Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

food slideshow - be careful, some pics maybe xxx rated!

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dum Aloo & Chicken Too!

So one night I kinda wanted to make something different than the usually stir fry with soy sauce kinda thing I always make. So I was thinking of dum aloo. This is a caribbean side dish we used to make at the Mango House in New Orleans. It's potatoes with ginger and garlic and garam masala and yogurt. So what I ended up doing was I made this weird stew with the same general dum aloo ingredients, but I added chicken and other stuff. It was very strange - in a good way (I think)- and it was very filling. A little goes a long way.


Dum Aloo & Chicken Too!

3 small onions or 2 medium onions, or 1 really large onion
1/2 bulb garlic minced
1 inch ginger peeled and minced
1 t tumeric
1 t cloves
1 t allspice
1 t cumin
2 t coriander
2 t cardamom
1 T Tony Chachere's or salt and pepper
2 t poppy seeds
32 oz yogurt
1 chicken, cut up into 8 or 12 pieces
4# potatoes, peeled and diced (okay, this is what I used - but maybe you should only use 1 -2#s, unless you love starch as much as I do)
1 # carrot, peeled and diced
1 eggplant, diced

So, get a big pot and boil some water in it.

Then, take your onion, garlic and ginger. Saute them in a big pan with veg oil. Let them get nice and aromatic and the onion translucent. Then add the carrot and eggplant. Let them saute for a few minutes, until they start to turn tender. Aw, isn't that sweet. Anyway, add the chicken and let it sear on both sides. Then take all the spices and dump them in. Let them get toasty - fry them for about a minute. Add a little water to the pan, lower the heat and cover.

Go back to the big pot. Boil the potatoes in the pot, and drain them when they are forking tender, damnit! Then dump them into the pot with everything else. At this point, you want everything to be cooked. If the chicken needs a little more time, then toss everything in the pot around and add a little more water if needed and cover the pot. When everything is cooked, then add the yogurt. Let it mix all around. Make sure the heat is low, and let it cook for a few minutes. If you turn the heat up high, or you let it cook too long, the yogurt will break. Which is okay, it just doesn't look or taste nearly as good. But it happens. There. Now you're done. It's a 2 pot dinner. Actually, you could do it in one pot like the way I actually did it, but it became so starchy that it was ridiculous. I mean we ate it all, but we couldn't gorge on it the way we would have if the sauce wasn't 3/4potato starch.

So here's my picture. I garnished with cilantro and rice. Okay, the rice in this case was overkill, but usually, I'm all for double and triple starch!

ooooh, is that pate?

So, last week was our friend's 30th birthday, we'll call him Big n Smart. He's one of those all looks and all brains people. Anyway, his wife organized a surprise birthday party at their house for him. He works at Wine Steals, they have cool friends who are around their age. So I wanted to bring some good "mature" party food. And I didn't really have money cause I was waiting for that paycheck on Monday morning. What else says tasty grown up party food more than pate? So I decided to make my chicken liver pate, which happens to be pretty economical to make as well.

The funny thing is, that I decided I would just say I made pate, and not say it was chicken liver unless someone specifically asked. Becaue even mature grown ups may have a preconceived notion about chicken livers and not try it before they decide whether they like it. And I assume that Big n Smart's friends are probably more foodies than a lot of other people in San Diego, but I've come across a lot of worldly, well travelled people here (some are not american citizens) who are not as gastronomically adventurous as our friends from New Orleans.

Now on saying that, I hate the taste of chicken livers. It tastes...livery...bitter...livery. I'm not even joking. But, this recipe is so good, that if you don't really analyze the taste, you might not know that it's got chicken liver in it. And I have to say, it is pretty damn fucking delicious. Not to toot my own sax, but this isn't exactly my original recipe anyway. So I kinda got this recipe from my first boss at Vega. It might be a little different then hers, because when I made it later at the Delachaise, I couldn't really remember how she made it so I just threw together things I thought would taste good.

So last night Mr. Genuinely Interested In You finally introduced his girlfriend to us. Hopefully we didn't embarrass him. I think it's funny because we probably did try to be on our, well, not best behavior, but we didn't let it all hang out. Anyway, his girlfriend, we'll call her Valley Girl, started talking about pate. So I said I'd give her the recipe. So I guess I'll figure it out here. So if you ever need to impress people, make it. When they ask what it is, say very nonchalantly, oh, it's just a little pate that I whipped up really fast. And you won't be kidding, but they will think you're being modest.


The Food Ho's Fancy Shmanchy Chicken Liver Pate

1 tub o chicken livers

4 oz milk

1 onion, diced

1 carton mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper, obviously

a handful of fresh herbs - flat leaf parsley, oregano or green onion, maybe a pinch of thyme - but not rosemary, please, I beg you!

4 oz liquor, brandy, cognac, sherry, rum - preferrably not tequila, vodka or gin, but just get a fifth and use 4-6 oz for the pate and drink the rest or pour it down the sink or something

1 lb cream cheese, leave it out so that it gets room temperature

4-8 oz unsalted butter, leave this out so that it gets room temperature too - unless the room is really hot, then maybe you want it to only get to about 70 degrees, and if the room is cold, then you might have to leave it kinda near the stove.

small loaf pan

plastic wrap


So here is the gross part. You have to take the chicken livers out, and cut all the fat connective tissue away. The livers are red and bloody, so rinse them out. Then get them on your cutting board, and cut the fatty white-yellow parts away. Be as thorough as possible. Then rinse them again, and put them in a container covered with milk. If you have time, do this a few hours before, or even overnight. If not, it's not too big of a deal. It's just that milk draws out that bitter minerally liver flavor out of the livers somewhat.

So then when you're ready to make the pate, take the livers out of the milk, and rinse them and get them as dry as you can.

Saute the onion in a big pat of butter. When they get translucent, add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms start to pick up a little color and you can smell them, then add the livers and salt and pepper. Make sure your pan is pretty hot. Slide those livers around in the pan, let them pick up color, then lower the temperature. Let them slowly cook. It will probably take a good ten minutes. Make sure they're firm, and, you know, cooked. It's not foie gras, so you want them cooked through. Then add your big splash of liquor in the pan. Let it absorb into the food, about 2 minutes. Then toss the herbs around in the pan. Your kitchen should smell pretty damn good about now. If there's anyone in the house, they'll probably come into the kitchen and say, what's cooking good lookin, or what are you cooking it smells great!

So then, you take your good old food processor, and you put all this sauteed goodness into that baby and start er up. Let it get all chopped up to this brown paste. Then chop up your cream cheese and slowly add it in. You probably want to add more salt and pepper. Then chop up the butter and add it last. If you want it more soft, add less butter. If you want it a little firmer, add more butter. Make sure it's all smooth and consistent. Then line the loaf pan with plastic wrap and take your spatula and pack it down into the pan. Or, if you want, you can line individual little ramekins or bowls and put it in those if you want more personalized servings. Even it out as much as possible. Then weigh it down with something like cans of veggies. Don't use cans of fruit cocktail, because that's just wrong and you shouldn't have something like that in your house! And of course if you are making ramekins, you need something smaller that fits into the opening. So then you refrigerate it. If you can, it's best to refrigerate it overnight. If you don't have time, a few hours is probably acceptable. If you really don't have any time, stick it in the freezer. Then when you unmold it, garnish it all fancy. Then when you put it out, say, oh, it's just a little simple pate I made really fast.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

out of body cooking experience

Have you ever made something and thought, that is not at all my cooking style or flavor profile? Well I did that the other week. It was very strange. I went to Pancho Villa's to find some cheap food to cook. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I didn't think I wanted to cook asian, well, because I almost always cook asian. So I started with the protein. There is always nice big hunks of picnic pork roast for under $10, so I got one of those. Then I thought chilis. I got a bunch of dried chilis, different kinds. Then I got some veggies and stuff because I felt like I just couldn't make pork and rice....

Posessed By a Mexican-Asian-Caribbean Lady Dinner

serves 2 big eaters over 5 -6 meals

the pork

1 big pork roast
cayenne pepper
arbol pepper ground
new mexico pepper ground
coriander
cumin
cinnamon
allspice
tajin (a mexican salt flavoring for fruit, its ingredients list chili peppers, salt, dehydrated lime juice, and silicon dioxide to prevent caking) or you can use salt, but I didn't have any in the house because the FP took it for work. Which pisses me off, because I always forget to set some aside for home use, and I never hthink about it when I'm at the store, of course.


Okay, so, I'm not going to give you measurements for these items. Pretty much, you want to coat the pig with this stuff. You can also make slits all over to get some of it into the flesh. So just use as much or little as you want....
Then, take a pan and sear this sucker on all sides. Then throw it in a roasting pan in the oven at 375.


the chili sauce

2 chilis negro dried
3 pasillas dried
4 new mexicos dried
1 bulb garlic peeled
handful of cilantro
3 habaneros
1/2 c honey
1/2 c vinegar
1 c - 2 c water
1/4 c patis - fish sauce
1/4 c sugar
2 32 oz cans crushed tomatoes

So just remove the stems from the chilis, and pretty much blend all these ingredients to as fine a paste as you can. You don't have to add the tomatoes yet, but if you happen to have a really huge blender go for it. I don't have a really huge blender, I just put a little tomato in it. Then you dump it all in a saucepan, and add the rest of the tomato and let it come to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and give it a good stir every once in a while. Get in the crevices and really give the pot a good scrubbing - just like your mom used to say when she was teaching you how to bathe. Sorry, I know you can't really relate to that, FP. Maybe you don't want everyone to know that your parents let you run wild, oh, wait, anyone who knows you already knows that. Getting back to the sauce, if you find you want it sweeter or more acidity or heat or salt, then add whatever ingredient corresponds to that flavor. You don't want me to tell you which goes for which do you? Okay, I will. If you want sweet, add lemon. If you want sour, add chili peppers, if you want hot, add maple syrup. If you want salt, add flour.


roasted veggies


3 carrots, large chop
2 onions, quartered
mushrooms whole
ears of corn, not husked

So just bath these in oil, salt and pepper, and if your roasting pan is big enough, throw them in with the pork for the last 45 minutes to hour of roasting. make sure you bast them in all that pork fat on the bottom of the pan, cause you know what Emeril says....


boring.... this is the rated G shit....

pickled cactus salad

1/2 jar pickled cactus
2 avocadoes, diced or sliced
1 cucumber, diced or sliced or half mooned(no, don't show the cucumber one butt cheek you idiot!)
1/2 head cabbage shredded
1 bunch cilantro rough chopped or hand torn
juice of 3-4 limes
1/4 c fish sauce or patis
1/2 c ponzu sauce

Here's where the asian sneaks in. Asians are known for being stealthy like ninjas, you know. So once again, it was partially because I didn't have salt. But I kinda liked it this way better.



alright, it's not much to look at, but my salivary glands are starting to get juiced up, this is like the frumpy schoolteacher with the glasses and the hair pulled in a bun, just wait till you get it up close and personal, take it in your mouth....

So I cooked the pork for what I knew to be too short. I started it late, and when the FP got home, I was dying to eat that juicy crunchy fatty pork, so I took it out and we ate the outer part. Don't worry about medium rare pork and trichinosis, because that's pretty much eradicated.



What the? This amateur pork porn is all fuzzy....


I'm getting in close, but it's still blurry. I think that's naked flesh



Look how red that is - it looks like it's throbbing with flavor!

So anyway, this pork fat was beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-U-T-full! I mean, it really was. So I had to peel some of that white gold off and shove it in my gob. OMG, it was heaven. I heard angels' trumpets! I really did! If I have to go to my happy place, it's picturing myself eating freshly roasted crunchy pigfat. I could withstand waterboarding with this memory! So the flesh underneath it was so good as well. And the sauce - this was the sauce that did not taste like my cooking at all. It was like mole or something. And it was hot. But it was really good. Like mexican bbq sauce. And the veggies were really boring unless you smothered the sauce on them. But the cactus salad was off the chain, off the hook and running for the boarder! That's OTCOTHARFTB. Use that next time you send a text message.

So we ate this shit for a couple meals, and then we got to the rare chewy part of the flesh, so I cut it off the bone, threw it in the sauce with the veg, and made a stew. Now that was really hot. I think before I was being conservative with the sauce, because I wanted to really taste the pork. But with the pork taking a hot bath in the stuff, it soaked up all the sauce, all that chili flavor. Needless to say, I felt fireworks whenever I had to #2 (okay, maybe it was #3....but who's counting). But don't let that bit of TMI stop you from making this frickin exciting meal.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

holyshit! I can't believe I think I forgot to post this one

So, maybe a month ago, we wanted to try something different. We came up with Peruvian. I think we were looking for a certain restaurant, but we didn't find it on the internet. So we found this place on Genesee right off Clairemont Mesa called Aji Seco. The website is:

www.ajiseco.com

So it was hidden in a strip mall that is not visible on the road. We had to do a loop, but after researching on the internet, I kind of guessed it was tucked away in a corner like it was. The area kind of reminded me of Metry. When we walked in, the guy who must be the owner was at the front, all friendly and... Latin American. You, know, a big friendly Hispanic dude. So we were seated. The decor was pretty nice for a strip mall - which is part of what reminded me of Metry. It didn't have many tables, and the kitchen was teeny. It was in the back, with not much storage space. I assume that the back part of the space (which is shared with a mexican more fast-foody type taco shop) must have storage back there. Right next to us, there was a soundboard, and they were setting up the PA. This guy with an apron on was sitting on a cajon and was checking the mic. We found out that they do lots of live music and dancing there, and it seems that a lot of the staff provide some of the entertainment. It's gotta be way cheaper than hiring musicians all the time.

We got the menu, and it was pretty exciting. My heart started racing, my mouth was watering, and I think my body heat increased by 10 degrees or so.

So the server brought us a little dish of the criollo sauce and a dish of fried pinenuts. So the sauce was like a red pepper sauce, pretty good, but I was waiting for something to drench it with. I wanted to get the yuca fries, but we were kinda low on our budget, and I really don't ever need the extra calories.

So I have this thing that I almost always do when we go out to eat, especially at a new place. I can't decide what the fuck I want to eat. I just can't. It's such an important decision. It could be the difference between an okay blog entry and a dynamite piece of award winning literature. So when the server comes back the first time and asks if we're ready, I have to say no, just 2 more minutes. The problem is, the FP is always starving and impatient, so I hate to keep him waiting, and I have to be ready when they come back the second time, or they will punish me and wait 10 minutes to come back to the table the third time. So I feel under a lot of pressure, and can I tell you, in most situations under pressure, I cave. You know how the job listings in craig's list or monster or whatever will say: We need an individual who is flexible, can handle curveballs, thrives under pressure, is comfortable in fastpaced environments, is able to multitask and is a take charge kind of person. I am none of the above. That's why I'm such a masochist. I hate cooking for a living, yet I guess I get off on being pushed and annoyed and frustrated to almost my breaking point. And then I can walk out of work and have a nice rest of my day. I guess its like working out.

Getting back to Aji Seco...

Actually, I have a question for you. Have you ever noticed how I tend to digress in my stories? I wonder if this bothers anyone out there in internetland. If so, please comment and tell me so.

BTW, no one ever (barely ever) leaves me comments. Can no one relate to me or does no one like me that no one wants to comment? Okay, I realize that most of the people who happen upon my page are looking for some creepy porn or corned beef "ash" or hamachi kama or carlino's hamburgers or laska's pizza or super cocina. Yeah, I read my statcounter statistics fairly often. And I tell the FP about the funny searches that lead people from Turkey or Ireland or Afghanistan to my page.

Getting back to Aji Seco....

I got the Lomo Saltado. The Food Pimp got the Saltado de Mariscos. So we got the same dish, different proteins. Well, the Lomo Saltado is like the national dish, so I had to try it. Also because at Vagabond, they usually don't have it. Only the chef can make it, and if he's not there, there ain't no lomo saltado in the hizzy. So can I tell you, this food came out pretty damn fast. Usually we are waiting forever, and it's kind of the same torture as when you're waiting to piss (or poo for that matter) and the person in the bathroom who you're waiting for is taking forever, as if they have this personal vendetta against you and your bladder or something....

But OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe I didn't write about this before!!!!!!!

I am so sorry that I don't have a picture. Wait, I'll look to see if someone else posted a picture...

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/03/05/ajiseco07.jpg

So I found a picture from this local food blogger, Kirk. This guy is like a professional, so don't be comparing my little new blog to his big old blog.

Wait, I found these on my camera. Wow, I did take pictures...






Anyway, it's like this marinated beef dish. The beef was so meaty, you know, like, really sink your teeth into it, I wanted to be sitting outside on the side of a canyon masticating this meat with the coyotes. I don't know...I try not to edit, it makes this more, well, more me.

So it was delicious. If I had finished that meal, and then someone had come in and shot me 10 minutes later, I would have died as happy as I could ever hope to die. I didn't though, obviously. Don't you hate it when people say obviously, as if you're stupid.

Not to digress, but the other morning, my boss comes in and asks for breakfast. He asks for 2 eggs overeasy, and potatoes with chicken. He's never ordered this before. So he says, put the potatoes in first, and then the chicken (the chicken is already grilled), obviously. And put some onion in too. I was very unhappy with that "obviously." And then I cooked it. And when he was done, he said, that was good! As if he was surprised. See, we do not have similar taste in food at all, so I guess it was a surprise to him. Which is funny, because he trusts me to cook. Whenever I work with the chef at lunch, he specifically asks me to make him his food, cause he doesn't want the chef's dirty hands on his salad.

Getting back to the saltado. This is getting ridiculous, I know. The fries were perfectly cooked, and the onions, and the tomatoes were kinda big wedges, but they were cooked enough to be easily edible, and for the tomato flavor to have melded with the garlic sauce. And we used the criollo sauce too. But it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good, that I could have done without the rice, but I ate it anyway, because I wanted to soak that flavor into the rice. So the rice was just another flavor vehicle. A lot of what we eat are flavor vehicles. Like fries. Those fries had absorbed the garlic, the meat, the tomato, the onion and all the other good shit they put in there.

And the Food Pimp's dish was just as good, but with seafood. I didn't really eat his too much, cause I was too busy chowing down on my own plate.

So after that, the server asked if we wanted dessert. I asked what she had, and she said she would bring them out. So she came back out with little packages of cookies and cakes. And she explained them, but I wasn't interested because they were packages of cookies I could get in a store probably down the street. So then she said they had ice cream. She listed flavors. The first one, I'd never heard of. It was lucuma or something. Some Peruvian fruit. So I ordered that. I just wasn't ready to leave the place. So she brought it out. It was about 4 little scoops. Way more than I wanted after all that food, but, oh well. So this ice cream was bright yellow. Must have been a surplus of yellow no. 40 when they made it. So it looked and tasted like margarine. Whatever the fruit was supposed to taste like, I wasn't sure. It had a bit of that asian must taste, so I wonder, does this fruit taste like musty margarine? Okay, so after brief casting of the internets, all I could find was that it is supposed to be a very popular flavor to its native region, and europe. Hmm.. And that its a sweet indescribable flavor. If I ever get my hands on one of these fruits, I'll describe it's flavor.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

East is yummy - most of the time

So, we went to this Vietnamese/Chinese place on Convoy. It's called Phuong Trang.
Here's the website:

http://www.phuongtrangrestaurant.com/

So the menu is very large and overwhelming - much like Saigon. Funnily enough, the one really good server who used to work at Saigon works at Phuong Trang. So after laboring over the menu, I went for the pork soup. It was so fucking delicious. The broth was nice and flavorful. It came with what I think was thick bean noodles. They were nice and hearty, and the pork was excellent. The chive and mint and everything made it just a great bowl of soup. As the Food Pimp said - it was a Vietnamese Pho with a Chinese flair - well, he said something like that.

So the Food Pimp got the these manila clams sauteed in like a black bean sauce. It was rich and light and spicy and very exciting. He was pretty much having a tonguegasm right there at the table. So I think this place is going to take the ranks with the Dumpling Inn. We've only had 2 dishes, but based on those 2 things, I'm going to give it \/\/\/\/ 8 chopsticks out of 8!




So then the next week we went to Saigon. Hadn't been there for a while. We didn't remember any of the waiters, but, we were there around 9 or so, a little after they had opened on a Saturday or Sunday. The FP had the combination pho, and I got the bean curd wrapped shrimp vermicelli noodle bowl. We also got the eggrolls, because I wanted some, even though we usually didn't like them there. They were okay. They came first, so we ate most of them. They were very hot. They have like noodles and veggies in them, but the veggies are so small and cooked that they don't really have any texture.

I really have been jonesing for my mom's lumpia. They were so simple, but goddamn they were good. I have been wanting to make them, but it's such an undertaking and I'm lazy. I should have a lumpia party and get people over to roll them for me. It's really not a big deal once you've got everything set up, it's just that in order to make it worthwhile, I always feel like I should use the whole pack of wrappers if I have enough filling for it. The way my mom makes them are with carrot, green beans - fresh ones - shrimp, ground pork, garlic, and not much else that I remember. Those are just great flavor combinations to be wrapped in thin wrappers and deep fried. I remember I used to make them in college. I guess I had a lot of time then - between class and watching my stories and going to the mall and going to the clubs. Wow, how did I ever find time to make lumpia back then? Oh yeah, I didn't work. I was a lazy fatass college student with very gigantic legs - especially my calves, which have always been huge - due to walking a lot and my poor eating habits - like making a meal out of those Snackwells devil food cakes. Which I think is pretty funny. They are supposed to be "healthy or less fattening" but I figured a way to get around the system, eat a whole box. And I wasn't a weed smoker either.

Alright, not like I eat like a model of health now....

So I got my bun (vermicelli noodle bowl for you non-vietnamese cuisine schoolel people), and it was pretty good. Sometimes they skimp on the cabbage and peanut and all the goodies, but there was enough of that stuff, it was just crammed in the bottom of the bowl. This is my one gripe about vermicelli noodle bowls. Why do they always have to cram as much food as possible in the bowl? Why not use a bigger bowl and put the same amount so that one can mix it all around? Now, this is a gripe with a lot of cuisine - salad and pasta are always crammed in a small vessel. Don't the cooks and chefs know that people want room to mix everything around? Especially the bun, because they put all the garnish on the bottom and the top, and the middle 2/3 is just noodles. Anyway, besides that, the dish was very good. The bean curd was nicely cooked and flavored, and I always like dumping the nuoc mam all over my bowl rather than dipping into the little sauce container. I really don't know the etiquette with this, but I really don't care - I'm American! We do things the way we like. Because we can!

So about 10 minutes after I got my food, the pho finally came out. The FP said it was delicious, which was a surprise. We had both wondered if the broth would be weak because it was early in the morning, but it was not. And all his meats were nicely tender too. So we had a very pleasant quiet breakfast at good old Saigon. I give it \/\/\/ 6 chopsticks. It can be very good sometimes, but it is inconsistent. And I have to say after discovering Convoy street, Saigon has lost its romance for me. Sorry Miss Saigon....but I'll come stop in every once in a while, give you a twenty....




So then on Saturday we went to a new place on Convoy Street. We just went to a random shopping center and picked this Korean place called Chon Ju Jip. Can you believe they have the name posted in English characters on the facade? Amazing. So we went in, and there were about 2 tables occupied, and one or two tables with food still on the table. But everything we saw looked good. So we sat. The lady brought us that green tea that a lot of Korean restaurants serve. The funny thing was, it was iced. Usually it's just room temperature. On this particular day, it was cold, and the door was opened, and I would probably have almost preferred the room temperature tea. But it was really tasty. Very nutty, you could taste the brown rice, but you could also taste the green tea as well.

So we perused the menu. It was small, but about half of the menu was those casseroles and dinners that start at $20 a pop. So we didn't really have money, so I didn't even want to look at that stuff. There was the typical soups, and a few appetizers. After the last Korean place, I didn't really want soup. Even though the FP pointed out how there was soy sauce and salt on the tables. He was very happy about that.

So he got the pork and kimchee soup. That is his Korean restaurant control item. I felt like potstickers. So I ordered those and the fried octopus. The lady didn't really speak engrish, so here we were again, me having a communication gap. She was asking if I wanted them steamed or fried, and she was pointing to the Korean words. I was confused though, because I don't read or even speak Korean, and it said fried on the menu. So she was trying to ask if I wanted fried or steamed, and I was trying to make sure that she knew I wanted the potstickers and then the octopus which was the menu item directly below the potstickers. So she left the table, and I was 98% sure I wasn't getting the octopus. So we got our little side dishes. They were good on the whole, but the outstanding things were the little dried dilis (little teeny anchovies) in chili sauce, this dried marinated beef that was like sauteed, these green pickled peppers, and then the water spinach (or some green like that) with a little tofu sauteed with it. The bean sprout was flavorless as usual, as was the plain water spinach. The kimchee was okay, good, but not exciting.

The FP thought his soup was very good. It looked good. I only really had a taste of the broth, and it was all spiced up and porky goodness. The only thing was, he didn't really have any pork in it. He found one slice of fatty at the very bottom. He said it was delicious and it made the dish more disappointing to have one piece then to have none at all. It was like a Shakespearian tradgedy,

"oh to have known that voluptuous flesh, but to only get a small morsel, a tease on the tongue, I prayed that this pleasure would not ever be known to me, that the knowlege of the memory be erased. To sit in the dark and never have known light is less painful than to have remembered the light as I sat in the dark, and my eyes and my skin ache with the gentle kiss of the heavenly rays of the sun..."

So, he liked it. I got my potstickers. They were good. Ground pork and veggies. Nothing special. The FP was sure they were brought in frozen. Maybe they were. So after a little while, I asked about my octopus. The lady looked at me and said, oh, no, no octopus. Oh, okay. Good to know. So I had 7.5 gyoza for lunch. I didn't want anything else. There were no other appetizers that caught my eye, and I didn't want a whole soup, because I knew 2/3 of it would go to waste. So just judging on this experience, I give Chon Ju Jip \/\/\ 5 chopsticks - for the dilis - little fishes, the beef side dish and the pork soup that the FP really liked. That may be too generous, but that was the first time we had the fishes and the beef as side dishes at a Korean restaurant.

And those fishes remind me of my heritage. They sell them in plastic jars, like the ones you would put candy in, in the Asian markets. Before, when I used live closer to my parents and I would go there every so often, I would invariably end up with one of those plastic jars of fish. We would have them forever. I started using them in my cooking, in sauces, vinaigrettes, and one time when our friend was making gumbo on the Food Pimp's birthday, he threw a handful of the dilis in the gumbo. It was one of the best unstructured gumbos I have ever had - no roux, no okra, no file. Anyway, I think the spicy dilis won the extra chopstick. I went to Hing Long Vietnamese Market today. I wish I would have thought and bought some of those dilis...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

chili

So about a month ago, our friends got a slowcooker. So they made chili. Then a week or so later, the Food Pimp kept saying he wanted chili. So one night when I couldn't think of what else to make, I made chili. This is probably what the recipe was. I had to guess at it, as I didn't write it down right away.

My Pretty Good Tasting Chili

6 pasilla peppers
4 jalapenos, diced
3 habaneros, diced - use gloves if you have contacts or have a penis
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced - I usually don't splurge on these, but they were
the same price as the red ones, which were only slightly more than the green
ones (I love Pancho Villa's!)
2 onions, diced - look, no offense, but if I have to tell you this maybe
you shouldn't bother making this recipe - go to Wendy's and get a chili there...
1 bulb garlic, smashed
2 32 oz cans crushed tomato
1 lb ground pork
1.75 lb ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can white beans
1 c red wine, well a beer if preferable, but I didn't have any
1 t cumin
2 t coriander
2 T new mexico chili powder
2 T arbol chili powder
1 T cayenne pepper
salt and pepper - do I really have to list these? I hope not. I hope you have
common sense enough to know that you put them in chili...not to be a bitch

So here's what I did. I added about 1.5 cups water to the pasillas, and I blended them with 1 tablespoon new mexico chili, 1 tablespoon arbol chili, and half a tablespoon cayenne. I set that aside. Then I took my veg - jalapenos, habaneros, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, onions and garlic and I sauteed them in veg oil. I got them nice and tender. Then I made sure the heat was pretty high, and I dumped the two meats in and chopped them up. Then I added the spices - cumin, coriander, the rest of the new mexico and arbol powders, and salt and pepper. I let them brown. (But I can tell you a secret. You don't really have to get it nice and brown like a steak. Really. It's just something ingrained in cooks that everything has to be browned. Okay, in most situations when you need to develop a flavorful broth or whatever, yeah, it's good to brown the meat. But let me point out something to you - chili is a slow cooked, stewed dish with tomato and CHILIES! Chilies have lots of dark flavor, so I don't know if your palate is more refined than mine, but I probably can't taste if the meat is browned or not. So there.)

Anyway, cook the meat. (I realize that I was writing in first person past tense, now I'm writing in second person present tense. Sorry. I wasn't an english major! No, really, I wasn't. Go check my diploma.) Then make sure the heat is nice and hot still, then add the crushed tomatoes. It will splatter and make you feel good about your chili. Then add the beer - or red wine if like me that's what you have. Let it go to town for about 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Now go watch TV or something for half an hour. Try to forget that you're making a delicious bubbly pot of chili. Okay, don't completely forget. Go in every 5- 10 minutes and stir the bitch. Make sure you go around the edges so sticky stuff doesn't cling to the corners (like bitter pennsylvanians cling to guns and religion) and burn. I like to use a wooden spoon to stir. But you don't have to. Of course, your chili probably won't come out as good as mine.

So when it's been about 30 minutes, go back and dump the chili puree in the chili. Why? Because that's what I'm telling you to do. If you want, divide the chili into 2 batches and dump chili puree in one batch with the tomatoes, and wait 30 minutes for the other. See if there's a difference. Maybe there won't be, but maybe your palate isn't that descriminating either. I'm just telling you how I made this batch of chili this one time. This is not how I used to make chili. Anyway, let it simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, then add the beans. You can add the water or not. It's up to you. I add the black bean water, because it's kind of thick and saucy. I don't add the kidney bean water, cause it just doesn't appeal to me, and I definitely never use the white bean water because it's the stinkiest. And between you me and the computers we are using - the Food Pimp has trouble digesting some beans. He used to not be able to eat black beans at all, but I think it's a little better. Back in the day though, when we didn't eat beans that much, he would have horrible gas for 4 - 5 days after eating black beans. Sometimes I would yell at him because it was so bad, almost as bad as Guiness farts!

Getting back to yummy chili. Let it cook another 10 - 15 minutes. Then taste it. Is it ready? Well, you'll probably end up eating the first bowl before all the flavors meld together anyway. It tastes so much better the second day. But the first day, the sauteed hot chilis have this bright heat taste, and the second day all the chili has mellowed and married into the rest of the stew. Don't get me wrong, it will still be spicy, just maybe not as earburning as the first day. Go ahead, make some chili. With this unpredictable weather, you'll probably have a cool enough day for it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let me save some people some time

This website is not a porn site. So if you're on Google and you are using these searches:

tita fuck pork
babied porn (god, I don't wanna know)
old tita porn
marukai porno
to smoke hashish porn
porc porn baby

You won't find what you're looking for! Sorry for the confusion. Now how many of my readers are doing Google searches of the afformentioned phrases this very second? You sickos!

Am I going to change the blog title? Hell no! If you're searching for pork porn or food porn, oral erections, tonguegasms, tasterbation - you will find that here!

Which brings me to this food review that I read a couple weeks ago in the City Beat dated 3/31/2008. Candace Woo reviewed Villa Manila and wrote this:

"I was browsing a friend’s food-blog post on Villa Manila and happened upon a photo of a mammoth mound of pig parts called a crispy pata, cooked to a golden brown and obscenely immense on the plate. The food porn got even more hot and heavy as I scrolled down the page to the second photo, this one a close-up on a shingle of pork skin to which clung glistening bits of meat and fat—a little alarming to some, but a little bit of a turn-on for me. That said, I was nearly impatient with excitement the day we met up for lunch; I knew that porky deliciousness was mere moments away. My friends, who were a bit less singularly focused, wisely thought to order a few other dishes in case I refused to share the pork."

Hey she's stealing my gig! Damn that Candace Woo! Here's a link to the whole article. I gotta go to this place sometime.

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/thrilla_in_manila/6785/

And why am I not being paid mucho dinero for this eloquent yet entertaining gastronomic chronicles? C'mon, if you're a periodical editor or you know one, I need to get paid for this shit! Then I can eat out at more places and cook more fascinating meals!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Random eatings

So a couple weeks ago, the kosher hot dogs were on sale for like 2 packs for $7. Usually they are about $6 each. So I was a little wary, but I bought a pack anyway. So of course I had to get the pickles - Claussen's of course - and French's yellow mustard. I have to admit that Claussen pickles are a taste that I learned from the Food Pimp. I used to eat vlassic or whatever brand there was. Then he turned me on to Claussens. They are in the refrigerated section by the hotdogs. They are crunchy and have a good dill pickly flavor too.

So this is what always happens when I have hotdogs. I make myself one. I ask the Food Pimp if he wants one. He says no. Then I make it. I put jalapenos and mustard on it - very simple, with pickle sliced long ways. So I am going at it. I get two bites in, when the FP says, can I have a bite. And I relent. I cringe hoping he doesn't take one of those whole mouth gay porn bites. Sometimes he notices me watching jealously, and he takes a small or regular bite. Sometimes he doesn't care, and mouths half the wiener. Sometimes, he takes a bite, realizes how good it is, and takes another. Then he says, wow, that's delicious. Can I have one? Then if I tell him they're in the fridge, he'll say, but I can't make it as good as you. I'm not stupid. I know it's just sweettalk. But I make it anyway, because he's really messy. I think he's really messy because he grew up with people cleaning up after him. I try not to, but eventually I have to a little because I can't stand it any longer.

Anyway, the wieners were scrumptious.

Ghetto Meyers Punch

Two weeks ago was the North Park Indie Music Festival. We went last year and had fun just hanging out outside and drinking beer in plastic cups, so we thought we would go this year. We actually go to the unofficial fest at Planet Rooth Gallery. So we needed a drink for the walk over there. We didn't know how long we'd be there, but I found an apple juice container and thought I would fill it up. I dug around the kitchen for mixing ingredients, and here's what I came up with:

Ghetto Meyers Punch Recipe
1 qt mint syrup (I had this from about a week ago when we made caparihnas/mojitos (I write caparihna/mojito because it had mint and lime))

1 1/2 old limes juiced

1 1/2 inch ginger, smashed in a mortar and pestle

1 old old granny smith from the bottom of the fruit bin

1/6 c lemonade mix left over from one of the Food Pimp's jobs

leftover club soda from the week before

about 1/2 bottle of meyers rum

ice

So this ended up being delicious. You should try it sometime. Hopefully when you're not working, though.


Bibb Lettuce Salad

I can't remember if this was a side or the whole meal, but I found it in my notes. Yeah, I've started taking notes since I don't always write every day about what I ate the day before.

1 avocado
1 ear corn, steamed or boiled
bibb lettuce, torn
lime
cilantro
salt
extra virgin olive oil - you know my rules about what you can call this product....
(think Rachel Ray bad)
ponzu sauce
rice vinegar

So I'm not going to really describe how I made it. Hopefully you can figure it out. If not, maybe I'm just too advanced for your level of cooking ability. That's a joke by the way. I guess I could put one of those smileys in ;p There does that make it clear that I was kidding? JK


Carl's Jr. Burgers

So two separate nights, we were driving home from watching a show or maybe playing a show. Anyway, on the way home we needed late night eats. I couldn't bear Aiberto's. It's really gone downhill from starting at sealevel. So we went to Carl's Jr twice. Now I believe the first time, I was kind of tipsy and I probably shouldn't have been drinking. I really wasn't sure what I ordered. But we got home, and I realized it was a double cheeseburger. It was meaty and juicy or greasy and actually really tasty. I can't remember how the fries were, but I know I ate them all. I have a feeling they were really surprisingly good though. I hadn't remembered having a burger that good in a while. I venture to say it was better than the McDonald's airport burgers.

So the second time, I got a single cheeseburger and the FP got a double. I was not quite as inebriated this time. The meat patty was good, the condiments were good, but the buns seemed a little soggy, kinda like they had been sitting in the wrapper under the heat lamp for a bit? But they were still yummy. I think this time the fries were kind of old and cold. I have to order from this place sober one time to have a good comparison. Maybe that's the reason people like Carl's Jr and Jack in the Box, because late at night when they have to eat, the signs are like beacons in the fog, like the light at the end of the tunnel, like the greasy fast food to soak up all that alcohol sloshing around in the stomach. Unfortunately, In and Out is too far from home, so I'll never go there late at night. I've never been there at all. My only experience with them is when someone brought them to work for our employee meeting. The only problem was, that she brought them after sitting in her car for about half an hour, so they were not impressive at all.

caribbean fish stew

So one weekend, the Food Pimp made this [read sarcastically] light fish stew. Okay, it was thick and rich, but very gashdarned good! Here's the recipe as best as I can recreate it.

Caribbean Fish Stew Food Pimpin' Style

2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 ozchopped ginger
1 bulb chopped garlic
1/2 t clove
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cardamom
1/3 t tumeric
2 t coriander
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-2 beers
2 potatoes diced
salt and pepper
1 whole habanero
1 lb fish filets like tilapia, cut into 2 inch pieces
chopped cilantro
1/2 c lime juice

So you saute the carrot, onion, then throw in the ginger and garlic. When it's nice and soft and smells good, throw in the spices. Let them get toasty. Then add the tomato and beer. Let it bubble. Then add the habanero pepper. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the potatoes. Add salt and pepper When the potatoes are tender, add the fish. Let it go another 8 minutes. Then add the cilantro and lime juice to garnish. It's hearty, it's yummy, it's perfect to pair with a refreshing tropical cocktail.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

red eye - loosely related to food, but in a bad way

I have an eye infection. I got to work yesterday, and my right eye hurt so much, that I had to buy saline solution. I was too tight to buy a contact case when I have about 10 of them at home. So I used a 2 oz portion cup to put the contact in. It was horrible though. I really didn't get much work done, and I thought I was going to keel over a couple of times because my equilibrium was all messed up. Anyway, the FP was nice enough to bring me my glasses halfway through my shift, but the pain and nausea and thirst were terrible.

So after work I had to break down and go to the optometrist. I was scared to go to Lenscrafters because I went there over a year ago. The optometrist had referred me to an opthamologist because I had some weird football shaped light thing in my eye that she couldn't identify. I never went to the opthamologist. So I didn't want them to ask me about that. So I went to Costco. I thought I was going to vomit, so I went to the bathroom twice, but nothing came out. I saw the optometrist, then we had to wait for my prescription, so we went acrost the shopping center to eat.

As we were walking, I felt it coming up. I threw up in the bushes. Thank god it was just water mixed with the yellow eyedrops the optometrist put in my eyes to stain them so she could look at my eyeballs better. Then we walked to the mexican restaurant. I'm not sure what I ordered, some carne asada and guacamole burrito. The FP got barbacoa burrito or some meat, but he ordered it wet. That means it had sauce and cheese on top. It looked delicious. I couldn't really eat. I dug through my burrito eating whatever I stabbed with my fork. I only forced it down because all I had eaten before that was a piece of buttered multigrain bread and 3 ounces of tomato basil soup. So even though I had just thrown up in the parking lot, I ate. But not with pleasure.

Today I feel way better, but this typing makes me a little dizzy. Anyway, tomorrow I should be way better, so I'll write one of those real long blogs about happiness and eating and drinking, or whatever.....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Korean BBQ Battle

So we've been slowly ticking off restaurants on Convoy Street. If you don't remember, this is the restaurant row that has mainly asian restaurants in San Diego, but there are a few others - wings, a pancake house, mexican of course, wienerschnitzel.

So a week or 2 ago we went to one place. The name is in Korean, so I can't tell you what it's called. But it did say Korean BBQ below the Korean characters. It is about 2 shopping centers after Daggett Street if you're going north. It is the very first corner place. The decor is nice, not over the top like some of these places. It's got unfinished wood booths on one side and tables and chairs on the other. It has a nice big patio too, which we noticed after we sat down and got drinks.

So the side dishes came; that wilted spinach, soybean sprouts, kimchee (of course), shredded radish, potato, that cakey thing which we think is yam cake.

The wilted spinach is kind of bland. It's just kind of steamed or blanched with a little garlic, maybe a touch vinegar. The sprouts are kind of the same, bland. The kimchee was good. A little crunchy, spicy, kind of fresh tasting, but still having that kimchee flavor. The radish was good, very refreshing. The potato thing was good. It was glazed in this sweet sugar or corn syrup sauce. Usually the potato thing is boring, but this one was good. Then the yam noodle like thing. That was surprisingly good. Usually these are also bland. But this one was well seasoned. I assume that about half the side dishes are bland for a reason. They can't all have the same seasoning and heat. Then there would be no contrast. The bland ones balance and contrast the spicy ones, and they act as a palate cleanser. Then again, what do I know about Korean food. I know dick about Korean food. Maybe the cooks who make the bland dishes aren't as skilled as the cooks who make the tasty ones.

Anyway, everything had this kind of fresh taste to it. The other places we have been to seemed to have this prevailing earthiness, everything seemed like it was buried in the dirt for a while, like those duck eggs, but mostly in a good way. It's just this kind of asian flavor profile that is common in almost every asian cuisine - mustiness. Some of the fruits and veggies just naturally have this taste. I grew up kind of liking this kind of flavor, but then I started being more American and I think I got embarrassed of liking weird food. My friends with very American palates didn't like the fruits and sweet treats that tasted like grandma had been storing them in the basement for years. So I think I started to not like this stuff as much, it was a guilty pleasure. So even now, in large doses, I don't like the musty earthy taste.

But this place - Korean BBQ (it's a popular restaurant name on Convoy street), didn't really have that earthiness. Weird. It made the food seem lighter. I think it would be more "American" friendly.

About this whole American thing. I don't know if I've expounded on it in previous blogs, but how many readers read every single entry and remember everything I write. If you are guilty of this - you're scary. Anyway, my parents moved to Troy, New York in like 1967 or somewhere around then. Some interesting things happened to them (they moved a few times, had 2 daughters) then they ended up in Florida, and I was born. So anyway, (yeah, I know I use anyway a lot. It's kind of a writing tick I've developed over the years. It's kind of like when I speak I say uh and um alot. Don't worry though, I'm not going to run for office and make speeches, so I can say uh and um all I want. Although I am trying to interest the Food Pimp in getting into politics.).

So anyway, I am an american citizen. I have an american accent. At times my skin is so pale that I look kind of caucasian. Anyway, I grew up in the Filipino family and culture, where if a person was white, and born in the good old US of A, they were american. I was a flip. Years later, friends began to point out that I was american too. But my parents' labels for ethnicity had already been ingrained into me. Just like that Catholic guilt that I carry. And I really am not sure when the last time was that I set foot in a Catholic church. I think it was for Easter (and I hadn't even gone through the sacrament of confession prior to), or it was for someone's wedding. But you know, the whole american - filipino thing is kind of like the term colored. My parents use that word to describe (look around, left side, right side, then whisper) black people. They learned that word a long time ago, and that's the word they use. My mom also, as far as I know, (I could be wrong on this now)uses the word mongoloid. I like that word. It's very descriptive. No it's not PC, but right away, I picture Corky.

So what the hell was I writing about in the first place? Oh, Korean BBQ. You know that place on Convoy Street? You would only get the joke if you've been there. [Hint: there's a lot of places on Convoy called Korean BBQ] Anway, it wasn't as earthy. It was really tasty. For our entrees: The Food Pimp ordered the tofu, kimchee and pork stew. I got the spicy squid with rice. The stew was nice and hot when it came to the table. It was a kind of cool and breezy day, so it was a good choice. The FP loaded it up with chili sauce and soy sauce, as he tends to do. So it pretty much ended up tasting like tangy spicy, porky, salty stewed goodness. And they also gave him rice, which is always a nice addition to any asian dish. Stir fried noodles? I like a side of rice with that. Rice pudding, and a side of rice. Potatoes and rice. Yum. Double starch.

My spicy squid was effing delicious. Once again, it didn't have the must, though. It was spicy, had nice chunks of green onion and such, and it had that yummy red spicy sauce that seems to be a staple of Korean food. The squid was big chunks of curled cuts, but it was tender. And with the rice to sop up the sauce, it really hit the spot. I think I pretty much ate most of it, and the FP ate the scraps that I left on the plate. This place was so good. My only gripe is that Korean is not cheap, and I always wonder how the dishes that are like $20 and up are. If the $10 food is that good, is the $20 food twice as good? I don't know, and I'm going to have to come into some big money or save up to find out. Anyway, I give Korean BBQ six chopsticks out of eight - \/ \/ \/



So yesterday, we had to go to a Korean restaurant because the Food Pimp is teaching a Korean cooking class on Tuesday. So this was for "research". We drove around Convoy street. We passed the place that the FP was eyeing up, so we turned onto a side street and made a loop. I noticed a shopping center there, that had 2 Korean places. So we drove back around and went to the place on Convoy. We saw a big lunch buffet sign on the window. 7 days a week. So I suggested that we go to that shopping center off Convoy. There were 2 Korean and one Japanese there. The Japanese was closed. One Korean place was called Thang Thang - a family restaurant. It had tinted dark windows, and no indication if it was even open. But it did have a grand opening banner hung up. The other place was the corner spot, and it had a big obnoxious multicolored flashing LED sign in the front entrance. It seemed so authentic, so we went in there. All we could make out of the name was...you guessed it, Korean BBQ. The decor was very strange - maybe very authentic. It was a combination of "stone" and tile in different shades of green and little waterfall displays and whatnot. Each table had the cooking element in the middle and the hood above. It was very clean, antiseptic looking. It had that hotel restaurant feel to it.

The lady who seated us asked if we wanted hot tea. We said yes, and I asked for water. She came back with the tea. We ordered. I asked the difference between the short ribs soup with vegetable and the vegetable and short ribs soup. She didn't really speak engrish too well, so she was trying to explain to me but I really had no idea. She said the vegetable one was with a more miso base and the short rib one was more of a water base, in so few words. She said, do you know napa? I figured, napa cabbage, yeah I knew napa. She said one of them had napa. Then she said I should get the short rib with vegetable, some people don't like the vegetable with short rib. The FP said, I should get the vegetable one then. I thought I should, but I felt that the lady wanted me to get the short rib with vegetable soup, and I let her strongarm me into getting it. The FP got the monkfish in hot pot. I asked for water again. And she said, you can have cold water, or hot water, and she pointed to the tea.

I didn't get the ice water.

This is a huge annoyance to me when going to restaurants. I drink a ton of water. I always need a glass or jug of water around me - when I work, when I eat, when I practice, when I sleep. Okay, not when I take a piss or take a shower. Especially when I am slightly hungover. Then I need a lot of water. She wouldn't budge. Why? I was kind of scared of her though - with the language barrier and all. So I guzzled my hot tea, then I set it at the edge of the table so someone would see it and have pity and refill it. No one did. I had to wait for someone to come to the table to ask.

So the side dishes came. We asked for more tea and water. We got the tea.

I ripped open the paper package with my chopstick. Then I noticed the restaurant name on the paper - Dae Jang Keum Korean BBQ. I put the wrapper in my purse so I would remember the name. So we had the bean sprouts, the spicy pickled cucumber, the fresh cucumber, the kimchee, of course, the yam cakey noodley thing, the wilted spinach and this wakame looking seaweed. I think that was all of them. So the bean sprouts, the fresh cucumber and the spinach were bland. Not much flavor other than the main ingredient. The pickled cucumber was very nice. A bit of crunch to it, and good sweet vinegar flavor. The yam cakey thing didn't really have much flavor, but I kind of am starting to like it more and more. The kimchee was pretty good. A little more wilted than at the other Korean BBQ place. The black seaweed was pretty good. Good salt flavor, dried sweet flavor, kind of like ancho chilies. I love anchos, so I liked this seaweed.

We ate all of the side dishes while waiting for the main courses. What we started doing was take a little of a bland dish and mixing it with a flavorful one. I really don't know if that's what one is meant to do.

So finally my soup came. I was expecting a tray of garnishes, but none came. I thought, maybe she'll bring it in a bit, her hands were full with...with my bowl of soup. So I tasted it. It was bland of course. It was meat water with chunks of short rib, some 2.5 inch pieces of green onion, fat clear bean noodles and egg floating around all wispy. It was hot. I was spooning up the soup because I was thirsty. I started to put kimchee and seaweed in my soup. That made it spicier and a little saltier.

I saw a server bring a tray of soup, 2 squeeze bottles and ice water to a table. I started to get pissed. They brought the FP's hot pot. The lady was startled that we had finished the side dishes, so she made a move to clear them. We asked her for more tea and soy sauce and chili paste. She didn't understand what we meant by chili paste. The FP said, the hot chili paste. So she asked, hot sauce? Yes, hot sauce. We were doubtful as to whether she would bring anything. She actually brought tea and a little dish with two compartments with about one ounce each of soy sauce and chili paste. We both looked at the dish disappointed. I asked, I know this won't be enough hot sauce, can we have more. So she brought another one ounce of soy and one ounce of chili paste. And she brought a whole more round of side dishes.

So we each dumped the contents of a dish into our bowls. At this point, my soup was getting cold - well, it was warm. It was spicy, but not salty enough. Still meat water. So another server walked by, and the FP flagged her down and asked for salt. She brought a salt shaker of iodized salt. Okay. A couple shakes and it was fine. Not great. The meat was bland. I wanted to shake salt on each side of each piece of meat before eating, but that was too much effort. I was already pretty weary from this culinary experience by this point. I was just eating for biological reasons. I mean, the soup was better, just not good. When we went to Young Dong in LA, we started with two bowls of meat, noodles and broth. But the condiments were on the table, and we both ended up with maybe the best beef soup I have ever had. I ate all the meat and half the broth. That's how hungry I was.

The Food Pimp's hot pot looked delicious. It was all red and bubbly and had monkfish and tofu and green onions. It was not delicious. I tasted the stew/sauce after he had doctored it, and it was pretty good. I asked how the monkfish was. He said not good, overcooked. So I tried to take a chunk off a piece, but it wouldn't split, so the FP took the whole chunk and chopsticked it to me. I took a bite. It was gross. Overcooked, dry, but fishy tasting in a bad way. It reminded me of something my mom might have cooked when I was very very young. (She is 100 times better than she used to be, but back then she had only been cooking at all for maybe 10 years. She never cooked anything until after my parents married and moved here to the states.) So I immediately spit it out and put the chunk of offensive fish in one of the side dish dishes. The FP laughed. But I couldn't help it. It was a gut reaction. So we finished this nasty lunch, and the bill came. The FP told me to stiff them on the tip as much as possible. I think I tipped $4 on $26. I really stuck it to them. I'll teach them to not give me ice water and to not give me condiments until I ask. Who do they think I am? Is it possible that they didn't know that I was the Food Ho? Although, I wouldn't want special VIP treatment just because of who I am. When I go out to eat, I want to eat with all the common folk and get treated equally like everyone else.

No, in all seriousness, I kind of felt discriminated against. Why did someone else get ice water and squeeze bottles of soy sauce and whatever the other thing was, and I got tea and one ounce of soy sauce? And the weird thing was, that the other people who got treated so nicely were AMERICANS! If they had been Korean, I would have completely understood. But this unnerved me. If the servers had understood engrish better, I would have asked them. Maybe they still don't like Filipinas or Filipinos because they think they are superior to them. Maybe they thought we'd give a shitty tip, so they gave shitty service. (Well, I guess they ended up being right.) I really didn't understand how much of our horrible experience was because of a language/custom barrier and how much was from discrimination or just plain bad service. I don't know, but I won't be going back. There are just too many more places to try, and not enough money or meals in the day to waste another meal at this place. And maybe I'll miss out on something really amazing.

So anyway, I give them one chopstick \ The Food Ho has ruled against. Dae Jang Keum Korean BBQ restaurant.

Korean BBQ is the winner.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What have we eaten since we left Nola?

Well, I took a few notes, although I should have taken more. I'll try to recap as much as I can, I don't want you faithful readers to miss out on one of our gastronomic experiences!

The Friday night after we got back, we had nachos. Nothing fancy. Ground beef with the spices and ground chili powders we had on hand, salsa - La Salsa Chileana brand, of course, tortilla chips and that mexican four cheese blend.

So the next day we had the leftover ground beef from that and a bit of cheese. So I thought I would make some kind of chilaquiles, it just sounded good. Okay, it's not really chilaquiles. It's not green and not with chicken. I don't know if that is the defining ingredients, I have seen chilaquiles with that stuff in it. But everyone else names something what it really isn't, so why can't I? Like confit. Everything confit - duck, tomato, salmon, red onion. Anyway, I'm going to name it Mexican lasagna anyway, because that's way more of a better description of what it looks and tastes like. Here's the recipe I wrote down:

Mexican style beef lasagna

1.5 # ground beef seasoned with new mexico chili powder, garlic, onion, coriander, arbol chili powder

1/2 onion diced

4 cloves garlic crushed

5 dried new mexico peppers rehydrating in a little hot water

1 32oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 T coriander

1/2 T arbol chili powder

salt and pepper

2 oz pickled jalapenos

3 oz salsa

4 oz mexican 4 cheese blend shredded

fresh corn tortillas - about 12 - 16

So basically, it's mexican lasagna. You make the sauce. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the chili powder. Let it toast. Then add the canned tomatoes and the new mexico chilis, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then blend it. Mix some of the sauce with the beef. In some kind of hotel pan or casserole or baking dish or ovenproof receptacle, layer some tortillas so that they overlap and cover the bottom. Pour a little sauce evenly over them. Then lay the meat down evenly on top of that. Of course, if you want it to look like your 6 year old niece made it, spread it out all lumpy. Then pour some more sauce on the meat. Sprinkle the pickled jalapenos on top. Then put down more tortillas and the rest of the sauce. Put the salsa on top. Press it all down with a spatula. Then put the cheese on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 275 for about 40 minutes, then take the foil off and turn the oven up to about 375 for maybe 5 minutes to get the cheese toasty. Now, if you bake this and it doesn't seem to be cooked or it's overcooked, don't blame me. You've gotta know a little about the principles of casserole cookery. If the sauce is still really loose and it's not hot, let it go longer. If it's drying up before 40 minutes, then take it out. I can't come to your house and watch it for you. Actually I can, for a gigantic fee, including airfare and hotel accomodations for two. Unless you live in a mansion and have a private guest wing. Anyway, when it's done, let it set a bit, then cut it, and eat the shit out of it.