FrancesRenHuang

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Part II Hot Sauce

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on April 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

crunchy and delicious

Since watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Fried Food,” as well as reading Food52’s drooling recipe by Merrill, I could maybe understand how brussel sprouts could be delicious. Though it is only when I came upon Ya Ya Bean’s hot sauce, at the same time seeing fresh brussel sprouts sold right around the corner that I decided to set aside my judgement for this small round goodies and try out this recipe. The result? A wonderful bowl of crisp, sweet and spicy goodness.

Makes 1 big bowl

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts adapted from Food52

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts (around 22 of them)
  • 1 tbsp La Boca Roja hot sauce (or any other hot sauce)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • oil for frying
  1. Trim the stem end of the sprouts, separating the leaves with your fingers, collecting them in a large bowl. When you reach the heart of the sprout (where it’s tough to pry off the remaining leaves), add the heart to the bowl with the leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together hot sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Adjust to your liking; set aside.
  3. Set about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat; heat until 350F. Fry the sprouts in batches, using a screen to protect you from sputtering oil; remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds to a minute, when crisp and brown; drain them on a double layer of paper towels while you fry the rest of the sprouts.
  4. Once all the sprouts are fried, transfer them to a large bowl and toss them with the sauce, seasoning with salt if needed.
  5. Eat while warm.

Hot Sauce

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

La Boca Roja

Hot sauce is a necessity; a kitchen commodity; the key component to complete a delicious dish. In my case, I put it on everything; you name it I splash it on: bacon, french fries, milanesa, chicken wings, hamburgers, pizza etc. Since arriving in BA, the nonexistence of spicy cuisine leaves me no choice but to obsessively search high and low for sweat-induced food/ingredients. Well, up until I landed on Ya Ya Bean’s hot sauce and fell in love; I loved it so much that I’m contemplating about being their next door neighbor.

Just a dab on the tongue has me blasting to another planet. It’s HOT. Though what makes it perfect is the right amount of salt and the playful flavors of cumin, onion and garlic.  A well made bottle. Not to say, it’s very affordable with a generous pour: 20 pesos ($5) for the small one and 50 pesos ($12.50) for their big one. Oh, and they deliver to your door.

Ya Ya Bean’s La Boca Roja

Ya Ya Bean is formed by two best friends from DC, who worked on an organic farm in Patagonia, and musicians by trade. To know more about them, they can be seen on youtube, documenting their journey making and selling it to customers in San Telmo fair.

http://www.yayabeans.com/

Location: Every Sunday at San Telmo Fair, on Defensa near Alsina.

No Alcohol Allowed

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Starters

bread basket

shawarma set

Al Zein

Arce 488, Las Cañitas, Buenos Aires 4775 1402

(http://www.alzein.info)

I’m delighted to discover in BA a local joint serving up cheap middle eastern dishes alongside the familiar quick service and their fascinating traditions- no alcohol. Really? (sigh) Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy the once in a while good fancy middle eastern-inspired meal, but after a long day’s work during the week, there is no place better than a no frill service, throwing down good ole’ cheap Middle Eastern food.

Restaurant Critic: The aroma of the roasting meat from the counter fills up the whole restaurant along with a display of take-it-to-go appetizers and sweet baklava. The restaurant is simple, airy, with an outdoor seating, and the strong presence of the Middle Eastern tradition.

Food Critic: Their babaganoush (eggplant salad) was delicious, with a good hint of smokey flavor. My other half agreed-the best he had so far. Surprisingly stated when he had his fair share of it when living in Kuwait. I love the thin tortilla-like naan, soft and light, allowing more room to enjoy the dishes; accompanying the delicious shawarma was the creamy rich yogurt, and pickled onion. Cheap and good: appetizers 17 pesos ($4) each and mains about 22 pesos ($5.25).

Pros

  • overall a delicious meal
  • quick service
  • love the babaganoush (eggplant salad)
  • thin-like naan
  • creamy thick yogurt
  • cheap

Cons

  • meat a bit dry
  • hummus was not the best we have had
  • too much lettuce in the tabouleh

My Asian Chicken

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on April 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Crispy and Juicy

Roasted chicken recipes are one of my favorites to collect. The aroma that fills the house gives a feeling of warmness as I am reminded of friends and family getting together, handing around side dishes and conversing over chicken and wine.

This is one of my favorites to roast- a no oil involved marination and delightfully turns into an addictive sauce.

Roast Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8 garlic cloves, mashed, minced, or pressed
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ground white pepper
  1. Combine the garlic, soy sauce and sugar; season the whole chicken with ground white pepper and rub the chicken with marination inside out; marinate 4~24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees; re-rub the marination and roast chicken in pan, wing side up, for 30 minutes; change to the other wing, roast for another 30 minutes; change the chicken breast side up and roast until skin is golden crisp, about 40 minutes, or internal temperature @ white meat is 160F.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes before carving; serve with juice from the chicken.
  4. Enjoy.

A Well Kept Secret

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on April 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Pan Fried Gyoza

Japanese Salad

Buckroot Salad

Grilled rice ball

Japanese Omelette

Sushi

Green tea mousse

Niji

Iberá 2424, Belgrano, Buenos Aires 4544 1850 (only with reservation)

This article inspired today’s post: Japanese food. If you understand Japanese’s cuisine outside of the sushi realm, then this is heaven for you- as it was for me: grilled rice, buckroot salad, gyoza, Japanese omelette, etc.

Restaurant Critc: This place is run by a Japanese mom with her daughters; the service is intimate, family-friendly, and full of smiles. Their location is a bit out of my ordinary areas, but once walking into the zen tranquility and Japanese setting, it takes me back to the time I was in Japan; my growing excitement at seeing dishes coming out of the kitchen, made with precision, love and care.

Food Critic: Looking at the menu, I fully understand why the cliental are Japanese; besides the standard sushi, the menu caters to other important parts of Japanese cuisine- bar food, street food, and home cooked food. The impressive menu did promise a good meal; the quality of each dish were excellent, the flavors were authentic, and each dish was abundant. Their dishes range from 30-100 pesos, sushi are in the 100’s and all others within the 30’s range; with a few glasses of their Japanese plum wine, delicious sakes, and over 9 dishes, we spent about 200 pesos each. Every penny was worth it.

Pros

  • the variety of Japanese dishes
  • good quality and taste on par with the prices
  • seclusive environment
  • family-style
  • love the gyozas, buckroot salad, green tea mousse, salads, grilled goods- all good.

Cons

  • they should eliminate the cream cheese from one of their rolls
  • don’t order the japanese omelette if you don’t like mayo 🙂

Organic Find

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on April 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Tren de la Costa

Pastries

Meat and Cheese

Veggies

Organic is not seen everywhere, it might be of inconvenience, but definitely possible to find. I like this helpful post by GoodmorningBA listing organic fairs, delivery options and shops all around town- the inspiration for me to check out San Fernando Organic Market.

This market is right at the San Fernando station on the Tren de La Costa line: easy and such a comfortable scenic train ride. This market opens at 10am~5pm; by 12 the station trickled with people, filling in their bags with fresh goods. One side of the station sells baked goods, honey and jam, cheese, cold cuts, eggs and chicken; the other side has veggies, herbs, plants and eco-friendly bags. My heart skips a beat to see fresh beautiful veggies exist in Buenos Aires, and affordable: 4 pesos ($1) for an abundant bunch of spinach. Even though the baked goods still have some years to catch on to the North American’s drooling standards, I’ll definitely come back for their baby carrots, herbs, and organic eggs.

Chef Mun

In Eating Out, The Piglet Oinking on March 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Tentacles

Complimentary Platters

Korean food

Ha Na Jung

Bacacay 3195, Flores, Buenos Aires 4613 0705

I’m dedicating this post to Chef Mun: the chef behind the current talked up closed-door restaurant, Casa Mun; without his help, my friend Mary and I would never have stumbled upon this restaurant-satiating us some ghetto Korean cravings. If down and dirty is not your style, Casa Mun’s food is the perfect reedition of Korean food with the hint of Japanese and Chinese fusion.

Restaurant Critic: The restaurant reminds me of my korean friends’ big old living room space, with scrumptious food cooked by moms and grandmas. The unrecognizable sign, suspicious dark streets, cafeteria-style environment, and koreans gathering around the table is a delight to anyone who grew up in third world countries.

Food Critic: Complimentary side dishes of korean sushi, kimchee, salads, noodles, with what seems like the endless array of grilled rib-eye, octopus, and  sweet-marinated beef just kept us going for the whole night. Surprisingly by then end, the 6 of us inhaled the whole table, downed it with a few bottles of soujiu and beer- all for 70 pesos ($18) each.

Pros

  • family-style service: quick and friendly
  • do-it-yourself grilling: tender octopus, slabs of rib-eyes, my personal favorite is the fatty pork and sweet-marinated beef
  • unlimited complimentary side dishes: my favorite is their green bean noodle salad
  • korean whole grain rice served with dishes

Cons

  • need to polish up Korean to order (or like me, steal the list from Chef Mun)
  • Kimchee fried rice was clump up, taste was good, but texture wasn’t what I anticipated


Butter’s Existence

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 26, 2011 at 1:54 am

Mmm bread

I cannot imagine a foodie’s world without butter, and brioche is a perfect example why butter is a necessity. This recipe, inspired by Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, churns out the perfect buttery, flaky, light and airy loaf of bread. I thank you, Thomas Keller, again for sharing your wonderful recipes to the world.

Makes one loaf of bread

Brioche

  • 2 tbsp very warm water
  • 1/2 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup of cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 1 inch cubes
  • egg wash: 1 egg+water/milk, beaten lightly

  1. Combine warm water and yeast until dissolved; let it sit for 10 minutes, or until liquid has start to foam.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, salt; slowly add eggs one at a time and gradually adding yeast; continue kneading for 5 minutes. then add about 1/4 of butter at a time until the dough is well incorporated with the butter; knead for 10 minutes. *dough might feel too buttery in the beginning, but after 6~7 minutes of incorporating and kneading, the dough will start to form into a nice soft dough.
  3. Let it sit in warm place for 3 hours, or until double in size and return to counter and work in the air bubbles with a few kneads; let it sit in fridge overnight.
  4. Next morning, lightly butter a 8.5″ by 4.5″ loaf pan; divide the dough into three long strands, each measuring ~12″; squeezing the ends of the rope together, tightly braid the dough, tucking the ends underneath.
  5. Gently place it into the buttered loaf pan, cover and let it sit for ~3 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven 350F; place the loaf pan, top covered in foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove the foil and brush the top of the bread generously with egg wash; bake without foil for another 15 minutes, or until internal temperature is at least 205F. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes; turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice a piece and enjoy with your condiments.



Seducing with Chocolate

In Shopping, The Piglet Oinking on March 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Beautiful Wrapping

Heart

Hot Chocolate

Chocolate plays a big role in this city: crunchy goodness sold in the supermarket, displays of chocolate molds in the centre’s traditional chocolate stores, and dessert of all things chocolate in bakeries and restaurants. And even after all that chocolate, there are these beautiful handfuls of artisanal chocolate boutique shops. This is one of the very few in BA.

This beautiful store visually swipes me off my feet and enticed my sweet tooth; how ignorant I was, thinking chocolate was just chocolate. The store itself is beautiful, and the display of chocolates are Mmm sexy; their chocolate ginger truffle was divine. Expensive? Very. 5 pesos ($1.25) for a truffle, and 20 pesos ($4.25) for a small bar of dark almond chocolate. For Argentine chocolate, this store did a great job.

Vasalissa Chocolatier

http://www.vasalissa.com/

Alvear 402, Martínez (they have stores around the city)

Anzac Bites

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on March 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Chewy and Crunchy

Anzac- the New Zealand and Australian’s national cookie; cookies that wives made for their dear husbands going to war. Fortunately, I’m just making it for my own gluttonous pleasure, eating it all before my other half comes home. My good friend/consultant from New Zealand gave me this wonderful recipe months ago. Extremely easy to make; in a matter of 10 minutes, these cookies were in the oven and the whole house smelled like oats and butter. The crunch and oats reminded me of BA’s Quaker’s oatmeal cookies; I’m tempted to throw in some raisins into the dough, though I can already imagine Glenn shaking his fist and defending the authenticity of his country’s cookie.

Makes 40+ walnut-size cookies (or 20 normal-size cookies)

Anzac Cookie

  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup caster cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup dried coconut (shredded are fine)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats; set aside.
  3. Melt butter and golden syrup; dissolve baking soda in the boiling water and add to the butter-syrup mix; stir butter mixture into the dry ingredients, mix well until wet and crumbly.
  4. Pinch the dough into walnut-size balls and place it onto the greased baking sheet; using the thumb to press onto the ball, flatten it a bit.
  5. Bake for 6~10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Enjoy.



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