Thursday, December 13, 2007

In the Bubble Zone

So I found a new study/do work place. On top of it all, it has great milk teas and TW snack/street foods. Ah, the world just got better... Wil and I spent a rainy afternoon working on our respective laptops and polishing off a good dent of the following. We over-ordered as usual and had enough elft-overs for two more meals. But hey, it's all in the name of "research." Pictured above are the fried pork chops... yum!

Braised pig trotters to go with the noodle soup next.
Mien Sian or noodles in thickened soup with black vinegar on top. I made a version of this last month. I liked my version better but I had a lot of help from a TW soup mix that my aunt gave me.
Conch sauteed with basil. Like conch, like basil. Not a problem here.
Dan dan mien - Was okay but we've had better.
Eggs with preserved radishes - the perfect dish to go with rice porridge. But good alone too.
Chittering and black pudding soup - much lighter than one would think from the ingredients and really hit the spot for the cold, wet day.
Marinated seaweed and duck wings - I really liked the seaweed, but the duck wings freaked me out a bit.
This place will become part of the regular rotation for sure....

And The Lord said, "Let there be crab!!!"

After all the chaos of the Cosco Busan spill and the delayed tox study results on our crustecean friends, we were finally able to hold the 6th Annual Mei-ling's Crab Shack Re-opening last weekend. I went with tradition on the menu and 14 of us drank liberally, ate until there was not a lick of food left (I kid you not), and generally celebrated the return of our fav delight to our Bay Area waters and our dinner plates.
Garlic Roasted Crab - I think it's safe to say I am at Thangh Long levels these days after years of experimentation with this dish. Secret kitchen, secret recipe? No so much... just a whole block of Plugra, about 20 cloves of garlic diced up, salt, sugar, basil, oregano, and thyme.
Singapore Chili Crab - Chinese red chili sauce, onions, a bit of soy, a bit of sesame oil, chicken broth, and the secret ingredient of lots of ketchup. Liang family tradition.
Garlic Noodles - They say they come for crab, but I know it's really for the noodles. Sherri would probably travel on foot if she had to cross town for them. Shanghainese style fresh noodles, heavy cream, soy, another 30 cloves of garlic, salt, fish sauce, and sugar. Sauteed long beans - blanched long beans then tossed quickly with sesame oil, salt, and more garlic.

Maybe at some point we should seek sponsorship from Lipitor (for the un-godly amounts of butter and cream I used in this meal) and Gilroy (for all the garlic). Would corporate logos detract? Hmmmmmmmm............................

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Joe's Stone Crab

I forgot to add these pictures from the Miami post. Stone crabs tastes so different from Dungeness. While I am not going to say no to any crab, I think I still like our Dungeness better.

Crab Salad Conch Fritters
Stone Crab

Eating Local (well, sort of)

Phil and I went to check out Fish & Farm last week. After one meal, it has become my local, got-o place for Cal-Med type food. The main feature of the place is that it is part of the "localvore" movement - eating food produced within 100 miles of where you live.
The vibe is relaxed and intimate and the service is pleasant. We stayed mostly on the farm side of the menu. So the fish side will need further exploring. We were given creamy celery-root and pear soup topped with snipped chives as delightful amuse bouche.

GRILLED MONTEREY SQUID, BRAISED BUTTER BEANS, HARISSA, PRESERVED LEMON - wonderful appetizer that was succulent and fresh
The thing about eating local is that... it's really hard. When we asked our server about the local-ness of the ingredients... well, the proteins and produce are procured more or less within 100 miles of SF. But the spices used were not. Our wines were not (as were most of the wines of the list). How does that fit in with a low carbon footprint (in terms of shipping foods) meal I am not sure as while we may not grow spices around here, we sure do have Sonoma and Napa within 100 miles.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkey for You, Turkey for Me...

David and I made T-givings dinner for some friends. We took a lot of traditional ingredients and added a little something to them.

Red curry autumn squash soup
Turkey wellington with oyster and sage crust; brussel sprouts with bacon and kimchee puree
Fried cauliflower with crispy basil

Transformative Bubble & Squeak for An Idiot

I am an idiot. If hell is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, well, at least the food was transformative....
E took the potatos from Coco 500 I forgot to photo and made English bubbles and squeak. Was very yummy and better than the orginal potatos. I made and easy fritatta with broocoli and ham. Washed down with Lyons tea and prosecco. There's a silver lining even in the fifth circle of hell.

Te Amo Miami

Mary Ann and I were in South Beach and ate like champs. Not too much writing here, but enjoy the pics. All the spots we hit were fantastic and highly recomended. They were all also VERY different from eachother.

Liberty Parilla -
Skirt steak with fries

Mixed grill that included chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, skirt steak, and ribsteak
Beet salad
Flan de leche

Sushi Samba -
Of course saki Another flan dessert
Miso blackened bass
More sushi

Larios of the Beach -
Fried cod fritters Cuban comfort food

Tap Tap Haitian-
Pork Grilled corn
Grilled whole fish

Monday, November 26, 2007

California Dirt

E was in town so we went to Coco 500 on the basis of him wanting California Cuisine as it is something not easily had in London. As always, I really like the vibe of the place and the food was outstanding example of quality ingredients done simply. There were a couple of misses in terms of some of the side saucing, but overall wonderful meal.

Fried Green Beans - my fav side dish here
Chorizo Stuffed Figs - very rich
Brussel sprouts with ham and brie - perfection and ingenious
Halibut on chard with pickled bone marrow - great piece of fish. The bone marrow was too sour for my taste.

Wood fire roast chicken - as succulent as it looked perfect

We forgot to take a picture of the potatos that inspired the tag line of "Californai Dirt" but was incorporated into a breakfast meal that I will show so... I think we were distracted by the oddish service from out waiter and the fact we randomly ran into acquaintances.

Pagolac - 7 Courses of Beef

I wanted to like this meal. But no one told me that it was going to be seven courses of the same tasting beef with fish sauce wrapped in those rice wrappers. I was so bored and underwhelmed that I stopped taking pictures at course 2.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pigs Trotter Noodle

I had quite a bit of stewed pigs feet post making the aspic for XLBs. I thought the flavours from them would be spent but upon tasting a small bite, I realized that they were still really good. I had a package of dry noodles mix from my aunt from my April TW trip. So I made the classic zhu jiao mien sheng (or pigs trotter noodles) - a favourite TW street/comfort. I added some bok choy for greenery.
While I could claim credit for the trotter, I couldn't claim any credit for the noodels and soup. The package mix gave this whole bowl a very authetnic taste that I'm not sure I can replicate from scratch. I had a small bowl and the rest is in my freezer awaiting other delcious turns.

Boulud built it, we came....

The menu at Daniel Boulud at the Wynn in Vegas read, "9-oz sirloin burger stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras, black truffle, parmesan bun, french fries - 32"
We had to have it. I had already had dinner but no matter, four of us split the burger as an appetizer. The rest of the meal/ menu looked great too but I was too full to have anything else. But this burger was pure decadence. Words fail me in describing the sheer gluttony that is this burger. It was sin; it was pleasure; it was a capsule of riches and spoils of the world. And eating this magnificient piece of earthly treasure while watching the surreal "Lake of Dreams" added to the sensual rapture.
Of course, this meal made me order the Boulud cookbook online. Now if I made Zuni burgers with other items stuffed inside.... Now that's a thought!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Hsingchu in Philadelphia

After walking the Chinatown in Philly, I was amzed to see TWO Taiwanese restaurants next to eachother. I don't think we even have ONE here in SF. Out of curiosity I went into the one that claimed to have authentic Hsingchu type rice noodle.
I ordered the advertised rice noodle and the fish ball soup. The flavours were spot on. Puts SF to shame in a hurry.