November 17, 2014
Ed Lee's recipe for chicken and country ham pho. Lee's recipe calls for a super clean and delicate broth that is made simply from chicken, blackened onions and ginger, peppercorns, and a little star anise. This stuff will make your kitchen smell awesome on a cold Saturday afternoon with football on in the background.
Ivan Orkin's shio ramen. Orkin's broth is dashi-based-there's a good bit of dried fish used to make this stock. Yes, one does get well-acquainted with the frozen dried fish aisle at Buford Highway Farmer's Market when shopping for this dish. It is definitely different than the rich pork flavor of a traditional Tonkotsu ramen.There are seven separate components to this bowl of ramen, preparation is best spread out over a couple of days as you have to make an overnight dashi, a soffrito, pork belly that cures overnight, etc. I'm not sure it's always worth it, and I was certainly more enthusiastic about the effort it took when I first made this ramen last winter. That being said, for ramen at home on a Sunday night, it pretty much kicks ass.
Sean Brock's first book, Heritage. I'm a fan of Brock's Charleston eateries and he certainly has cemented his place as a force in new Southern cooking over the last decade. His cookbook is massive, and beautifully laid out, though I can't say I felt the urge to make many of the recipes at first glance. Anyway, I took a shot on a couple of dishes including the hearty farrotto with kale pictured above that uses farro in a risotto-like preparation. A nice vegetarian meal option for cooler weather and farro is quickly becoming one of my new favorite grains.
November 11, 2014
Ah Ma Taiwanese Kitchen, the fairly new Taiwanese restaurant on Monroe in midtown. Ah Ma means grandmother in Taiwanese, and there is a nod here to simple, family recipes and street food of the common people. We sampled seven or eight dishes, and each was solid, if slightly understated in flavor and wows. The Lu Rou Fan bowl above features slow-cooked pork, mushrooms, cilantro, and a soy-braised egg. A solid, seasonal fall dish to me, and a nice buy at $5.50.
November 6, 2014
I recently spent some time in Toronto. While I was there "working," I did find the time to eat some good food. Toronto is huge, like the third largest city in North America behind NYC and LA, and it feels distinctly like Manhattan in many parts of the city. As such, I was in decision-making-overload trying to decide where to eat with the countless options. By chance, the first night in town I happened to walk upon Momofuku Toronto, and since I have been meaning to eat at one of David Chang's restaurants, this sounded like a good option. Plus, it was freezing, and ramen sounded good. I was dining solo, and I ordered a lot of food at Momofuku, prompting my server to say, "That's a lot of food, is that ok with you?" The Momofuku ramen was as I had hoped it would be, a very good bowl of ramen. Not life-changing, but a rich, almost-too-salty (as Chang says it should be), with a pork broth with a background sweetness. The fatty pork belly melted as it should, and there was a few pieces of tasty bok choy that I think was pickled. A good bowl, and perfect on a cold night.
Bar Buca, tucked back on a side street just outside the Fashion District. Baby octopus at Bar Buca. I'm glad I did. Bar Buca is open 7am-2am every day and features everything from an espresso bar to lunch, dinner, and a comprehensive wine program. The food menu mostly features small tapas-like plates. The dish above was a skewer of baby octopus and soppressata over whipped potatoes that were creamy and thinned to point of being sauce-like. Just a killer little dish if you are an octopus fan.
October 31, 2014
2 oz Casa Noble tequila reposado
1 oz. fresh lime juice
.5 oz. Agave nectar
.5 oz Aperol
A slice of hot chili
A pinch of Lapsang Souchong infused salt
Added the ingredients to a shaker and poured over ice. The pinch of tea-infused salt is best on top of the ice in the glass. It was a fun drink, a little hit of spice, and a nice smokiness from the tea. I stole the idea for the tea-salt from (what I think) they use on the Unsung Hiro at Miso Izakaya. Anyway, it was a fun drink.
October 28, 2014
One Eared Stag with more frequency the past six months. It never disappoints. Above is the hot chicken nuggets and pickles on white bread. An ode to Nashville hot chicken and good spice here.
Makan's Korean Fried Chicken, available only on Wednesday night. This is a nice rendition of Korean fried chicken, crispy, spicy and guaranteed to get you messy.
Kimball House a crispy duck leg hit the spot.
Kimball House a crispy duck leg hit the spot.