Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Home-made Massaman Curry

I had a craving for my favorite type of Thai curry - massaman curry.  I bought a big tub of massaman curry paste from 555 and used it as the base for curry.  One day perhaps will strive to make it from scratch, but with the amount of spices involved, it doesn't really seem cost-effective.  We did add chicken breast, green bell peppers, onions, baby red potatoes, and dry roasted peanuts and topped with some fresh basil.  I also made some jasmine rice.  Overall, I think it was pretty awesome.  I would legit rank it up there with curry I've had at nice Thai places, minus the fact that we didn't make the paste from scratch.

Dinner at So Kong Dong in Fort Lee, NJ

Had a craving for some sweet Korean meat so decided to check out So Kong Dong in Fort Lee.  Anthony Bourdain went there and the prices were decent compared to some other Korean BBQ places in the area.  Their method of seating and taking orders were quite efficient but a little cold, but fortunately it also meant that almost as soon as we got seated, our food came out ready.  The meat was delicious - super tasty and piping out.  Our various soups were also good, and probably the best Korean soup in the area as many claim, but my carnivore tendencies made it less memorable than other soup (i.e. pho in JC).  Overall though worth the wait and glad we came.

Various appetizers i.e. Banchan

Kimchi Beef Tofu Soup

Pork Tofu Soup

Korean BBQ Ribs a.k.a. K/Galbi.  SO GOOD

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Restaurant Week at The Merchant in Jersey City, NJ

Hudson County Restaurant week!  The merchant had a $25 dinner deal for three courses.  Considering we picked some of the more expensive items on the menu it was a great deal.  We were STUFFED afterwards.

Panko Crusted Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Bang Bang shrimp

BBQ Ribs with sweet potato fries and corn-on-the-cob

Flank steak, asparagus, tater tots and onion rings

Chocolate banana bread pudding - good but nothing has beaten Soul Flavor's bread pudding yet

Deep fried snickers bar with vanilla gelato - I almost DIED after eating this.  So good but so bad at the same time

Dinner at Red Lobster in NJ

Post bar celebration at RL.  Haven't been there in over 20 years haha.  Had the 4 courses for $14.99.  Soooo much food but I think the best part about it was still the free unlimited cheddar bay biscuits.  We were so stuffed from the biscuits, soup, salad and entrees that we had to take our desserts to go - brownie a la mode and apple crostada.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup and New England Clam Chowder

Caesar Salad

Garlic shrimp and scallop pasta.  A ginormous plate of food that lasted for several meals afterwards

Dan got breaded shrimp

Home-made heart-shaped spamwich

So cute.  It's the little things in life haha

Home-made bread pudding

I attempted to make bread pudding after scouring the internet and making some adjustments to different recipes.  In the end, the pudding was good but not sweet enough for my taste.  It helped when eating it later to microwave for like 30 seconds and add maple syrup.  It added the necessary sweetness and juiciness.

Home-made summer dinner

Had to take a bar study break one night to make a summer dinner.  Using the crockpot made more pulled pork from pork shoulder.  Also I made a watermelon cucumber salad and Dan roasted corn in the oven and rubbed with garlic butter.

Watermelon cucumber salad with feta and red onions
Pulled pork sliders with red cabbage slaw

Naked salad

Garlic buttery roasted corn

Dinner at Kraverie in Jersey City, NJ

Gotta love Kraverie.  I have never had a bad meal there.

Bibimbap with sesame chicken

Korean tacos - bulgogi, galbi, and spicy pork

Grinder from Tastee Subs in Lawrenceville, NJ

My first grinder!

With all kinds of meats and no mayo.  Yessss

Home-made Hawaiian pancakes and sausage

Finally made the package of chocolate macademia pancakes from Hawaii.  Tasty but not as good as the pancakes we actually had in Honolulu. 

Home-made 4th of July dinner

Happy 4th of July!  One month later

Quintessential 4th food - hot dogs and mini cheeseburgers

Salad to pretend to be healthy

Home-made goulash of sorts - rice, jalapenos, tomato, beans and chicken

Or maybe better classified as a burrito bowl type a la Chipotle since we ate it with rice chips
Home-made watermelon vodka drink + oven-roasted corn with garlic butter.  DELISH

Home-made Roasted Chicken Take Two

Dan's second attempt was even better.  The skin was much crisper and darker this time.  The veggies weren't quite as drenched in the juices but still better than just sauteeing or some other style of cooking.

Check out that color

Home-made Roasted Chicken, root vegetables and haricot-verts

Inspired by Thomas Keller and Anthony Bourdain, Dan decided to make roasted chicken along with root veggies and garlic green beans.  The chicken was nice and juicy but the veggies were the best part.  Cooked in all the yummy chicken juices. 
Everything set up before going in the oven.  Notice how nicely the chicken has been tied up haha

After cooking!

French garlic green beans

Beautiful plate

Soooo gooood

Dinner at MAE in Jersey City, NJ

There's a new bistro called Modern American Eatery in JC that has really excellent and inexpensive food.  The place is in a shady part of JC on Communipaw Ave, which likely accounts for the low costs.  The menu is really eclectic and has some delicious though super unhealthy items.  Definitely want to head back for brunch one weekend.

House-made Pork Rinds - crazyyyyy good.  P.S. Have you ever seen home-made pork rinds on a menu?  I didn't think so

Jimmy Changas - basically mini chimichangas with flat iron steak, ny cheddar and tomato-avocado sauce

Charlie's Fried Chicken - open faced on home-made biscuit, coleslaw and fries

Baja Fish Tacos - salsa de tigre, guacamole, and cabbage.  This was my least favorite dish.  Not a fan of all the sauciness

Salt & Pepper BBQ Lamb Ribs - so delicious but much fattier than normal beef or pork ribs

Breakfast at Max's of Manila in Jersey City, NJ

It's tough to find authentic Filipino breakfast food anywhere.  I figured Max's might be decent even though it's a chain.  I think it was better than Mahlarika in the city but still not as good as hole-in-the wall places in the Philippines, or my dad's cooking.  Pretty inexpensive though so that was nice.  Also only available Sat and Sunday from 9-11am.  Likely won't get there again anytime soon haha.

Garlic fried rice, beef tapa, fried eggs, and atchara

Garlic fried rice, pork tocino, fried eggs, and atchara

Dinner at Mompou in Newark, NJ

HP is back after a two-month hiatus.  Thanks Bar Review!

Special dish with chorizo, potatoes and steak
Calamari A La Pomodoro
Patatas Bravas

Albondigas de Pollo - chicken meatballs
Anyway, months ago we went to Mompou for Tim's birthday.  The food took a really long time to come out (probably cause there were over a dozen of us) but generally was good.