Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lump Crab Cakes

 Ever since my allergy scare with lobster, I've been pretty cautious with shellfish. I miss lobster a lot and thankfully, it's only lobster that does not seem to agree with me. I can still enjoy crab, oysters, clams and the like - at least for now.

After a long day at work, I was craving for something - a buttery protein, some sort of seafood. I drove past a Legal Seafoods restaurant on my way home and automatically thought, "crab cakes!" I stopped at the restaurant, thinking to do a take out order of their famous crab cakes, but some voice in the back of my mind stopped me. The voice said "Trish, how hard can it be to make crab cakes? You can do it yourself, you can DO IT!" With the challenge in mind, I got back in my car and drove to their nearest grocery store, Wegmans. Wegmans sells lump crab for about $15 for 8oz, not a bad price since 2 crab cakes at Legal Seafoods is about $24. With 8oz, I was able to make 5 delicious crab cakes with a side of roasted brussel sprouts and and baby portobello mushrooms at a total of $26! Wahoo!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Char Siu

Char siu is quite possibly the most famous Cantonese dish of all. Literally meaning "fork roasted," char siu is pork that is marinated in a sweet and thick blend of sauces and then roasted until it becomes crisp and almost candy-like on the outside. Traditionally, char siu is made over a charcoal fire, but my recipe here was simply done in an oven (although I think I may try it in the grill come warmer weather!). To be honest, I was quite impressed with myself for making this - it was my first try and it came out delicious (not to mention gorgeous to look at)! For those that have only had char siu prepared at a restaurant or at a Chinese deli, I think you'll be impressed by how tasty and relatively simple it is when made at home.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Les Plats Copieux - Ithaca, NY

Happy January everyone! January can be quite an exciting month for most people; singing happily for a new year, relaxing after a holiday week of family dinners, opening gifts and holiday shopping. For me, January is my favorite month because that's when winter starts hitting with snow - and not to mention my birthday. Yes, I'm one of those girls that make a big deal of their birthday. And actually, I don't just make a big deal on my birth DAY, but more like my birth WEEK(driving Siddharth crazy). But, this year, even with my egotistical ways, Siddharth was completely selfless and took me to a fancy French restaurant for my birthday - complete surprise! The restaurant is called "Les Plats Copieux" or hearty dishes, situated in snowy Ithaca. More specifically, the restaurant was in Siddharth's house where he transformed his entire kitchen into a real French cuisine. Everything felt French: the French baguette, the French wine and even the dinnerware. The only thing that wasn't French (and rightfully so) was the nonstop playlist of Blue in Green by Miles Davis in the background. 

I haven't been to many French restaurants, but we all know that there's some sophistication in preparation, presentation and flavors in French cuisine. And this particular meal easily satisfied every one of those characteristics of French food. Now, before going on, I will preface that I am partially biased to the owner of this restaurant, but as you see these pictures yourself, you'll want to try it too. And from the looks of it, it can easily be replicated in your own home too!