I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after our trip to Thailand. That jet lag really takes it out of you. I had never travelled to a place with a 12 hour time difference before, so I supposed I was not seasoned enough to handle the toll it takes on your body. Between the actual time difference and how exhausting traveling can be all on its own (we did JFK to Beijing to Bangkok to Koh Samui), I think I needed a solid week to recover. It took me a while to even just begin sleeping normally, and thankfully, Kramer wouldn’t let me just laze around the house (because I would inevitably take a nap and ruin all of my getting-on-a-normal-sleep-schedule efforts). Therefore, we did get out of the house every day this weekend. On Friday night, we went to our friend Matt’s birthday party at a bar downtown (I made M&M cookies). I really felt that night on Saturday for some reason, even though I didn’t really go all that hard in the club, as it were. Saturday morning, Kramer and I woke up early-ish, had our coffee, then trekked down to Boerum Hill for brunch at Mile End Deli. We walked around the neighborhood a bit, stopping in Brooklyn Fare and a few other shops before grabbing a basket of wings at The Wing Bar followed by tropical cocktails at Zombie Hut. Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided it only made sense to finish out the night by getting our friends together for dinner at Pok Pok. God, it was so good. It might be one of my favorite spots in the city. The wings are just insane, but we also had stewed duck leg, vermicelli noodles with catfish, crepes with mussels, ribs, sticky rice, spicy mushroom salad, and some other things that I’m forgetting. We were stuffed and immediately waddled home to go to sleep. On Sunday, we went to an event hosted by Delaney BBQ to watch the Superbowl. Our ticket included beers and some of the most delicious brisket that I’ve had in a while, then of course…we got more wings. I guess it was a more wing-filled weekend than I had realized until right now. But who doesn’t love wings?
Doesn’t this just look horrible?
On day three in Thailand, we decided it was time to go see some elephants. I was excited about it until we met our driver who was taking the van full of tourists to the elephant + waterfall destination. He was really creepy and kept touching Kramer’s shoes, which Kramer was obviously not happy about. Once we were waiting for the elephant ride, the realization of what I was about to do sunk in, and I did not like it one bit. My reservations were cemented when we got on the elephant. There was a little bench on the back of the elephant that you were supposed to just kind of swing yourself into, and I felt so bad for the poor elephant who had this thing strapped to him. I honestly didn’t think it’d be as sad as it was. So, here Kramer and I were, sitting on top of this elephant with a guy in front of us, sitting on the elephant’s head, riding around the jungle. I immediately hated it and wanted off, but we paid for an hour ride, so there we were. The surrounding area was really beautiful…or so I thought until we encountered spiders the size of my freaking head in even bigger webs only inches from our faces as we traversed through the wilderness. My parents were on an elephant behind us, laughing at my very obvious hatred of the situation Kramer and I were in. I just scooted to the middle of the bench, curled into as small of a ball as I could manage, and swatted away gnats and flies as we slowly made our way back to the home base. I have never been happier to be on solid ground. Riding an elephant is just one of those things that sounds like an awesome idea until you get there. I think my parents and my brothers had a good time, though, ha. Kramer would not have been able to have a good time even if he wanted to, because I was there next to him, being very grumpy indeed. When we got off of the elephant, we went over to see the waterfall, which I obviously enjoyed much, much more, and then we got grilled chicken and coconut water, which I liked even better. Our scary driver picked us up once again, and we got back to hotel in one piece, but not before stopping at this guy’s house so he could pick up some gum, I kid you not. It was an experience, to say the least. After all of that, Kramer and I hit the beach and didn’t leave until the sun went down.
I have a big tub of white miso (or shiromiso) in my refrigerator, so I’m always trying to find new ways to use it other than in miso soup. I once Googled how long I could even have that miso in there once. There wasn’t any mold on it or anything, but I thought that maybe I’d had the tub for a bit too long. As it turns out, miso is kind of like mustard or any condiment of that nature, because it’ll essentially last forever, or at least way longer than you expect it to. So I imagine that I’ll have plenty more miso recipes for you in the future (like my favorite miso kale salad or this miso smothered chicken). I had a big head of cauliflower in my fridge that I had neglected for about a week, so I wanted to use it up but I didn’t want to make soup or just roast it as I usually do with olive oil, salt and pepper. One of my favorite flavor combinations is fish sauce + lime + sugar – it is absolutely delicious and hits some of the best notes: sour, sweet and salty. I figured I would mix that classic combo together with some miso and add some heat from a minced serrano pepper, roast and devour. That’s exactly what I did. The cauliflower came out of the oven a few minutes before the main dish I served it alongside, but that didn’t stop Kramer or myself from picking off bits of salty, sweet and slightly spicy cauliflower from the baking sheet as we waited for dinner to be completed. We even kept picking off cold pieces long after dinner had been served. I heated up the rest of the cauliflower for leftovers the next night, and it was still good (even if I did microwave it – so sue me). This miso cauliflower is a welcome, flavorful departure from how you probably normally dish it up, and if it helps you get rid of that big tub of miso in your fridge, then all the better.
Just hanging out by a waterfall.
Noodle soup with pork.
Shrimp spring rolls.
Squid in curry paste.
Vermicelli noodles with shrimp.
This recipe is too easy easy: just toss together your ingredients and roast.
Garnish with a little lime zest for a pop of flavor.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- 2 tablespoons white miso (shiromiso)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (to make this vegetarian, substitute with soy or ponzu sauce, or even water)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or canola oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, finely minced
- lime zest, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your cut-up cauliflower on the baking sheet and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together your white miso, sugar, fish sauce, oil, lime juice and pepper. Pour the mixture over your cauliflower and toss with your hands until the cauliflower is well coated. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until roasted and tender (check on the cauliflower at 20 minutes to be safe - everyone's oven is different). Serve alongside your favorite protein or with a poached egg on top.