brownie update

this is an update to my go-to brownie recipe. i think i made it better!

so because of our resolution to bake our own bread this year, i bought a 25 lb. bag of bread flour from costco. because of that, i’ve been substituting bread flour for ap flour in a bunch of recipes and seeing the effect. i’m telling you, the ben & jerry’s brownies are better with bread flour. i think the original recipe is ever so slightly too fudgy, so using bread flour makes it every so slightly more cakey. the texture is now perfect. try it! :) different bread flour brands have different compositions though, so if it turns out too cakey, maybe you need 1/2 ap flour, 1/2 bread flour.

chodang restaurant

here’s the soondubu from chodang (i like to put all the rice in it).
soondubu

i first had soondubu in the summer of sophomore year of college at young dong garden in arcadia. it was love at first bite! anyway, when i go home i like to go to young dong garden if i can. i don’t know why i’ve never written about it… i love it! that place is still my favorite soondubu place in socal. they give delicious korean pancakes.

then when i came to hawaii, cameron and i tried a few korean restaurants to find some good soondubu, but most of the restaurants were kind of expensive and the soondubu wasn’t that great. i tried to put soondubu out of my mind. then one day, we decided to try koreana in kaimuki. on the front of the menu, there were several grand opening specials… soondubu for $6?! AND it was delicious! that was a really good day. for a little while, we went there every week.

but it was not meant to be. koreana was always empty when we ate there. one day we went, and the gates were closed. :( i was really sad… was it better to have soondubu-ed and lost than to never have soondubu-ed? i was resigned to live life without soondubu.

there was this small korean restaurant called chodang near ala moana that we’d seen before, and one day we decided to try it. they had a picture of soondubu in the window… but who could replace koreana? we sat down and looked at the menu. it was the most wonderful thing i’ve ever seen on a menu… on the front it had a list of daily specials… the same specials as koreana IN THE SAME FONT! open the menu – same sections and fonts as koreana too! hallelujah! this was another great day :)

luckily, chodang doesn’t look like it’s going to close any time soon. it’s always busy when we go there. the soondubu is WAY cheaper than anywhere else, and tastes better than all the other ones i’ve tried in hawaii (um except koreana since it’s the same soondubu). i don’t think they have a mild version though so just suck it up if you are afraid of spicy food. it’s worth it. anyway, that’s about all i can comment on since at koreana and chodang all i’ve ever gotten is soondubu… well i think the side dishes are good too :) one time we got some bulgogi – that was good, but i don’t know how it compares to other places. cameron has been getting the bibimbap lately. he also tried the spicy beef soup once – he said that was really good.

now i’m craving some soondubu… chodang is open until 12am i think…

chodang restaurant
451 Piikoi St #110
Honolulu, HI 96814

slow roasted pork sandwich

a while ago there was one of those 40% off borders coupons so we picked up this book:

wichcraft book

it’s recipes from tom colicchio’s (judge on top chef) ‘wichcraft sandwich shops. the main reason i wanted to get this book is we already made one of the sandwiches in it, and that sandwich is one of the best sandwiches i’ve had. also, there are gorgeous pictures of every sandwich, which is always nice in a cookbook.

a lot of these sandwiches are pretty involved but the results are delicious so it’s worth it. i really love a good sandwich :)

slow-roasted pork with red cabbage, jalapeños, and mustard

from ‘wichcraft by tom colicchio with sisha ortuzar
makes four sandwiches

sandwich

1 tbsp caraway seeds
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 (1.25-1.5 lb.) boneless pork shoulder
2 cups shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 ciabatta rolls
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

1. preheat the oven to 250F. combine the caraway, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and process utnil they have the courseness of salt. combine the spices with salt.

2. rub the pork vigorously with the spice mixture until completely covered. any spice mixture that doesn’t stick to the meat an be removed. place the meat in a roasting pan, cover tightly, and cook in the oven for about 4 hours. the meat should be fork-tender and some of the fat should have rendered into the bottom of the pan. transfer the meat to a plate and discard the fat from the pan.

3. increase the oven heat to 350F. in a bowl, combine the cabbage, oil, and vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. the cabbage should taste quite salty and tangy.

4. slice the ciabatta rolls in half. spread the mustard evenly across the bottom halves. using a couple of forks, pull the roasted pork apart and distribute some on the bottom and top halves.

pork

5. place the bread in the oven and remove when the bread is lightly toasted and the meat is heated through. add the cabbage on the bottom halves and top withe jalapeño. close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.

open_sandwich

comments: yum, this sandwich is quite good. it’s a really nice combo of flavors and textures with the salty pork, tangy crunchy cabbage, spiciy jalapeños, sour mustard, and toasted ciabatta bread. good to have some kettle chips as a side too.

it’s not very difficult, but you gotta be home for a few hours while the pork cooks in the oven. the pork turned out a little bit too salty for our taste, so maybe next time i won’t rub in as much salt.

noodles with meat sauce

we saw my piano teacher a while ago and mentioned that we didn’t have a good chinese cookbook, so she gave us mrs. chiang’s szechwan cookbook as part of our wedding present. all the recipes we’ve tried have been really good. we need to get a wok though…

noodles

noodles with meat sauce (shao zi mian 紹子麵)
from mrs. chiang’s szechwan cookbook

4 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, cut into match head size pieces
3/4 lb. ground pork
1 lb. chinese noodles or fettucine
3.5 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ground roasted szechwan peppercorns (optional)
1 tbsp hot pepper paste
5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

1. add 1 tbsp of the chopped scallions to the pork, along with 2 tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil, and szechwan peppercorns. mix thoroughly and set aside.

2. prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package. while it boils, cook the meat sauce.

3. heat wok or pan on high flame for about 15 seconds, then add the oil. when it begins to smoke, add the chopped garlic, 1 tsp of the scallions, and the hot pepper paste. stir-fry for about 5 seconds.

4. add the meat mixture to the pan and continue to stir-fry for about 1 minute. try to break the meat up into small pieces.

5. throw in the rest of the scallions and continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

6. add in 3 tbsp of soy sauce, salt to taste. reduce the heat and let the meat sauce simmer for 1 minute more.

meat-sauce

7. to serve, put noodles on individual plates and ladle meat sauce on top.

comments: this recipe tastes great and is quick and easy to make, so it’s become one of the regulars in our recipe rotation. i like to cook up a side of vegetables with it, like choi sum or bok choy, etc. the soy sauce we use is pretty salty, so in step 6, we only add 1 more tbsp of soy sauce and no salt. also, we tried using less oil, and it still tasted good. we use about 2 tbsp of canola oil. for the noodles, we used some dry wheat noodles. we can’t find szechwan peppercorns though… but it already is kinda spicy.

food resolutions for 2010

1. bake our own bread – my brother and lena have both been telling me how simple it is to make good bread and how yummy it is. also, cameron got me a “real” pizza stone and this book for christmas:

ArtisanBreadinFiveMinutesaD_3

so we’re not buying any more sandwich bread or bakery bread!

2. read on food and cooking by harold mcgee – this is the year i’m going to read this whole book. it is about 800 pages, so that’s about 2-3 pages per day, ~15 pages per week. dangit! i’m behind already…

3. salads – i like salad a lot, but we don’t make that many types. i’d like to find some new recipes, and have it for lunch or dinner sometimes instead of just as a side.

4. asian food – cameron suggested this one. we’ve started cooking more chinese food recently because we got a nice cookbook for that (haven’t had time to post anything though). so i think we’ll continue with that, and then maybe also find some thai, korean, vietnamese, japanese recipes.

5. have people over more often – normally our apartment is pretty messy, but our non-food resolution is to clean every week, so maybe this year we will have people over for dinner more. :)