Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sweet Mustard Dressing

I loooved this salad! The dressing was a little sweet, a little tangy. Toss it with some green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, bacon, croutons, and cheese. The dressing paired perfectly with all these toppings!

Sweet Mustard Dressing

1 c mayo
2 tbsp whole-grain mustard
6 tsp maple syrup
1/2 a lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee

Creme brulee - it's so easy to make and seems so fancy. My mom had her first one during our rehearsal dinner and she loved it. When my family came up to dinner, I knew I had to make some. I made them a vanilla creme brulee. I enjoyed it so much I whipped up another batch of creme brulee lol! This time I added half a Meyer Lemon I had leftover from making a blueberry crisp. The citrus flavor was very subtle, along with the vanilla flavor. I made it in some big, normal-sized ramekins, and also in these tiny thin ramekins for small servings of creme brulee. The smaller ramekins worked better for this creme brulee - you get the right ratio of citrus in the creme brulee and sweet from the sugar coating. When eating it in the bigger ramekin, you were wanting more of that sugar coating to pair with the citrusy creme.

Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee

1 qt heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
6 egg yolks
1/2 c vanilla sugar, plus more for topping
1/2 a Meyer lemon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the heavy cream and the vanilla bean and its seeds. Bring to a boil. Then remove from heat, cover, and let it sit for 15 mins. In a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, 1/2 c vanilla sugar or plain sugar, and the zest and juice of half a Meyer lemon. (To get vanilla sugar, add a vanilla bean to 2 c of sugar in an airtight container. Leave for a wk before using. Great way to put used vanilla beans to use!) Whisk the eggs until light in color. Then slowly add the cream to the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the liquid into the ramekins. Put the ramekins in a baking dish or roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the pan until it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 40 mins. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. Before serving, sprinkle sugar on top of the creme brulee, and using a torch melt the sugar. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beer-Battered Fish Taco with a Jalapeno Mayo

I whipped up this dish a couple of weeks ago and we really enjoyed how it turned out. The batter turned out so light and fluffy, not too heavy or greasy like most fried food. And the jalapeno mayo with it was a great compliment. I was thinking a red cabbage slaw with carrots tossed in the jalapeno mayo would be really yummy on top as well. I topped the tacos with some green leaf lettuce instead since we had some left over. I like to use what we've got, hate to waste :) Below is the recipe, approximately.

Beer-Battered Fish Taco with a Jalapeno Mayo

2 lbs white fish filet (such as tilapia)
1 1/2 to 2 c flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
1 bottle of beer
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 jalapeno
4 bunches of scallion
1 c mayo
1/2 a lime

To prepare the fish:
Cut each filet into half lengthwise. I ended up with 14 strips of fish. Season with salt and pepper. Then prepare the batter: whisk the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder together with about 3/4 of the bottle of beer and egg. Add more beer to thin out the batter, add more flour to thicken the batter. The batter should be runny, but thick enough to coat the fish. Dip the fish in the batter, and then fry in oil at 350 degrees F. About 4 mins cooking time, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

To prepare the mayo:
Chop up the scallions. Seed and dice the jalapeno. Combine the mayo, scallions, jalapeno, and juice of half a lime in a mini food processor. Process until smooth.

On a tortilla shell, lay a fried fish on, and top with the jalapeno mayo and some lettuce. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Oh this place was yummy! We went to the one in Madison Square Park. Great place to enjoy their delicious burger and the park. Okay, so Shake Shack is known for their B-line. What is that exactly? It's their extremely long line that forms all the way back through the park. We must have stood in line for 45 mins to an hr. But I must say I'm glad we stuck it out to try their food. Their burgers were so good! So juicy. I think it's made with sirloin? And their fries were very good too. I'm not usually big on crinkle fries but it was cooked just right. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Matt ordered their chocolate shake. It was thick and chocolaty. I wished I ordered one as well. He thought the same thing each time I asked for another sip. Loved this place, and enjoyed their burgers much more than Mesa Grill's. I totally recommend you stick it out in the long line for these juicy burgers.

Well look at that, that was my last NY restaurant post! I told you we went to a lot. We're just waiting till we can go back again! But then when we do we'll have a big decision to make, whether to go back to these amazing restaurants or discover more great ones. And whether or not to order the same things if we go back to the same restaurants, or discover more amazing dishes...

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Chinatown

Where can you go to get cheaper, delicous food in NY? Chinatown of course! And let me tell you, it's authentic. Just like my mom's cooking. Not that Americanized Chinese restaurant food (no offense). Being Vietnamese, I wanted to go to a Viet restaurant so I can compare it to my mom's food. We ordered the Chargrilled beef and Spring Rolls to start. Very good. If you've never had an asian chargrilled beef, you should try it. So much flavor and so juicy. The spring rolls were good too, but we still think my mom's is the best :) For our meal, Matt had the beef and broccoli and I had the roasted duck. It was just like the roasted duck my mom buys whenever she goes to the asian grocery market area. And so much food for the price, it was great.
Chargrilled beef and Spring Rolls 

Roasted Duck and Beef and Broccoli

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Crumbs


Where can you get colossal-sized delicious cupcakes? At the many Crumbs location in NY. Matt and I shared the Squiggle  which was exactly like a gigantic Hostess cupcake. There were so many other flavors I wanted to go back and try but we didn't have a chance to :( I couldn't decide between their Chocolate Sundae and Cookies and Cream at the time. And decided to just share with Matt's Squiggle since the cupcakes are so huge. But now I wish I had ordered my own too lol! By the way, don't order their lemonade. It was SO sour! We should have spent that extra $5 on another cupcake to go.

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill is located near a really cool park - High Line Park. I would highly recommend taking a stroll there and taking in all the architecturally neat designs. Also, while you're in the area, visit the Chelsea Market. Very neat market. Oh and Morimoto's restaurant is located in the area. So many great things in the Meatpacking District/Chelsea area. But back to the restaurant. The Standard Grill is located in a cool hotel near High Line Park. The hotel is kinda cool too. But the restaurant is known for its brunch. My friend Hannah recommended this place for brunch and it was yummy! The atmosphere was nice. And boy was it busy! I love poached eggs and hollandaise sauce so I ordered the Classic Eggs Benedict. Yummy! It was served with Canadian Bacon, which was not very fatty. And its hollandaise sauce was perfect. Served over an english muffin and a side of herb roasted potatoes that were very good. Matt had the French Toast with Strawberry Compote. It was good as well. The toast was sliced very thick though. Another thing to note was the bread that came before the meal. It was hard on the outside and soft on the inside. I loved it and I'm not usually big on bread. And while you're there, check out their cute doggy salt and pepper shakers. I wanted to buy a set but Matt wouldn't let me :(

Classic Eggs Benedict - with Canadian Bacon and Hollandaise on a Muffin & Herb Roasted Potatoes
French Toast with Strawberry Compote

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Mesa Grill

Mesa Grill
Chef Bobby Flay

So when I think of Bobby Flay, I think of something grilled. Therefore, we decided to try the Mesa burger and the Green Chile Cheeseburger.  They were okay. Don't get me wrong, they were good. But I was expecting great, amazing burgers from Bobby Flay. He's always seems so confident on his shows, so I guess I set the bar kinda high for him. My Mesa burger was just a normal good burger, with lots of cheese. The horseradish mustard was good, but of course strong. Matt's burger we felt would be better without the pickled red onions. There was just so much of it and it overpowered the burger. I felt like the burgers I enjoyed from Shake Shack (will post about later) was better than the ones we ordered at Mesa Grill. I really enjoyed the seasoned fries though. And the cornbread that came with your meal was good. I'm not a big fan of cornbread, but his had some corn in it and was moist.

Mesa Burger - with Double Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Vidalia Onion + Horseradish Mustard on a House Roll and Southwestern Fries

Green Chile Cheeseburger - with Queso Sauce, Roasted Poblanos Pickled Red Onions and Southwestern Fries (not captured in picture)