Tuesday, June 7, 2011

4 Words = Double Crusted Lemon Pie

I have never tasted a pie that was so damn good. Tartine excels in their pie making. Especially when it comes to the crust. Imagine the most flaky, buttery, thick and crunchy pie crust. Wait, hold for it. THEN DOUBLE IT UP. I need to shake the hand of the genius that came up with that idea. Next step, fill the inside with a sweet, tangy, lemony custard-like filling and sprinkle the top with giant sugar crystals. UNBELIEBABLE (typo intended)!!!

I've had me a few other pie flavors there (strawberry rhubarb, maple boston cream, etc.) but my heart belongs to this one. The pie gods really did do a number on this one. I truly believe you can't go wrong with any pie at Tartine so please try a few and report back to me on what you think!

No pie should ever be enjoyed without a side of vanilla ice cream! It would be a pie-eating sin!

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to Pack a Punch - Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

Again, shout out to my friend MR for introducing me to the wonderful world of quinoa. Such an amazing, healthy, substitute to rice. Recently, I've learned to flavor my quinoa which makes it that much more appetizing to eat! One time, MR fried it with a bit with kale, green onions and a few spices and it was SO delicious! Even cooking it in veggie/chicken stock makes a huge difference. And here LC goes again, impressing me with her newest concoction - quinoa and turkey stuffed bell peppers. Watch out, the size is deceiving ... this bell pepper sure packs a huge punch in a small package!

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp herb de provence (or any other seasoning you like for poultry)
  • 2 jalapenos, diced and seeded
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Cheese, any kind
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, cleaned and cored
Here's how:

Preheat oven to 375F. Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add turkey, Worcestershire sauce, herb de provence and jalapenos to pan. Slowly cook and add tomatoes and quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste (adjust seasoning if need be). Spoon mixture into peppers and place into deep pan for baking. Add 1 cup of war water to the pan. Cover tightly with foil. Cook for 40 minutes and uncover (watch out because the steam is realllly hot!). Top with cheese and cook additional 10 minutes until melted. Voila! Fancy meal at your table - just like that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Roll Factory Delivers in Fresh Sushi and Great Value

Being Shota's fairly new baby sister restaurant, I knew Roll Factory was going to be super fresh and tasty. Plus I bought a coupon online ($5 for $10 worth) so I really couldn't go wrong with this. Their combos are fantastic in that they include one specialty roll, a choice of your salad and miso soup. In our case, we also finished off lunch with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with mango syrup included in the coupon. Here you see my absolute most favorite, The Maple Roll. Spicy white tuna mixed with tempura bits (the bits make such a big difference, adds a nice crunch), topped with spicy sockeye salmon and masago. And of course, the sweetness from the maple sauce mixed in, is the cherry on top of this unique roll. I usually prefer a wakame salad but this time opted for the ebi sunomono which was equally as good.

Regularly priced at $8.99, this combo for lunch leaves you satisfied and energized to finish off that work afternoon. Support this restaurant readers, as this resto belongs to a dear friend of mine MH. Watch out for a later post on Shota, where my family and I literally tried all of their specialty rolls!

I just also wanted to include that I appreciated their cute and clean tea cups. Most Japanese places have the usual old looking off green/brown cups and this was refreshing to see and drink out of.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes Done Right: My Ultimate Favorite Side Dish

One of my favorite side/carb dishes ever is my sister's scalloped potatoes. The simple yet perfect blend of cheeses, butter and thin slices of potatoes bubbling in the oven is my idea of the best comfort food. I'm told that it depends on the sharpness of the mandolin (LC uses an Asian brand purchased from Ming Wo) that truly makes this dish. Whatever it is, I always go back for a second helping, no matter how BULL I am! So, from her kitchen to yours, here's the recipe:

  • 4 large potatoes (russet or Yukon), thinly sliced
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Butter, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Milk
Cooking Instructions:

To assemble, begin by layering the ingredients in a square pan starting with potatoes, butter, S&P and cheddar cheese. Repeat until you reach close to top of pan. Then pour milk about 1/4 of the way up the pan (about 2 cups). Top with Parmesan cheese. Tightly wrap foil around edges and bake in 375 F. oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes at 400 F. until golden brown. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve in squares. Yum!