Archive for November, 2007

Chicken Bag

November 30, 2007

Sorry I have not been blogging- I’m more bummed about it than you are, trust me. My laptop screen went black on me and I need to get a new computer asap but my sources in Cupertino tell me that there are fun surprises to be revealed at MacWorld in January… could it be true???

Ok so enough lamenting and onward with blogging. Here is my new chicken bag, that I have been dying to tell you about. It’s really kinda creepy, but fun, and I love it- the chicken gets a lot of stares, gawks and compliments on the subway. It’s made of rubber, and was only $25 at the little French tchotchke* shop Pylones. With the holidays in just a few weeks, this is a great gift idea for all the foodies in your life. Fill it with eggs for the best give ever!

And no, this is not a schill. I just love my chicken bag and want you to get one too. Here she is posing for Umami Mart. Ain’t she a beaut?



* I just learned this morning that this is the way tchotchke is spelled. Who knew???

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Beef Tongue Stew

November 29, 2007

Beef tongue looks gross. However, that long slow moving tongue of a cow becomes such a delicate dish (if you don’t mind looking at the fetus-like part below).

Since I live in Chelsea, I do most of meat shopping at Western Beef, where there are quite a few different parts of every kind of meat. Also the price is soo great. You can buy a whole rack of prime rib for $100. I am talking about the whole rack, not 5 bones. If you have a large party, WB is the place to shop.

I was in the meat isle (it is actually a big ass fridge, and it’s always 35 degrees) and found a beautiful beef tongue. I guess I shouldn’t call a beef tongue beautiful… I had been thinking about making stew so I bought it. The whole thing was like $10, cheap right?

As you can imagine from your own tongue, the surface is very tough, and it looks absolutely gross. I showed it to my bf, and he almost barfed…


4 hours slow cooking later with lots of good ingredients, very tender meat was served (only for me).

Recipe is something like this:

  • 1 beef tongue
  • 3 cans of demi glas sauce (you can buy this at Japanese grocery store)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • Bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Boil tongue for 5 minutes, then discard the water. Add all the ingredients and pour water to cover the meat. Slowly cook it for about 4 hours. Take the meat out, cool a bit, then peel the skin off (this was VERY disgusting, but definitely needed). Cut it into individual size. I used hand blender and blend everything into a thick sauce. Put meat back in, cook for about 20 minutes so that meat absorbs the sauce. Serve with rice or mashed potato.

There will be a lot of sauce left, and you can make the best hayashi rice with it (hayashi rice is somewhat similar to Japanese curry, with thinly sliced beef and onion).

Yum!

Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara

November 27, 2007


I have a very large family and every Thanksgiving, a sprinkling of us flock to my aunt and uncle’s beach house in Santa Barbara for a long weekend of sea, sun and food. It’s truly a magical place, located right on a little cove called Devereaux. To make things easier on people traveling from out of town, we celebrate T-Day on Friday, and this year about 40 of us were able to eat together. My cousins Jaime & Shannon and I were in charge of making the appetizers, or as we call them, “pupus” (hawaiian for finger food). Here are a few photos from our weekend.

Persimmons and Clementines are in Season and Surf’s up!




Pumpkin Curry Deviled Eggs

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Spring Rolls with a Cilantro Soy Dipping Sauce


Goat Cheese and Apricot Empanadas

Jaime & Aunt Janet BBQing the Turkey


The Dinner




Turkey Report

November 26, 2007

It was definitely one of the best highlights of my dinner hosting business. We bought a table, chairs, table clothes and new plates. (Remember my past post about sit-down dinner options?). I realized renting wasn’t an option (I couldn’t reach the minimum order of $500).

Everything looked like how it should be. As I said before, I didn’t make everything, and all the guests brought side dishes and they were all superb! I didn’t have to worry about making everything, and because of that, I was pretty relaxed all day. Although I love making everything from scratch, I think I’ll wait till I have an appropriate kitchen/oven.

Here is the scene. Our living room turned into a nice dining area.

Basically turkey was busting out of the oven. 22lb. was definitely too big for my tiny oven. I marinated it in the recipe I showed before (soy, hoison marinade) overnight. I also kept basting every 20 minutes with a white wine, turkey broth and ton of melted butter concoction.

6 hours later, the monster was done, very moist, and very tasty. 22lb. and an All-Clad roasting pan made the heaviest thing, and I almost dropped the whole thing when taking it out of the oven. Thank god I managed not to do that!

Since I didn’t assign anyone to make vegetable side dish other than salad, I made brussels sprouts with pancetta.

Oscar brought this AMAZING yam dish. It was almost like a dessert, with nuts and pineapple in it. Super sweet and delicious!


Marty made Martha’s famous stuffing with cranberry and sausage. This was also VERY tasty.


Oscar’s Finnish potatoes. This was sooo fattening that Oscar didn’t even touch it. You know how bad it is when the maker doesn’t even want to eat it (which means taste sooo good) . It has ton of cheese, cream and other good shit. Red bits are not bacon, mind you. It is red potato skins.


The whole spread. I wanted to put everything on the dining table, but we had WAY too much food so we made it buffet style.

Happy toasting time. I think everyone had at least 2 servings. We almost finished both breast meats.

It was very nice to have all our friends over, and had such a wonderful meal. Everyone was full and drunk by the end of the day (we went to karaoke to burn some calories off afterwards). Too bad I broke the wishbone trying to yank it out… I guess my wish of having a wonderful thanksgiving meal came true already, so no need to wish for more…

I was dog sitting over the weekend, and she was way too overwhelmed by all the people, and was covered up by a cashmere throw and slept almost all day. What a classy girl Wheezy is..

Introduction

November 22, 2007

Hello my name is Sonja and I’m a new poster here! I’ve been taking photos of food since I was 16 and never stopped. My life is recorded better in food pictures than in pictures of friends and family (that is sad). I live in Williamsburg but have never had really great food there (I seriously don’t think it exists) so I usually eat out in Manhattan and randomly in New Jersey. I also cook quite often but I prefer to eat out every chance I get! I hope to post pretty often even though I don’t really use my blogger account.

I thought I would start out with this disturbing picture of giant oysters:

Here are some kumamotos in comparison:

I’ve been kind of on an oyster-for-dessert kick…I think it actually makes sense to eat them at the end of a meal.

I just had dinner at Korean barbecue at the Manhattan branch of Fort Lee staple Madangsui. I read reviews before I went and was expecting a great from their banchan (free appetizers).

There were quite a few but they were basically just different forms of kimchi. They do serve this preserved raw crab that’s kind of rare to get in restaurants.

You need to be a little careful though because food poisoning is possible. Now you totally want to eat it I know.

We ordered kalbi (marinated shortribs) and jumurok (tenderized short rib pieces). Too much meat! Their servings are quite large and flavored sweet. They use pear in the marinade. The fat marbling is pretty intense but not really any large pieces of fat.

Delicious but ask for perilla leaves, gheneep, along with the lettuce. It is in the same family as Japanese shiso but the flavor is somewhat different. The restaurant also provides a decently spicy jigae and steamed egg dish (pretty bad). This was probably some of the better the Korean BBQ I’ve had here but then again I don’t eat it so often. Anyways, nice to meet y’all!

Madangsui
35 W 35th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 564-9333

Umami Buzz

November 22, 2007

http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzz/Umami

Blogging Blues

November 21, 2007

UGH!!! I have great pictures for the stuffing that I made the other day and I can’t upload my photos without the correct software for my work computer!!!! AAAAAHHHH!!!

My personal computer conked out on me the other night, which is why I have not been blogging in the first place.

Anyhow, happy Tday to everyone! It’s time to GET FAT!

Erin Gleeson in the NY Times

November 21, 2007

Here it is, hot off the press (er, not really)– Erin’s very first photo shoot for the NY Times Dining section. WAAAAA!!!! This is AWESOME! She took shots for some aussie joint in the West Village which is getting some hype, called Kingswood restaurant.

Hopefully she will divulge all once the Times releases their tightass grip on their copyrights.

Congratulations Erin!

Thanksgiving – Let’s Give Thanks

November 20, 2007

Yeah right. I am just excited about executing all the practices into my 22lb bird (the biggest I could find). It’s fresh bird this year, and I will marinate the whole thing in a household ziploc bag over night. Some people, such as Kayoko has been telling how much she HATES turkey, but I will make people change their minds. Turkey = Dry is such a myth. If you cook it right, it’s very moist, flavorful, not gamy, just damn good!

Everyone, enjoy this Thursday, eat a lot, drink a lot, eat more, till you fall asleep while eating. I will write all about it next week.

Best Seafood in Queens

November 18, 2007

Friday was Astoria exploration day. After hitting P.S. 1 for a rooftop performance by Min Tanaka (which was more about the 4 or 5 photographers who were making so much noise throughout) Ryo guided us into her ‘hood. It was already nighttime dark at 6pm, and very chilly, so I was hugely relieved when we arrived at the unassuming restaurant Elias Corner.


I love how it says “for Fish.” I’d read up on the place on-line when Ryo mentioned this restaurant — she had wanted to go, because it smelled so good, and it was always packed, but always ended up at the Beer Garden down the block and never made it out.

When we arrived, we were the first ones in the dining area, but within 30 minutes the place was already packed. Upon entering, we passed by a huge glass case displaying the evening’s ingredients:

Fish, fish, shellfish and more fish. Dizzying!

There are no menus in the restaurant. You have to ask the waitress to tell you everything they’ve got for the day, or ask for something specific (and I assume they probably have it). We started out with the grilled octopus, fried calamari, small white fish fried, and chopped green salad.

The friendly waitress cut the octopus for us. SO moist and tender, absolutely delicious. There was an online review that complained that the octopus was rubbery, but not so! In fact it was so darned good we got another plate of it! Yummmmm


Both the calamari and the fish were beautifully fried. Light, crispy, not too greasy or batter-y. I am not the biggest calamari fan, but this was pretty nice. The little fish fried whole were AWESOME. We got our calcium for the day, for sure. Both dishes were nice and simple — served with a big lemon half. That was all you needed — a little lemony acid to cut through the oil.

The chopped green salad is worth mentioning as well. Dressed lightly, it also had dill, which added a lovely flavor to otherwise ordinary roughage.

For the main course, we decided to split two grilled fish — Mediterranean sea bass and red snapper. Again, there’s no mystery in the preparation here, just simple, straightforward, and beautifully done. Both fish were dressed in lemon halves and perfectly moist on the inside.


Mari preferred the sea bass, but by that point in the evening I was so content that I’d lost my faculty for discerning one great dish from another. It was all good. I didn’t take an “after” pic, but very little remained. Mari was sucking on the bass bones like a cat.

The only surprise was the bill. Since there is no menu, you don’t really know what you’re getting into. We got several carafes of white white, and maybe 6 Greek beers, and the total came out to $42 per person. A bit more expensive than we’d hoped for, but well worth the price and the trip out to Queens.

Elias Corner for Fish
24-02 31st St.
Astoria, NY11102
Phone (718) 932-1510