People often ask me how I come up with recipe ideas. The answer is, rarely on purpose. Most of the time my brain just kind of throws an idea at me and sometimes I’m astounded. Maybe astounded isn’t the right word. Perplexed is probably more fitting. When my brain throws me a recipe, I’m often left wondering “Where did you find that? You don’t know anything about that.” Case and point: fish cakes. No, not the kind of fish cakes you find underneath tartar sauce or poached eggs. Believe me, I know ALL about those fish cakes. I’m talking about a very particular breed of fish cake. The kind of fish cake found in this Green Chili Fish Cake Pho.
Not every recipe that appears on this blog is triggered by some meaningful source of inspiration. Yes, from time to time a recipe just is. It’s not an homage to a childhood memory or the result of a mind-blowing experience at a restaurant. Sometimes a recipe is just a means of satisfying a VERY specific craving. These Angel Hair Crab Cakes with Saffron Aioli are one such recipe. Sure, the aioli reminds me of my trip to Barcelona and sure, the crab cakes take me back to many brunches past, but they’re not the specific result of any of those touchstones. These are crab cakes without a story. I realize this isn’t a very hooky opening paragraph, but if you enjoy watching bloggers flounder you should probably keep on reading.
If you dropped by in the past few days, you probably noticed that this little blog just celebrated a birthday. I’m sure you also noticed that I already dedicated two whole posts to the milestone and likely feel it’s time I moved on. Well, you’re right, but you may have discerned from this blog that I am a nostalgia junky. I have two history degrees, for godsakes – living in the past does not even begin to cover it. I can’t seem to stop taking stock of the year that was. But would you forgive this wave of nostalgia if I told you that these Cod Tempura Tacos with Pickled Rhubarb were inspired by it. I think so – tacos are something we can all get behind.
Have you ever resented the fact that takeout sushi is not as good as in-restaurant sushi? You know, where the sashimi is freshly cut, the maki is freshly rolled, and the rice is so fresh it’s still warm. That level of sushi excellence makes my heart sing. But I do have a few major issues with in-restaurant sushi and I do mean major. I can’t wear my pajamas, I’m expected to wear a bra, my couch is nowhere in sight, AND when I’m at my most vulnerable, i.e. full and sleepy, I have to find my way home. So oppressive! For a long time, I defaulted to takeout sushi because what else was I going to do? Roll it myself every time a craving hit? I would never leave the kitchen. Luckily, these Wasabi Tuna Onigiri offer a quick sushi-like fix, free of takeout disappointments and time-consuming rolling.