Romesco sauce (1980); Rasam, Kachumber; Chef Talk & Perpendiculars

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Wed Jun 16 06:18:44 UTC 2004

   Some food items of interest.
   Someone at work told me that the catering trade calls some types of 
nibbles (that you eat while standing) as "perpendiculars."  I couldn't find much on 
ROMESCO SAUCE--4,480 Google hits, 66 Google Groups hits
   "Romesco sauce" is featured in Wednesday's (today's) New York Times.  The 
OED, as usual, doesn't have it.  OED is working on "P," so maybe there will be 
hope soon.
   I haven't yet "hit the books" with this one, so the dating here is just a 
quick guide.
Recipe: Romesco Sauce
Published: June 16, 2004

Time: 45 minutes
Extra virgin olive oil 
3  1/2-inch-thick slices day-old sourdough bread 
5 ancho chilies 
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted 
5 cloves garlic, peeled 
3 cups (after juices are drained) canned plum tomatoes 
Juice of 1 lemon 
 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons paprika 
(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS) (31 hits for "Romesco sauce")
    1.  Restaurants; A tale of two cafes: Spanish and French. Cafe San Martin 
Cafe Argenteuil 
Moira Hodgson. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jul 25, 
1980. p. C18 (1 page) :
   Parrillada, perfectly broiled lobster, scallops and striped bass, all 
slightly crispy but moist in the middle and garnished with mussels and clams, came 
with the traditional romesco sauce expertly made with paprika, pimiento, 
garlic and vinegar.
    2.  Read All About It!; Sifting Out the Best of This Year's Cookbooks 
COOKBOOKS COOKBOOKS Home Is Where the Books Are 
By Phyllis C. Richman. The Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, 
D.C.: Dec 15, 1982. p. E1 (3 pages) 
By Carol Flinders 1/2 teaspoon salt Special to The Washington Post. The 
Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, D.C.: Jun 10, 1987. p. E3 (1 page) 
The Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, D.C.: Jun 10, 1987. p. 
A2 (1 page) 
    5.  Where Some Will Go for the Gold, Many Will Go Out to Eat; Where Some 
Go for the Gold, Many Go Out to Eat 
By BRYAN MILLER. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: May 13, 
1992. p. C1 (2 pages) 
First page:  Catalan cooking is among the most refined and inventive in 
Spain, rivaled only by that of the Basques. (...)  Among the dishes one encounters 
repeatedly are salt cod with romesco sauce, snails prepared various ways, 
spinach with pine nuts and raisins, squid casseroles, cod bunuelos (a lighter 
version of fritters), duck with pears, pa amb romaquet (bread rubbed with fresh 
tomato and doused with olive oil), and numerous variations on paella.
    6.  Restaurants; A rustic place where groups can share the Iberian 
institution of tapas, with rice pudding to boot. 
Bryan Miller. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Nov 27, 
1992. p. C18 (1 page):
   The only letdown was the lifeless sauce.  Grilled salmon was well executed 
and presented with two sauces, a good aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and an anemic 
romesco sauce (a Catalan specialty made with olive oil, tomatoes, peppers and 
ground almonds).
    7.  Someone's In the Kitchen With . . . a Book; KITCHEN BOOKSHELF 
Someone's in the Kitchen With . . . a Book 
By NANCY HARMON JENKINS. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: 
Dec 9, 1992. p. C1 (2 pages) 
    8.  Restaurants |; The latest in a gaggle of Park Avenue South bistros A 
neighborly setting in SoHo. 
Bryan Miller. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Apr 9, 
1993. p. C20 (1 page) 
    9.  Restaurants; The energy and exotic flavors of Barcelona, but with a 
decided tilt toward New York. 
| Ruth Reichl. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jan 7, 
1994. p. C26 (1 page) 
    10. Flavor and Drama of Whole Roasted Fish
By FLORENCE FABRICANT. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: 
Jul 24, 1994. p. WC12 (1 page)     
KATCHUMBER--82 Google hits, 3 Google Groups hits
KACHUMBER--1,280 Google hits, 48 Google Groups hits
(Neither is in OED)
RASAM + SOUP--3,830 Google hits, 140 Google Groups hits
("Rasam" is not in the OED.  The British once ruled India, so it makes sense 
that some words...never mind.)
   Today, I went to Baruch College after work (where I nearly collapsed into 
sleep) to volunteer for the Republican National Convention.  While at "Curry 
Hill," I tried Chennai Gardens, 129 East 27th Street (between Park & 
Lexington), "A southern Indian restaurant, totally vegetarian...and kosher too!"  It's 
so-so.  Not as good as the Curry Leaf a block away.
   There were only two salads:  "Garden Salad" and "Katchumber--chopped salad 
of mixed vegetables with a spicy vinegar & lemon dressing...3.95."
   There were four soups, but only one of interest:  "Rasam--a traditional 
spicy tamarind lentil soup from Chennai."
No hits for "kachumber" or "katchumber."
    1.  Laurel's Kitchen
By Carol Flinders. The Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, D.C.: 
Aug 24, 1983. p. E20 (1 page) 
    2.  Brightening the Morning After: Count the Ways; Brightening Morning 
After: Count the Ways 
By NANCY HARMON JENKINS. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: 
Jan 1, 1986. p. 29 (2 pages) 
    3.  South India's Regional Cuisines; Cuisines of India 
By JULIE SAHNI. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Oct 21, 
1990. p. XX12 (2 pages) 
First page:  Vegetarian dishes, which originated in the Tanjore courts of 
Dravidian kings, are collectively known as South Indian vegetarian, or Tamil 
food.  Throughout the south, dishes like sambar, kotto and koyamboo (spicy 
vegetable and lentil stews), kari or thovaran (warm vegetable salads), rasam (soup) 
and pachadi (yogurt salad) are popular.
    4.  Borrowing a Page (and Recipes) From Cooks in Hot Climates
By FLORENCE FABRICANT. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: 
Jun 22, 1994. p. C3 (1 page) :
   It covers sambars (thick soups), rasams (thin soups), poriyals (dry 
curries), snacks like idli and dosai, plus salads, seasonings, chutneys and other 
dishes from a vibrant cuisine rarely experienced outside India.  (...)  And it 
si certainly worth including the fragrant tomato rasam in the summer repertory.
    5.  For a Filling Dinner, Breakfast Dishes From India
Eric Asimov. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Nov 5, 1997. 
p. F13 (1 page) :
   Vada, crisp, spicy doughnuts made with lentil flour, made a nice 
counterpoint to the iddly.  They also come with rasam ($4.95) and sambar ($3.95).
(At Pongal, another Indian-kosher restaurant at 110 Lexington Avenue, near 
East 27th Street--ed.)
    6.  Tastes of India: Expect a Surprise Instead of a Curry
Eric Asimov. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jun 9, 1999. 
p. F8 (1 page) :
   Smoked tomato rasam, another appetizer, is a wonderfully bright broth that 
emphasizes the fruitiness of tomatoes, enhanced by tamarind, cumin and 
muswtard seeds, with a hot chili counterpoint that brings it all together.
    7.  Piquant Fare For Queens Palates; Dimple Serves Tangy Spices of South 
India; Shanghai Tang Spotlights Soup Dumplings 
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Sep 12, 1999. p. 854 (1 
From: Shabari Kumar (smk9 at
Subject: Re: What is Rasam? 
View: Complete Thread (5 articles) 
Newsgroups: soc.culture.indian
Date: 1995-02-20 11:16:39 PST 
a soup is something that is eaten by itself.  it is true that rasam can be 
drunk out of a tumbler, but it is generally eaten on rice, after the sambar 
course and before the yoghurt course.  some soups are thick and some are thin, 
ditto sauces, so consistency is not a good indicator.  
i do feel very strongly about this issue b/c i am SICK of going to indian 
restaurnants and seeing rasam soup on the menu, which is then served in a bowl 
with a spoon.  i suspect that is what the original rasam poster and wife had in 
spicy pulse-based soup if you prefer. 
rasam is more sauce than soup, i reiterate.  
Rain - East/West
... Chili Sauce. (Pla Murk Krob) $9.50 > Shrimp & Pork Potstickers. (Moo
Goong Gyoza) $9.25 > Heaven's Beef, Siracha Sauce. (Nuar Sawan ... - 24k - Cached - Similar pages 
   I broke down and decided to finally have a really good meal at RAIN (Third 
Avenue and East 62nd Street) last night.  It's a great pan-Asian place that's 
been around since 1995.
   "Heaven's Beef" intrigued me.  Did they get it from BURGER HEAVEN?  Wasn't 
Jesus a vegetarian?
   Alas, it's the only Google hit for this dish.
   Some OUP-type person sent along this:
Chef Speak 

Every business has it’s patois, it’s own rich vocabulary and the commercial 
kitchen is no exception. Sometimes it seems that chefs best express themselves 
in good old Anglo Saxon terms but in the interests of delicacy I’ll omit 
every expletive known to man and chef and explore some more interesting 
FOH or front of house is where we normally find you guys, the customers, 
officially known as covers but more often referred to as punters or happy campers. 
Behind those doors which are constantly and noisily being kicked open and 
closed by the waitrons ( politically correct terminology used only by Human 
Resources people ) lies the BOH, Back of House or heart of the operation.
Here you’ll maybe find some cowboy chefs who would be more at home on the 
range cooking baked beans and stews or even shoemakers, lazy slackers whose taste 
is in their feet. The senior chef making his way through with hot food on an 
oven tray screams “Mind yer backs !” which means stay absolutely still as he 
gets ready to send the funny food which is the vegetarian, kosher, halaal, 
special request meals. Sometimes a steak is returned as being too bloody – “Kill 
it!” is the terse instruction to the griller. 
Other changes to the normal cooking routine as dictated by circumstances such 
as being in the sh*t may require the food item to be nuked in the yo-yo 
(microwaved) or zapped in the Chinese microwave, the deep fat fryer. After service 
the chef may be complimented by the organizer as having presented the food 
beautifully as she had seen it originally in that colour glossy magazine while he 
reflects to himself Bloody Hollywood on a plate and of course that’s exactly 
what it is in the catering game, it’s Hollywood and you’re only as good as 
your last movie. 

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