Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shortcut Cookies


I absolutely love this time of year because it means I can spend hours in the kitchen baking and filling the air with warm, cinnamon-y smells. I haven't baked much at all this semester mostly because I'm lacking basic baking essentials, so I was overjoyed when I found this really easy recipe for cranberry white chocolate cookies from a blog called Enlightened Cooking.



Some people would call this cheating. I call it getting the most out of your resources. I bought cookie dough and white chocolate chips from FroGro (UnCommon market also makes a healthier cookie dough without trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or other artificial ingredients). I used cinnamon I already had, and I took cranberries from Commons. The process literally takes ten minutes. Put everything into a plastic bag, smush together, form into balls, and bake. I've already made these three times in the last few weeks. It makes my room smell nice and homey. 


These cookies are a huge crowd pleaser. People were really impressed, and they had no idea that I only spent ten minutes putting it all together. Definitely give them a try!  To find the recipe simply go to the url below.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Break

Dear Penn Appetit Blog Readers,


We at the Penn Appetit Blog would like to thank you all for your readership and great comments.  Everyone on the blog staff loves writing about food and its great to know that other people like what we have to say!  However, with exams and vacation just around the corner, things on the blog will be slowing down.  We will still be uploading periodically, so please check back every once in a while.  The regular blog schedule will start up again in mid-January.


Celine
Co-Blog Editor

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Breakfast for Snack

As academics in a Food & Culture class, everyone (including our professor) took the food for the last day of class seriously. We each made our own suggestion, voted on them, and then would continuously discuss the menu. For a month. The verdict happened to be breakfast for snack. There were pop tarts, cinnamon rolls, rugelah, homemade pumpkin bread, homemade gingerbread cupcakes, bagels with cream cheese, orange juice, chips and guacamole, Nutella and bread, and sliced pineapple, mango, strawberries, and kumquat.


Have you heard of that last word? I certainly had not before yesterday. Kumquats look like this:

The flavor is very tangy, quite like a grapefruit. Come to think of it, kumquats are like very little grapefruits with a few differences. First of all, you eat the whole thing. That means the outer peel as well! Second, although the inside is very bitter, the peel is relatively sweet. Third, they are not found everywhere. They started growing in China, then moved through most of the world up to Florida, Louisiana, and California. However, they are still difficult to find. I tried looking for them at Fresh Grocer and, to my dismay, they were nowhere to be found.


So next time you are at a more diverse grocery store browse around the fruit section. You might find a surprise!

Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc

I have to say, I am fairly new to wine drinking, so attempting a wine review may be a little over ambitious, but I am going to give it a shot. I recently tried a Sauvignon Blanc from Chilean wine producer Root: 1. They proudly claim that all of their grapes are grown from original ungrafted root systems. Being unexperienced as I am, I can't say I would know the difference. A bottle runs about $13 and is a screw cap, excellent for me, because I am cork screw handicapped.
The wine itself is a crisp and clean white, with a citrus flavor. It has very fruity, almost flowery in scent. It is tart and almost sweet, but not very acidic tasting, which, I understand is characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc. The Root: 1 website suggests pairing the wine with chicken Caesar salad, grilled fish, seafood and even creamy pasta dishes. I enjoy the wine alone and with food. The wine is a great deal, so I would really suggest checking it out.

Photo from  Root:1 website, http://www.root1wine.com/#sauvignonBlanc.

WIMB: A Photo Introduction

I've talked a lot about the worms in my basement and thought you might be interested in seeing them in action. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of how the system works.
This is the bin with the lid removed. It is elevated on bricks and wood and the top layer in the bin is shredded newspaper.
A close-up of the bin's contents; this week the worms are eating kale, onion skins, apple peels and parsley.
A worm with some good-lookin' compost.
The list posted on our fridge of "yes" and "no" foods for the worms. I have had to modify it a little bit since the beginning of the year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top Chef Season 6: Episode 14 [Finale] Live Blogging

10:09
So here we are, the Top Chef Season 6 finale. It's been a long season for sure, with some breaks between weeks and that weird reunion/dinner special. For their final challenge, Kevin and the brothers Voltaggio have to create a three course meal: a first course in which all of the chefs will use the same ingredients, a completely open second course, and a dessert for the third course. The top three draw knives to get their sous chefs for the last meal; Kevin gets Preeti and Ash, Bryan gets Ashley and Jen, and Michael grabs Jesse and Eli. Kevin definitely got the short end of the stick on that one, and he certainly puts Preeti in her place by relegating her with simple vegetable chopping, which she still seems to be struggling with. Bryan's team definitely looks to be gelling the best, and that may just give him the edge he needs in what may be the closest finale ever, at least on paper.


10:23
The boys are just hanging out in their suite, probably their only down time all weekend, and they get the best surprise ever: moms! Only two are there, though, because, of course, there are brothers in this year's competition, REMEMBER? Well that little party ends quickly, when Tom meets the chefs on their way into the kitchen and surprise, surprise, adds a fourth course, a dish inspired by each contestant's favorite childhood memory, to the meal, which is only three hours away. We get a little surprise when Kevin reveals that he was accepted to MIT (!!!), but he turned it down to be a chef. Wow, who would have guessed? The dish that all of the contestants seem to be having the most trouble with is the mystery box dish, which has to include rock fish. I feel a little better about Kevin's complete misfortune being stuck with Preeti when he praises Ash's help in the kitchen. He basically has one real sous chef and one oversized child trying to imitate what a chef does. As dinner service nears, the music gets super intense; the producers must be trying to warn us that something big is about to happen. No, really?


10:36
Well they certainly didn't skimp on the the big names around the final table tonight, but clearly the only ones that matter are Stephen Starr and my future BFF Gail Simmons. For their first childhood inspired course, Kevin whips up a take on fried chicken with squash casserole, Bryan offers a modern interpretation of tuna noodle casserole with sardines and breadcrumbs, and Michael presents a cream of dehydrated broccoli with shrimp. Kevin certainly wins round one, but all of the chefs earn at least some praise from the panel. Umm, WTF, the moms only get to stay for the first course? What's up with that Bravo? Well, here comes the mystery box dish. All of the chefs combined the squash, meyer leon, and rock fish. Here, Michael probably takes the win, but all of the chefs were able to combine these seemingly incongruous ingredients beautifully. Kevin sticks to his favorite meat, pork, for the final round; Bryan tackles venison, and Michael goes for squab. Now, it's Bryan's turn, as his dish earns unanimous praise. Kevin gets a medium reception, and Michael stumbles a bit. As the cheftestants take turns introducing their desserts, all I can see is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Kevin pairs his with bacon and babana; Michael forms it into a cake with caramel, and Bryan whips up a dulce de leche cheesecake with fig sorbet. Following that whirlwind meal, it's really hard to say who's going to come out on top. All of the men had high points and misfires, but if one really stood out, it's Bryan. Whether or not that will determine tonight's decision remains to be seen.


10:51
Final judges' table here we come. Bryan steps into the fire pit first, and although the judges come down on his mystery box dish, they praise his venison as his best showing of the night. Although the judges seem disappointed in pork fanatic Kevin's main course, his first dish earns raves once again. Michael, finally, gets criticism for his dessert, which he readily admits to overcooking, but he definitely had the judges' favorite mystery box interpretation. Basically, we didn't learn anything new from judges' table. At all. I stand by my statement that this is easily the most closely matched finale ever, and without question, the right three men are standing together at the end. For the first time I can remember, I really don't have any idea who will be grabbing the victory after the break.


11:00
First of all, reunion next Wednesday. I unfortunately won't be able to blog it, but I'll certainly be tuning in for a rerun, hopefully to see some major Robin bashing. Padma knocks Kevin out first, setting up the ULTIMATE brother showdown between Bryan and Michael for the title. Thankfully, Kevin's lovely mom is there to comfort him, and he was really awesome all season. This year's winner of Top Chef, with a $100,000 prize furnished by the Glad family of products is.....Michael! Although I think Bryan was better overall tonight, Michael was on the cutting edge and at the top all season, and he had a spark that his more reserved older brother didn't necessarily show. I can't say this was my favorite season ever, but those final three, even final four with Jen, were all fantastic chefs, and their performances all seasons certainly made it a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to blog for Penn Appetit! Until next season...

What is Tapioca, anyways?

Tapioca: most of us have consumed it at one point or another without thinking twice about its origin. I remember eating tapioca pudding as a child thinking that those little gel balls were the seeds of a tapioca plant. I spent a great deal of my life living in tapioca ignorance. That all changed when I started drinking boba (or bubble tea) drinks three years ago. Boba is a tea-based drink that is often served with large, tapioca balls at the bottom of the glass. At this point in my life, I consider myself a boba connoisseur, and rightly so, I think, as I have consumed a lot over the years and sell boba straws and tapioca pearls online.


My relationship with boba prompted me to learn more about tapioca, the crux of the drink. Tapioca is actually the starch of the cassava root, a starchy tuber native to South America. Most of us encounter tapioca in the form of pearls, which are little balls of starch. Tapioca flour, the amorphous form, is often used widely as a thickening agent. It is especially valued because it does not denature at subzero temperatures.

We really don't use tapioca for more than pudding in the US. However, tapioca is used in a wide variety of applications internationally. In Brazil, for example, tapioca is made into a dessert by simmering pearls with sweetened wine. In Southeast Asia, it is made into crackers and bread.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Masterpiece--Granola

Of all the multi-layer cakes and multi-course meals I've made over the years of my culinary obsession, I am most proud of my granola. Now, I don't mean to brag, but I have never met a single person who hasn't told me that my granola is hands down the world's greatest granola. But that is not saying nearly enough. People who don't like granola, who are far too manly to ever profess a taste for something that is too often associated with vegan tree-huggers (hi Dad), wax poetically about this granola and sneak down into the kitchen at night not for cookies or ice cream, but my granola. My kitchen-phobe little brothers, who spend only enough time in this room to eat without lingering for fear of being put to work, find reasons to mill about as soon as the sweet spiced scent of baking granola reaches their room. This granola has been shipped all over the country and the world to feed dedicated fans. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be this granola. And now I am sharing my secret (non)recipe with you.


The (non)recipe
I apologize for not having exact ratios or measurements, these will depend not only on how much granola you are making, but also certain taste preferences. Also, I just don't ever write it down myself.


1. Cook over medium heat equal parts maple syrup and peanut butter (use nuttela if you're feeling extra sweet!). The amounts here will range from 1/2-2 cups depending on the amount of oats and how (sinfully) sweet you want the final product to be.
2. When the nut butter is completely melted remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk in about 2-3 egg whites for a "normal" sized batch (anywhere from 3-5 cups of oats)
4. Whisk in you're desired amounts of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Again, personal preference will determine the amounts.
5. Pour over a mixture of oats (3-5 cups) and any nuts you want to use - I've always used pecans. The mixture you make should be enough to coat the oats and nuts completely with out having any extra liquid at the bottom of the bowl.
6. Spread mixture out on a greased baking sheet.
7. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, flipping the granola about 15 minutes in (pull the sheet out of the oven and do your best to roughly turn over all the major chunks).
8. After half an hour, add an assortment of dried fruit and bake for about 10 more minutes.
9. Let cool and enjoy!


There are variations on this granola - mixing up the nuts, fruit, spices or even sweetening base. However, this version is my favorite.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Photo by Maggie Edkins


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sang Kee Noodle House at the Sheraton

My friend and I went to Sang Kee’s opening at the Sheraton last week. Reservations were limited, but if you were fortunate enough to get in, you had access to any dish on the menu (under $20) basically for free.  All you had to pay was tip. Obviously, I could not turn down an offer like this. Honestly, when do college kids ever turn down free food?

I should begin with a disclaimer. I am Chinese, so that means I’ve eaten mostly Chinese food my entire life. My parents were immigrants, so we always ate Chinese food at home and whenever we went out. I’ve had a lot of exposure to real, authentic (and very fake) Chinese cuisine, so I’m a tad picky when it comes to Chinese food.  

Anyway, our overall experience was enjoyable, though in my opinion, Sangkee is more westernized than other Chinese restaurants. Normally, before you even order at a Chinese restaurant, your table is served a pot of tea. I had to request tea, which came in the form of a tea bag and a thermos of hot water. I thought it was fine, but my parents would definitely not approve.

We ordered the steamed juicy pork buns, house pan-fried noodles, and pork with noodle soup. The noodles were okay. I’ve had better.  I enjoyed the soup. It had a strong, salty flavor. The noodles were the same kind as the pan-fried ones. Sangkee is not known for their pan-fried noodles, so I would order something else instead. The sauce was rather bland and lacked any kind of character. I would bank on the steamed juicy pork buns, which were better than the ones I had last month in NYC Chinatown. The skin was steamed to perfection and had an “al dente” bite to it. The buns really were juicy, and they didn’t use too much vinegar as flavoring. I’ve had juicy pork buns where the juice was basically vinegar. If you’re looking for an appetizer, skip the spring rolls you can find at any food truck and go straight for the steamed juicy pork buns!

Tip: Sangkee is still promoting their grand opening. You can go to the Sangkee website for a 50% off coupon.


Article by Samantha Shen

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Blog Lovin' - Pancake perfection


Blog: The Pancake Project


If you thought adding Mickey Mouse ears to your flapjacks was the pinnacle of pancake artistry, think again.  Check out this blog, for pancake snails, pigs, and for the NPH fans out there, Dr. Horrible. 


Note: Click here to see the original post.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crazy Cheese


The tale of the Crazy Cheese requires two bits of background information. First, that my family has gone to the Reading Terminal Market every Saturday morning since before I was born. The implications of this could be a whole other post. Secondly, that my mother and I love really pungent cheese. There are two cheese shops that we frequent at the Terminal and the owners and staff of both are always on the lookout for the most unusual, stinky, gooey cheeses for us. Occasionally, this means we get cheese a day or two over their expiration date. For a lot of aged soft cheeses or already-moldy cheeses this just means that they are extra ripe.

So when the owner at our favorite shop said he had some Saint Maure de Touraine that was a little extra aged we jumped at the opportunity. "It's very strong," he warned. But years of eating the weirdest goat, sheep, and cow milk cheese they had to offer left us eager for a new adventure. He gave it to us wrapped up in a plastic container...

We pulled the cheese out as soon as we got home and delicately unwrapped. The smell hit us before we saw it. Now, like I said, I love strong stinky cheese, so to compare this scent to extra strong extra stinky cheese does not do it justice. True, it smelled like cheese. Cheese that had been left to rot in the hot sun on a humid day. Days later, after we had relegated it to the back of the fridge, you could smell the cheese as you approached the kitchen. It looked like a brain. Bluish green and wrinkly. Not the thick, obvious mold of blue cheese, this was more a general sickly tint. On that first day, however, we were undeterred. The cheese had been initially bound in a little box made of little wooden rods (think, lincoln log). The man at the cheese shop had place this entire package inside the plastic wrapping. When we finally released it fully from the wrapping, the crazy cheese came to life. It literally oozed out every crevice of wooden container. It had the consistency of syrup - smelly, off-white, cheesy syrup. We boldly tasted it and nearly gagged. It was difficult to get the stench close enough to your face to even taste but when you did, you were hit with the flavor of something that is not to be consumed.

After a few days stinking up our kitchen we sadly disposed of the cheese and admitted defeat. We had found the cheese too cheesy for us to bear.

**And interesting follow up to this is that when we went back, months later, to retrieve the name of the offending cheese, the owner knew exactly what we were talking about as soon as I told him I was writing about the crazy cheese.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Top Chef Season 6: Episode 13 Recap

10:11
So no new episode last week, but tonight is officially part one of the season finale, and we'll be saying goodbye to one more chef before the final showdown next week. The chefs reunite at a Napa Valley train station after an extended break from the competition. The atmosphere isn't exactly 100% friendly, but what do you expect?! A very pregnant Padma hops off the train with guest judge Michael Chiarello and introduces the season's final quickfire, which is to use Napa's signature crop: the grape. But wait, these dishes will have to be prepared on the Napa wine train, and because it's a high stakes quickfire, the winner also gets a new Prius. I'd say that's worth a little motion sickness. The kitchen on the train is huge, but it's long and skinny, making for a lot of awkward passes back and forth. Kevin opts for dessert with a honey and fromage blanc mousse. Michael put together some sort of stuffed grape leaf with grapes all over, and his brother went for a delicate hen. Finally, Jen sauteed some chicken livers (possibly my least favorite food) and clams with grapes in a creamy sauce. Michael's incorporation of the grape in basically every aspect of his dish won Chiarello over, and he walks off with a new car as a result.

10:25
The dynamic duo of Padma and Michael is back and Padma announces the elimination challenge as catering a "crush" party (that would be crushing grapes) at a local winery. The chefs have to use all local ingredients "except for salt and pepper," and they have to prepare two dishes, one meat and one vegetarian, for a crowd of 150. It seems like the break from competition didn't do much for Jen's psyche; she seems as frazzled as ever while shopping for groceries at a local market that is certainly not Whole Foods. That said, most of the chefs seem confident, as they have pretty much free reign to do whatever they want within the guidelines, so hopefully, we'll see some impressive dishes tonight. With five hours to go, the cheftestants seem totally in the zone, obviously well aware of the importance of tonight's challenge. Michael's egg custard could be a make or break dish, and as he says, "It's all up to the egg at this point."

10:36
Well, Michael's egg turns out perfectly, according to him, and preparations reach the end just as the guests and judges arrive. Bryan prepared a goat cheese ravioli and fig-glazed short ribs, both of which lack a little bit of seasoning, according to our esteemed panel. The vegetable pisto with egg and turnip soup with foie gras from Michael certainly comprise the most ambitious menu of the night, and they judges seem to like, but not love, it. Simple as usual, Kevin prepared a beet and carrot salad and a grass-fed brisket and polenta, both of which totally wow the judges, all but securing Kevin his spot in the final three. Last up is Jen, who cooked up a chevre mousse and a braised duck leg with squash. The vegetarian dish is a little salty, but gets a decent reception, and her duck is certainly her standout for the night. It certainly won't be an easy decision tonight, so it will be really interesting to see who the judges put through to the finale.

10:51
As expected, Padma summons all four chefs to judges' table, for what should be a tough discussion. Besides his somewhat tough brisket, Kevin earns raves all around. Just as they did when they were sampling his food, the judges come down on Bryan for going a little bit short on seasoning, but they praise the layers of flavors in his dishes. Michael's dishes get a lot more criticism at the table than he did during the judges' tasting. Could he be in danger tonight? Jen admits to her mistake in not grilling the duck as planned, and Tom looks extremely disappointed. Is THAT the face that signifies a knife-packing? With such mixed feedback tonight, it's hard to say what will happen after the break, but I'd say it's between Michael and Jen for the elimination tonight, with slightly higher odds for Jen going home just based on recent disappointments.

11:00
Well here we go, who's going home one week short of the finale after such a tough season? The chefs return to the table and wait anxiously as Padma obviously draws out the decision as long as possible. Bryan is the first to seal his spot in the final with a win, and it's especially impressive considering that he was never in the bottom over the course of 26 challenges. In a non-shocker, Jen gets the boot. She excelled all season, but she didn't have the same level of consistently winning food as Kevin or the brothers. So we've got the brother vs. brother showdown that has been looming since episode one, and when you throw Kevin in there it should be a really strong finale. Next week everything wraps up, and there appears to be a formal dinner party with some extra cranky guests. Come back next week, and we'll "watch what happens."

Mushroom Hunting - Don't Try This at Home


It's nearly Winter, a season I eagerly look forward to. Winter marks the beginning of the rainy season in my home state of California. Within a few days of the first rain, countless little white or brown nubs can be seen emerging from the soil. For me, these fleeting little nubs, which eventually become thick-capped mature mushrooms, are hidden treasures, which literally emerge from nothing. They represent the mystery and splendor that nature possesses. I
spend a great deal of the Winter months scouring the landscape for these treasures. Mushroom hunting is a lot like mining for gold. A seemingly barren landscape can contain within it a hidden cache of rare, exquisite mushrooms, but one must look closely to spot them. Walking in the forest is incredibly exciting during this time of year - I'm always on the lookout for a rare mushroom that I've never seen before. I've never eaten any of the mushrooms I've found because of safety reasons; however, many serious and well-trained mycologists view mushroom hunting as a path to culinary mecca. Many scour the wet landscape for mushrooms rarely available in the supermarket and prized for their flavor such as the oyster, matsutake, chantrelle, morelle, and bolete. Needless to say they make a great holiday meal.


Bear in mind that mushroom hunting really is dangerous, even if you are well-trained and experienced. Aside from the notoriously deadly Amanita (death cap) mushrooms, many other mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal distress. So please, if you try this: look at, but don't eat the mushrooms!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Issue 5 of Penn Appetit

Please check out our new magazine, which you can find online here or on campus!


This has been a really fun issue, a few pages longer with some great content and design. Please let us know what you think of it, either in the comments or by emailing us. Thanks for reading!

-Emma, Editor-in-Chief

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Vegan Thanksgiving

The day before Thanksgiving began with a successful second loaf of vegan cornbread to supplement the loaf which I made the previous day for stuffing.  What resulted was a wonderfully golden loaf of corny goodness that was not too dense, not too sweet, and entirely irresistible.  Needless to say, I have been picking at it all day and can only hope that there will be enough to do my cornbread stuffing tomorrow! That was the entire reason I made this gorgeous loaf, pictured below, but I think it will turn into a standard in my repertoire.  Not to mention it's vegan!
Amazing Vegan Cornbread
Ingredients:

- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 Tbsp if flaxseeds ground mixed with 1 Tbsp of unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup agave (can add more for a sweeter bread, mine is for stuffing)
- 1/2 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
- 1 cup almond milk

Instructions:

Just pop it in the oven in a glass baking dish (sprayed w/ oil) for 20-25 minutes at 400 F, until it is deliciously golden brown!  Like I said; it is a really easy mixture of ingredients.  I proceeded to cut it into tiny cubes and lay the pieces on a baking sheet on top of the stove (since I had more oven-work to do) to dry out for the stuffing.




The stuffing I made with it turned out to be fantastic as well:


Vegan Crustless Sweet Potato Pie
 My next effort in the culinary works was roasting 4 sweet potatoes in the oven for my vegan, crust-less pie.  All I used was a blender and a spoon. How ridiculously awesome is that?


Ingredients:

- 1.5 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 cup mashed, roasted sweet potato (yum! feed Ian the skins :D)
Mix these together in the blender (purée) and add to it:
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup light brown surgar (depending on sweetness at this point)
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1/4 tsp. each ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg
- 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon

 Instructions:
Let it whirl until totally puréed in the blender and pour into a pie plate (ideally 9").  It rises quite a bit during the cooking process and gets a really nice crust on the top.  The sides act as a sort of crust as well, and it doesn't require the heavy pastry that is so characteristic of a pie.

Try out this avante-garde style of pie-making, and see what people say when there is no buttery pastry to bite into.  I guarantee only the staunchest of pie purists will even chide you as they gobble down this marvelous concoction regardless!  My family, omnivores and pie-enthusiasts alike, gobbled it up, and my dad, one who does not like dessert in the least, actually raved about it as well.  I was amazed.

Dolsot Bibimbap



Photo by Alice Gao

My Kosher Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I ate at my grandparents' house in New Jersey. What was special about this meal is that it didn't have all of the trappings of a normal thanksgiving meal.  Our thanksgiving mixed ethnic dishes with the traditional thanksgiving fare. The meal was kosher fleyshik, meaning it was a meat meal (since turkey is counted as meat) and so no dairy products could be used as ingredients in any of the dishes, in addition to normal laws of kashrut (no pork being the most famous, etc.).
The normal Thanksgiving dishes were there for the most part, though those were not exactly the highlights of the meal. There was a distressing lack of stuffing and gravy, which was problematic because the turkey was fairly dry (though there was a decent cranberry sauce). The mashed sweet potatoes made with bits of pineapple and topped with gelatin-free marshmallows were good, but a little bit too sweet. The freshly baked multi-grain rolls were great, as they were hot and had a nice full, but not overwhelming, flavor.
The Jewish components of the meal were the stand outs. A pareve (no dairy or meat ingredients) pea soup with barley was the first thing served, and in addition to being tasty, it wasn't too watery or too stew-like. At the table we also had potato knishes, which at our table were mashed potatoes inside round dough sacks; when hot, they went quite well with mustard (though eventually they became cold and fairly tasteless given the lack of seasonings inside). The salad course consisted of Israeli salad, which is essentially diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions with creamy tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds and other flavors (lemon juice, salt), used as a dressing. The highlight of the afternoon, undoubtedly, had to be my Savta's (grandmother's) braised brisket.  The night before, my friends parents were kind enough to let me try some of their brisket, which had just finished smoking and was very hot and very good. However, the one during the meal blew that one out of the water. The smell of it was enough to make me forget about everything else on the table. The taste, the juices, and the tenderness of the slices all combined to form an amazing meat dish. Overall, what the traditional meal lacked in taste the ethnic foods more than made up for.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Challah


My mom is Jewish, which of course means a lot that is completely extraneous to this blog. One very relevant result is that I know how to make the same challah that has been in my family since, well, forever. The Appelbaum (my mom’s maiden name) challah is not like the one you will find in fro gro, which is quite good. I’m warning you that it is not sweet and therefore goes very well with honey. I love it though and can eat (and have eaten) the entire bread in one sitting!

Ingredients:
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
3 eggs (you only need the yolk for one of them)
2 Tbl oil
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
A little less than 4.5 cups flour


1. Mix the yeast with the warm water. Stir until dissolved
2. Add 2 eggs, oil, sugar, salt. Mix.
3. Here’s where it gets a little touchy-feely. Add about 4 cups of flour until you can knead the dough. Stop adding flour once the dough feels a little sticky.
4. Knead
5. Brush a little oil on top
6. Cover with a damp towel for 2 hours – 1 day
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
8. Knead. Add more flour if needed until the dough is just a little sticky.
9. Braid
10. Brush the egg yolk all over the top and sides
11. Let the bread rise for ½ an hour
12. Bake for about 20 minutes. I like to undercook mine so this could theoretically take anywhere from 15-40 minutes.


Remember – don’t be stingy on honey!
Photo by Dana Robinson

A Bountiful Feast (part two)

The Friday after Thanksgiving was significantly more laid back. A little more than 1/10 the people were in attendance and there was a discernible beginning and end to the meal, as opposed to the hungry pillaging of Thursday. Only one turkey this time but it elicited quite the positive buzz. My boyfriend was able to sit down with us on Friday (Thursday was a hectic bustling between both our houses that ended in separate meals but plenty of relative interactions) and claims he has never had such a juicy turkey - quite the bold proclamation considering his mother was responsible for their thanksgiving turkey. The turkey was grilled on a charcoal grill and had a similar taste to the smoked turkey (in fact, the most common reaction was to the smokeyness) but was by far the most moist and tender of all four turkeys this year. We served it with the (inevitable) leftover mash potatoes and my mother's intensely handmade gravy. Turkey neck, giblets, hearts, and wings were roasted in a pan filled with chopped onions and apples sprinkled with rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage. After the pan had accumulated the coveted "brown bits" at the bottom, it was basted with hard apple cider. Meanwhile, apple cider and chicken broth reduced in another pan. The apples, onions, and basted turkey bits were added to the cider and chicken broth along with cream and more seasoning for a worth-the-labor apple turkey onion gravy. She has made it every year and people are newly impressed each time.


Dessert was the leftovers from Thursday. Knowing I would have to write this blog I admitted for the first time this year to my family, and I will do so publicly here, that I, Hannah Keyser, do not like pie. I realize this makes me unAmerican or even insane but it's true. Why separate the sweetness from the comforting carbs into two separate elements? I recognize that this makes me uniquely unqualified to comment of Thanksgiving dessert but I suffered through a few bites of pecan pie and I can tell you that if I liked pie, I would have loved this pie. I even when back for a second bite. But Thursday I indulged in dessert worth indulging in: chocolate cake. The same culinarily ambitious aunt responsible for the fried turkey has recently pursued a cake decorating hobby that results in multilayer confections that are almost too sweet to eat. This particular one was a chocolate cake base, a chocolate mousse, a while chocolate mouse and chocolate ganache on the top and outside. It was not Thanksgiving at all and I loved it.




Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Blog Lovin' - Because you still have leftovers


Blog: Not So Humble Pie


Get ready to be more thankful for your leftovers.  Check out this blog for a recipe for turkey eggs benedict. 




Note: Click here to see the original post.

Turducken

This Thanksgiving, I thought I knew what I was going to eat, you know, the regulars: turkey, mash potatoes, stuffing, a dinner role, and a piece of pumpkin pie. While your family members may be a little more surprising, the food of Thanksgiving will be the same year in and year out. This Thanksgiving though, one of my culinary dreams was unexpectedly realized, my aunt made a Turducken.

I have wanted to try Turducken since I first hear about it a few years ago. There is something completely novel about stuffing two birds inside of another bird, and filling that with stuffing. I have tried in vain a couple of times to convince my family to make Turducken, but since many of them subscribe to a vegetarian lifestyle, that was a hard sell. So I thought I would have to wait to try Turducken until a friend's family took pity on me or until the time came that I would have to make a large meal for many people, an event still many years off.

My aunt ordered it off the internet, and I regret not asking the website so that I could investigate the stuffing that came in the bird(s). I believe it was a traditional stuffing of offal, bread and nuts. The meats were not immediately distinguishable, which was funny, as we were all sitting around the table asking, wait, which one is that? After a few taste tests we were able to determine what was duck and what was turkey, but the chicken remained elusive, and no one is really sure there was a chicken in there at all. The tastes of the meats and the stuffing melded together through the long cooking process. The duck did not taste exactly like duck, and the turkey tasted a little different too, but in any case, it was delicious.

The Turducken was a truly a dream realized, so this Thanksgiving, I was thankful for my extended family who love a good gastronomic adventure.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Martha Stewart Thanksgiving

Last night was Thanksgiving dinner at the Russo house. We had all finally settled around the large dining room table that had already been set with the festive table covers, tablecloth, flowers, and food on the buffet station. My grandpa started talking by telling us this ha…ha…ha…. joke, and then my mom gave us all a prelude to the meal. Apparently, everything came from Martha Stewart. She wanted us to decide whether it was worth it or not for her to come out of jail to make this meal for us. So with that we all went up to try some of the Martha Stewart food we did want to get cold.

First on the line was a buttery potato dish that was just so inviting. I’m quite certain butter makes everything taste and look good. Next was cornbread. I had already sneaked a bite in before dinner so I knew it was delicious. Following the cornbread in the lineup came the string beans, roasted vegetables and squash, wild rice with cranberries and chopped pecans, and finally the turkey.

My eyes satisfied, I proceeded to the tasting part of the meal. The potatoes were so mushy and buttery they just melted in my mouth. They were so incredibly rich. The cornbread had that taste like it was doughy, but it wasn’t! It’s kind of like undercooked bread that I find so delicious. I actually held off on the string beans. The vegetables and rice were, I’m sorry to say, not so enticing. The turkey however, was amazing. As always, my mom knew exactly how to cook it. The meat was so juicy, the apple juice sauce so sweet, and each perfectly cut that everyone gave her so many compliments. We had a 15 pound turkey for seven of us, meaning there were definitely plenty of leftovers!

My family time during all of thanksgiving was so nice. The food, of course, was a major highlight, but I think the best part is having my mom, dad, grandpa, and siblings all together to laugh at each other and occasionally with each other, and have these few times to share together. I hope everyone else’s Thanksgiving was as good as mine and that they are having a great time with their or someone else’s family!

Thankful For You, and You, and You, and You, and..

There are a lot of people at my Thanksgiving. We only gather with my Dad's side of the family - but he has 10 brothers and sisters and among them all I've racked up something like 30 cousins. It is not usual for our dinner to count to reach 60. And the amount of food we serve could feed twice that - and does with a follow up party the following day. My family is slightly crazy and completely unabashed and there are plenty of hilarious stories that provide conversation fodder for years to come - but that's a different blog.


The best part about all those people and all that food is all the options and innovations it allows for. For starters, there are four turkeys (technically, only three are served Thursday and one debuts on Friday). Here's the rundown:


1. Smoked: People love this Turkey. But even if they didn't, my Dad would make it anyway just for the sense of manliness that comes from smoking an entire turkey all day. All dinner he can't stop talking about the subtle flavors different woods impart - hickory this year. The favor is (predictably) smokey and the meat moist from hours of brinning pre-smoke. That's him with his masterpiece to the right.
2. Fried: My aunt and uncle fry an entire turkey and, like most fried food, it is sinfully good - crunchy skin, tender meat and surprisingly rich in flavor.
3. Charcoal Grill: This is today's turkey so so stayed tuned for an update on the the newest method.
4. Turducken: That's right, we had a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed with stuffing courtesy of my culinarily ambitious aunt. When cut open it was a bit of a showstopper and people raved. One slice was almost enough for a full meal but on a holiday as decadent as Thanksgiving why not have meat with meat with more meat... plus everything else. The stuffing in the Turducken was bread and wild rice based with no meat - just different enough for people to take notice.

Side Dishes:
1. 30 pounds of mash potatoes: enough said.
2. cornbread: Ok, so the cornbread fell short this year. My grandmother offered to takeover one of my usual obligations and whether through ailing eyesight or negligence ended up using something other than corn. But we forgave her because her other carb contribution lived up to to its usual heady expectation.
3. homemade sourdough and pretzels: My grandmother has been making the bread for her family since my Dad sliced it for sandwiches in grade school. Nowadays, all 30 grandchildren flock to her house for fresh baked bread from miles away. My brother, Sam, is particularly enamored.
4. Cranberry sauce: This one has subsets. My immediate family takes great pride in our cranberry sauce and we whipped up options before the big day and were greeted by two more variations. Our classic cranberry sauce has a port wine base and lots of orange peels to add flavor (after a few days the peels become candied and are my favorite part). For a twist this year, we also made an "exotic" variation that included cardamon and tons of vanilla. It was certainly exotic, but for foodies looking to add some spice to one of the most classic meals of the whole year, it was a worthwhile adventure. The other chefs in the family (those responsible for the fried turkey and turducken) supplied a simple cranberry sauce and retro cranberry jello-like mold full of pineapple and strawberries. I regret being turned off by the texture because from my unscientific polling, it won in the "seconds" round.
5. Empanadas: So maybe the pilgrims and Native Americans didn't share these Spanish treats!


To save you any more salivation, I'll save the desserts for the round two wrap up after tonight's dinner. Happy Eating All!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Truffle Fettucine Alfredo Recipe


This recipe produces a delicious, rich pasta dish – a true comfort food. The fragrant earthy flavours of the winter black truffle (which, at $700 a pound, cost more than silver) transform this dish into an elegant example of haute cuisine. Of course, if you are not ready to invest in few ounces black gold, this dish may be prepared without the truffles and will still taste quite good!

Black Truffle Fettucine Alfredo:

For the Sauce:

2 cups cream
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmagianno Reggiano
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste
1-2 grape-sized black truffles, peeled. (available at most gourmet foods markets)

1 pound fettucine, cooked al dente

Over medium heat, warm the cream and 7 tablespoons of the butter. Meanwhile, slice truffles thin, but not paper-thin. Sautée with remaining one-tablespoon butter over medium heat until aromatic and lightly browned. Once cream comes to a simmer, stir in cheese until melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, toss with pasta and serve.

It's Up to You Morimoto

        A couple of weeks ago, my cousin took me out for lunch at Morimoto.  Morimoto has arguably the best Japanese food in Philly, so I was pretty excited for some good quality sushi. My cousin, however, being the experienced world traveler and food guru, recommended the omakase. I had never heard of the word, much less tried it so I decided to give it a shot.
              For those of you as cultured as I am in the art of Japanese cuisine, omakase (お任せ)translates to “it’s up to you.” Omakase gives a chance for the chef to have a little fun and showcase his cuisine through a series of dishes that change slightly with every visit. I likened it to Iron Chef where the chef chooses to prepare certain dishes to show his skill and creativity. The chef also uses some unique or higher quality ingredients, which makes for a luxurious experience. 
              Unfortunately, I missed out on having the best omakase in the world at the Tsukiji market in Tokyo this summer.  That doesn’t mean that I merely “settled” for the omakase at Morimoto. It was still quite good. The lunch omakase prices range from $40 to $80. I had the $60, and it was totally worth it. We had more than five courses and had some imported tuna belly and caviar.
              My personal favorites were the first and last course. The first course was toro tartare with caviar, tempura, scallions, and fresh wasabi. It had a very clean, refreshing taste. The spicy wasabi complemented the salty caviar, and the tempura flake added a nice crunchy texture that I really like. The last course was flourless chocolate cake with mousse and caramel sauce. The cake was 56% cocoa and came in just the right portion size. The mousse contrasted nicely with the cake, which made it rich but not overwhelming. I never imagined that the best flourless chocolate cake I have ever had would come out of a Japanese place.
              Other courses included a shrimp tempura (tasty but kind of average), scallop carpaccio (it just melts in your mouth), Chilean seabass with a black bean sauce (a little salty for my liking), and sashimi that included tuna belly imported from Japan (the best sushi I’ve had since going to Tokyo this summer). Overall, I found omakase quite satisfying. For the variety and quality of foods you try in one sitting, it really is worth every penny. 

Article by Samantha Shen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WIMB: A cautious proclamation of victory

[Part 4 of Worms in my Basement]


It's been about a month and a half since the inception of my assault on the fruit flies and I am very happy to report that I can count on my own digits the number of fruit flies I have seen in the past week.


I am amazed at the effectiveness of the various components of the Operation particularly because I found so few success stories in my searches for advice on the situation. I am extremely relieved that I have (hopefully) avoided the eviction of the worms from the basement. I have started bringing the worms food scraps again and there seems to be no resulting increase in the fruit fly population. I am careful to bury the food scraps well and am remaining vigilant for the time being.


Another exciting development is that there is some really nice-looking compost in the bin. It is now mixed in with the unprocessed scraps but I was able to separate out some of the finished product to give to a friend. Hopefully it proves healthy and full of nutrients in its first application!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Penn Music Mentoring Bake Sale

What: Penn Music Mentoring Bake Sale
Where: Locust Walk (rain location: Houston Hall)
When: Monday 10:00 - 2:00
Price: $1 biscotti and 3/$2 holiday cookies


Support local music education while enjoying delicious baked goods and live holiday music!

Funnel Cake

You can now make funnel cake yourself. In your dorm. That’s right – funnel cake is no longer reserved for boardwalks and theme parks.


I first came to this realization when shopping with my mom at Bed Bath and Beyond when I saw a make-your-own funnel cake mix. I had always loved professionally made funnel cakes, so naturally this possibility intrigued me. I waited for the opportunity for which I could make the whole batter: my hall’s Thanksgiving dinner.


I quickly finished dinner to prepare the much anticipated dessert #4. As always, I ran into a few minor glitches which hopefully you can avoid:




Problems
1. Smoke alarm
2. Lots of little burnt pieces
3. Inability to flip
4. Look like blobs


Solutions
1. Put the fan on and make sure nothing is under the burners.
2. Try to take the little pieces out after each funnel cake and pour the batter close to the oil.
3. Use tongs to flip
4. Who cares? It looks homemade...


Otherwise these were extremely easy to make. I just added 2 ¼ cups of water and poured the mix into vegetable oil. Once the bottom got brown I flipped the funnel cake, placed it on a plate, put powdered sugar on it, and served!

Caprese Salad


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Blog Lovin' - Apples to applesauce



Blog: honey & jam

Check out this blog for a delicious recipe for homemade applesauce--perfect for Thanksgiving!


Note: Click here to see the original post.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Food Fact!

Truffles are some of the worlds most expensive foods. Ironically, the latin origin of the word truffle comes from the latin word tuber, which means "lump." Well, these lumps of deliciousness can go from anywhere between $130 to $2,000 a pound and come in four main varieties: white truffle, black Truffle, Chinese truffle and black summer truffle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Event


Coffee Smart

I've been drinking coffee now for about two years, but it wasn't until I got to Penn that I really became "addicted."  I need my cup to start my day and to keep me up through those long nights of studying.  I love living in Hill for the social aspect and the dining hall, but also because Starbucks is right across the street.  I drink my coffee black sometimes with Splenda, but the stronger the coffee the better. As my cups became more frequent, I began experimenting with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. A hall-mate of mine discovered, and I agree, that cinnamon and nutmeg are definitely the best combination. I also tried and enjoyed Cafe Americano.


After a month at Penn I thought I was a coffee expert. Another of my hall-mates proved me wrong by simply asking if I prefer medium or dark roast. I had no clue. He taught me about the different roasts and blends, about the processing of the coffee beans, and about an amazing little shop (also conveniently across the street) where you can get the smoothest and richest blends for cheaper than your cup at Starbucks. Avril 50 is located on Sansom (look for the yellow awning) next to Bubble Tea and has a "hole-in-the-wall" sort of feel. The owner brews different blends daily, including his special "Avril 50 blend" as well as a Dark Sumatra and Dark Chocolate Almond blend. Now I ditch the liquor flavored coffees from Starbucks for my cup of Avril 50 or Dark Sumatra. I'm amazed at the intricacies of what is to many people just their morning caffeine fix and I'm excited to learn and explore more!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top Chef Season 6: Episode 12 Recap

Last night, the top five "Cheftestants" had their hands full with an episode inspired by the legendary culinary competition, the Bocuse d'Or. The quickfire involved creating a dish that featured a "protein inside of a protein inside of a protein," drawing inspiration from guest Gavin Kaysen's dish from the 2007 Bocuse d'Or. Jennifer emerged from her recent slump (yay!) with a calamari steak stuffed with scallop and salmon and won the challenge and thirty extra minutes to cook during the elimination challenge, and boy did she need it.


The elimination challenge was also in line with the Bocuse d'Or, as the chefs had to choose either Atlantic salmon or lamb and prepare it with two garnishes for a panel of esteemed guest diners, including Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. Each presentation had its own problems, but Kevin's impeccable preparation overcame the judges' qualms that it was too simple, and he took home victory, along with a $30,000 bonus prize and an opportunity to vie for a spot on the US team for the next installment of the Bocuse d'Or. Eli's lamb sausage experiment was not nearly as successful, though, and he had to pack his knives just short of the finale trip to Napa. Next week, the production relocates to Napa Valley, and one more chef will go home before the grand finale.

Let's get as many Shabbat dinners as possible going on in the Radian at the same time!
Sign up below to host your friends for Shabbat dinner on Friday, November 20 in your Radian apartment.


Plan to celebrate Shabbat however you want (cook dinner with your friends, order in, organize a potluck, etc.!) and we'll help you plan AND pay for it!
All hosts and their guests are invited to free Capogiro and discussion led by Rabbi Joel. If you haven't met him yet, this is your lucky day! We'll meet in the Club Lounge on the 11th floor at 9 PM.

Rabbi Joel's discussion topic:
Bringin' Sexy Back: Jewish perspectives on sex and relationships -



Come and explore various understandings of the most intimate of relationships. Study the Talmud's position on positions, the rabbis' view on foreplay, and discuss what it takes to be in a committed relationship.

Questions? Contact Arielle Salomon

Crepes

Crepes: by Morgan Russo
Do you ever want to treat yourself to something yummy? Maybe as a reward for getting everything done on your to-do list or just because you’re just getting that craving? I get that feeling a lot – generally for chocolate. Chocolate. What a wonderful word. My freshman year I was surrounded by so many different choices to satisfy this craving. I sampled everything – from Naked Chocolate to Insomnia Cookies to the chocolate cookies at Einstein (by the way these are absolutely amazing and only 99 cents). However there was one place that really hit the spot. Le Petite Creperie. Their savory crepes are amazing but I must admit the ones with Nutella are heavenly. One bite and you are floating an inch above the ground in a state of utter bliss.

Unfortunately, I ran into a minor crisis this year. I am living in Rodin, a fair walk from my portal to heaven. After a brief moment of panicking I quickly came up with a solution: I can make my own crepes! I got a crepe pan and started making them the next day. I had to experiment a bit before getting them right, but I think I’m getting pretty good at them by now. I get really creative with the filling now as well. Instead of just Nutella, I’ve expanded my range (believe it or not) to include granola, jellies, fruit butters, honey, peanut butter, chocolate almond butter, marshmallow fluff, etc. 

I make crepes for my living group and hall now and I love it! The best part is seeing my friends get transformed into another world, just like I was. I don’t make them pay or anything; the smiles are the best payment ☺.

Here’s the recipe I use. It says it makes 8, but my crepe pan is kind of small so I can make a lot more (I think about 15).  I got this recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-crepes/detail.aspx

Ingredients:
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 cup water
¼ cup butter, melted
½ tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and beat until well combined.
    Put in fridge for 2 hours to a day (this is not in the directions for this recipe, but I’ve realized you should do this for the right consistency)
    Pour a thin layer onto a pan over high heat.
    Once the bottom is slightly brown flip.
    Add whatever ingredients you want to one side of the crepe – be creative!
    Flip the other half over – kind of like an omlette
    Serve! You can put powdered sugar on top. 

Photo by MAGGIE EDKINS

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Sayonara Sushi: The Rise of Izakayas in America

    Sayonara Sushi: The Rise of Izakayas in America 

    Ten years ago, the idea of eating slices of raw fish dipped in soy sauce was a completely foreign concept to most Americans.  Fast forward to the present, and sushi has become a fixture in mainstream American dining, with a plethora of Japanese restaurants in every major city.  Now, the newest up-and-coming Japanese dining trend is the izakaya.   

    Izakayas are Japanese drinking establishments that specialize in serving small dishes meant to be shared by everyone at the table.  Initially, izakayas catered to Japanese male blue-collar workers as places to unwind and drink after work.  However, now these Japanese-style pubs attract a larger demographic, including college students, travelers and workers of both genders.  Izakayas are immensely popular in Japan.  Wherever I went in Tokyo, I could not avoid the trademark red paper lanterns hanging in the doorways of the myriad izakayas lining the streets.  It's understandable why people keep flooding these izakayas given their simple yet effective concept: a wide selection of delicious and inexpensive Japanese food served in a casual, congenial atmosphere.
      
    Recently, the izakaya model has spread to America, with New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco being hotspots for these drinking destinations.  On my last trip to New York, I stopped by St. Mark's Place, where most of the izakayas in the city arelocated.  On a Tuesday night, I had to wait in line for a table at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall izakaya called Yakitori Taisho, which was as crowded as any izakaya in Tokyo, albeit much more boisterous and not as clean.  Judging by the sheer number of people that I saw walking in and out of different izakayas, however, it is clear that Americans have fully embraced the izakaya.  Their rise in popularity stems from the current tapas (small-plates) trend combined with the surge of sushi and Japanese restaurants on the dining scene - a fusion of both crazes into one.   

    Another reason why izakayas are so appealing is the vast range of dishes they offer.  At Yakitori Boy in Philadelphia's Chinatown, selections include sushi, yakitori, soba, tempura, oden (fish cakes), teriyaki and donburi, just to name a few.  The encyclopedic menu, with page after page filled with pictures, can be exciting but also overwhelming to choose from.  Luckily, since the dishes are meant to share, there is no need to be too picky - just order a number of items that you want to try, and have a little bit of everything.  True to its name, Yakitori Boy is known for its yakitori (skewered chicken) and kushiyaki (non-poultry skewers).  When you walk into the restaurant, the first thing you see is the open kitchen, where the chefs cook the skewers over charcoal grills.  There is a dizzying selection of yakitori - with everything from chicken skin and short ribs to squid legs and yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls).  The quail egg wrapped in bacon, one of their most popular yakitori, is fantastic - soft, chewy and savory.  There are some dishes on the menu that many people probably are not familiar with, including okonomiyaki, a seafood and vegetable pancake, and takoyaki, fried octopus ball-cake, but izakayas are all about trying a range of creative dishes, and that is what makes them different from your typical American pub or bar.  

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    A Splash of Scarlet




    Photo by Sika Gasinu

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Saturday Blog Lovin' - Something for your noggin






     Blog: Natalie's Killer Cuisine

    This blog puts an interesting twist on a holiday favorite with a recipe for eggnog ice cream.  Check out this blog for other seasonal and delicious recipes. 



    Note: Click here to see the original post.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...