Fouchebags: Reason #317856 why cooks hate Yelpers.

Shoot me.  In the eyes.  With blinding acid.  Every time I use yelp for more than just finding a location or business hours, I die a little inside.  But, just when I thought I’d lost all hope, in comes Vanessa defending ramen with the fury of a thousand chopsticks:

Oh wait.  Now I feel worse. You can find me at Rai Rai Ken using tears to salt my broth.

Recipe: Turning leftover ham into Asian style pork buns

Whenever I visit my parents, my mother aka Mamma Dukes, seems to take it upon herself to make sure that everyone is full, all the times, day and night.  Bless her heart and the fact that she’s a phenomenal cook makes the whole gesture impossible to deny.  So one night she decided to hit everyone in their culinary achilles heel and serve up a whole ham with all the fixins..  Let us all bow our heads in silence.  Pig has died, pork has risen and I will come again…for seconds.  The homily of ham. Halfway through my second helping, I am already thinking about having ham and eggs the next morning, delicious ham sandwiches for lunch and maybe more ham for dinner.  Skip to two days later.  So. Much. Ham.  Too much.   I needed to change things up.  So, while staring at the tower of Tupperware, I started looking around the rest of the fridge, away from the leftovers.  There were radishes, a bushel of cilantro, ginger, chili paste and some Asian sauces and it hit me.  Pork Buns!  It would change up the the flavor profile thats been lingering for the last few days and we finish off the ham, per the Dukes request.  Two birds, one stone.  Asian style pork buns are one of my all time food favorites and this is a simple way to transform the leftovers into something unique and delicious.  Keep this recipe in the back pocket for when Easter rolls around. Continue reading

The 5 Most Annoying Types of Whole Foods Shoppers

1- The Sniffer:  You want your fruits ripe and your herbs fresh, I’m with you, but do you really have to treat this place like you’re in a doing a promo for a cooking show? When you spend 10 minutes smelling that peach, all I see is soft focus, sunshine lighting and a cheap piano version of a Kenny G ballad. What are you checking for that is taking so long?  Are you making sure the only thing that touched the produce is the pee of a rare Himalayan caterpillar? Or that the sugar plum fairies didn’t mishandle that cilantro before they packed it in the delivery truck powered by unicorns.  Do you need a minute alone with the melons? When smelling produce goes past the point of function, skips through pleasure and resembles arousal…it’s weird.  Stop it. Continue reading

Le Chateaubriand: An Epicurian Uppercut

*If you want to skip to the food pictures, they are after the jump.  I mean, if you want to.  Just Saying.

On a recent trip to Paris, I began calling for a reservation to the famed bistro weeks before my departure date.  Only to be met with a large french sigh of nothing.  Not one table for any of the days were were in the city of lights.  Not easily swayed I continued calling to check for cancellations, the person on the phone enventually took pity and informed me that if I show up at 9:30pm there are a few tables on a first come first serve basis for a second seating.  Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder?   Also, in that second seating we would still be able to order the full tasting menu.  Merci Beau-cu-yah!  Done and done. Upon arriving in Paris, we still tried to weasel a reservation through friends and our hotel concierge but fell short…again.  Taking the phone advice in hand, a decision was made to just go for it.  Or as an old coach so eloquently put it, the ‘F##k It’ technique.   We were going to get into the ever impossible Le Chateaubriand, sans a reservation, on a Saturday night. Continue reading