Wednesday, December 31, 2008

year-end reflection, EdAss-style

I shall use my last post in 2008 to reflect on the most delicious things I ate in the last 12 months.


1. Asure (the "s" is pronounced "sh")--a Turkish rice pudding that is literally the most delicious thing ever. It contains rose water, rice, barley, hazelnuts, beans, banana, pistachio, pomegranate seeds, and dried figs, among other things. The waiter who recommended it to me at the Turkish pastry shop showed me a whole case of dessert, but pointed to the asure and shook his head. "That one... It's just really special." Glad I took the hint. In her book The Bastard of Istanbul, Elif Shafak includes a recipe for asure which I have yet to make good on. Hmm, maybe there's a resolution for me--in 2009 I will learn to make asure.


2. Fesenjan--Persian chicken stew made with pomegranate juice and walnut flour (literally, that's all that's in it). I know it ain't much to look at in a picture, but when you put it in your mouth it will change your life.

3. Rice Benedict--no picture of this online, alas. But there is a pan-Asian-South American restaurant microchain called Rice in the New York area, and they do a mean brunch. If you've ever been to visit me I've probably taken you there. My good friend from college who grew up in New York introduced me to this magical place this spring and I've been like 15 times since then. The Rice Benedict is the traditional two poached eggs, only served on cornmeal cakes with Canadian bacon and guacamole instead of hollandaise, salsa on the side. Accompanied by jalepeno grit fritters, coffee, ginger juice, and a strawberry champagne cocktail... I probably shouldn't be giving away my secrets.


4. Jalea--Peruvian appetizer of fried fish chunks, shrimp, and calamari served with onion salad, cilantro, and lime over a bed of roasted corn kernels and fried yucca. Oh man. Actually, I ate this for the first time in 2006, but I hope you guys don't mind that I included it. Nummm. There was some trauma in November when I showed up at my favorite Peruvian restaurant in Queens only to find it dark and shuttered, but after 5 minutes of weeping I discovered it had merely moved next door. Scientific examination has proven that the jalea is tasty as ever.


5. Spring Vegetable Tempura--Ok, I have a weakness for all foods Japanese. But this spring Marie took me to Blue Ribbon Sushi, where I had some life-changing tempura. The sushi wasn't bad either.

Uh, I'm going to stop at 5. Lest I go on all day. I think I'll go pop down to the kitchen and have a snack.

Hope you're celebrating all YOU accomplished in 2008 and all the delicious things you're about to eat in 2009!

xxx

25 comments:

Linda said...

Happy New Year, moonie! I love fessenjan, yum. Please share the rice pudding recipe if you can (or maybe I'll just go out and buy another book, hee-hee). We're having lobster al fredo tonight - very easy and very delish, a decadence to ring out the year... peace, Linda

Merry Monteleone said...

Happy New Year, Moonie!!!

Okay, number four looks delicious... I have a weakness for all things fish though and my Christmas Eve fresh fish salad is my favorite dish all year!

Now I'm just hungry... and need to go looking for Turkish food, apparently.

Happy New Year - I hope 2009 brings you wonderful authors and fantastic food.

Cakespy said...

Rest "asure"d that the Turkish Asure pudding will be on my "must try in 2009" list!

moonrat said...

too cute, Cakespy.

Linda, I'll do some scientific research and post the results :)

JES said...

Eep. The moonrat has an adventurous palate, obviously. *rushes off to update Wikipedia entry* One more reason why it's difficult to imagine you living utterly happily anywhere else!

Congrats on a really nice 2008, Moonie, and best wishes for the successor!

Aerin said...

So, um. You just helped me solidify my 2009 resolution to diet....plain brown rice, anyone?

(I admire your adventurousness, Moonie, but the best I can do is order a different combination from Chipotle than I have before.)

laughingwolf said...

dang moonie, i was just getting into all the goodies, drooling like a fool :O) lol

will have to look up the recipes, if they can be found...

what're the five you left out?

happy new year to you and yours :D

Dennis Cass said...

Happy New Year, moonrat. Your blog has been one of my favorite discoveries of 2008.

And now you've gone and one-upped yourself by introducing me to the concept of rice benedict. For the first time in years I actually miss New York.

Cheers!

Kelsey said...

This makes me wish my gut wasn't full of pizza and ice cream. We ate an early lunch to beat the crowd and on the off chance (fingers crossed) my wife gave birth tonight.

Goodbye 2008, goodbye chance of child deduction on taxes. Hello 2009 and hello baby Timmerman.

Happy new year Moonie! It's been great getting to know you over the past year. You're an important part of my eyes, ears, and heart to the publishing world. Let's hope we all read great books this next year and that you publish books that we all want to read.

Kim Kasch said...

My New Year's Resolution is to start a diet but after reading (seeing) this, I realized it's not January 1st - YET ;-)

Marian said...

Have a great New Year, moonrat, and thanks for the delicious descriptions. I always like learning about unusual and exotic food - it comes in handy for fantasy novels.

Rachel Brady said...

You crack me up! Loved this post. :-) See you on FB...

Suzanne said...

loved the tempura.....happy new year!

writtenwyrdd said...

Mmmm. It all sounds good. Would you give us the Asure recipe too? Sounds really great.

Miriam S.Forster said...

Yum! Sounds like you eat much cooler stuff than I do. *sigh* My family did send me some of our secret recipe cookies this year though, so I will munch on those and try not to be jealous.

Happy New Year!

Charles Gramlich said...

For me it was fried chicken. It's always fried chicken.

Ann Victor said...

Happy New Year, Moon Rat!

May 2009 be filled with gastronomical feast after feast!

jalexissmith said...

PEOPLE! LET ME GIVE YOU A WORD TO THE WISE! DO NOT GO TO THE RESTAURANT RICE THAT MOONIE HAS RECOMMENDED.

it is not only amazingly delicious, it is also highly addictive and you will never want to leave. you will go there weekly, overeat and constantly feel in a state of stuffedness.

let that my new year's advice to you. happy 2009!

Whirlochre said...

Goodness! I could stuff my face with all of this If only I'd been born a 40' hamster.

Stuart Neville said...

For me, it was the beans on toast I recently had after about five days of turkey leftovers!

Happy New Year, moonrat! :)

acpaul said...

The best new food of 2008 was served last night in the ICU by the 'Filipino Mafia' who served up some noodle thingies with pork, beef and veggie mini spring roll like things, and several other dishes. All delicious, and darned if I can recall a single name of a single one of them.

moonrat said...

AC---sounds like pancit!! I <3 pancit!

Tamar said...

Yum, fesenjan. But I'm really commenting because I'm dying to know the name of that Turkish pastry shop. Pretty please?

Katiek patrianoceu said...

Thanks for the inspiring list of new exotic foods to try eating or maybe even attempt to make. I love your palate :)

Happy 2009!

Jared said...

I currently live in Turkey and here they often refer to Aşure as "Noah's Ark Dessert" because Noah is supposed to have made it after the waters receded. Anyway, they say here that a good aşure should have at least 40 different kinds of things in it. Enjoy!