Monday, March 30, 2009

Stir-fry Pea Shoots

Here's a simple recipe of Stir-fry Pea Shoots with Peas and Carrots for some color and texture.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 shallots - sliced
3 garlic - smashed
1 bunch pea shoots
1 cup of frozen pea and carrot mix
soy sauce, salt & pepper to taste

  • Heat a large pan over medium heat for a minute or so
  • Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds
  • Add shallots and garlic, stir fry for 1 minute until fragrant
  • Adjust heat to medium high, add the pea shoots, frozen peas and carrots and stir for 2 minutes
  • Cover the pan and cook for another 3 minutes
  • Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper (I used 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Indonesian Soy-Braised Pork

In the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about an Indonesian dish called Babi Kecap (Soy-Braised Pork) so I decided to call my Mom to get the recipe.

1 lb of pork with some fats (I used pork butts), cut into 1-inch cubed
6 garlic - smashed
1/2 tablespoon of white pepper powder
3-4 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce
4-5 tablespoon of soy sauce
Salt, pepper and sugar - to taste
Fried yellow tofu
Hard-boiled eggs

  • In a medium or large pot, stir-fry the garlic and white pepper powder until fragrant (30 seconds or so) over a medium high heat with a bit of oil
  • Stir in the pork cubes, cooked for another 2-3 minutes until the pork is not pink anymore
  • Add in both soy sauce and sweet soy sauce
  • Add in the enough water to cover the pork plus 1 or 2 more inches extra and cook until it boils
  • Add in the cooked fried yellow tofu and hard boiled eggs
  • Cook until it boils again, lower heat the down and simmer for 1 hour until the pork cubes are soft
  • Adjust the taste with salt, white pepper, soy sauces and a bit of sugar

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dinner at Chow

After having beer at Pilsner Inn with ShunBun and Danny for happy hour, the three of us went next door to Chow Restaurant on Church for a mellow Friday evening dinner. It was still pretty early in the evening so we didn't have to wait for a table.

Fennel-Sausage Pizza with mozzarella, escarole, tomato, red onion, oregano and ricotta.

Sustainable seafood of the day - Halibut with asparagus, peas, pea-shoots and mashed potatoes

Slow pot-roasted Beef Short Ribs with mushroom-herb gravy and mashed potatoes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bar Bambino and Bi-Rite Creamery

Tonight, I went to Bar Bambino in the Mission District for dinner with Danny. We started with a mezzo (500 mL) of 2007 Sassotondo Rosso (Ciliegiolo, Alicante), a Prosciutto Plate from La Quercia Farms served with house made fruit mostarda (mustard-glazed apple chutney) and a plate of Arancinette - small arancinis with porcini and fontina.

Gnocchi alla Primavera - classic potato gnocchi paired with spring garlic, peas, pancetta, EVOO and parmigiano reggiano

Slow-Roasted Half-Duck with escarole and green olives (no picture here because it was too dark). This was my least favorite dish of the night because the duck was dry and the escarole was cold. Not sure what happened in the kitchen because the other dishes were great. It was a bad ending of otherwise a nice dinner.

For desserts, we decided to have ice creams at Bi-Rite Creamery. Danny had the Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and I had the Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon ice cream.

On the way home, I saw Marian and Vivian Brown, The San Francisco Twins, so I chatted with them for awhile and took a picture of them. They're so fabulous!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Roasted Half-Chicken with Crispy Drippings Bread and Spring Vegetables

Spring is officially here. Yesterday, I noticed that there were lots of beautiful green vegetables at the Farmers Market so I went a bit crazy and got baby artichokes, asparagus, green garlic, green onions, pea shoots, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Afterwards, I felt a bit guilty and decided I needed to use them right away... so I dragged myself to the Mission Meat Market to get a whole chicken so I could make Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables.

I used the NYTimes' Roasted Chicken recipe because I loved the idea of having crunchy bread full of chicken drippings. Here is the recipe with some adjustments since I only used half of the chicken:

1/2 loaf of sourdough baguette, sliced at least 1/2-inch thick
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken (brined overnight and patted dry)
1 garlic head, sliced in half horizontally
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon
A bunch thyme sprigs
Green Garlic
Green Onion


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange oven rack so that it is in center of oven. Lay bread slices in a thick, heavy-duty metal roasting pan in one layer. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Rub 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper inside cavity of chicken. Put the garlic, bay leaf, lemon and thyme underneath the half-chicken. Rub outside of chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle all over with remaining salt and pepper. Place it breast side up on bread.
  • Roast chicken until it is deeply browned and juices run clear when thigh is pricked with a knife, about 45-50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Thirty minutes in to cooking, drizzle baby artichokes with olive oil, salt and pepper and put them on a separate pan and into the oven.
  • While you're waiting for the chicken to rest, put the rest of the vegetables onto the pan with the artichokes and season with olive oil, salt & pepper.
  • Serve chicken with bread from pan and the roasted vegetables.
So here is the result and my Sunday dinner...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Everything, One Every Dessert

Have you ever ordered everything in the menu while you're in a restaurant? I have not - until tonight that is. Tonight, I went with Mo-Fo and Aaron to Mission Street Food for their Children of Shelter Night. We arrived there at 5:20 and there was a line already although the restaurant was not opened until 6pm. We were 7th in line and 15 minutes later the line was almost half a block long.

After checking out the menu, we decided to order everything in the menu to get the whole experience...

KFC - korean fried chicken with radish pickles, shredded cabbage, and 1000 island

Kimchi Ramen - pork combo, littleneck clams, egg, spring onions, kimchi, and nori

Bibimbap - steamed barley and short grain rice, spicy radish, onion sprouts, sesame leaves, kochujang, and egg

Prather Ranch Hotdog on an acme roll with kimchi relish, benton's bacon mayo, and shoestring potatoes

Stealth Fries with kewpie mayo, ketchup and nori powder

Banh Mi Sandwich - range brothers port rillettes, smoked loin and pate, shredded carrots, cilantro, and jalapeno

King Trumpet Mushroom with triple-fried potato, garlic confit and charred scallion sour cream on a homemade flatbread

Lung Shan's Vegan Delight - shitake and oyster mushroom dumplings in miso soup

Filthy Rich Brownies - brownies topped with brillant-savarin cheese and toasted hazelnuts
Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream - maple walnut and vietnamese blue bottle

I brought a bottle of 2007 Sudtirol-Eisacktaler Pinot Grigio to share. It was a great wine that compliments these Asian-flavored dishes.

It's a great evening and definitely a place to check out again in the future!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fideos with Langoustine and Broccoli Flower in Safron Cream Sauce

Today, I made Fideos with langoustine and broccoli flower in saffron cream sauce. It was my take on Ilan Hall's recipe in Bravo TV's Top Chef season 2.

Here is the recipe courtesy of Bravo TV with my changes...

1 pound fideos (or capellini pasta)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons saffron
2 cups broccoli flower florets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound langoustine
1/2 cup dry sherry
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Grated parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  • Heat oven to 375F.
  • If using capellini, break them into 3-inch pieces. Arrange fideo (or capellini pieces) in an even layer on top of a silicone pat on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until golden brown (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Heat broiler in oven.
  • In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream, half-and-half, saffron and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk to dissolve saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, stir in broccoli florets and set aside.
  • In a medium straight-sided skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low heat until garlic begins to soften. Add langoustine, sherry and fideos to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium and cover skillet. Cook about 4 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Put langoustine and pasta mixture in an ovenproof dish, filling about half full. Top with broccoli florets and cream mixture.
  • Transfer the dish to oven and broil for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Grate some parmesan cheese on top of the dish.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Sushi

A relaxing Friday evening started with Rye Manhattans at 83 Proof ...

... and followed by a sushi dinner at Daimaru Sushi.

First round (from the top, clockwise): Amaebi (sweet shrimp), Sake (salmon), Hamachi (yellow tail), Uni (sea urchin) and Aji (spanich mackerel).

Second round (not shown): Walu (butterfish) and Caterpillar Roll (unagi with avocado roll).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ham, Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts Quiche

It's that time of the year again... daylights saving time – which means that winter is almost over and spring is starting soon. This weekend I noticed that the Ferry Building farmers market had my favorite vegetables in season so I decided to make Ham, Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts Quiche.

I came across a wonderful recipe at Simply Recipes and decided to try it and improvised a bit. Since I didn't have a big enough food processor to make my own pastry dough, I used a readily made dough from the store.

1 frozen puff pastry sheet
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 lb of brussel sprouts, small to medium size, cut into halves
1/2 lb ham, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh ground nutmeg
8 oz Gruyère cheese, grated

  • Roll the puff pastry dough (sheet) to fit a pie pan and bake according to the instruction in the box (I baked mine for 15 minutes at 400°F). After it's done, lower the oven temperature to 375°F and place the pie pan on a wire rack to cool.
  • Saute the onion with the butter over a medium heat until the onion is soft and starting to caramelize. Add the brussel sprouts, cooked for five minutes over a medium high heat. Flip the brussel sprouts, add the asparagus and cooked for another three minutes or so until the asparagus are just cooked. I only used half of the vegetables for the quiche and the rest of them became a side dish for my dinner.
  • Add half of the cheese on the bottom of crust until it's all covered. Place the brussel sprouts on half of the crust (I overlapped the brussel sprouts halves to make it neat) and spread the asparagus on the other half. Sprinkle the ham on top of the vegetable and then cover with the remaining cheese.
  • Mix together the eggs with the half-and-half and season with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the ham, asparagus, brussel sprouts and cheese.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes and cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before slicing so the custard can set and firm up first.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chili Crab and Garlic Noodles

I decided to take advantage of the crab season in San Francisco as it's nearing the end. At first, I was planning to make simple steamed crabs with garlic bread. But after browsing food blogs Friday night (yes, I'm 'that' fun...), I decided to make a simplified version of Chili Crab and Garlic Noodles. I invited Mo-Fo for this full-on cholesterol feast.

I wanted to thank Rasa Malaysia for her recipe of Crustacean-inspired garlic noodles. Since I didn't have a few ingredients for her Chili Crab recipe, I used the one at Madison Magazine instead.

The spices...

After putting the crabs in the freezer for 15 minutes to make them unconscious, prep them. Here's a video on how to clean a crab.

Sebastian and friend... sorry guys

A plate full of goodies...

Since we ate so much crabs and noodles, we had to wait for an hour or so before we could enjoy her Cream Puffs. They were so delicious... thanks Mo-Fo!