Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wondercon 09

Welcome to Wondercon. One the way into the convention hall, I saw Batman except Batman's cape was made of crush velvet. Crime fighting with a touch of sophistication? The best costume I saw was probably also on the way in. There was I think it was a girl (don't remember, not androgynous) who was dressed up as Bleach Espada character Ulquiorra Schiffer. It might have been this dude on the left. So probably it was a guy. Although I think the one I saw weathered his clothing or something to make it look cooler. The head piece was definitely painted like in the picture to make it look cool. This miniture Bumblebee transformer dude was pretty cool, until he started talking. Talk about lack of commitment to the character.

Jeep selling his book Fish.

Firefly's Jane. a.k.a. Adam Baldwin (not a Baldwin brother) drew a big line.

Former Shabans, Jospeh Wong (writer) and Genevieve Tsai (art) debut their comic. Naked chicks and meat on the bone = well thought out comic convention hook.

Sergio and Sho of Maverix.

Some henchmen.

The adorable Felicia Day. I only know her from Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. I guess she was once a character on Buffy.

And Jim Lee was my childhood hero circa ages 12-13.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Everything's amazing, nobody's happy

Saffron fried rice. Nice but the saffron isn't so strong so adding anything else would really drown out the flavor. You probably need half of that box to really get enough flavor and that is only something they do in Iron Chef.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Improv Cooking followup

Shredded chicken version is inferior but not having the watered down OJ was a definite improvement. 2 peppers might be better than 3 for me. Maybe 2.5 is best?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Improvisational Cooking

This meal started because I had 1) orange juice - sometimes I have a drink from the office for my car ride home. Orange juice in this case and on the way home, I hardly drank it. And when I got home, I wasn't really looking forward to drinking it either. So instead, I thought I would cook with it! Item 2) cooked beef shanks from Shanton broth. I knew I would have to use the meats from my broth this week. I couldn't just keep re-heating the broth. Those two were the starting point. Who else did I bring to the party?

I was thinking of two dishes when I made this up. 1) Laksa and 2) Beef Rendang. There was also some other weirdness going on in my head.

I first made a paste grinding 1 tsp each of coriander, cumin seed, and fennel seed + 3 dried peppers in my spice grinder. I advise not smelling it when you open the lid! I mixed it with shrimp paste and some tomato paste (cause I have a tube of it), mixed it up. Added a tiny bit of soy sauce in there since I think I didn't use enough shrimp paste. Basically, it wasn't pasty enough and I needed more liquid. Oh yeah, and for the hell of it, some worcestershire sauce. Because it still wasn't pasty enough. This is my flavor base.

Riffing off of Rendang, I opened a can of coconut milk that was just sitting on my counter. I cooked the top layer of coconut fat in oil and then add chopped scallions and the paste. I really don't know if the coconut fat does anything. It's just what they do in Thai curry. I think...

Rest of the coconut milk goes in with the orange juice, a cinnamon stick, and some sugar (to taste because my OJ was watered down which subsequently make the OJcoco-soup taste a little watered down which lessens the orange flavor. Boil that shit. Oh, equal parts OJ and Coconut milk.

Add the meats in. If you don't have already cooked soft beef shanks, I bet you could parboil some pieces and do this. I really don't know. I might try this recipe again with the chicken sometime this week. I really let the meat pick up the sauce. I also let the sauce really cook on the bottom there. After about 3 minutes? I add some of my shanton broth and deglaze the pot. I think I added about 1/2 cup of the broth? Around 4 ladels worth. Brought to a boil. Added my OJcoco soup (only an equal amount to the current volume in the pot). Let that cook a little bit. If you start with the parboiled shanks, I guess you could let it cook here for at least 1 hour. up to 4 if you want the meat really tender.

Serve with dry cooked rice (that is with little water in it so it doesn't come out all moist so it can soak up a lot of sauce) and orange slices. Maybe some cilantro garnish but I don't have any of that. OK. In progress experiment.

Oh, and left over OJcoco soup is also tasty! (well like I said, my tasted a little watered down but otherwise the cinnamon is quite nice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saw Coraline, ate Hawaiian BBQ

It was quite good. The movie was not scary but it certainly was creepy so it's no big surprise to find out that Neil Gaiman was the author of the original story.

Did you (ear) spot this musical cameo? Love the youtube captions.

Afterwards, had Hawaiian BBQ at the place next to the theater (in Daly City). The place did not have a name yet. It still had the old restaurant's name on the outside unless Rice Bowl 88 has always been Hawaiian BBQ which would be news to me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nat Loh's Cream of Mushroom soup.

Made with sauteed portobello mushrooms and onions. Then I work in the flavors with some of my shanton broth. I can of campbell's cream of mushroom for thickening, heavy cream and then blend. Napa cabbage cooked soft. Topped with pan seared ham steak caramelized with sugar and water. Drizzling of truffle oil. for the win.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Turkish Delight

Anthony, Oz, and I met up for dinner at Troya, a turkish restaurant on the Clement St. I've always gone by this the place but never stopped to try it out. Anthony too and he's been in the neighborhood something like 10x longer than I have! Above is the roasted eggplant salad (meze).

Cucumber cake with mint coriander sauce.

Spinach Filo (a turkish spinatokopita I assume) with pine nuts and cheese.

Also chicken kebabs and moussaka.

Met up with Ben. Went to the Tunnel Top and then later to Cafe Royale.

Etsuko's friend Chiami had some art up in the place.

Museum Mparty Mash

It's a party at the Academy of Sciences.

I wonder how the fish like the music?

Here we are by the DJ booth where there is no dance floor. But where there is a floor, and there is dance, a dance floor can be made.

This is no place for talking! Time to boogie!

AAC classmate Dino & I. He is more famous than I am.

There is so much going on in this picture. Great faces and expressions but then on the right... I'm speechless.

When all was said and done, we transformed that empty DJ booth area into a full fledged dance party.

And then at the height of the party, (all had not really been said and done yet) in the excitement of dancing, I managed to projectile camera (which is like projectile vomiting) my camera by way of jacket pocket straight into the ground. It wasn't like a dropped it or anything. Projectile. Probably at a 45 degree angle. I was surprisingly very Buddhist about the whole thing. That and it's a good thing my trusty Canon PowerShot S-80 works. I actually feigned slamming my camera into the ground several times because it was frustrating the hell out of me, taking blurry pictures and the flash. The flash! What is wrong with that Nikon? There is like a 20 second delay between flash pictures and then you are left pressing the button and it won't take a picture until you are pointing it down in confusion. Anyways, gotta find out how I can get it fixed because while it still turns on and off and the lens works, I believe the zoom is broken where the camera thinks it is trying to zoom out constantly and in that mode, nothing else works. I can hit the menu button and the picture review picture but a lot of navigation controls seem hosed.

So in text form, the party was over at 10pm. We headed over to the Fireside for more drinks and general lounging. A splinter cell made their way to Naan and Curry across the street for food. We eventually hit up Go Go Cafe at around 12:35 AM. This is the Chinese restaurant that I came to with my family back in 1999. It's not bad and quite cheap.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Soup Train

I just made up the title but now that I mention it, a train that serves soup sounds kind of intriguing. Ox Tail from night one of the Nat Loh kitchen express. toot toot. A second batch of Shanton is on its way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a Morimoto Holiday

I got this book earlier in the month. Or was it last month? Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's book: Morimoto, the New Art of Japanese Cooking. One thing about this book is that many of the recipes resemble ones I see in my "Professional Cooking" text book not necessarily in technique but when you look at a recipe, it's like "and add this stock (see page 147)..." and you look at page 147 and the recipe for the stock is like "cook bones in cold water and add special sauce (see page 536)..." etc. etc. So while I try to go through as many steps as I can just for the learning, you tend to try to find short cuts. Such as Tonkatsu broth. Ack. That is at least in overnight process (requires the soaking of kombu) so this frozen Shanton broth I made from last time should substitute okay.

This is Morimoto's Grilled Seared Pork Chops with Enoki Mushrooms, Napa Cabage, and Tonkatsu Shanton Broth. The mushrooms and cabage and cooked up quickly with oil and butter and assembled in the bowl. The pork chop magically floats above the broth by laying on top of the former before laddling the broth in.

Because the bowl was not meant for two, I experimented with another presentation. The enoki mushrooms and cabbage can sort of be seen under the shadow of the soup bowl. It was discovered that the three must work together to make for the ultimate experience. Serving them separate like this makes it hard to enjoy their culinary union. Morimoto knows best, but I learned something about it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Phun w/ Photoshop

Nintendo Sixty Fooooooooooooooooooooooour!!!!!!!

Lark Pien show

Did you know? (because I didn't) Studio Gallery moved a block north into their new and bigger space. Lark Pien show. <-- see her stuff here.

This is the final piece of this interesting... um... real time? piece Lark did. (<-- see more there) I believe as part of her residency with the Asian Art Museum. I think?

check it out here.

Thien Pham is awesome
. He has a pretty neat side job doing food reviews in comic form for an Oakland newspaper.

Jenn and Lark.
Jenn wants all you artsy people to get involved and enter into this poster contest for the Asian Art Museum where she works.

other art works at Studio Gallery

rusty nail fox.

Afterwards we went to Nick's Crispy Tacos for... Tacos! I was so hungry I managed to eat 3 tacos before I remembered to take pictures of their non-existence. They were very yummy! Use your imagination.