Tuesday, March 22, 2011

JOT #6: milk, and a surprising snack

WARNING: This is a double post.

I must have more free cooking time than usual because I'm posting on two separate topics.

The first - another just one thing I've switched to. Despite the fact that I'm a vegan, the vegetarians in my family, including the Little One, can go through two gallons a week. For a while, we had plenty of plastic going into our recycle bin, which made me frown. Then, a friend mentioned that a Marin County dairy farm sold milk in glass containers! Not only that, it had a lovely cream that rose to the top. You buy the milk in a half-gallon glass bottle with a hefty $1.50 deposit, which you get back when you return the bottle. It comes in whole, 2%, and fat-free. It's organic, pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized, local, humane, and sustainable. Win-win.

But DH didn't take to it at first - after the cream was removed, too watery, he said. Too runny. Not nice. I bought the Little One whole milk in the bottle, and we stuck with a gallon of regular 2% organic milk in plastic bottles. This went on for a while, until I could take it no more. When LO was ready for 2%, I started buying four bottles of glass milk at my local grocery store and we've never looked back. DH likes it now, even the cream at the top sometimes, which I let LO lick from the spoon, serve on bread or crackers, or (usually) save up in the freezer to melt and clarify later as ghee, which keeps much longer.

You can get milk from Straus Family Creamery at Whole Foods or other natural groceries, or even get it home-delivered by the BayAreaMilkman. They make whole, 2%, and skim, and sell half-gallons, quarts, plus ice cream, yogurt and butter.

Ok, now on to part two, which involves a snack recipe and I haven't posted a recipe in a while, have I? Today we were looking for a snack. The bread is there, but we hate to dip into that if it's not a meal, and all out of crackers and cookies, I was looking for something crunchy but light and salty. A dig through the pantry turned up an unopened packet of seaweed or nori, waiting for the day I might make sushi again (I think the last time was in the 90s). I remembered my last Trader Joe's flyer - toasted seaweed with sea salt in a package for $1. Good deal, but not organic, and packaged, after all. I improvised, toasting the nori on the gas flame, and adding a sprinkle of gomaisho, with a drizzle of sesame oil. Light, airy, satisfying, addictive.

Toasted Nori

5 sheets nori or seaweed (pref. organic)
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil (vegetable ok, optional)
2-3 Tbsp gomaisho* or 1-2tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Turn your electric or gas flame to the lowest setting. Hold the nori with tongs and lightly pass over the flame until it changes color. Be careful not to over-heat because nori burns easily. Let cool, then cut into strips and then rectangles about a 1/2 inch by 1 inch with scissors or kitchen shears (you can save any dust to sprinkle on rice).  Drizzle the pieces with oil, and sprinkle on gomaisho or salt and red pepper flakes, if using. Toss well and store in an airtight container.

*gomaisho is a Japanese condiment. From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: Toast 1/3 cup sesame seeds (black or white or a mix) until it starts to change color. Toss with 1 tsp salt. Store in the fridge and use on nori or mixed with rice, or even on oatmeal when you don't want sweetness.

1 comment:

ricekernel said...

Just read about incorporating more seawood in our diets - this is perfect!