Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
OK, this post was supposed to go up in time for ya'll's New Year's Eve parties, but you don't need a special occasion to eat these wings! In Buffalo, New York, where the wings were invented, the traditional preparation is to deep-fry the wings and toss them with a simple mixture of Fred's Red Hot Sauce and butter. And there's no better vinegary hot sauce, than the Vietnamese-American garlicky-spicy creation Huy Fong Foods, Inc.'s Sriracha chili hot sauce. Actually, they have their own recipe for hot wings, which is pretty much mine! Hmph! Well, I guess with such simple ingredients, there's not that much variation. :P
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sometimes it can be a bit much as this is "the" place to be seen in the Vietnamese community. Actually, when this location first opened up and hadn't generated as much publicity, my friend said her neighbor took all his dates here. And they were so pleasantly surprised by the decor and food that they came back... only to run into him on a date with some else. :P
My only complaint about Quan Hy is that the portions are rather small for the price. Not that it's expensive, mind you. You're looking at a $7-$8 range for most dishes, compared to $5-$6 at other places.
It's one of the "fancier" Vietnamese restaurants located in the "new-ish" T&K Plaza. Save room for dessert and go to Thach Che Hien Khanh located at the other end of the parking lot.
There's almost always a line.
The entryway has a very shallow koi pond and bridge.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I tried other flavors from this brand before - chili pepper, lemon and black pepper, and tiramisu.
Found for 99 cents at the Target after-Christmas sale.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The two trays of banh cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice noodle sheets stuffed with pork) that I bought for my dad's 60th birthday party also came with two big bags of mung bean sprouts. I knew we were gonna be fed a lot at my oldest uncle's Christmas party.
But after the birthday party and before the Christmas party, my cousins wanted to have dinner on Christmas Eve together. I really wasn't in the mood to deal with last-minute crowds at the grocery store, so what I had available were fixin's for a Korean dinner.
I made a batch of venison bulgogi (Korean marinated meat) and some banh xeo-ish pajeon (Vietnamese crepe-ish Korean pancake). I already had baechu kimchee (Korean pickled napa cabbage) in the fridge. And of course, those two big bags of mung bean sprouts.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Hehe, I know I have readers who like seeing all the foods at my family get-togethers. Works for me. I get another post out of it, with minimal writing. ;)
Let's see, starting clockwise from the rice cooker with Hainanese chicken rice, my dumplings, roasted potatoes, salami and cheese appetizers, lotus root salad, tortillas and spinach dip with chesnuts (the younger '88's addition), dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy.
From the far side, egg rolls, Hainanese chicken to go with the chicken rice, two kinds of soup (the chafing dish holds my favorite sup mang cua (Vietnamese crabmeat and asparagus soup), and pesto pasta with pinenuts.
Apple pie, apple tart, and fresh guavas from the garden.
And roast beef.
Enjoy! I know I did. :)
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Aren't they cute? While I was more familiar with ground pork siu mai dumplings at dim sum restaurants, a while back Amy of Nook & Pantry had made Shanghai-style sticky rice siu mai dumplings. They were so darling that I knew I would attempt to make them at some point.
And so it was that on Christmas day, I was floundering for ideas on what to post. I figured tying a chive leaf around each dumpling would make them look like little "presents." This all came together very quickly and easily due to my tried-and-tested method of lazy cooking. ;)
Monday, December 24, 2007
While hanging out with one of my former students at Love to Go - San Gabriel, she mentioned wanting to learn how to cook. We were eying the tiramisu in the display case, when I said that it was easy to do and that I had been meaning to re-make my Tiramisu with Japanese Matcha Green Tea for the blog.
Backtrack a little before our conversation when I was chatting online with my friend HH, who asked for ideas for a signature dessert for his friend's new coffee shop. I went through a slew of the latest trends in tea shops in the San Gabriel Valley and Koreatown, then scrolled through my dessert recipes and saw my sad old photo of my green tea tiramisu. I made a mental note to re-make it soon when my student's request and my oldest uncle's death anniversary seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
A little bit of previous commentary below, but otherwise, it's all new step-by-step pictures and a major revamp of the recipe.
After discovering how quick and easy it was to make Tiramisu, I decided to try making it with Japanese matcha green tea. The version I had at Italian Tomato - Costa Mesa was actually not that spectacular - not much green tea flavor and rather dry. And in looking at the photo again, I think my green tea tiramisu looks tastier! :) Lil' sis kept urging me not to do it because she remembered not being impressed with their green tea tiramisu either. But I promised her I'd make a normal one just in case. As it turned out, we ate all of the cake and regular tiramisu and there was just a small portion of this left. Two of my cousins had dibs on the leftovers.
I like my green tea bold in flavor, no subtlety here. The green tea is very bitter so I was worried about how it'd turn out, but the sweetness of the whipped cream evened it out. If you want to drink the leftover green tea, unless you have a sweetened version, I'd advise adding lots and lots of sugar.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Mmm. Roast ducks displayed in the window. One duck is $12.95. Right now this is my favorite roast duck to-go place. The marinade has a slight honey flavor, not dark and soy saucy like Sam Woo's.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Sorry the pictures are so blurry. I was standing at the top of the staircase and zooming in so you could get a sense of the whole length of the table, or rather two long and one round table placed end to end. This is how it's been like for the past few holiday parties, but this time, we were celebrating my dad's 60th birthday. I previously wrote about why lil' sis and I are such daddy's girls.
Close-ups of the food below.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I am so, so susceptible to food cravings. After reading Dylan of Eat, Drink, and Be Merry's post about Pollo A La Brasa's wood-fired chicken with a photo of their aji verde (Peruvian green chili sauce), I had to have some then and there. Since it was at least a half hour's drive in either direction to the closest Peruvian restaurant, I set out to make my own.
I figured Alejandro of Peru Food would have a recipe and sure enough I found his green Peruvian hot sauce. His recipe included just the basics -- cilantro leaves, jalapenos, salt, oil, and garlic. I wanted my sauce to be a bit creamier and thicker so I added mayonnaise. If you want to be really authentic though, substitute the amount of mayonnaise in my recipe with oil and keep blending until the oil becomes "mayonnaise."
The aji pepper is a type of Peruvian chili pepper, but the word is also used in parts of South America for all peppers. Since I couldn't find aji peppers here, I substituted with jalapenos. I also tossed in several other varieties of chili peppers just for fun. Obviously, adjust the amount of chili depending on your spicy tolerance.
For some reason, when I ate this right away, it had a nice spicy burn on my tongue. But left overnight, it just became a mild green sauce. As it's a sauce, I'm just giving estimations to start with. Add more mayonnaise or oil to adjust creaminess and thickness until it's to your liking.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
(As an aside, I'm not Christian either so in the spirit of celebrating the "holidays," I did send out Hanukkah cards a few years back. My friends who are used to my sense of the absurd chuckled over that one. :P )
Anyway, I had recently made latkes (Jewish potato pancakes) and totally forgot about it until I saw Kirk of Mmm-yoso's post about his missus's request for them. My latkes recipe is pretty similar to what he used, minus the matzo meal.
Latkes (Jewish Potato Pancakes)
Adapted from Jewish Holiday Style by Rita Milos Brownstein
For half a dozen 4-inch latkes, you'll need:
4 medium potatoes, grated
1 small onion, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
oil for frying
While you're peeling the potatoes, put the peeled ones in a bowl of heavily salted water to keep them white. Then grate 4 medium-sized potatoes and 1 small onion on the large holes. Put the grated potatoes into a colander with a deep plate or bowl underneath it to catch excess water and starch.
When the potatoes and onion are completely grated, add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper and toss until thoroughly mixed. Then press into the colander or squeeze with your hands to eliminate excess water. Don't throw out the extra water in the bowl just yet.
Put the grated potatoes and onion into a bowl and add in 1 egg and mix thoroughly. By this time, the excess starch will have settled at the bottom of the bowl that was underneath the colander. Drain out the excess water, and add the potato starch into the grated potato mixture.
Form into 4-inch wide patties, pressing firmly to remove still any more excess liquid, and pan-fry on medium-high heat until golden. Let them drain on brown paper bags to retain crispness.
Traditionally, latkes are served with sour cream or apple sauce. I *gasp* eat mine with ketchup. :)
Who else made latkes?
Kirk of Mmm-yoso made latkes with matzo meal.
1 year ago today, I gave you my recipe for salt and pepper lemon baked chicken and began laying out my sushi and dim sum quilt.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Recently, Nikki Polani made half a dozen different batches of cookies for the holidays and asked me if I'd like some cocoa. Would I? She didn't have to ask twice!
I love getting boxes from the post office, even better when I know the box has cocoa inside! You can't tell from the photo but this container is huge!
I had this earmarked for a very special recipe to try out, but couldn't wait and recently used it in another batch of tiramisu. The cocoa made the tiramisu extra delish and my cousins finished off the whole bowl.
Thanks again Nikki Polani! :)
1 year ago today, a piping hot bowl of pho from Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant in Pomona totally hit the spot.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Banh Xeo-ish Pajeon? Or Pajeon-ish Banh Xeo? (Vietnamese Crepe-ish Korean Pancake? Or Korean Pancake-ish Vietnamese Crepe?)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I had big plans after we finished eating all the meat to add rice and leftover panchan to the griddle and make kimchee fried rice ala Seol Ak San-style. Unfortunately, my rice cooker was acting up and it just wouldn't cook the rice! :( So yes, the basics for the top photo is to toss rice and leftover panchan on the griddle and mix it all up. The rice will then soak up the meat juices. Mmm.
But if you're not going all out for a homemade Korean barbecue and are just hankering for some kimchee fried rice, here's my quickie version. Read my Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mixed Frozen Vegetables for fried rice basics such as why leftover rice is best.
Why Spam you ask? Did you know after the U.S. and its territories, South Korea is the world's largest consumer of Spam? This photo is just the basics, rice, kimchee, and Spam.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
This recipe is so simple it doesn't even really require a recipe. I prefer to make this when I already have a batch of either beef or pork bulgogi at the ready so that there's already seasoning. Add in the kimchee and I rarely need to add anything besides extra chili for the kick. Just toss all the ingredients together until the meat is cooked. :P
Monday, December 10, 2007
2 pounds thinly sliced pork 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsps brown sugar 2 tbsp rice wine, or any white wine 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp salt 1 tblsp gochujang (Korean chili paste), or more depending on taste 1 pear or apple, pureed, which acts to tenderize the meat 1 onion, sliced 2 green onions, sliced Slice the meat as thinly as possible. One trick is to put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to half-freeze it for ease in slicing. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and add meat to marinade mixture. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Pan-fry or grill.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Remember when I made that batch of Napa Cabbage Kimchee that I said there were several ways you could cook with it too? Cooking with kimchee is one way to salvage a batch that may be overly salted or fermented.
I like making pajeon (Korean savory pancakes) when I'm near the end of my jar because I also pour all the extra kimchee juices and make it slightly spicy. You can eat this as a meal, or cut into slices and serve it as panchan (Korean side dishes). My recipe is super-simple, so this is more about the technique I use to flip the pancake.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I was chatting online with Norwegian cousin the other day and mentioned how cold it was. I mean, I've had to put on toe socks and turn on the heat. So she offered to buy me a ticket to visit her in Norway where the temperature was -1 degree Celsius. Umm, yeah, OK, maybe we don't have it so bad after all. :P
These are the only snowflakes you'll be seeing around here!
One benefit of the weather keeping me indoors is that I've been doing a little reorganization around here. Tipped off by Oanh of Halfway to Ca Mau and Saigon, I made a nifty new label cloud. Scroll down and take a look. Do you like it? Or do you prefer the old category list? Please let me know what works for you. The cloud reduces the length of my sidebar. Although the size of each category is supposed to reflect how many postings I have, the old list had the actual number of postings. Let me know which one is more useful. Or if you don't use it at all, I'll leave the cloud since it shortens the sidebar and I like the look. :P Go here if you want to make a label cloud of your own. The directions made it quite easy to cut and paste. Thanks Phydeaux3!
I've now created sub-categories for my most popular cooking and eating out cuisines, namely Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean food. So that should make it easier for those of you who wish to scroll through either/or without having to look at both. Of course, clicking on just the ethnic cuisine tag will still show you both recipes and restaurants.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
This recipe is so simple that it barely even needs a recipe. I like soy bean sprouts (the kind with the larger heads) as opposed to mung bean sprouts precisely because the larger heads provide a delicious crunch.