Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
4 pounds lamb shoulder - cut into large cubes
1 sweet onion sliced
1 tbsp minced cilantro stems
1/2 box achiote paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
5 garlic cloves
3 cups orange juice
3 Chipotle peppers with tbsp adobo sauce
1 lime - juiced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1) Sear the lamb over high heat with the olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. When it's browned on all sides, remove the lamb from the pot. Remove all but 1tbsp of the oil/fat.
2) Sautee the onions, achiote, chipotle, and cilantro over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. After 5 minutes when the vegetables are soft, add the garlic and sautee for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
3) Simmer the mixture adding the lamb, orange juice, and enough water to cover the lamb. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add the lime juice and stir at the end to cut the richness. Serve with warm tortillas, fresh tomatoes, rinsed and diced white onions, cilantro leaves, and your favorite salsa/hot sauce. The lamb is really tender, smokey/spicy from the chipotle, slighly sweet from the orange juice, and complex due to the achiote seasoning. Buen provecho!
Boom Boom Chicken - Dude Grade: A
553 Main St
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 592-9700
I was craving some fried chicken, so I hit up Porthos and he recommended the outstanding Boom Boom Chicken. There's been a wave of Korean Fried Chicken and Boom Boom (snickering aside) is far and away the best. Highly Recommended.
For those of you who haven't enjoyed Korean Fried Chicken, it's basically very crispy chicken (without the thick crunchy bits like the classic American version) glazed in some style of sauce - think hot wings, but less liquid. At Boom Boom, they have a soy/garlic glaze that's a little sweet and a spicy fried chicken that's not super spicy - both are delicious and very addicting. My first bite into the chicken and a complete WTF moment overtook my senses. It's insanely juicy, perfectly crispy, and surprisingly has good chicken flavor. By far the best fried chicken I've ever had and I 100% want to go back for more.
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way
Overall Restaurant Experience
- Food (A) – The best fried chicken ever - so crispy and sooo juicy. 'Nuff said.
- Service (N/A) – Typical fried chicken joint where you pay at the counter and you get the food from the counter when it's ready. Make sure you call ahead since it takes 20 minutes from when you first order.
- Atmosphere (N/A) – 3 high tables in this joint with about 2-3 chairs per table, so plan on eating in the car if you go during the lunch rush hour.
- Price (B) - $12 for 6 drumsticks (small order), a can of coca-cola, and pickled radish. Seemed pretty pricey for fried chicken, but after your first bite, you realize it's totally worth it.
Don't let the wait deter you since this place friggin' rawks - tops in my book. It was so good I finished all 6 drummies in one sitting.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I visited a few weeks ago and still can't get over how bad the food was.
The Short Hills Mall is considered a pretty ritzy place. Mostly highend garment and jewelry stores. But boy does the food selection suck.
To be safe, you only have Legal Seafood to go to. And thats still a crap shoot. Getting served Luke warm chowder is pretty common.
Service is one thing. But the food... When you have to wonder how on earth can someone plate this and serve to guests, there is somethig seriously wrong with the place.
I'm gonna have to dig for pics of the Reuben and Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Will post shortly.
From the pages of the NY Post -
"When the shuttered Gordon Ramsay restaurant at The London NYC hotel reopens next week, the customers will be picking up the tab.
An internal memo obtained by The Post shows that the eatery is planning to hike its prices by more than 22 percent, after being closed since last Saturday because male chefs staged a dramatic walkout after a female colleague lodged sexual-harassment charges.
Wednesday, commis chef Janet Kim filed a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights naming both the hotel and Ramsay that says she was sexually harassed in the kitchen.
"Neither Gordon Ramsay or [his company] GRH have any involvement with or responsibility for the operation of the restaurant, including anything to do with human resources, which is entirely the responsibility of the owners," Ramsay's spokesperson said."
Monday, April 25, 2011
So I set out to make a Mac n Cheese dish that I would be proud of.
Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, Mascarpone, Chicken Stock, Pasteurized Canned Crab, and Chives.
An old Taiwanese dish I thought I'd cook up this weekend. It holds pretty well in the fridge so making it one of those perfect emergency meals later in the week.
Cooked and flavored with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Chinese Cooking Wine, Thai Basil, Ginger, Garlic, Water and Sugar.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Our favorite brand Takis is an addicting corn snack spiced with chili and lime - a nice amuse bouche :)
2006 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
I'm not a wine connoisseur, but this was friggin delicious. It had this round almost buttery thing going on with big fruits behind it. Really worked out well with the meats we served. Thanks Che King / Wing Gee!
Mexican Red Rice
Latino Style Lamb
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Ingredients: Duck Breast, Chinese Five Spice, Salt/Pepper
First time cooking duck and the flavor was delicious - great duck flavor enhanced by the five spice. Simply seared and finished in the oven, but I left it in a bit too long so it came out slightly dry. A problem I guess when I had too many dishes going at once - next time no grilling and kitchen work at the same time :) However, adding the fun beijing duck ingredients (hoisin sauce, cucumber, and cilantro) minimized the dryness. Oddly, it was super delicious with the black beans and tomatillo salsa.
Ingredients: Thinly sliced short rib, Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, Brown Sugar, Sesame Oil, Garlic, Green Onions, Salt/Pepper
I tried cooking this on the grill since that's what they do at the Korean BBQ restaurant, but I completely forgot that the grills at the restaurants have very tiny holes. I adjusted though and broke out my grill plate and everything was all ok. This taco worked very well with a side of kimchee to add brightness and acidity. BTW - the sparkling cider made sense to me since we bought a bunch to serve and I remembered Korean BBQ uses pear juice - close enough :)
Cake (from Michele's Bake Shop
This was friggin delicious - light, airy, fluffy. Light chocolate sponge cake, banana flavored cream, fresh fruits, coconut threads and jelly beans on top. Thanks Susan/Ray for bringing it!
Glenfarclas 12 Yr Highland Single Malt Scotch
Full flavored with a hint of peat smoke and a little sherry type sweetness. Fun way to finish the evening.
The Entire Spread
The worst part is I actually liked the original Top Chef Masters format since it was a breath of fresh air. It was real seasoned professionals not backstabbing each other and it was a lot lighter. I also liked the judging format of providing stars to each contestant versus the normal send you packing format. Definitely going to limit my intake to Top Chef only going forward...
Saturday, April 23, 2011
All the participants got the hang of it really fast and were making some quality rolls by the end of class.
3 of America's favorites.
- California Roll
- Shrimp Tempura Roll
- Spicy Tuna
Friday, April 22, 2011
I have always been Katzs Deli's champion promoter. I was convinced nobody does it better.
But lately I hear good things about other establishments in NJ and Brooklyn alike.
My buddy is the chef at Prime Meats (Brooklyn), and made this monster of a sandwich.
To date, the best made Pastrami sandwich I've ever had.
I didn't know what else could have been perfected from a Katz's deli sammich, but apparently there was room for improvement.
At Prime meats, the meat is better. It's even more moist. The flavor is noble. Just simply put, you just taste the love that went into it.
Instead of rye bread and mustard, we now play with butter toasted wheat bread with house cured cabbage and their own unique Russian dressing.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
1/2 box lasagna
pesto (recipe here - add 3 tbsp ricotta and 3 tbsp yogurt)
roasted potatoes (400F oven for 45 minutes - oil, salt, and pepper)
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1) Start a pot of water to boil - heavily season with salt.
2) Add green beans to water and cook for 2-3 minutes. You're looking for a softer texture, but not mushy. No al denteness here as that would mess with the texture of the lasagna. Pull green beans out and place in an ice bath.
3) Drop pasta in and cook according to the box directions - around 8 minutes. You're not cooking this again, so make sure you cook it through.
4) Assemble the lasagna. Start with a thin layer of pesto. Then lay down the noodles shingled one over the other. Add another layer of pesto. Then break up the potatoes and green beans into bite sized pieces evenly distributed. You don't want to completely cover the lasagna with potatoes and green beans as that would mess up the balance - you still want the noodle to be the star. Add another layer of noodle and repeat - about 3-4 noodles worth. Once you get to your top layer, press it down so it forms nicely. Finish the top layer with pesto, parmigiano, and olive oil only. Buono appetito!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
D'Artagnan and I were to meet up Aramis, Dantes, Richeleu and Risotto at the ballpark later that evening and decided to rendezvous at Grand Central Station first.
I got a little hungry and darted around looking for something to satiated my appetite. After being away from NYC for sometime due to a ton of business trips, I sprung at the chance to devour a good 'ol NYC pastrami sandwich.
To my surprise, it wasn't the typical mass produced tasting, dry and overly spiced non-sense. This pastrami sandwich was extremely good. Better than most and quite possibly second only to Katz's.
I'm definitely heading to Junior's again for round two of this positive discovery.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Clementine, Walnuts, and Red Onion Salad
Clementines are in season right now and super sweet, so I wanted to do something with them in salad form. The salad was dressed simply with a mayo, rice wine vinegar (for some sweet), and a little sriracha hot sauce which played nicely with the sweet clementines. Delicious and even more fun combined with the lamb.
I've been playing with textures and acidity in my cooking, so I wanted to combine some of my favorite things together - hummus, braised lamb, and a garlicky lemon yogurt sauce. The richness of the uber tender lamb (basic red wine/tomato braise scented with cumin, coriander, and cinnamon cooked for 2 1/2 hours) worked well with the creaminess and earthiness of the hummus. Top that with the bright and acidic yogurt dressing with a sprinkle of mint leaves and you have a really rich dish that you want to keep on eating. I served this with a side basmati rice flavored with carrots, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts (more texture and flavors) and sauteed escarole. Buono appetito!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thinly sliced roasted turkey, cole slaw, swiss cheese, on a bun.
I've been having one of these every other day for the past 10 days.
Absolutely delicious. Plump and juicy in all the right places.
Seriously, this time it's different. She really likes me and she's like no other Sammich I've ever met.