Fun times with food.

So at my weekend gig I was almost at the end of my shift, when we (other girl and I) were upended. The next shift guy was already encroaching on our space and so we were scrambling to clean up. Since we were cleaning up, we had removed much of the supplies. Then as I am walking away a ticket comes in. It is for a sticky bun I believe. Then on the way back there was order for pancakes and a grilled cheese sandwich—my station again.

For the pancakes, I was able to cook them then realized they had not grown dark but as long as they were cooked we were okay. Then I made the grilled cheese and noticed that the mayo did not truly melt and so there was only a slight browning. I put the grilled cheese in the oven as per our normal routine to melt the cheese and re-energize the bacon. I checked the bottom when done and realized that the bread had not crisped up not turned brown. I went back to the grill. I realized nothing was happening. Unbeknown to me, the grill was off. Yes it had been shut off-end of brunch, clean up routine, the change over to mid day menus. So I had to give to the chef-de-cuisine to make, because I had touched it and it felt warm and the mayo had not cooked off. He oiled up a heavy frying pan and went to work. All I was worried about was if the pancakes I had prepared were getting cold. No complaints though so we just left that alone.
Note to self—always check the grill. That was like earlier when I had the syrup warming on the grill. I poured it into the container and thought, oh it is smoking—like hot oil. (so help the clumsy customer) 

That’s it. Fun time is over for now. 🙂

Max’s of Manila-Jersey City

So we went to Max’s of Manila for my bfs birthday. It was in the heart of Jersey City. It was in a heavily or maybe just that street, Filipino area. It is a decent size as it had an upstairs and downstairs. It was clean and open. It was not like most of the restaurants here. It just felt different with the tiled walls and smooth polished concrete or slate floors. The staff was quick to please.

On the menu-CHOP SUI, LUMPIA, RICE, CHICKEN, CARI CARI (EGGPLANT AND OXTAIL), NOODLES, BISTEC, AND CORN SOUP. For dessert each person chose what he/she wanted. Since I am not a Filipino food expert I was only able to judge the LUMPIA. It was gross to me. It reminded me of the cafeteria egg rolls we had in elementary school. That was my only gripe. My bfs mom makes it better. On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 5.5 overall .

Here is how I ranked.
Distance 5
Atmosphere 6
Food comparatively speaking 5

That is just me.
Ciao and let me know of any cool places you visit.

Cooking for others-Bistec Encebollado and Chicken a la Calabrese

So when you have to cook for others, you always want something interesting and you always want it to be memorable. Well I tried Bistec.
It is Spanish style thinly cut steak cooked with onions. Well I tried it on my customer, not even myself first. It came out okay I think. I hope my customers give me their honest opinions as I present these dishes. I had an extra steak and so I made it a few days later. Well I was halfway done (only at that point did I realize it. I needed to go a little longer.) Then I let the onions caramelize and it was great with the steak. I still do not know if my steak was good but I will try again. The customers are okay but I want them to be really glad and happy that I cook for them. We may try again this week at home but it will be for me.

How to Make Grandma’s Bistec Encebollao-Spanish Steak

Spanish Steak with White Rice and Beans
I love cooking with my grandma and mother. We make our favorite home cooking and desserts from scratch.

Which I plan to share with you.
things you’ll need:
• 2 pounds thinly cut beef steak
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• dash of dried oregano leaves or oregano powder
• 2 large white Spanish onions, sliced into rings
• 1/4 cup white vinegar
• 1 cup of water
• 1 tsp. salt
• gallon-Ziplock bag
• heavy skillet
o 1
In a bowl you are going to mix well the following ingredients: 1/2 cup of olive, 2 tblspns. of minced garlic, the oregano leaves or the dash of oregano powder, 2 large sliced onion rings, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water and tblspn of salt.
o 2
After all the ingredients are mixed well place into the gallon sized zip lock bag along with the 2 lbs. of thinly sliced beef steak.
o 3
Refrigerate zip lock bag for about 5 hours or overnight for best taste.
o 4
Remove from refrigerator and place contents into the large heavy skillet. First bring to a bowl, then lower the heat to low. Cover and cook at a low heat for about 40 minutes or until meat is tender.
o 5
Serve over your favorite rice, in a hoagie, or favorite food.

Kitchen un-confidential: I was low on time and tried to put together a chicken a la calabrese dish. (We ate with Fettuccine–yummy) This time, it was like a soupy mess. I boiled the meat in spice and then put in the oven with tomato sauce, peppers and onions. You know when you have a kind of watery, not so strong taste–that is what I had. The cooking just needed to be tightened up–but I was also baking so I had no time to really do it as normal.

Chicken a la Clabrese

Next time we will do it right.
Ciao and happy cooking!!!!**

Baking for Networking

So what a day I had. Well it actually started 2 nights ago when I started my baking. I had attained, through friendly legal means of course, a butterscotch recipe from my weekend gig. I never claimed it as my own and totally plugged the place as a result.

I had decided originally to do some puff pastry stuffed with a bunch of stuff (chocolate, pecans, walnuts), the brownies, pecans bites and possibly my tarts (signature item). A week before I tried the pastries with some stuff and well the only one that came out okay was the pecan roll. (Naturally, I love pecans.) So on Sunday evening I prepared the butterscotch recipe and then put in the fridge as this is what I saw the pastry chef so. As I put them on the sheet the consistency at times was weird. ( I may need to play with this a bit.) I baked about 100 plus cookies. I then made the pecan bites. These are a favorite which I did at an NYWCA session, cooking with kids. It is easy and I have not flubbed any batches yet. So I rocked those out. On Monday I did the brownies and was satisfied. After that I ate and was on the cusp of just cleaning up and relaxing. Because I am superWOman, I decided to go for it. So I made my tarts. Let’s just say I went to bed at around 1:30.

The story continues in other blog entry.

Next time get some sleep.
Ciao for now.

James Beard-Thai New Year

We had a different experience at the James Beard House this past Monday night. It was celebrating Nongyao “Moon” Krapugthong. She has two restaurants in PA. One is Mango Moon and the other is Chabaa Thai.

It was like a delicate dinner, pretty and petite.
The appetizers were meant to fill. We had salmon, then a sausage, and something like a dumpling. Most if not all of the food was at room temp and had to be prepared prior to coming to the house. Big eaters would not have done well here. I was filled however. It was an appropriate portion (hence Thai people are small waist-ed). Dessert was interesting. There was something similar to Halo Halo from the Philippines–fruits in a semi sweet sauce, with jelly balls. Then there was something in a banana leaf. If you are ever in PA, try one of the two places and let us know what you think.

Pictures for your enjoyment.

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Hors d’oeuvres

Thai Cod Fishcakes with Red Curry, String Beans, Eggs, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Fish Sauce, and Cucumber, Served with White Vinaigrette and Crushed Peanuts

Lab Tod > Leaf-Wrapped Crispy and Spicy Chicken with Cilantro, Thai Mint, Roasted Rice, Lime Juice, and Fish Sauce

Khao Kiep Pakk Mao > Thai Rice Flour Crêpes with Minced Pork Loin, Shredded Coconut, Ground Peanuts, Sweet Daikon, and Cilantro Roots

Sai Augh > Grilled Northern Thai Sausage with Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Shallots, Scallions, Shrimp Paste, and Red Curry

Domaine de Martinolles Blanquette de Limoux Brut NV


Kanom Jeen Kaeng Keaw Wan Nua
Green Curried Beef with Vermicelli, Thai Eggplant, Onions, Basil, and Peppercorns
Santa Quiteria Higueruela Garnacha Tintorea 2009

Hau Mok Talay
Steamed Sea Bass, Squid, and Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Cream, Basil-Infused Red Curry Sauce, Seasonal Thai Vegetables, and Banana Cup
S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2007

Pla Samlee Dadd Deow
Crispy Smoked Cotton Fish with Green Mango Salad and Steamed Jasmine Rice
Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris 2009

Kao Mann Gai Tone
Steamed Free-Range Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Cucumber, and Chile, Ginger, and Soy Sauce

Ciao and happy eating!