All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gratin Experiment

Wid and I tried some potato gratin from Carrefour a few weeks ago and it was horrible. It was pretty tasteless and I don't know why it was so soupy instead of creamy. I decided to try making my own gratin/scalloped potato instead. I checked out a bunch of recipes but I couldn't find something exactly what I was looking for so in the end I ended up improvising. I cooked the thinly slice potatoes (about half kilo) in half milk, half water solution flavored with bay leaf and salt. I then cooked minced garlic and finely chopped onion in butter and olive oil. After I drained the cooked potato, I line a buttered 9" square pan with potato, then onion, salt/pepper/nutmeg, and then cheddar cheese. I repeat the process and then pour half of cup of milk and heavy cream mixture. I baked the dish covered at 375 F for 30 minutes and then sprinkle about quarter cup of parmasean cheese and let the dish cook for about another 30 minutes.

The result was a bit too dry and peppery to me. I also didn't like the tough crust, and the dish was a bit too thin. Next time I'll add more cream/milk and double the amount of potatoes. I'll also add less parmasean cheese. At least the potato itself tasted really good and well cooked thanks to the step where I cooked the potato in milk. Mami and Wid really liked the dish, but I'll make it better next time.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Interesting Sounding Book

Found the listing for the book On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (ISBN 0684843285). I already have the book The New Best Recipe that Joyce gave me, which does a pretty good job on explaining how to cook better, but the other book looks pretty interesting also, especially one of the chapters is about "basic chemistry." I'm rather curious about the more scientific aspect of cooking and baking, and if I know more about the chemistry then perhaps I can improve my cooking skills.

When I was traveling to US, I ended up buying two food books at the Hong Kong airport. One is about Taiwanese tea which is for research purposes. One of these days I want to find the classic 茶經 by 陸羽. The other one is about starting a beef noodle soup shop. I don't care too much about the business aspect of a beef noodle soup shop, but it is still a pretty interesting read. I'm actually more keen about the recipes and learn more about the variety of Taiwanese beef noodle soup.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fresh - Review

We checked out yet another Japanese (well, Japanese-fusion) restaurant a week back. This time it's Fresh in Kerobokan. According to some site, the restaurant is owned by the manager of the now defunct Wasabi. Most of the menu items were rolls so we ordered a bunch of rolls. Sadly, I have to say the Fresh isn't so fresh because the fish in the sushi tasted a bit fishy and mushy. Our friend, who is a big fan of sushi, was not too impressed with the craftmanship either because grains of rice were exposed at the edges where the nori comes together. Wid was not too impressed with the sushi rice. Wid did like the sauce they used to make the spicy tuna. The only roll that I really liked and thought was very interesting was the mushroom and eggplant one. Maybe the reason is it did not contain fish. Price was a bit pricey but not too horribly over priced like certain places in that area.

Of all the Japanese restaurants we've tried so far in Bali, here is a list of our favorites. Right now the best fusion style sushi is found at Lanai's fairly new sushi bar. Supposedly the chef who used to be at Wasabi is currently working there. Best traditional sushi with excellent sushi rice and fresh fish is still Hana. Our Japanese friend approved of this place, and he said it is the best place for sushi. Last but not least, place with best value sushi (good combination of taste and price) is still Ryoshi.

The ambiance was quite nice and the waiters were quite helpful and friendly. The parking lot, which can only accommodate two cars if they pulled out the flag poles, is too small.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happ New Year!

Happy New Year to my friends, who are the only people who actually occasionally read this blog. Haha. Oops, I haven't updated this blog for over two months. Hopefully I'll post more in 2008. I was in US for Thanksgiving and I still have a couple of restaurant reviews (fancy Chinese restaurant and a crab cake place) to write up from the trip.

Thanksgiving wasn't as awesome as it could have been because of family emergency, but it was still great spending time with my immediate family and eat my mom's cooking. We were supposed to have a big dinner with the entire extended family but because of the emergency, we stayed home and my mom improvised to provide a feast with stuff in the fridge. One of the dishes she made was salmon sushi and we also ordered a Peking duck from our favorite Chinese restaurant Golden City. The sushi and duck combo was actually a bit of an inside joke because our cousin's fiance and his mom were supposed to join the entire clan for Thanksgiving and the fiance (not Asian) freaked out his mom by telling her that Chinese people eat sushi and Peking duck for Thanksgiving. I think they ended up bringing a Cajun-style deep-fried turkey, but we didn't see it because we weren't there.

Labels: , ,