For my Wednesday Test Kitchen, I reached back and went old school. I happened to be a New Mei Wah searching for some random items when I came upon one of my very favorite green vegetables called "Kang Kong" in the Philippines and "Tong Sum Choi" (translates to Hollow Heart Greens) in Chinese. Having found these fantastic greens, I decided to cook them in a classical Chinese preparation - with a fermented bean curd sauce. That's how my momma would do it and if you don't retain those things, then it gets lost forever.
I also picked up some wonderful Iacopi farms baby favas, which can be eaten whole. I sliced them thinly on a bias a paired them to stir fry with some flat noodles.
The protein of the night were 48 hour vadouvan short ribs that Ryan Farr had prepped for an event that we tag teamed on Sunday. Apparently he used my house made vadouvan, which is cool.
Onto the menu:
Tong Sum Choi with Fermented Bean Curd
Baby Whole Favas with Flat Rice Noodles
48 Hour Vadouvan Short Rib (not mine)
Onto the pics:
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
News of this story came out today...
Yes, the neo-hippie sphincters over at Berkeley have finally done it. Instead of trying to solve real issues like resource replacement of over-processed foods, wasteful consumption of meat products, allocating clean and healthy meat distribution, supporting local farm legislation/incentives, alternative energy importing solutions, you go and make great news to pass this asinine ban on foie gras. As someone that leans more towards the left than right on most social issues, I find it particularly hypocritical that people, who do not support censorship and adamantly support 1st amendment rights, basically reject the simple concept that what they are passing is a censorship on rights to artistic expression.
That being said, I would never boycott my support for restaurants in Berkeley, they need our support, but I'm making a stand to eat/cook enough foie for those that can't in Berkeley. That and I protest paying taxes to support the that city. This is a load's of elephant shit and this is what Berkeley can go do.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If you have not seen The List before, let me explain what is is. Every year Restaurant magazine releases a list of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World and then make everyone crazy because people like to disagree with what's on there. I'm not really one to bother with that (well, except that I can't seem to think of any reason why Momofuko Ssam is on #31) and I'm not big on making lists like that because you only set yourself up for failure. But seeing as to how critics are of the human variety (barely, because I normally imagine Bauer as Inspector Gadget and Bruni as a T-1000 robot) with a need to critique and rationalize EVERYTHING (as I am also hypocritically doing so here), they often find the necessity to create suffocating amounts of "best" or "top" honors type lists. And of course, the audience, being that of the sheep variety, normally eat this stuff up and can't wait to bitch and moan about every little detail. Here's the kicker, people who often complain the most about these lists, also know that this stuff is purely subjective fodder (sometimes at best) and mind-numbingly bias.
My issue is strictly geographical, how can you claim to have the 50 Best Restaurants in the World listed when you have not been to every inch of the World? For me the list is better served as an Most Important or Most Influential or Most Dynamic, but Best? Do we really know how restaurants end up on the list or how judging criteria works? By all accounts, every cuisine seems to have some kind of meatball in some for or another (my universal food language "meatball" example), but how do you compare one meatball to another?
Then again, if they asked me to go to the Artic to find a restaurant that could break the list, I'd probably decline.
Monday, April 20, 2009
All Star's Atomic Meatloaf Sandwich
Look, there are a lot of great restaurants out there and there is an over-abundance of quality meals to be had. Gourmet burgers - check, gourmet fried chicken - check, "hi-low" food (as deemed by me Lady Hoptress) -check, ethinic options - check. With that said, there are a couple of items that are ridiculously lacking in SF:
1. Definitive sandwich place. I don't mean a good counter, ala the Alamo Square market. I want a dedicated GREAT sandwich shop like All Star in Boston, Paseo in Seattle, Porchetta in NY, Potbelly (I know its a mini local chain, but its tasty as hell) in DC. I know people will gravitate to tell me that Tommy's Joynt is good and all, but seriously, we're talking greatness here.
2. Some sort of decent Malaysian/Singapore cuisine. There really isn't a good restaurant out there for this at all. There are maybe 2 out there max and they are mediocre.
3. True Brazilian (or even more South American) homestyle cuisine. Gimme some salted cod, rice casseroles, moqueca. I'm not spending $70 at a meat buffet party that is more Californian than Brazilian. Do people really think everyone in Brazil eats meat at Churrascarias all the time?
4. Puerto Rican/Cuban cuisine. Oh I crave spicy fried snapper, ropa viejo, mofongo and arroz con pollo. Actually as I type this, I found a new place to try out. Let's hope its not a total disappointment.
There are pockets of these cuisines around here, but is San Francisco saturating itself with their seemingly archaic trending (due to gentrification, marketing, Chez Panisse,and rent prices, aka restaurant sustainability). Was there more diversity in cuisine here 20-30 years ago? That would be a nice study to see, wouldn't it?
What would you like to see more of?