Soup is one of those foods that is invariably satisfying. I have always wondered why. Whether soup is warm or hot it nourishes and replenishes. When it’s cold it revitalizes and quenches our thirst. Perhaps soup’s satisfaction is merely because it’s made of nutritious and delicious ingredients.
But of course so is grilled ribeye steak, roasted Dover sole, quinoa and eggplant, or macaroni and cheese among many other foods I love. Or, perhaps soup’s satisfaction is a regional thing like New England Clam Chowder, borscht, tortilla soup or matzoh ball soup.
Cardroom burgers should be called the American Burger. It’s almost patriotic when you bite into one of these gems. They are that good. You will taste the juicy, smoky flavor of the grill when you combine diced onions with ground chuck that has just enough fat content (80 percent lean) to make a difference. Adding a dab of garlic aioli with some cinnamon ketchup and a drop or two of sriracha takes the burger to a new level of deliciousness.
Today we are traveling to the Pacific Rim to explore the cuisine of Japan as expressed by that popular broth called miso soup. For many Miso is considered almost a cure-all in that it is so good for you not unlike the American notion about chicken soup. Miso is the dish that comes to us in a small bowl at the beginning of our meal served at our favorite sushi or sashimi cafe in Los Angeles, Chicago or New York, among many other communities.
Shrimp and beans? It almost seems like an odd combination. Shrimp and rice we call shrimp scampi. Yes. Shrimp cocktail? No question about it. Shrimp on a cold salad with a light vinaigrette? Or, curried shrimp? No doubt you have enjoyed more than one meal like these. But warm, white beans and shrimp? Do you think? Quite frankly it goes together surprisingly well. Not cold and not hot but almost room temperature or warm is an excellent combination. Indeed!
The Chinese have historically valued mushrooms for medicinal properties as well as for food. Ancient Romans and Greeks, particularly the upper classes, used mushrooms for culinary purposes. Tasters were employed by Roman Emperors to ensure that mushrooms were safe to eat. Of course this wasn’t a job with much long-term job security. Rock and Roll bands and their fans of the 1960’s rediscovered other uses of over 200 mushrooms that contained psilocybin, the natural, psychedelic drug. Today however, the production of edible mushrooms is big business and a safe one. Mushrooms are produced in sterile, clean and controlled environments in at least 60 countries around the world.
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