ease with which this recipe comes together has made it something I made at least once a week during my time with Lucky Peach. It lasts my husband and I for two meals, and the flavor is tremendous.
As a home cook that uses fried rice and won tons to clean out my fridge, it was good for me to get my hands on some other asian inspired recipes. There are flavors here that I’ve never combined, such as using cinnamon for savory applications. It forces you to get comfortable with that ever misunderstood fish sauce. It gives you something different to do with your pork roasts and your whole chickens.
We’ve talked about the origins of Lucky Peach, and now that I’ve had a good look at the cookbook, I’m sad that the magazine is no longer running. If this is a collection of what used to appear, I know I would have got myself a subscription right away.
If you want a cookbook that has both challenging and simple recipes, Lucky Peach is for you. You will learn in its pages about a style of cooking that is sometimes treated as lesser. You’ll learn that its anything but. These recipes will change your kitchen. I’ve never had miso in my kitchen, nor whole cloves or cinnamon sticks or star anise. Now, they’re a staple of my kitchen. They’ll be replaced when they run out, because I will use almost all of it revisiting that great slow cooker pho.
What’s comforting about this cookbook is that it doesn’t pretend to be authentic. It makes me feel better about substituting ingredients where I have to. Although they do not personally tell you what you can substitute, the internet is full of suggestions if there is a certain cut of meat or spice that you can’t get at your local stores.
Lucky Peach will be one of the first books I go to when I’m looking for something new to try for a very, very long time. Thank you, David Chang and Peter Meehan, for a cookbook that makes a little white girl like me more comfortable with flavors I did not grow up with.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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