Monday, September 20, 2010

HEL-LOOO Phoenix! Good Morning Arizona and Sonoran Living Cooking Demos...LIVE!

What a terrific start to my weekend!  I headed out to Phoenix on Thursday for my appearances on Friday morning.  It was still 100+ degrees...and though there were moments that it felt SUPER hot...I have to admit...I LOVE LOVE LOVE the heat!!  I love it when it's so warm at night and I don't have to put on a jacket and it just feels so good on my skin and in my bones.  I am definitely a hot weather girl. 

First up, Good Morning Arizona with Tara Hitchcock.  This is Arizona's number 1 rated morning show on Channel 3!   Tara was so much fun and so easy to talk to!  Loved being on the show with her and sharing my potsticker recipe with her.  This is the recipe I created for my Williams Sonoma Demo and I wanted to share how easy potstickers can be!  

This is one of my all time favorite foods, it's something that always reminds me of my mom and I love making them!  This is a labor of love and it is always worth it for me to make these especially when I see the smiles on everyone's faces when they eat it.

As soon as we were done with my segment on Good Morning Arizona, we zipped over to ABC Channel 15 for my cooking segment on Sonoran Living!  

I got to show Craig Fouhy how to make a simple and deliciously spicy Green Chili and Chorizo Frittata!  I wanted to make something with a Mexican flair in honor of my business partner Anna who is from Phoenix.  I also wanted to highlight the fresh chorizo that people can get from local purveyors like Schreiner's Fine Sausage.  

Craig was hilarious and I felt so bad that he couldn't really eat it because he's lactose intolerant! 

One of the cool things about being at ABC was that we got to see Anna's cousin Sandra who has been working there for years!  And I got to meet a fan!! Randy!  She was so cute and I just loved how adorable she was!

So happy that Annie was there with me!!  She's the best business partner and friend in the world!

More fun in Phoenix at Hula's Modern Tiki!  But I will make another post for that!!

Special Thanks to Jan Stevens, Susan Hacker and Tony Felice for their hard work and support!!  Redmond Business Solutions and Tony Felice PR and Marketing.

Recipes for you guys!

Doreen's Potsticker Recipe


3 packs            Potsticker (gyoza) wrappers
1 lb                    Ground beef
4 cups              Napa cabbage, finely diced (1 medium-sized head of cabbage)
3 tsp                  Kosher salt
2 bunches       Green onions, finely diced
¼ cup               Sake
1 c + 2 Tbsp    William Sonoma’s Sesame Ginger Soy Marinade
¼ cup                Aloha brand shoyu (soy sauce)
½ tsp                 Black pepper
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Sugar, granulated


Preparing the filling
Set aside potsticker wrappers in refrigerator.  To prepare the filling for your potstickers, julienne and finely dice the Napa cabbage, place in a large bowl, add 3 tsp of salt and mix thoroughly.  Allow this to sit for 5 minutes, then gently squeeze the cabbage to remove excess water.  Transfer the cabbage to another large bowl, add the ground beef, minced green onions, and combine thoroughly with remaining ingredients.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for approximately 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.  Keep refrigerated until you are ready to assemble the potstickers.

Making the Potstickers
Fold a wet paper towel on a plate and place a wrapper on the towel to moisten the skin.  Put the wrapper in your hand dry side down, place one teaspoon of the potsticker filling in the center.  Bring both sides up to form a half moon and use your index finger and thumb to seal the center border only.  Create two pleats along each side , the complete by sealing the border tightly.

In a medium non-stick pan, heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Place potstickers side-by-side in a circular-pattern, filling the pan from the edge to the center.  Add enough water to cover about ¾the height of the potstickers.  Cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium.  Cook until the water is completely evaporated and the bottom of the potstickers are a golden brown.  Plate and serve with accompanying dipping sauce.

Garlic Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup           Green onions, minced
4 cloves          Garlic, grated with a microplane
¼ cup              Cilantro, chopped
½ cup              Aloha shoyu (soy sauce)
1-1/2 tsp         Sesame seed oil
4-5 Tbsp         Red wine vinegar
1 tsp                Sriracha

To prepare the garlic cilantro dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly, cover and allow the sauce to sit for about 10-15 minutes.  Transfer to individual dipping cups for serving.

Recipe makes approximately 90-100 potstickers (can be made ahead, keep frozen until you are ready to cook them).

Green Chili and Chorizo Frittata

14 to 16 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed
½ cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
½ cup whole milk
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups shredded hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (about 7 ounces)
2  4-ounce cans chopped mild green chilies, drained
½ cup chopped green onion
Ganish chopped green onions
Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler. Melt butter and heat oil in heavy broiler proof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and chorizo in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat, sauté for about 5 minutes, add green chilies and green onions, season to taste, cook another 5-7 minutes.  If there is a large amount of oil, pour off excess oil and leave approximately 2-3 Tbsp in pan.

Whisk eggs, add milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl, add 1 1/2 cups hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese and combine. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese over the top and extra chopped green onions on top.  Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Serving suggestions:
Top with sour cream, salsa and sprinkle with chopped cilantro
Mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Whole Roasted Pig @ Barry & Denice's Luau

I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend!  I was lucky enough to celebrate the wedding of a very good friend Brian to his beautiful wife Christine and hang out with friends.  And the next day...celebrate a housewarming Hawaiian style luau at my friends Barry and Denice's house.  

Barry and Denice went all out and Denice's cousin Darrell brought his roasting box and he cooked up a wonderfully brined pig, thanks to Mom!  

I wasn't there to see the pig go in, but it was certainly an event when it was time to flip the pig...the charcoal was lifted off the top and the cover removed, revealing this beautifully roasted pig.  I have never in my entire life seen a whole pig in person like that...so it was pretty cool.  It really makes me appreciate what we have.  It also makes me think about how lucky and spoiled we are today and how easy it is for us to run to the market and just pick up our ready cut up meat.  

I think about what people had to do so long ago and to utilize every part of what they have.  Crazy!  Knowing how much they understood about the whole animal and how to break it down...so amazing.

Darrell loves cooking for his family, but I think I might have to talk to him about doing this for special events!  It was really cool that everyone stopped what they were doing so we could watch them flip the pig.

If I remember correctly, this was a 70 lb pig.

After the flip, Darrell scores the skin to help it split and crisp more easily.

These hot coals just sit on the top cover and creates a hot box to roast that piggy!

The pig was delicious!!  In all it's porky goodness...the skin was so crispy and crunch and the meat that I got was really tender.  Since I didn't start eating pork till about five years ago and now more recently i am truly appreciating pork in all its porky glory, it was so awesome to eat it like this!  I did ask Darrell if he could teach me how to do this...NOT because I want to take this away from him...but just because I enjoy learning something new.  I think it's so cool!!

Thank you Darrell for cooking the pig, Mom S., Dad S., Denice and Barry for getting the pig and all the effort it took to get this piggy home, brined and ready for us to eat!!  I loved the story of how of Mom was telling Dad to "turn it more Daddy!" (I'm not going to share the whole story so as not to freak out some people who have never encountered cooking and touching a whole pig and all that goes into it)  

I have my ziplock baggy of left over roast pork thanks to Mom S.!!   Time to make Jook! (rice congee)

Seeing this whole piggy reminds me of when Anthony Bourdain went on the pig eating fest! 

Hey Darrell...something to think about...I'll make the rest of the food and you bring your roasting box and the pig!!  What do you think?!  I think people will love it!  

Congratulations on the new home B, D & B!! 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Queee Sushi Station & Portuguese Cuisine in Chinatown

Queee Sushi Station & Portuguese Station
643 N Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Neighborhood:  Chinatown

(213) 221-7870

Parking - Private lot to the left of the restaurant!! How much more convenient can it get?!  There is also metered street parking available.
Hours:  Tues-Sun:  11:30am-4pm
Closed Mondays
They were opening on Saturday nights, but call and double check.
They are also available for private parties at nights, so call and make
a reservation if you want to have your own sushi party!!

It's pronounced like the word Que (or K), not Q...which was what I kept saying.

Yes, Sushi and Portuguese food!  All under one roof!

I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting, talking to and emceeing for Chef Paulo Soares at the Chinatown Summer Nights on Saturday, August 28th.  Prior to the event, I went down to his restaurant to just talk to him and get to know him a little better so that I could share as much information about him to the audience. 

Here's a snap shot of him working on a platter.  He was telling me the importance of the pH balance of the rice...and how vinegar plays an important role in that.  By keeping the pH down, you avoid bacteria growing. 

Chef Paulo was so busy, we actually didn't get to talk as much, but because I had an opportunity to read his bio online, I learned so much about his experience.  He grew up in Portugal and basically was always in restaurants and kitchens because of his grandparents.

When he moved to New York and was cooking in restaurants, he used to hang out with his friends who worked in other restaurants, Japanese ones in particular and that's where his love for Japanese cuisine started.  Just like the cuisine of Portugal, using fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients really attracted Paulo, well, also the fact that he said he was tired of cooking in HOT KITCHENS...so sushi was the perfect choice to transition to in his cooking career.

He attended the California Sushi Academy and has worked for Nobu Matsuhisa and other cool sushi joints. 

You can read all about him on his website, so let's get to the beautiful food.

Seared albacore with ponzu and topped with some crispy wonton strips.
So fresh, just the perfect amount of sauce and loved the crunch.

Seafood Caldeirada - tomato based with white wine filled with mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, onions and bell peppers.  Chef Paulo cooks this dish in an authentic Caldeirada pot from Portugal.  This is served with white rice. 

Ooohhhhhh...seared tuna...with just a perfect little dab of fresh yuzu straight from japan.  Loved the green onions and the crispy baby asparagus and quartered cherry tomatoes.  So lovely and so fresh.

One of the dishes I didn't get a chance to try when I was there was the Piri Piri chicken...which Chef Paulo makes for a salad and in a roll!  Which even this little 4 year old boy named Elijah just loved (the piri piri roll)!!  I don't know if many of you know...but piri piri is a very hot pepper, and is made into a wonderful marinade, mixed with fresh herbs and olive oil...and he allows the chicken to just sit in the marinade for a few days so the flavor is totally incorporated into the chicken!  hmmm...my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

I cannot wait to go back to Queee Sushi...I want to try more dishes and see Chef Paulo in action.  You can tell how much he loves what he does and he is just the sweetest man, you can see his attention to the highest quality of ingredients and to the small details in presentation.
Queee Sushi is now a new reason for me to head into Chinatown and I am looking forward to having lunch with my new friends Jean and May from the Chinatown Business Improvement District and just enjoy some of the freshest, most delicious sushi in town.  For those of you who work downtown...this is definitely a lunch must!!  Go check it out and tell Chef Paulo Doreen says Hi! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Got Tongue?! Cook's Tortas does!

Cook's Tortas
1944 South Atlantic Boulevard
Monterey Park, CA 91754-6302
(323) 278-3536

Open Mon-Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 11am-4pm


 I used to live in Monterey Park and oh how things have changed so much along Atlantic Avenue right off the 60 fwy.  I remember going to Atlantic Square with my mom and sisters, going to the drug store.  Or to the McDonald's across the street behind the Wells Fargo Bank...back then I used to eat a Big Mac and a hamburger, fries and a drink.  I was a piggy even back when I was just a wee little child!

Anyhow...as your travel north on Atlantic Square, right before you hit Brightwood, you'll see a grey cinderblock building, The Pet Center, I believe, and then there's another building immediately behind it...Cook's Tortas.  

I can't tell you how many times I've driven down this street, and every once in a while I'd see this little free standing restaurant and thought, I should check it out.  Anyhow...I did awhile back and really just fell in love with the food.  I am not a torta expert, but the fresh baked breads and the well cooked meats and flavor combinations are all so delicious.  

I went down there Monday for a meeting with some friends and they were delayed so I had a chance to talk to the owner, Ricardo and ask him what his favorite torta was.  He said...Lengua!  

Some of you already know what lengua is...and for those of you who don't...it's tongue.  More specifically in this case, cow tongue.  My first experience of eating tongue was in Hawaii with my friend Jack at a Korean restaurant, Shillawon.  It was sliced so thinly and tasted so awesome grilled and dipped in the sauces.  So every time I have tongue, it's always very thinly shaved.  Now, again for those of you who don't know, lengua is pretty tough, hell!  it's a big giant muscle!  So that's why it's always cut so thin.   

Anyhow...after Ricardo told me lengua was his fave, I was totally down to get it!  I've grown up eating cow stomach, tendons, oxtail...and I've already experienced cow tongue...so I was excited to try it.

When they brought my torta over all wrapped up in the white butcher paper and my little cup of sweet potato fries, I couldn't wait to unwrap it and start eating!  I was starving and wanted to see what made this Ricardo's fave.  What I was TOTALLY unprepared for was to see the giant slices of lengua and the taste buds!  I didn't take a close up shot of the lengua because I know not everyone gets excited about eating tongue.  I'm not even going to lie, there were a few moments when my stomach got a little queasy thinking about those taste buds.  I opened up my bread and thought...I need more mayo...you all know how much I love mayo!  Anyhow...I slathered more of the special lengua mayo on my bread...there was also yellow mustard (which I love), tomato and a piece of romaine lettuce.  When I first read the ingredients on the board, I loved the simplicity of what was on the torta and I knew instantly that this torta was really all about the lengua which I think is great.  

I was now mentally ready to eat my lengua and took my first bite...WOW!  Those giant slabs of lengua were sooooo incredibly tender!  The flavor was just simple and delicious.  I still had those weird mental moments about the taste buds and every time I did, I had to psyche myself out and say...Damn it!  You eat stomach and tendons!  Suck it up and get over it!  haha  It's really is strange how the mind has so much control over us sometimes!  All I can say is I really enjoyed this torta and I thought it was amazing.

Anyhow...if you are a fan of lengua, you have got to try the lengua torta here.  It's #69.

I also love the Molcajete and the Ahogado!  Spicy steak and tender super spicy pork.  There are tons of choices that will satisfy your torta needs.  They serve a side with each torta and they have fresh juices available.  

Don't be overwhelmed by the board, ask the staff for their suggestions...and don't be afraid to try something different.  I had taken more pictures of the board, but for some reason I can't find them.  Anyhow...there is another beef torta with a roasted red pepper mayo (and you guys know I don't do red peppers) but this was so awesome!  Tons of flavor and it also comes with avocado!  YUM!!   Ricardo gave me a taste of it...I think I'll get that next time!  He also recommended the Ranchito and...oh man...I can't think of the name...but it's a Spanish Cod I think.

Go check out Cook's if you've never been...and yes...it really is in Monterey Park!!  There are other great restaurants besides Chinese restaurants!  This place gets packed and the waves of people is really non-stop...so don't be surprised if there is a line when you go.