Sunday, May 31, 2009


i love this. fuck romaine.

any greens salad should be or at least include arugula. this is one of those food's that i'm floored by. Just because of it's natural flavor. Like mango or watermelon it needs no adjustments. Although, lemon and olive oil do wonders here. perfect with a dry cheese (parmesan, pecorino, manchego). Goes well with carpaccio. I sometime just eat a whole bag by itself as if they were potato chips. It's spicy and nutty and complex. 
Here, i emptied my fridge and threw together some ingredients to best suit the green wonder.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Potato Chips

Another reason to splurge a bit on a quality dehydrator, potato chips can essentially be flavored with anything. You can dehydrate and ground up any flavor....from spices to vegetables to proteins.
Here are a few potato chip ideas i was throwing around. They'd go great with a ceviche or just to snack on by themselves. America's default.

Szechuan peppercorn
Fish Sauce
Oyster Sauce

On that note, have you ever passed by a vending machine, or in the aisles and had to stop and go..."seriously?" Yeah, some potato chips are already far fetched (see previous posts) This one probably being the worst of them all:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scallop Trio

                                     Black Pepper.Lemongrass.Blueberry.Green Tea
                                                                               Tandoori.Potato Vindaloo

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Soup D'etat

You could essentially have a soup revolution.
A soup diet, if you will.
They have the ability to be so versatile. They can be full meals, or just a palette cleanser. It's a beautiful thing, and sometimes underrated, even by myself. Soups can be written off as dumb and boring and simple. But hopefully after reading this you'll think twice. I've only covered Miami, and once in Pembroke Pines. These happen to be my favorite soups in South Florida, they happen to all be South-East Asian, and they happen to be some of the meals i've ever had.

Soup: Soto Betawi
Restaurant: Bali Cafe
109 NE 2nd ave

This is tops in soup. It's hearty, light, sweet, savory, silky, north, south, east & west. This Indonesian staple makes me want to pack up my things and go. Just so i can have this everyday for breakfast. just a list a few ingredients that have sailed and conquered this soup: lemongrass, scallions, coconut milk, tomato, shrimp chips, beef, onions, sticky rice, candlenuts, ginger, potato. Not to mention the envious shrimp-paste sambal served on the side. This is discovering buried treasure in every bite; and treasure is what i look for in every meal.

Soup: Pho
Restaurant: Pho 78
7849 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines

Not saying this is the only place to get this, but when it's all they serve, they better have perfected it...and they did!
This was actually the first place i had Pho, i was so confused i started eating the "salad" they give you before hand. This salad is actually a plate of culantro, Thai basil, mint, lime, jalapeno and beansprouts that prepares you for the 8th wonder of the world (or at least soon to be): Pho.
Typically made with a variety of meats: Flank, Tendon, Tripe, Marble Brisket, Blood, Crunchy Flank (although you can get seafood (!) and chicken varieties) and you can pick and choose your proteins. (I usually go for the combination with all of them)
It's basically a ginger, clove, anise based broth. fragrant as fuck. Such a light yet hearty soup.
Vietnamese usually eat it for breakfast on the way to work.
Break up the herbs given to you on the side to your liking and finish off each bite with some Hoisin sauce, chili paste, and Fish Sauce. You'll either be applauding or laughing at the simple yet complex notion of this soup.

Soup: Thom Kha Gai
Restaurant: Thai House II
2250 NE 163rd st.
North Miami

To round out the essence of soup. Enter: Thom Kha Gai.
Coconut Milk. Chicken. Mushrooms. Scallions. Sambal. Perfection.
I think they should start serving a straw with this soup, because sometimes the spoon alone does not do it justice. You need to sop up every droplet till the ceramic on the bowl dries out.
Just taste it, and you'll see what I mean.

If you have any Miami soup suggestions, please let me know. I would hate for this to be the first and only edition of Soup D'etat.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Squid "Pasta"

using the squid as the pasta will make for a great (yes, and healthy blah blah blah) alternative.

squid rings
salt pork, diced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 star anise
1/2-in. ginger, peeled and minced
1/2-in. lemongrass, bruised and minced
1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste
1-1/2 tsp. ketchup
black pepper
coconut milk
1 green apple, shaved
1/2 a lime

-Cut one end of each squid ring to form a flat noodle (like fettucini). Set aside.
-Heat a wok or heavy pan to medium high heat (not smoking)
-Add salt pork, cook until rendered and brown.
- Remove salt pork, place on paper towels to catch excess oil.
-Add onion to wok, let cook 2 min (do not stir)
-Add star anise, ginger and lemongrass, stir.
-Move everything to one side of the wok.
-Add squid on empty side with a pinch of salt
-Add black pepper (to taste, preferably a lot!)
-Let cook for one minute, squid will curl up slightly
-Add sugar, tamarind and ketchup. Stir.
-Add coconut milk, while stirring, a lil bit at a time; just enough to bring all the flavors together.
-Add cilantro, Stir.
-Serve with reserved salt pork, shaved apple, and lime juice

Tandoori Nest

Tandoori-Chicken Apple Curried-Carrot Cucumber Ginger Cilantro

Monday, May 4, 2009

Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp Thyme Salt-Pork Pepper Masala-Grits Raisins Scallions

Ideally, i would like to Tea-Smoke the shrimp. I've always wanted to start smoking, but am lazy when it comes to outdoor preparations & appropriate vessels. Tea smoking is a good place to start because it uses rice, tea and sugar in a wok with aluminum foil. Rather than finding wood chips and fumigating the house.


Pig's Feet Cucumber Lime Cilantro Onions Smoked Paprika

Pig's Feet

I am very excited about these. Whether going traditional or experimental, i think there's a lot to be done with these hooves. I think i'll stay away from pickling them in red liquid and leaving them at the gas station with a pair of dusty, plastic tongs.

Carpaccio with Cucumbers, Onions, Serrano Chiles & Lime Juice
Stewed with Curried Lentils/Split Peas, Rye Naan, Tomato Chutney, Red Onion
w/ Various Condiments: Nuoc Cham, Shrimp Paste Sambal, Ginger Sauce, etc.
Deep Fried with Lime & Beer Soup
Julienned w/ Razor Clams, Vanilla, Black pepper, Ginger, Coconut
Szechuan Dim Sum style Spicy Sauce
Salt-Dried with Scallions and Shrimp

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pomegranate Ceviche

                      Corvina Pomegranate Mint Aji-Amarillo Lime

Oyster Thoughts

After a small conversation (facebook) with a friend and fellow culinarian, Daniel, ideas starting flying back and forth and somehow oysters came up.

Earlier that same night i was reading Michael Mina's cookbook and got way too excited. Trio's of oysters is definitely the way to go!

Here's some Oyster ideas swimming around (or clinging to the bottom) of my head:

kimchee & pork belly
charred corn & cilantro
pancetta & english peas & mint
green papaya & ripe papaya & lime & fried onion
strawberries & basil
sambal & tomato
preserved lemon sorbet & caviar
apples & ginger
prosciutto & cornbread
cucumber & jalapeno