Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rai Rai Ken

This is a restaurant review of Rai Rai Ken.

Even in NY, a solid GOOD bowl of Ramen is hard to do. Yes, we have Ippudo. But as I discuss with my fellow Japanese Ramen lovers, their Ramen is way too average tasting to cost $15 for a bowl of noodle soup. Is Ramen that hard to make?? It has to be... because it is not easy to find that perfection in a bowl.

I went to Rai Rai Ken after my friend said that it was her favorite place to go. So I gave it a try. I give it... 7.5.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't "MM MMMM GOOD". 
I grew up in Tokyo, so I like Shoyu Ramen, the soy sauce based one. A lot of Ramen places in NYC focuses on Tonkotsu, so it's even harder to find a good shoyu ramen.
I am not writing this entry because I liked the shoyu ramen at rai rai ken. It was just So So.  But I DID like the Miso Ramen. It had something that really reminded me of what I used to eat growing up.

So for the price, I will go back when I really want some hot bowl of Ramen. Maybe I will just stick to Miso and Shio (which I heard was also good)

Pate au Choux

cream puffs
pate au choux....

However you like to call them, they are delicious. Such a simple batter. I found this recipe, on you tube, that is the easiest recipe I have ever used. The video is in French, but it has side notes that is easy enough for me to understand. This recipe is not only easy, but makes the fluffiest, most wonderful smelling Pate au choux.

I like to make some custard cream and whipped cream, then mix the two to make the filling for the puffs. I dress them up with a bit of brandy and a good amount of good vanilla! Oh yeah, I add sugar to this recipe because I am making it for dessert, but you can always use this batter without sugar to make small appetizer with savory fillings.

Pate au Choux

125ml milk
125ml water
125g  butter
pinch of salt
spoon full of sugar
150g flour
5 eggs

preheat the oven to 400

1. in a pan, heat milk, water, butter, and salt until butter is melted and it comes to a boil.
2. once the mixture is boiling, take it off the heat, immediately dump in the flour, and mix. dough will come into a ball. put it back on a low heat, and stir, to cook the flour. maybe one minute
3. after a minute, dump the dough into a clean big bowl, and add eggs one at a time. Make sure to incorporate each egg before adding another.
4. stuff them into a piping bag (or you can just do a dollop with a spoon) and pipe the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put them into a HOT oven for 15 minutes. (make sure to press down any peaks of batter with a wet finger so they don't burn) after 15 minutes, they should have risen. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETELY DONE.
5. reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking until the choux is golden brown

I like to keep them in the oven after the initial 30 minutes or so with the door slightly open so they have time to dry. Especially on a humid day, they may fall.

fill them with any type of creams you'd like. Even ice cream! make some chocolate sauce and pour it on top!!