I took a walk over to Chelsea Market today for a look around. The official Chelsea Market website describes the space as “a one-stop, NYC culinary food shop, a gourmet lover’s wholesale-retail wonder world, and an energetic, industrial-chic hotspot, all meshed into an entire city block of space in the heart of West Chelsea.” In other words, it’s a wet dream for a foodie like me.
At the Thai restaurant-cum-import food market inside Chelsea market, I picked up a bottle of my favorite hot sauce, Huy Fong’s Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce, an all-natural, hot chili and garlic sauce with a Thai name, made by a Vietnamese/Chinese immigrant-owned company in California, and a holder of cult status in my culinary canon since the late 90’s (my late teens). Me and my friends in Arizona have given this sauce the nickname, “cock sauce,” because of the rooster on the label. Huy Fong’s cock sauce has many imitators, but none replace the original’s all-natural, pure ingredients and versatility. Cock sauce has the perfect amount of heat and spice from ripe, red jalapeño peppers and garlic balanced with a bit of sour and sweet notes. Put some cock sauce on your hotdogs, hamburgers, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Mexican, etc.. Cock sauce to go with any ethnicity of cuisine. Cock sauces for the masses! Cock sauce for all. Long live cock sauce! Vive la “cock sauce”!
A Fred and LS original recipe. We made this cold noodle salad for lunch on Friday and enjoyed it al fresco on the terrace.
cooked udon noodles, rinsed in cold water
julienned carrots and cucumber and turkey cold cuts
chunks of avocado
wedges of tomato
chopped green onion
Arrange the vegetables on top of the noodles in a bowl. Garnish with some sesame seeds and season with Wafu Dressing. Mix well before eating. If you can’t find Wafu Dressing, any soy, sesame or miso-based Japanese-style dressing will do. A perfect lunch for a late summer day.
My review of Washoku: Recipies From The Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh has just been published online at JapanVisitor.com. Check it out here.
This is a recipe for an orange cake that I got from Fred in Québec. He got it from his grandmother who got it from a newspaperway back in the day. The ingredients and the recipe are simple, but the results are delicious. Here is my slighty jazzed-up Anglophone version:
4 large free-range eggs
2 cups of white sugar
2 cups of white flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used a half cup of neutral safflower oil and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil to give the cake that Mediterranean je ne sais quoi)
2/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 and a half oranges)
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
powdered sugar (for topping)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius).
2. Beat together the eggs and the white sugar for 2 minutes
3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and beat into the egg and sugar mixture
4. Beat in the rest of the ingredients except for the powdered sugar and transfer batter to a ring-shaped cake pan or a Bundt cake pan
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
6. Allow the cake to cool complete, remove from cake pan, invert onto a serving plate and top with sifted powdered sugar. Et voilà, c’est fini! Très simple et délicieux.
I haven’t posted a recipe in a long time now, but since I have become the de facto, live-in personal chef for my family, I will probably be posting more recipes from now on.
I made this for dinner last night, and like pretty much everything I cook, I improvised with what was in the kitchen without a set recipe or exact measurements.
Balsamic Glazed Lamb Chops
Serves 4 (with side dishes)
Rack of lamb (8 chops, separated into individual chops)
Fresh rosemary (1 bunch) – there is a large patch of it in my parents’ backyard
Fresh garlic (about 6 or 7 cloves)
Balsamic Vinegar (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Dijon Mustard (about 2 tablespoons)
Olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
Prepare the balsamic glaze: Chop up the fresh rosemary and garlic and smash it up into a paste with some sea salt or kosher salt. Transfer into a dish for marinating. Stir in the mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with a bit more salt if needed and some freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the lamb chops and let the chops marinate for half an hour to an hour. Grill the chops over a medium-high flame barbecue until they reach the desired doneness (well-done for my parents and medium-rare for me and my sister)
Serve with the side dishes below.
Boiled New Potatoes
Peel and boil a small bag of new potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain and generously top with a large pat of butter, salt and some chopped chives or green onions.
Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower
Super simple: Steam broccoli and cauliflower florets in a steamer until cooked, but not mushy. Season with some salt.
Ginger Orange Glazed Carrots
Melt a generous pat of butter in a pan. Add in a bunch of carrots (sliced into quarter-inch diagonal pieces), the juice of one orange, grated fresh ginger (about 1 inch piece) and salt and pepper. Let simmer uncovered until carrots are soft but not mushy (about 10 minutes). You can also spoon some of the ginger orange sauce over the other vegetablesl
Here’s a recipe I improvised for dinner last night at my house with Tash and Keiko. It is inspired by a nouvelle japonaise recipe that someone posted on BigDaikon.com.
Ingredients: (for 2-3 people):
- 2 Salmon Filets
- one bunch of asparagus (quickly blanched or steamed)
- 3 potatoes
- one teaspoon of wasabi
- 1 teaspoon of Japanese mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- butter, some olive oil
- a handful of chopped up green onions
- a handful of shiso leaves, cut in chiffonade
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
1. Peel and cut potatoes into quarters. Boil in salted water until tender. Drain. Mash with a good amount of butter. Mix in wasabi and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and a big pat of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Pan sear the salt and peppered salmon filets so they are nicely browned on both sides but still tender (about 2 minutes each side)
3. Remove salmon filets from the frying pan and keep warm, keeping the butter and oil in the pan to make the sauce. Add the garlic, green onions and shiso leaves to the pan and fry until the garlic starts to brown and the herbs release their aroma.
4. To present: Put a mound of wasabi mashed potatoes on each plate. Put some steamed or blanched asparagus next to the potatoes and put a salmon filet on top. Drizzle some of the sauce on top of the salmon along with some lemon juice.