Archives for category: Chinatown

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Well, one of these days, I am going to start writing down recipes.   I am sure it would help me too somewhere down the road.

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Bite Club was fortunate to cook the rehearsal dinner for one of my oldest and dearest friends wedding.. The large group of people came to my house where we cooked them a dinner.

First course steak tartare
Second course- scallop cooked in it’s shell with a cube of bacon and a soy butter sauce topped with crispy shallot jelly.
Third Course- soft shell crab cooked in butter, served over fried goat cheese ravioli with pickled ginger beets.
Fourth Course- fried sweetbreads with cauliflower, uni flan topped with uni, sauce gribiche and pickled peppers.
Fifth Course- Sliced duck breast with grilled pineapple, seared foie gras and a cherry demi glace.
Last Course-chomeur pudding with a marscapone lemon granita.

It was a pretty amazing dinner. Was really happy to be able to do this for him and his new bride.

 

Again, since I don’t take photos of the finished plating, all I can really share are the ingredients and some early prep.

 

Here is a tray of live soft shell crabs. They were still moving around when i opened the container. you have to cut the eyes out, remove the gills, it’s a lovely process:

Uni: Later became a flan

Fried Goat Cheese Ravioli

These were the Maple Puddings: Later to be topped with the marscapone and lemon granita.


A duck liver:

Beginning of a demi: Later became a cherry sauce

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Duck breastasis:

Bacon for the scallops:

Hello All,

Long time, no speak.  I have been working a lot this summer. We have catered 5 weddings along with doing our Regular Bite Clubs and various other events. Sorry, I have not given much attention to the blog.

We have a Bite Club dinner this weekend.  We are making a parsnip potato gnocchi that were are going to pan crisp.  We are going to serve the crisped gnocchi with lobster and fried shallots in a corn and leek broth.  So, I have been practicing getting the correct texture down for the gnocchi.

Last night, we made dinner for our neighbor. Dinner took a total of an hour to prepare.  We have been using the pressure cooker lately so, the beans were done in 30 minutes. Amazing to take a bag of dried chickpeas and have them finished in 30 minutes.

The menu last night was:

1)Fried Squid with Chickpeas in a smoked paprika and vinegar sauce

2)Parsnip and Potato Gnocchi with Blood Sausage

3)Branzino in a tarragon sauce with roasted tomatoes served over green beans.

My problem is, I photograph the prep but, when it comes to final dishes. I rarely remember to photograph finished dishes. Anyway, here are a bunch of photos from dinner, of course, not one photo was taken of the plating. It’s also really annoying to cook with one hand and shoot with another

Here is what I got!

Portuguese Blood Sausage. It is out hanging in my butchers shop. So, it is precooked, perhaps, lightly smoked. I ate some raw, it was delicious. Not mushy at all. A little rice in it.

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Peeling squid for the squid and beans:

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Gnocchi: You can see a bowl of last night’s gnocchi in the background. I just felt like doing another round as I am making 32 servings on Saturday.

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Branzino:

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Quick three course  dinner.  Cost was like 25 bucks for three people.. If we had the same thing out to dinner it would have been most likely,  a lot more dough. we got to sit at home and I wore my sleeveless harley davidson shirt I bought in Sturgis.

I don’t know why lobster is so expensive in restaurants.  Or even if it is anymore? I know in some spots in Chinatown, you get two lobsters with a choice of them being cooked three way different ways, for only 20 bucks.   This is a great deal. 

So yesterday, i am at my fish guy and the price of lobster was 7.25 bucks a pound.  How could I resist. I picked up two lobsters for around 20 bucks.

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This is some really traditional Yangzhou Food.. This restaurant has been open for many years and has been in many locations. This is where our host had her graduation celebration, when she was getting out of college.

We started with a plate of these rice cakes.. It was something like gaubao I think she called them.. They were these rice crackers on a plate and along comes a sizzling pot of some clear starchy liquid with a mushroom ginger broth that was poured over it.. Giving the rice cake that half crunchy half wet consistency.

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So now it was time for lunch. The Chinese are really on top of lunch. If it were up to me we would work through lunch. I love to eat, don’t get me wrong but, when it comes to business, i have no time for food. I am not up for a multi course affair. I brought power bars and can soldier through..But, the guys I have encountered are very regimented. Lunch is at 12 or 1230 and they start to complain and get cranky if you don’t stop working. You can certainly use this to your advantage if you are negotiating at this point. “Just give me the nickel and we can go to lunch” sort of thing.

So we are literally in the middle of nowhere. We have driven down these dirt roads through places that look like they have been hit by bombs. i am really not looking forward to eating lunch. It also scares me that we are in this rural area that has lots of farms. There are also these standing swamps where I see all these people fishing in. I am hoping that we are not eating what is being grown and fished here.. Everything is covered in this film of dust and grime.. even the vegetables.

We walk into this huge empty building and there is nothing indicating it’s a restaurant. We notice this shady sort of pile of dishes with this crude hose sticking out of a wall. I am shaking my head, as I am getting really scared. We go upstairs and sit in this empty room with a lazy susan. I have no idea we are in for.

You know, the usual.. More cold goose:

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So, here was dinner last night. It was really high end. I think it was like 120 bucks for the three of us. Essentially, it was the equivalent of going to Per Se and getting like the truffle and wine tasting add ons. The food here is unique.. It’s international let’s say in its presentation and preparation.

Here you have tofu skins wrapped up like little crepes sitting in a chicken broth.. Super delicate, really lovely.. The serving dish is definitely the game changer here. Like nothing i have seen in 99 percent of the restaurants.

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So Mao is from the Province of Hunan and further more a little farming village called Shaoshan.. Besides farms and the birthplace of Mao, there is not much doing… So, some enterprising person decided to Capitalize on the popularity of the place and opened a chain of places featuring the cuisine of Hunan and the name of Mao.. Though, i am not for certain that the place we went to was that chain, there was plenty of references to Mao and lots of fun posters around… Fun for me, perhaps inspirational and terrifying for others..

This meal was spectacular chain or not,i think the two have different connotations.. Plus, i don’t know how well a crappy restaurant would fare carrying such a significant name in it’s title..

There is our buddy and he is ordering again, for us.. All the waitresses are in their Chinese Red Jump Suits.. Mao would have been happy..

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Out come the peanuts and spicy pickled bean curd..

Fried fish and spicy salt:

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So, I am back safe and sound. I spent the last 12 days traveling around China. I was in Yangzhou which is around 5 hours car ride north of Shanghai.  In addition to Yangzhou I was in a few other cities. This was the first restaurant I went to, the night we landed.

I was with a Chinese Host who helped us navigate the menu.  Here is a recap. I hope you enjoy the food:

I requested we go for some Sichuan Food:Thick gluttonous noodles with the classic Sichuan Combination of hot and a little vinegar

This was one of the better dishes of the night:

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