Wednesday, December 16, 2009

M Shanghai noodle shop

M. Shanghai opened a new little noodle shop on Metropolitan Ave. we checked it out before Priya, Katie, and Lena went to Spa Castle...

it's got an almost identical menu to the million lunch shops where I eat in Chinatown--down to the sometimes awkward wording--but has higher prices (pork chop over rice at Hua Ji on Allen St. is $4.00; at M it's $9.00). That's to be expected, and it's still inexpensive for the area, so I'm not complaining. Overall, the food is decent but not must-have. I would eat here from time to time if 1) I lived within a block, and 2) I didn't work in Chinatown.

ho fun noodle with beef and tomato

beef with chili peppers over rice

steamed pork buns. these bugged me. I kind of expected the feathery white bun you get a bag of on the corner in Chinatown for $1.25, but this bun was almost exactly like a less-crusty dinner roll.

den-den mein. extremely spicy, which is why I ordered it, but not much depth to the flavor. yeah it looks like that shitty ohio chili or whatever (spaghetti and chili), but I think those are hand-pulled Lanzhou noodles (from Flushing, not made on-site).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beef stew

Jenna & Rob had a dinner party last week, which featured Jenna's famed beef stew. I'd heard tales of its deliciousness for the past decade and a half, but somehow I'd always been out of town when she made it. And Priya's not much of a beef eater (despite the past couple of food blog entries), so it was a perfect meal to give someone who may not be totally on board with beef--something you know is good.

dessert was blueberry pie, homemade whipped cream, and a cheese babka from Rzeszowska Bakery near my house (I had to wait in line for a half hour and fight with old Polish ladies for it).

fantastic! delicious!

Steak tips with mushroom gravy

I got a subscription to Cook's Illustrated for my birthday from Katie and this recipe was in the last issue; I've never made steak tips before (I rarely make steak) but I wanted to try this. It came out fantastic; I followed the recipe pretty much exactly and the gravy was perfect, the steak was cooked just right, etc. Here are the key things they suggested that made it good:

1) Marinate steak pieces in a mixture of sugar and soy sauce before anything else
2) Soak some dried porcinis in beef broth for soem time, then mince them and mix them into the gravy when you add the sliced white mushrooms--adds a much deeper mushroom flavor
3) Fond, fond, fond. keep building it, keep scraping it.