It Starts!

by Steenastrom

Taking a page from Anna Gaz, I’m saddling up for 30×30: a project to cook 30 special, fantastic dishes or meals by the time I turn 30. That’s not ’til 2013, but it’s never too soon to find a reason to cook for my friends and family.

Everything will be made from scratch, only purchasing fresh (seasonal, local, sustainable, wokka) produce, meats, dairy, flour, herbs and spices… and I guess capers, liquor, beer, wine, sausage casings… i.e. items that are simply impractical or impossible to produce myself. Not that this list is ripe with practicality, but I’m saving the challenges for the core components of the dishes.

Like Anna’s list, many of these recipes aren’t uniquely challenging or demanding of special skills and equipment (though they are a nice excuse to buy some tools I’ve been coveting… mmm, mandoline). But, they are all delicious samples of my favorite foods, and things that I’d love to be able to cook for myself regularly.

To the dishes!

Saag paneer; tikka masala; aloo gobi; basmati rice; naan; kheer; chai! (Birthday feast 2013 with many test runs before hand) (skill points: paneer; naan!)

Tonkotsu ramen! (skill points: stock; noodles!)

Spaghetti carbonara! (skill points: bacon; pasta!)

French breakfast: Crepes with apricot preserves; crepes with “nutella”; pain au chocolat! (skill points: preserving; croissants!)

French lunch: Croque monsieurs; vichyssoise; Nicoise salad!

French dessert: tarte aux pommes; clafoutis!

Pizza feast! Pizza margherita; sausage pizza! (skill points: mozzarella; sausage!)

South Carolina pork BBQ; coleslaw; biscuits; peach pie; ice cream (skill points: ice cream!)

Jewish deli breakfast: Bagels; cream cheese; lox; challah (skill points: lye! cream cheese; curing!)

Jewish deli lunch: Corned beef; rye bread; coarse mustard; Susan Stamberg’s horseradish relish; sauerkraut (skill points: corning; pickling!) (bonus: NPR assist!)

Charcuterie! (tbd)

Beef jerky! (h/t Paolo!)

Chicken pot pies!

Savory bread pudding!

Cinnamon rolls!

Blinis with sour cream, caviar and tomato coulis!

Garlic chicken with wonton soup!

Tacos tacos tacos! Carinitas; carne asada; pico de gallo; sour cream; pickled red onion; cheddar cheese! (skill points: pickling; cheese!)

Lobster rolls

Japanese feast: Zaru udon; hiyashi wakame; unagi donburi; kobocha croquettes with egg; tamago; okonomiyaki; gyoza; mochi! (skill points: noodles; eel; mochi!) (Hanami 2012!)

Pad thai; green curry; spring rolls and peanut sauce; meekrob! (skill points: noodles!)

Kibbeh; shwarma; falafel; tabbouleh; tzatziki; pita; hummous; baklava! (skill points: yogurt; tahini; phyllo!)

Paella and gazpacho! (New Year’s Day 2013!)

Mushroom ragout with baked halibut!

Green chile; enchiladas; queso fresco! (skill points: cheese!)

Leg of lamb with mint jelly; spanikopita; wine-poached pears with ice cream! (skill points: preserving; phyllo!) (Birthday 2012!)

Pho; plum sauce; “sriracha”! (skill points: stock; noodles!)

Spinach lasagna with bolognese! (skill points: pasta; ricotta!)

New england clam chowder in a bread bowl!

Cream of walnut brioche bread pudding!

Goddamn. That’s a lot of food and I’m gonna need a lot of help eating it. That’s where you come in. Tasters welcome!

If I’m industrious, I’ll also cop another page from Anna and write-up the (hopeful) successes and lessons learned from each dish. And in the end, I’ll hopefully have amassed a sheaf of fabulous recipes to serve as a cookbook for the rest of my life.

To the kitchen!