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.

Check out that huge...

cheesesteak! Original philly cheesesteak. Nuff said....

What We Leanred From A 10 Year-old

We were watching Bobby Flay and he had some kid on cooking with him. She made a lemonade that looked so fantastic that we had to duplicate. J made this lovely rendition of this rasberry, ginger, mint lemonade. Of course, ours was spiked with vodka. Too bad summer is over - otherwise, this would have been the drink of the season.

Hot... in a cheesey way

I had been hearing about fire chicken at Cocobang for a while now, so a few weeks ago, a bunch of us went to check the place out. When ordering the fire chicken (pieces of white chicken meat covered with korean hot sauce on a hot plate), the waiter asked if we wanted with cheese. After finding out this was the way he preferred the dish, we went ahead. What we got was melted, shredded mozarella over the chicken. While it may seem like a strange combo... the flavours really worked well together and the cheese helped to temper the heat of the hot sauce. Cheese in Korean bar cuisine... who knew?

Fork - The Devil in Me

I knew I was a bit of a food snob. But it really dawned on me when I was at this restaurant that I also practice culinary prejudice - meaning I cannot stand to eat with certain people and will eliminate them from my eating world. Fork is a very lovely New American Bistro in downtown Philly. I'm not a huge fan of palces that have both chimichurri and vietnamese lemongrass as items on their menu, but their ambiance was sumptuous.
My entree of seared sea scallops with ginger, fennel dust, wild mushroom risotto, spinach,parmigiano reggiano had perfectly just-seared scallops. They were sweet and succulent. The risotto was a bit too hard yet, but the flavouring was nice and subltey smokey to counterbalance the scallops. Maybe they made the rice harder as not not have that mush on mush mouth feel? Who knows....
My dining companion had the rainbow trout with cornmeal dust, roasted celery root, bacon, chipotle remoulade, haricots verts with almonds. A rather pretty dish to begin with. This is where my exclusive tendencies kicked in... his mashing of the food into disgusting pulps, huge gulps, and utter disregard for presentation or flavour made me ill. It was all I can do to not ruin my own appetite when seeing such a grotesque disaster next to me. I kept my eyes firmly on my plate. I wanted to scream, "Why bother going to a ncie restaurant if you're going to do that to your food?!!!!!" I mentally croseed this person off the "will dine together again" list. And too bad, as he's quite nice in other ways. Isn't it ironic that I, who value tolerance and diversity, cannot share a meal with someone who is not like me. It is something that amuses and shames me at the same time.

Momofuku Lives Up to Hype

I have been crazy busy with work the past few weeks and completely remiss in my food blog posting. So here's some to catch up...
I was in NYC for about 20 hours as a stop-over for a business trip I had to Philly. Visited X, J, and A, my fav Manhattanites. As none of us had been to the much heralded Momofuk, we went there for a Sunday lunch. Got seats at the bar facing all the cooking action and a running commentary from the chef. Not bad at all...
Roasted brussel sporuts with kimchee puree and bacon. This was the hands down favourite for all of us. I think some of us may try to imitate this dish for T-givings. Spicy, smoked chicken wings with chili and scallions. Wanted this to be a more bit Korean wings style, but good nevertheless.

Braised pork belly with daikon, pickeled mustard seeds, and bok choy. This was not the best renditon of pork belly I've had (the honour still belongs to that first time at Scott Howard with that 52 hour sous vide at 123 degrees). But the pickled mustard seeds were a revelation. I need to try making it at home.
X's oxtail soup with rice cakes, daikon, and scallions

A's chicken ramen

J's pork ramen
My momofuku ramen with combo pork and a poached egg. I asked for the noodles to be cooked hard, but they were not. They would have been great noodles had they not been overcooked for my taste. The broth was good but also a bit single note-ish. Not quite the complexity of a Santa or even Himawari. And I thought Bay Area ramen was ions behind. The thing that did shine was pork. Both the shredded meat and the pork belly were incredibley flavourful. I also learned a new technique of making poached eggs that I will try and then report here.
Overall, even thought there were points I could pick at, I still think that Momofuku lives up to the hype. Our meal was delicious (especially the appetizers). Plus, I think we all want to go back and try their version fo shrimp and grits.