chezpei.com

Trying to eat something delicious, each and every day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grilled Short Ribs

Beef really does make me so happy. All kinds of beef, but especially anything involving beef ribs: ribeye steaks, grilled short ribs, braised short ribs, prime rib roasts...it's all good. For their money, most Chinese people would probably pick pork if they had to choose one meat to eat for the rest of their lives. Let them eat swine, I say. I will pick beef any day. Pork is nice, but it doesn't taste like MEAT the way a cow does. 


For a quick beefy meal, nothing beats marinated short ribs. I don't quite marinate it Korean style, so I'll stop short of calling it kalbi. Depending what I have on hand, I combine a slurry of soy sauce, rice wine, water, sugar, salt, garlic, yellow onions, and green onions. Then I pour over pre-sliced short ribs and toss so that everything is covered but not swimming in sauce. Left for up to a day in the fridge, shaken or flipped a few times, this is a foolproof recipe for success. Sear in a pan over medium high heat for about three minutes a side or until charred, and eat with whatever you like! We had rice, lettuce, and a cold dish of celery and tofu strips.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steak and Sprouts

Yum! Tonight I managed to put together a real meal, with courses and sauces and complementary flavors! I'm kind of amazed by myself, actually.

Sliced steak in blue cheese sauce. I seared a flap steak in the broiler, then used the pan drippings, vodka, and some blue cheese to create a creamy sauce to pour over the beef. Really simple and delicious, and I think it could work with any number of pungent cheeses.

This is actually two dishes that I put on one plate. I browned some bacon over medium heat, taking care not to burn any pieces. I poured off almost all of the drippings, then added the potatoes and browned them on all sides. Then I added the brussel sprouts and a little bit of salt, tossed everything well, added a few spoonfuls of water, and covered the pan to let the brussel sprouts and potatoes cook through. Then I tossed everything until just barely browned around the edges, put it in a pan, and used what was stuck on the pan to pan-fry a little broccolini.

The whole meal took under 30 minutes from start to finish, and paired with a big bowl of apples and blood oranges filled our color quota for the day!

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wood Tavern

Wow, serious deliciousness alert. I never get out to Oakland, but I might be using BART to get to Rockridge more often from now on. This is, bar none, the best pastrami sandwich I've ever had in my life. The meat is meltingly tender, buttery sheets of fat and lean meat sliced paper thin and soaked in juice. The bread is soft and fluffy on the inside but firm enough on the outside to hold everything together, and the sandwich is packed so full that I had to eat several mouthfuls of pastrami before I could even pick it up. $10 is a lot for a sandwich, but for this sandwich it was well worth it.

J, are you reading? Wipe off your keyboard and come home, I saved you half!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best O Burger

Best O Burger! I just like saying the name. J tried the new BOB in his office building the other day and really liked it, so I headed over to the branch on Pine Street today for a taste.

The burger is pretty good! They're going the Angus beef, never frozen route, plus the meat tastes like it's been seasoned. I made the mistake of getting a slider combo so there wasn't much burger, but that's hardly BOB's fault. The up side to getting the slider combo was that I got to try a mini shake, fries, AND onion strings. The combo is a really unbalanced meal. You get an enormous portion of onion strings, a pretty decent side of fries, and the world's tiniest burger. I know it's probably the most cost effective way for BOB to structure their combo, and the allure of two fried sides is strong, but yeesh. Anyway, here are my grades for the sides.

Fries (A+) If you like fries, get to BOB quickly. They fry the fries in rice oil, and the result is super light and crispy, almost to the point of crackling. they reminded me of McDonald's fries back when lard was vogue, except for one big improvement. Even when they cool down, these fries are still crispy! I took the entire bag to go and ate them as I walked home. Half a mile later on what was a pretty cool afternoon and the fries were still making noise as I bit down on them.

Onion strings (A) Not everyone likes onion strings, so if you prefer a big thick onion ring these might not be for you. The batter is crisp and very buttery though, so there's very little fault to find with these in terms of flavor.

Milkshake (A-) It's hard to make a bad shake when you start with Hagen Daaz ice cream. This was good, but a little icy. I like my milkshakes to be almost pure ice cream and milk, not cut with a lot of ice cubes. However, a "lighter" shake was probably a good idea after all the fried sides.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Burger Bar

It's shaping up to be the next big tourist trap, but we had to go to Hubert Keller's new Burger Bar inside Macy's to see how their burgers and shakes shook up. Hey, we're locals, we have to keep updated on the lay of the culinary landscape, right?

I started with a nutella shake. Delicious, but overpriced. Given the $1.75 markup for specialty shakes, I think I would have been perfectly happy with a plain chocolate shake. That said, this creamy, thick, beautiful drink with fluffy whipped cream was quite a treat. So much so that I was full halfway through drinking it and could barely take three bites of my very large burger with caramelized onions and blue cheese.

J was there for one reason only: the $12 foie gras option. He wanted to go in case the Burger Bar starts shrinking the foie gras portions or resorting to serving chopped pieces of foie gras like the Las Vegas branch is rumored to do. The foie gras addition made for a very expensive burger, but it was worth it to try once. A huge slab of seared fat is a fantastic addition to a burger. Burger Bar also gets kudos for exceptional fried zucchini and onion rings. The french fries, on the other hand, were good but not great.

A VERY pricey lunch, but enjoyable as long as we didn't stare at the bill. I doubt I'll be a regular, but if I need a snack while shopping I could see myself stopping in for a shake or a side dish. I would go to share a burger or a plate of sliders, but the $2 split plate charge is a negative. Who knows though, maybe they'll stop enforcing that if customers insist. Overall, I think Burger Bar is a nice addition to Union Square.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Buckhorn Grill

Met up with J for lunch before getting my flu shot today. Yup, it's that time of year, boys and girls!

This is a Little Buck sandwich. Four ounces of sliced tri-tip with thick bands of grilled onions, with au jus and a container of mustard and horseradish. Yum! It's still just high end food court fare, but the sandwich was meatier than I thought it would be, and very pink and flavorful. Unfortunately, I didn't move the onions aside before taking a photo. You'll just have to believe me!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Kalbi and Cucumbers

As those nearest and dearest to me know, beef is my favorite meat. I'm almost always willing to eat beef for dinner, but once in awhile the craving is more than whimsy driven. We ate a lot of seafood this weekend. And while it was tasty, I noticed I was getting really hungry but not really being satisfied by anything. My brain couldn't even really hone in on what I was craving, until I thought about beef.

Sure enough, three slices of short ribs later and the gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach went away. I blame a series of fairly brutal workouts a few days ago. Bodies need repairing, and nothing gets the job done better than protein (plus a little garlic marinated cucumber salad on the side to balance out the flavors).

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