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Condiments

Today for lunch the Mrs. and I went out for Japanese noodles.  She’s a big fan of ramen so while we were wondering aimlessly with empty stomachs and I saw the restaurant I knew it was supposed to be.  Well, at least once we got inside…and I saw the menu…because let’s be honest, I didn’t even push the floor on the elevator, it just happened to stop there.

 

ANYWAY!!!  This place had some pretty good noodles.  Of course I didn’t get a card so I have no idea what it was called but they were tasty.  The point of this story however would be my fascination with the condiments that they provided.  They had some of the typical things, chilis, soy sauce, and garlic…but this was no standard overly roasted/fried garlic crumbs stuff.  This was grade A raw garlic with a press so you could add super fresh garlic to you noodles at your will.

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Perhaps even more impressive than the garlic press, was the sesame seed dispenser.  They had toasted sesame seeds in this container.  And you could hold it over your bowl, and spin the wheel thingy…aaaaaaannnnd PRESTO!!!Image

A twist on the magical wheel would send cracked pepper sized toasted sesame seed powder clouds floating onto your ramen. Not only was it super cool but it actually added a great depth to the broth.

Somebody please find one of these things and send it to me asap! I’ll be adding it to everything!

What’s your favorite condiment?

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in food, Photography, Uncategorized

 

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My Favorites: Fried Chicken

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Finding yourself at the end of Kimberly Rd in Tst after dark can be a bit sketchy. It’s definitely not the dirtiest place in town, but it’s not where I would typically send my readers for a great bite. Yet here we are. Just on the corner you’ll see the grey blue walls sticking out like a sore thumb. Just slide open the door and you’ve reached fried chicken heaven! Or have you? I doubted it the first time I was brought here. The majority of the staff don’t speak English, or Cantonese. If you happen to know a bit of Korean or Japanese you’re in luck! Otherwise you’ll be going over your order a few times. Just order like this: “I would like an order of the fried chicken with no sauce.” It also helps to point at the first picture on the fried chicken page of the menu. Once they confirm your sauceless chicken you may request mayonnaise and/or spicy sauce on the side. I’m simply a purist and will have beer as my only condiment, thank you. With kpop videos blaring away, crispy juicy fried chicken in one hand and an ice cold glass of Hite in the other you too will be saying, “move over Kentucky, Korea has this fried chicken business on lock down!”

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*Caution* The rest of the food isn’t really up to par and the chicken is enough for two.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Beer, food, My Favorites, Restaurant Review

 

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My Favorites: Chinese Bread

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While western bakeries are busy pumping out flakey croissants and crusty baguettes that take hours and sometimes days to make, Chinese bakeries here in Hong Kong are making a single dough into every shape imaginable. They then stuff it with meats and cheeses and turn them into tasty soft bready goodnesses. My favorite Chinese Bread is the one pictured above. It’s filled with corned beef and cheese and topped with a crunch that I really have no idea what it is. Do you have a favorite baked good?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in food, My Favorites, Photography, Snacks

 

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My Favorites

As a (ex)professional chef I’m always being asked about my favorites.  “Hey, what’s your favorite thing to cook?  What’s your favorite wine?  What’s your favorite dessert?  Where is your favorite restaurant?”  As you can see this can become quite tiresome, especially if you’re like me and have a rotating palate (yes, I just made that up).

I COULD name for you a favorite for each of these categories but I typically prefer not to as I’m afraid that by the time the words leave my mouth my palate will javelin already rotated.  Then you might get the wonderful idea to cook my favorite meal for me, or buy me that perfect bottle of wine. It will have been an over-generous gesture which I will greatly appreciate but you might have expected a little more excitement.  I’m sorry, my palate rotated.

I’ve tried many things on this blog and most of them I’ve given up on after 1 or 2 posts.  This time I’ve cheated and have a few in my pocket already so let’s see how long I can keep it going!

Starting tomorrow I’ll be posting my favorites of the moment,  as they strike me, or if you’d like to know one feel free to ask! I’m not going to say daily, but I’ll definitely post more often!

My favorite new idea…this one!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Events, Uncategorized

 

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Beef Stew for 2 (and a half)

With the cold at its pinnacle here in Hong Kong I’ve began my gauntlet of winter foods. Hopefully I can satisfy a years worth of cravings into a month….maybe two if we’re lucky. Beef stew is one of the healthier options on my cold weather favorites list and as it’s the start of a new year I figured I would start with that with everyone’s resolutions still intact. This recipe was made with my one year old in mind so ingredients are all cut into bite size pieces BEFORE cooking as to reduce cooking time as well as fussy time at the table. If your kid is anything like mine, once he sees the food he needs it in his stomach immediately, you’ll appreciate this. Otherwise I’d suggest having chunkier beef & veggies and doubling the oven time to get a fuller flavor.

Beef Stew

10oz Beef Butt (Rump) cut into 1/4in cubes
1 medium onion cut into 1/4in cubes
1/2 pack baby carrots cut into 1/4in cubes
2 baby red bliss potatoes cut into 1/4in cubes
10 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 clove garlic sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and flour as needed

1. Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a sip.  You should always cook with wine you’re willing to drink and cooking should be fun so let’s loosen up a bit!

2. Heat the oil in an oven safe pot. Place the beef cubes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Toss the seasoned beef in as little flour as it takes to just dust the beef.

3. Add the beef to the hot oil and cook until nicely browned.

4. Remove the beef and toss in the onions.  As the onions release their water make sure to use it to loosen up the beefy goodness stuck to the pan before it burns on the bottom.

5. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are just soft. 

6. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf.  Stir just until combined.

7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.

8. Add everything else to the pot and bring to a simmer.

9. Once simmering cover the pot and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Check it at 30 minutes.  If dry add just enough beef stock to loosen it up but not too wet!

Enjoy!

I like to let it cool, pop it in the fridge overnight and heat it back up on the stove SLOWLY for dinner the next day.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Baby, Dinner, food, Recipe

 

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Amy’s Snacks – Cheese Pizza

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When the word “organic” appears on a frozen junk food item I instantly become skeptical.  It seems to me that the powers that be would like to decimate the term organic so they can continue pumping chemicals onto our foods and creating a bigger profit for themselves.

This is not me campaigning for the organic food movement…although I would like less chemicals being sprayed on my food…but simply over stating that healthy almost never equals tasty in the frozen food section.

And then you have Amy’s.

Now…I’ll admit.  They have a long way to go before I stop buying Totino’s Pizza Rolls, but as Totino’s doesn’t wish to sell my favorite microwave snack to me in Hong Kong I may have found myself a fair substitute.

I was scared to go the Pizza Rolls way and just toss them in the microwave due to the above reason’s so I took the box’s directions to heart and put them into a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  Am I the only one that goes straight for the middle every time there is a variance on the length of suggested cooking time?  That’s right.  13 minutes in the oven.

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Before….and after….Image

Although their crusts could do with a bit more crispyness, and the filling could use a dash of salt, I’m going to call these a winner in my book (temporarily until I can put some in the nuke-box) as a simply snack for a rainy day.

On a side note…I have been notified that today is my 5th anniversary of blogging.  We’ve had our ups and downs (in views) but I’ve got a good feeling this year we’re going to be running on top!

Keep on Eatin’!

 
 

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Chinese Style BBQ

The differences between Chinese and western style barbeque’s aren’t as vast as I thought they might be (infact I’m only going to list two) and the Chinese may be on to something as the reasons for they’re style are rather sound.

The differences I will be referring to are going to be either personal or extremely  stereotypic so my apologies if they don’t actually apply to you.

#1 Instead of just 1 guy manning the grill and drinking beers while the ladies fix the salads and side dishes inside while watching the kids, Chinese style BBQ gets everyone involved.  Typically the head honcho will still be charge of the fire starting as it shows off his manliness. Then it becomes a fend for yourself free for all as everyone grabs a barbecue fork, sits around the fire and cooks their own lunch/dinner.  I’ve been told by a wise old man (my grandfather-in-law) that this is so everyone can gather and talk together. This actually works quite well…even if you are the only English speaker at the fire…people will continue trying to talk to you even though they know that your Cantonese skills are minimal at best.

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#2 The second difference would be the selection of food.  While both cultures seem to agree that a barbecue isn’t complete without hot dogs, hamburgers are traded for fish balls and barbecue sauce for honey.  I’m fact that was one of the shockers for me was that EVERYTHING gets a good layer of honey painted and the cooked on for a sweet crunchy layer.  Once again these substitutions make sense as instead f having a grill you have an open flame with BBQ forks.  It is much easier to skewer a fish ball and hold it over an open flame than a hamburger would be.

Aside from the 2 big differences listed above, the rest is actually quite similar.  We all like to go out and enjoy the weather with some grilled meats and a few cold ones regardless of what those meats may be and how/who are cooking them.

Looks like the weather is finally turning all around the world as well so this may be the last BBQ of the season.  Let the baking and roasting begin!

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Events, food, What I'm eating

 

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