Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Carnitas Quesadillas

Leftover food is awesome. Fried rice and turkey pot pie are two of my favorite dishes that can be made with the remnants of the previous night's dinner. Here, I'll share with you my carnitas quesadillas, made with left over pulled pork. Of course, you'll need to start with pulled pork. Then you'll need a delicious sauce, which I make from the braising liquid that the pork is cooked in. Here's how to do it:

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is something that I love. Having had it at many restaurants, I was excited to try to do it at home. Assuming you can get Boston Butt (which is the same as pork shoulder), it is surprisingly easy to do yourself. I always feel that doing it yourself allows you to customize it and make it exactly how you like it. It turned out really well for me, so I hope that you enjoy this recipe as well!

The Piggery

Restaurant Info:
The Piggery
423 Franklin St.
Ithaca NY

We decided to try out the fairly recently opened The Piggery on a Saturday afternoon for a quick lunch. Their menu looked interesting for a light meal and we were eager to check out the butcher/deli offerings. Ithaca does not really have any butchers outside of the grocery stores (although Wegman's has good meat, it's not a real butcher shop), so we were excited for this. At the moment, The Piggery only does pork, but they are promising us that beef and duck will soon be available. While we're not going to review the butcher/deli offerings here (haven't cooked with any of their stuff yet!), I will say this - the staff was friendly and knowledgeable in answering questions about their various porks, hams, and sausages. They really seemed to know their stuff, including optimal cooking methods. The owners are actually Cornell alumni who studied molecular biology and engineering. They must be smart!

Anyway, on to the food that we ate! Tricia ordered "The Three Little Pigs" item, which came with a pulled pork slider, a "pig dog", and a taco with carnitas in it. Siddharth had the Italian Combo, which was basically a grilled sandwich with salami, "piggeroni" (I'll get to what this is), and cheese. We ate in the car, because, well, The Piggery does not have seating available, which is unfortunate. When we arrived at The Piggery, there was already a line of 7 customers waiting to order from the butcher. To our surprise, the glass case of pork was almost empty, maybe leaving 2-3 small tupperwares of bacon ends and 2-3 "piggeronis." And it was only 11am on a Saturday!

Tricia's Three Pigs, were actually not so Little. It it was a complete packed lunch. But don't let the sizes of each "pig" fool you. There was a great amount of taste in each bite.

Siddharth's grilled sandwich was a logical size for a light lunch:
Here's our review:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Congee Royal - Asian fusion, not your typical CFM

Congee Royal
3160 Steeles Ave East
Markham, ON L3R 4G9, Canada

"CFM" is a term that my family coined about to describe a particular type of Chinese fast food that we consider comfort food. It's abbreviated for "cong
ee", "fan" (a type of rice noodle) and "mein" (your typical egg noodle). Rice and noodles are an Asian staple and any time you go to a restaurant featuring these staples is WINNING. I have family up in Toronto and we typically have this type of Chinese cuisine at least twice no matter how short of a stay.

So let's talk about the restaurant. It was suggested by my aunt, Aunt Judy, because the initial restaurant we wanted to go to was packed at 6:30pm on a Saturday night. That is how popular these CFM restaurants are for Asians. And when you have a p
arty of 10 for dinner, the chances are you getting a table are not favorable. The restaurant is a couple of years old, placed near an office building, replacing a Town and Country buffet in Toronto. The restaurant itself was decked out in friendly dim-lighting (almost orange) with a flat screen tv playing a movie. All the furniture and wall decorations were very modern. And don't let the wooden booths fool you, they are quite comfortable and allowed short Asians to be able to sit comfortable with feet flat on the ground. The chandelier itself resembled a large wired dust-ball and the tables and lazy susans were out of marble. Despite the modern furniture, this restaurant was filled with people at all ages. Even my 88-year old grandmother enjoyed the ambiance and the lighting.

Ok, but let's move on to the food. Here are the highlights of the many dishes we ordered family-style.