Archives for posts with tag: Food
Breakfast, 7 am Qingdao
We found this place that looked similar to the food I had in X’ian.  It was just opening and it looked decent enough and more importantly there were photos of the food.. The photos were located high up so, there was a lot of pointing and charades going on.   i wasn’t confident of what were were getting but, it worked out.
a tomato and meat broth. There was a really nice, sesame oil back note. There was silky ribbons of egg and some homemade noodles in it.
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My day had started in Newark NJ at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on December 10th, it was now 8 pm on November 11th in Beijing China.  After a 17 hour trip, i arrived at a hotel near the airport, in some industrial complex,  I would be catching a flight to Qingdao China, just 8 hours from then.  No time to unpack, no time to really take the 2 hour taxi ride the center of the city,  the best I could do was grab a shower,  grab some food and hopefully catch a few hours sleep before my early flight.

With a little effort, i learned there were two restaurants a few hundred yards away from the hotel.  We walked up and noticed one restaurant had two people sitting in it, the other had 20 people sitting in it.   In this instance, we decided to follow the crowd.

While traveling through China and in terms of eating, there a few things that are a saving grace.

1)Restaurant Menu’s with Photos:  While, English and Photos would obviously ideal, sometimes English could mean a tourist trap. Though, it is not always the case.. I have encounter English menus with photos in the most unlikely of places.  Places that have never seen an American.  But, if you have a menu book with photos or there are photos on the wall, a bit of pointing, a bit of charades, can get you a really nice meal.

2)Fish Tanks:  Fish tanks are just like a picture menu.  In restaurants in Shanghai, or Guangzhou or Qingdao, or many coastal cities, restaurants often have large fish tanks.  Here this allows you to walk around and point at the various fish you would like to eat. There are normally live scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, fish, frogs, snails, starfish and lots of other things.. You walk around and just point at things.. A little more charades and just see what they bring you.. Most of the time, it works out.

3)BBQ Places: Chinese BBQ Places are restaurants that have lots of sticks with skewered food on. Chicken wings, lamb parts, fish, vegetables and depending on the place, there could be all sorts of seafood as well.   Here you can just point and more charades and again, hope it all works out,  it usually always does.

4)Look around at other people’s tables:  This can be applied at every scenario listed above.  Some of the better things i have tried came from just wanting to eat something at someone’s table.  As a rule of thumb, if it looks like you want to eat it, chances are, you will want to eat it.  Many a time, i have taken a waiter on a quick walk to someone’s table where I would subtly or not so subtly point at a dish and ask for it.  The table of eaters, usually get a big kick of it.

Anyway, i digress.   Here we are, first night in Beijing, tired, hungry, things worked out.

Here is a chicken dish.. it was served on a dish with a burning fire underneath.. the dish was sizzling.  it was chicken, on the bone in a brown sauce with green peppers, hot peppers and a bottom layer of onion. the sauce was had a rich onion flavor, the bottom layer of onion cooked and kept the chicken from burning.  it was a really lovely dish.

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Cold dark noodles in a spicy and garlicky vinegar sauce

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We ordered some sticks.  There was lamb, lamb kidneys and chicken wings.

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A plate of dumplings

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they were interesting as they were filled with egg, mushroom and scallions. really nice.

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We also had a plate of greens and a few beers. a smashing start.. Dinner was 172 rmb. Or, like 20 bucks with a few beers.

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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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Hello All,

So, it has been awhile since I posted.  Simple dinner last night.  Fish store was selling line caught gulf red snapper for $5.65 per pound.  My fish guy gave me 2.25 lbs for an even 12 dollars. We are friends.  He rounds down.

I simple put a couple of cuts into the flesh of the fish on either side. I salted inside and out, squeezed a few lemons over the fish and let it get to room temperature.

After that, I simply grilled the fish on both sides for a short period of time prior to finishing off the fish in a 450 degree oven.

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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 two weeks ago, I was in China, then, last week, I spent 8 days in New Orleans. It looks like  I am done traveling for at least the next three weeks. Then, it is on to Atlanta and Chicago but, for these next few weeks, I am going to enjoy them.
I have one wedding to cater in two weekends from now so, I kind of have an easy schedule coming up. Hey, I am not complaining.
But, I arrived home late Saturday Night. Yesterday, I spent the day gardening, doing laundry, took a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, checked out this food truck ralley which was pretty lame, watched Portugal beat up on the Dutch and made a little pasta.
I enjoy eating out but, moreso, I enjoy cooking in my home. Out of the last 30 days, I have spent 22 of them on the road.  Which meals, 3 meals a day out in and around.
Over the last day I managed to eat every meal at home. The cost of these meals? $3.99. I went out and bought some strawberries. Besides that, all of the meals either came from my garden or my freezer.
Yesterday, I started with pancakes with strawberries and homemade whipped cream. Then it was a simple grilled cheese for lunch, followed by homemade tagliatelle for dinner.
If you read my blog, I am sure you are tired of my plates of pasta photos. I am sure they all look the same. I have pasta dough down to brain autopilot. A certain amount of flour, a couple of eggs, roll around for a bit and it’s done. Then sheet it out, then run it through the cutter. Obviously, I do other things but, this is my tagliatelle routine.
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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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