Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Korean Tacos etc.

Terry Boyd, a Chicago food blogger writes:
'Street food is enjoying a moment. Whether it’s food taking to the streets in gourmet food trucks or street fare from the world’s street corners and marketplaces moving indoors, the street is increasingly becoming the source of some of the most exciting food these days.

One direction street food has taken is fusion mash-ups. I recently wrote about Korean tacos, for instance. They first showed up in LA on the Kogi Korean BBQ Truck. Now they’ve gone bricks and mortar at Chicago’s Del Seoul. Celebrity chef and Mexican food authority Rick Bayless’s cuisine is the exact opposite of fusion.

His restaurants are all about providing genuine regional cuisine that challenges our stereotypes about Mexican food. His newest restaurant, XOCO, is a tiny 40-seat spot that focuses on Mexico’s beloved street food and snacks. From huevos rancheros, chilaquiles and frothy hot chocolates in the morning to meaty tortas (Mexican submarines), meal-in-a-bowl caldos or soups and cold beers later in the day, it’s all authentic and delicious.'
Terry also writes about Korean Tacos- they are a feature on the menu at Del Seul, Chicago's newest street food restaurant. Street food is enjoying a moment. Whether it’s food taking to the streets in gourmet food trucks or street fare from the world’s street corners and marketplaces moving indoors, the street is increasingly becoming the source of some of the most exciting food these days.

Root Beer Braised Short Ribs

The days are getting crazy again and I love this recipe because it's hearty and really seasons the meat quite well- I'm known for under seasoning which isn't a bad thing, actually.

This recipe is from one of those sites I belong to. It's called Mixing Bowl....

by TheChefNextDoor | See TheChefNextDoor's recipes | Report Abuse
Source: Yours truly

You can't understand how delicious these are until you try them.

Servings: 4-5
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: Several hours
Total time: Several hours

2-3 Beef Short Ribs per person
Flour (for dredging)
Salt and Pepper
Drizzle of Olive Oil

half a stick of butter
1 White Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced (or a generous handful of baby carrots)
3 ribs of Celery, diced

2 Bay Leaves
5 sprigs of Thyme
Several cloves of Garlic, chopped or pressed
1 can of diced tomatoes (NOT drained!)
1 packet of Mushroom Gravy mix
1 carton of Beef Broth
1 bottle of Root Beer (2 liter)

3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch

1. Set a large braising pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Season the short ribs liberally with Salt and Pepper, then coat each short rib generously in flour. Drizzle the Olive Oil in the hot pan and sear the short ribs on all sides until they are deeply browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

2. In the hot pan, add half a stick of butter to melt. Stir in the onion, carrot, and celery and let the vegetables begin to sweat and pick up some of the browned meat bits left behind.

3. Add the bay leaves, fresh thyme, garlic, can of tomatoes, and mushroom gravy mix to the pot and stir everything to combine.

4. Nestle the short ribs in the vegetable mixture, then cover them halfway up with beef broth. Use the root beer to completely cover the short ribs, and bring the whole pot to a gentle boil.

5. Once the pot is gently boiling, cover it, and transfer it to the oven to braise until the short ribs are incredibly tender and almost fall apart when touched. Recommend: 300 degrees for 6 hours, or 325 degrees for 4 hours.

**You may use a pressure cooker in the exact same way, cook the Short Ribs for 45 minutes in the cooker, and let it naturally release the pressure.**

To Serve: Transfer the cooked short ribs and vegetables to a serving dish, then strain the cooking liquid into a gravy separator to discard any fat and grease. Put the degreased liquid in a saucepot, and bring it to a gentle boil. Combine about a cup of the liquid with 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch, then add the cornstarch mixture back into the bubbling liquid. Cook until it becomes a thickened gravy, then spoon the gravy over the Short Ribs and vegetables.

*Serve with Mashed Potatoes, Risotto, Polenta, or Cheesy Grits!*

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dinner Party

...........from hell is the appropriate name.
A client called me 8 days in advance. We talked the menu out and she was fine, fine, fine.....and didn't care for an estimate. Just show up, serve- as if that wasn't a bit strange in itself. As the week wore on, I was beginning to feel like one of those chefs from the FoodNetwork show: Private Chefs in Beverly Hills- those chefs seem to show up with little knowledge about what they will be serving and you never see them shopping. Three of the client's four children were there and they are all boys in their 20's. And, they are foodies! They loved my menu and loved my food. They stayed in the kitchen with me for most of the evening. The client insisted that I stop doing the dishes ( ?) take off my apron, get a drink and mingle (?). I should write this instead: (?????)
An hour later, I gave her my bill and that's when things changed. I didn't know what, but something was different. Fortunately I had my car loaded up so I made a quick exit. I felt the need! On the way home, I remembered some cherry tomatoes were still in the oven and because this happened once before, I thought it best to call her and let her know so it wouldn't be a surprise a few days later.
And that's when she let me 'have it'. Before I get into what she told me, here is my menu:
Tenderloin Steaks with a Manhattan Sauce
Sauteed Artichokes
Potato Dauphinoise
Basil laced sauteed Cherry Tomatoes
Tossed Salad with avocados, toasted pecans, cranberries, red onion, feta
Ice Cream Sundae Pie from Bon Appetit

Here is a picture of the Potato Dauphinoise before it was baked~

An entire 13 x 9 pan gets baked the day before. The day that they are to be served, they are cut out with a cookie cutter, and baked in the oven till hot and bubbly.

When she and I were planning the meal, I was stumbling over a dessert. I had my dessert file opened and told her so. I said, I could make an ice cream sundae pie I have a picture of one from BA ....and she jumped on that idea. Here is the picture from August,1981~

This was the fourth time I had made this dinner since the holidays. I have received many kudos for it. I can't tell you how delicious this was/is. So for the client to first of all tell me my prices were outrageous ( she didn't even realize I substituted artichokes for the scallops as I thought the price for this dinner for 18 people wass rediculous, she then proceeded to tell me the quality of my food was poor. POOR? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I WOULDN'T BE IN BUSINESS FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE IF I USED POOR QUALITY INGREDIENTS! Then, she said, "you have your check. Cash it." And she hung up.
I was in shock. I wish that had happened to me before so I could have been prepared and I could said something just as nasty back to her or said something, I don't know what. Just something.
Now, I Know I shall be running into her someplace. I'm to cater another dinner party this week and for some strange reason, I have a feeling she might be there. The common bond with all the guests is they all have children that attend the same university.
I was telling one of my friends about this and i said, I'm trying to figure out what I learned from this. My friend's response: 'I'm trying to do the same thing about something that happened to me 10 years ago. There's nothing to be learned'. Other than insisting I give them an estimate.

Weekly menus, thank you Mother Nature!

With the Super Snow storm we had last week, I get to repeat two of my dinner menus- one client was nice enough to call and tell me not to bother coming in. However, the other one wasn't so generous. The day after the storm and since I'm a gimp ( I still have the pain in the back), it took my husband literally hours to get the path made as you see in the picture below. That path- that is in our driveway- never got the other path made. Instead, we kinda flagged down a truck that had a plow in the front. That truck- that's another story! It took the truck 3 hours to plow our small driveway....

This is what the weather looked like as the storm began. This is the weather I drove in to get to one client. Not bad, right? But the winds were up to 70mph and it came in all different directions.

This is the wide path down our driveway- not wide enough for a car....
Getting back to today's post, it's a good day to make up menus- I should get a head start on next week!
This week's menus are as follows: I don't usually note a dessert because I'm always looking for something quick in the event I don't have enough time on that particular day. Today, I'm going to make fresh fruit over vanilla yogurt and Apple Pudding Cake with Cinnamon-Butter Sauce. i don't know where I got the recipe- it looks like it came from one of those small books you'd see while standing in the check out aisle. As I read through the ingredients, I see it calls for Gold Medal Flour- so I think this is from a Gold medal Flour magazine/cookbook.
Garlic Bread

Stuffed Shells with marinara
Spinach Salad with Chicken
Snicker Brownies

Tossed Salad
Herb Bread

Chicken Alfredo
Broccoli salad

Korean Beef , grilled
Grilled scallions
Cooked corn
Orange Jello

Veal Stew

Ah, the question marks! That means I'm not sure what I'll make . I have to say one of my favorite sites for finding something quick is called The Mixing Bowl. You join, add recipes, share recipes; there are groups within Mixing Bowl that you can join, i.e. College Cooking or Apples, Cooking with Passion or Girls Get Together, Dishes, ( people post pics of some of their favorite dishes)My 'Go-To' Recipes or The Spice Rack. In fact, I was just going to post a cookbook that I have had for years. i don't even know if The Spice islands Cookbook is made anymore. Computers are the best thing if you never have to worry about Internet service. But someone posted this site for more information on what spices to use for what
I'm thankful i have time today to sit and blog as it has been quite awhile. The weather is lending itself to doing something indoors today- kinda grey and as I write this, big fluffy snowflakes are falling!
Here is a link to The Mixing Bowl- check it out. I think it's fun! www.