Thursday, February 28, 2013

Momofuku Ssam

Chef David Chang has an empire of restaurants in NYC. He has also expanded internationally to Sydney and Toronto. I probably won't ever visit those locations for the Momofuku chain. I still haven't made my way around all the Momofuku restaurants in NYC. I've only explored Ko and Ma Peche. Both with delicious results. So when the opportunity came up to try Momofuku Ssam with Mrs. Green M&M, her sister, Mr. HP Sauce, Ms. Pastry Chef, and Mr. M&P I happily obliged.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lunch Week 7: Seared Duck over Lentils

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Seared Duck over Lentils
Channeling my loved of French food, I made seared duck with lentils. It may not seem very French to many of you but this is a very homey type comfort food. You might find it in brasseries but certainly not in fine dining restaurants. It's an every day type of dish. Hearty and rich, perfect for colder weather.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Nights: La Cerveceria

Towards the end of  one 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. Whoever 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.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: La Cerveceria
Le Cerveceria is a Latin American tapas bar/restaurant that focuses on Peruvian flavors. But their alcohol list is heavy on domestic craft beers and some international beers as well. In fact, the beer list was so extensive that instead of randomly picking one, I chose to do an International Flight. Funny enough, one of the beers they served in the flight was from Oregon and I made a joke about it to the waitress. She came back with another glass of International beer on the house to complete our flight. That's service for you.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Fishing Shrimp [CLOSED]

Fishing Shrimp is a food truck serving fried seafood to happy customers. You smell the oil as your walk up the block. Everything is fried to order so no old, decrepit seafood here. Their menu is small  but enough to satisfy most fried seafood fans.
I went to the truck with the expectation of getting the Everything Combo ($18) which includes fried shrimp, fish, conch, and french fries. Unfortunately, they were out of fresh conch that day. Too bad. I'm quite the fan of conch and have eaten it throughout my childhood. So instead, I had the Fish, Shrimp, and Chips Combo ($13) which wasn't too bad of a consolation prize. The order was taken, breaded seafood hit the hot oil, and I was on my way to delicious fried food.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunch Week 6: Thai Green Curry with Vegetables

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Thai Green Curry with Vegetables
I needed to make a quick lunch this week. The Thai curry recipe that I've used in the past is pretty good at that. Toss some ingredients together, simmer, then serve. Takes about a half hour or so.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baking: Almond Tofu with Fruit

Almond tofu. It's one of those desserts that only Chinese people like. Is it the texture? The taste? Not sure but no other person I know actually like it. I'm trying to change that but it's difficult when even I didn't like how this dessert came out. It wasn't the fruit. That was wonderful and beautiful as you can see from the pictures. It was the almond tofu pudding itself. It was very grainy. Like eating wet wood dust. Not fun. Not fun at all. At least it was pretty, right?

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Cooking: XO Crab Spring Roll

This dish was the only savory one that failed that night. It was completely my fault as I did not do enough research on it before I attempted it. Most things I can just wing it and figure it out. But when it comes to deep frying, I'm an amateur. So instead of delicious crispy spring rolls, I served the filling which was a bunch of vegetables, bean thread noodles, spicy XO sauce, and lump crab meat. It actually didn't turn out to be too shabby.

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Cooking: Shiitake Mushroom, Bok Choy, and Fried Tofu

For Lunar New Year, you're always supposed to offer one vegetarian dish. Not sure why but it's always there. I don't mind because I actually enjoy vegetables when they're prepared properly. They have a lot a of flavor and texture that's quite unique. There's also so many different kinds of vegetables you can eat that you'll never get bored. For my vegetarian dish, I prepared bok choy, purple potato noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and fried tofu.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cooking: Seafood Bird's Nest

Seafood bird's nest is another dish that I had at restaurants while growing up. It's a specialty item and usually costs more than what you want to pay. But during the holidays, we indulge. Over the years, certain restaurants started getting really skimpy with the actual seafood in the seafood bird's nest. After a while, we only found squid. Don't get me wrong, I like squid but when I order a seafood bird's nest, I expect a variety of lush seafood. As with any dish I'm disappointed in, I try to make a better version myself.
The idea of this dish seemed fairly simply. Fry some noodles. Cook some vegetables. Cook some seafood. Assemble. Easy enough, huh? Well, dishes with this many components take some time to prep. It's not that this dish is difficult. Nope. It's time consuming with the prep work. Hope your knife skills are sharpened (hehe...).
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Cooking: Honey Walnut Shrimp

Ah, honey walnut shrimp. I'm not sure where this dish came from. It's not particularly "authentic" but I certainly grew up eating it at restaurants my whole life. One day, I thought to myself, why not try making it? It only has so few components. I could figure it out. After some research online, I developed my own recipe to the taste I remember from my past.
One of the best parts of this dish are the candied walnuts. I normally do not like sweet things but this is excellent. I can eat them like popcorn. Just popping them into my mouth one after another. I saw some recipes that called for deep frying. I wanted to skip that step without giving up flavor and texture. So I found a better way to make them.
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Cooking: Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger, Scallion, and Soy Sauce

Steaming fish is just as easy as steaming chicken. Possibly easier. It takes a shorter amount and you won't have to portion out the pieces. It's best served whole as a symbol of abundance. And don't even think about flipping it over to get the meat on the other side. Nope. Instead, remove the bones to get to the meat.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cooking: Steamed Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

Chicken is my most favorite meat to eat. I grew up eating a lot of it. My favorite piece is definitely the thigh. The whole thigh, bone in, skin on. So why wouldn't I prepare what I think if the best part of the chicken for Lunar New Year? I mean technically you can use the breast with this recipe but why would you? If anything, make a whole chicken instead.

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Cooking: Roast Suckling Pork Belly - Asian Style

Roast Suckling Pork Belly. One of the favorite dishes during the Asian holidays. Normally, we buy a couple pounds from an Asian barbecue place. But this year I wanted to be daring. This year, I was going to roast my own pork belly. And damn, it was the best choice ever.
It all started with this recipe from Saveur. Once I read it. I was hooked. I couldn't just make that though. Nope. I had to make a whole feast to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This is how my mind works.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Lunar New Year 2013

This is the first year I've decided to host Lunar New Year in my home. I usually celebrate with family by going out to eat. Nobody really volunteers to cook anymore, except me. I like to challenge myself though. The last few years I've been really trying to remember the foods that I grew up with and write down formal recipes. My mother, the awesome cook that she was, never wrote down recipes. She just knew what to do. I'm trying to recreate those delicious foods from memory. It's been quite a journey but it's one that is very close to my heart and worth doing.
As tradition goes, having 8 or 9 dishes during the holidays is a sign of good luck. Didn't you know Asians are very superstitious? So 9 dishes it was for Lunar New Year. Rice doesn't count unless it's fried rice. For the holidays, I'm very particular to stick with white rice. Not sure why. It's how I am. And since I was cooking everything, what I wanted is what everyone was eating.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day: Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter

You may or may not know that every year for Valentine's Day, I have a tradition of eating fried chicken and drinking beer with Mr. M&P. It stems from my detest of the holiday with its abundance of crappy flowers and candies. Not to mention the limited prix fixe menus forced upon clueless restaurant patrons. So to go against all the fake love and sexiness that may ooze from this holiday (disclaimer: I'm not against love or sexiness. It should happen all the time. Not just one day of the year), I picked to do a very unsexy thing and that's eating my face off and drinking beer. Some people may find that actually sexy but not the commercial world we live in. So this year, I headed out to Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter in the East Village.
Bobwhite is a very small restaurant with about six two-top tables and some counter spaces. On their menu, they have three suppers (fried chicken, fried catfish, or farmhouse salad). There's also a handful of different sandwiches on the menu including several different chicken ones, pork chop, egg salad, and grilled pimento cheese. But I was there for one reason, the fried chicken supper ($11.50) which comes with three pieces of fried chicken (two dark, one white), a biscuit, and some cole slaw. Oh and the beer. I had a draft of Kolsch while he had a can of PBR. They also have wine for those who prefer to drink that.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Maharlika

A while ago, I met up with Feisty Foodie and Dessert Zombie to trade cookies and baked goods for the holidays. Yeah, it was that long ago. To offset all the sweet we would consume later that week, we went and had filipino food at Maharlika. I'm not very familiar with filipino food at all but was always interested in learning more about it. I had it once during the summer in Flushing and now I was going to try a modern take on the food in the winter.
Mahalika is a very small restaurant seating at most 20 people. You will be cramped. But think less of the space and more of the food to come. Get friendly with your guests and just enjoy the night. After we got to our table and looked over the menu, we ordered a great variety of different things. The waiter said that it was a lot of food but we convinced him we were hungry.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Korzo Haus

A long, long time ago I went to Korzo Haus to give away a couple of mooncakes to friends. Could I have just met them and passed on the goods? Sure but what's the fun in that. So we all agreed to go to Korzo Haus mainly because I said I've never been there and wanted to try the deep fried burger. Yes, you read that right. The DEEP FRIED burger.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Nights: Hourglass Tavern/Bettibar

Towards the end of  one 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. Whoever 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.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Hourglass Tavern/Bettibar
On my walk home every day I pass by Hourglass Tavern. It's never too packed but busy. A guy (owner/manager/worker/patron) sits in front telling people about it's great happy hour. So why not?
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Baking: Plum and Blackberry Streusel Pie

I really think I make more pies than any other baked good. I just love them. Mainly because they're usually fruit driven but also because they don't always have to be sugary sweet. I've tried all different kinds in the past but this is my first plum and blackberry streusal. I haven't used plums in the past. Not sure really why I didn't. But I wanted to try new pies this year (and last year; this post is old). And I'm so glad I did. So many good pies came out of that experiment. And experiment that still continues.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Super Bowl 2013

The Super Bowl is usually an excuse to indulge on all things delicious while watching football. If my team, the NY Giants, aren't playing then my focus wanes. Sometimes the commercials are more interesting than the play of the game. Sometimes. This year is a toss up. I guess the most interesting or talked about thing was the blackout. Anyway, you don't want to read about sports on this blog. You care about food. We had a nice spread of appetizers to start the evening. We had sliced soppressata, prosciutto, and mortadella, pigs in a blanket, spanakopita, guacamole, warm crab dip, mozzarella, provolone, tallegio, and saria (or shrimp chips).

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cooking: Summer Rolls (in the winter)

Summer rolls are one of those things that may look complicated but it's really far from it. Essentially, they're like burritos but with different ingredients like rice paper rolls instead of a tortillas. You can pretty much put anything in it but I'd like to keep it light (it's normally eaten when the weather is warm) so it remains refreshing.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sushi of Gari 46

Every Christmas Eve, I make a special dinner for Mr. M&P and I. In the past I've made wagyu steak, lobster mac n cheese, chocolate mousse, a belated Thanksgiving meal, as well as my take on the Feast of Seven Fishes. This year, I was pumped to do a Feast of the Seven Fishes again but with different dishes. However, my work schedule got too busy and I didn't feel prepped mentally nor physically for the culinary challenge. So I called it off. Instead, we went out to eat at Sushi of Gari 46. This offshoot of the original has been on our list for a very long time but we never seemed to go. Not sure why. Timing, I guess. Anyway, we finally found our way there that night.

After looking over the menu, we decided to share a couple of appetizers then order a bunch of sushi and sashimi. We first started with the Agedashi Tofu ($7) in tempura sauce. I love tofu and I think Asians make them best. The silky smooth tofu was lightly battered and fried. A sweet salty sauce gives the right amount of flavor and seasoning.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Night: Hanjan

Towards the end of  one 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. Whoever 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.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Hanjan
When I heard that Chef Hooni Kim was opening another restaurant, I was very excited. I had been to Danji and enjoyed it very much. His take on traditional and modern Korean food wowed my palate. I was excited to see what else he could do.
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Maialino, revisited

It's been awhile since I've last visited Maialino. In fact, it's been 3 solid years. It's a shame really because I had really enjoyed my first visit there. But there are so many restaurants to try in NYC. I can't just go to one all the time. Well, I can. And for some places I do. Maialino isn't one of them but that in no part means it's bad at all. In fact, it's great. And my second visit only solidified that fact for me.
My sister and I like to celebrate our birthdays together. I normally poo poo that thought - I mean joint birthdays; not my sister. But getting a hold of her and her husband without the kids is near impossible. So twice a year, she promised time away from the kids for an adult dinner with just the four of us. One for the girls' birthday and one of the boys. We take turns picking the place. This year, it was her choice. She didn't have a cuisine in mind. Instead, she wanted a specific dish. She wanted the infamous raviolo. I suspect that she had recently watched an episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain traveled to Italy with Michael White and enjoyed that egg yolk filled pasta in the farm fields. No matter where she got that idea, I had my work cut out for me. No restaurant really had it on their regular menu except SD26. Various lackluster reviews from anonymous sources as well as close friends closed the book on that one. But it was there as a backup. I looked all over and couldn't find anything. Then it dawned on me that I've had it before at Maialino. I even wrote about it. I don't prefer to do a repeat restaurant for my birthday. But a place like Maialino (or any Danny Meyer establishment) gets a pass. And so I inquired about the menu by calling and the kind host told me that it is not on the menu right now. It's usually a winter dish. Bingo! We have a winner. I promptly made reservations far in advance and we were on our way to pork heaven...with a side of raviolo of course.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Lunch Week 5: Israeli Sabich with Falafel

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Israeli Sabich with Falafel
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Taim makes the best falafel I've had in my life. Sure, I'm not a falafel connoisseur but it was ridiculously good. They also make a really good sandwich called the sabich. It's a pita stuffed with cooked eggplant, eggs, tahini sauce, and a cucumber salad. It's very good as is but I thought, what if I stuffed falafel in there too? Mind blown.

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