Friday, November 2, 2012

Seeking comfort food in the storm

Two fresh eggs poach in bubbling-hot soft-tofu stew.

Without lights or heat for two days, my thoughts turned to hot, comforting food.

So we jumped into the car on Wednesday night and drove through darkened streets to have dinner at a Korean restaurant in Palisades Park that serves the ultimate comfort dish: a bubbling stew of soft tofu and seafood perfect for poaching an egg or two.

When the yolks were soft boiled, I transferred one to my bowl of white rice, broke it and really enjoyed the rich, silken taste combination.

A seafood pancake and dumplings.
Side dishes include highly spiced raw squid, front.

We also ordered a seafood-and-vegetable pancake and dumplings, far more food than usual, as if we were trying to stuff down our anxiety and uncertainty over when we'd get our power back.

Many of our favorite restaurants in Hackensack, where we live, have been closed since Super Storm Sandy hit New Jersey on Monday.

At home, I've been making omelets with the last of the whole eggs or egg whites.

On Thursday night, we gave away most of the meat, ravioli and other food in our freezer to a family friend in another town who never lost power.

We filled two paper grocery bags with uncured hot dogs and bacon, grass-fed Australian beef in Korean marinade, lobster ravioli and tortellini,
ackee, rice pudding and sweet peppers (the last two from the fridge).

An omelet with sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and pesto.

This morning, by lantern light, I prepared an egg-white omelet with reduced-fat cheese, sun-dried tomato and pesto.

I also grilled sweet potato disks on our gas stove, which we can light with a match.

On Thursday night, I was comforted by a delicious salad of fresh organic kale, spinach, sugar-snap peas, tomato and other items in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

My salad cost only $4.55.

My wife had chicken wings, stuffed grape leaves and other hot food, and we brought home similar takeout for our teen-age son and my mother-in-law, small meals that ran $6 to $8.

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