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Posts Tagged ‘wheat’

Punjabi Bolognese…sounds kind of weird, right? Well, it isn’t, its delicious! Basically, all I did was take a classic Punjabi dish called Masaledar Chholay (spicy tomato sauce with chickpeas) and add a few things, take away some of the heat, and smother some pasta with it. It really worked out well and is a nice change from regular bolognese.

I had already started my prep when I realized that I need to take a photo. So, here are the ingredients all chopped up and ready to go. I had a handful of cilantro that I ripped up at the last minute of cooking, a bunch of rapini chopped up (not an Indian ingredient, but I thought the mustardiness would match real well, I was right of course), 1 medium sweet potato diced, 2 medium carrots diced, 1/2 onion diced, 1 inch of ginger minced, 3 garlic cloves minced, 3/4 pound of ground lamb, 1.5 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric, 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes, and 1 14oz can of chickpeas.

In a hot pan our poured in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and added the ginger and garlic. I let them go for a minute until the oil was very fragrant. Then, I added the onion and carrots. I let them sweat down for about 5 minutes before adding the lamb. It took the lamb another 5 minutes or so to cook through as I broke it up. Once cooked through I added the spices and mixed them in.

With the meat spiced I poured in the tomatoes along with the juice in the can and let it come up to a slight boil. Then I added the rapini and sweet potato, stirred it all in, covered the pot, turned the heat down to med-low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

After that I added the chickpeas, seasoned with salt and pepper, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Since I used canned chickpeas I only needed them to heat through.

While the chickpeas were heating up I boiled a mix of regular and wheat spaghetti in salt water according to package instructions. To serve I simply put the noodles in the bottom of a big bowl and ladled some of the Punjabi Bolognese on top. I garnished with the cilantro.

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Last night we finally got to try Ruxbin Kitchen. It was our third attempt, and I guess it’s true what they say, the third time’s the charm. You see, Ruxbin Kitchen is a new restaurant just down the street from us that opened up this past summer. They don’t take reservations and word must have gotten out quick about how good it is because the first two times Yuki and I went there the wait was 1.5 hours. Yesterday we planned on going early, at 6pm, to ensure a table. We got our table, and while I don’t think there was a wait after we got there, the restaurant was full, for good reason.

It’s a small space, only about a 40 person capacity maybe. It’s real kitschy inside. Comfortable seats, wood tables and fixtures, cookbooks displayed on the walls, and pages from cookbooks plastered all over the ceiling.

Service was good. Not the fastest, not the slowest, but a nice pace. Our server was knowledgable of the menu and didn’t push us in any direction. It is BYOB, so be prepared. They do offer the proper glasses and openers. They also brought out popcorn sprinkled with ground nori to nosh on while perusing the menu. That replaced bread service.

We started off with the Crispy Eggplant. It’s sliced, quartered eggplant coating in bread crumbs and deep-fried. Served with roasted beets, sticks of cucumber, frisee, and honey-cardamom yogurt. There’s also some pepper sprinkled around one edge of the plate for you own pleasure. I have to say, as much as I love the classic beet salad with mixed greens, walnuts, and fried goat cheese that everyone serves, this was a really nice change of pace. Even though it’s called Crispy Eggplant, for me, the beets were the dominant flavor. Very nice salad to start with.

Next, we shared the K-Town Empanadas. Two empanadas stuffed with masa, kimchee, Oaxaca cheese, and covered with a chimichurri creme fraiche. Who on earth would put cheese and kimchee together? Chef Ed Kim, that’s who. What a stroke of genius! The kimchee took center stage while the cheese added a subtle sweetness and the masa some texture. definitely a winner.

We split two entrees. One was a perfectly cooked piece of trout with nice crispy skin and moist flesh. It was served on top of a bulgur wheat tabbouleh with black sesame seeds and dates, asparagus spears on top, and basil pesto drizzled around the plate. I’m not usually impressed by trout, but this dish was fantastic. The sweet dates, bitter asparagus, earthy bulgur wheat and sesame seeds, and herby basil all worked really well together.

The other entrée we got was their play on chicken and waffles. There was roasted breast with crispy skin along one side of the plate. That came with a citrus sauce of some kind. Then was a cumin cheddar waffle with dark meat carnitas and apple walnut compote. The waffle was sliced in half with the carnitas sandwiched in between and the compote on top. The rest of the plate was a slaw with arugula. The waffle was outstanding. The most creative take on chicken and waffles I’ve ever eaten and another home run by Chef Kim. My only gripe with the plate was that the breast was a little over salted, not so much that it was bad though. That’s something that most chefs do and I’ll never understand. I like salt, but chefs almost always put a little too much on chicken. Oh well, the entire dish was great.

We didn’t have any room in our guts for dessert so I can’t comment on them. Next time we go back we’ll keep it to one appetizer so that we have room for dessert. And believe me, we’ll definitely go back! Not sure it’s worth a 1.5 hour wait (I don’t think any restaurant is worth that) but it’s definitely worth waiting for a while if you get there and it’s full. I love having a joint like this so close to my place. A great place to take out-of-town friends who want something hip that’s off the beaten path.

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I was perusing my Charlie Trotter cookbook the other day and came across a recipe that uses a very similar marinade to one I often use. Since he’s the great Charlie Trotter I thought I’d give his a try. Oh, and yakigyu is simply Japanese for grilled beef.

His marinade consisted of 1/2 cup of tamari which is probably the most ancient style of Japanese soy sauce as it contains no wheat and is a little richer than regular soy (it is the byproduct of making miso), 1/4 cup of mirin, 1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of grated ginger. Once I mixed up the marinade I set 3 tablespoons aside and then thinly sliced 3/4 pound of sirloin and threw that into the marinade. I covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours.

Then, using some bamboo skewers that I soaked in water for an hour, I threaded the meat and got it ready for the grill. Since the meat was thin it only needed about 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium-hot grill.

To accompany the meat I made a quick vegetable saute of 5 shiitake sliced, half an onion large diced, and 5 radishes. I separated the greens from the radish and thinly sliced the radishes with my mandolin slicer. I could have used my knife, but the wife was wondering why I got a mandolin slicer if I never use it. So, there you go sweetheart, I used the mandolin.

In my hot pan I poured 1 tablespoon of soy oil and sautéed the onion first for about 5 minutes. Then I added the shiitake and let that go for about 4 minutes. After that I tossed in the sliced radishes. Those cooked for about 4 minutes until I poured in the reserved 3 tablespoons of marinade. I let that boil down for a few minutes and then added the radish greens. Once the radish greens wilted down, about 1-2 minutes, I turned of the heat as this was ready to go.

Instead of regular white rice I made hijiki and carrot rice, a recipe that Yuki taught me a long time ago and has become one of my favorite rice preparations. First, I took a heaping tablespoon of dried hijiki and soaked it in some cold water for about a half hour. I also diced up a small carrot. Once the rice was washed and in the rice cooker bowl (I only made one cup of rice) instead of regular water I poured in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon each of sake and mirin. Then, the get the right amount of liquid I used the hijiki soaking water to fill it up. Once the liquid was at the right level I threw in the hijiki and carrot. Hit the on button and a half hour later my rice was ready.

I have to say I was very disappointed in Trotter’s marinade. Tamari is a little bit stronger in flavor than soy sauce and it really made the beef salty. Too salty for Yuki’s taste and almost too much for mine (I tend to like food a little saltier than she does). Old Chucky Boy should know better than to have used so much tamari. I would have been much better served to have used the classic marinade I usually do, 3 parts soy, 2 parts sake, and 1 part mirin (1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil is ok). Besides the soy being a little lighter in flavor, cutting back on the amount and replacing it with sake (or vodka if you like) adds a little more depth the marinade. A little grated garlic wouldn’t have hurt either. While I have had good luck with some of his recipes in the past, this is one I will not be using again.

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