Unfortunately I do not have a friend that is a chef. Unless you count Emily from Daily Garnish, that is. And I don't. It would be kind of creepy if I thought some blogger whom I'd never ever met, spoken to, or corresponded with was my friend. Mostly I just read her blog and wish that someone would cook her food for me in my kitchen.
Luckily, however, I do have one friend who is a good cook. And last night we had dinner at his house to celebrate the arrival of his good friend from Wales. Our friend Adam is fairly worldly, having lived in Wales and England and also having traveled extensively. Thus he knows "ethnic" foods beyond just your basic vegetable curry or your standard Pad Thai. He is actually part Trinidadian, which also bodes well for his cooking props. I guess I should add the disclaimer that I like spicy food with lots of veggies, and thus Adam's cooking background is good news for me. If I were more of a meatloaf and mashed potatoes person I suspect I'd be quite turned off by his fare.
Anyway...last night Adam made us a Thai dish that was similar to a Pad Thai but quite different in a number of respects. For instance, there were no peanuts in it:-)
This was some kind of rice noodle--though it felt more hearty than that--with tomatoes, zucchini, and onions, along with tofu and a really tasty sauce that you can see on top of all the tofu. Adam also made us a sprout salad, but since I'm knocked up I decided to pass on the risk of E. coli. Anyway, the sauce on the tofu and the noodles had sunflower seeds, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, carrot juice and other stuff that I can't remember.
It was really tasty. My point here is that this dish had a lot of flavors but it seems so overwhelming to create a sauce with like eight ingredients. But man, the sauce really makes it. Just throwing some garlic and ginger on tofu really doesn't result in the same tastiness, unfortunately. This is where meat eaters have an advantage, since as long as you cook the meat properly, a steak without any sauce is still relatively tasty.
Perhaps I should buy a book of just sauces, marinades, and dressings so I can sufficiently dress up my tofu, my brown rice, my veggies, etc. Any recommendations? How complicated is the stuff that you cook?
In other news, I'm about to hop in the shower to get ready to leave because David, my Dad, and I are driving up to Breckenridge, CO today to see the end of a stage of the USA ProCycling Challenge. I'm pretty pumped, though long-ish car rides (it's only an hour and a half) aren't fantastic for peeps who have babies resting on their bladders. Fun pictures to come tomorrow! (Of the race, not of the results of a long car ride + baby on my bladder.)
*What are you, some kind of overachiever? Answer one of the questions above! :-)