Showing posts from 2010

Noche Buena Bento

I decided to continue my theme of "Holidays around the World" by going to the Philippines this time. Sadly, I didn't get to research as much history like the Hanukkah bento I did last week. The Philippines did surprise me on the amount of traditional foods and blending of flavors so I went ahead and did a quick dive into Filipino foods to bring you this nice (and hearty) lunch. Filipino food is greatly influenced by both Spanish and it's neighboring Asian cousins. This is pretty evident in the ingredients and dishes as well as their names (some taking on Spanish names). As a former Spanish colony, there is a heavy tradition around big feasts during the holiday season, namely Noche Bueno (Good night) for Christmas. I think there's a really rich food culture here and am looking forward to exploring Filipino food more, there's even a Filipino grocery/restaurant nearby for me to check out. Hardinera is usually made out of pork and reserved for special occasions, I

Tools of the Trade: FoodSaver and Special offer!

Howdy folks, quick off topic post today. I got a cool email on a special offer that I can share with you guys. The folks at FoodSaver contacted me and let me know about an offer for bloggers and food blogger readers. (more on that in a second) Normally I'm not one for adding this kind of stuff on my site, but it just so happens the FoodSaver is of my most used tools these days not only for preserving but also for my more recently frequent sous vide applications. So I posted a bit on this topic in the past . Back then I was most concerned with preserving left overs or freezing items that I've cooked in surplus. Now that I've had a few more years to get into the groove of things I find that home vacuum sealing has quite a few applications. The obvious is storage. I've used the large robust bags to seal vacuum and seal lots of dry good products that I need preserved from oxygen, things like big bags of paprika and cumin from the indian grocery or large dried shitake mushr

Hanukkah Bento

So I figure since it's the holiday season I'd take the time to pick a related theme. Hanukkah is a great excuse for me to do more research into the Jewish cuisine, I loved my dip into Rosh Hashanah bento and I enjoyed learning the history of the cuisine. I think I spent a week reading up on the Hanukkah food trying (in vain) to design a healthy Hanukkah bento. I think I learned a few things and my diners so far seemed to have enjoyed themselves. The picture at the right is the brisket, but I neglected to put in the veggies and the final sauce you see in the bento box in the title picture. It's a braised brisket with a red wine reduction. Hanukkah cooking is mostly about preparations the day before so that no work is happening while the Menora is lit. I think the brisket could have done with a few more hours of cooking for my taste but every recipe I saw called for a three our cook time and since I like to at least try things the traditional way once we have what we have. T

Slo Mo Bento

It's getting to be that time of year, holiday season. Which means a bit of a slow down on the bentos since there are a ton of things happening around family and friends. As usual I'll post up what I get and any neat food related things I run into. Anyhow, with all this work and experimentation with my new sous vide contraptions and trying out various temperatures to perfect my cooking debut , I got this idea to make a bento where the theme would be all slow cooked/Sous vide prepared items: Slow Mo if you will. It played out great in my head, I'll just throw a bunch of stuff in my two crockpots, vacuum up a few pouches and all I'd do is wait for magic to happen. I'll have a free day to do anything I want! Didn't quite work out that way. Yes, everything took hours to cook but I was chained to the house since everything had different timings and if I wanted to make sure everything popped out at roughly the same time all of it had to be prepared in stages. Anyhow on

My Guest Chef experience at the Flying Carpet

Whew. I'm starting this post at midnight here after a shift cooking at the Flying Carpet Moroccan Burger trailer. I'm beat, I served 79 people a four course dinner over 2.5 hours. Right now there's a shower and a nightcap waiting for me. (Seffa - Couscous with ground almond milk, honey and cinnamon) "Wha wha?! rewind splain that again?" Ok some background for everyone. The Flying Carpet features Moroccan burgers (normal, vegetarian or vegan) down on South Congress Ave. You *must* go it's amazing stuff. When Abdou puts that tomato sauce that he learned from his grandmother on the grill you're gonna start salivating. Anyhow, I digress, Maria wife and co-owner of said amazing Chef Abdou started following my humble blog and asked if I'd be a featured chef for them. This was part of the "South Congress First Thursday" event that happens every month where artists and musicians come out and it's a big street party. She told me for her trailer it

EatingInABox meets a The Flying Carpet

Just a short blurb telling everyone that I'll be down on South Congress next Thursday as the featured Chef over at the Flying Carpet ! I'm both very excited and slightly nervous. I'll be taking over the trailer for the evening to execute my Moroccan menu. In keeping with the theme of the blog I've chosen two traditional dishes but am adding two more dishes that are my concepts. It's all part of the First Thursday event that happens every month down on South Congress. Details here . Nov 4 7pm – 9pm Gibson Street and Congress (next to Perla’s) Austin, TX, 78704 Please tell your friends and come and visit it should be a fun time! Oh you want to know what I'm making? well. ok just this once diners will know my menu instead of just being surprised :) Moroccan bento style Moroccan take on egg’s benedict: Toast, topped with Kefta Patty, Sous Vide Poached egg and finished with a Tomato Harrisa Sauce Traditional Moroccan Beet Salad Japan meets Morocco: Tempura Fried Su

Simple Light Bento

It's been a tough schedule around here lately. Work's crazy and personal life is even crazier. But I did find time to pull off a bento this week. I had scheduled a pumpkin theme but decided that I needed to bust out something nice and easy since I had visitors in town. So Simple and Light was the theme, it's really the theme for this blog so I'm cheating a bit. Well lets just get down to business shall we? First our main dish, I went with this Hoisin Dijon glazed salmon that I saw from Friendly Kitchen . Salmon is one of the few fish that reheats well without stinking up the office and it's always an easy dish to prepare. The recipe called for grilling but I opted for oven baking instead, the grill would have provided nice carmelization of the somewhat sweet Hoisin sauce, but oven baking had greater advantage in my mad dash in the kitchen. It was an interesting glaze, definitely an interesting idea to combine Hoisin and Dijon mustard, you had hints of sour and sweet

Cooking with/for friends

Sorry for the long time between posts. Work's been really busy and I've been traveling a lot so it makes it hard to post about a lunch. My last trip was to visit one of my teams in Denver, I was whining about not being able to do lunch when my friend reminded me he had a full kitchen and if I wanted I could easily do a bento remotely. I plan on taking him up on that offer the next time I, it visit should be a fun experience. I've also been invited to a special event/project that I won't share just yet. Anyhow, last week I was invited to work with a good friend of mine to cook for a dinner party for bunch of our development leads visiting from Europe. You can see us in hustle mode up there on the title photo. I even was wearing an official chef jacket, pants and had my thermapen nicely tucked away in my shoulder pocket. My friend Paula did a lot of prep the night before and we got an early start. We ended up working for about 14 hours and churned out six courses for abo

Peru Bento 2

Back to Peru, I still have ingredients on hand from the last Peruvian bento so this is still a continuation of my pantry raid. There were so many awesome dishes that I spied from last time I felt it was a perfect time to sling in another Peru based theme. The cuisine is quite rich, lots of starches and heavy meat so I really struggled to make recipe alterations and pick things that would at least feel light. I think since my bento-ers eat these things in two sittings I'm still ok with the healthy theme. We start with a Seco De Res. I again went with a Chuck Shoulder Roast cut of beef here, I think it's probably the best cut of meat to stand up to four hour slow cooking. I alternated the crock pot between high and low settings each of the four hours hoping to shorten the cooking time but still get the most out of the longer slow braise. I loved the braising liquid, it consisted of two bunches of cilantro pureed down, some aromatics and of course beer (I only had guiness on hand,

Pantry Raid 2

So I need to empty the pantry again so we have another Pantry Raid! I dug through the pantry and was inspired by the picture to your left. It included canned tomatoes, Gluten Free pasta, various spices, and a bunch of canned vegetables. I still had my regular staples of olive oil, butter, and spices, but I still had to buy a few things to turn out lunch. Raiding your pantry is a great way to turn over some ingredients sitting in the cupboard and supplement it with a few staples like onions, cheap fresh veggies. It's also a great chance to be creative and see what you can improvise given random ingredients. I think this also caused me to create simple dishes. A lot of my discoveries into foreign cuisines result in my picking very complicated dishes to learn new techniques. For the main it was easy enough to break out the Sous Vide Supreme and bust out a poached chicken breast. I had some seasonings, I picked a nice hickory spice mix with some brown sugar, I figured it would go well

Rosh Hashanah Bento

So on my business trip the NY times reported on the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah. It's pretty interesting learning about a culinary culture that has adapted to all the places it has immigrated to. The concepts of the original dishes remained true, but as Jewish settlers migrated to other places like Northern Africa they made use of spices and ingredients that they had on hand. We start with a Mustard honey glazed chicken breast. Sweet foods are a big highlight during Rosh Hashanah, the sweetness is the blessings for a sweet new year. The sweet glazed chicken breast came up over and over again during my recipe search. The mustard honey gave the chicken a beautiful color after the oven treatment and I think helped seal in some moisture. My alternative to the chicken was fish. Fish is often eaten to symbolize fertility and abundance. I stayed away from the fish since it tends to not reheat (re: stinks in the microwave) well. There's not any such thing as light eating in what I