Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunday Lunch - Shanghai Nice Green Bo

Nice Green Bo Restaurant, Have any of you tried this place yet? I mentioned on one of my earlier post that Goodies Restaurant was one of my favorite for soup dumplings but sadly they relocated out of Chinatown. Here I discovered my new Goodies right on Bayard St between Mott and Elizabeth Street.
As you walk in you will be introduced to the lovely smell of the soup dumplings steaming on the right.

Look at this perfect little dumpling !
We also ordered the Drunken Chicken, chilled marinated chicken with wine. Geoff thought it might be sherry instead of wine since the taste reminded him of Christmas. Funny enough it did kind of feel like the holidays with all the Chinese musical toys playing right outside of the restaurant.
Ding dinnng ding dong dinnng ding dong.....

-Chilled Marinated Goose web with chili sesame oil /vinegar tossed with celery, nice and refreshing!

Final dish arrives , Shrimp fried rice - it was ok the rice was fried well but the shrimp was disappointing.

Waitress asked if we like the rice "white or soy". We chose soy but I should've chosen white which probably is lighter without the soy ( you can always add the soy yourself) . Nice to have options.
I wonder how the NYC Dumpling Festival went?

Nice Green Bo Shanghai Restaurant - Click for the full MENU *

* just found a recipe for the drunken chicken!!! very similair to the Hoi Nam recipe
slow poached then steam with seasoning until done then shock with ice and marinate with wine for 24 hrs in the fridge. I might try it with a smaller bird - Cornish hen...
I knew she would have it ...wonderful blog :

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oyster Sauce

This is my homage to oyster sauce, the Chinese condiment that makes everything better! You all know about my ongoing struggle getting Molly to eat her veggies. Well, last night I made cauliflower sauteed with garlic and oyster sauce and guess what? She gobbled it right up! It is a miracle! You know if I had given it to her any other way, she probably would have refused it. Then all day today I thought about oyster sauce and how it is just perfect. I recently read an entry on Mark Bitterman's blog about veggies served with just oyster sauce drizzled over. The foodies are catching on! Here are my favorite ways to use oyster sauce:

  • drizzled over green peas and eggs on rice
  • drizzled over Chinese greens
  • in any stir fry
  • for dipping meat & veggies in Chinese soups (along with rice, heaven!!)
  • for dipping pan fried turnip cake
  • for everything
How about mini bottles of it to go? What about packets?? The brand in the picture is my favorite. Whatever brand you pick, make sure it actually contains real oyster essence so that you get that savory briny goodness!

I swear I can cook...

even though all my postings have been about dining out.
I was professionally trained to be a chef a few years ago. I thought I was going to be a culinary goddess until I started my first internship. I saw a stock pot that was the size of me and thought.. " this isn't going to work". I wasn't built for hard labor. Basically, I chickened out. So now I just cook for fun.

I've been feeling a little insecure about my culinary skill so I decided to cook one night. This is what I made....
Oven Roasted Orata with Shallots, Olives and Tomatoes

1.5 lbs Orata
4 plum tomatoes sliced
1 lemon * cut half for juice and the rest sliced to bake with fish
4 gloves of garlic thinly sliced
1/4 black olives rough chopped
1/4 cup each of rosemary, thyme and marjoram
3/4 cup of chopped shallots
4 tbsp of olive oil

Use everything fresh!

Preheat oven at 350. Season fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice. In a pan, sweat garlic and shallots about 3 minutes, add in the rest of the ingredients and sauteed about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Add sauce to fish, on top and inside. Cover and bake for 35 mins. Drizzle with olive oil.
Isn't that pretty??? I served it with mashed lemon potatoes and sauteed swiss chard. I think I'm going to keep cooking.
Try it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chinese Herbal Pork and Mushroom Soup

How about a delicious homemade soup with super powers! used to make a big pot of soup almost every week and they are all delicious even the herbal ones.
It is the weekend, feeling overworked lately and decided to make a healthy soup. Here I made a nice hearty herbal soup. I used 2 nice chunky pork bones ( first time using these,  they are the blade bone near the neck )which gave the broth a nice deep flavor.

dried shitake mushroom, potatoes, fox nuts ,wolfberries, red dates , yellow soybeans
soak all until soft except the wolfberries ( soak when soup is almost done or they will get mushy)
oh yes and garlic
look at this pretty mushroom after soaking

Here are the pork bones,
a bit scary looking but very tasty.
Parboil for a few minutes to get
rid of the impurities then rinse.
Then add bones into the pot of water with soaked
ingredients and potatoes.
Bring to a boil then lower flame and let it
simmer for 45 minutes. Then remove and take
all the meat off from the bone and add back
to the pot along with the soaked
wolfberries, simmer for another 10 minutes.

Aren't you proud of me! This smells and taste so gooooood. I will try my best to explain the wonderful flavors: a hint of earthiness from the mushroom, pork so tender & sweet, tang from the wolf berries and red dates, and the fox nuts with the yellow soybeans gave this soup a velvety finish. You can add soy or salt. Have it with rice if you like.. I just love soup and rice together ! Have a bowl of nourishing yummy tong !

You can learn more about chinese herbs from one of my favorite Soup Blogs:
Great photos and descriptions!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Well they're filming the finale right now and Padma's 5 months preggos. Apparently her boobs are huge according to judge Toby. We'll see the bump(s) soon enough! Father's identity is still a mystery. Last episode was good. I always love restaurant wars and this one was a good one. Couldn't believe Jen tanked so badly, truly disappointing. I still believe in her and predict that she will be in finale. However, if they were truly following TC protocol, Jen really should have been sent home this week. I can't count how many times they say it is not an accumulative competition at judges table. She really dropped the biggest bomb and deserved to go home. But alas I am sooo happy that boring Laurine got sent home. I mean there must be a boring chef quota for casting because she is the poster child for lethargy. Did I mention that Laurine is boring? The "tension" between the brothers is totally fake. You know those two are high five-ing it when the cameras are off. Although I thought it was hot when Brian told Michael to shut up and Robin to finish plating the damn desert. Now the question is, who is more annoying? Robin or Eli? I've been so busy feeling embarrassed for Robin that I haven't noticed what a nudge Eli is. Next to go...Robin Early prediction of final 3 Jen, Michael V. and Kevin.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spaghetti Limone' with Roasted Tomato & Duck Liver Sausage

Spaghetti al limone! Spaghetti al limone!
You won't be able to put down your fork, chopsticks or hands until it is all consumed!
Spaghetti Limone has been on my mind with thoughts on how to spice it up. Went to check out what I had in the fridge that will go well with this dish....

butter, cheese, chinese sausage( duck liver - can be found in most Asian markets)
sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, garlic , lemon

cherry tomatoes cut in half and roasted with salt, pepper and oregano

In a pan heat some butter and olive oil, add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add sausage, peas and the roasted tomatoes, stir for a few minutes ( I added a dash of chicken stock ). Oil will be released from the sausages when heated so be gentle with the olive oil & butter.
When pasta is done, drain and add directly to the pan of sauce, toss with cheese and add the lemon zest and juice, finally top it off with more cheese!

Here we have a nice bowl of spaghetti limone with many lovely flavors. There's the tangy sweetness from the roasted tomatoes/peas/lemon, and a mild saltiness with a hint of wine from the chinese duck liver sausage... .mmmmmmmm slurp!

Pasta Lovers know this is one of your favorites!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Spinach Meatballs

In the mood for meatballs and thought of a recipe I came across the other day
 " Chicken and Spinach Meatballs" from Girl Gone Gourmet.  Pay her a visit , very nice blog.
For more flavor I used Italian sausage instead of chicken and boy i'm glad i did. This was my first time on making meatballs so there were a few bumps here and there.
  • italian sausage 
  • spianch
  • mozzarella - shredded
  • egg
  • panko ( did not have any that night )
  • onion - diced
  • garlic - diced
  • canned whole tomato (crush with hands)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • milk
  • brown sugar + white pepper

take casing off and quickly blanch the spinach mix with meat and mozzarella and cup into shape with hands
the shape did not stay, started to flatten
here is where i had trouble -no panko! no sticking ! and water from the blanching did not help!!grrrrrr

so i had to quickly fry and brown them to hold the shape then transfer on to foil and baked for 20 minutes.
start putting the sauce together by heating the onion and garlic add sauce / sugar....simmer
add the meatballs and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

while simmer meatball sauce , time to cook the pasta.
when done , serve on plate and top it off with some parmigiano reggiano!!!!!


Even though i was missing panko and basil .......this dish was still very enjoyable!
anyone know any meatball tips?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't believe the hype...

So... with much anticipation for the dinner at Little Owl tonight, I left... well kind of unsatisfied and disappointed. The food was good, but not great. With all the hype I heard about this restaurant, I guess I was expecting a lot. The gnocchi with braised lamb was good, the duck salad was pretty good but my halibut was alright. What really did it was when I started to feel sick after a couple of bites. I didn't touch the food afterwards and wasn't missing it either. I was starting to question the hype. My answer came when my sister started to feel ill as well!
Guess I won't be visiting the little owl anymore...

Vietnamese Weekend Lunch !

When eating out....
do you have those still moments you feel the warm excitment when your order arrives and want to share with the people that will understand ... well this is especially for you girls who loves vietnemese cooking

Pho with Pig's Trotters and paper thin Brisket and super light rice noodle (not vermicelli)with a side of mint , some greens (shaved fiddle head), bean sprouts , and basil
Serve only on Weekends

Tender Squid with vietnamese lemongrass chili sauce over rice

For starters we had the famous fried spring roll. Summer rolls and Pho noodle soup # 5 is my usual order but this time wanted a change and I am glad i did, you would too..
they are perfect here and you know where......
  Nha Trang One ( 87 Baxter St. Chinatown NY)
Click here for full MENU*

Friday, October 16, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

I'm sure you're all waiting on pins and needles for my weekly Top Chef rant....well, maybe not! Nevertheless, you will get one. Hallelujah! Ash was so pathetic that I am willing to tolerate Robin one more week to see him go! Come on now! That cold pork loin looked sooooo boring! It was a challenge very close to the cookng's hearts, pairing pork with pinot! Annie would have took the prize home for her braised pork butt! I was salivating for the dishes from the usual suspects, the macho brothers, Kevin and Jen. That pork terrine looked out of this world. So the anti-Robin tension building up in the house is very entertaining. And what about Toby and his armpit comments? I like him! Can't wait to see restaurant wars next week. Looks like the you know what is going to hit the fan! Bets on if Robin will mention cancer again?

Steamed Tofu with Ground Turkey and Mushroom

Tofu is one of mom's favorite and the way she like to make it is just by taking it out of the container and slicing it into 6 equal size pcs, drizzle some oyster sauce, scallion and steam until done and serve with rice for a simple night.
At the market shopping for dinner spotted the tofu section and thought of mom's simple recipe mmm....good idea for a chilly night.......but decided to jazz it up instead. Here are the ingredients and photos!
silken tofu (box)
ground turkey
oyster mushroom
dried shitake mushroom
oyster sauce
sesame oil
white pepper
broccoli rabe

minced the garlic , slice the shallot
slice the oyster mushroom
soak the shitake mushroom until soft
then thinly slice (shitake has a stronger flavor)
** keep the mushroom water**

Brown the ground turkey until desire size
remove from pan to a plate

I kept some of the juice from the pan
and add oil, garlic, shallot and the both mushroom
until fragrant, oyster sauce , sesame oil and then
add some of the mushroom water.
. Return the turkey to the pan let it simmer with the

Remove the tofu from the box carefully by sliding
knife into the gap between the side of the box and tofu
and work around it. take the plastice off put a plate ontop
and turn it upside down holding the them together, slowly
squeeze the container until it slides out. ( see perfect! )
here it is in the wok to be steamed.

Here was a tricky part , i steamed it on a small plate ( fits in wok)
then to slide it on a larger plate but need to get rid of the water
that steamed out. Tilt the plate slowly wear gloves letting the extra water into the wok, spooned out the rest. ( thought i was going to lose it) Slide on to the good plate and surround it with the brocolli rabe that
i blanched while the tofu was steaming. how pretty

and finally finish it off with the turkey and mushroom topping

With the many flavors and textures from the mushrooms, silky tofu and hint of green with a bite ,
a dash of white pepper and a bowl of rice It was delicious and nice!
( remove the turkey and turns into a vegetarian friendly dish!)

Sunday go go 's Dim Sum

 Last Sunday Dim Sum , and a very busy one! There was a long wait for every dim sum palace in chinatown ...tap ...tap we decided to stay with Dim Sum Go Go , if there is a wait we should play it safe.
It was a good choice , in no time we got a table upstairs ( we prefer , less noisy)

We receive our nice jasmine green tea and started checking off the goodies to order:
and they are.....

sui mai pork shrimp dumpling, fu pei guen beancurd wrap pork roll, chinese parsley dumpling, hai gow translucent shrimp dumpling, stuffed mushroom /fish, fung chow chicken feet, jai churn vege rice rolls, and a must the simple steam chinese brocolli with oytser sauce.
friday today...wondering if we're going to dimsum this weekend?
Dai Gai Yum CHa!!
Click here for full MENU*

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Celebrity tomato salad

Straight from Oscar de la Renta's kitchens in Punta Cana

Breakfast Time !

while having breakfast, some like to read , watch tv, make a very long and exciting to do list, work a crossword puzzle.... well I played today!  ( i don't do this everyday, believe me)
oh yes, it is actually an egg cup so you know, i do not have my eggs on any random toy....

very soft boiled eggs ( similar to em's )
 -bring water and eggs to boil and let boil for 2 mins
 -turn flame off and let sit for 1 mins
 -rinse with cold water to separate membrane/shell from egg
*no need if having it straight from the shell - lightly crack with edge of spoon around the upper part of the egg slowly lift the top off and enjoy..

this was a large egg so less time for a smaller one

Monday, October 12, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Here I go... a bit late but relevant since we are a couple of days away from this week's episode. This is Top Chef, not Fair Chef. Only in this type of competition can a person who did nothing (Ash) and another who really sucks (Robin) get to go to the next round while a chef (Ashley) with some skills certainly more than the previously mentioned gets eliminated. Ashley has actually won an elimination and is more interesting than the other two. What Robin lacks in talent she surely makes up for with luck. I can't believe she escaped judges table with such a super boring dish. Also, they built up the supposed fight between Mike I. and Robin to be such a big deal and it was so lame. Anyway, you know I will be watching this Wed no matter how much I complain. Any theories on who's Padma's baby's father?? Can't get enough Top Chef? Check out this funny fan site

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moon - Fall Festival

Last weekend  Oct.3 was our traditional Moon Festival.
 ( some people like to call it Fall festival , Luna , Winter, Feasting festival...up to you) 
It is a holiday where families like to get together to welcome and celebrate the Fall Season.
And how we like to celebrate is to have a ........feast!
very simliar to Thanksgiving but we have our traditional dishes.

 Geoff and I decided to start the day with Dim Sum, straight to Chinatown we went.
Stuck in heavy traffic so we decided to get out and walk,then realized that it must be a long wait at most restaurant that serves Dim Sum.This holiday explains the super business in chinatown...... standing around ......Hmmmmmm....and then I saw " East Boat Lobster House"
we looked at each other and grinned. Entered the restaurant, look just like a seafood shack with red gingham table cloth...cute.( It has been awhile since I last ate here) Geoff first time and gave it 2 thumbs up!
Menu was great...all photos with desciptions, english and chinese. Decided on the platter for 2:

Dungeness Crab - Steamed whole with side of lemon and butter - it was so sweet we actually did not need it. Can pick any style of your choice...fried , steamed, stir fry with garlic black bean.
Roasted Crispy whole Squab
Salt and Pepper Baked Shrimp
Baked Scallop with Onion and Cheese ( sooo Kraft Singles ) it was still tasty!
Let's see what else came with this platter...... chinese sausage fried rice ( good) omg i just remember , this is a not so heathly move  I had some of the Crab roe and juice with the rice...yup tasty! and Calamari stir fried with pepper and black bean sauce, and also a salad which you can skip..mushy sweet weird...
Did not regret we stumbled here :)

The following night, friends and family got together and decided to dine out...Vegan style.
Ate at this place called " Wild Ginger" it was surprisingly good. Super cute restautant. We had a nice night.

Next night.... of course Mama Ng need to whip up some of her traditional goodies! Love it! Love it!

 Buddah's Delight
 Slow Poached Chicken ( like Hainanese style) with oyster sauce and coleman HOT mustard....itwas very juicey mmmm ( got the recipe that night from mom)
Chinese Broccoli with Garlic and oyster sauce
Steamed Whole Sea Bass with Ginger Garlc and Soy Scallion
Here are some of the snacks she likes to make on any Chinese Holiday  
...Boiled Salted fresh Peanuts and Taro Root except the Moon cakes was bought.

It was very cozy nice night ........and how did you spend yours?