January 23, 2010

another reason I love the internet

LOST characters explain how to make a sandwich. Awesome.

January 18, 2010

winter fruit treat

A friend makes a cranberry-orange relish at Thanksgiving that is to die for, and all she does is throw cranberries and oranges in the food processor to chowder them up. So good!

And I had a handful of leftover cranberries from the last upside-down cake, and one lingering clementine, so I figured I'd just grind 'em up and eat them with something. But the pork roast I envisioned is getting delayed by all the other leftovers in the house, so I threw some of my ground-up goodness into some yogurt with a splash of the orange syrup left over from candying oranges at Christmas.


Posted by foodnerd at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2010

Matt the farm-fresh cocktail man

While in LA we went out for drinks with our pal hedge and wound up at the Library Bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. Hedge met Matt the bartender at the farmer's market that morning by happenstance and when we suggested drinks she had just the place to try.

A sampling of Matt's creations:

- umami manhattan: shiitake infused Basil Hayden bourbon, bitters, italian cherry

- arugula gimlet: arugula, mint, lime, sugar, Hendrick's gin

- Last Tango in Modena: strawberries, balsamic, Hendrick's, with St. Germain foam

- vanilla Basil Hayden, ginger beer, lime, sugar, mint

- wo kaffir lime drinks.... one with cherry liqueur foam -- we'd prefer an orange foam or no foam in that one. I much preferred the kaffir lime, Hendrick's, coconut milk thing he whipped up for the folks next to us (he gave us a sample).

We got a couple tastes of his saffron vodka and fresh coconut/pineapple rum, both quite interesting and complex.

And then he whipped up a new drink on the spot based on a single phrase: Just The Tip. This ended up being a multi-part extravaganza in a nipped-waist vessel, with a 20 yr Pappy Van Winkle old fashioned in the bottom, followed by a cherry to block the narrow part of the glass, then lemon, sugar, aperol, and possibly vodka in the top section, with cherry foam on just the tip. Insane. Awesome.

Posted by foodnerd at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2010

tempura sifu

363/365 Tempura at 1000 Cranes

We went to the fancy tempura bar here in LA at the Kyoto Grand hotel, where they sit you at the bar and the tempura master brings you morsel after morsel.

The master barked orders at the waiters just like in the sushi bar scene with Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill, which we found entirely charming in its absurdity. We got a bit of sashimi and some jellyfish and mountain vegetable in sesame sauce to start, and then the parade of fried goodness began. There was a lemon wedge and some green tea salt to dip in, which I rather enjoyed as an occasional break from the delicious ponzu with daikon.

The best of them were the astonishingly tender squid and the delectable orange roughy with green onion, though I enjoyed them all, from the asparagus to the eggplant to the lotus root to the crab claw to the unagi to the shiitake. Nom nom.

Posted by foodnerd at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2010

why Boston needs another Shanghai restaurant STAT

While we've been in LA, we've gotten xiao long bao from Mei Lung Garden, and braised pork belly with preserved vegetable and clear fried shrimp from Mandarin Chateau. All of these are even better versions than what we used to have at Wing's, but our reaction has been one of overwhelming sadness that we cannot have these tastes any more in our home city. We have perfectly reasonable Cantonese places, spectacular Sichuan places, and a reliably excellent diner-style place, but we have nowhere to go for Shanghai cooking at an equivalent level.

Shanghai emigre community of Massachusetts, hear my plea! Start a decent restaurant and I promise to eat in it and drag all my friends too.

Posted by foodnerd at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2010

Christmas dinner with the other side of the family

359/365 Holiday Treats

We had dinner Christmas day with tallasiandude's LA-based extended family, and damn, was that a spread! Enough cold plates to feed an army, followed by an equally staggering battery of hot dishes and a pair of desserts.

I may have forgotten something, but to the best of my recollection there was:

salted eel (kind of like less-salty salt-cod)
vegetarian duck (layered sheets of tofu skin from the look of it)
wood ears and vegetarian kidney (some kind of gluten I think cut to look like kidney)
jalapenos stuffed with ground pork and braised in soy sauce & sugar
steamed egg loaf with 1000-year eggs and salted duck egg yolk
turnip pickles with soy sauce and szechuan peppercorns
cold tendon
sweet & sour spare ribs (not very sour, mostly savory)
salty ham with boiled lotus seeds, on lightly toasted bread to make a li'l sammich
clams steamed with scrambled egg and green onion
shrimps sauteed with garlic and green onion and spicy stuff
braised pork hock with bok choy
tofu noodles with green beans, ham and mushroom
mustard greens with shredded ham and dried scallop
soup with bamboo, enoki, napa and egg dumplings with pork filling
rice cakes sauteed with mushroom and cabbage in a brown sauce
sticky rice with red bean paste and dried fruits
my cranberry upside-down cake

Posted by foodnerd at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)