Thursday, November 4, 2010

I make some Killer Scones!

Tyler Florence's Blueberry scones are Oh so GoooD!



It's so moist~ In one of his cookbook where I found this recipe, he says "it's scones, not stones". I usually avoid getting scones at a coffee shops for the fear of it being dry, bland, and boring. But this recipe? the complete opposite.
Though it would be great to have this for breakfast without me being the cook, almost every weekend when I go to my home town, I bake this for my family for breakfast. I know the summer is gone :( But if you ever want to taste the fresh and juicy blueberry in a buttery scone with lemon glaze on top, this is it!

I also love its presentation. You put the glaze while it's still warm and the blueberry gives out some of its beautiful juice to the glaze and turn it purple. When you take this to a picnic or any party, you will hear a 'ahhh' and 'ooooh's.

ps. with the glaze, I suppose I change it up a bit. the recipe makes A LOT of glaze, and you will end up throwing it most away. I do just maybe 2 tbs of lemon juice (juice of one small lemon or half of a good juicy lemon) and everything else the same except for the sugar. I just keep adding conf. sugar until the glaze comes to the right consistency. I usually still have ample amount by doing this.


Ingredients

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


Blueberry Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mashor bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.
Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.
Technically you should make this simple lemon glaze in a double boiler (i.e. over a pot of simmering water with a heatproof bowl set on top) but it's even simpler to zap it in the microwave. Mix thelemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

sakagura


Drinking isn't my forte. One of the best feature Sakagura has to offer is their HUGE sake menu. Sakagura is one of Jason's favorite place to munch and have some good sake :)

Their food is more in Izakaya style (bar food) than in regular meal style, so the portions are small and prices are reasonable. Its perfect for me because I get to order many little dishes:)

this here is Daikon Salad. they put this really yummy aioli (cod roe aioli) on top for you to toss the Daikon radish with. Every bar has their Daikon salad, but what I like about this one is the ribbon strips of Daikon. It feels so much more substantial than stringy pieces other places usually use.



I believe this is a sashimi plate. Their fish is very fresh, no complaints there. Just a PeRFecT dish with your perfect Sake.



Jason decided to try the dancing AYU. its a fresh water fish that you eat whole. Its simply broiled with salt. Its a baby fish, so the flesh is tender and moist. I think he left out the head... or maybe he ate it.


Towards the end of the night, we were still not full enough to go onto dessert. So we ordered some fancy Onigiri. I was not expecting such a huge portions! on top of two huge rice balls (triangles, really), they abundantly placed heaping dallop of Ikura (salmon roe). On to dessert we went :)

That was actually the first time I had ever gone to Sakagura at night. I was used to going there for lunch for their lunch deals which are usually pretty good. If you like Sake and want to explore Japanese bar food in semi-upscale setting, Sakagura is the way to go~



Monday, November 1, 2010

Sushi UO



Do you know what UO means in Japanese? "FISH".

Jason and I have been here a few times. We have sat both at the sushi bar and at the table.
needless to say, we enjoyed sitting at the bar a bit more. The chef is a pleasant young gentleman who obviously works his magic well behind the counter.

This was Hamachi sashimi with Ponzu-type sauce drizzled on it with some sprouts and Myouga on it. mmm




Tuna "Negitoro" atop sushi rice that's been charred with Nori and soy reduction




Sea Urchin (uni) on top of a raw scallop with his flavored salt sprinkled on it...

Omakase is the way to go.

Sashimi plate. Im not going to try to remember the correct fish in this collection. All I know is that everything was at their exceptional freshness. Just beautiful.



This was one of my favorite. Uni wrapped in Shiso leave and deep flash fried, Tempura style. Crispy on the outside, gooey and fragrant on the inside. heavenly.



Sushi UO could be a bit hard to find. I'm still not sure if I can make it there without Jason. But their food is well worth the trip. you won't be sorry! Im from Tokyo. Try getting something like this in this quality for this price in Tokyo! I think not~

Otto

I had a very fortunate chance to go to Babbo this spring when I went back to NYC to look for a wedding dress for my sister in law. (she did find one, by the way, from Cymbeline) I have nothing bad to say about this place. Service was exceptional, good wine, great food. below is grilled whole Bronzino. It was Moist and flavorful.





This here is Maccheroni alla Chitarra. I am sure this is one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had including my time in Italy. I love ocean-y flavor, so this deep flavored pasta with roasted tomato and fish roe really took me to my happy place.




Just a simple antipasti: arugula salad with shaved parmigiano reggiano. I really believe that they use the BEST ingredients. so simple, probably 5 ingredients... but it was so So good.



Unlike some other places I've been, this place did not feel so stuck-up to me like some other reviewers have said. No, I cannot go to Babbo regularly, but it's definitely a place I will keep in mind for any special guests or just any special nights :) To me, the quality of food they offer is well worth the money they ask for. Go to Babbo everyone! Goooo.

NY snacking




So SO so many food places I can talk about in NYC where I used to live. Not living there was hard mainly because of food... I love what NYC has to offer. These three just happened to be places where I had their food photographed.

This is Parisi in Nolita. I used to work & live a few blocks from here. The prices are reasonable for their GENEROUS portions. For sandwiches, I don't know why one should go anywhere else for their lunch break. The prices are just like any ol' Deli and their quality is much MUCH better. This photo is of pastrami sandwich I got with provolone, but I used to love their chicken cutlet sandwich with roasted red pepper in garlic oil and their tuna salad is also delicious.~ one of my favorite was Tuna salad with prov and red pepper on sweet semolina round bread. Its Humongous!





Second is this Craperie, Crepe De Paris on Ludlow. This is also close enough to my apartment that I used to go quite often. this picture shows crepe with strawberry, banana, nutella, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, whip cream and ice cream. The portion is Huge. Their crepe is the biggest i've had in NY. This totaled to about 10 bucks but its plenty big for two or three ppl (if you choose to eat it alone, its not impossible :) )





lastly, I Love Macarons. The best I found in NYC was from Madeleine Patisserie. So many flavors to choose from and they are more than you can ask for. When I used to go, it was 2.50 each. Their macaron is also the biggest I've had. THey are big, colorful, moist and delicious. Madeleine Paisserie has more than Macarons, of course. I loved their croissant (almond, chocolate, and ham and cheese!), lunch menus, and coffee.

This photograph is comparing the Madeleine Patisserie's macaron to those of Dean and Deluca.