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.