Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick Salt Pickles

I am usually the one who is out at night. A play, a drink with a friend, a late night of work, or a weekend out of town, and when this happens, despite Chris' sweet calls wondering how soon I'll be home, I know that he secretly relishes the time alone. Our room becomes slightly less claustrophobic, he can spread out on the bed, leave dirty socks on the floor and watch whatever he wants on TV, without the nagging, tickling, squirming, dirty dish making wife around. 

But tonight the roles have reversed. Chris is off with a friend at a baseball game and everyone is out of town for the July Fourth holiday. So I shut the windows, turned on the AC and hooked my laptop up to the TV.

You see, I recently discovered (like two days ago) that you can instantly watch Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on Netflix. Not an episode or two, not a bunch of clips, but 9 full seasons of badass, international, food-porn. 

I'm staying in tonight. A poor man's (woman's) vacation.

My lack of desire to cook has not gone away so after a trip to the farmer's market, I decided to quick pickle some cucumbers and radishes and toss them into a salad of leftover odds and ends from the refrigerator.

About half way through an episode in India, I started to get a craving. At this point I'd already eaten a large salad with peaches, goat feta, pickles and red onion, with some good crusty slices of sourdough. But I thought to myself, "If I were in a restaurant, that would have just been the appetizer!" I learned this sort of gluttinous justification from my mother, "a cupcake is really like only one layer of a two-layer cake, so why not eat two!"

So I paused Anthony, put on a pair of pants and flip-flopped over to the Pakistani Tea House on Church Street. It's open all night and frequented by cabbies and hardcore locals who don't need white linen napkins at every meal. The food resembles what you might find in an Indian restaurant and it's fresh, it's cheap and really, really good. 

I got a little curry chicken, some saag and some lentils. Now I needed a beer to go with meal number two, so, warm paper bag in hand, I flip-flopped down to the neighborhood bodega, and picked up an additional box of cereal and carton of milk, to justify using my debit card for a bottle of beer. New York is great sometimes.

When back at home, I gobbled down my take-out, as Tony gobbled down his. Discovered the food-porn episode, grabbed my beer, spread out on the bed and while admiring the sock-free floor, pondered which episode to watch next.


David Chang's Quick Salt Pickles (Master Recipe) (makes about 2 cups)

2 meaty Kirby cucumbers, cut into 1/8" thick disks
1 bunch radishes, well scrubbed and cut into wedges through the root end
1 large or 3 small daikon radishes, peeled and cut into very, very thin slices

1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt

1. Combine the vegetable with the sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl and toss to coat with the sugar and salt. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Taste: If the pickles are too sweet or too salty, put them into a colander, rinse off the seasoning, and dry in a kitchen towel. Taste again and add more sugar or salt as needed. Serve after 5 to 10 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.