I recently read and enjoyed Edward Lee’s new memoir/cookbook Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine. I love his cookbook Smoke & Pickles, and the recipes in his new book did not disappoint. This dish is inspired by his recipe for Chicken “Vaca Frita” with Coconut Rice and it is delicious! Aside from loving the amazing recipes, I also enjoyed reading the stories of immigrant communities and how their food changed and was changed by their adopted homes and the existing food culture there. At a time when anti-immigrant sentiment is a particularly visible and ugly undercurrent in our country, these stories seem more essential than ever. I know we’ve all been reading recently the heartbreaking stories of children ripped from their parents after the families crossed the border from Mexico to the US. I can’t pretend to have all the answers to immigration issues, but I know this isn’t it. I’ve been feeling a little worn down and powerless hearing the news, but I found this article from Cup of Jo very informative and useful, with insightful views and a list of ways to help effect change.
On a lighter and totally different note, Andrew and I and our friend Susmita checked off an item on our NYC list this weekend! We took the 6 train past the last stop to see the abandoned City Hall station in the turnaround. It was pretty neat! Here we are in a (totally staged) photo checking it out. I couldn’t get a good photo of the station itself, but you can see photos and read about it here.
Also! Two exciting music things, one from each of us. Andrew just premiered his new suite, Sonora, a collection of compositions inspired by the landscape of the Sonoran desert, where he grew up. We had prickly pear margaritas afterward to celebrate! Stay tuned on Andrew’s website for a recording in the next few months.
And tonight I got to sing backup vocals for a new moon song cycle by the wonderful composer, singer, and pianist Mariel Berger. It was so beautiful, with five voices, piano, guitar, and a string quartet. I think some recordings will be up soon on Mare’s website, so check back for those too!
This week Andrew and I are celebrating our engagement-iversary and are still trying to pick a restaurant. I’ll let you know if we discover anything noteworthy (we’re thinking nautical since we got engaged on Martha’s Vineyard, so I’m feeling good about the potential here)! What are you up to now that it’s officially summer? Have a wonderful week, everyone, and I’ll be back with another recipe next Monday!
Creamy Coconut Spinach Rice
- 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- pinch sugar
- 1 bunch spinach leaves, washed and cut into ribbons
- In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except the spinach and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, rice is creamy and starting to fall apart. Add more water if necessary. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, and add salt to taste.