Sunday, January 31, 2010

COLD Saturday

This weekend has been really cold - in lower 10s in the morning and only upper 10s during the day (below freezing mark for THREE days straight).
We stayed home majority of the day, but I needed some shopping to do so we drove for 10-15 minutes to outdoor shopping center (not like a huge mall but 20 stores but again not strip mall either). Shopping was relatively easy since I knew what exactly I needed. Some grocery shopping at Trader Jones (I will do another posting about what we made from the ones we bought there), and stopped by at a bakery to buy coffee cake like pecan ring cake for afternoon coffee time - sorry no picture.
Our dinner was Korean short rib AGAIN along with roasted vegetables salad. We ate total of ELEVEN ribs (you see only SIX in this picture). We were satisfied...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday Dinner

Someone was cooking last night - home made chicken soup in Kosher style.
Kosher chicken which has more flavor (I think it has been brined in salty water) was used, so the soup naturally had more flavor. Short noodle and matzo ball, just like you can have at a Kosher restaurant. It was really authentic and tasted just like the one you can get at one and only the 2nd Avenue Deli in NYC.
I went to Junior in the Grand Central station to buy a slice of cheese cake, this time chocolate mousse cheese cake, which was really good - very rich cheese cake bottom and light but tasty chocolate mousse on top.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beef Stew Dinner

Remember? We bought a big chunk of meet on Friday.
It was a cooking time... Look at how big this meet was - over FOUR pounds...
Cut it into two inches cubes along with onion and carrot... After browning the meat and the vegetables, add red wine, tomato paste, diced tomato and chicken stock (and other stuff - did you think you can get all my secrets?) after FOUR hours of cooking, our beef stew was done and boy it was good. We enjoyed it with red wine, which was very cheep but good enough for us.

I bet it becomes even better next day or two...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

French in Connecticut

We drove to Connecticut to see nice houses and for lunch.
We found a French bistro in a small RICH town in Connecticut. Isn't it cute looking? The inside is very cute and feels like some town in France.

Soup of the day was green asparagus and two additional dishes - French ham and cheese sandwich, which had very fancy name something like King/Queen and pate sandwich.
Soup looks very simple, but it had depth in the taste - we could not identify the base (chicken, beef, vegetable or even seafood???).
Cheese sandwich was like savory version of French toast (melt in your mouth) and the pate was a half inch thick one.
Fun drive by watching big houses and by having a nice lunch.

Cod for Dinner

After thinking about what to eat this weekend, one thing came to my mind was some sort of stew - so warm and comforting... So tonight (Friday) we decided to do something light, which meant chicken or fish. After starting the shopping at the Whole Foods as usual, cod got our eyes - was it on sale or just looked good. I don't remember.
We made ginger Miso glazed fish and cooked bamboo shoots and fried Tofu (I bought bamboo shoot when we went to Korean or Japanese grocery by thinking I would make something Japanese over New Year, which did not happen)
Both came out good and we were ready to eat something HEAVY this weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guilty Pleasure in New Jersey

I had one place in New Jersey to try after watching several TV shows (of course food related) - Italian hot dog.
Today was the perfect day to go to this place since it was "a kind of" on the way back from the office I visited to home.
It was not a typical hot dog, but very unique. They use pizza dough instead of typical hot dog bun, and they deep fry meat and vegetables, in this case onion, green pepper and potato.
Big and HEAVY as you can see, so before biting into the bun, I needed to eat a few pieces of heavy cut fried potatoes.
I was not sure I was able to finish all (for your information, they have single (half of this bun) as well), but after 15 minutes of fiting, all went down to my stomach. When I left the store, the lady at the counter was asking "did you finish it?" and I said "yes, and it was awesome!!". She seemed a bit surprised because I (not skinny but smaller than typical Americans) finished all.
BTW, it is a half the price every Tuesday. I wished this meeting had been yesterday...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Korean Meals

After eating heavy food (steak, and huge cake) on Saturday, we wanted to eat something "light", plus it was rainy all day meaning no grocery shopping.

Lunch - Korean style noodle (this is just my take of Koran cold noodle), which I could have hard boiled egg, but again I wanted to have "light" meal. On the way from Philly on Friday, I stopped by at my favorite Korean grocery store (H Mart) to buy a bag of (yes a bag of) kimchi.

Dinner - Boiled pork belly (I know it was supposed to be "light" right, but I boiled it so all the fat was supposed to be melted away) with Korean hot sauce made with the red paste, vinegar and green onion (thank to my friend, I found out what the red paste I had in my refrigerator was). It was really good and I think I can use this sauce for chicken and others in the future.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Special Happy Day

It was one of the most important days of the year.
Before going to that part, we went to the Prospect park for lunch by buying bagels at Bergen bagel. It was a warm day as January - upper 40s. White fish and sun dried tomato tofu sandwiches. Both were really good - not as good as Ess-a but good enough.

We wanted to have Shabu-Shabu for this special dinner but it did not happen, and ended up with steak. It came out good - we asked the butcher to cut the meat into half thickness like European/Japanese style steak.

I ordered a cake from Baked, which is one of my favorite bakeries in the city. I chose their Sweet and Salty... - dark chocolate cake with caramel flavored frosting, which has smokiness and saltiness. It was the smallest size (8 inches) they have but look how tall this cake was. We would enjoy this cake over a few days for sure, OR we should deliver pieces to my neighbors and friends (maybe not).
It was a very good day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trip to Philly

I was in Philadelphia for a day on business (not in the downtown though).
Before leaving I checked places for dinner - of course that is the most important things when you are going for trip, either private or business.
I found a great BBQ place close enough to the hotel. I have "things" for BBQ. Of course I love Japanese style, but I love Korean and American - wet, dry, rub... you name it.
It was more to BBQ joint than restaurant, so I decided to bring it to the room. I had pulled pork (1/2 lb.) and two sides - collared green and dirty corn. I love southern cooking like dark greens. On top of standard TWO sides, I added the third - cornbread. Its top was crispy and the body was very moist.

Good home away meal, even though it is not that much fun to eat dinner at a hotel room.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Baby is Working AGAIN...

I know it is just a laundry machine, but it is not "just" in NYC.
I could not find an article or statistics, but I think it is less than 20% of household in NYC owns laundry machine in the apartment (condo/coop). Bigger apartment buildings tend to have laundry room(s) in the building, but not that many brown stone houses have the facility in the building. Solutions? - usually you need to go to a laundry mat - which could be several blocks away.
Lucky me, I have one in my apartment and I can do anytime (of course reasonable time during the day) I want without paying $$$. It could be $20 or so for one week or more if you choose to use wash&fold service.
It had an issue for a week or so, but now it has been fixed and is working beautifully. I, a kind of neat/clean freak, can't live without this baby...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Leftover Sunday Lunch

I like to use leftover on following day(s) - as it is or by making something new out of it.This time, we made Katsu-Don (again it is supposed to be pork but chicken this time). We did not have onion in the refrigerator so only green onion along with chicken we cooked on Saturday night. (I usually thinly slice unused green onion - typical Japanese Yakumi way and keep it in the freezer, so you can use it anytime you want.)
It came out really good and we enjoyed the chicken again in a different taste.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Home Cooking

I got an inspiration from the Italian restaurant we went on Friday - chicken cutlet with green salad along with lemon based dressing. Technically this is just chicken version of Ton-Katsu - typical Japanese dish, but no shredded cabbage with it.
Panko (Japanese bread crumb) started becoming popular in the U.S. since it is crunchier than typical American/Italian bread crumb. Of course we used Panko and shallow fried (vs. deep fried per Japanese method). It came out very crunchy (as expected) without any oiliness. Great Job!!!
Along with it, we cooked tomato based soup with mustard  green (like Karashi-Na in Japanese, I think). It added another dimension to the soup.
Good to eat in when the outside is in the 10s over night.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Italian in the Bronx

On the way to go to "upstate" New York, we stopped at an Italian restaurant in the Bronx. I know the Bronx does not sound like the place for Italian food, but actually there are a few Italian neighborhoods in this area. Owned by Italian family and people were all local - Italian people mainly.
We started our dinner with fried meatballs. We have never had meatballs as appetizer nor without tomato sauce but they were a bit spicy and great.
Main courses were Seafood soup and one of their veal dishes with pickled hot pepper, which gave spiciness and sourness at the same time.
Both were really good and we needed to bring some leftover home.
It was full when we arrived - 7:15 but became empty by the time we left - 8:30, which you don't see in the city, but in this neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Work and Pleasure in the City

I needed to go to the city (midtown) today on business. It was cold but not as brisk as it had been with clear blue sky.
I had lunch at Japanese restaurant - Oyster fries. To me, Oyster is winter specific seafood and I only ate fried ones when I grew up, even though I enjoy eating raw ones during summer now... It was overwhelming amount, but they ended up in my stomach without any problem.

MetLife building, standing next to the Grand Central station and at the Park avenue start was very beautiful under the blue sky, isn't it?

Another pleasure in the city was Junior's cake. They are famous for their cheese cake, which I like. I usually buy their carrot cake - their cream cheese filling is unbelievable, but today I tried something new - it looks like half cheese cake and half chocolate cake. It weights more than ONE pound... I can't believe all goes into my stomach but I know it can be done.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First THREE Days in 2010...

Typical Ne-Sho-Gatsu (do nothing but eat/drink and sleep over the first three days in Japanese), we did not do anything special. Weather was not that nice either - really cold or snow. A drive or a walk every day to get fresh air outside, otherwise we stayed in.
At least we cooked every day though - a bit of Japanese (or my home's) tradition Chawan-Mushi (egg custard) one day and Korean style dinner the other day. We nailed the short ribs we usually eat at a Korean restaurant in NJ, even though we still needed some trials/errors on the soup. I made another Kabocha pumpkin dish and this time was even better than last time. I wondered where this pumpkin came from since it is a summer vegetable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Toshi-Koshi Soba and Smoked Salmon on Bagel

It is tradition to eat Soba noodle - buckwheat noodle on the new year's eve in Japan, so I made warm soup Soba noodle with toasted Abura-Age (deep fried tofu) along with mushroom and green onion. Since it was a kind of special day - new year's eve after all, we cooked steak as well. We went to Whole Foods for the shopping and at the butcher counter we saw New York Strip steak, but it was close to 2 inches thick. So I asked the person to cut it in half, and it came out really nicely - like Japanese/European steak.

There was another round of snow over night, and the surface was covered by the snow again - very pretty.
As our tradition, we had smoked salmon which we bought at Zabar's a couple of days ago on the bagel - one open face sandwich and the other one became sandwich. Their one piece was really big (one tenth of pound), so one piece per person was enough for breakfast.

We concluded 2009 with Japanese tradition and started 2010 with the other...
Wish all a happy new year in 2010...