May 27, 2010

NOLA Food Adventure: Oyster Oyster....and More Oysters!

Endless fresh seafood and oysters!
That's what I've been eating for the past 4 days in NOLA,
A.K.A. New Orleans Louisiana.

But isn't the area currently threatened by the oil spill miles away?
Yep that's right...good thing I got there early,
However, the oil did spreading towards the gulf in a lightening speed,
Upon my first day of arrival, the oil was more than 130 miles away from the shore,
Just when I left NOLA, it was only 30 miles away from the coastline...

Some of the outer oyster beds have already been closed during my visit,
Not only to the marine life,
But also to the people who make a living from the ocean and from the more..
Hope all the mess can be resolved soon enough.

Either way, should I say --- "lucky me?"
Because I got to munch on the "still fresh" seafood, especially these large and succulent oysters before the contamination?

Let me share the three different oyster dishes I had in NOLA.

First, and the most classic one,
Raw oysters from the Red Fish Grill-

Add a dollop of the cocktail sauce,
Plus a drop or two spicy sauce and freshly squeezed lemon juice,
However, nothing compares to the flavor coming from the freshness of the oysters,
It's the best seasoning of all!

Oysters Rockefeller from the Royal House-

"6 plump Louisiana oysters topped with spinach sauteed with bacon and sambucca then baked to a golden brown."
The description tells it all.

Lastly, drum rolls please~!
Here it comes, my favorite, possibly made to my all-time-favorite oyster dish,
The signature char-grilled oysters from Acme-

Sooooooo good,
You can taste a little bit of garlic, a little bit of cheese, and a LOT of butter!!
All soaked in that precious oyster meat,
The edge of the sauce was still bubbling from the residual heat,
I wish, oh I wish,
I can just eat 5 dozens of oysters with tons of bread dipping in their buttery sauce,
Who cares about cholesterols when these yummy goodies fanning their lovely smell straight into my nose!

That was one hella awesome oyster dish,
Two thumbs up!

Red Fish Grill (Cindy's rating: 7)
115 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 598-1200

Royal House (Cindy's rating: 6)
441 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130-2103
(504) 528-2601

Acme Oyster House @ French Quarter (Cindy's rating: 8....maybe 9)
724 Iberville Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-5973

Rating "10" for all the can't-be-any-fresher oysters served at these three locations!
P.S. More NOLA travel notes coming soon.

May 17, 2010

Coconut Madeleines

5.5 hours...
That was the amount of time I put in for my school project meeting today,
Yes, on a Sunday night,
Surprisingly I still have some energy left to update my blog,
What can I say, food makes me happy!

Coconut Madeleines -
(I can never spell "madeleines right, had to Google it to make sure I got the right word!)

Ingredients (for 12)?

1 cup of all purpose flour
2/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1/3 cup of coconut milk powder
1/4 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup of melted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Small pinch of salt


Sidetrack, this is my new found love, Mr. Blendi! -

It was on sale for $199.99,
I was happy like a bird when the price popped up on my computer screen,
After this heavy red thing arrived at my kitchen,
No more hard larbor blending work, hurray!

Anyways, back to the recipe,
Here's the post I had before for classic madeleines.
The steps are almost the same,
Just remember these basic baking rules:
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl
2. Mix all the wet ingredients in the other bowl
3. Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

That should do the trick,
For this particular recipe, mix in shredded coconut with the dry ingredient first,
I prefer them to be coated with the flour prior baking,
Sometimes, most of the times, it prevents the last added ingredients from sinking to the bottom during the baking process.

Simple, easy, and elegant,
What a way to indulge my little free time after group meeting huh?

Cindy's Rating: 7

May 11, 2010

Penne with Stewed Beef and Parmagiano Reggiano

Comfort food recipe?
I didn't think about it before making this dish,
However, after tasting the pasta, it totally reminds me of comfort food.

So just out of my curiosity,
What is your all time comfort food?
My list can goes on forever,
Stew pork with soy sauce base, Tom Yum soup, pho, curry, country friend chicken, even chocolate bread pudding,
Man, I really love food,
All the dishes just appeared to be so "comforting,"


Penne with stewed beef and parmagiano reggiano-

Ingredients (for 3 to 4 plates)?

1 large box of penne
2 lbs of beef (for roasting, cut into large bite sizes)
3 ripe tomatoes (cubed)
6 carrots (I'm using the skinny kind, use less if the carrots are bigger)
3 to 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 medium sized onion (chopped)
2 cups of flavored beef stock
1/3 cup red wine
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Parmigiano reggiano


I highly recommend making the stew early since it'll take about 2 hours from the beginning till the end,
You can simply making it one or two days ahead,
The flavor is even better when you leave it in the fridge overnight!

So let's start with the stew,
Drizzle some olive oil in a big pot,
Toss in chopped onions, add about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes,
Cook till the onion turned slightly translucent, add the minced garlic.
Give it a quick stir, add the cubed beef and sprinkle more salt,
Sear it till both sides turned slightly brown, toss in carrots and tomatoes.

Cook for about couple more minutes, pour in red wine and beef stock,
For the red wine, just use something you enjoy drinking regularly,
Fruiter the better.

Bring the mixture to a boil then turn to medium low heat,
Put on the lid and let it simmer for about 2 hours,
During the stewing process,
Remember to scoop out the dirty bits floating on top,
By doing so you'll get a better, cleaner taste stew.
Also don't forget to taste it and see if more salt are needed.

When you're ready to mix the stew with pasta,
Have a big pot of water ready, bring to a boil and sprinkle some salt,
Toss in the penne and cook according to the package instruction.

When the pasta is ready, drain well and pour into the stew mixture,
Add 1 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano and stir well,
I also added some chopped parsley and grated parma before serving.

One hearty dish.

Cindy's Rating: 7

May 4, 2010

Oyako Don 親子丼 for the 2nd Time!

Voila! Another oyako don (chicken and eggs rice) recipe,
There is an older recipe from my blog about 3 years ago,
Can you believe it? It's been 3 years since I started out this baby!
Time really flies....

Looking back to the first oyako don recipe, hurts my eyes with all that weird English and not-as-good-looking picture,
But that also means I did improve a wee bit over the years yep?
Well, hopefully that's the case,
Picture? Yeah, just not sure about my writing skills...

So here's another oyako don recipe for single people,
Cooking for one? Check it out here!

Ingredients (for one)?

1/4 onion (sliced)
2 eggs (beaten)
Some bite size chicken meat (depend on how much you eat)
3 tablespoons of Japanese soup base or soy sauce
1 tablespoon of mirin
1 tablespoon of hot water
Some olive oil
Some salt
Some rice (depend on how much you eat)
Some scallion (chopped)
Some roasted sesame seeds


Drizzle a small pan with some oil, toss in sliced onions and sprinkle some salt,
Cook till the onion turns translucent, add the chicken.
You can marinate the chicken beforehand,
Simply use some soy sauce and mirin for the marinade can further enhance the flavor.

When the chicken is about 80% cooked through,
Add the soy sauce, mirin, and hot water, give it a quick stir.
Cook till the sauce is reduced by one third, pour in beaten eggs.
I let the fire on for about another 10 seconds then turned it off,
The remaining heat will continue to cook the eggs,
However, if you want fully cooked eggs, just keep the fire on for about 30 seconds.

Pour the mixture over the rice,
Sprinkle some sesame seeds and garnish with chopped scallion,
That's it! Simple recipe made for one person!

Cindy's Rating: 8

Noticed that I didn't even link this post to my very first oyako don entry?
Too embarrassed of course,
But it's nice to have that earlier version lingering on my blog, 
My tiny footprint from the past!