28 November 2009

in praise of asafoetida

Just submitted the first two — of six — grad applications. Short of breath (from stress, not asthma). Needed to reward myself. And thus, a River Rock Farm shoulder steak. And pommes Anna. And yes, brussels sprouts sautéed in duck fat with almonds and asafoetida. As asafoetida is probably a relative of the once oft-used siliphim, I've been convinced that asafoetida being limited to Indian cooking is a tragedy. (It is amazing with de Puy style lentils.) Offering a hint of garlic and leeks, it makes everything better. Especially brussels sprouts with almonds in duck fat. Moreover, this appropriately reflects (and builds upon) my last meal as a serious baker; the steak is emotional, but asafoetida has been used to treat asthma and bronchitis, the chronic conditions that have been caused by me baking.

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