Like any good San Francisco resident, we eventually found our way to Mission Chinese Food. We started with the chili pickled long beans with carrots and daikon, and also tried the beer brined Sichuan pickles with roasted peanuts, cucumber and salt pickled cabbage. Starting with these two reminded me of the beautiful array of banchan you get from Korean restaurants. I loved both dishes.
Next, we moved on to the thrice cooked bacon with rice cakes, bitter melon and tofu skin. Absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious. The melon cut through the richness of the bacon, to provide the perfect pairing with the soft rice cakes. We’ll definitely order this again.
We also ordered the Chongqing chicken wings with crispy beef tripe and just about every chili they could throw in there. While there’s no denying that they are a bit spicy, they’re too good to stop eating.
Admittedly, we also had the stir-fried pork jowl and radishes, but neither of us cared for it much. The pieces were a little too fatty, and after all the spicy/complex things before it, not terribly interesting.
I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other dishes. In the meantime, here’s an amusing take on someone else’s experience at Mission Chinese. He’s four and his name is Desmond. Enjoy!
All S wanted during our trip was fried chicken. After doing a little research, we ended up at the Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter. Thankfully, they knew what they were doing, and it wasn’t just hype. We started with the fried okra because the Southern girl in me can’t get enough of it.
I opted for the fried chicken sandwich and a side of mac and cheese. While the sandwich reminded me of the sort you can find in a Chik-fil-A, I would venture to say that this one was much better. The chicken was moist, the pickles added just enough tart and the bun was lightly toasted and soft. The mac and cheese was just that. Rich and tasty as I would expect it to be.
S, on the other hand, finally got his hands on that fried chicken. Again, the chicken was cooked perfectly. Moist on the inside, with a crisp, non-greasy outer layer that didn’t just slip off when he bit into it. If we ever get back there, I’ll definitely get more biscuits so we can drizzle them with plenty of honey as “dessert.”
Hot pot on a cold day is the best answer for any and all questions. I don’t know how we made it through all of the food, but it was incredible. We devoured chicken, lamb shoulder, Kurobuta pork belly, baby bok choy, broccoli, spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Get thee to a hot pot stat! Happy Friday!
We visited The Table in the Willow Glen area of San Jose recently where we had some delicious food and cocktails. The grilled Monterey Bay squid above with avocado and potatoes was a perfect way to start. The seafood wasn’t at all chewy, and the char added a nice flavor to the tentacles.
Somehow they ran out of buns for the hamburgers by the time I ordered (admittedly, I thought it was pretty weird), so I went with the slow roasted pork belly served with winter greens, beans and Shishito peppers. This was far more rich than I was expecting, but the peppers helped a little to cut through some of it. I still wanted that burger, but maybe next time. Below, S had the hearty roasted chicken with zucchini bread. It was done well, and not as heavy as my meal. Granted, it’s winter. So neither of us feels all that bad.
To end, we had cups of the Canadian Pressed coffee and shared some sugar coated donut holes that came with a sweetened dip on the side. I think we’re still desperately trying to find a “neighborhood” favorite that we can call our own on Friday and Sunday nights, and this certainly made a strong showing.
I’ve made this soup enough times now that I’m not sure how to make it much better. For a different version, however, I did add Rosemary rather than Sage. Both are earthy herbs that can stand up to the long cooking process. I also added Bell Pepper and Celery to this version, which made it even heartier than it was before. Naturally, I still reserved bacon to top it all off.
Hope everyone stays warm this weekend. Happy Friday!
Previous Chicken Soup Here.
With the abundance of produce, and plenty of free time on my hands, I’ve been cooking far more often each evening. For dinner recently, I marinated chicken for about an hour in a few dollops of Dijon mustard, onions, garlic, sliced jalapeno, cilantro and a little vegetable oil. I then used a grill pan to cook the chicken, which also browned it well. It was a simple recipe that I knew would infuse the meat with plenty of flavor, and also give the chicken a little tang and some heat. Besides, who doesn’t have mustard in the kitchen? On the side, I sauteed a few veggies and served over mixed greens. yum.
For one of the few winter days last week, S and I had the hot pot at Grand Sichuan (Lexington b/w 33rd and 34th). We went with the split bowls of mild (left) and spicy (top right) broth. Check out the bubbling cauldron of deliciousness above. You really have to be careful with the chilies in the top portion, so we generally fish some of them out right away to spare our taste buds a little. Remember - The intensity of the spice will continue to grow and build through the duration of the meal, and it’s just not something my stomach can handle.
For the meal we had lamb, chicken, baby bok choy and broccoli. We also ordered rice and a side of a slightly spicy, salty chili mix that was great for the meat since the broth doesn’t have much by way of seasonings (other than the mix of chilies they dropped into one of the portions). Overall, it’s just a great time. Similar to the do-it-yourself style of Korean BBQ that we enjoy, this is perfect for when you’re willing to have a more interactive experience with your dinner.
We made chicken tacos a couple weeks ago, and they were so good that I ate four. The base was simple, just some ground chicken with various Mexican seasonings, but the best part was assembly! A little bit of guacamole on one side of the shell, a smear of refried beans on the other side, chicken in the middle with cabbage, red onion, cilantro and tomato all piled on top. YUM.
My love of tacos knows no bounds.
We went to Low Country over the weekend, and couldn’t have been happier. The place was shockingly empty at 12:30pm on Saturday when we arrived, but started to get busy soon after. I ordered the Carolina Shrimp and Grits, which came with a poached egg on top (perfection) and Andouille sausage. The grits were creamy, and almost a little soupy with the addition of the runny yolk and tomato gravy included on top.
S had the Fried Chicken biscuit, which also came with a sausage gravy that I’m certain we could have both eaten on its own. It was that good, and I think came sprinkled with a little cinnamon or nutmeg to offset the rest of the salty flavors.
Biggie looked on at the dining room, and was one of the few companions we had there. The place is definitely worth a trip back, so we might just see him again sooner than later. Besides, I never had a change to try any of the bourbons, and the place calls itself a “bourbon bar and southern restaurant.“
It really hasn’t been cold this year in New York, and while I’m not going to complain, I’m happy that I still had an opportunity to make this soup. It started with a few slices of thick-cut maple smoked bacon in a large pot. Once they had enough time to crisp, I set them aside on a paper towel to drain and got rid of some of the fat leftover in the pan, leaving a little left for flavor. I then added my sliced pieces of chicken to brown, which took about 5-7 minutes on a medium/high heat.
After all the meat had browned, I took the chicken out of the pot and set it aside on a paper towel. Now that the pot was coated with plenty of meaty goodness, I added a little olive oil, and threw in my chopped veggies. In this case, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms first since they take a little longer to cook. Note: I cut all the veggies (about 1 cup each) to roughly the same size to ensure that they would need about the same time to cook through (without getting mushy).
After about 10 minutes, I threw in the onions, some chopped garlic and a few slices of jalapeno. Throwing these in any earlier would have likely meant burnt garlic and over-cooked onions and jalapeno. gross.
Once everything had a few minutes to cook together, I de-glazed the pan with a little over 1 cup of dry white wine. After the alcohol cooked off, I added 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (the whole container) and my not-so-secret ingredient, a little over a cup of organic apple cider. It adds a completely subtle taste that’s perfect with the soup, without adding all of the unnecessary sugary sweetness of plain apple juice.
After everything simmered for a few minutes, I added the chicken pieces back into the pot to cook through (remember, they were only browned on the outside). I also added a little salt and plenty of fresh cracked pepper, and let the whole thing cook for another 15 minutes. I then threw in a few pinches of fresh sage, and let the soup simmer uncovered for about 5 more minutes. To plate, I served it in a big bowl and topped it off with bacon. YUM.