Something to do, for an hour or two

Still free, and still — with distance — a reasonably involving read:

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The first thing noticed, was the chill – cold, hard stone, and steady breeze that prickled skin. Further joined discomfort came by recognition he was wet, lying at the bottom of a gorge on the slate bed of a little stream that barely trickled through. The sound of rushing water clouded the forest, punctuated by sharp bird calls chirping through in concert with glints of light that burst from dewdrop-licked leaves, pulled by the breeze into spots of light – filtered, like a mesh thrown over eyes and through lightly draped mist, obscuring depth and focus.

He rolled off, aside on slightly elevated ground, left coated in small twigs, leaves and mud; grabbed the trunk of a small, dead tree and pulled to a seat, sat shivering as he surveyed the surroundings. The stream flowed from and fled around corners, gently rolling over the chiseled blocks of rock, light ripples where the sheen of water caught imperfections on the surface, flow otherwise indiscernible. The cold mist waved through the dense trees that clung to the sides of the gorge and rose above, little else along the walls of wet earth, debris trapped only by fallen limbs or against their trunks.

Climbing free up the steep walls was precluded at least by fatigue and sore bones. He rose and shook to cast away the shiver; began walking slowly, following the gorge with the flow of water, yet shivering fiercely as the breeze whipped the wet shirt against the bruises on his back. The rock bed was cold and water colder; the dark, silt painted mud beside clung coolly and pressed the chill deeper. Turning the bend, the chasm opened wider and the loss of overgrowth allowed the sun to burn away the mist and promised warmth – but untrue, as the wind blew harder with no resistance. He walked on, hands clutched to his arms wrapped tightly to his chest.

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Brown butter shrimp and pesto roll with arugula, jicama and provolone

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Mentioning avocado would obviously make the title too long.  It was also lost in the plot.

Shrimp sauteed in garlicky browned butter with a splash of brandy, then toasted on a pesto ladened roll under provolone.  Topped with avocado, jicama and arugula.

Wonderful combination of flavors; a very satisfying crunch and contrast from the cool and chipper jicama.

Mexican benedict

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This is another dish inspired by Vittle Monster, and his trip to Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, with some minor alterations: Black beans were banished, chorizo capitulated to fervido cerebros, sopes were slenderized and the egg was fried. Otherwise – exactly the same…

What did make it to the plate was a fried egg assembled on a little sope, topped with chipotle hollandaise, the fervido cerebros, crumbled feta and minced mint – continuing further and further away from the original! However, that mostly didn’t matter, as the flavor was dominated by the zippy hollandaise, texture – by the firm, but not chewy sope.   The egg was largely lost within the sauce and the f.c. – as salty as it is – only noticeably present as a small textural anomaly.

A healthy heap-ful of chorizo would definitely make this a different dish, but apparently the last one was used for botanas. As it were, a very tasty, snappy breakfast, breaking longstanding a.m. dining doldrums, and not too tedious – the sopes the only terribly time consuming element and only because they were done singly.

Coincidentally, the first time a sope was tried, was only two-days prior, at a neat little joint that serves food that is not only edible, but they actually make the effort to make it presentable as well. No slabs of cheese concealing enchiladas with a sprig of parsley – instead a good balance of sauce and cheese and nicely presented with a design of sauces on the top. And sprig of cilantro.