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The Company Burger in New Orleans

The Company Burger in New Orleans

We were in town for a wedding and didn’t have much time for exploring our usual food places but we were able to work in lunch at The Company Burger on Freret st.  Probably one of the best, if not the best, burgers I have ever tasted.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

September 24, 2012  |  Bloggity Blog Blog  |  No Comments

An easy weekend dinner – Popeye’s Spicy Chicken strips, Pickled Jalapeno Aioli, Queso Blanco Cheese, Malt Vinegar Slaw on toasted Hoagie rolls

making Beer based Vinegar

making Beer based Vinegar

A few months back I read an article from one of my favorite chef’s Sean Brock about making your own vinegar. The recipe he provided made use of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) to make vinegar. Since PBR is one of my favorite beers and I always am up for making something from scratch I decided I would try my hand at making some beer based vinegars.  You can find all the ingredients at most supermarkets or health food stores. The base of the vinegar (the mother) comes from Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider and all you do is add your beer of choice in a 3 to 1 ratio.

I chose three different beers to experiment with : PBR, Abita Strawberry Ale (seasonal) and a Southern Pecan brown Ale.  I have three jars each of the PBR and the Abita and two jars of the Southern Pecan. It should take about 4-6 weeks for them to be ready so I will update the site as they progress. If it works out I will probably play around with other flavors like Guinness, Mikes Hard Lemonade ( might infuse some lemon zest in those) and then try my hand at wine based vinegars :)

Mission Chinese Food - San Francisco

Mission Chinese Food – San Francisco

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to visit San Francisco on two occasions. The first time was back in December as I tagged along with my wife on a business trip and more recently towards the end of February. Each trip was a short one,fly in at night- have a day to tour the city and fly out the next day. I would have liked more time to explore the city and sample all the culinary things it has to offer but I can’t be picky, so on both trips I made it a point to visit Mission Chinese Food.

If you are not familiar with MCF it could seem like an odd place to visit or even find if you are not aware of it. I forget how I first found out about Mission Chinese Street Food but most likely it was from reading the chef of Lazy Bear - David Barzelay’s blog Eat Foo.  To get a better idea of how Mission Chinese Food came to be and why the signage still bears the original restuarant’s name you can read THIS Food & Wine article or THIS story on their own blog.

 

In 2011 the married duo behind Mission Street Food and it’s current incarnation – Mission Chinese Food put out a cookbook. It’s a little bit unusual to say the least simply because only about a 1/3 of it contains recipes. The other parts are about how MSF and MCF came to be and the philosophy that drives the idea behind the restaurant. As soon as it was released I bought a copy and read the whole thing cover to cover. It is a very inspirational book and has shaped the way I have done some things with my own Gulf Pig Dinners, I would highly recommend going out and purchasing this.

The Mission Street Burger that was sold at Duc Loi Supermarket.

This is the exterior of Mission Chinese Food. If you didn’t know any better you would walk right on by but there is a small menu posted on the door.

The menu on the door

For my first trip to MCF I went on a Friday night but I had been warned by a friend to get there early or else I would be waiting a while. Since Ann had a business dinner north of SF I had quite a bit of free time so I was able to get there around 5pm ( which for anyone that knows me is waaayyy early for my eating habits).  I got a table towards the back of the restaurant which allowed me to view the whole space as well as people watch the other diners :) I was also in close proximity to their sound system – a Mac Book blaring late 90′s rock, I loved it.  After looking at all the interesting items on the menu I decided on two dishes – the Thrice Cooked Bacon and the Chicken Wings with Explosive Chili Peppers.

Thrice Cooked Bacon – Benton’s Bacon stir-fried with Korean duk rice cakes, bitter melon, tofu skin, scallion, black bean and chili oil.

The Chicken wings, though topped with an extraordinary amount of sauteed dried peppers was not as hot as I expected it to be, which was a good thing. I hate food that burns your taste buds – whats the point of eating after that? These were really tasty and this was also my first experience with szechuan peppers (which were in the spice mix). On our last trip to Dallas I was able to find them in bulk at Central Market.

On my 2nd trip to SF back in February I was able to hit up MCF for lunch. Our hotel was located downtown and on our last trip I either walked everywhere or took a cab. This time I decided to splurge and spend $2 and rode the bus ;) Let me say this,it was interesting to say the least. While traveling to MCF I noticed the bus had a quite large advertisement for a schizophrenia study, after that 20 minute trip I can see why that may be their target audience.

Luck struck again and although I got there right at noon I was able to get a table fairly quick. This time I started with a cold dish of Szechuan Pickles – Salt pickled Napa Cabbage, Carrot, Roasted Peanut, Fresh Coriander and Chili Oil.

For my main dish I decided to go with the Ma Po Tofu – Tofu, Ground Kurobuta Pork, Szechuan peppercorn, chili oil and  steamed white rice.  I had heard really good things about this one and was itching to try it. Now this picture doesn’t really show how MUCH is in this bowl. I barely finished a 1/3 of it. It was so good though.

The Dragon…..a Kickstarter Project

I know San Francisco has a ton of really good restaurants but I may have to make a trip to Mission Chinese Food on each visit. Something about this place just resonates with me and wants me to keep coming back time and time again.  When I find a restaurant I like,even though we don’t travel that much, I stick with it ( see Cochon Butcher). I don’t know if it is the fact that it is a temporary restaurant that morphed into a permanent one, the eclectic 90′s rock blaring from the Mac Book perched on top of the beer cooler, the Christmas lights (who deep down could admit they hate these) or just the fact that they do not seem to follow any rules when it comes to Restaurant 101.  I can admit that I try and follow everything Mission Chinese Food on the web ( blogs,reviews,write ups,videos), I guess I am a Anthony Myint/Danny Bowien junkie.( Anthony btw was in the kitchen when I went for lunch). The chef and co-owner Danny Bowien was also just nominated for a James Beard award. He has an interesting back story as well,look it upMaybe next time Ann can come with me but I have a feeling her deathly allergic reaction to onions would kill the mood.

Here is a few pics of the surrounding neighborhood where the Mission Chinese Food is located. And less you think this is the only food place I visited this last trip I also made it to the Ferry Building, Hogs & Rocks and finally a late dinner at State Bird Provisions which was just an awesome place and one I will need to devote more time to on the next trip.

Oh and by the way, I cabbed it back to the hotel :)

 

 

 

Apologies for the extreme lack of posts.....

Apologies for the extreme lack of posts…..

I have neglected this site for quite some time. Since last updating I have made two trips to San Francisco, put on two (although quite different from each other) Gulf Pig Dinners, cooked many a holiday meal and celebrated two Mardi Gras parades here in Shreveport. I have been meaning to write up my experiences with all of them but for now I will leave you with some pictures.

 

Mission Chinese Food – visited on both trips :)

interior of MCF

Mission Chinese Food – Ma Po Tofu

Soaking wet after the 2nd Mardi Gras Parade

 Plating Korean Fried Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Waffles and Slaw at Gulf Pig

Buttermilk Cheddar Profiteroles with Crawfish Mousse at Gulf Pig

Christmas Dinner – Porchetta

 

The cured meat fridge at Boccalone – SF

Oysters at the Ferry Building – SF


REVISIT : Whoopie Pies …… a childhood memory from the holidays

 

IMG_6495

 

 

As a kid we routinely made “whoopie pies” around the holidays. We would make them in big batches and freeze the remainder to be eaten at a later time (usually they only lasted a couple of days though). I had all but forgotten about these until recently and decided to make them this year for Christmas. We had family and friends over for Christmas Day Dinner and these were meant to be the dessert course but with all the other food prep I had going on they were not made till the day after Christmas. I guess in the back of my mind I didn’t want to share :)  This recipe is based on the one found HERE.

 

Created with flickr slideshow.

Making Pappardelle to be paired with a Charred Corn Pesto

Making Pappardelle to be paired with a Charred Corn Pesto

October 10, 2011  |  Bloggity Blog Blog, Corn, Pasta  |  No Comments

 

Wine Country Bistro & Louisiana Seafood Benefit Dinner

Wine Country Bistro & Louisiana Seafood Benefit Dinner

For the past 6 months or so I have been working the Louisiana Seafood Board (via a 3rd Party) to develop and photograph different seafood recipes for there FB page as well as their own recipe database.  Ever since the BP oil spill there has been a certain “stigma” attached to seafood products from the Gulf and it has been extremely detrimental to Gulf Coast fisherman and the local economies that count on this industry. The Louisiana Seafood Board was tasked with restoring faith in Louisiana’s seafood industry as well as  for lack of a better phrase “Promote the hell out of it.” They hired Chef Brian Landry, formerly of Galatoire’s,  to use his knowledge and experience with Gulf Seafood to help spread the Gospel of Louisiana Seafood.

In late July in conjunction with one of my local favorite restaurants, Wine Country Bistro, Chef Landry ,along with Chef Anthony Felan of WCB & Chef Michael Brady of Fresh, did two dinners celebrating the bounty of the Gulf. Through my friendship with the owners of Wine Country Bistro I was invited to hang out in the kitchen and document the first night of the Seafood dinner.

I ended up taking over 300 pictures and tasting some really great seafood dishes. Here is to Louisiana Seafood……enjoy.

 

Poblano Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad

Poblano Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad

At first I wasn’t going to write about this but after posting that I was making it on Facebook, the outcry* of recipe requests was overwhelming. This was just a typical weeknight meal that I decided to change up with the addition of Poblano Chili Peppers. The recipe is pretty easy and straight forward and feel free to add or take away certain ingredients if it is not to your liking.

Poblano Ranch Dressing :

  • 1 small bottle of Ranch dressing
  • 1-2 Fresh Poblanos
  • 3 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • Handful of Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper
Chicken Salad :
  • 2-3 Boneless Skinless Breasts of Chicken
  • Chicken Marinade
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Baked Tortilla Shell (OPTIONAL)
Chicken Marinade :
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried Basil
I buy my chicken breasts from  a grocery store here in Shreveport that has a butcher counter still. Their breasts Chickens are huge.  Using a meat mallet I pound them out to an even thickness so they cook consistently. Marinate your  breasts for at least 1 hour and no more than 4.
For the dressing, you will need to roast your peppers in the oven. Broil them on all sides until skin is black. Remove and set aside in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for about 5 minutes. Once somewhat cool, remove the charred skin and DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE RINSE THE PEPPERS UNDER WATER. I have seen quite a few chefs do this and it REMOVES all the flavor from the outside of the pepper. Remove seeds and chop up. In a blender combine all the ingredients and puree till smooth. Season to taste.

Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill over med high heat until done. Remove and place in a shallow pan and cover with foil. Let this rest for about 5 minutes. I also top each breast with a pat of unsalted butter and a squeeze of lemon. Slice chicken and make your salad.

 

 

Here is a before & after. It is much easier to eat this way :)

 

*by Outcry I mean like 3 people :)

 

 

 

 

Where have all the comments gone???

August 11, 2011  |  Bloggity Blog Blog  |  1 Comment

Last year around this same time I transferred this blog from Typepad to WordPress. I started this site on Typepad way back in 2006 and since have had a lot of issues with their platform and lack of support. Through a lot of time and (free) help from friends I was able to transfer the bulk of my site over to WordPress with little loss of quality and just having to re-size photos from old posts. I was extremely happy with the design we came up for the CFG 2.0 and although I have tweaked it twice in the last 12 months there is no way I would ever go back to Typepad.

With that being said, ever since the move my comments have fallen off the map in regards to new posts. Granted every once in a while a post will drum up interest but usually no more than 2 or 3 comments but the bulk of new posts have ZERO comments. I updated my RSS feed, Google re-indexed the old posts to redirect to new site and in the chance you do land on the Typepad site it points you to here so my question is what happened to my readers?

Are there just too many food blogs out there now that CFG fell by the wayside or is it something I said??