Dumplings are on my top 10-list of favorite comfort foods. I could literally sit down and eat dozens and dozens of them. It’s as if I always have room for just one more. It’s a shame that they are so time-consuming to prepare, but maybe that’s part of the appeal. I don’t have them often; therefore I never tire of them. The entire essence of the food is a wonder to me. Little (or sometimes big) packages wrapped around a concealed, mystery filling, where the diner has to trust the cook and dive in.
Some friends of ours invited us to this Thai place up in Northern-ish Ogden for a birthday awhile back. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it at the time, but I was quite intrigued when I heard about a Thai place in Ogden that only served Thai food, instead of some Chinese-Thai hybrid to appease the masses. It was definitely worth the trip.
If you think about it, if you sincerely enjoy a certain restaurant and think that they offer the best (insert dish here), you can probably expect a pretty good recommendation if you ask the chef where he/she would eat out for that particular dish when they didn’t feel like making it themselves.
This is exactly what I did (almost) with my favorite local pho joint here in Ogden: Van Loi. Nate is the son of the owner, and one day, when I was at his parent’s restaurant studying for a physics test and having just finished a bowl of extremely delicious pho (pronounced “fuh” not “foe,” just don’t start the next word with a ‘k’), I asked him, “So when you can’t get your mom’s pho, where is the best place to go?” He didn’t even flinch before naming Pho Tay Ho.
Maybe we shouldn’t eat out so much. My wife and I celebrated an anniversary a few weeks ago and normally, when most other couples would’ve simply wanted to go out for a nice dinner at a restaurant, we instead decided to stay at home and cook an amazing meal and stretch our culinary muscles.
Our first stop was Squatters, right next door. We were ushered to the upper level and saw a bunch of people standing around tables with drinks. After inquiring where we could find the food, we headed over towards the kitchen portion of the floor. We announced that we were “tastemakers”
We were mad. Adam, the person who planned this entire event for us, had assumed that it was on Friday and Saturday, but right before we were about to leave, we checked the website and it was actually Thursday and Friday. We had hoped to spend a leisurely two nights walking around downtown Salt Lake, eating, laughing, and having a great time. That’s what Tastemakers is all about.
I recently took a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado where we sadly buried my great-grandmother. She was 94. While I was there, my wife and I tried to find places to eat. No offense to the citizens of Grand Junction but your food scene needs some work.
As sort of an homage to Julia Child and also having just read The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef, by Marco Pierre White, I decided that I needed to know more about and how to make clarified butter. The main reason for doing this is to be able to push the butter to higher temperatures. I plan on making fish this summer and other pan seared dishes and I hate it when butter burns. Another reason is I’m hoping to be able to minimize my need to clean my pan out when I brown meat for a dish. I have a small 5.5 quart Le Creuset oven that I cook with and I often have too much meat to cook in it. So I end up having to brown the meat in batches. This is annoying by itself, but the butter starts to burn about halfway through the second batch, forcing me to either deglaze the pan (with isn’t a bad thing, more flavor) or clean it out. I’m hoping that by using clarified butter, it will be able to go for a longer amount of time. Plus, Madeleine Kamman says, “…it will give you gorgeous, clean-looking food.”
During our meal that we were served at Settebello Pizzeria, our server/manager Tyler mentioned that they had recently hired a Gelato Maker who had modified many of the recipes. Having previously fallen in love with the Gelato that was served there, we immediately noticed a difference.