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Beef Wellington

Inspired by watching Hell’s Kitchen, Viv and I set out to make Gordon Ramsey’s signature dish (with his recipe). I am pleased to share with you of our success, and Chef Ramsey himself would have been quite proud. Look at it..it’s beautiful…

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I wish I could have taken a good shot of the perfectly pink interior but alas…my horrendous kitchen lighting did not allow me to do so.

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Foodcult Business Trips: Portland Again?!

Some of you may remember Catherine’s roadtrip to Portland earlier this year, warranting a slew of epic blog posts. Since then, I think it has been decided that all of our travels have become informal Foodcult business trips. So, going back to school for spring semester, I took a road trip to Seattle to do my share of the “business”. Our road trip lasted for ten days, starting in San Diego, stopping a few cities on our way to Seattle, and then back down the Oregon Coast to California. You can say it was a trip of epic proportions… but that might be an understatement.

After spending a few days with friends in Northern California, we made our first stop in Portland, Oregon. (Warning: A few of the places that we happened by in Portland have already been mentioned in some of Catherine’s posts, but nonetheless, I promise it will feel like a completely different experience.)

I’m still waiting for Canon to develop technology to capture smells for the full effect, and then maybe we can partner with Willy Wonka so you can reach into the screen and just grab the food.

Until then, feast with your eyes my friends.

After hearing the amazing reviews for Tasty n’ Sons, it became an obligatory destination on our trip. We were seated along the front window— a slim fit, but any seat in the house was a coveted one. The food was excellent, as expected and made for a great start to our day.

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Erin’s Sweet Biscuits.

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Burmese red pork stew

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Potatoes Barava

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

During our visit to Stumptown, I experienced something of a coffee revelation, converting me instantly into drinking my coffee black. Previously, I made no differentiation between different types of coffees, coming more from the tea scene myself (you know, I’ve got something of a ancestral background in tea being Asian), but Stumptown changed things. The Hair Bender roast was amazing — a medium roast that had a chocolatey and rich flavor. I felt that a veil had been lifted from my eyes, tasting for the first time the complexity of flavor and depth in coffee. Thank you Jesus. One of my greatest regrets was choosing not to buy Stumptown coffee beans.

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Screen Door: Soul Food

Nestled in a quaint neighborhood, Screen Door already held a small line by the time we arrived for its opening at around 5pm. We found ourselves both excited and ravenously hungry for the comfort that soul food promised to our empty bellies. How was the food? See for yourselves…

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My Rye Ale.

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Low Country Shrimp and Grits

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Fried Chicken

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Screen Door Plate: Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Beet Salad, Jambalaya, and Corn Bread. Yum.

My Screen Door advice to you? Order the Screen Door plate. It is a great way to get a taste of several dishes on the menu at once. Personally, I felt like having an entire order of a certain dishes might have been overwhelming, and having instead balanced portions of a variety of different tastes really helped to balance things out.

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Thus ended our brief stop in Portland, whom I found to be a kind and faithful friend — one who spared us from the agony of taxes and left us with warmed hearts and happy bellies. Thanks Portland, you were great.

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Snooze, an AM Eatery

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a new local brunch place called Snooz. It’s decor feels like a modern interpretation of a retro diner right here in sunny San Diego.

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After hearing one of my friends rave how great their pot pie was, I decided to order it. It was definitely not what I expected to get out of a pot pie… in the best possible way.

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The crust was incredibly light and flaky, unlike the typical heavier doughs you find in other types of pot pie. Meanwhile, the flavor in the dish itself was rich, with subtle spices that added complexity to my dish in a way that I usually don’t find with brunch foods. My tastebuds wanted to cry tears of joy.

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I also ordered a (very large) chocolate and peanut butter pancake. Unfortunatley, it turned out to be very sweet and frankly… a little overwhelming. BUT my love for both chocolate and peanut butter carried me through bite after bite. Admittedly though, I couldn’t finish the entire thing, especially after the pot pie.

All in all, I really enjoyed my experience here. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the San Diego area who is looking for a good place for brunch (did I mention that it is incredibly dog-friendly?)

Snooz, I’ll be seeing you again soon! Yum!

http://www.snoozeeatery.com

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Mango sticky rice

mango sticky rice

Home-made with coconut milk and love.

I just googled a couple recipes to get the jist. Didn’t end up soaking my sweet rice for very long at all, perhaps less than an hour, and it turned out just fine. After fully cooking the rice with water in a rice cooker, I boiled 1/2 of a can of coconut milk with a tbsp of sugar and a pinch of salt, and mixed it into the rice. For the coconut sauce on top, I boiled the rest of the coconut milk with a couple tbsp of sugar (to taste), another pinch of salt, and about a tbsp of cornstarch (premixed with about 2 tbsp of water). Let it thicken, drizzle over your mangoes and rice, and top with some sesame seeds! Tasted just like the kind you would get at a Thai restaurant 🙂

– CP

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Home-made Donuts

My friend has been asking me to make donuts with him for a long while now, and last night, I finally relented. I had no idea, however, that it would take us/me over 4 hours! My goodness…

We tried this recipe for Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts. Okay, making the dough honestly isn’t hard, even as I did it by hand, and most of the time was spent waiting for the dough to rise. I let it rise for an hour before I cut the doughnuts. The other thing though, was that since we didn’t have a legit doughnut cutter, I had to get creative and ended up using a wine-glass to cut the circles (which worked surprisingly well), and had to cut out the little holes in the center with a fillet knife. That…sucked.

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They don’t look too shabby though right?

The last hassle was the oil. Since our last deep-frying adventure, we have lost the power chord to our deep fryer. What a sad, sad loss…Thus, I had to use a regular pot of oil on the stove for frying, which was so hard to control the heat. It got too hot and was almost burning the outside while leaving the center of the donut holes (out test subjects) doughy and raw. It took a long time for the oil to finally cool down enough for us to get a good golden brown on the outside while having them cooked all the way through.

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We did a regular sugar glaze and a chocolate glaze. Who knew that glaze was made from just a crap-load of butter and sugar (or chocolate)? Mmm…

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And voila! They actually look pretty legit, I must say. However, after seeing what goes into them…the amount of shortening, butter, oil, and sugar…I’ll be thinking twice before I wolf down a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts next time.

Take-home lesson from this story? If you want to make donuts at home, buy a real doughnut cutter, use a deep-fryer (or a pot of oil with a thermometer), expect to do a lot of waiting for the dough to rise (not just once, but a 2nd time after you cut the donuts), and expect to be slightly disgusted when you’re done. HOWEVER, they did taste quite good, (slightly dense and almost cakey) and I was rather proud of myself in the end 😉

– CP

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