chezpei.com

Trying to eat something delicious, each and every day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random Food Photos

We ate a lot of random food for dinner today. You know how it is; end of the week, gotta get rid of leftovers.

For what I suppose is called our entree, I pulled some aushak out of the freezer. Aushak are Afghan dumplings filled with a variety of herbs. For ours I used mint, cilantro, green onions, salt, pepper flakes, and an egg.

The finished product wasn't nearly as beautiful as my last version, but it was fine. One can't always care a lot about presentation.

For dessert, we were just going to have cherries, but N came over with cupcakes! I scarfed down the German chocolate, which was really moist and dense with a great nutty coconut frosting. I forgot all about my camera until it was 100% in my stomach. This is the red velvet, which N and her sister said was tasty. They are from That Takes the Cake in the Marina.

And, a preview of coming attractions. J's lunch tomorrow is a potato salad sandwich gussied up with red onions, cucumbers, and a few stray pieces of leftover salami. Like I said, at the end of the week anything goes together.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Potstickers and Cherries

Ah, potstickers, how I love you. These came out perfectly crisped on the bottom.
This time around my homemade dumplings are filled with about a pound each of ground pork and chopped shrimp, a generous bundle of chopped up Chinese leeks, two chopped green onions, three tablespoons of ground ginger, and some soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt to taste. And while dumplings of all sorts are usually served with dipping sauce on the side, I like to pour a little sauce over my dumplings and top with a generous handful of cilantro and green onions. It brings the presentation up a few levels and adds a brightness to what might otherwise be an oily dish.

And for a side/dessert, cherries! Giant cherries are on sale all over Chinatown for 89 cents a pound. Some of these cherries are approaching the size of small walnuts, and most of them are quite sweet. This variety, which I believe is called the Brook cherry, is more varied in color than the black-red Bing, and has a milder flavor. As with the Bing, I could easily eat a bowl a day.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shanghai House

Yum!! Four stars for a new favorite: Shanghai House on Clement near 37th. We've always been fans of Shanghai Dumpling King up the street, but I think we'll be hanging out at SH more often for quite awhile.

Armed with some Chowhound reviews, I knew the xiao long bao were one of the things I wanted to try. Ironically, it might have been the least exciting item there. Overall it was very well done, but the Shanghainese have a tendency to put a lot of sugar in their food and for us the xlb went a little overboard in that direction. Still, they're better than 99% of the xlb out there.
Now, getting on with why we were super impressed. The vegetarian goose, which is usually just tofu skin filled with mushrooms, was above and beyond good. The outside was fried to be light and crispy, and the filling was warm and well-seasoned with a light plum sauce. So tasty! We also got another bean curd appetizer which was also delicious but went unphotographed.

Knife cut noodles! I love these, but there aren't too many places in SF that serve it. Shanghai House's version had nice thick chewy noodles in a flavorful but not overly salty broth. So satisfying. I want another bowl right now.
Lamb soup with vermicelli noodles and pickled vegetables. Appropriately sour, peppery, and meaty. One of the best versions we've had anywhere.

And finally, the savory soy milk. This dish looks disgusting and most people can't quite stomach it, but it's one of my favorites. Shanghai House's attention to detail was once again apparent in this dish, which was served quickly enough that the deep fried crullers in it were still crunchy while we ate them.


We're really looking forward to going back and exploring the menu, but everything we had was so tasty it'll be hard to decide what to not order next time. Prices were pretty great for the quality: three of us got extremely full for about $15 each after tax and tip. My only quibble was that service is extremely slow. But it's a mom and pop operation, and the care they put in each dish really shows, so I assume they just really can't move any more quickly! And it really is worth it.

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