Thursday, September 20, 2012

Black pepper-sesame paste

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So, it's been about 10 days since my last post...To tell you the truth, blogging hasn't been at the top of my priority list lately. I'm still cooking a lot, but I haven't felt like taking the time to measure all my ingredients, take notes as I cook, and prep photos. I guess I've just been wanting to cook in a more casual way recently. I don't want to post recipes unless I know for sure that they are reliable, so my throw-together meals never end up on the blog, even if they taste awesome.

Another aspect to my blogging less often is this: when I was in grad school, I was feeling a lot of uncertainty about my career path, along with a bit of unhappiness about my research job, and I think that blogging helped me to find the satisfaction that I wasn't getting from my job. And now...I love my new job, I really do. I'm very happy and my life in general has been feeling very fulfilling, and my priorities have shifted.

I've been thinking a lot about the role this blog plays in my life, and the bottom line is that it's supposed to be fun. So, I have decided that I am going to continue blogging, but I'm only going to post when I really feel like it - I'm not going to worry about whether I'm posting regularly or often, I'm just going to do it when I want to. I really hope you'll still read the new posts, whenever they end up happening...

And I do have a recipe for you today. I've been loving the flavor of black pepper lately and have been really amping up how much I use in my cooking. I created this particular paste with some inspiration from Hot Sour Salty Sweet, and some inspiration from Heidi Swanson. It's got a deep toasty flavor from the sesame seeds and aromatic notes as well as heat from the black pepper. Garlic, cilantro, and soy sauce round out the flavors. I think this would make a great sauce for almost any stir fry, and would also be a nice rub for meat.

Black pepper-sesame paste
Makes a scant 1/2 cup

The black sesame seeds add a deeper flavor than white ones, not to mention the striking color. I like the texture of cilantro stems here, but you could use leaves if you want.

1/4 cup toasted black sesame seeds
1 tbs black peppercorns
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbs roughly chopped cilantro stems
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs water

In a small food processor or grinder, process all ingredients together until a coarse paste forms. To use as a stir fry sauce, paste can be thinned out further with water if desired.

6 comments:

  1. so much of your intro rings true for me! we shall see what things have in store... glad you are still cooking :) this certainly looks like a fabulous dinner!

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  2. I feel that a lot of us get pressured to post regularly (me, included) but I agree that blogging should be fun and that it shouldn't be too stressful! it is great to hear that you are loving your current job, congrats :) This black pepper paste sounds amazing, btw.

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  3. so glad you're enjoying your job and feeling balanced with priorities and the blog!

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  4. I can definitely relate - enjoying cooking is very different from translating it into blog posts (I think most people don't realize how much work goes into blogging). Glad you're loving your job and are feeling happy about everything. This dinner looks fantastic - I'll try it for sure!

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  5. I agree with you...blogging should definitely be fun so do what makes you happy! This paste sounds delicious...perfect for the noodle salad that you paired it with!

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  6. It's so great that you are loving your job! It's always good to keep in sight that cooking and blogging should be FUN!

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