Friday, June 21, 2013

Chinese Glass Noodles with Shrimp, and Guest Posting at Ang Sarap

Chinese Glass Noodles with Shrimp

Have you ever tried fen si, or Chinese glass noodles?  They're not to be mistaken for the more common rice vermicelli, or mei fun.  I'm guest-posting today at Ang Sarap, and chose this childhood favorite when Raymund invited me over.  Can I say how thrilled I was at his invitation?  I'm constantly impressed by the range of cuisines Raymund makes and posts, not to mention the volume of them.  Too often I see Asian recipes lumped in one category, their distinctive characteristics muddled together.  But Raymund brings us his native Filipino dishes, along with Vietnamese and Japanese recipes, and cuisines beyond Asia.  Ever wondered about Kiwi cuisine?  Raymund's got a recipe.

To find out the difference between fen si and mei fun, and to get the recipe for Chinese Glass Noodles with Shrimp, visit Ang Sarap.  You'll probably wind up staying there for a while, checking out all Raymund's cooking.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Irish Bread & Butter Pudding with Whiskey Cream

Irish Bread and Butter Pudding

I've made a couple discoveries: 1) I don't like whiskey.  2) Whiskey-spiked whipped cream is the bomb.

I adapted Joe's grandmother's Irish Bread & Butter Pudding for my book club's Irish tea-themed event last week.  I'd had it many times made by his mom, and it's the ultimate comfort food.  Perhaps the main way Irish Bread & Butter Pudding differs from other bread puddings is that the bread is buttered before being soaked with the custard and baked.  But I wanted to update the recipe a little.  For a fancier teatime look I made the pudding in this quiche dish instead of the ordinary 9x13-inch pan.  I also lightened up quantities of butter and eggs, and both endeavors called for messing with all the proportions.  I used my co-workers as guinea pigs for the first batch, which I can now admit was a bit soggy.  I don't think they noticed, though, because it was the whiskey-spiked whipped cream that got all the attention.  "Did you say whiskey??"  Yes, and go light on the whipped cream, at least until deadline.

Irish Bread Pudding

That was my other update: I soaked the raisins in whiskey, and then spiked the whipped cream with some.  I love how the cream smooths out the edges of the hard stuff.  This is not your grandma's bread pudding.  Or at least not Grandma O'Neil's, though her whiskey-free original is still awesome.  I also brush some apricot jam on at the end for added sweetness and color.  And the proportions of round two worked out with the approval of Joe, who said it tasted authentic, in the family sense.

Irish Tea collage
The gracious hosting and gorgeous decor were courtesy of Rebecca of A Love Letter to Rome. The amazing Mrs. Hot Potato baked the lower two tiers of Lemon; Chocolate, Almond & Toffee; and Parmesan Thyme Cheddar Chive Shortbread.
I got compliments on the pudding at book club, and my friends shared my co-workers' enthusiasm for the whiskey cream.  They even dolloped it on top of scones.  Add some Irish tea, beer, colcannon, haddock chowder, soda bread, shortbread, and Irish fiddling, and we had the makings of a lovely afternoon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boston Globe Review: Peruvian Place, plus other stuff

Peruvian Place Collage

I was excited to find a Peruvian restaurant south of Boston!  Read the review to find out what I thought.  And pardon the photos -- the photographer assignment fell through, so they fell back on my cellphone photos.

Read the review:

It has also been a good eats week, since my girlfriends came up for a visit, one of them all the way from Germany.  They asked to visit The Bloomy Rind, the cheese shop I reviewed last year, and we took the food to the beach for a picnic.

Picnic Collage
Clockwise from top-left: The Cherry & White Tea Preserves were divine with the Crema Kasa. Kale & chorizo salad. Gouda and Crema Kasa in front, and goat cheese with blueberries, and goat cheese with fennel & lavender pollen behind. Cubano sandwich with farro salad. Beef jerky bar I wasn't brave enough to get.

It was like an eating adventure: we got kale & chorizo salad, and farro salad, and sampled other delicious fare like fresh pea guacamole and a romesco.  Our sandwiches included a bacon & brie, Mediterranean vegetables with hummus and feta, and a Cubano.  We got several cheeses, and finished with Vermont goat milk caramels.  Other good eats of the week included getting Indian with my friends, and an Irish-themed party with a different set of friends (I'll save that for another post).

Of course all the food we've eaten together over the years hasn't been so refined as that from the cheese shop.  We did go to college together -- 'nuff said, right?  What do you eat when you get together with old friends?