I have been thinking about eating sushi for several days, so today I finally made my mind up to go to Azuma for sushi. By 12:40 I was seated in the sushi bar side of Azuma and ordered what is now my favorite dish: Chirashi Donbori on the lunch menu for $13.95, which includes 12 pieces of sashimi cut fresh seafood. The restaurant provides a sheet with all the sushi choices and a pen , so you can pick what you want. I took the sheet and in the space provided for other choices wrote:
4 yellowtail, 2 salmon, 2 octopus, 2 super white tuna and 2 maguro (red) tuna
and asked my waiter, Chong, to give my selections to my favorite sushi chef who has prepared this assortment for me previously.After about ten minutes, during which I read the new “New Yorker” and enjoyed washing my hands with foaming soap under the wonderful cascading fountain faucet in the Men’s room, my box of chirashi arrived.
As you can see from the picture, Chirashi is usually served in a box layered with sushi rice on the bottom and fresh fish and assorted other delicacies such as omelet and pickled daikon atop the rice.
I moved a few pieces of fish around so I could grab a bit of the sushi rice with my chop sticks. It tasted deliciously vinegary and slightly sweet. The best sushi rice I have tasted in years. So we were off to a great start.I usually get a knife and cut the larger, thicker sashimi cut pieces of seafood and thin sheets of pickled ginger served with the fish into smaller pieces so they form a small packet because I find that that makes the fish and ginger easier to handle and to get into my mouth, which makes the experience more pleasing and palatable for me. It took me about one hour to cut and eat my way through the box of chirashi.
I then went to a client’s for a meeting and home to ride my bike ten miles.I arrived at home from my ride at 6:00 p.m. and Suzette arrived around 6:15 p.m. and suggested that we prepare a simple meal of smoked pork cutlets and braised cabbage. I had purchased the pork cutlets at Pro’s Ranch Market last Thursday (Hormel, 2.99/lb.) and we purchased a large head of green cabbage at Sprouts last Saturday ($.33/lb.).
So I cut ½ of the head of cabbage into thin strips and then thinly sliced a small onion and cored, sliced and diced a Fuji apple into ½ inch chunks. Suzette put the cabbage, onion and ½ of the apple chunks into a large skillet with some olive oil and butter with a generous dash of ground cumin and began to braise those ingredients. After about fifteen minutes Suzette fetched the pork cutlets and put two of them into another skillet with a bit of butter and braised them with the remaining chunks of the other ½ apple.We had Marble Brewery beers in the fridge left over from the Marble Brewery Beer Tasting held at Suzette’s Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery last Friday evening. I chose a bottle of Wildflower Wheat and Suzette chose Amber Ale.
After about thirty minutes of cooking the cabbage was braised to the point that most of it had wilted and some strips had taken on a darkened color in places and the pork cutlets were heated through and their edges darkened and the apples softened. So we were ready to eat.
Suzette put a pork chop on each plate and covered the chop with a large scoop of braised cabbage. We enjoyed eating our hearty simple dinner with gusto. I always feel that we are eating true German or Central European food when we eat this dish.
We found this recipe for the braised cabbage in a regional cuisine restaurant in Budapest, Hungary.After dinner I felt completely full and did not want to eat anything else and that made me remember the Canadian Air Force Diet that Alan Torgerson used to eat because the core of that diet seemed to be to eat as much cabbage as one could. I guess because cabbage has lots of fiber and bulk but few calories. Suzette says that eating cabbage burns calories
Anyway I fell asleep at around 9:00 and slept like a baby, perhaps even a German baby, until around 4:30 a.m.Bon Appétit