I recently went home to Los Angeles and did a photo shoot with Lucky Bird at Grand Central Market. You know I can’t stay away from fried chicken. Lucky Bird opened in Aug 2018 by Chef Chris Dane and Christine Dane. While they are the new kids of the current wave of new fried chicken restaurants opening in LA, Chef Dane has been planning and building out Lucky Bird since 2016.
Thank you to the crew at Barbuto for letting me photograph them as they were getting ready for dinner service.
I've been a fan of the restaurant and their roast chicken dish ever since I went there for one of my birthday lunches. It was mid March. I ordered the roast chicken with salsa verde and a glass of house wine. The weather was mild for March and I took advantage of it by sitting outside. It was perfect.
Barbuto was opened by Jonathan Waxman back in 2004! I didn't know it has been around for that long. Good for them!
I met Molly Yeh in Sept 2010 at the Vendy Awards. She was the winner of a month long free schnitzel from the Schnitzel & Things truck. Back then I was taking photos for the owners. The owners had asked Molly to help them at the Vendy and that was how we met and have been friends since then.
It's been awesome seeing Molly's journey. 6 years doesn't seem that long but so much has changed. OMG!
Anyways, go buy her book. I have already made this hot dish 3 times in the last 4 weeks. It's SO GOOD. It's like getting a super awesome warm hug when it's super freezing outside.
3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thigh, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
18 ounces frozen Tater Tots
Ketchup, for serving (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
Enough chicken broth base to make 3 cups broth
Preheat the oven to 400 F
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
Add the onion and carrots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the flour so that it gets evenly distributed.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk.
Stir in the chicken broth base, peas, chicken, thyme, and a few turns of pepper and simmer, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes.
Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if desired.
Transfer the mixture to an 11x8 inch baking dish (or other 3-quart ovenproof dish) and cover the bitch with Tater Tots.
Arrange them snugly and neatly.
Bake until the tots are golden brown.
Begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly and serve with ketchup, if desired.
It's cold. It went from a light thin jacket weather to hoodie weather to this morning when I thought about maybe wearing my winter coat. I used to LOVE winter and cold weather.....until I moved to NYC from LA. I never needed a scarf or gloves in LA nor any super thick coats. But now once it dips into the 50s it's all the layers I can wear at one time, knee high socks, thermal undies, two beanies. But you know, it's also comfort food season. It's like gimme all the mac n'cheese, hotdish, beef stew, risotto, congee, lasagna, endless supply of fettuccine alfredo, and butternut squash soup!
My perfect cold day scenario is hugging a bowl of oyakoDON by the fireplace and it's snowing outside and I have a cup of green tea and maybe White Christmas is playing on TBS. Or Forrest Gump, TBS is always playing Forrest Gump.
You know who is also hugging a bowl (well not an actual bowl)? Cynthia of Two Red Bowls and her husband Andy. They recently welcomed their little boy, Luke. So in honor of this, Stephanie of i am a food blog and Alana of Fix Feast Flair put together a virtual welcome baby Luke celebration. They were super cool to put together a nice group of food bloggers (full list below) and we all made things in bowls! Fun! Here's what I cooked up: CHAWANMUSHI!
This is cold weather comfort food times 100. Chawanmushi is steamed egg custard. It's super easy to make. It's basically eggs and dashi and the filling/toppings can be whatever you like. Though I have mostly seen it with chunks of chicken, fish cakes, shiitake mushroom, and ginkgo nuts.
For any Japanese recipes I only trust one source and that's Francis of Cooking with Dog. Have you seen Francis in action?! The recipe from Francis makes 2 bowls but to be honest it all really depends on the size of your bowls. And for obvious reasons I had to tweak the recipe to make 3 bowls. I had searched through the internet, looking at other chawanmushi recipes and the key is the egg to dashi ratio. What you want to have is 1 cup of eggs to 3 cups of dashi. Just scramble the eggs in a bowl and pour it into a measuring cup. How ever much you get times 3 will be the amount of dashi you'll need. Simple!
Happy days y'all!
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- Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
- The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
- A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
- Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
- The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
- Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
- Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
- Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
- Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
- A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
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- Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
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- The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
- Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
- What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
- Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
- the broken bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
- Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
- my name is yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
- Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
- O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler
- Chocolate + Marrow | Parsnip + Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta
- With Food + Love | Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt
- The Pig and Quill | Slow Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew
- Hungry Girl Por Vida | Rice Cooker Oats with Bruleed Bananas
- Cut up the chicken thigh into chunks. Each bowl should get at least 3-4 pieces of chicken. Marinate the chicken with 1 teaspoon of sake and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Let sit for 10mins to 30mins.
- In a pot, add the 2.25 cups of water. Put on low heat on the stove. Add hondashi, sake, soy sauce, and pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve hondashi. No need to boil the water, just warm enough to dissolve the hondashi. You can use the microwave also. Take pot off the stove to let it cool.
- Scramble the eggs.
- Heat a pan up on medium flames on the stove. Add oil and brown the pieces of chicken. Don't worry about cooking them all the way through since you'll be steaming them later.
- Slice up shiitake, fish cakes, and scallions.
- Make sure the dashi broth has cooled down, you don't want to cook the eggs. Add eggs into dashi broth. Then pour the mixture through a sieve. This ensures a smoooooth custard.
- Place few pieces of chicken, shiitake, fish cakes, and scallions into each bowl. Pour in the egg/dashi broth.
- Get a steamer ready.
- Before putting the bowls into the steamer, wrap each one with plastic wrap.
- Put the bowls into the steamer and steam on high for 5 mins. Turn the heat down to low and steam for 13-15mins or until the custard is ready. Use a skewer or toothpick or chopstick to poke a hole in the custard. If the liquid is clear, it is done.
- Sprinkle extra scallions or your favorite furikake or shichimi togarashi.
1 chicken thigh
Handful of shiitake mushroom
Few slices of your favorite fish cake
2.25 cups of water
2 teaspoons of hondashi
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of sake
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
Salt + pepper
"I don't wanna regret doing nothing cause of a tomorrow that might never come." - Simon, Gurren Lagann
I don't like eggplant. As far back as I could remember, I don't like eggplant. It's one of those things where my mom would force me to eat it and I eat it. Don't get me started with bitter melon, it's terrible. Now that I'm an adult, I get to decide what to eat. And I'm finally at that place in my head that I'll try eggplant. I even bought some last year at the farmers market. They were okay. I don't hate eggplant anymore but I wouldn't buy and cook with them. What kind of person are you? I'm just mostly flowing down a river. I've gone through most of my life always wondering the "what ifs". What if I had done that instead of being afraid to open up? I'm a shy person and rarely does much outside of my comfort zone. Moving to NYC helped a lot though. I was forced to interact with strangers and make new friends. To be honest, I'm still a little shy but once in a while I'll do crazy things like being on Time Out NY's 2013 Date These Singles (hi, slide #8).
I just watched a movie for work, starring Heather Locklear called Flirting with Forty. Forty used to sound old and now that I'm slowly inching towards forty I'm getting a little scared. The random body aches remind me that I'm getting older but if you ask my mom she will say cause I don't exercise enough. My sister is 42 and she likes being over 40. I freaked out a bit when I was 29 but then 35 was awesome. Now 38 is scaring me.
While watching Stranger Things few weeks ago, it made me felt nostalgic. Thinking about my childhood in the 80s (and even if they reboot He-man it will never live up to the original) and the 90s. If I was in that show, I would've probably been that one kid where I would've been too scared to go look for my friend or do anything reckless (aka staying in my comfort zone) and most likely get picked on. I did get picked on in junior high but that was mostly my fault (actually my parents for buying my clothes) for wearing stupid shorts that said HONDA, KODAK.....ESPIRIT. Not sure why my parents thought that was cool. It's all about being cool, man.
So what does all this have to do with Xi'an style noodles? I'm not too sure except that this was my first time making any sort of noodles from scratch and really should've done it a lot sooner. I know making noodles from scratch isn't anything earth shattering but it's a start. You gotta start somewhere so why not noodle making? I keep thinking that I want to travel back in time to high school and redo everything. Ha, I spend a lot time regretting the things I didn't do in high school. I wasted too much of my youth worrying about this and that. I could've learned how to make noodles and could've given eggplant a try instead of straight up rejecting it. Be a stronger person than a shy/quiet high schooler. Be open to things a lot sooner rather than now as I'm flirting with forty. Oh gosh, forty.
The point, don't wait. Time doesn't wait and you shouldn't too. Have an idea? Something you're interested? Go learn it, go do it.
"Just don't be distracted by the what-ifs, should-haves, and if-onlys. The one thing you choose for yourself, that is the truth of your universe." - Kamina, Gurren Lagann
Love anime wisdom
This idea came to me while attending Valentina's matcha crepe workshop. I wanted to incorporate matcha into things and came up with this idea to borrow Lady & Pups' Xi'an style noodles with matcha powder. Also cause I've been craving for the cold matcha noodles at Mission Chinese.
But anyways, I like to start off by saying.......FORGET the matcha powder! It wasn't enough to give the noodles any flavor and probably it would've been more effective if I had just dusted some afterwards. Also, I don't think I got the correct flour. My dough didn't want to stretch that much like Mandy said it would and after boiling them they weren't smooth like actual noodles. But I'm going to try again and again until I get it right. The fire has been lit. I can feel my cosmos. Burn cosmos!
Find the Xi'an style noodle recipe over at Lady & Pups.
For my version, instead of spicy cumin lamb, I did grated garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and salt + pepper.
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
Dash of mirin
Pinch of salt + pepper
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Let it sit while the noodles cook. Once the noodles are done, drain them and toss the noodles into the bowl while still warm. Mix well.
At this point, the bowl of noodles is pretty darn good but I thought it would be a little boring so I made some marinated mushrooms (recipe by Marc from No Recipes) to go with the noodles also cause I had bought some mushrooms at the farmers market.
It only happened twice every year during high school. I would wake up (forget when....) 3am, 4am and drive to my school. The air was crisp and I would carry a light jacket just in case. By the time I get to school there would already be a line of people. Talking, sitting, waiting. We had to do this because that was the only way we would get the classes (or summer classes) we wanted and the schedule we wanted. Basically a bunch of high school kids sitting and waiting till 6am (or was it 7am?) to talk to our counselors and hoping to be early enough in line to get the classes we wanted.
Do you remember Yoshinoya? There was one in Times Square but it's long gone now. It's pretty common in LA and back in high school, I would go there a lot. They make a pretty darn good beef bowl, gyudon. I remember one time, while we were all waiting in the dark at our high school, someone had the awesome idea of going to Yoshinoya and grabbing beef bowls for some of us. I think it ended up me driving but when it's chilly and it's 4am and you're hungry. Man, that beef bowl was like heaven in your stomach.
I rarely eat beef bowls nowadays, I'm more an oyakodon person but when my friend, Benson, posted a video recipe on his Facebook for a beef bowl....I decided to give it a try.
Funny how you memory works. While I was eating this, I couldn't stop thinking about that one time in high school.
You can find Benson's recipe for gyudon here.
I like to redo high school.