Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Everything Old Is New Again

Street food has been around for a very long time -- pushcarts in America, Mexico and most of Asia attest to that. The next major development was the introduction of the gasoline-powered engine and thus evolved lunch trucks aka "roach coaches," most often found at specific times outside of construction sites and office buildings.

Today there is a mad rush among the foodies and wannabes to patronize a specific truck with a particular chef and a location you have to find by checking Twitter becaue the trucks move around. "But it's important not to forget that tacos came before Twitter," warns Javier Cabral, creator of the blog

"Food Trucks - Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels" by Heather Shouse proved interesting.

One of the great truck chefs is the acclaimed Roy Choi who co-founded the Kogi brand. There are four trucks now and Kogi is said to have done $2 million in sales in the first year. His specialite de maison is Korean-Mexican fusion. Choi shrugs and says that he ate Korean at home and Mexican food on the street.

One of his most talked-about dishes is the Kimchi quesadilla and the book thoughtfully included the recipe. Kimchi is a strongly flavored (salt) cabbage dish that Koreans dote upon. I like it myself and you can easily google for the recipe or buy a jar of it at your supermarket

1/2 cup sweet butter
2 cups chopped kimchi (It's going to be runny)
4 T canola oil to fry the tortillas
4 12-in. tortillas
4 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
8 sesame or shiso leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Melt the butter, stir in the kimchi until it caramelizes - about 10 minutes. Add a tablespoon of the canola oil to a big pan or griddle and put down a tortilla.

Sprinkle a cup of the cheese on half of the tortilla, then add about a quarter of the kimchi, some shiso leaves and about a quarter of the sesame seeds.

Fold the bare half of the tortilla over this, flip it and continue browning the tortilla. Apparently you want the tortilla to blister, like a pizza crust. Cut it in thirds and serve.

All of this twittering and tweeting and rushing around is fine for those that want to do it. Me? I'm lazy and far too indolent to chase my dinner! Let it wait for me on a plate at a restaurant table. I'll be along...

No comments: