Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It has been way too long since I've posted here.  I have no idea if anyone even reads this but, the juices are flowing again and maybe I should post more.  Plus, I'm back to working full time to I can eat out a bit and you might read something about resturants I like instead of what I'm cooking at home for a change.

How about that?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Iron Chef Chen

Iron Chef Chen is pretty much my favorite of the original Iron Chef's.  Although it is a hard fight with Iron Chef Morimoto.  I got this book last week and have started messing around with things in it.  Some of them obviously have some strange translations and some odd ingredients that probably don't really represent what was originally used by Chef Chen.  And there are some odd things as well.

But tonight I made his Chili shrimp.  I remember this dish getting mentioned all the time on Iron Chef, about how his dad brought it to Japan and adapted it to the Japanese pallet.  Well, it is pretty damn good.  I still have some kinks to work out, but the sauce is like the bowl good.  I think I might make it a little spicier next time, but this was very yummy and that one dish alone was probably worth the purchase price of the book.  I need to work on the texture of the shrimp but once I do that I'll be putting up some pictures.  should have taken some tonight, but being the first time I made it, I was too busy cooking to snap a photo or two!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not cooking tonight

Sometimes a great meal doesn't really take any hard work or cooking.  Or I should say very little cooking.  This works great when it is nice out and you can enjoy dinner out on your patio or porch.  So here is what we had, some olives, heirloom tomatoes with a little olive oil (got some balsamic reduction there as well), a baguette, a couple of lamb sausages (cooked!), anchovies and some smoked mozzarella and some stinky soft cheese of your choice.  A few lettuce leaves to wrap this and that in and you are all set.  Most of these sorts of things, of a decent quality, you can find at most snooty type grocery stores.  sometimes it is a nice treat to go t whole pay check, I mean whole foods, and get some treats.  

Well, all set except a meal like this needs some great wine.  We had a Bell Syrah Block 6 for this lovely repast.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken, who doesn't love it?  But you know what Mr. Choppy loves better?  All the great veggies that are cooking underneath it!  I know, I'm surprised myself.  But the only way you can get that great flavor in the veggies is to cook a chicken on top of them!  There is something about the chicken fat, the olive oil, salt and pepper, and the caramelization of the carrots that gets in my blood sometimes and I fire up the stove and cook this.  I know most of the things I've put on this blog so far are asian or Hispanic, but this is pretty darn easy so lets give it a try.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Potstickers - Toronto style

When I was last in Toronto, I went to a dumpling house in China town.  Yeah, the one in the picture below.  They have these amazing dumplings that come with a little whispy crunchy thing.  

Adds some great texture to some already amazing dumplings.  I've been messing with how to create this same effect for way more months than I'm willing to admit.  And tonight I'm pretty damn close.  I think if I had turned up the heat sooner or if I had let it go just 2 or 3 more minutes I would have it.

Here is my latest conditions.  Use hardly any oil at the start.  Add 3/4 cup boiling water to dumplings in a medium hot pan.   Let the water boil for about 8 to 10 minutes covered.  Mix up 3/4 of a teaspoon of corn starch in <1/4 cup of hot water.  Add the cornstarch to the pan and turn up the heat.  wait until you start to see some browning.  Get it out of hte pan by fliping upside down on a plate.

I think maybe a bit less water in the cornstarch, maybe 2/3 of a teaspoon and just a tad bit more heat will do it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


You know what?  I just don't seem to make burgers as good as some of the dives I like to go to.  I try and try but it is never just right.  I think it is the flat top.  I need a flat top grill!  I want a good juicy greasy burger with cheese.  My ideal is "In and Out" but they just aren't on this side of the world.  There are two decent places who's burgers I like in the area, The hob nob and the shake pit.  These are good decent burgers and are not the $8 burger or $10 burger you see at some places.  Just some small place turning out yummy grease.   I don't want a 1/2 lb burger with 8 topings either.  I want something small and tasty.

So I'm not going to show you how to make a burger yet, but it would be great if you told me what you look for in a burger.  I do have a place in my memory and emotional touch stones for places like white castle or the Wheel bar, which were both places my dad would bring burgers home from.  The wheel bar was some little dive in Michigan that had some great grease.  Haven't been there in 20 years and don't even know if it still exists.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vietnamese pork in a clay pot

This is another fairly simple dish that I'm sure very grandmother, well Vietnamese grandmother as mine didn't know how to make this, has her own special recipe for.  There is only one real issue with making this.  It is about 10 times better if you use carmel sauce instead of brown sugar.  But brown sugar will do in a pinch or when you used up the last of our carmel sauce and were too lazy to make more.

The original recipe I start with is form Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham.  I changed a few odds and ends with this to fit the tastes in my home, but the base is basically there.

Read on to see how this comes together and the changes I made.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A little snack

I needed a quick snack the other day and I came up with this.  Scallion noodles with chinese sausage and some pickled shallots and pickled shitake mushrooms.  I didn't take any pictures while I was making it but it turned out great and will have to do some more on it.  Basically I made the scallion sauce out of David Chang's Momofuku cook book and threw in some sliced Chinese sausage.  You know those scary packs of sausage at the chinese grocery?  They are very good if you soak them in some warm water before you cook them.  Just stir fried them for a bit and threw them on the noodles.  The pickles are out of Momofuku as well.  The noodles are just plan ones that you toss with the scallion sauce.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Moroccan Cubanos - served two ways

Here is another thing from the Top Chef The Cookbook.  This is my take on the moroccan cubanos made in season one.  They are amazingly good and I think it is the pickled veggies that really make it.  The other week I needed something to share at a party.  So I made all the fixings for the cubanons, but served them on little rounds of peta bread.  What I'm showing here is both how I normally eat and enjoy them and hten as the great little finger version.

Keep reading for how I made these.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gung hay fat chow - Pot stickers!

Happy year of the rabbit!  And in due tradition, I coked up some dumplings tonight to go with my gi-lan and oyster sauce.  But there were the last ones I had made up, so this weekend time to make another batch! I'm still working on getting them to look like ones I had in Toronto but this is pretty good.  Just heat a pan, a bit of peanut oil, put the dumplings and let them just start to think about browning, add a cup of water, cover and turn up the heat.  Other dumpling secrets will have to wait until I perfect them.

If you missed my post about how to make them it is here.