Saturday, April 18, 2015

Recipe - Beef and Broccoli

[This is a recipe modified from a previous post from 2010] It's iconic really, this Beef & Broccoli dish that people see in multiple Chinese to-go places. The dish is usually coated in a sweet brown sauce as well, giving flavor to the steamed rice beneath it. You can have this dish, however, without all of the grease that seems to accompany it. In fact, you can make it pretty quickly if I do say so myself! This is a great way to make a quick weeknight dinner that will satisfy the two camps of getting vegetables in for the day and getting some protein too! It just takes a few ingredients but turns out a lovely, soon-to-be staple.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Road to Jerky-Making Obsession (and Lessons Learned)

This is actually a guest post by Duc himself who very rarely participates in actively cooking or making food and even more rarely in writing. Photographing the food is more his style. However, he somehow fell into an obsession over making the "perfect" beef jerky for our taste preferences and wanted to contribute. I was all for that, and hey, anything that gets him cooking is good enough for me. I love that he's getting into this all AND has some thoughts to share below so read on!

I'm an impulsive snacker, and I'll grab whatever is nearby that seems like it would satisfy my random cravings. With all the health craze going on, I figure I should have more control of the quality of snacks I have available. Beef jerky sounded like the best option: it's manly, simple, and doesn't require hard-to-find ingredients. Perfect for a beginner like me!

Thanks to the Google gods, I have combined and adapted my own recipe for beef jerky. Credit goes to Food Wishes for inspiring the base of this recipe. It has a short heat kick to it and is beefy enough to satisfy that meaty, salty craving. And it's great for gifting! It also is much more cost effective to make your own than to buy. Grocery stores have jerky for nearly $2 per ounce (Costco has the best pricing at $1/oz)!

So let's get started, I'll break this post into commentary from my point of view.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Eatery - Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop (HI)

Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

1030 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Neighborhood: Downtown)
Pricing - $$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Brunch, New American

On our trip to Oahu in December 2014, our friend's friend was quite eager to show us Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop, a fresh, fairly-new restaurant that had opened to great responses. It focuses on catering to the breakfast and brunch seekers with several options for both mealtimes, open at 8AM and closing at 2PM with lunch service starting at 10:30AM. The name itself is an indicator of what they want to focus on - making food from scratch. We saw through the open kitchen that this was the case for their baked goods at the very least. The brunch we enjoyed was from their Fall 2014 menu so it is possible the dishes I write about next might not be in the menu you'll be noshing on but at least you can get a sense of their style!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Harrah's SoCal Hosts 2nd Annual Latin Food & Wine Festival

Love Spanish wines? How about Spanish food? Maybe you just want to learn more about both by experiencing them firsthand. Your chance is less than a month away to do so! Harrah's SoCal is hosting the 2nd Annual Latin Food & Wine Festival in the afternoon of May 2nd, and tickets are still available. Celebrate Spanish wine and Latin cuisine with Celebrity Chef Javier Plascencia that Saturday while enjoying live entertainment via Spanish guitar with flamenco dancers, Cumbia, Latin Pop, Mariachi, and Latin Jazz.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Test Kitchen - Edamame Crusted Ahi Tuna

The best dishes are the simplest dishes to me. When we decided to make some dry roasted edamame our Test Kitchen ingredient, I kept trying to think up obscure ways to use the snack. However, in the end, the simplest way was the route to take. I was inspired by the many pistachio-crusted items I've enjoyed in the past and decided to coat some beautiful ahi tuna steaks with edamame. It turned out to be an excellent idea and one that won't take you very long at all to do as well! The edamame gives a salty nuttiness to the ahi with the additional, occasional zing from peppercorn. It's delightful.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Brix at the Shore Impresses with Best Pastrami

We have to confess that we are jealous of the community out in Belmont Shore in Long Beach. Why is that? Well, they've got Brix at The Shore. Granted, the restaurant is not too far from where we reside but to have the best pastrami so close to you must be a treat. This spot is not only where we've had the best pastrami we've had but also a local favorite for its wine and craft beer selection. The 65 seats fill up quickly during their lunch, dinner, and brunch services as people flock to the relaxed, quality environment owner Rick Reich has put together. It attracts guests of various ages with the great food, personable staff, and welcoming atmosphere. When we got word of the accolades that Brix at The Shore has received for their pastrami (among other things), we were ready to get over there and visited through an invitation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Behind the Scenes - Chef's Insight to Nieuport 17's Good-Bye After 45 Years

Today marks the end of a 45 year legacy in Orange County - Nieuport 17 serves its final meal tonight. Founded in 1969 in Santa Ana by former Navy pilot Bill Bettis, the restaurant got its legs as a themed restaurant focusing on aviation. The walls were and are decorated with what the unaware might consider as mere paraphernalia; rather, the pieces are valued artifacts. Nieuport 17 has a history of hosting the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds as well, many of whom are also celebrated on the walls. It was not unheard of for guests to visit the restaurant three to four times a week, and the long-serving staff played a big role in this frequency. So when the news hit that Nieuport 17 would be closing, it was as if a dear old friend had announced his imminent passing. "I've got two months to live, loves," it seemed to say, and this close of March marks its last breath. While plenty of outlets have reported on the community and business owner's points of view, we were most curious about what it meant for the staff; what is it like to be part of a restaurant's closing? Chef Jeff Moore inspired us to learn more and enlightened us on this momentous situation.