Category Archives: Restaurants

Garlic Fries!

If you haven’t had garlic fries already, then get ready for something spiritual! I use a whole head of garlic for these fries and if I’m going to eat fries at home, I’m going to make it count: Deep frying is the only way to go.

You’ll need:

  • 1 head garlic, minced or pressed
  • parsley, chopped
  • frozen french fries
  • frying oil
  • salt

Tip: Always deep-fry to get the best fries! Since I started making fries this way I don’t crave fast food fries. These are as fresh and crisp as can be: at home. Practice safety and use a splatter guard or be sure the fries are not covered in ice crystals or the oil will pop in yo’ face! Stand back!

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai red curry might be the easiest and fastest dish I’ve ever cooked. Seriously. I was furious that never tried to do this before, and instead thought I needed secret take-out wok skills to pull this off with ease- I was wrong.

You’ll need:

  • Thai red curry paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Chicken breast meat, sliced
  • Veggies, fresh or frozen (green beans, baby corn, bell peppers,etc.)
  • (optional) sliced red chili
  • (optional) Some cilantro or coriander- see my blog header!

How to Cook Steak

Here are my tips & tricks for cooking the perfect steak… with a little know-how, you can have a great steak right at home! And remember: any self respecting steak eater will not buy thin sliced single portion steaks. You need a double thick steak (at least 1.5 inches or 4 cm.) to get that sear right!

My Steak Tips:

#1: The most important thing to do when cooking a steak is allowing it to rest at room temperature before and after cooking. About 20 minutes before you are ready to cook, let the steak sit at room temperature.

#2: This is also a good time to season with salt & pepper since it will sink into the meat, provide a nice crust during the cooking, as well as draw away any extra moisture. Your steak must be dry in order to get a good sear.

#3: Flipping your steak once per minute promotes even cooking. This way you don’t have an over done outer ring on the meat.

#4: After cooking, let it rest for 10 min. this allows all the juices to settle within the meat, and stay inside when you cut into it: instead of just running out onto the plate!

Here’s a video showing a little trick you can use to figure out the doneness of your steak:

Swedish Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Special

Oh Thanksgiving… living in a country outside the US during this holiday is when things ‘REALLY GET REAL.’ Nostalgia can creep up on you something fierce…

But, in some cases, you actually get more than you expected… case in point: an entire store dedicated to turkey.

I’ve visited Ingelsta Kalkon, a little turkey boutique in Stockholm to take a look at turkey through a Swedish lens…

Flashback: Bakesale Betty’s in Oakland

Bakesale Betty's Chicken Sandwich

Bakesale Betty’s Chicken Sandwich, Oakland California. Kendra Williams-Valentine.

This month’s Bon Apetit arrived, and behold, emblazoned on the front cover: A crispy chicken sandwich with fresh slaw- I instantly knew that somehow, someway, the Bakesale Betty gospel had reached the east coast, and now the nation for sure.

The perfect chicken sandwich

The Bon Apetit magazine cover that set my memories in motion: Bakesale Betty’s!

It was August 2011 when I visited this lunch-spot supreme. I was in Oakland, working with La Wanda from CocoaDiva for the month of August. She, aware of my culinary sensibilities (read obsession) wanted to take me to the new hot lunch-spot for a “Fried-” I instantly interrupted with a “yes!” eyes wide with anticipation. I regained my composure, apologized, and let her finish with a laugh: “fried chicken sandwich…but really really good, and fresh”. I have to admit, when she said “fresh” I was thinking “fresh out the fryer” so I was not expecting the glory that awaited (Although freshly fried was also true, she was referring to the fresh slaw in the sandwich). So what does two hard working women do on a hot summer afternoon in the middle of prepping for a food event? Ride over to the other side of Oakland to wait in line for a sandwich, that’s what (I’m in Cali baby, what do you want?).

Czech Food: meat sweats may be a real thing- Prague

Chilli Sausages

Chilli Sausages
No side plate, so I had to beast it.

 

That’s right, Czech Republic.  The quintessential European city.

Czech food is the grandmother of good old ‘meat and potatoes’ cuisine, and you get great value for your dollar. You truly don’t need to worry about budgeting for a good meal.

 

Prague is a MEAT LOVERS PARADISE (Vegetarians, this is not your culinary city) however, heaven can quickly turn into hell (read: meat night sweats by day 3 and dreaming about a salad to cool.) Of course you can find more then just Czech food to get a bit more variation, I spotted a couple Vietnamese places in the Vinorady district… but I couldn’t help myself and indulged in Czech fare exclusively.  Just remember: that Pork knuckle you are ordering is a dish, of a huge pork knuckle (with perhaps a bit of horseradish and mustard on side) you will need to scour the menu (and even then I would just ask to see if they have any sides, that isn’t a potato)

Nakládaný hermelín (pickled cheese)

You know you’re neck deep in a beer culture when all the starters, even at a restaurant, pairs well with (you guessed it): BEER. It would be great to have some of these bad boys to start making an appearance on the local pub menu… or gastro pub for that matter (hint hint all you cool bar owners out west). I must say, I do enjoy a good sausage, and this city rules this specialty. However, there’s lots more then sausages, I’d try the Nakládaný hermelín (pickled cheese)

LOKAL: I like this place

Lokal is a beer hall restaurant not far from old town square, and my meal here really made my whole trip. Not just the food, but also the atmosphere. It is more of a beer hall, with long communal tables, bustling with life (and a bit of smoke in the front section). I am still thinking about the tripe soup (from bar buffet) … it was so tasty, I wanted to go back for more the next day. True to Czech fashion, there was only tripe in it- but between that and the broth I really didn’t need anything else. On the menu they state “no flavorings added” and Maggie (a seasoning salt) on request with goulash. This lack of confidence must only be as far as the goulash because all I needed was a spoon for that tripe soup… I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

The schnitzel with potato salad didn’t look like much coming out, but cut a piece and it’s buttery crisp in all the right places. Very well done. Don’t let it get cold while you take pictures, eat it fresh out the pan or not at all. I don’t claim to be a schnitzel aficionado; but I know a damn thing or two about fried food… hats off. Well played.

Blue Bottle Coffee, and the difference between the Entrepreneur and Auteur

I have been away, working on developing a new food product… yes, yes I am. But this is not an undertaking that has spontaneously arisen from thinking I’m a brown Rachael Ray because I write a blog… nope it’s been a long time coming, and let’s just say, Rachael Ray isn’t my steeze.

It actually started 1.5 years ago at the same time as I was introduced to the topic of this little write up: During an immersive entrepreneurship program funded by the Swedish government (A strong public sector is socialist perk!), that took me to San Francisco to study food culture, entrepreneurial endeavors, etc, etc. Many of the other students in the group were all about Silicon Valley… I just wanted to see, be seen, and eat.

I ended up attending a panel discussion; I think it was on marketing your food product. I was helping a lady with a business in the Mission district, so we went together. This event was put on by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, a wonderful resource for the community. It was very nice for these successful bay area entrepreneurs to give their time: one of which was James Freeman, the Founder of Blue Bottle Coffee.

After the panel, the image from his at times ‘soliloquy’ styled presentation, which was intended as advice, stuck with me.