And not to say this means anything but vp Joe Biden ate here.
Ok before you dis the silly name, check out what they actual have to sell. That’s what I did one day when the line at Starbucks was annoyingly long and I immediately became a huge fan of BreadTalk. Unlike all the faux bakery places here in Beijing, at BreadTalk you can get good decent bread (of course) and also some really unusual, great tasting combinations of bakery goods that you can’t get anywhere else. Each pastry is sells in the range of 6-8 RMB ($.75 – $1.20)
For example, one of my favorites is the toast with ham and egg. Something you could make at home OR just get on the run at BreadTalk!!! They also have a ton of these ‘cutesy’ pastries such as the coco bear filled with chocolate and coconut (it is Asia after all – think Hello Kitty).
I think BreadTalk has some real potential, and would love to see how it would do in the states. So far it’s pretty successful with over 400 bakery stores in 16 countries such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and the Middle East. The holding company also operates more than 10 Michelin Star Din Tai Fung restaurants in Singapore and Thailand, as well as over 30 award-winning Food Republic food atriums in Singapore, PRC, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
I also like that I can get an Americano at BreadTalk for a fraction of the price at Starbucks and then walk through the Starbucks cafe on my way to work.
Hey everyone, surprise the endless rain officially ends on Sunday and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than checking out a dozen or more of your favorite food trucks?!!!
From 11am – 5pm, Food trucks that serve coffee, ice cream, slushies, dumplings, lobster, falafel, and more will be available at Grand Army Plaza.
Here’s the line up so far:
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Eddie’s Pizza Truck
The Frying Dutchmen
The Treats Truck
Vanleeuwen Ice Cream
This Food Truck party is being organized by the Prospect Park Alliance with the NYC Food Truck Association.
See you there!]]>
Pork and Chinese Leek Flavored Dumplings Recipe
Happy Lunar New Year. Here’s a super simple step by step recipe on how to make your own homemade Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi)
Chinese dumplings are mostly a traditional Northern China dish. In Beijing it’s quite common to order a plate of Jiaozi in place of rice with your meal. Jiaozi can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chinese dumplings are traditionally served steamed in a bamboo basket and dipped with a mixture of soy sauce and white vinegar or boiled with soup (as shown in photo below), or pan fried. The heart of the Chinese Dumpling is the stuffing of course and every family has their own recipe. Feel free to experiment on your own for the choice of meats, vegetables, etc. I’ve eaten all kinds of varieties of jiaozi that include lamb, beef, tofu, mushrooms, chicken, pork, and even fish dumplings.
one packet of round Chinese dumpling skins (be sure it is Chinese Dumpling skins and not Wonton skins. Wonton skins are thicker)
1.5 lbs mix of lean and fatty ground pork (the fat gives great flavor but too much will cause your Chinese dumplings to leak out during cooking so try to get a mixture of both lean and fatty pork)
4-5 cups of chopped Chinese Leeks (can also use regular leeks but will need to slice thinly)
1 cup of chopped Napa cabbage
3 tbsp of corn starch
2 tbsp of salt or soy sauce.
Mix up your lean and fatty ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Chop Chinese Leeks and Napa Cabbage to about 1/4 inch pieces and mix in with the meat. Add 3 tbsp of corn starch, salt and ground pepper to the mix. Stir until well mixed. Since the leeks will soften and reduce in size during cooking, you’ll want a higher proportion of leeks in this mixture. Add more if necessary.
There’s a whole art to folding these Chinese dumplings and here’s your chance to create your own style. The following is just a recommendation on how to fold your Chinese dumpling jiaozi. I’ve met some handy veterans that can stuff and roll these Chinese dumpling jiaozi with one hand!
First fill the Chinese dumpling wrapper with about a teaspoon of stuffing, then taking your index finger brush a small amount of warm water just on the far edge of the wrapper opposite of you. Gently fold the Chinese dumpling wrapper over with your fingers and seal to finish. To make a fancy edge, you can double fold over and then press to the wet edge of the Chinese dumpling wrapper. (See photo).
As I mentioned before Chinese Dumplings are very versatile in Northern Chinese cooking. You can simply steam your jiaozi or boil them with noodles. Chinese dumplings are also great pan fried like potstickers.
Chinese Dumpling Jiaozi Soup:
Add a quart of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add your Jiaozi into the boiling water. When the Chinese Dumplings float they’re ready. Drain and set aside. (at this point you can pan fry them if you want to go that route – they can be eaten with soy sauce/white vinegar mixutre or hot sauce). To make a Chiense Dumpling soup, boil a few quarts of chicken or vegetable stock. Add Napa cabbage, mushrooms. Then mix in your Chinese dumplings. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, raw chopped scallions. Enjoy!
Manhattan – East Village
81 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY 10003
Manhattan – Chinatown
88 East Broadway #106
New York, NY 10002
Flushing – Main Street
41-28 Main Street Bsmt #36
Flushing – Main Street
41-28 Main Street Bsmt #36
Flushing, NY 11354
My friend Katie and her husband will be moving to Beijing in about 6 months (yeah, totally jealous) and arranged a lunch meeting at Xian Famous Foods in the East Village. It’s a great place to sample some really authentic Chinese dishes and we had a chance to have some fun practicing a little Mandarin too! If you haven’t ever been to XiAn, 2 things you should note: 1) although the menu can be quite intimidating (check out the wall sized picture menu outside the restaurant), you can’t go wrong as everything is really really good, and 2) there’s no seating at the Chinatown location and only a few chairs and tables in the East Village location.
On point #2, it actually worked out and we were able to squat out 75% of the restaurant over the course of our meal for all our friends. My favorites are the B2 Savory Cumin Lamb Burger served in a thick hearty bread roll (or D1 over noodles) D4 Stewed Pork Hand Pulled Noodles. Having lived in China for a few years, I would say the dishes here at Xian Famous Foods are pretty much the closest you’ll get to street food in China. The prices are also quite reasonable. If you are vegetarian, there are actually a few dishes that qualify such as D5 Mt Qi Vegetables Hand Pulled Noodles (also available as a soup D5-S), and D8 ( Hot Oil Seared Vegetables over Noodles). Although XiAn Famous Foods can be kind of a hipster scene at times, definitely check it out!!
I went to a Bobby Flay Lori Loughlin Hellmanns Food blogger event a few weeks ago and was ‘gifted’ 2 huge tubs of Hellmanns mayonnaise. At the rate I use mayo, it’s more like a year supply and I didn’t really know what to do with the mayo. A friend suggested I make some chipotle mayo and that was an awesome idea (thanks Mike).
Here’s my spicy chipotle mayonnaise recipe:
2 cups or an entire 15 oz Hellmanns mayonnaise Jar (I used the entire container so I could use it as storage after making the chipotle mayo)
3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce (I prefer La Morena brand – great heat and full flavor)
1 lime, juice and zest of ½ of the lime.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Carefully dice up the chipotles and mix it all into a bowl and whip it up. For a smoother mayo, you can use a mortar pestle and further grind the chipotle peppers before adding them into the mix.
Enjoy with anything you’d normally use mayonnaise on such as fries, sandwiches, etc. We made some vegetarian nori rolls and the spicy chipotle goes great with it!]]>
To get by the boredom of our repetitive daily lunches back in the 3rd grade, my friends and I set up a barter system to trade lunch items. A bag a chips and a ham sandwich with cheese could get you a slice of pizza or a snickers bar could be exchanged for a twinkie or a ding dong. But then one day someone came up with the idea to take apart our sandwiches and swap individual ingredients. Got cheese? Trade a slice a roast beef for bbq chicken, etc. Soon we were creating monster sandwiches with all kinds of inconceivable ingredients – 3 layer sandwiches with peanut butter, beef and slices of bananas. What? That was good!
Sound fun? Guess what, you can do it today virtually on Facebook ! As a bonus, thanks to a partnership between Hellmanns and Share our Strength organization, for every 5 virtual sandwiches shared on Facebook, Hellmanns will donate a $1 to Share our Strength. (Up to $75,000).
So a virtual sandwich is cool, but what about real food right? A few days ago, I was invited to a Hellmanns food blogger event in NY hosted by Food Network celebrity chef Bobby Flay and 90210’s Lori Loughlin. A lot of my food blogger friends were there including NoRecipes.com, MeSoHungry, FeistyFoodie, High Low Food Drink, and Ambitious Delicious(ness).
Bobby and Lori did 3 recipes including: CHICKEN OR TURKEY GYROS, EGG SALAD, CHEESE & BACON ON TOASTED ENGLISH MUFFINS, and MINI FISH TACOS. Pretty simple recipes to follow. Here’s the one for the Gyros:
CHICKEN OR TURKEY GYROS
A Bobby Flay Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes Chill Time: 30 minutes
1/4 cup coarsely grated seedless cucumber
3/4 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon peel
4 whole wheat pita breads, split
Fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lb. sliced rotisserie or grilled chicken or turkey
Place grated cucumber on paper towel and gently squeeze dry. (Do not skip this step or you will have have a watery dressing.) Combine drained cucumbers, Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise garlic, lemon juice and peel in small bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Spread a few tablespoons dressing inside each pita; add spinach leaves, tomatoes and chicken, then drizzle with additional dressing.
Just like Jamie Oliver is doing with his school program http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/, I think it’s a pretty good idea that Hellmanns (made with just eggs, oil and vinegar) is promoting good food for the family.
Man, if I had these cooking resources back in the day, just imagine the type of crazy sandwiches and lunch swaps my friends and I would have come up with!
Yo FTC! I got gift bag with 2 tubs of Hellmans Real, a Bobby Flay cookbook, a teak cutting board, 2 spreading knives, and lunch box with a cool plastic rectangular sandwich container.]]>
137 Rivington St (between Norfolk St & Suffolk St)
New York, NY 10002
What do you get when you combine traditional baozi with nontraditional stuffings like all natural hanger steak, or Pan fried organic tofu coated in sweet potato starch? You get some wildly delicious sandwiches like the CHAIRMAN BAO ($4.00) made with
Braised slow and low using all natural Berkshire Pork Belly served with Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar in a traditional chinese white flour steamed bun. Another way to describe it – a trendy arepa but without the cornmeal wrap.
I ordered the Chairman Bao, the UNCLE JESSE ($3.50)
VEGETARIAN Pan fried organic tofu coated in sweet potato starch topped with our Haus Sauce, cilantro, crushed peanut and Taiwanese red sugar, and the HAUS BAO ($4.50) all natural Hanger Steak Bao
served with Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar. They have a special 3 Baos and a drink for $10.
As I was getting my Chairman Bao, I noticed the enormous chunk of fatty pork and couldn’t resist asking for some hot sauce. I guess it’s kind of a natural instinct for me to eat fatty meats with hot sauce, but here it’s kind of a no no. They don’t have any hot sauce, don’t ask them for any hot sauce. The reason is because Bao Haus believes hot sauce drowns out the unique blend of flavors that they worked hard to create. I get it – I mean I would never use the Peter Luger steak sauce on their steaks but they still provide it for those who want to try it. My argument was really that hot sauce opens up the taste buds and further intensifies the flavors of grilled and braised meats and hoping they would produce some secret stash from behind the counter but it didn’t happen. We kind of agreed to disagree after that although someone on the staff said it would be a good idea for them to sell their own brand. I’m going to say that although the baos at Bao Haus are all awesome even without hot sauce, if you’re like me, BYO hot sauce to Bao Haus just to do a comparison.]]>
245 East 93rd Street
New York, NY 10128
Cooling off during summer heat wave…
LAST LICKS ICE CREAM STORES INCLUDE FLAVORS DEVELOPED AND NAMED FOR GIANTS SUPER BOWL CHAMP BRANDON JACOBS, ALL PRO RUNNING BACK TIKI BARBER AND RANGERS STANLEY CUP CHAMP
MANHATTAN LOCATION AND THREE WESTCHESTER STORES ARE STOPS TO COOL OFF DURING SUMMER HEAT
New York, July 28—Everyone, especially sports fans, can cool off during the summer heat wave is a stop at Last Licks ice cream stores in Manhattan and Westchester. The “Sports Bar for Kids,” features signature flavors developed by star athletes, as well as the traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
With 16 flavors of ice cream, as well as six low fat yogurt flavors, there are plenty of choices to satisfy any summer craving. Among the Last Licks signature flavors include Giants Super Bowl champ Brandon Jacobs’ “Louisiana Pecan Crunch,” former Giants All Pro running back Tiki Barber’s “Tiki-Tacchio,” and Rangers’ Stanley Cup champ Mike Richter’s “Ricky Road.” Among the fun sundaes available at Last Licks include the Mint Messier, the Lickey Mantle, and Ali’s Knockout Sundae.
“Sports stars are a better combination with ice cream than sprinkles,” says Steve Costello, executive vice president for Last Licks ice cream stores. With locations in New York City (93rd Street) and Westchester (Armonk, Rye Ridge, Scarsdale), “The Sports Bar for kids” caters to the youngsters, as kids can enjoy a sundae, meet major league stars past and present, watch televised games on monitors throughout the store, and fantasize in a simulated Yankees dugout.
“It’s a place that little league teams come after the game, watch sports, eat ice cream, and just be kids,” says Steiner Sports CEO Brandon Steiner. Founded in 1997, Steiner is a partner and contributed his experience and connections in sports memorabilia to the dynamics of this traditional retail operation.
The Last Licks flavor list also includes: Double Fault Chocolate Malt; Fairy Floss (Cotton Candy); Madagascar Moose Tracks (Our Vanilla is flown in directly from Madagascar). Minty Chocolate Chip™in; Free Throw Cookie Dough; ™more Oreo- Decisions; Weize Guy Chocolate (This is not Weize Guy, like certain famous TV gangsters, this is Weize Belgium, where we find the very best chocolate for our ice cream); Cake Batter-Up; Off the hook Lemon Sorbet; Snow Dayz Vanilla; Raz-berry-Sorbet; Strawberry Fields; Cookies and Cream; Vanilla Fudge Brownie; Superman; Healthy Vanilla; and Kids Coffee.]]>
114 Montague St
Last week, we went up to Brooklyn Heights and checked out a few more places on Montague. Our dinner at a sushi place wasn’t very impressive (it was run by Chinese) but a spoiled evening was quickly averted when we discovered the Lassen and Hennings Bakery. Everything at Lassen and Hennings is made on the premises which says a lot about the quality and freshness.
I heard the sandwiches are amazing especially on their fresh baked bread, but having just finished dinner, we opted for a slice of their Red Velvet cake and sat outside on the promenade park overlooking the Brooklyn harbour and the financial district.
At first I was doubtful about the Red Velvet Cake because who can really beat out Cake Man Raven in Brooklyn right? But in all honesty I have to say that Lassen and Hennings makes a really good Red Velvet Cake and the fact that they serve coffee and its located a block away from an amazing park and just minutes from where we live in DUMBO, it’s a plus. I’ll have to do a side by side comparison one of these days!