Sunday, July 31, 2011

Parsi Food: Bhakra

Oh bhakra. These Indian doughnuts are just perfect with tea or coffee. They're sweet and deep fried like a doughnut but the texture is more akin to a corn muffin.

The dough is mixed until pliable and thick. Then it's rolled out and cut into small circles.

The small circles are gathered and lightly dipped in sugar to prevent sticking. Then they're fried in shortening until it puffs and browns. It tastes best when fresh but these coveted desserts lasts for days in an air tight container.
These are so good that when we travel people request them as gifts.
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Parsi Food

It's a weekend of all things Parsi! More dinner food. This time, we didn't grill but enjoyed a nice homemade dinner. We started off with saria which is shrimp chips without the flavor. It's bland but the crunch is addicting.

And some lovely cheese. Here is munster and boursin.

And of course, a family favorite, kevobs. These are so good, you can't help but eat a lot of it.
The main meal consisted of shrimp curry with eggs, a side of salad and rice. So nice and comforting. It's all I need to be happy.
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Leftovers from Parsi Grilling

The great thing about having leftovers from the day before is making something completely new and yet hardly doing any work. I used the leftover steak from the night before for a steak sandwich. Add some hearty toasted bread, jalapeno chips, spring salad, and condiments and you have yourself a delicious lunch with minimal effort.
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Parsi Grilling

Another grilling event with my Parsi Family. Of the food is so good and their grill so nice, I can't stop blogging about it. It'll be very sad when the weather turns cold and the grill is closed for the season. Until then, grilled meats for everyone!

The appetizers started off with some chicken sausages. Some are spicy, some not. I enjoyed the spicy ones.

A staple: kevabs. Seasoned ground beef with onions and cilantro then grilled to juice popping perfection.
Tandoori chicken with freshly sliced red onion and cilantro. Juicy, slightly spicy, and super flavorful.
A nice refreshing salad to balance out the meal.
And marinated beef tenderloin slightly grilled for some char but left mostly red/pink inside.
Sliced up and super delicious. The meat was a little chewy but a thick fillet is really hard to work with unless you have some fat.
Grilled shrimp skewers. Super delicious and cooked just right.
Some seasoned rice to make people feel like they're actually having dinner. It's an Asian thing.
And to finish off the meal, homemade brownie sundaes with cookies and cream ice cream. Oh yeah!
Another gut busting day of eating and laying on the floor to digest. So damn happy.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cooking: Breakfast Stuffing

Seriously, stuffing isn't for Thanksgiving. The picture below shows no justice to how the dish looks and taste. This is just a mashup of whatever I heated up. But I just used some old bread (toasted), marinara sauce, various chopped veggies, cheese, and breakfast sausage. Add milk/cream and spices. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Then fry up and egg and throw that on top. You can't imagine how great this taste. And, you can mix and match with whatever you like for breakfast. Swap out sausage for ham or bacon or add all 3.
Also, this is a single dish that can be made ahead of time. Great breakfast to serve guests the morning after a party. Read more...

Ichi Umi

A late night snack at Ichi Umi downstairs with a plate of mandoo and a pint of Hite beer. All for $10. Not bad but if you make it to the HH, the mandoo is even less.

Ichi Umi
6 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 725-1333
ichiumi.com
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Event: Jackson's Mulligan on Life 2011

Every year, I attend a charity event for Jackson's Mulligan on Life. It supports organ donation for child in need. Usually people take part in the golfing offered that day but I really only show up for the dinner afterward. I do not know how to golf but plan to learn it one day. Dinner starts with an open bar and a nice cocktail hour. Lots of sliced meats, cheeses, and different salads. I like to try the seafood salads. This year, they had crab, mussels, and shrimp. A nice light start to the meal.

Dinner is served buffet style with a variety of meats and vegetables. I chose salmon, fried cod, beef medallions, and pork. One the side I had rosemary potatoes and beans and carrots.

There's also a pasta station that offered penne with marinara and ravioli in vodka sauce.
Lastly, there's also a carving station (the best station in my opinion) offering sliced beef and turkey with some sauces and au jus.
Dessert consisted of a variety of cookies, and brownies.
But the best is the fresh fruit. Oooh, pineapple.
Every year, I'm happy to support this great cause over some food, drinks, and laughs.

Gift of Life Family House
401 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123-4101
Tel: 215-557-8090
giftoflifefamilyhouse.org

Gift of Life Donor Program
401 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215)557-8090
donors1.org

Brooklake Country Club
139 Brooklake Road
Florham Park, NJ 07932
(973)377-2235
brooklakecc.com
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Resto

As the social planner of my main group of friends, birthday dinners are my thing. I plan everyone's birthday. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes not so much. But in the end, I'm happy to give a dear friend something special on their day. For this friend, he's a meat happy dude. I've planned a whole hog dinner at Daisy May's before and he enjoyed it. This time, I suggest Resto's large format meal. They do take a whole animal but serve it in composed dishes. He still gets his pork on but with different flavors and textures.

When we arrived, we started with some drinks first. The food was taking awhile to arrive so we imbibed first. Their drink menu sits inside books. Interesting. I ordered the East Side Rouge ($14) with gin and cucumber flavors. It was clean, crisp, and yet slighter bitter. The perfect drink for me.

The chef came out to greet us and explained a bit of the menu. Awesome! To start, the amuse bouche (though too large for a one biter) was roasted pork loin with peas puree, and pickled cucumbers, carrots, and radishes. A really nice start to the meal. The pork was flavorful and juicy while the garnished kept it light. It was a great way to whet our appetites.
The second course started with large platefuls of endives and arugula. The chef explained that this would be necessary for the upcoming fatty dishes. And he was spot on.
First and foremost, the roasted pig leg. The skin was incredibly crispy and delicious. The meat underneath was very tender and delicious. We took the knife and carved every morsel from the bones. Delicious!
Along with the roast pork leg, they served a variety of sausages. There was chorizo, boudin blanc, blood sausage (in the ramekin) head cheese, and truffled sauce for the boudin blanc. The chorizo was spicy but not overly so. The spices were very enjoyable and had the right amount of fat. The boudin blanc was much milder and yet still very delicious. The truffled sauce added a nice depth of rich flavor. The blood sausage was surprisingly enjoyable. I've had it before at a different establishment and didn't enjoy it. This version was much better. It didn't have the off putting metallic taste. Instead, it was very rich and just tasty. I can't eat a lot of it but it was nice spread across a piece of toast. The head cheese was fatty, porky, and really rich. A little bit is all we needed. With all this rich food, we started eating a lot of the salad too in order to balance everything out.
The next round of dishes were even more filling. Here's a plate of fried potatoes with a fried pig's head on top. This was served with a light tomato sauce. The fried head was super crispy. I took a piece of the ear and it was like a pork potato chip.
People wanted to try to cheeks and meat on the head but didn't want to strip it. So I took the honors. I really like striping down/butchering meat. It helps me understand the animal and how it's built. Anyway, I think I did a pretty good job with tearing all the meat off without using my bare hands. I left the eyes and tongue though.
In another pot was a stewed pigs leg. The skin wasn't crispy but it was still delicious. But what really mattered was the sauce and the vegetables underneath. They completely absorbed all the juices, fat, and flavor from the pork. Paired with the super tender meat, this was absolutely delicious.
Here we have a roulade of pork cooked Mexican style over a bed of haricot verts, cauliflower, and asparagus. This pork had so much flavor. It was spicy in the middle but another layer was much more mild. The outside was super crispy and delightful.
The last pork dish of the night were Thai pork chops over microgreens. These chops were fried then dressed in a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce. This was really nice and was a great change in flavor from the rest of the dishes.
We ended the meal with a liege waffle with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Unfortunately this was terrible. The waffle was very sandy and grainy in texture. Fortunately for us, we were too full to even care at this point.
The large format meal at Resto was amazing. They offer a variety of dishes to please pretty much any pallet. No one left hungry. In fact, everyone left super stuffed. The suckling pig option ($65 per person) was great! Definitely a friendly pork injection. If you're not a fan of pork, they offer other animals as well. You can choose from lamb, goat, Berkshire pig, suckling pig, fish, and even some special requests like alligator.

I would also like to say that the service was really good. Although we waited quite a bit for the first course to come out, they made sure we were well accommodated with drinks. They also apologized for the wait which is all I really need. Also, the chef personally came out to describe each dish which I find really great. He's the one that would know most about the food and I respect that.

Bravo, Resto!

Resto
111 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-5585
restonyc.com
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pongsri

Sometimes when people leave a company, those that will miss them will take them out to lunch for a last hurrah. So to say our goodbyes to a coworker that I truly liked, we went to Pongsri so hash out some gossip.

I made reservations but they were completely oblivious to it. Instead, we waited as they put our table of 5 together. Once sat, menus were handed out and water placed on the table. They are definitely in tuned with the Midtown Lunch Rush. They want to flip as many tables as possible. I eventually settled on the Pineapple Fried Rich Lunch Special ($8). The dish came out really quickly which had me think that most of this was pre-made. No matter, I still chowed down. The flavor was muted for a fried rice. It needed something extra. Maybe hot sauce. The pineapple, however, was fresh and I enjoyed that. Too often I find canned pineapple pieces in my rice. That's not very enjoyable. The rest of the ingredients included chicken (dry), egg (fluffy and nice), and cashews (crunchy). Overall, just a meh dish.

Other people in the group also got fried rice of Pad Thai ($7). Normally this is my go to option for trying a new place but I really wanted rice that day. I didn't try any of the noodles but people were satisfied with it. No complaints were heard.
If you feel like your dish needs a little more flavor, they'll bring over this spice container for you. There are dry red chili seeds, pickled peppers, and a hot sauce.
Pongsri was just okay for me. I certainly prefer Pam Real Thai is a little further. However, the food is inoffensive and portion size was large. Also, they'll certainly make sure you'll leave within the 1 hour lunch break. I can see why people come here often, especially Midtown workers.

Pongsri
244 West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036-5603
(212) 582-3392
pongsri.net‎
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Nights: BXL Cafe

Towards the end of the last year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whomever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

Recently, we headed out to: BXL
BXL is a bar serving all things Belgium including their beer and food. I'm a fan of Belgium beers in the summer because it's usually quite light and refreshing. Not to mention it's also pretty easy to drink. We arrive one hot summer night to a pretty packed bar area. The people were mostly collared shirts taking a breather from their day at work. So we walked past them to the restaurant area where the tables were located.

We started with their draft beers. I chose their house beer: Cuvee BXL ($6). It was really refreshing with some fruity/citrusy flavors. I enjoyed this and continued to drink this for the rest of the night.

Once we had our drinks ordered, we moved onto the food. We started with some buffalo wings that were just very mediocre. It's hard to find good wings these days at random bars. In truth, those Irish pubs around the city make the best ones.

This is plate of mushroom ragout in puff pastry ($8). I enjoyed this. The mushroom were cooked in a light cream sauce which was rich but not heavy. The bread soaked it up really nicely. I could just eat this on toast and be very happy.
As usual, we ordered the calamari ($9) which was lightly breaded (we like) but the squid inside was chewy (we not like). The sauce was just okay and something you can find in a jar in the supermarket.
I, of course, pushed for mussels. We're in a Belgium bar, aren't we? Anyway, a nice pot of mussels with cream, onions, and bacon ($20). Not my first choice but it's not always about me, is it? Hahahah! Anyway, the 2 lbs of mussels were juicy and fresh. There were hardly any bad ones in the pot. The residual sauce was delicious. We used that basket of  bread to good use.
The mussels came with a side of fries which were very nice. Crispy yet soft on the inside and well salted. Instead of ketchup, I think they served mayo in the cup.
We also ordered some beef tartar on toast. The meat was smooth and tasty. This was surprisingly good. I would definitely get this again.
Although BXL was quite crowded, I enjoyed it. After about 8pm, the crowd died down (probably people going home) and we enjoyed a less noisy meal. Though, we're pretty noisy ourselves. The waitress came around often to refill our beers which kept us happy. I would definitely come back, especially for the mussels. In fact, they have a deal on Sundays and Mondays evenings for All-You-Can-Eat mussels and fries and 1 beer for $20. That's a nice deal!

BXL Cafe
125 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036-6505
(212) 768-0200
bxlcafe.com
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