Archive for November, 2012

>Revel<

Continuing with this late-night posting trend I give you a blast-from-the-past.  While I was in Seattle, I finally got to eat at REVEL with my aunt.  It’s a family affair as Chef Rachel is my mom’s cousin!  I was slightly afraid she might not remember me that well when I rang her up: “Oh, hi Rachel.  It’s C one of your cousin’s daughters…  yeah, from the east coast… That bbq like 7 years ago??” you get the idea.  She and her husband are arguably the most famous members of the extended family (they were on Iron Chef!!) with also potentially the cutest babies in the family!  I have been waiting to eat at one of their restaurants since they opened!  I am using a lot of exclamation marks!

The place is casual and cool with a modern edge.  Large, bright pop culture-y portraits adorn the walls with sleek wood and metal structuring the space.   I love how they only set out chopsticks on the table setting.  It kind of says ‘get ready to eat some Asian food!’  Bonus points for not being the break apart ‘disposable’ kind.  Way classier (and sustainable) than that.  And oh yeah, the food:

~

~

~

~

~

We also ordered the albacore tuna bi bim bap/rice bowl, but the picture was less than stellar and you only deserve the best photography.  They do it family style which means sharing = happiness.  I’ve always been a moocher so any place where mooching is officially allowed is cool with me.

The attention to detail and the modern take on Korean dishes really hits you.  The noodles had seaweed in them for crying out loud.  My favorite would have to be the cabli mandu since I’ve always had a soft spot for them.  They were a tad bit tricky to eat with chopsticks because of the shape, but once it was in your mouth there was no denying the tender, juicy flavor hitting your palate.  (I just had to look up how to spell the right palate/palette/pallet I was looking for…).  The dessert menu was themed ‘Candy’ for the month of October in honor of Halloween and the junior mint cake at least was right on the money.  Dessert always ends up being one of my favorites…

Being able to see how all her and her husband’s hard work paid off was so inspiring.  They make this wonderful culinary life seen attainable to everyone.  It makes me want to drop everything and go to culinary school!  haha jk dad… but not really?

My aunt said it wasn’t really Korean food and my response was it’s modern, Korean INSPIRED.  She asked me what revel meant and my explanation was something along the lines of, “You kinda revel in something, something good.”  I was at a loss on how to be more direct.  After the meal though, I knew what I was revelling in: good flavor, comfort food, and lovin family.

Advertisements

Double Whammy – Thai and Butternut

Okay, so it’s been over a month since my last post?!??  =(

A LOT has happened in a month and flying too and from Seattle is not the least of it even if it was after a hurricane…  This last flight from WA to NY has reconfirmed in my mind that red eye’s SUCK.  Hence, the reason I am posting at 3 4 am in the morning.  I failed to power through the day as I originally planned.  “Oh, I’ll just lie down on my bed for a little bit” turns into crashing all afternoon.  I find coming back east is harder to readjust to time than traveling west to east.

However, that didn’t stop me from eating and cooking, heavens no.   I actually ate out and cooked in the same day woot!  After coming back to the food desert that was my apartment, I decided to go grocery shopping AND treat myself to arguably the best lunch special in Ithaca: Taste of Thai Express!

They have lunch specials and a set 3 course lunch menu for $13!  I got Goong Salon for appetizer which is shrimp wrapped in noodles and then fried.  It’s like shrimp mummified in crunchy noodles.

Followed by Tofu Pad Thai:

And finished with Sweet Black Rice:

So much food for $13!  Okay, so more like $15 + tax and tip.  It’s enough for 2 meals pretty much.  I brought some containers and was literally packing it up as I ate.  Is that weird?  I’m pretty sure that’s what my server was thinking.  I did have a server at Maggiano’s tell me that bringing my own containers was ‘so cute’ and that she loved us (me + sister) because it saved her so much work.  She was a particularly honest server… haha.

Following that meal I completely crashed and woke up 4 hours later thinking about dinner.  I already had a plan of what to make.  Right before I left I picked up some awesome veggies at Dilmun Hill, the student farm.  Basically, in exchange for volunteering some time you get free, fresh, straight-from-the-ground, veggies!  I had that butternut squash in the back of my mind and I decided that some type of butternut squash pasta would be delish.  I had already google searched and shopped, for this How Sweet It Is recipe in the morning.  And how sweet it looks!

So that kinda looks like a glob with some cheese and seeds on it, but it tastes real good!  It was based off the How Sweet It Is recipe with a few changes.  1) Obviously used bowties (farafelle if you want to be Italiano) instead of penne, UWUH (Use What You Have) 2) Used soy milk because that’s what I bought 3) Increased the mozzarella cheese from 1/4 c to 4 oz ~1/2 cup because I was using a bigger pan 4) No sage or bacon.

   
All together it looked like this:

   

*

*

*

*

*

*

This makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I will try and back post some of the other things that have gone on the past 5 weeks, but we’ll see how that goes.  Modified recipe below!

Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole  *from How Sweet It Is*

+ 1 sm-med butternut squash, peeled n chopped + seeds

+ 1/4 t salt

+ 1/4 t pepper

+ 1/4 t nutmeg, I used whole

+ 2 T unsalted butter

+ 1 sm shallot

+ 1 T flour

+ 1/4 c mascarpone cheese

+ 2/3 c milk

+ 1/2 lb whole wheat bow-ties/farafelle

+ 1/2 c freshly grated/chopped mozzarella

+ 1/4 c freshly grated parmesan

Roast chopped butternut squash and seeds (if desired) in olive oil, S+P, for 40 minutes flipping halfway through.  My seeds were a bit toasty after 40 so take out the seeds a bit earlier.  Mash roasted squash with a fork or potato masher and set aside.

Boil water for pasta and cook as directed.

Meanwhile, heat medium saucepan over medium heat and melt butter.  Add shallots and stir until butter and shallots are browned.  Add the 1 T of flour and stir til smooth for 1-2 minutes.  Add mascarpone, milk, squash, and spices.  Stir til combined.  You can save some pasta water to thin out the sauce if you’d like or add more milk.

Mix pasta with about half of the butternut sauce.  Pour into shallow baking dish (I used one a tad bit smaller than a 13×9 inch pan, maybe 8×11?) and spread remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the dish size.

Garnish with roasted seeds and eat til stomach’s content.

Gah, it is so late now I’m hungry again!  Night!