Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Newman's Own Recipe #2

Okay, so the first recipe was crazy simple.  Older kids could make this themselves if like me when I was young, they have to fend for themselves for an after school snack.

So, this recipe is inspired by the jars of Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Sauce that I received as part of the foodbuzz tastemakers program.  Not only that, Newman's Own also gave me a free Flip Video camera to record my recipes with!  Oh man, Newman, you people don't know what you're getting into by giving me, TFH, a video camera!!!!!

This recipe has more steps, and while it isn't the quickest recipe, it is a fun and delicious dish, that would actually be great for getting the kids to help.

Tomatoey Chicken Stew with Polenta
serves 4

2 - 3lb chicken thighs (of course if you want you can use white meat, but I recommend bone in        chicken for flavor and texture)
1 medium onion medium dice
3 cloves garlic chopped
8 oz mushrooms slice
1 c white wine
1 jar Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Sauce
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 c polenta
5 c water, chicken or veggie stock
1/2 c parmesan cheese
4 leaves basil

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a hot pan on medium high heat.  Season chicken, then place skin side down in hot pan.  Let it brown for several minutes, then flip and cook 3 more minutes.  Remove chicken from pan.  Saute onion and garlic, 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and let cook for another 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Deglaze with wine.  Add chicken back to pan.  Empty whole jar of tomato sauce into pan and stir.  Lower heat to medium low, and let cook for about 45 minutes.

Bring salted water to a boil in high sided saucepan.  Whisk in polenta.  Continue to whisk for about 10 minutes, until polenta is starting to thicken.  Lower heat to medium low.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle in the rest of the olive oil.  If you love olive oil like I do, you can add twice as much.  Switch to a wooden spoon and keep stirring constantly for 20 - 30 more minutes, until it's not grainy anymore - it will be smooth and fluffy, and it will stick to the sides of the pan.  This is the part where it would be really helpful to have a little helper in the kitchen to keep stirring the polenta!  Taste it and reseason as needed.

To plate, spoon polenta onto plate or in bowl, place chicken on top with lots of sauce.  garnish with torn fresh basil, grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.

You can save any extra polenta for polenta cakes.  Spread leftover polenta evenly in a sheet pan.  Cover and weigh it down with another sheet pan and let it firm up in the fridge.  To reheat, cut polenta into squares, or triangles.  Dredge with flour.  Heat oil in a hot pan and place polenta cakes in pan.  Let it brown on medium high heat for a few minutes, then flip it.  Turn heat lower and let cook for 5 more minutes.  You can serve it with the leftover chicken stew, or with almost any sauce - pesto in particular goes really well with this!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Newman's Own Recipe

So, I'm breaking out the new toy for this one.  I all of a sudden felt kind of rundown yesterday, but I had planned to do the cooking demo, so I soldiered on anyway.

So, what happened, was, as part of the foodbuzz tastemakers program, I received some Newman's Own tomato & basil sauce and a Flip Video camera as well to record some recipes!

Not only is it pretty tasty sauce, but the company gives the profits to charity.  So, while stuff our faces with their products, we can feel good about ourselves!

This first one is so easy it's ridiculous, but it's really yummy.

Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Sauce with Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic Croutons
serves 1 - 6 as an appetizer

2 bulbs garlic, peeled
1 oz extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
cracked black pepper
1 jar Newman's Own Tomato Sauce
1/2 log goat cheese
4 leaves basil
1 baguette sliced

Toss the garlic with salt, pepper & extra virgin olive oil.  Put in foil and seal.  Bake in oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the garlic is soft.

Heat about half the jar of tomato sauce in a pan on the stove.  Wait until it starts to simmer.  Put sauce in an ovenproof bowl.  Sprinkle with small pieces of goat cheese.  Bake in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, until cheese is melty and sauce is bubbly.

Smear some roasted garlic on croutons, and serve on the side with the tomato and goat cheese sauce.  If you know they're going to want more, then put the second bowl in the oven before you serve the first!

(And BTW, it's perfectly acceptable to eat the whole bowl by yourself!)

So, here's the video.  I had to have a little fun with it, otherwise, I wouldn't be The Food Ho!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gotta Love Food Buzz!

So, I am a Food Buzz featured publisher.  What does that mean?  Well, Food Buzz is like a culinary facebook.  I do admit I am rather neglectful of my Food Buzz page, but I do keep up with their emails, because they give me lots of cool opportunities to try new products!

So, I opted in for the Newman's Own products offer... and a free Flip Video Camera.  I was hoping to get this one.  And what do you know, a little while later I got an email saying that I had been chosen to receive "these products as part of a Tastemaker program with Newman's Own."

So, here's the sauce.  I think I was supposed to get two different sauces, but I'm not going to complain!

Here is the camera, which I have yet to open, because I needed to get this blog posting out.  The deadline for the blog was tomorrow, but I don't know if I'm going to have time to make a blog about how I cook this stuff by sometime tomorrow night!  I think I was supposed to get this sooner?

And here's the letter, and a coupon for a free Newman's Own Pizza.

So, we'll see what exciting recipe I can make with this sauce!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lunch Date with Celebrity Blogger Canine Cologne

So, a couple weeks ago, I went to lunch with Canine Cologne, of the blog Pink Candles at Ridgemont High.  So, if you've never seen her sight you should take a gander.  She blogs about food, and other general stuff; pop culture and fashion.  And she loves Tokidoki.

We had gone to Sab E Lee way back when, and then a year or so later we went to Ba Ren with Kirk K of Mmm yoso.  If you haven't read this blog, you definitely should as well if you are serious about ethnic food.  He's like a food almanac.  I think I told him that he should teach a gastronomy class at a university.

So, anyway, CC asked me where I wanted to eat.  I'm so damn indecisive, so I was like, "I don't know...."  So she gave me a few choices, and I was like, these two sound intriguing.  The other two were soul food places, which while I love this kind of food, I figured the other two choices were places I might be less likely to go to with the FP.

So, we decided (really CC did) on Wa Dining Okan.  Here is CC's post of the lunch, Wa Dining Okan.
Here's my pictures:

This is my "basic set."  Basic set doesn't sound like food to me.  It sound like...maybe makeup or kitchenware or maybe your wardrobe.  Anyway, it was miso soup, rice - I chose brown rice just for something different,  pickled cucumber and carrot, japanese potato, rice noodles, and a seaweed salad.

Here were our protein choices, I guess you would call it.  CC got the chicken, and I got the mackerel.  They were both really good.  The chicken pieces were little crispy nuggets of goodness fried in tempura.  I love tempura.  I don't eat it much, but man, it is a great way of frying anything!  When I worked at the Windsor Court way back when, we once had this dessert that was wedges of peaches fried in tempura.  Were those good!

The mackerel was so good.  It was in "original sauce"  which seemed to just be some type of soy and vinegar type sauce.  But you don't need much for mackerel.  It was kinda funny though, because the piece that I gave CC had like 5 or 6 bones in it, and of the rest of the mackerel that I ate, I only got 2 or 3.

Here's is CC's basic set.  She got the rice with added salmon roe.  Too much roe though, as you can see. All of her rice was permeated with the fish egg flavor.  Seems not cost effective to give that much roe anyway.  So, I would like to come back here for dinner.  CC said the dinner menu is more izakaya style for dinner - lots of skewers and other snacky dishes.  But, she also said if you go on the weekend you definitely want a reservation.  Hmm... sounds like an early evening weekday dinner for us.  That's what we prefer anyway.  The sucky thing about that, is that when we move to South Florida we will be jostling for tables with all the blue hairs for the early bird specials.

So, after lunch, which CC so graciously treated, we went up Convoy Street.  It was lunchtime, so parking was shitty, surprise surprise.  So we parked on the street.  We walked over to The Fruit Shop.  CC took lots of pictures here in her blog entry, The Fruit Shop.  There were cool asian fruit.  Some of the same weird stuff you will find at 99 ranch, but without the hassle of going to 99 ranch market.  This woman kept trying to give us samples to try.  She gave me a longan.  CC passed, as she didn't like those.  It was... okay.  Not much flavor.  I don't know if I've ever had one, so I don't know if it was peak taste or not.  I was expecting it to be more flavorful like a lychee.

She gave us tastes of jackfruit.  Once again, it lacked a little flavor, although it looked like it was going to be really good.  The thing about a lot of this exotic fruit is that it's expensive.  Some of the stuff was sold packed in plastic containers or bags, so it was kind of expensive.  I guess that's why they try to force you to taste everything, because hopefully, you will taste something you like and be okay with spending the cash.  CC got a kiwi.  It was one of those paler larger golden kiwis.

So, then we walked over to Pangea,  which CC posted about here: Pangea.

So, it was a cool Taiwanese bakery with lots of different buns, including those hot dog buns, which I have yet to try.  It was all interesting, but since we had just eaten lunch, nothing really grabbed me.  If I had been starving, I probably would have picked out 3 rather quickly.

So, it was weird because we heard piano music.  There was a piano in the corner.  We thought it was like a piano player thingy.  Then CC pointed out that there was a man playing piano.  We hadn't seen him when he walked in.  He was playing popular hits from like the 80s and musicals and stuff.  Of course, CC could tell what every single song was a few notes in.

So, CC suggested we look at the 2 for 1 buns.  She got a chocolate bun, and she suggested I try that dried pork one that her friend likes.

Why the hell not?  I like pork buns, and for the sake of research, I definitely thought I should try it.  The chocolate one was only topped with chocolate, and the custard was not chocolate.  So, this was somewhat disappointing, but it was still good.  The pork had a good taste, but I'm not sure what I expected.  It was crumbly, like pork dust.  I guess I thought it would be more stringy like pork jerky or something.  

Then we also got mochas.  I never drink mocha.  It was a special treat.  I just drink iced Bustelo and soy milk in the morning, but this was a special occasion.  My last lunch with CC.

Wa Dining Okan
3860 Convoy Street

The Fruit Shop
4619 Convoy Street

Pangea Bakery
4689 Convoy Street

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don Felix

So, we went to LA over a week ago to see our friend's band play at the Echo.  We decided to get a room and stay overnight.  So we headed up on a Sunday morning.  We stopped at a McDonald's for breakfast.  Yes.  McDonald's.  I had a hash brown, a bacon egg and cheese biscuit and orange juice.  The juice was too big.  The FP had a sausage mcmuffin and a teeny yogurt and fruit parfait.  They are only 99 cents, so what do you expect.

Anyhoo, we were on our way to a dive bar to watch the Steelers game.  It was Gabe's on Sepulveda.  The place barely looked like it was open from the front.  But when we walked in there were already plenty of people there.  There were only Steelers fans in the bar, but they all were friendly.  They were just ready to get drinking and watch some football.  So, we sat at the bar.  The bartender liked to high five.  So, when the Steelers had a good play, the bartender would go down the bar and high five everyone.  You know I'm not a big high fiver.  But, of course, I had to oblige him.

After the game, we went and checked into our hotel.  It was a remodeled Quality Inn on Silver Lake Blvd.  So, we put our stuff in our room and then we went around down the street to find a restaurant.  We had gone one block to the stoplight, when we saw a peruvian restaurant across the street called Don Felix.  That was a no brainer.  We walked in, and we were sold.  It was fairly busy with all latino customers.  The coolest thing was that our waiter was chinese.  And he seemed to not know much english, or engrish if you want to stereotype.  So, he would stand by the counter with his notepad and his hands behind his back, waiting until he thought a table was ready.  We were ready for a bit, but I couldn't make eye contact with him.  We just each ordered entrees.

I got the pescado saltado.  Something different to try.
 So the fish was marinated then fried crispy with the onion, tomato garlic saute.  I always love this, but I'm a saucy girl.  I would like it more if the sauteed stuff were saucier, like even if they just added a little water.  Anyway, it was really good.  I also love that it's acceptable to eat fries and rice together!  So, if you can see in the back right corner, there's the ramekin of pale green sauce.  This was like a chile salsa, pesto like as it had nuts in it.  It was hot as fuck, which was funny because it looked innocuous enough. It was really good though.  The FP ate a lot of it.

So this is what he got.  Okay, I'm not exactly sure which dish this is, so I'm going to venture a guess - picante especial de mariscos.  So it's mussels, squid, shrimp, octopus and fish in a peanut hot sauce.  It was like the hot sauce on the table mixed in.  It was really good and creamy and hot.   We were thoroughly satisfied with our late lunch, early dinner - dinnunch or lupper or lunner.

So, then we hung out at the hotel until time to go to the show.  Or so we thought.  We were on San Diego time, not LA time.  The doors opened at 10 and the show started a little after 11.  The band we went to see was by far the best.  They are called Kindest Lines.  You should check them out if you like synth music a la Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure, etc.  Really good show.

So, the next morning we were starving.  And we both knew where we were going.  Young Dong in Koreatown, of course.  I didn't take pictures I guess because I have blogged about Young Dong before here although it's weird that there were not pictures of the soup.  Anyway, you get a bowl of meat and noodles in weak beef broth.  The FP got the beef cheek, and I got the brisket and flank.  Then you season your soup with sea salt, green onions, a dry red spice, vinegar and soy sauce.  They also bring a jalapeno vinegar sauce and kimchee.  We put the kimchee in the soup too.  It's so simple but delicious.  Anyway, that was our quick trip to LA.  Short and tasty.

Don Felix Restaurant
4435 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles 90029

Young Dong
3828 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90010

Kindest Lines

P.S.  I am dumb.  I found the pictures of Young Dong that I thought I did not take!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pork Porn!!! Finally

So, I feel like I haven't delivered the promise of the blog title.  Here you go.

Yummy roast pork butt (hehe, I said butt) with mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Yum.  I love roasting meat and throwing onions and mushrooms in the jus the last 30 minutes of cooking.  I don't know if there is anything as beautiful in the world of cooking!  It just soaks up all the flava!  So, I made calrose rice and cabbage slaw.  It was a lot of pork.  Especially since the FP has been on a, (whispered) diet.  He's been gearing up for a marathon, so, he's been eating 30 - 50% less.  So, I've been cooking too much.  We've been eating the same meal 3 or 4 times in a row.  So, I did make a cuban like pressed sandwich a couple of times.  That was good.  Sourdough, swiss, horseradish mustard, lots of pickles, thin sliced pork and hot sauce.  So good.  But then, we still had a lot of pork left over, and it was about to graduate preschool, so I did what I always do.  I made soup.  LEFTOVER PORK BUTT SOUP.  I had to write it in all caps because the blog entry with that title is like the most viewed one.  

Anyhoo, I just threw together a Philippine tasting soup.  I sauteed onion, ginger and garlic.  Then I threw in mushrooms and let them cook a minute or two.  Then I added soy sauce, Rufina patis (Philippine fish sauce), rice vinegar, and some spice mix I had made for BBQ.  I let it come to a simmer, then put some water in and let it roll a bit.  Then I added some potatoes.  When they were almost tender, I added chick peas and sliced pork and let it go ten more minutes.  Heat some left over rice and throw it in, delicious pilipino taste!  So, we ended eating the entire pork butt.  I love not wasting cooked food!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Food, duh

So, I feel like I need to play cats up!  So, here goes:

El Indio

I don't have any good reason why we've never been here.  I guess it's just not in an area we frequent, so it's off the radar.

Chips and salsas.  Fresh fried chips are always nice, especially when seasoned.  Irregular cut is nice and homey!

Rolled tacos with guacamole.  When we move, can I still call it guac, or is that strictly a Cali term?  These were good.  Seasoned beef filling is important, people!

The FP's enchiladas.  He declared that this seemed like a good place to get them.  It was.  Very tasty.  He didn't finish one of the enchiladas and I ate it later that night!

soft fish taco with tartar sauce, cabbage, cilantro & tomatoes.  Nice work.

Carnitas taco with guac and ranchero salsa.  Double yum!

Okay, so one night the FP came home, and there was no meal prepared!  Bad housewife, shame on me! But, there was some leftover meat sauce.  So I made him some pizza toast!  So collegiate!

Well, he appreciated it!  Not bad for using leftovers...

Resulting soup from a trip to Mitsuwa.  Love that store!  Miso paste soup, udon noodles, bunshimeji mushrooms, pickled cucumbers, pickled lotus root and pickled seaweed salad.  We love pickles!

Spicy City

Cold dish from Spicy City.  Not as good as Ba Ren....

Stewed duck in chili sauce.  The waiter kept warning against this.  He said it had lots of bones.  So of course, we had to get it then.  It did have lots of bone chard on the account of being hacked into tiny bite sized pieces, but the meat had good flavor.  It was pretty hot.  I'm such a pussy when it comes to spicy heat now, on account of my digestive, err, issues I'm always having.

Roasted chicken, coconut rice and pigeon peas, sauteed mushroom, tomatoes and pea shoots.  Yum yum yum and good price point too!

Resulting chicken, corn and potato "gruel" as the FP termed it, from the leftover chicken.  Looked weird and chunky texture, but I thought it was good!

Whelp, that's all folks!