Guinness ice cream from Carmela Ice Cream and Sorbet in Pasadena, CA
I love ice cream and I love Guinness beer, but I LOVE this Guinness-flavored ice cream. I never knew until today that my life had an emptiness which could only be filled with Guinness ice cream. The beer flavor isn’t too overpowering, but it’s noticeable enough to be recognized and contributes a nice caramely aftertaste. $3.50 for a single scoop (which you can split between 2 flavors), $4.50 for a double, $5.50 for a triple, and $1 extra for the waffle cups or cones (which I HIGHLY suggest). If it weren’t for the $9 price tag, I would’ve gotten a whole pint. In a cone. =[
Deep-fried mashed potatoes
I tried to emulate the potato puffs from Gregoire in Berkeley/Oakland by just deep-frying cheesy mashed potatoes, but those just melted into a puddle of oily goo. =[ The ones pictured above have flour, an egg, and baking soda mixed in with the mashed potatoes. They turned out pretty well, but tasted nothing like potatoes! I was reminded more of popovers or takoyaki (without the octopus or seasonings). Not a complete fail this week, but not a WINNN either - I guess I’ll just have to eat more puffs from Gregoire until I can figure out how to make them on my own. =]
Curry Ramen from Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda Heights (my favorite ramen place so far)
Japanese beef curry in “just kidding!” tonkotsu ramen.
This is what curry ramen was meant to taste like. The broth has a smooth, creamy consistency, and isn’t too thick nor watery. It’s savory, slightly sweet, and almost buttery in a way! It’s rich but manages to be somewhat light at the same time. Oh, the contradictions. The chef starts with his “nanchatte” tonkotsu ramen and adds just the right amount of beef curry in order to get this balanced flavor. “Nanchatte” sort of means “just kidding” or “fake”, and in this sense it’s referring to the fact that the broth isn’t pork-based like traditional tonkotsu broths (but really, it’s just as tasty). They add in some potatoes, fried onions, a hanjuku egg, other bits of unidentifiable fried goodness, then top it off with green onions and 3 slices of tender, perfectly-fatty chashu. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it. =L
If you’ve finished the noodles and can’t quite finish for some reason, take home the soup and eat it the next day with some rice or fries! I promise you won’t be disappointed. =]
This week I made onion jam! I don’t know if jam is really the right term to use, but I don’t know what else to call it so I’m gonna stick with it.
Caramelized onions, shallots, garlic, and bacon.
I looked at a few recipes beforehand just to get a general idea, but this batch came from just working with what I had. Most recipes call for roasted garlic, but since the oven was broken I just sauteed with the onions and shallots. Next time! I wanted to recreate the sweet onion bacon jam from Father’s Office in LA, so a handful of bacon was thrown in the mix as well! (If I know I’m just going to end up chopping the bacon anyway, I like to buy the awkward bits and pieces from Trader Joe’s. Just as tasty, but much cheaper! Go unemployment.)
Here’s the general order of things:
- fry the bacon
- add onions and shallots, and cook until slightly brown and tender
- add garlic
- add brown sugar and chicken stock, then reduce down until everything is caramelized and smelling goooooooooooood
- let everything cool, then pulse it all a few times in a blender (since I don’t have a food processor =[)
- spread on EVERYTHING
It had a rich, sweet flavor that was definitely reminiscent of jam, yet a deep smokiness due to the bacon.
Grems and I spread the jam on top of burgers (whose patties were stuffed with Cotswald Double Gloucester cheese), and its sweetness was the the perfect compliment to the sharpness of the cheese and the savoriness of the meat.
If I could change anything about this dinner, I’d slice all the onions and shallots into smaller pieces so they could all cook a bit faster, and I’d cook the patty less so it’s more pink in the middle. But then maybe the cheese inside wouldn’t be as ooey gooey? I don’t know, I guess I’ll just have to keep experimenting!
This week: Peter’s Gourmade Grill in Newport Beach
There are two locations for Peter’s Gourmade Grill: one in Newport Beach, and another one in Tustin. I used to pass by the sign for the Tustin location every time I’d drive back from Cream Pan, but I really wish I’d tried this place sooner! Everything was super fresh and delicious, and since I’m in a rush I’ll just let the pictures do the rest of the talking. =]
ABC burger: avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and spicy pickle chips on a toasted potato bun.
Greek fries: fries topped with onions, feta cheese, tomatoes, gyro meat, and Greek oregano. Homemade tzatziki sauce served on the side.
Three new things for the third week of the year! Adventure #1: Tonkotsu kotteri ramen from Ramen Yamadaya in Torrance.
Tonkotsu kotteri ramen w/chashu, Hanjuku egg, black tree fungus, bamboo, green onions, black garlic oil, and thick noodles. Every dish comes with spinach and ginger on the side.
SO. RICH. The pork-based soup is creamy and flavorful, and not at all overly-salty! The kotteri option gives you the black garlic oil and that extra layer of fatty goodness, which is literally lip-smacking goooood. (All the fat and collagen extracted from the boiled pork bones leaves a nice shiny, sticky coating on your lips. My description sucks, but I swear it’s awesome!) A nice thing about Ramen Yamadaya is that they let you choose thick or thin noodles for all of their ramen bowls, a choice that not many places will offer you. But the best part? Fresh garlic. They’ll give you whole cloves of garlic and a press, so you can add that fresh, spicy flavor to the already garlicky (from the black oil) broth!
Adventure #2: Orange Dream Cream from Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt in Torrance.
Single-scoop of Orange Dream Cream in a sugar cone. The portions are a bit bigger, but once again I forgot to take a picture before eating. =[
95% of the time I go to Handel’s for their Banana Cream Pie ice cream (which is super ridiculously good), but I think I might have to start going 60/40 on my flavor repertoire now that I’ve tried this. It’s just like those creamsicles everyone used to eat as a kid (vanilla ice cream with orange sherbet), but this one has so much more depth! You really can taste and appreciate the flavors and textures of this homemade goodness versus those store bought popsicles. Even if you aren’t a fan of this flavor combination, I REALLLLY encourage you to try Handel’s! They have over 50 flavors each day, with a lot of different options to satisfy your frozen dairy fix. The employees are also really friendly, helpful, and patient since they know that with such a huge flavor menu, people usually want to try a few different flavors. With such a huge selection of flavors as well as a friendly staff, you really can’t lose! Unless you’re lactose intolerant. In which case I’m very sorry.
Adventure #3: Anti-ramen noodle soup, found here.
Rice noodles with bok choy in a soy, ketchup, rice vinegar, and Sriracha broth.
I wanted to try adding ketchup to a noodle broth ever since I read about it on A Cozy Kitchen (which was only just yesterday, lol), but I have to say I’m not a fan! Wa waaa. Maybe next time I should add less vinegar or more soy sauce or something, but the acidity and flavor of everything just wasn’t doing it for me. There are a ton of other delicious-looking recipes from that food blog, so I can’t wait to give those a try! And if you ever try making noodles with ketchup and it ends up being spectacular, let me know what you did so I can try again!
Another new place and dish! This week: fried green tomatoes from Lasher’s in Long Beach.
Green tomatoes, lightly battered, fried, then topped with Andouille sausage and a creamy Cajun butter sauce. (Sorry about the quality, I was starving and forgot to take a picture before digging in.)
I loved them! But to be fair, I love pretty much anything with cream or butter in it. The tomatoes themselves were crisp and firm, and the batter was piping hot! You could tell they were fresh out of the fryer. The sausage was a bit lackluster (maybe it was cooked a little too long?), but the creamy sauce contrasted the slight tartness of the tomatoes beautifully. I’d definitely like to try making these myself, so maybe they’ll show up again in a future week!
A lot of people make resolutions for the new year, and here is my favorite one: 52 new food adventures! It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds, because all you have to do is try one new food each week for the entire year. It doesn’t have to be some fancy, exotic dish from an expensive restaurant either - you can try cooking a new recipe, putting twists on old recipes, ordering something other than your usual, and of course, flat out trying something you’ve never had before. I tried doing a variation of this last year where I’d cook 1 new recipe each week. Needless to say, I failed. :| So here I go, starting off strong by trying a place I’ve never been to: FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES!
Little (the regulars come with 2 patties) bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, and mayo. Ketchup was added post-photo.
For those of you who haven’t tried Five Guys before, you pay for the burger/hot dog you want (regular, little, cheese, bacon) and all the toppings come free! There are also big boxes of roasted peanuts for customers to munch on while they wait. So if you’re ever hankering for a burger that you can semi-customize and all the peanuts you could ever wish for, give them a try!
my life changed. Happy 4 year anniversary Gen16, and congratulations Gen20. =]
Want to make pizza, but your oven is broken? FEAR NOT. Pan-fried pizza is super easy, and just a delicious as the oven-baked kind! You can get garlic herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s for about $1.29 (or maybe even cheaper, I can’t remember) that you just need to let sit for 20-30 minutes before you use it. You can make 1 huge pizza or 2 medium-sized ones (or I guess a lot of tiny bite-sized ones too, lol) depending on the size of the pan you use.
- Separate the dough depending on how many pizzas you want to make, and stretch each chunk out
- Heat up the pan with some olive oil, and put that dough in
- Fry the one side until it’s golden brown, then flip it over
- Add all your sauce and toppings
- Cover with a pan for a few minutes, until all the cheese is melted
Sausage and mushroom:
- pizza sauce
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- cooked sausage
- fresh basil
- shaved parmesan cheese
Prosciutto and arugula:
- pizza sauce
- fresh mozzarella
- balsamic vinegar
- fresh basil
- prosciutto (after this, cover the pan and let the cheese melt. After it’s all melted, take the pizza out of the pan.)
- fresh arugula
- shaved parmesan cheese
- MOAR PROSCIUTTO
I love blintzes!! You can buy these from Trader Joe’s for only $2.49 for a box of six, and they’re dairy, lactose, and cholesterol-free! Whaaaat. They’re pre-baked, so you just need to heat them up in a little butter and add whatever toppings you want.
I’ve always been scared to cook with beets, but they’re quite easy and delicious!
- Rinse off all the dirt, and peel off the skin
- Chop em all up (greens too!)
- Fry them with some butter, garlic, salt, and peper
- Get ready for alarming-colored pee
The affogato from Blue Bottle Coffee in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Freshly made espresso is poured on top of two scoops of Humphrey Slocombe honey ice cream. The espresso that makes contact with the top of the ice cream freezes ever so slightly, so you get to scoop up delicious bites of sweet ice cream and rich frozen espresso. The balance between the ice cream and the bitter espresso is really just unworldly. And after you’ve scooped up all the frozen parts of espresso, you just scoop the liquid from the bottom and pour it on the top all over again! ENDLESS PERFECT RATIO.
Hnnngghh. This is something I’ll forever dream about.
Though I found them at Far West Fungi in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, sea beans (Salicornia) are actually a type of succulent that typically grow in salt marshes or on beaches.
They’re quite salty (so no need to add any to your dish), but add a nice crunch and “green” flavor to whatever they’re in! We ate them chopped up raw as part of an avocado salad-turned-spread, but you can also cook them too. Apparently if you boil/steam them and coat them with butter, they taste similar to asparagus or spinach stems.
avocado, sea beans, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper
on top of a rustic baguette from La Farine with Mt. Tam cheese… perfection.
Cheddar broccoli soup
Lotus roots with mirin and shoyu. Yay for my new slicer! Boo for my new thumb cut.