December 31, 2009

Taste of 2009

On the last day of the year, I'd like to recap some of the gastronomic highlights (at least the ones that I was able to take photos of) from 2009.

Pickles Shop in LES


"Pork" from Chinatown


Cake from Don & Whitney's Wedding

Compliments of the Chef - Watermelon cubes with goat cheese

Nyonya - Clay Pot Noodles



Guac from Rosa Mexicano

Oven-roasted Tomatoes

Sand Isle Kumamoto


Heirloom Tomatoes

"Popunder" w/ Strawberry Jelly

Basting the steak with buttah

Mussels swimming in the delicious sauce

Surf & Turf

Chili Dog. NOM.

Pappardelle with Mushrooms

Striped Bass in Salt Dome

Soba with Soft Boiled Eggs, Sugar Snap Peas, Pickled Cucumber

Panna Cotta Noodles w/ Cucumber Jelly, Fresh Blackberry, and Green Tea Crumble Drizzle

Christmas Dinner 4

December 30, 2009

Ramen at Men Kui Tei

The tasty Char Siu Ramen + Egg at Men Kui Tei

The hearty and generously large bowl of ramen at Men Kui Tei is worth waiting 20-30 minutes for. Even if you have to stand outside in the freezing cold for part of the time.

Caramel Cake


Slice of Caramel Cake


Earlier this month, I was told about this great recipe for caramel cake. It required a flour sifter, which I didn't obtain until recently (one of the many thoughtful Christmas gifts from B). Of course, I should have read the recipe more thoroughly since it also utilized an electric mixer (which I still don't have). Since I already had all of the ingredients measured out, I figured that I might as well try it using a more manual approach and hope that it would work.

December 29, 2009

Garlic Roast Chicken




What happens when you take a 3.5lb organic chicken, stuff some minced garlic underneath the skin and inside, basted the outside with butter, salt & pepper, roast it at 475º F for 40 minutes (20 on both sides) and then at 375º F for another 20 minutes? This glorious evening snack. I probably consumed about a third. Now what to do with the rest...

Chicken Soup




I'm not usually a soup person, but yesterday I had a huge craving for some homemade chicken soup. So I pulled out a recipe from from my lengthy "to cook" list and made nearly a gallon of chicken soup/broth. I think that will keep my craving at bay for some time. The broth was very savory and had some heat to it (I poured in quite a bit of black pepper). I absolutely loved the organic chicken. The meat fell right off of the bone and was incredibly juicy. Lastly, the sweet potato and yam added some wonderful sweetness. I dropped in some wild mushrooms into the soup too to mix up the textures.

December 28, 2009

Test Shoot




Just trying out my new Lowel EGO lights. Thanks mom & dad! These veggies will be later used in some yummy recipes. :-) Stay tuned!

More pics can be found here.

December 26, 2009

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner 4

Christmas Dinner 5

Christmas Dinner 7

For our Christmas Day dinner I decided to put my beginner cooking skills to the test and make a hearty meal consisting of: Pork Chops with Country Gravy, Garlic Smashed Potatoes, and Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans. Everything came out very delicious and surprisingly well timed. B definitely helped to keep things moving at a smooth pace. We also paired the meal with a bottle of Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo, which turned out to be a great idea. The pork and bacon were also organic. Before I sat down to dinner, I quickly took some photos of my plate (as seen above) under my new Lowel Ego lights. Love them. Notice the difference?

December 24, 2009

Grand Central Oyster Bar

There are 4 sorts of Oysters in this shot

Oysters Galore! (Crazy Big XXL Willapa Bay at top)

Grand Central Oyster Bar Menu

Armed with Rowan Jacobsen's A Geography of Oysters, which is now dog-eared and margin-noted several times, B and I walked into the Grand Central Oyster Bar on early Christmas Eve with eagerness. As our holiday treat, we decided to skip the fancy restaurants and go straight for the gold. Gold being oysters!

December 23, 2009

Tuesday Night Live at Sushi Uo

Tuesday Night Live! Ultra-fresh sashimi at Sushi Uo

Mackerel Sashimi

Wasabi Gnocchi w/ Crispy Salmon Skin

Chipotle Spiced Tuna Over Crispy Rice 2

Mushrooms in Buttered Parchment

Panna Cotta Noodles w/ Cucumber Jelly, Fresh Blackberry, and Green Tea Crumble Drizzle

UrbanDaddy's Sushi Uo's Tuesday Night Live blurb definitely caught my attention.
Chef David Bouhadana's hard-to-find LES  sushi spot announces "Tuesday Night Live," in which a diverse community of octopus, abalone, pen shell, scallop orange clams and surf clams meet their untimely demise right in front of your eyes, before finding their way to your mouth. Management warns that there may be some twitching.
Three trains from the Upper West Side, a few walking blocks, and a wrong turn into a downstairs bar later, I had finally made it to Sushi Uo. I didn't make a reservation since I wasn't sure when A could get out of work to meet me, but the two best seats in the house (alongside the sushi bar where you can see all of the action) were still open. While I waited for my companion to arrive, I tried the Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai Sake (smooth, tad spicy, served at room temperature) and watched Chef David Bouhadana slam pieces of raw fish into the cutting board. Some of the pieces slightly writhed after impact (and silently screamed), but that was the extent of the drama. There was no tank of live specimen nor creatures that would crawl off of your plate. That was probably a good thing for A's sake.

December 21, 2009

Soba with Soft Boiled Eggs & Veggies

What's for lunch? Soba + fixings!

Soba with Soft Boiled Eggs, Sugar Snap Peas, Pickled Cucumber

Savory, Sweet, Salty, and Tasty

No work this week means that I have more time to cook! This morning R sent me a great video of Jean-Georges and his team making some fresh soba noodles. So for lunch, I was inspired to make some soba noodles myself. Not fresh soba, of course (I don't have the space or skills for that challenge!) Instead, I thought that it would be a good time to try some more recipes from my Momofuku cookbook.