I HEART BACON
Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Weekend with Mom

consumed 5/9 – 5/12/12

Mom came to Los Angeles for a visit and we did lots of good eating…

Thurs AM: Woke up early and made mom Maple Bacon Pancakes – a great and easy mix from Bacon Freak.

Thurs PM: Scored last minute dinner reservations at Mozza. Our awesome waitress steered us right, starting off with burrata, leeks & charred bread and affettati misti with gnocco fritto: prosciutto wrapped around breadsticks packed with truffle butter, beautiful cuts of house-cured speck, pancetta, and sopressata eaten with pillow-y, fried potato puffs. For mains we had a delicate, light & buttery halibut with ramps and Ricotta & Egg Raviolo with browned butter.

Fri AM:  Loteria Grill  at Farmer’s Market: CHILAQUILES in poblano mole with eggs. What? Yes.

Fri PM: Kyochon Fried Chicken, pickled daikon, orange butter rice (made in my donabe), and a mango/strawberry galette.

Sat AM: Beautiful, light and crisp fish and chips at Malibu Seafood.

Activity highlights included: RadioLab @ UCLA, Felix in Hollywood walking tour, and sea lion watching at Point Dume

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Bacon Bacon (SF)

Do I have to go to the bacon bacon truck, or will it come to me?

Their bacon bouquet looks amazing… and so does this.

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Good Girl

Whenever I’m anywhere near (or even not-so-near) Highland Park I have to stop in at Good Girl Dinette. Their Galangal Chicken Bahn Mi is amazing.  This one comes with tender dark meat chicken marinated in soy and galangal and a slaw of daikon and carrot.

They also make other things that are quite good:  Vietnamese Pork Confit (below), Curry Chicken Pot Pie, Rice Cakes with Crispy Scallion Tofu and special homemade sodas.

Good Girl Dinette on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Salmon & Spaetzle

consumed 5/28/11

My two new favorite recipes: Slow-Cooked Salmon and Spaetzle with Panko

The Slow-Cooked Salmon recipe is from the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook and is absurdly simple: Preheat oven to 200 and place a pan of warm water on the lowest rack. Brush both sides of the salmon fillet with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place salmon on a baking sheet and cook for about an hour. I had a not-so-fancy cut of salmon and it turned out like butter. Mmm butter.

I served it with Spaetzle & Panko. The spaetzle was hearty, buttery and crunchy. And not so hard to make if you have a handy spaetzle maker.

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Molecular Gastronomy – Attempt #1

consumed 1/2/10

My first brush with molecular gastronomy was eating at WD50 back in 2007. We were invited into the prep area and it looked more like a laboratory than a kitchen. It was intimidating. Then after watching seasons of Top Chef the idea of trying it at home became more reasonable. Then I came across the Experimental Texturas Kit and it was on.

Our evening started out with doughnut soup, which as it sounds, would have been better suited to dessert. My friend made HOMEMADE rice milk (yum) from sushi rice and mixed it with cream, coffee, cinnamon and poured it over doughnut crumbs—glazed Krispy Kremes that had been processed lightly in the Cuisinart and then toasted until super crunchy. Freaking delicious.

Next up was lamb “pasta” with avocado foam. We added Gellan to lamb consumé, poured it into a sheet pan, let it cool and then sliced it into strips, like fettuccine. The weird thing with Gellan is that you can heat it back up and it will retain its form. We served the re-heated pasta with diced onions, tomatoes, julienne of basil and avocado foam (avocado and milk charged with N2O). This dish was a textural fail—the noodles were crunchy and glutinous at the same time. A little like eating soggy rubber bands.

We then had a spinach salad with delicious homemade Green Goddess dressing, fresh grapefruit and… spherical Mozzarella! I think out of everything we tried with Texturas, the Mozarella turned out the best. A little like burrata, with a creamy liquid center.

My friend then made mini-eggs by doing things with a syringe and Xanthan gum. Not quite sure what he did, but they turned out great served on Parmesan crisps with blanched kale, a touch of white balsamic and smoked salt.

The next thing we tried looked pretty but after the lamb aspic hot mess we had to dare each other to eat it: re-hydrated morel mushrooms and broth mixed with Kappa and poured into heart-shaped molds. Yep, tasted like mushroom jello. Gross.

My favorite dish of the night didn’t involve any molecular trickery. It was thinly sliced lamb shoulder and top loin steak  “grilled” table-side on a Himalayan salt block. The block, made entirely of compressed salt, was heated in the oven at 475 for an hour, then transferred to the table where we seared our meat. As it cooked, the salt melted a bit and mixed with the juices imparting a deep salt flavor.

For dessert #1 we tried to make ginger & lychee ice cream “caviar” with Algin and Calcic. I think we got the measurements wrong as it didn’t gel up and the pearls melted into the water bath. Boo.

Dessert #2 was another foam, this time with pineapple juice, meringue powder and long pepper. Success!

The last dessert involved Miracle Berries, which make sour things taste sweet. We raided the kitchen and ate preserved lemons, limes, grapefruit juice and salt & vinegar potato chips.

And just to be fancy, we drank soda water with pearl dust.

It was an exhausting but super fun day in the kitchen!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Kogi Truck

My friend invited me to TRANSMISSION LA: AV CLUB, where I finally got to eat at the infamous Kogi Truck. It was a happy scene, eating on rainbow-colored tables in front of The Geffen.

We ordered short rib and chicken tacos, which were quite good, but the blackjack quesadilla with spicy pork was amazing. Caramelized onions and sweet / spicy pork layered between crisp flour tortillas. Heaven.

Roy Choi was there handing out free sriracha bars; caramel & ganache over crisped rice, with subtle heat that hit at the back of the tongue.

Oh yeah, there also was a pretty awesome art exhibition curated by Mike D (back from the dead).

 

Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Buried in Bacon

This makes me rethink cremation….

http://www.baconsaltblog.com/2012/04/happy-april-fools.html

Thanks to Kezia for pointing this out!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Bacon Jerky!

Mandy over at Monogram Food Solutions emailed to ask if she could send some bacon jerky my way… guess what my reply was? Hells yeah!

You can’t see from the tiny image below, but the tagline says “You just can’t stop eating it!” and I actually couldn’t. I was sent two packages and it was gone in two days. And I didn’t even share. Gulp.

The jerky was chewy for bacon, but not chewy like beef jerky; somewhere in between. And it was a good combination of sweet, smokey and salty. I ate most of it straight out of the bag, but a few slices managed to make it into a sandwich. It can’t stand in for real bacon due to the non-crispy factor, but I would definitely eat this while camping, or on a road trip, or just because it’s a Thursday.

http://www.trailsbest.com/index.php?page=products.jerky

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Party party

consumed 6/3/11

To celebrate a personal milestone, I had a few friends over for a summer dinner party. This was the menu:

Zucchini Bisque – An old favorite from a Cuisinart recipe booklet. Easy to make and can be served hot or cold–perfect for hot California evenings.

Arancini (balls of risotto stuffed with mozzarella & peas) – I still haven’t mastered making these yet; they always end up as huge, crumbling balls, but they are delicious and I was able to make and fry them several days in advance.

Prosciutto & Gruyere Pinwheels – Easy to make ahead. Cheese, pork and puff-pastry… what’s not to like?

Asparagus w/ Mayonnaise Verte – Counteracts my tendency to serve all meat dishes; my standby when veggies are needed.

Dry Ribs – My absolute favorite. Crisp and salty on the outside and meltingly tender inside.

Panzanella – Toasted cubes of bread in a balsamic vinaigrette. The arugula and cheese are just an added bonus.

Shrimp Salad in Endive - Crunchy, sweet shrimp on crisp, slightly bitter endive.

Gnocchi w/ Roquefort Cream – French gnocchi (made with Pate a Choux) baked in a luxuriously rich Roquefort sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts – Not your typical bacon wrap; these have a sweet mayonnaise and spicy chili coating.

Semifreddo – A great, creamy, frozen (or half-frozen) dessert. I couldn’t find marionberries (my favorite), but the blackberry substitute worked out fine.

 

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

I want… candy

consumed 09/09/09

It took about three years since the last candy making attempt to try again. This time we were armed with a little more knowledge, better tools and a good night’s sleep.

I though it would be fun to make something from my vintage cookbook collection, so the first recipe, Dulce de Panocha (or Penuche) was from “Trader Vik’s Book of Mexican Cooking” (1973).  It tasted a lot like maple sugar candy–insanely sweet and slightly grainy. Not my favorite, but simple to make.

The second recipe was my old standby: peanut brittle. This year we made it in an enameled le creuset so we could clearly see the color of the syrup (which is crucial). But it was taxing (and damn scary) to lift a 30 pound pot of 295 degree sugar and pour it out onto sheets. The secret weapon was silpat; NOTHING sicks to these babies. I keep trying to find something that will, but haven’t so far. I didn’t even butter it and the brittle literaly slid right off. Last time (with buttered baking pans), I needed my spackling tool to force the brittle off!

The final recipe was my favorite: salted caramels! We made pans, and pans of this. I bought a cheap chocolate fondue pot, which was small (only holds about a cup) but i could dip around 50 caramels with one pot. It took about 10-15 minutes to melt on melt mode, then warm mode kept the chocolate at the perfect temperature for dipping—even down to the last caramel. We dipped milk and dark chocolate and finished with a variety of salts: Maldon Sea Salt, Australian Murray River Salt Flakes (a beautiful pale pink hue) and Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt (brilliant orange, but maybe a bit too coarse for this usage).

Next time my new gadget will be candy-making gloves (and a cooler apartment).

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

An Incredible Feast

consumed on 8/23/09

Hmmm. Trying to write from memory over a year later? Not the best idea. But I’m having an OCD moment of needing to finish all my old draft posts before starting a new.

This was a beautiful day at the “Incredible Feast” event in the University District with my girlfriends. But three things stand out:

1. Mini Cows – ADORABLE little (alive) cows, mulling around in their trailer available for petting.

2. Bacon Dogs from the Swinery – Not those wussy hot dogs wrapped in bacon, these are homemade kielbasa-like sausage with bacon INSIDE. OMG.

3. Beef tenderloin poached in olive oil, with arugula pesto on faro cakes. So many good ideas here. Beef treated almost like a confit. Faro ground up and cooked like polenta, formed into cakes and fried in olive oil. This is begging for a remake at home.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I miss you

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry we’ve drifted apart. I know it’s my fault. The calls became less and less frequent, until I stopped calling all together. I know it’s been over a year, but I miss you. I’ve been going though old photos and remembering what fun we had together.

Maybe we can start seeing each other again and see what happens…

M

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

If disaster strikes…

I will live off bacon:

http://www.readydepot.com/servlet/the-204/Yoders-Canned-Bacon-Celebrity/Detail

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

Make a Bacon

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own bacon, but know you never will, you should definitely check this out:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theethicalbutcher/the-ethical-butchers-custom-cured-bacon-heritag

You can pledge any amount to help fund this project, but if you pledge $50 or more you get to create and name your own bacon which will be sold at Portland Farmer’s Markets beginning March 2010.

Yes, I pledged. I wonder if they can make bacon-flavored bacon.

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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Oh dear god.

My three favorite things combined: bacon, sugar and cool packaging!

baconbrittle

http://www.deandeluca.com/chocolates-and-confections/confections/sir-francis-bacon-peanut-brittle.aspx

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