Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tangy Mixed Vegetable Pickle (Dua Gop)

As a side dish for Mark Bittman's Grilled Skirt Steak with Vietnamese 'Chimichurri' I decided to try to pickle some cauliflower.  After paging through Into the Vietnamese Kitchen:  Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors by Andrew Nguyen I stumbled across her recipe for Tangy Mixed Vegetable Pickle - perfect.  All I needed was a red bell pepper and I was in business.  Now the recipe makes about 8 cups and takes at least 24 hours to do so it is something of an endeavor.  We cut the recipe in half, but will still probably have mixed vegetable pickles to last for the next few weeks.  Luckily, according to Nguyen, the pickles keep well in the fridge for about 3 weeks.

Recipe after the jump!

Cheddar Biscuits

This morning I decided to try to make Cheddar Dill Biscuits (from Gourmet April 2009) instead of the Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits (from Gourmet, September 2004).  I decided that we might as well use up some of the dill we had leftover from the roast salmon we made last week, and why not try something new?  While my husband isn't thrilled by dill in general, he was game.  So we hit the local grocery, bought some fresh cheddar and made some biscuits. 

I have to admit that I was expecting a little more brightness from the dill, and a slightly saltier kick from the cheese.  But all in all, it was an interesting little biscuit.  I have to say that the Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits are still my favorites, but because of the addition of corn meal in the drop biscuits and the non-traditional texture they might not be for everyone.  The corn meal makes them a little crunchy/crusty on the bottoms and makes them a little less tender and more "toothsome."  However, they are gloriously cheesy and the addition of Parmigiano-Reggiano gives them a very nice salty kick.  The Cheddar Dill biscuits have a very nice, more traditional biscuit texture to them, but they just aren't quite as interesting.  After this experiment, I have to admit that I agree with my husband in the preference of scallion over dill for biscuits.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the buttermilk biscuits, but the next time I make some I will make sure to take pictures for you guys.

Recipes for both after the jump!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A few of my favorite things.

As I type that the first thing going through my head is the song from The Sound of Music.  Appropriately enough considering this is a food blog, most of my favorite things are food-related.  Well, either food or puppy-related.  I am rather in love with my puppy.  Isn't he beautiful? 

Anyway, moving on.  Back to my favorite things.  My top ten favorite things in NYC (in no particular order) include:

  1. New Amsterdam Market - Unfortunately I didn't discover the New Amsterdam Market until a few weeks ago, but next year I plan on being a very frequent shopper there.  While there for their holiday market, we sampled a delicious lobster roll from Luke's Lobster, some amazing cheese, fantastic fresh oysters from W&T, hot apple cider, Mother-in-Law's Kimchi, and spicy pickled green beans from Rick's Picks.  The market happens roughly once a month in the old Fulton Fish Market space and is well-worth the trek down to the South Street Seaport.
  2. Kalustyans - For all the spices and basmati rice that a girl's heart could ever desire. 
  3. Fatty Crab UWS - For the best version of eggs benedict that I have ever tasted.  Two perfectly poached eggs, with a fresh herb salad served over crispy rice cakes.  Yum.  While I love the watermelon and pork salad as much as the next person, it cannot compare to their eggs benedict.  Also, since they have started doing delivery it has become my new go-to on a cold winter night for the wonton mee and the claypot chicken.
  4. Xiao La Jiao (aka Little Pepper) - The best Chinese food in NYC by far.  I haven't had Sichuan hot pot this deliciously spicy since I lived in China.  Order the hot pot, the fish-fragrant eggplant, the dry fried stringbeans and the spicy lamb with cumin.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise.
  5. Momofuku Milk Bar - You have to try the cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookies.  Amazing.  It is the best mix of salty, sweet, crunchy and gooey ever to take cookie form.  Some of the soft serve flavors are an acquired taste, but if they bring back the lemon verbena flavor I would trek down from the UWS regularly.
  6. Momofuku Ssam - Ssam is where I first learned that I love brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  And that honeycrisp apples can be quick kimchi-ed and served with arugula and labne.  Delicious.  I still haven't tried the bo ssam, but I will try it someday!
  7. Fairway UWS - I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with Fairway.  For anyone who has ever been grocery shopping in NYC, you understand.  Shopping here during peak hours can be like trying to navigate Penn Station or Grand Central during rush hour.  But where else can you find such a great selection of produce, meats and seafood on the UWS?  While I would love to buy everything from the Greenmarket, a girl's gotta buy her toilet paper and other staples somewhere.
  8. Union Square Greenmarket - While I love all farmer's markets, none can compare to the Union Square location.  It is huge and has just about everything you could possibly imagine.  During the fall I love all of the New York apples.  Honeycrisps are my favorite, but they have just about every variety you can imagine.  You can also buy wonderful squash, squash blossoms, rhubarb, fresh pastas, pastries, and farm-fresh eggs.  When I am at the Greenmarket I feel like a kid in a candy shop.  I could spend hours just wandering around.
  9. Mercadito and Mercadito Cantina - For shrimp tacos, baha fish tacos and creative margaritas there is nowhere else in NYC that I would rather be.  Cantina also has a salsa bar with certain salsas served with cornbread croutons that is a definite must.  While the portions are small and the bill can get pretty high in a hurry, it is well worth it.
  10. Ippudo - On a cold and rainy day, there is nothing better than a bowl of ramen at Ippudo.  I have tried most of the different varieties and love them all.  Granted, the wait is often insane at Ippudo and when it's cold out standing outside in line is the very last thing I want to do. 
    Runners-up include:  drinks at the Boat Basin with my puppy and good friends during a nice spring, summer or fall day (although the food just isn't that good); fried chicken at Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken (while I liked the chicken a little better and the atmosphere/neighborhood a lot better at Miss Mamie's, I thought the sides were better at Charles'); Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding; Xinjiang BBQ skewers from the carts in Flushing; and the chicharrones from Momofuku Ko.


Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with food - which gets to be rather expensive after awhile. But ever since I moved to Manhattan in 2006 the obsession has grown to epic levels. Since I have so many food-related thoughts and have admired so many food blogs for so long, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create one of my very own. Before deciding to sign up for a blog I sat here and tried to decide whether or not I had the guts to do it. And then I decided why the hell not. I love to cook. I love to eat. I just got a brand new DSLR camera that I am obsessed with.  What other requirements are there?

As for the decision on what to call my blog, when I was in college one of my part-Asian friends described both of us as a "slice of rice" and I loved it. Even though most people think that I am anything but half-Asian, my mother is Chinese and I have a serious love for all things Asian. So that is where the name came from. Thanks Sara!  My mom would be so proud.

This blog is supposed to do a few things.  First, it will force me to try new recipes and share some of my old faves with everyone.  I have a huge library of cookbooks sitting on a bookshelf, and old issues of Gourmet, Bon Appetite and Food & Wine that are just begging to be used.  And seeing as I just graduated from law school this spring and started working, I have far less time on my hands then I used to.  Hopefully this will give me the kick in the butt I need to keep cooking and trying new things.  Next, seeing as I spend so much time, energy and money eating out at different restaurants in NYC I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the NYC dining scene with everyone.  And I have a lot of thoughts!  Lastly, this is supposed to be fun.  A blog that combines all of my favorite things, minus shopping - what could be better?