Tag Archives: bread

Soul Food in Union Square

2 Jun

It amuses me that there is a Union Square in NY and SF that are both great places to hang out, eat and shop. We drove to Union Sq. on Sunday and luckily found a parking spot. Parking is free on Sundays, which is great because it’s $3.50 an hour for metered parking and more for garages! We were hungry so we grabbed a snack. I treated myself to a Boudin jalapeno cheddar bread. They toasted it for me and it was really, really good.

mmm.. warm and crusty

I’m going to have to try to make these one day. So tasty. The jalapenos were pretty hot but manageable.

all the jalpaneos inside

I’m still looking for a bag but I’m being super picky. I might have to just buy online. Good thing Brian had a former co-worker to talk to while I shopped. One and a half hours was completely not enough time to shop for something specific though so I ended up not buying anything. I guess that’s a good thing. We had early reservations to have dinner at Farmer Brown’s. They feature organic soul food.

nifty entrance

I loved the ambiance and their service was excellent. The hostess had great fashion sense since she fit with the restaurant’s decor perfectly! Helps that she had a great body too! Okay, moving on… the menu was a glazed sheet metal clip board. As I said, this restaurant had great details.

the menu

They gave us delicious corn muffins that had bits of jalapenos in it. They were not spicy but had a great pepper flavor. These guys were addicting, especially with the apricot butter. At least I think it was apricot, it could have been peach or nectarines.

jalapeno corn muffins with apricot butter

I ordered the fried chicken because Brian’s friend recommended it. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it had a lot of flavor. The menu describes it as the “perfect” fried chicken. It was cooked perfectly with moist meat and crispy skin but it was lacking in flavor overall. It also wasn’t as salty as fried chicken should be? The collard greens were good with bits of bacon throughout. The macaroni and cheese was super rich. I ended up only eating the chicken and took the rest home for another meal.

fried chicken with macaroni and cheese and collard greens

Brian got the pulled pork sandwich. It had a lot more flavor than my dish but I didn’t like something in it. I’m not sure if it was the cole slaw or the bbq sauce. The chips looked flavorful but weren’t that strong in flavor either. Maybe I killed all my taste buds from that jalapeno bread before?? His friend got the catfish but I don’t know him well enough to take a picture of his food.

On Memorial Day, we went out to hunt for bikes and a bike rack. We ended up stopping by two walmarts because the bikes are really cheap there. Other than that, we normally hate shopping there because it’s so depressing (besides all the other issuse with walmart). We still haven’t bought anything yet because the bikes we liked were mountain bikes and had wide bars which don’t fit on normal trunk racks for sedans. I’ll have to do more research. We ended up meeting up with another friend who took us to a hole in the wall called House of Dumplings. It’s in a strip mall that has about 5 stores but it was really good home cooking. We got chow mein, 3-flavor dumplings and xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The chow mein was flavorful and had lots of beef and veggies but I don’t really like chow mein noodles. The 3-flavor dumplings had shrimp, pork and chives and were really good. The chives were strong and the skins of the dumplings were perfect. You could tell they’re handmade. The xiao long bao were okay. The flavor was strong in ginger and there was actually soup inside, which means they were pretty successful. The portions are big but cheap. If this place were closer, I would be going often. Sorry for lack of pictures, I was super hungry. =P

Olive bread

22 Mar

Inspired by olive bread from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, I tried to make my own even though I’ve never tasted one before. I do LOVE the sourdough walnut from Tartine and I try to get one every time I visit.

I followed the olive bread instructions using the olive oil dough recipe. Both from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. This has been one of my most used cook books!

olive bread
I purposely took it out before it fully browned because my family doesn’t love a hard crust. Still crispy all over and a nice holey crumb.

olive bread cut
Salty olives really goes well with bread. Next time I will slice the olives more so they spread out better. My shaping pushed them all to one side of the loaf.

Rustic Country Bread and Scones

5 Mar

I got a pizza stone!! Now I can make delicious crusty pizzas and crusty breads.

country bread whole

Some tips, don’t put the stone on the bottom of the oven if your bread/pizza is larger than the stone. It will hang over the flame (gas stove) and burn. Also, make sure your corn meal is COARSE ground. My bag said coarse ground but it really wasn’t.. it was more like corn flour. Flour burns!! I sprinkled it onto the hot stone and it instantly started smoking. Very, very gross.

When making bread it’s importatnt to use a pre-ferment, aka sponge. Doing so gives the bread much more flavor and is worth starting the mix an extra few hours. I let mine ferment for 12 hours instead of four because I went to bed and forgot about it. Came out really good. Gotta practice some more but this was definitely a learning experience. Turned out pretty well I think even if it’s not perfect.

country bread cut

I also made scones! Cranberry orange scones to be precise. These were yummy but really on the high fat side and not as crumbly as I would have liked. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it, it has no eggs. I think I prefer ones with eggs.

scones

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tbs. baking powder
3/4 tbs. salt
6 tbs. cold butter cut in pieces
1 tbs. white sugar plus some for sprinkling on top
2 tbs. honey
1/3 c. heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 tsp. orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, two knives or your finger tips until the texture resembles bread crumbs. It’s important to keep the butter cold so you can put it in the fridge if it melts to much.
3. In a small bowl, mix honey, cream and sour cream until well combined. Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix or you will get tough scones.
4. Pat all of the dough into a 6×6 inch square, cut into 4 equal squares and then into 8 triangles.
5. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Optional glaze: mix 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) with 1-2 tsp of orange juice and drizzle over tops of cooled scones.

scones cut

Sister’s Focaccia Bread

3 Aug

My sister made some lovely focaccia bread. It came out a lot thinner than I expected but it seems like that’s how the recipe makes it. I made another recipe before and remember it to be more fluffy. I guess I will experiment later. This recipe makes a nice dense bread almost like flat bread. Very tasty and full of flavor.

IMG_3280

Here’s the recipe she used from allrecipes.

Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 pinch ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 cup mozzarella

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Changes she made: omit mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and put half rosemary and half cheddar cheese (since our dad doesn’t like rosemary).

Some recent food pics

23 Jul

Freshly picked jalapenos and tomatoes from my vegetable pots! The insides of the tomatoes were slightly green, probably weren’t completely ready yet but they were quite sweet! Made more jalapeno poppers with the peppers but baked them this time to avoid the oil. So yum.
fresh picked veggies

Mom made bread again. One pan is plain, the other has dried pork shreds inside.
bread two pans

This one has cinnamon sugar! Each roll is rolled with cinnamon sugar inside.
bread cinnamon rolls

Chocolate beef chili. Soo good. The chocolate flavor is barely there but makes it taste so much better. I cheated and used a packaged chili flavoring mix but that’s how I usually make it. I like consistency and it’s easy. Brown a pound of ground beef, add a chopped onion, chopped jalapeno pepper, a can of red beans, a small can of tomato sauce, a packet of chili flavoring and 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
chocolate beef chili

Yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls) and Fried Montou

10 Jul

yaki onigiri side
Using lunchinabox’s tutorial, I made made some yaki onigiri with some left over long grain rice. I pan fried them in a bit of vegetable oil and brushed on some soy sauce on both sides. Crispy and salty, these were quite a yummy snack. Great practice for bento making! These can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until needed. Just nuke them in the microwave to reheat. Pictures taken by my sister with her camera. I can’t take such nice pics.. yet.

A lone star.
yaki onigiri star
Yum yum yum
yaki onigiri

Edited to add:
My mom made these buns called Montou in Chinese. They’re basically fluffy, plain white buns that are usually eaten for breakfast. She made them a while back and kept a bag of frozen ones on hand. These were pan fried and steamed (potsticker style). They are sometimes found in Chinese restaurants but those are deep fried. Eaten with sweetened condensed milk as the dipping sauce. What a treat. Not to be eaten often!
Golden brown fried montou.
fried montous
Montou with sweetened condense milk.
fried montou