Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I’ve been hearing things about Fresh Slices Sidewalk Café and Deli since it opened a few years ago, but this weekend was my first time to go. I pictured more of an organic, Whole-Foods-y, O’Carr’s type café, with tons of fresh fruit, but this restaurant had burgers, pasta, steak, fish and a ton of other choices, I ordered the Evergreen Chickamauga Club (named after the Uncle Tupleo song??) which consisted of a grilled chicken breast, pepper-crusted bacon, swiss cheese and creamed spinach . . . CREAMED SPINACH?!?!? (I’m also a sucker for anything that you’re not likely to find at any other restaurant). The sandwich was pretty good (creamed spinach on a sandwich is kind of a weird textural thing), but I don’t think I’d order it again.
I also need to shout out my Mom and sisters who whipped up a feast among homecoming feasts Friday night. Here’s one of two Bandaniel-approved Fruit Pizzas, my sister, Laurie, made for dessert. My family knows how to cook.
*Speaking of curry, our good buddy Jay is doing a three month tour of duty over in India right now. Even with his “tax-ing” schedule, he’s done a great job documenting his Indian adventures. He passed on my suggested blog name “Debit, Not Credit” (think about it, it’ll come to you), but you should still check his blog “One Indian Summer” out.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Anyways, after an extended absence, the LOML and I returned to Memphis to hang out with the fam this past weekend. We ate a lot of good food (future post to follow!), went to the Memphis Flea Market (aka “the Big One”), and took a driving tour of my youth (6 years old and under). We debated on whether or not we should bring the Pheebes to Memphis, but we ended up bringing her. My family really likes her and we thought she might get a kick out of meeting my Mom’s dog, Jesse, and my sister’s dog, Teddy (who I strongly dislike, BTW). Here she is with Teddy:
After church Sunday, Mom took us (well, I drove, so I guess I took us) on the TMF’H residential driving tour. We lived in the same house from the time I was in kindergarten until after I graduated college, and I had not seen the first three houses we lived in since, uhhh, a long time (I knew where the house I lived in from 4-6 yrs old, but couldn’t tell you where those first two were). So with the LOML and Mom’s husband, Larry, in tow, we set off for Central Gardens.
House #1 - 1601 Linden Avenue (I was so Midtown)
House #2 – 2329 Lynnfield Road (Headin’ East)
House #3 – 7965 Farmingdale Road (Germantown Represent!!)
And then I found $20 . . .
Sarah posted a very fitting tribute to Steve Collums earlier today. He was one of those teachers who really “made a difference” and whose legacy will live on for many years in the lives of his students. His sophomore year English class was one of my favourites at ECS. He will be missed.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This recipe is from Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee’s Quick & Easy Korean Cooking (via the May issue of Gourmet magazine) and just like Gourmet’s writer, I was surprised it used ONE CUP of cornstarch!!! Also, the thought of ketchup in Asian food doesn’t really get me excited, but if you think about it, ketchup is just tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and spices. That doesn’t sound too freaky, right?? **
3 chicken breasts, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces (yes, there were leftovers)
½ onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced (with my handy new SLAP CHOP!!)
1 large egg
1 C cold water
1 C cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable Oil (I added some Sesame Oil)
3 Tbs Korean chile paste (I used Sriracha)
5 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
Juice of ½ lemon (I forgot to get a lemon, so I substituted ½ C of OJ – I realize this totally changes the flavor, but in a good way)
First I marinated the chicken with the onion and garlic for about 30 minutes in the fridge. While the chicken was marinating, I made the sauce/glaze by combining Sriracha, sugar, ketchup, sesame seeds, and OJ in two separate bowls. Since the pregnant LOML is extra sensitive to strongly spiced foods, I made one bowl without the Sriracha, and one with (PS – If you do use the Sriracha, you will get a tasty sauce, but it has some HEAT!!). I added a little soy sauce and garlic powder to hers to help “Asian” it up.
For the batter/breading, you combine the egg, water, cornstarch, salt, and pepper together until just moist. I’m not sure how to combine until “just moist” because my batter was completely wet. Was there a phantom dry ingredient I missed??
After the chicken had marinated, and the sauce and batter complete, I heated the vegetable/sesame oil over medium heat, until a drop of water sizzled. Then I dumped the chicken pieces into the cornstarch mixture, and dropped them in the hot oil, making sure the pieces didn’t touch each other.
I imagined the batter would cling to the chicken a little better to make light and crispy breaded chicken, but honestly a lot of the batter came off in the frying pan. Maybe I should have kept that deep fryer JD gave me two years ago??? Anyhow, basically you fry the chicken on both sides (maybe 10-12 minutes total) and then drain on a paper towel. Afterwards, toss the chicken with your sauce and BOOM, dinner is served.
** Speaking of freaky, did anyone ever see that Kids in the Hall sketch where the two guys ate nothing but Kraft Macaroni & cheese and ketchup?? Now that made me a little queasy . . .
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If I had more time to explore, I might visit Miss Laura’s Social Club, the only former “house of ill-repute” that is on the National Register of Historic Places!! Somehow, I don’t think a souvenir t-shirt would be appropriate at the next church family picnic.
I had a brief layover in Memphis and treated myself to half a rack of ribs at Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ (I usually opt for pulled pork). I love me some BBQ. If someone asks me where to eat BBQ in Memphis, I’ll recommend Interstate over Rendezvous (OVERRATED!) every time.
I know people say this all the time, but the meat fell off the bone! I’m no BBQ expert, but apparently you don’t want your BBQ to fall off the bone?? I still thought they tasted great. The slaw was chopped fine, a bit runny, but still got me a little nostalgic. The baked beans (with smoky pieces of pulled pork) were awesome. The sweet tea, ehhh . . . sorry Memphis, Birmingham has ya beat.