Friday, July 29th, 2005

Relish: Tsukushinbo

My latest restaurant post is up at Seattlest: Tsukushinbo

Sushi, saba, teriyaki, tempura and more in the ID.

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Dry Ribs – part II

Here is my second attempt at dry ribs. This time I managed to take a picture before they were all eaten! I took them to a potluck and everyone was shocked that it was such an easy, yet amazing recipe. In fact, probably only boiling water is easier.

Like last time, I only used salt and pepper, but this time I added a touch of Danish Viking-Smoked Salt, which imparted a lovely smoky flavor. The ridiculously easy, so-simple-that-even-I-can-remember-it-by-heart recipe can be found here: Dry Ribs.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Gifts from the Heart

I have to take a quick moment to brag about the birthday presents I received this year. There were many beautiful and thoughtful gifts and I love them all. Thank you!

My birthday wish came true and I got a thermapen. Yes, A THERMAPEN. After screaming for a few seconds, I ran around taking the temperature of the air, the ground and generally anything that was soft enough to poke a needle into. The thermapen is ridiculously expensive, but the fact that it can take a temperature reading IN 4 SECONDS FLAT is truly amazing. It even came with calibration papers. CALIBRATION PAPERS! I love it more than anyone in their right mind should love a thermometer. I kind of want to carry it around in my bag and whip it out at restaurants. Okay, not really.

I also received the National Association of Meat Purveyors (NAMP) Meat Buyers Guide. Not only is it oh-so stylish, but it’s useful as well, with wonderful drawings of nearly every type of meat/poultry cut you can imagine.

My brother and his girlfriend flew in from NY for my birthday and brought a wonderful and amazing range of foodstuffs from their neighborhood: chili peppers, dried hibiscus, tamarind paste, purple corn pudding, purple drink, huitlacoche (!), Quesos Zurita Oaxacan string cheese, longaniza, mole, yellow hot pepper paste, unknown (and unlabeled) spices, chili candy and more. I’m going to have fun finding recipes for all these ingredients!

Lastly, I received some money from my dad and decided to follow my own advice. I bought a beautiful, beautiful, blue doufeu off eBay, which I expect to receive any day now. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Uncle Wiggly’s Good Time Cooking Contest Entry

Here’s my last minute entry to MeatHenge’s Uncle Wiggly’s Good Time Cooking Contest! I chose an easy weekday dish that goes from fridge to table in less than 30 minutes with ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores: Chinese-style Steamed Fish with Tofu. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

Virtual 40’s-70’s Party

After completing the book meme that was going around a while ago, Deepfry (from Yum!) and I discovered we both share a love for collecting cookbooks from the 40’s-70’s. We started talking and decided to co-host a virtual party…

If you’d like to participate, here’s the deal:

1. Either host a real party (we’re hosting ours on August 13th) and have your guests bring dishes from the 40’s-70’s OR if you don’t want to host a party, just make a dish from the 40’s-70’s.

2. Photograph your food.

3. Post the photo(s) on your blog by August 15th and email the link to me or Deepfry. If you’re really feeling into it, please also post the recipe and/or a picture of the cookbook you used. If you don’t have a blog but would like to participate, just email us the information and we’ll post it.

Here is some inspiration:

Hope you can join the party!

Update: Don’t forget about the accompanying Does My Blog Look Tacky in This? contest

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Relish: Cafe Septieme

My latest restaurant post is up at Seattlest: Cafe Septieme

It’s all about the comfort food.

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Wild Boar Roast Preview

My wild boar birthday party was a huge success! It’s going to be a future Hostess Project article for August, but here are a few random highlights for now:

  • I picked up the wild boar from Don & Joe’s Meats and was shocked to find it looked nothing like the pig I roasted last year; it, uh, had no skin.
  • The wild boar looked grotesque without any skin, but it was fascinating to see all the muscle groupings and how they fit together. We named him Francis Bacon.
  • I decided not to marinate Francis, but instead soaked him overnight in a vinegar and brown sugar brine.
  • While Francis was not very tender, he was delicious and boar-y tucked inside banh mi sandwiches filled with fresh pickled veggies.
  • People brought a beautiful array of appetizers including summer rolls, chicken and mango in wonton cups, galloping horses and peanuts coated in a coconut candy shell.
  • My brother made Vietnamese iced coffees, which require the cutest little coffee filter contraptions. I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I couldn’t stop sipping these!
  • The simple syrup drinks were a huge hit, except for the pandan leaf; it was a little weird in the drinks and most people thought it smelled like old gym shoes.
  • The cream puffs I made for dessert were delicious tasting, but for some reason the cream never set up. I served the puffs with a bowl of the lemon-grass cream filling on the side, like a dip.

Oh yeah, and I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on top of all the guests’ coats (and purses and pokey cell phones) during the middle of the party. But maybe that’s not a highlight…

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

The things you can do with wieners…

Cindy at Food Migration sent me this, and I just had to share:

(Don’t worry, they’re not THOSE kind of wieners.)

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Does My Blog Look Tacky in This?

In conjunction with the Virtual 40’s-70’s Party, Kevin over at Seriously Good has come up with a great contest:

Does My Blog Look Tacky in This?

The idea is to take a picture of your 40’s-70’s food, doll it up with an inventive name and description and tacky props/lighting/ambiance. You will be judged on your clever use of props and your amazing wit a la Candyboots and The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

This is a great alternative for all of us who never win anything at the incredibly competitive and impossibly gorgeous Does My Blog Look Good in This?. Head on over to http://seriouslygood.kdweeks.com/2005/07/does-my-blog-look-tacky-in-this.html for all the gory details. Have fun!

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Relish: Happy Hour at Brasa

My latest restaurant post is up at Seattlest: Brasa


Thursday, July 14th, 2005

Squirrel Fishing

Squirrel behavior with nuts is frighteningly similar to my relationship with bacon:


Friday, July 8th, 2005

Relish: Happy Hour at Del Rey

My latest restaurant post is up at Seattlest: Del Rey

Cocktails! Fish and Chips! Read all about it!

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Pandan chicken

I had some leftover leaves after making pandan simple syrup, so I found a delicious sounding recipe for chicken wrapped in pandan leaves. I marinated boneless, skinless, chicken thigh pieces in chili sauce, ginger, shallot, fish sauce, coconut milk and brown sugar for about 30 minutes. Then I wrapped the pieces up in the pandan leaves, ran them under the broiler until done and served them over rice cooked with a little coconut milk.

Despite the very brief marinating period, the chicken came out full flavored, rich and delicious. The pandan leaves imparted a wonderful, almost floral scent to the chicken which paired nicely with the slightly sweet and fishy marinade. Next time I want to grill them, as I’m betting they’d be absolutely sublime.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

2nd Annual Pig Roast Preparations

I’m so excited! Today I ordered a wild boar from Don & Joe’s Meats for my b-day pig roast. I really wanted to order it from Exotic Meats, but they don’t have storage facilities and the idea of defrosting a fifty pound pig in my bathtub sounded, uh, less than appealing.

My plan is to roast the pig like last year, but then chop it up to make banh mi sandwiches. My problem is that I did a trial marinade last week and it turned out really boring—which is weird because it sounded good, but it was practically flavorless! Maybe my proportions were off?

2 stalks lemon grass
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 T fish sauce (nam pla)
2 T soy sauce
1 T tablespoons rice vinegar
pinch of 5-spice

Any secret (or not so secret) family recipe for a Vietnamese-style marinade would be greatly appreciated. I’m trying to avoid anything with lots of sugar because I’m worried the pig will burn, but aside from that any ingredient is fair game. Please help if you can!


Monday, July 4th, 2005

4th of July BBQ

I was invited to the very lovely home of F & A for the 4th. Little did I know that A had been to cooking school and loves to cook. When I saw that he had made two inch thick T-bone steaks, bbq’d chicken AND hot dogs, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit.