Monday, November 22, 2010
I already had ground pork, carrots, cucumber and shanghai flour noodles in my fridge..all I was lacking was the main ingredient!! sweet fermented bean paste. I went to chinatown early this morning to gather pandan leaves for the family meal I'll be making tomorrow! I'm kinda nervous but I know I just have to deliver.
Anyways..its actually relatively easy to make this dish..and trust me.. it takes as fast as preparing indomie.. and the best thing about it is ..they're all fresh ingredients! As I waited for the water to boil, I sauteed garlic and asian shallots in a pan..once fragrant add in the ground pork and get it nice and brown. Add in the bean paste, a splash of water, a little sugar, and sesame oil. I let it simmer for about 7 minutes just so the meat can absorb all the wonderful flavors. By this time my water has boiled and my noodles took about 4 minutes to hit the al dente stage..I poured it into a colander, ran some cold running water to stop the cooking, and then seasoned it with sesame oil so it won't stick! I julienned the carrots and cucumbers, just throw out the cucumber seeds because it holds too much water. I don't know about you but sometimes I really dislike the canny taste of fresh raw carrots.. So I blanched them in hot oil for about 1 minute. The carrots and cucumber really add a lovely texture to the dish and also an added sweetness.
Now, all the components are complete! Just plate it up nicely and dig in with your chopsticks!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Can you guess from the title what it can possibly beee?? .....Here are a couple hints for those who...don't have much of a sweet tooth.. The boutique is in NYC... somewhere on Madison (upper east side...) ..a lot of Asians (especially greedy indo girls must go there at least once every visit..hahha....yes..like myself) ....Okay.. I think I just gave the answer....
I can't really tell you why I decided to make this but everything that I make just magically ponders into my mind at any place and at any time...I guess I decided when I was at whole foods a couple hours earlier as I was buying my thanksgiving ingredients.. I was at the dairy and eggs section and thought..hrmm I want a crepe..Nonono.. I want a Mille Crepe.. which is just a vanilla cream layered upon layers of thin crepes..and to top it off.. a brulee top....nomnomnom
Please...beware, the photos that you are about to feast your eyes on may cause: anxiety, depression, hunger, major cravings, and possibly got you famished.
exceptional ingredients = a great product all the time
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I have been assigned to do family meal every tuesday at the restaurant..this means a HUMONGOUS responsibility to feed 17 people (including the boss) and making sure I don't poison them and trust me..you don't wanna disappoint. If you think that a classroom full of kids are hungry during lunchtime!? Boy...you haven't seen nothing yet.. let me tell you..the staff at the restaurant are like wild voracious water buffalo's, even before 4:30 (our dinner time) they have set the table, laid the plates but instead of sitting quietly like a church choir they walk in and out of the kitchen clearly trying to make a statement. This coming Tuesday will be my very first family meal experience and what better than to make them chicken rice?! ...they don't know how lucky they are...Oh by the way we have an aeshian kitchin (asian kitchen) exec chef and owner is Malaysian Chinese, the sous chefs are both taiwanese, theres an American born Hongky on garde manger, theres me, and a korean intern...
Anyway... (I needed to refresh my memory and brush up before the big day..) So It's clear that I haven't had the pleasure of eating chicken rice here in New York.. I did hear that a restaurant called Penang in ctown makes it but..why go there when I can make it on my own!? And so I went on yet another adventure to the back alleys of canal streets chinatown. The main ingredients are of course pandan leaves, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, cilantro, rice and a chicken! It is really very simple guys but it is the technique that makes the whole dish. I have made chicken rice ..or at least attempted to do so in the past however this time around the rice was perfectly al dente, well seasoned and the chicken was Oh my god...tender and succulent. unbelievable...
Friday, November 19, 2010
So!...how does one manage to do that?! oh..well..that's easy..
Numero uno.. Make homemade nutella.. Why? because I don't like the plasticky processed kinds you can find in your neighborhood duane and reade..yuck.
Numero dos... Add freshly made nutella to chocolate...ohh yeah. Sinful isnt it? But all the better
If 1 and 2 arn't like awesome together already I just had to go the extra mile and add something else.. something to really make it POP...literally.
Numero tres... Add pop rocks to nutella chocolate mixture... (i am salivating as i write this)
(as you can see..my spanish is improving as I attempt to speak with the ecuadorian workers at the restaurant)..they laugh at me ):
(on my grad night)....I watched with glee as people started coming towards the desert table.. I actually stood there hoping they would take my lollipops..and if they didn't I stepped in and told them that they better take one!! I was nice..I promise... I told them that they weren't "normal" lollipops.. they were extra extra special..I think they took it hesitantly and skillfully disappeared out of my sight. Sigh..they probably thought I was a little loco, but hey everybody is..right?.. It paid off alright..and next thing you know they were tapping on my shoulder with big eyes and irritable excitedness to tell me how unbelievably awesome they were.. Ohh yeah..
At first glance they seem like innocent chocolate disks on a stick.. then you take the first bite...its hazelnutty..chocoaltey then its PoPPPpPOPpPOpPpOp.... mmmm
I'm gonna let the lollipops speak for themselves...but boy
i really am sorry you can't just grab it off the screen...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
As much as I love my diet coke...ginger ale is some pretty good stuff. C'mon...you gotta like it too!? well you know what..oh nevermind. Anyways! I was surfing through the many many food sites and came across a few brewy pages....brew like beer making, wine making etcetera.. I was obviously intrigued by the many homekits that have been created for your pleasure of brewing at home! I didnt buy any homekits if that's what your thinking..but I did do something similar.
During my semester at culinary school I took up a management class as well. One of my colleagues in class just so happened to be a beer brewer! He actually created Sixpoint beer here in NY...according to him it was born in his little apartment (Obviously many many years ago). It was pretty awesome to hear his passion with beer but gosh, hearing him talk about it every week?!! Oh no..no.. noo.. The rest of us are like.. Oh no, here Andrew goes again.. Anyway, I must admit..from all the talk I did pick up a few tips and am grateful for it..Thanks Andrew!!
Thus I have created my own ginger ale! It's very simple actually...all you need is ginger, lemon, sugar, yeast, and water! Oh and a 2 liter plastic bottle. Just mix everything together, let it sit in the bottle for about 2 days in a warm area..then once the bottle has slightly expanded and is hard to squeeze put it in the fridge! Once cooled, just drink up! I am serious guys.. homemade ginger ale is so much better than like the commercial kind..now I think I'll stick to diet coke when I go out.. until I try and make coke that is...but I dont think that'll happen..no..
Try it out!! You'll be surprised how good and how simple it really is (:
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Super decadent, extremely rich, creamy and custardy...it beats all jams ever made...hands down! Just one whiff and it's like foreplay before the whole 4 minutes is over. And since it is this good, I am going to share it with you. Is that a woohoo! i hear? yea okay..
First of all, dedicate at least 2 hours to make this good, and make it right. If you were lazy and skipped the gym today...it's okay! making this will burn off more than you would sweating it out. All the arm work whisking will do the job. OK! les get down to bizzness.
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
a few pinches of salt
a can of coconut milk
3-4 pandan (screwpine) leaves
The procedure is simple, just keep on whisking. You can rest for 5 minute intervals and make sure the water is always at a simmer for the first hour or so.. then once most of the sugar has dissolved slowly bring the heat up. Don't stop whisking at this point! You don't want the egg to curdle on you! The finished kaya should be silky smooth and ribbony.
Rose water is so delicately fragrant, its very elegant and smells so sweet. Hope you like em!
I learned how make sop buntut when I was 11. The ingredients are easy to find and its a soup...all you have to do is pretty much throw everything into the pot and let it do its magic. You need oxtails, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) ginger, peppercorns, salt and a little sugar. I let everything simmer for 3-4 hours on very low heat. A little trick I picked up from my mom is to put chinese ceramic spoons (the more the better) into the pot too! Ceramic absorbs a lot of heat and so it'll bring up the temperature in the pot even faster thus cooking it faster and making the meat a lot more tender.
This is my version of sop buntut...I jazzed it up a little with celery leaves and drops of extra virgin olive oil. I bet my mba would be proud (:
Anywhoo, I decided to head over to the market after lunch with a friend earlier today. I didn't think I was going to buy anything but I couldn't help buying just a few things.
Here are just the few that I couldn't bare to leave without...
would a normal cauliflower or brocolli, you can eat them
raw too...its quite sweet.
these heirloom varieties. Did you know red carrots are
red because they were grown in soil that red beets were grown in?
I'm still deciding what to do with the romanesco cauliflowers but as for the carrots...I think i'll be sous vide-ing them. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I went on a search to buy my own live urchins online. I found two places that have them one was far in greenwich village and the other was at the Chelsea Market. I ended up at Eataly which is just across the street from where I live, well...isn't that just darned convenient? I didn't even knew they had them till I decided to give 'em a call beforehand and sure enough they did. As I walked into the doors of Eataly I saw an orange haired, robust man wearing orange crocs...wait a minute... It's Mario Batali!!! He was with his son grabbing a few things, I wonder what it's like for him to grab things and go, it's like his own personal walk-in fridge.
I have compiled for you a "How To" for Uni virgins who wish to attempt creating dishes too beautiful to eat. This is the ultimate food porn guys...but beware there are some disturbing images, ...not for the squeamish.
just wash off the black goop under light running water
so i went and bought a pack of fresh uni roe
I filled the uni with konbu (dried seaweed which I softened in water)
the leaf that you see sticking out is actually a pandan leaf which i conveniently
had in my fridge (: the fronds that is next to the pandan is a sweet pea tendril. I was
lacking another color to contrast the uni and gratefully I had some leftover pickled
cucumbers and radishes which I made a few days ago.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
straight out of the oven
I went to wholefoods yesterday and as soon I stepped in it felt like home. I love everything about this place, it's so beautiful...I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to grocery stores and this place is like the mecca of it all. So I let my eyes do the wandering and then it came...the inspiration. I laid my eyes on some seedless cucumbers, loose golden beets, a bunch of radishes, a head of red cabbage and a whole heck of a lot more. I knew as I walked in I wanted to make pasta for lunch, so I grabbed 4 different types of mushrooms; enoki, oyster, cremini, and button. Since J wanted to learn a few techniques in the kitchen I decided to throw in a few extra additions of poached eggs, watercress salad and a 3 potato roast. Quick, simple, and doable.