Saturday, December 30, 2006
Best Ever BBQ Flank Steak
My sister-in-law Krista put it best when she described it to Rob, her words were "From then on, whenever you eat steak - any steak - you'll always say, 'Remember your mom's flank steak!?'" It's that good. If you ever try one recipe from this blog, this is the one.
It's juicy, zesty, flavorful, sweet, and just melt in your mouth shibby-orgiastic good. You'll need a cigarette afterwards. You might think I'm exaggerating if I say it's better than sex, but you would be wrong.
Not only is this dish mighty tasty, but it's surprisingly easy, requires little work, and can be prepared days in advanced. This dish goes well with a simple fresh salad with an Italian dressing, and maybe a baked potato with some baked potato trimmins'. Leftovers are great in salads or sammiches.
Here's the family recipe. Enjoy.
BBQ Flank Steak
From the Capune & McCord family kitchen
What You'll Need...
3 lbs of good quality flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (freshly grated could work too I suppose)
3/4 cup of salad oil
1 cup of chopped green onions
What You'll Do...
1) Combine the ingredients into a marinade. Marinate steak in a wide, shallow dish for 2-4 days, piercing with a fork and turning in the morning and at night. Keep covered with plastic wrap.
2) BBQ steak for 7 minutes on each side.
3) Slice diagonally in thin slices.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Cheesy Broccoli Custard
What You'll Need...
2 lbs of broccoli, cut into 2 in. pieces
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups creamed/small curd cottage cheese
1 8oz can of whole kernel corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onions
dash of hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of butter
2/3 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
What You'll Do...
1) Place the broccoli in a greased 11x7x2'' dish.
2) Combine eggs and cottage cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Add drained corn, onion, cheddar, and pepper sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the broccoli.
3) Melt butter in a saucepan or skillet and combine with bread crumbs/ Sprinkle over the top.
4) Bake for 325 degrees (F) for 45 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Deli on the Beach (Harbor Delicatessen - Dana Point, CA)
Rob, my mom, and my brother and I had all decided to go have lunch with my Godmother Amy and her husband. After a slight restaurant mishap (the place we had originally planned on had a sign reading "We no longer serve Saturday lunch") we headed towards the deli. Now the Harbor Deli is a place you might not expect to find good food. Amongst the kitchy tourist crap stores, lines for whale watching tours, and vapid but beautiful beach slaves, its a bit of a gem.
The place was throughly packed and we literally got what seemed to be the last table. We all sat down and were warned that we should only order hald sammiches. We all looked at the menu and passing plates to understand why. They're as big as your face. A half order would do just fine. Potato salad, slaw, or fries also come with with each order, so you can promise yourself a full belly. Another plus was we were offered a plate of pickles. And not flacid pickles (get your mind outta' the gutter), they were fresh! Crisp! Zesty! Full of bite!
I had ordered a corned beef sammich because let's be honest, is there a tastier sammich meat? Oh no, my dear reader, I think not. It was stacked high with corned beef on yummy sourdough bread. It wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped, but nothing to complain about. The steak fries were also quite tasty, though they went a bid lukewarm rather quickly.
Rob had a brisket burrito. It was, well, blah. It had a taste of a mexican spice packect found in Albertson's. Yawn. It was good, just nothing exciting. The potato salad however was fabulous, and due to the table setting, I was unable to distract Rob in a way that would allow me to steal more.
Everyone else was truly happy with their meals. Really, the food here is damned good and while it's nothing to write home about, you won't be leaving disappointed either.
It was super packed and close to the holidays so the service seemed sparse as half of their servers seemed to be out for the holiday, and indeed they were. As such, Amy got fries instead of potato salad, which made her dish free. My brother got a lemonade that was literally all syrup. That was not made free, but quickly taken care of. My iced tea was forgotten. Still the waitress had sass and was lots of fun, and considering the situation it was easy to see that she was falling into the weeds and there was no other servers who would be able to save her. She was a saint of a server.
All and all, it was a good lunch. Nothing to write home about, but I would go again. Maybe after a whale watching excursion. Try to hit this place if you get the chance, just try to avoid the tourist traps.
Dana Point Harbor
34667 Street Of The Golden Lantern
Dana Point 92624
Monday, December 25, 2006
Chocolate Cupakes with Cognac Soaked Plums, Chocolate Ganache, & Walnuts
I don't know where the original idea for this came from, just somehow the flavor combination had nestled in my noggin and slowly churned and developed. It kept breaching to the surface of my thoughts and evolving into something elegantly fudgy.
I used some dried, unsulphured Fortune plums I found at my local farmer's market. Really, any type of dried plum will do and if you find a good vendor, be sure to taste the various varities to find the one that suits you. Apriums and maybe apricots will work nicely as well. Just be sure to find something sweet, tart, and with a slightly dark even wine-like undertone.
The cognac was meant to be armagnac, but lo' I could not find any so cognac it was. Really though it was fantastic; most of the alcohol cooked out but left it's flushed, spicy flavor.
The walnuts had come from a local orchard and were provided by one of my co-worker's, Laura, who had an abundance of them. Freshly shelled, slightly bitter walnuts give a perfect crunch to this cupcake.
The dark chocolate cake and ganache were simply... oh, what's the word? Joyful. Christmasy. Rich. Seductive. All of the above work well.
Tis' the season. But really for these cupcakes, any season will do.
Plum Chocolate Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
What You'll Need...
200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cacao chocolate
3 sticks of butter, room temperature
2-1/4 cups of sugar
8 eggs, room temperature
1-1/4 cups of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 pound of dried plums, preferably unsulphured but don't fret about it, go for color and taste
bottle of good cognac or armagnac
What You'll Do...
1) Chop the plums and place in a small, non-metal bowl. Cover with liquor and let plump overnight.
2) Melt chocolate and butter over a water bath.
3) Add sugar and stir, let sit for about 10 minutes.
4) Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5) Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each one.
6) Mix the try ingredients, and sift them into the mixture. Mix until just blended.
7) Drain the plums and lightly pat them dry. Fold them in to the batter.
8) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for 20-24 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Quick n' Easy Meathod
If you want there is a quick semi-homemade cupcake recipe that will work great for this recipe too, that my friend Sooraya taught me and seems to be used by many other home bakers. Use a Bette-Crocker box of devil's food or dark chocolate cake batter. Follow the directions and add a cup of sour cream. This will make the cupcake rich, moist, and fudgier. Add the cognac soaked plums as usual, scoop into cupcake papers and bake. This method will also yield about 24 cupcakes.
Chocolate Ganache with Walnuts
Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop
What You'll Need...
4 oz of semisweet chocolate
5 oz of bittersweet chocolate
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of powdered sugar
What You'll Do...
1) Chop chocolates and transfer to a heat proof bowl.
2) Heat cream in a saucepan until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over chocolate.
3) Let sit for one minute then stir until combined.
4) Add butter and vanilla, stir until combined.
5) Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and let cool for 10 minutes.
6) Sift powdered sugar in and mix until combined.
7) Continue to beat until light in color and creamy. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes and top with walnuts.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Mentions in the Press
ThisNext - Interview with Sean Timberlake. September 5, 2006
Sacramento Bee - Food on the Web featured website. Taste Section. 2006
Sacramento News & Review - "The Price is Right." Interview with Kate Washington. May 10, 2007
Sacramento Magazine - Moshi Moshi restaurant review published. April 2007, pg 266
Sacramento Bee - "The Internet is Cooking" & "Local Blogger: Vanilla Garlic". By Bob Sylva. Pictures by Kevin German. May 23, 2007. Taste Section.
-Reprinted in The State, June 14, 2007
-Reprinted in the Miami Herald, June 16, 2007.
-Reprinted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 5, 2007
Epicurious: Epi-Log - "Crazy Flavors, Great Blog". By Amy Sherman. October 5, 2007.
Sacramento Bee - "Drive-By Pomegranate Heist" published in Blog Watch section. October 14, 2007
Serious Eats - Photo of the Day. November 29, 2007.
The Kitchn - Good Eats: Grandmother's Recipe Box. November 30, 2007.
CBS 13: Good Day Sacramento - Lunch Break Featured Chef. June 5, 2008.
Sacramento Magazine - "You're the Reviewer: Mochii". August 2008.
Sacramento Magazine - "Hot Blogs". By David Watts Barton. September 2008.
Sacramento News & Review - "Cheese O.D.". Interview with Ann Martin Rolke. May 13, 2009.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Sushi Sushi (Moshi Moshi - Davis, CA)
But when you find something that works, it's like angels freakin' sing.
That's what I've found at Moshi Moshi. Sure there are great places in Sacramento like Mikuni's and Dragonfly, but let's be honest, the sushi selection in Dixon, Woodland, and Davis is just paltry. Moshi Moshi truly quenches one's thirst in a sushiless desert.
They can be pretty packed, and they may ask your for reservations so you may want to call ahead and make them. If you get there a bit early though I wouldn't worry. I've never been turned away, even when I showed up with four co-workers all without reservations.
We were all wet and cold that day, and were happy with the prospect of bowls of well prepared miso soup and shibby individual pots of green tea, all coming in at $1 each. For an astoundingly cheap price, we were all able to cut the cold right out of us. The brown rice green tea is hit and miss, so you may like it, you may not.
The sushi is varied and innovative, and while time honored staples are present (spider rolls, California rolls, veggie rolls, and so on) a plethora of vivaciously colored and supremely prepared dishes are available. I myself had a spicy tuna roll, known there as the Zero Roll. Big pieces of extremely fresh tuna were rolled with cucumber and topped with paper-thin fillets of avocado. It was all generously served with a potent chili sauce that pointedly delivered blazing spice but not heat; a balance very few restaurants seem to be able to meet.
The sashimi was apparently to die for. My friend Cara seemed to be soley entranced with each bite and had to be roused ouy of a trance so we could gather her opinion. "Wonderful," was her only response before she would delve into the next pink jewel of fish. As an avid sushi fanatic, this approval is golden.
My friend David had ordered the Green Dragon Roll, a decadently sweet unagi based roll. The unagi (eel) had been tempura fried, and while I myself can be picky with it, this was melt in your mouth good. Rich, sweet, and just a little bit salty it almost felt like this roll could qualify as a dessert. The mix of textures from the buttery avocado, delicious give of the rice, and the crunchy soft and slightly oily taste of unagi, decadent sauce and pops of seasame all created a gustatory image that trasnported you to teahouse in Kyoto.
Bento box lunch specials are pleasing as well. For about $7 you score a mixed green salad with a pepper vinegarette, rice, huge helping of your main dish liek teriyaki chicken, and a small 6 piece sushi roll. The potions are filling and leave you pleasantly satiated. Sushi detractors will be happy here as well, as there is enough on the menu to please anyone with an avarice towards raw fish, so feel free to drag them along.
With all sushi freshly prepared, and with such attention to intricate details, you may have a small wait. Nothing horrid, but you may wonder if the chef fell down and broke a hip or something. Luckilly the staff is very approachable so feel free to ask any questions about your order, or if you have yet to order they'll happily guide you through the menu. There's even a board with the most popular menu items, specials, and new menu items to help guide you through your choice.
Overall, Moshi Moshi is, in my opinion, the only place to eat sushi in Davis. They have a new loyal customer as will they with everyone who sits down to a warm bowl of miso.
Update 2/28/07: I still visit this place almost once a week. Still fabulous. Service is friendly and fun. They recently update some of their rolls as well it seems, so go check it out.
2120 Cowell Blvd.
Davis, CA 95616
Friday, December 22, 2006
Pray I don't die on the car drive!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
On Olive Oils
Honest to God, I never knew that you could have such variety in olive oil based on it's year, region, and varietal. Though in retrospect it makes perfect sence, I never fully grasped the concept until I literally took a tiny shot (yes, in slightly filled shot glass) of each of the four oils provided in the sampler box and the regular jug oil I get from Costco.
The box came with four varieties: Mild & Delicate: 2004-2005 Spanish, Fragrant & Fruity: 2004-2005 Greek, Olivey & Peppery: 2004-2005 Italian, Green & Grassy: 2004-2005 Californian. Each one a true effen', balls to the wall, sensation.
Alejandro is truly passionate about his oils, and honestly, I don't think any description I give will really convey just how dedicated he is to his product. Thus, let me provide you with a transcript of some e-mail correspondance...
We fallen in love with these olive oils. Last night we had a wonderful snack by cutting up some fresh apples and giving them a light coating in the fruity olive oil. We even taste tested it against the (for shame) Costco jug olive oil we normally buy. It didn't stand a chance. Who knew that olive oil could vary so much based on it's year and varietal? I guess it's only a matter of time before we see the olive oil lists in restaurants. =)
To which he replied:
I'm very glad you experimented a bit. I have loved the Greek Fragrant & Fruity on peach. My neighbor here in rural Massachusetts home cans peaches. I had an incredible slice of his peach laid on a raft of fresh mozzarella with the 2003-2004 Greek (now extinct) and a blade of rosemary. It was transcendent! That particular year was very good for European olive oil. A drought reduced the yield by 30% rendering the remaining oil more potent. And the single sprig of rosemary really made a difference. I tried it with clementine, with thyme, and with nothing.
I also made a fruit salad a couple of years ago with a light fruity oil from California on diced plumbs tossed with a bit of this amazing chamomile grappa. That was outstanding! I can still remember the taste. Anyway, I rant. Thanks again for trying and for your support.
PS: there *are* restaurants already offering lists. Frantoio in Mill Valley, CA is one. But there are others.
We even had a slight whoops with the shipping, and Alejandro personally took care of it within the hour. That's truly top notch service, even after dealing with shipping out 1000 boxes of the oils!
Do yourself a huge favor, and try some of their oils, or at least some artisan olive oil. I promise, you'll never go back to the grocery store for it again.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Some Images From the Farmer's Market
Radishes from Everything Under the Sun farms. Apple cider sitting in a hot water bath. Yeah, it's not a lot, mainly cause some of the other photos (and maybe these ones) may be utilized for another purpose. That being an article in Edible Sacramento,where you can find Ann and Jennifer's hard work put to print. You also might find me there as well in future issues, so super-shibby yayness there. Make sure you check out Edible Sacramento, it's a wonderful resource to local food here in the Sacramento Area.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Take cilantro, mint, a clove of garlic, a seeded chili pepper, knob of ginger, coconut milk, and a dash of salt and chuck it into the food processor. Keep tasting to make sure you get it how you like it.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Food Blog Awards 06'
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Plea for Cilantro
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Things That Make You Go, Ahhhhhhhh...
Recipe for the persimmon butter? Well, we just winged it. About 14 persimmons pureed in a blender, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, two packets of gelatin. Go through the usual canning process which I do not know well enough to faithfully relate it to you by memory.
Make sure you take a moment for yourself at somepoint today to sit back and have a bite to eat.
Update 12/16/06: I have the recipe for the persimmon butter recipe! Thank my friend Sarah for it!
Sarah's Persimmon Butter
Peel and core approximately 20 Giant Fuyu persimmons . Cut them into bite-sized pieces and blend them until smooth. Pour the blended persimmons into a large pot with a lid (the mixture is going to splatter, so try to get a pot large enough that you are only going to half fill it).
In another large pot, place 10 pint-sized canning jars and cover them with water. Turn this burner on high and cover the pot.
Cook the persimmons on medium, stirring constantly. Add the juice from and the following spices to taste: 1-2 Meyers lemonsnutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
Mix 1 packet pectin with 1/2-1 cup white sugar. Pour this mixture into the persimmon mixture slowly while stirring constantly.
If the mixture is creating a lot of foam, add 1 tbsp. margarine.
Cook the persimmons at barely a simmer for approximately 30 minutes to get a smooth butter, longer if you'd like it to gel more. Remember to keep stirring, or it will burn.
About 15 minutes before you finish, put the jar lids into a smaller pot of boiling water and boil them for at least 10 minutes. Remove them and dry them well. When you are pouring the persimmon butter into the jars, fill them to 1/2 inch below the rim and be sure to wipe the rim and threads of the jars so they are clean and dry before putting the lids on.
Once the jars have been filled and sealed, put them back into boiling water for approximately 30 minutes. Then take the jars out, tighten the lids, and let them cool. If the jar lids do not seal, refrigerate them and try to use within the next month. Sealed jars will keep for at least 6 months
Monday, December 11, 2006
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Bark
I usually always bake an angel food peppermint cake for whatever holiday party seems to be approaching, but this year I decided to take a cupcake approach and utilize some rich, slightly bitter dark chocolate. This cupcake really is a winner. The cupcakes are fluffy and moist, and really have an old fashioned taste. The frosting varried; I used regular buttercream on some, and peppermint buttercream on others as some prefer a less punchy peppermint taste. Really, they were fantastic either way, but I prefer the plain buttercream as did others. The bark adds a festive touch to the whole cupcake, and that touch of peppermint. I wish I had red dye for the frosting, but that's just me.
I have to say this was probably the most popular cupcake I've ever served, and I have plans to make it a few more times before the holiday season ends.
I hope that this cupcake finds you well, and that your Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, and Hannukah shopping isn't driving you too crazy. If it is though, this will be the perfect cure.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop
24 cupcakes at 350 degrees
What You'll Need...
3/4 cup of butter (room temp.)
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs (room temp.)
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of cocoa powder (Valrhona!!!)
1-1/2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of sour cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
What You'll Do...
1) Beat butter until softened. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
2) Add eggs one at a time, about 30 seconds for each.
3) Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Place milk, sour cream, and vanilla in their own bowl and whisk together.
4) Mix in some of the dry mixture, followed by the wt mixture, and repeat dry, wet, dry. Be sure to end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
5) Scoop into cupcake papers about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake for 22 minutes, rotate the pan if needed, and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness.
What You'll Need...
8 oz of high-quality white chocolate
What You'll Do...
1) Break up peppermint candy into little shards. Break or chop up chocolate and place in a microwave safe container or double boiler pot.
2) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or melt in your microwave. Careful to not scorch the chocolate by checking and mixing every 30 seconds. Pour out onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and spread out. Sprinkle the candy shards on and gently press them in.
3) Let it sit and cool in the fridge or freezer. Break apart and eat. The candy may melt and sweat a bit, so you want to keep the bark cold.
Note: As always with chocolate, quality really does make all the difference. Good quality can be a bit steep, but it's worth it. (Hence, why I do not make chocolate cupcakes often.) Do yourself a favor and shell out the extra couple of bucks.
Vanilla or Peppermint Buttercream
What You'll Need...
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter until soft.
2) Add the sugar and then the milk and extract. Cream till soft. Spread on cool cupcakes.
Note: If you cannot decide, make to small sample portions. I found most people preferred the vanilla buttercream over the peppermint.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
A Cookbook Made for a Home
To begin with, this is not an esoteric coffee table cookbook that will have you braising artichokes, or creating elaborate appertizers with ingredients you'll only find in your local black market. The recipes that comprise it's 500+ pages are comfort foods and reminders of home. It's as if every mom in America - from every Italian, Armernian, Spanish, Thai, Mexican, East Coast, Southern and every other family - got together and brought all their best recipes and compiled them into one cookbook.
You'll find meatloaf, clam chowder, chicken masala, fish tacos, spaghetti, chocolate cake, ceasar salad, and every other homey recipe you can think of that came out of grandma's old recipe box. The directions are clearly laid out and while there are no pictures, you find yourself lost. Plus, it's more than likely you've had every one of these dishes once before, so you have an idea of what the end product should be. Pictures in fact probably would have taken from the charm of this boo, as it's layout has a blue retro groove going for it which is uncluttered and pleasing to the eye.
Another bonus is that each section has a few helpful instruction pages. The seafood section for example has direction of shucking oysters, storing clams, buying and handling crabs, and so on. A definite bonus if you're encountering a new ingredient or cooking meathod.
The cookbook also boasts more than 1000 recipes, and while it's true, you'll find some basic repition. In the dessert section they give a recipe for buttercream frosting. Following it are recipes for mint frosting, and lemon frosting, which was just the original with the addition of a flavor component.
This cookbook in my opinion falls into the category of The Joy of Cooking, a tome perfect for the beginning or experienced cook. For anyone who is just learning to cook for the first time like a new college student, this book is a perfect starting place for them. The knife nicked hands of the experienced home chef will also find this as an invaluable resource as it will perfectly as a quick idea guide for a satisfying meal during the work week.
Another interesting aspect is that this book was tested out in a blog and sent to tons of people across the U.S. to test out the recipes. This helped ensure that all the recipes were easy, simple, and accessable.
Overall, has I not already been given a copy, I would have gone out and bought one for myself, and will probably purchase this as a housewarming gift for years on end.
The Good Home Cookbook website
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Interview with Guy Fieri - Part II
Recently, at the Best of Sacramento Party, Guy was recognized for his awesome chefness by the people of Sac and for many good reasons. He attended American River College right here in the Sac area so he's a homegrown boy who rose up to become a celebrated Food Network Star.
"I'm not a atypical chef." Guy expressed that he felt far more at home working in his restaurant than being a big TV star. "I do what I feel good about. You gotta love what you're doing, and I want to stay in the restaurant [buisness]." It is here that he can create and hone his own unique food concepts in his own freestyle way.
I then asked him a very sincere question; with S.F. so close and a hub of the food world, why open up here in Sac? Guy replied with gusto, "We love Sac. I can't thank Sacramento enough for voting for me [during the show]. Sac is so gifted. We're a big city and a small town, we have killer weather, you can afford a house, we have a major state school! We're celebrating the chance to for this restauarant to come town!"
Sac reseidents have plenty of reason to celebrate as well. Guy is happy with Tex Wasabi's being able to offer a family menu, catering, music, dancing, and prides itself in the work that it does working with local charities and schools in Santa Rosa and soon in Sacramento.
"Our buisness isn't cookie cutter. I'm not the boss, I'm a leader. We have team members and we have guests." Here each team member is encouraged to reach out to the community and work with each and every guest to ensure that they are happy."
Good buisness policy I say, and one that seems to be working. Make sure you take time to drop by Tex Wasabi's when it opens later this month!
Read Part I of the Interview
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
I am feeling better and went to work today, though I was hopped up on Rod Stewart amounts of cough medicines and so on, so my gaze would sometimes go into a deep nothing, and I was distracted by every pretty/shiny object.
That still being the case, and the fact that I have had to re-write a few of these sentences more than once in order to get them syntatically correct and spelling error free due to the brain haze brought on by drugs and fever, I give you this article about sushi... IN SPAAAAAAACE! (but not really).
Space Sushi Not on the Menu -- Yet
TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's space agency plans to cook up Japanese "space cuisine" for hungry astronauts at the international space station, but the country's best-known dish is unlikely to make the menu.
JAXA, Japan's space agency, is developing a full menu of Japanese cuisine after astronaut Soichi Noguchi slurped instant noodles in a pouch called "Space Ram" during his Discovery space shuttle mission earlier this year.
With help from companies such as Nissin Food Products, JAXA has developed space rice balls, space seaweed soup, and space green tea, said agency official Yoshinori Miyazawa. It is also experimenting with Japanese beef curry, mackerel in miso sauce, and red bean cakes.
"So far, nobody has been able to make space sushi," Miyazawa said. "I think shelf life may be a problem."
To meet space standards, foods must have a shelf life of at least a year, be nutritionally rich, and be easy to prepare and eat in a zero-gravity environment.
Foods that are too runny or grainy are banned because portions might float off and interfere with equipment, Miyazawa said.
Astronauts at the international space station currently eat food supplied by Russia or the United States, though "bonus meals" from other countries are sometimes served.
JAXA plans to market its culinary creations as "Japanese Space Cuisine," and hopes to supply the space station starting next year.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Expect part two of the Guy interview, a cookbook review, a new cupcake, a restaurant review, and a bit on persimmon butter.
Monday, December 4, 2006
Friday, December 1, 2006
Interview with Guy Fieri - Part I
HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?
Now, a bit of back story first. Yesterday when I was to conduct the interview I cashed in all my bad karma so I completely lost my voice, and Eat Beast in a repeat performance knocked my tape recorder on the tile floor whilst I brushed my teeth, leaving me to find it in about four pieces. Nice. Guy was kind enough to move the interview to the next day when my voice had a chance to work. So this afternoon, I gave him a call from my bed, still in pajamas, my shaky hand attempting to scribble down everything he said. I’m also typing this in bed with a fever, as I do not want to forget anything so bear with me here if I seem a bit disconnected.
Anywhose, Guy was more than personable, and extremely engaging and friendly. I really wish I had taped it so I could put it online so you all could hear the passion in his voice when he talked about his restaurants and his food. It was inspiring, tons of fun, and the definition of shibby. He really is that boisterous fun-loving chef you see on TV.
I had interview questions set up, but Guy answered them all before I asked them and really, the whole thing became more of a laid back conversation. His excitement when it came to Tex Wasabi’s drove the conversation; as he described himself he was like a kid going 80 miles a minute with A.D.D.. Loves it.
I’ll do my best to relate to you the contents of our conversation and get these quotes as on as possible:
“Our first place was called Johnny Garlic’s – which is why I like the name of your blog *I squealed inside at this* – and it was a
So why sushi and why BBQ? With gusto Guy replied, “I love to go out with sushi, but my wife just wasn’t having it. She’d never go, so it was always my son and me. And that’s how it always is - one person in a group says they don’t like raw fish so everyone’s forced to go to Applebee’s.” I assented to this notion, remember times that others had squashed any possible plans for sushi. And you sushi squashers know who you are! *cough cough Rob cough*
“For people who really know and love sushi, they know it doesn’t mean fish. Sushi means ‘seasoned rice,’ and in
As for the BBQ, Guy informed me a lot of people up here don’t really understand BBQ. “What they do up here is grilling. Now BBQ is low and slow.” Grilling is the process of throwing a piece of meat (or whatever) into a BBQ and an intense heat for a short amount of time. The juices are quickly sealed in and heated. In BBQ, the juices are slowly boiled and cooked inside the meat a very low heat for an extended period of time. Here the juices and flavors can all meld together for a truly sinful, full-bodied flavor.
The two however were combined when Guy was at a BBQ competition down in Houston, he was feeling creative and threw some BBQ sauce on a maki roll, “My friend said, ‘You jackass! You can’t do that with sushi!’ I wrapped it all up in a tortilla and called it the jackass roll. It was nuts.” Made with some pulled pork as well it’s also a popular item on the menu.
Thus the sushi/BBQ combo was born. Guy was eager in telling me that he enjoyed getting crazy in the kitchen. “Combining eastern traditions of making sushi and using western cultural ingredients like brisket, French fries, avocados, BBQ sauce, makes it real fun. It also acts as a chance to really introduce people to sushi, and not just raw fish.”
Guy iterated the idea that people seem to lose grip of the food and cultures that define other societies. For example, in the
"Here we took a small pause so Guy could talk to his dad for a minute. So far, Father Fieri has acted as the foreman for all of his son’s restaurants. “He’s been an instrumental factor in our success. He’s really helped us out a lot.”
That’s all for now kiddies. I need to get back to sleep so I can heal. Tomorrow, Part II of the interview! We’ll go over his motivation to open in Sac and get a look at the inner working’s of Tex Wasabi’s.