Sunday, December 12, 2010
The chicken is steamed whole, then chopped and doused in a thin garlic, ginger gravy. Hot sauce optional.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Whoever thought of the combination is a genius.
We had two corn tacos, one steak, one chicken; Cachetada, melted cheese and ground chorizo on a tostada; and the Zuperman, triple meat cheese quesadilla. Plus four kinds of homemade salsa and guacamole, and grilled onions and hot peppers.
This was the real Mexican deal... All costing US$10.50.
L.A. you have my heart.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Great stumble-upon on Day 2 of random L.A. vacation.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
My parents received this fine China set for their wedding more than 30 years ago and I never knew of its existence till my sister discovered it in old boxes about a year before they were divorced (about six years ago). We took it to the new house but my father never used it.
I grew to love the fine gold trim and petite delicate pink flowers with soft ridges.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I'm talking about my friend Yasmin (@yasminATlesauce) who runs an amazing food blog at lesauce.typepad.com. She's a true lover of food -- someone who if feeling lazy about dinner would braise leeks as the easy way out. Her blog consists mostly of her vegetarian recipe creations, and she believes in eating well from tomato on toast for lunch to day-long cooking feast for friends and family.
This past summer, she recently resigned from over eight years at St. Joseph's Media working in various marketing roles in the consumer magazine industry to embark on a career that intersects her love for food, photography, writing and publishing. I love when people reach that point where they're ready to leap into the unknown. I strongly have faith in the idea that when you have nothing, everything is possible. (Not to say she has nothing but you get the idea, I hope!)
In any case, after a year of being one of her religious blog followers, I finally pushed my own lazy butt to cook one of her drool-over-the-computer-screen-worthy recipes.
I was poking around my fridge and noticed some parsley that I just knew was going to go bad any day now. Then it clicked in my head -- I remembered I read a post by Yasmin about how herbs never go bad in her house because she uses it in all sorts of creative ways. So a quick search and I found the fried almond and olive pasta with fresh cilantro and parsley recipe.
I was amazed at how simple it was to make yet so, so delicious. I shared the meal with a friend who came over last minute and doesn't even like olives but he was so impressed at how good it was. Below is the photo he took on his Blackberry but it doesn't really give the dish justice, so you have to check her photos out. (P.S. I just used rotini instead of linguine because it's all I had.)
If you're looking for food inspiration, I highly recommend you check out lesauce.typepad.com.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
At first I thought he was referring to the hilarious TV show that was airing a new episode tonight. Then I noticed two subway transfers folded into white paper hearts that were tucked into the ad.
I couldn't help smile at how our world is wonderfully connected -- that in the smallest ways, in places and times we would never expect, we find the light of love.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The walls are bare, and the tables and chairs look like they were plucked out of a grandmother's basement, but the wait staff and buzzing, laid back patrons makes this place easily attractive.
I came on a Friday night for a drink before a dinner reservation at Enoteca Sociale, which is right across the street. Then spontaneously returned the next night to sample its locally sourced, daily changing menu.
By the looks of the patterns, the China plates seem to have came from the same grandma's basement, but I absolutely love the repurposed old classic English porcelain China sets.
For starter, we shared pickled radishes with fried ricotta, dressed with parsley, a vinaigrette and sliced chilies (pictured above). I've never had pickled radishes before and I'm not a huge parsley fan, but I like the clean, simple, fresh tastes.
We split two mains: a poached egg on brioche toast. And a lovely, lovely lamb shoulder, done pulled-pork style, served atop a grilled eggplant, dotted with goat cheese cream. It was so dreamy and textured, I forgot to take a photo.
For dessert, we tried fried brioche dough, done in a kind of beignet style, with husk cherries (which are these tiny yellow tart balls that are nothing like the sweet bing cherries I love...oh crap, I completely missed cherry season this year!) and a lovage-mint sauce.
We each had a glass of Ontario wine, and it came out to just over $80 all together.
It will be really interesting to see how the place evolves as it's young cooks just doing what they love to eat and play with. It didn't blow me away but I loved the atmosphere and the people.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I've been craving simple broad noodles like this for ages. I went to Kenzo Ramen a couple of Fridays ago and wasn't that impressed.
Today I had pork wontons ($4.35) but will probably opt for spicy beef ($5.95) next time. The dish wasn't the tastiest noodles ever but the simple, clean flavours and sweating over the steaming bowl brought me back to the food of Southeast Asia for a moment... in a good way.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
My uncle isn't a very wealthy man but him and his family are on the "richer" side of Singapore's population. In any case, I wouldn't have eaten here if it wasn't for his generosity and excellent food taste.
The experience starts off much like any other a la carte restaurant. You order what kind of prime rib cut you would like first from a menu. Though they are called by many different names, the options essentially range from a thick slab to a very thick slab to a very, very thick slab.
Then the experience takes a small (or maybe big) turn. A little while after everyone orders, this huge steel cart is wheeled out by a chef, decked out in the white suit yards, and slices your cut for you right in front of the table.
You're also given creamy mashed potatoes with a hefty dose of gravy, and a vegetable side option. I chose creamed spinach. I can't quite remember but I believe I finished my entire plate.
Plus we had a traditional Lawry's salad, some kind of soup, and Yorkshire pudding (pictured above). If you didn't know, turns out Yorkshire pudding isn't "pudding" at all — at least not the J-E-L-L-O kind I'm most familiar with from growing up with those Bill Cosby commercials. Yorkshire pudding is a very flaky bread that's kind of laid out like a pie. If you don't know, I love flaky pastries of all varieties so this was a welcomed surprise for me.
Lawry's was easily the most classiest lunch I've ever been served but what I love about Singaporean style (or maybe just my Singaporean family?) is that we showed up in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops with no problems or looks at all.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
My dad used to make homemade steamed buns all the time when my siblings and I were kids. Sometimes my childhood food memories taste better than the modern recreations. But this matched the memory.
Due to popular demand, I asked my father for this "secret" family recipe and revealing it for all. These are just estimates off of the top of my dad's head, hence the weird yield (17 buns?). I'm not a recipe writer and even though baking is more scientific than cooking, this is technically steaming not baking.
8 cups of all-purpose flour
3 to 4 cups of water
3 to 4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 whole eggs, beaten - if you want a whiter colour, just use egg whites
Active yeast (1 tsp; follow the instructions for proofing)
1/4 tsp of sugar in the yeast
The Li Family filling is ground pork, and diced carrots, white onions and white mushrooms, sauteed in a pan with oyster sauce, salt, pepper and a little soy sauce. But as my dad says, filling is easy. Make whatever you like. There are some classics but I'm all for experimentation. For a vegetarian substitution, he suggested diced carrots, white onions, white mushrooms, bamboo shoots and chives.
(Okay, the following instructions I know are a major fail because I'm not sure how to write it out, as I just watch my dad do it and know from experience.)
Combine wet and dry ingredients till it forms a soft dough. Let rise two hours.
Knead dough. Form into even-sized "balls" (they won't really be balls because the dough is very soft). Place filling in center of flattened ball, and pinch sides to top to fold in and close. Pat in hands to form back into a "ball." Let rise for another 10 minutes. Cook in steamer for 10 minutes if you sauteed the filling beforehand. Cook for 20 minutes for uncooked meat; and 12 minutes for a veggie filling.
And report back with how it went...
Saturday, August 28, 2010
It tasted like fried butter, really. I didn't get the funnel cake flavour and when you bite into it, it's mostly hollow with melted butter coating the inside batter. Selling at $5 for four pieces, it's a great gimmick to attract a constant long line-up.
The very friendly vendor also had other similar wonderful delights available, such as deep fried Mars bar, chocolate-covered bacon, and some crazy chocolate- and nut-coated Twinkie creation.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
My uncle was awesome. He was waiting for me as soon as I got in at about 10:20 on a Friday night. He immediately offered to take me home to shower and change, then to do what Singaporeans do best -- eat.
My uncle ordered an enormous feast, considering it was just me, him and his super skinny competitive synchronized swimming 17-year-old daughter Priscilla. We had Singaporean classics: oyster omlette and chili crab; as well as little clams in a spicy sauce, some fried greens, and seafood tom yam soup (not pictured).
The chili crab came with little warm bread rolls that kind of reminded me of marshmallows if you can imagine.
I'm not sure what this cost because my uncle paid for everything, but each dish, since they were all seafood, probably ranged from S$7-S$15; and one Canadian dollar equals about 1.5 Singaporean dollars.
Singaporeans seem to love spicy foods, sauces and seafood. How they cook and eat it all in the thick humidity year-round is beyond me. But thank goodness they do because this is like their version of fast food, and I really, really love that. Hot, super tasty food and lots of it!