Sunday, June 22, 2014

Noms on My Phone #13

It's been a while since I've posted one of these and boy, do I have lots to share! I recently came back from Hong Kong and Macau, so there will most definitely be a whole separate post on my food experience there!

For the random pick of the day we have...... 



Details:
Who: Me and my parents
What: 12 oz. Cowboy cut of a dry aged prime rib of beef seasoned with garlic and fresh rosemary, slow-roasted and sliced to order, served with creamy horseradish & au jus 
When: April 18th, 2014
Where: The Harris Ranch Restaurant, 24505 W Dorris Ave, Coalinga, CA 93210
Why: My parents and I were on our way back from Morro Bay and happened to pass by this place!

Overall verdict:

While this was not the best prime rib I have ever had, it was definitely one of the better ones. The prime rib was quite juicy and had great flavor. The sides were well seasoned and paired nicely with the steak. The au jus sauce was delicious and not too salty. Overall, I really liked this prime rib and its sides. The only gripe I had was that there was a bit too much fat left on the prime rib. I like myself some nice marbling, but I don't really like having chunks of fat next to my meat. 

Will I come back? Heck Yes! Harris Ranch is known for their fresh cuts of beef and their dry aged steaks! This is the perfect spot to eat at if you ever find yourself in Central California!


I give this..... 4 apple pies out of 5!!!!! 


TChen Makes Taiwanese Sweet Custard Brick Toast

Hey All!!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but I am back and ready to start whippin' up some recipes!
We will be making the super delicious, extra fattening, Taiwanese Sweet Custard Brick Toast today!

This dessert holds a special place in my heart because I used to eat this all the time when I lived in LA. Every time I went to a boba/tea shop, I would always order at least one brick toast. Now that I no longer live in LA, I have these cravings for this sweet dessert every time I drink milk tea. Unfortunately, there are no tea shops where I live currently that serve this dish. So....  I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to make it myself!

Here is what you need:

- 1/3 cup of salted butter
- 1/3 cup of powdered milk
- 1/2 egg yolk
- 1/6 cup of powder sugar (I don't like my toast too sweet so I always cut down on sugar..... but feel free to up this to 1/3-1/4 cup of sugar if you like it to be sweeter)
- 2 slices of thick toast (I don't have a Chinese bakery near me to get the super thick toast, but I just settled for Rainbo brand Texas toast)

How to set it up:

- Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat up your butter first so that it is slightly melted. This will help you mix everything together.
- Mix the butter, powdered milk, sugar, and egg yolk together using a spatula until it reaches a paste like consistency
- Score the top of your bread by taking a knife and lightly cutting the top vertically and then horizontally. You should get cuts that resemble a hashtag (#)
- Put the sweet custard paste onto the bread and make sure you cover the whole piece of bread, including corners.
- Place in oven and bake for 4-5 minutes until the corners look a little light brown.
- Turn to broil feature on oven and bake for additional 1 minute to get a nice caramelization on top.
- Let it cool so that custard will solidify.
- Serve!

Remarkably simple, yet irresistibly delicious!

Enjoy and good luck in the kitchen!










-

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TChen Makes Thanksgiving... duck?!


Hey everyone! I hope y'all had a lovely Thanksgiving! Please share with me what you ate!

So my Thanksgiving was a bit... nontraditional. We did what we like to a call an "Asian Thanksgiving." I mean, after all, didn't the native Americans initially immigrate from Asia? (But actually, we were just too lazy to make a turkey/didn't have enough people to eat a turkey/ couldn't imagine eating turkey leftovers for the rest of the year.)

What did we make then? Well we had a Chinese hot pot and a Chinese roast duck! The hot pot used chicken broth as a base and we added lots of beef, shrimp, abalone, veggies, and noodles! The duck was prepared over 2 days, by the one and only, me.

sorry! so foggy!



can you spot my phone?




 So sorry guys! My phone was a bit hazy for a few of the pics, but I hope you were able to get a good idea of what I made!

Now for the recipe... I didn't really follow a specific recipe, nor did I measure anything out. It was more like a squeeze of hoisin sauce here, a pinch of five spice powder there, and few oranges in the cavity, and bam! Sounds simple, right? Well it really was quite simple. However, there are two tricks. First, you should separate the skin from the meat using your fingers if you cannot inflate it with a air syringe pump. Next, you should hang and dry out your duck before you cook it. We dried out the skin for at least 24 hours so that the skin almost became paper thin. This is more of a trick for Peking duck, rather than roast duck, but I noticed that the skin wasn't so fatty in the end and was quite crispy! I figured, why not combine the best of these two recipes to make the ultimate duck!

And boy, was it an ultimate duck. It was juicy and had the slightest hint of oranges. Delicious.

Let me know if you really want a full recipe and I can see what I can do!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Break!

Hey all you foodies and kitties!

I will be taking a break from blogging this week!

Will be resuming right after Thanksgiving, with lots of turkey pics and recipes to share!! :)

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Noms On My Phone #12

Ah, today's special is from my favorite food truck ever- the Ludo truck!!!



Who: Me and my friend Jeremy
What: Honey-garlic glazed chicken wing, crispy breast strips, honey lavender biscuit, and watermelon (or was it blood orange...) agua fresca
When: May 3rd, 2013
Where: Ludo Truck! You can find out where they are via their website (http://www.ludotruck.com/).
Why: Because I am addicted to fried chicken
How Much: Honey-garlic wings 2pc for $5.50; crispy breast strips 2pc for $5.50; honey lavender biscuit for $1.50. I forgot the price of the agua fresca (sorry!!)

Overall Verdict: I absolutely love the Ludo Truck. I wasn't able to take a picture of my favorite item on the menu (buttermilk chicken) because they were not serving it that day. However, these were still very very good- flavorful, juicy, and simply delicious. It is definitely a bit expensive, but I think it is worth it considering how flavorful everything is!

I give this 4.9 deep fried twinkies out of 5!!!
* minus 0.1 because this truck is always so darn hard to find!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Noms On My Phone #11

Wow, I'm on number 11 already! Woohoo!!

Let's see what we are going to have today!


Ah, this is an oldie, but very much a goody!



Who: Me and my friend Jeremy!! (We are both Voltaggio groupies.. hehe)

What: Foie gras and waffle with toasted maple marshmallow and home made hot sauce (There is a bit of a foie gras trend on all my posts so far... I wonder why)
When: April 22nd, 2012
Where: Ink (Michael Voltaggio's restaurant: 8360 Melrose Ave #107, West Hollywood, CA)
Why: 1. Because I love MV. 2. Because I love foie gras 3. Because I LOVE MV AND FOIE GRAS TOGETHER!

Overall Verdict: Probably THE BEST dish at Ink. (RIP) Sadly, this will never be on the menu again since foie gras has been banned in California (those bastards... but good for the ducks I guess...). This dish was the epitome of flavorgasm. Yes, flavorgasm. You get sweet, spicy, salty, nutty, and tart paired with a variety of textures- crunchy, marshmallow-ey (fluffy, I guess?), buttery, and sauce-y. This was like a clever spin of the chicken and waffles concept, except with foie. Genius. The maple marshmallow and hot sauce went together so well. I loved this dish so much that I ordered another.... and then another... and then one more. I'm a fatty. Sorry about it.

Overall, I give this 200 fat ducks out of 200!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Noms On My Phone #10

Sorry guys! This is a bit late today! I had to go to a funeral (sadly, my first one of many to come) this morning and didn't have time to post a daily pic.

Here you go!




look at that crispy, juicy goodness!
Who: Me and my friend Phoebe!
What: One of my favorite dishes from the 10 course line-up: Deep fried quail with deviled egg puree, some sort of beans, beets, and nuts
When: November 2nd, 2013
Where: Wolvesmouth dinner by the genius chef, Craig Thornton
How Much: They do not charge by plate. Rather, the dinner's price is really up to you, the participant of the dinner. At the end of the meal, they give you an envelope to anonymously put in as much money as you would like!! With that being said, most people during my dinner seemed to put in somewhere between $80-100, which is reasonable for a very well made 10 course dinner (with all you can drink booze!).

Overall Verdict: For those who have never heard of Wolvesmouth or Craig Thornton, Wolvesmouth is a exclusive, invite-only, "underground" dining experience headed by Chef Craig Thornton. The location is either at his artsy loft or some other small apartment in the LA area. The invitations are pretty hard to get and you have to submit a request for one in order to get invited. Some critics even call Wolvesmouth "LA's toughest dinner reservation"- see http://www.losangeles.com/articles/wolvesmouth-las-toughest-dinner-reservation.html.

If you do get the chance to go to one of these, I advise you to come with an open mind and a bottle of wine. The whole dining experience is one of a kind and you truly meet very different and eccentric individuals from all over the place. My dining group was just a pleasure and everyone was so kind, friendly, and just happy to be there. I not only enjoyed my food, I definitely enjoyed my company as well.

Now on to the food. This quail. DAMN. SO. GOOD. I am a sucker for game meats, particularly quail. Plus, anything deep fried is a winner to me. This is like fried chicken's hot younger brother. The meat was so juicy, skin so crispy, and overall flavor so delicious! I don't know how I can ever go back to eating Popeyes or KFC after this fried quail. It seriously puts most fried chickens to shame. Not to mention, the pairing of the quail with the deviled egg and beets was genius. The puree, beets, and nuts toned down the gamey-ness of the meat and added a hint of sweetness to the dish.

Overall 50 flying turkeys out of 50!!!!

Just a warning: I will be posting the remaining 9 dishes from Wolvesmouth in a separate post! So keep an eye for that if you are interested in specific details from the full meal!