The hubs and I have developed a Saturday habit of brunching at a local Asian-fusion joint that does a fun dim-sum thing on the weekends. Now, I love small-plate-style dining for many reasons, but this place in particular has a knack for serving carts full of creative nibbles that get me thinking about my own kitchen:
Shrimp and coconut cupcakes? Calamari pancake? Korean short-rib sliders? Yes, yes, bring it on! I want to taste and analyze and recreate. (The crispy pork belly that leaves me melted in a puddle of pleasure on the floor? Well, that one I will leave to the professionals.)
A couple of weeks ago, the dessert cart rolled by and I caught wind of something strange and wonderful: Black-Eyed-Pea Pudding. With fresh berry and mango on top. Of course, I snagged it. And of course, as I savored each rich, sweet, coconut-filled bite, I thought to myself: I could make this.
And you know what? I can make it. The flavors are bold, but simple. An easy and fun thing to replicate.
There’s just one problem: it looks like a pile of steaming barf.
Well. I can see why the restaurant topped it with pretty chunks of fruit. Because although this is insanely delicious, no one would pick it off the dessert cart. Poor little pea pudding.
I encourage you to give it a shot anyway – especially if you have leftover rice to use up, or a can of coconut milk in your cupboard collecting dust. And although black-eyed peas lend an earthy, Southern touch to the dish, you could really substitute any legume. A flavorful, rich and high-fiber dessert or side dish – if you can forgive its appearance. Which you definitely should.
Today’s EAT: I paired my homely pudding with some sea scallops from the freezer, salted and seared:
Major props to those scallops, from a Trader Joe’s purchase over two months ago, for holding up in the freezer. They were actually pretty good. I had to wring the heck out of them with a paper towel to get rid of the moisture that had accumulated, but other than that? Good as new.
Today’s DRINK: Oh, store-branded, private label wine. You’re such a gamble.
I’ve had plenty of respectable private-label bottles – namely, on separate occasions, from TJs and Costco – so I thought I’d take a chance on this $9 offering from Fresh Market. FM is generally a pretty classy place, so I didn’t think it could be too bad. Alas…I was wrong. Borderline undrinkable.
Oh well. Win some, lose some.
Today’s RUN: Four grudging miles on the treadmill, wrapping up in just under 31:00. I could not wait to get offa that thing. I followed it up with 20 minutes of upper body weights and some core stuff. A decent enough workout, considering that the sidewalks were a slushy, icy mess.
Today’s QUESTION: Have you ever cooked something that was horrendously ugly but delicious? Did you try to mask its heinousness in any way? I will admit that I can be a bit of a visual snob when it comes to food – unless I’m the one making it.