Showing posts from September, 2010

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

Foodblogger Event: Uchiko

I'm all kinds of jetlagged from my trip to Europe but I couldn't help but accept an invitation to visit Uchiko. Uchiko is the sister restaurant to Uchi, my favorite restaurant in Austin. Chef Cole is a owner here but he's put executive Chef Paul Qui in charge of the endeavor and he was a lovely host. I really love the ambiance and vibe here you can see the influences of Uchi. The restaurant is similar but still stands on it's own on atmosphere, there's a lot of energy the staff were buzzing around and extremely friendly. I've been invited for a return visit next week so there will be a follow on to this post. Lots of delightful showcases and many of the items we were presented were fanciful ideas and experiments so it's hard for me to map them to existing menu items, but it's a great show case of what they're all about which is taking ideas and experimenting. The first round of appetizers included some "cracklings" of squid in black ink and