Monday, August 29, 2011

A lesson in humility

Cucumbers are right up there as a favorite vegetable, especially if I can find some that have a thin-to medium skin, some serious crunch, and ideally, no wax on them. It's a pain in the whatsis to get off.

I like them in a lot of ways, cut into spears and eaten with nothing but salt & pepper; with onions, yogurt and a touch of white vinegar, in a sandwich with Swiss cheese, in a salad, in a cold soup with dill, I could go on.

When I lived in Nashville, I visited some friends in Atlanta and they introduced me to a sushi place called RuSan's. This local chain (still expanding!) serves some of the tastiest and most creative sushi I've ever had. Before a meal at the sushi bar, they serve a small appetizer of cucumbers, sesame seeds, ponzu and some crab.

I didn't have any crab in the house, but I thought to myself, "Self, let's have something different for lunch. Ponzu is just citrus and soy sauce, right?"


I was on my lunch hour, so this impulse didn't leave me much time for research. I put into a bowl:

2 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice.

Then I sprinkled the whole things with sesame seeds. It did come out rather pretty.

The tea towel I'm using as a table runner was hand-stitched by my friend Opal. You can see more of her jewelry and art at The Hyper Monkey.

Back to my experiment. It did not come out tasting like ponzu. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't the combination I was looking for. I discussed it with my sweetie when he got home and he was very sensitive and didn't laugh. He also said that ponzu involves some citrus only available in Japan and the recipes I found a little later were something similar, but not, but his native definition, ponzu.

So, not my finest experiment and I will use the bottled ponzu when I'm next in the mood for the above dish. While RuSan's has spawned some restaurants in Nashville, they certainly haven't made it into Connecticut, so I'm on my own.

Questions? Comment? Let's hear them!

As a note, I used to sign off joking about Death Threats. I will not be doing that any longer. A friend pointed me to Ittybiz, and suddenly my jest didn't seem to be as funny anymore. I hope you'll show your support and spread the word.

Next time--something with pork and a lot of garlic, and cumin, if I'm not out of it. Thank you for reading!

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