Lecosho (Seattle)

A few blocks from the touristy strip that is Pike’s Place Market, University street ends in a wide set of stairs going down. Lecosho is the small restaurant perched halfway on the stairs, on your left if you’re walking down.  The menu, which ranges from different ways to serve pork to seafood to pasta, and then to vegetables, seems unfocussed if not for the words “food we like” at the top.  If the small sampling that I ordered is indicative of their other menu offerings, I’d say that Lecosho also serves food I like.

Not feeling too hungry, I ordered two small plates from the left side of the menu: the grilled house-made sausage and the warm beet salad.

Warm beet salad from Lecosho.

The warm beet salad, which came with multi-colored beets, chevre, arugula, and frisee was nice and light.  It was exactly what I was craving after a few too any meals of carbs and deep fried richness.

House sausage, egg, and lentils. Lecosho.

The house-made sausage was delicately spiced and not overly salty.  The overstuffed link came on a bed of puy lentils cooked perfectly and half a soft-boiled egg.  I didn’t have to worry about not getting enough protein with that meal.

Looking back on the menu, I’m sad that this restaurant isn’t in LA.  I would love to return soon to try the steelhead or the mussels.

Lecosho
89 University St
(between Post Aly & Western Ave)
Seattle, WA 98101

Geda Tang aka Tomato and Egg Spaetzle Soup

Tomato and egg is one of those magic combinations that’s so much more than a sum of its parts.  Tomato stir fried with scrambled egg makes a fantastic accompaniment to plain white rice. Scrambled egg and ketchup tastes good in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. It’s no wonder than tomato and egg soup serves as a wonderful base to geda tang.

geda tang

You know how Chinese people invented everything, right? Even what the Germans call spaetzle!  In Mandarin, geda means “bump” or “pimple” and tang means soup.  Fear not though. Despite its unappetizing sounding name of “pimple soup”, geda tang is easy to make, delicious, filling, and vegetarian.

It can be made in five simple steps:

Step 1: Stir fry chopped green onions, whites and all.

Step 2: Add in chopped tomatoes. These don’t have to be fancy heirloom paste tomatoes. Even crappy pink supermarket tomatoes work here. Add a generous pinch of salt and a smaller pinch of sugar.

Step 3: When the tomatoes have softened and released their liquid, add in two cups vegetable broth and 2 cups water.

Step 4: Make spaetzle (see note below) and throw it into the now bubbling soup. Give it a stir to break up the stuck together pieces of dough.

Step 5: Beat two eggs and slowly drizzle into the bubbling soup so it turns into an egg drop soup consistency.

geda tang

The spaetzle should be cooked in 2-4 minutes.  Try one and if it’s pillowy soft and not dry at all, the soup is ready to eat.

 

Note on making spaetzle:

I’ve never made German spaetzle before, but I do know how to make these little lumps of dough for geda tang.  Scoop out 1.5 cups of flour into a wide bowl. I used all-purpose flour, but I’m guessing bread flour works if you want more chew to your geda‘s. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and stir with a chopstick.  Fill a cup or small bowl with half a cup of room-temperature water.  While stirring the flour with a chopstick, slowly drizzle the water from the cup into the flour, making a path around the flour bowl. Small beads of dough should start forming. If they look too wet, stop the drizzling, and stir the flour with the chopstick vigorously. That should incorporate more of the dry flour into the wet parts and break up the large, wet pieces.

Continue to drizzle the water and stop right before most of the flour has clumped up. Stir some more to break up the large pieces. After that, this spaetzle should immediately go into the soup before it clumps together too much. The uncooked spaetzle should look like this:

The start of dinner. Guess what I'm making?

Dinner: Flowering Chive and Tofu, Snow Cabbage and Fava Bean, Spicy Radish

We’ve been making a lot of dishes out of Every Grain of Rice these past few weeks. Tonight’s three dishes came straight out of the book. Well, at least as “straight out of the book” as it usually is when I “follow” recipes.

DSC_8875Radishes in chili oil sauce (pg 68)

I didn’t think this was that spicy, but Will thought the radishes were spicier than normal. The mustardy spicy of the radish goes surprisingly well with the heat spicy of the chili oil. Easy to make ahead of time. I’d add more salt when salting the radish next time. The amount the book says to add is too little. Pro-tip: to smash the radish, cut in half, then use a hand-held lemon squeezer to smash it. Put the half radish in cut side facing the squeezer’s holes.

DSC_8874Flowering chive with smoked tofu (pg 201)

I used spiced baked tofu instead, which I think is what she means when Fucshia Dunlop says “smoked tofu.” The main recipe on the page uses regular Chinese chive with a variation for flowering chive. I like flowering chive better because they’re more tender so all they need is a couple of flips in a hot wok before they’re ready to eat.

DSC_8876Fava bean and snow cabbage soup (pg 244)

I used the pre-salted and chopped snow cabbage that comes in plastic tubs from the Chinese market. Not sure if that’s what she means about snow cabbage, but that’s what we usually call snow cabbage at home. The fava beans were frozen, but came out pretty well in the soup. I also added a salted duck egg (adapted from another recipe a few pages back) and bamboo shoots instead of a tomato. Instead of chicken stock, I made a quick, plain stock using water and bean sprouts.  I liked the soup the best. It was hearty but simple and pretty easy to make.