Archive for the 'Recipe' Category

Bò Lúc Lắc – Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Bo Luc Lac - Vietnamese Shaking Beef

When I was gifted four beautiful steaks this past Christmas, I briefly considered wrapping the fillets in bacon or chopping them coarsely for a tartare. But when it came down to it, The Astronomer and I both desired Vietnamese food, so “shaking beef” ultimately and unsurprisingly won out.

Since my family does not have a go-to recipe for bò lúc lắc, I turned to Chef Charles Phan of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door to guide me through the process. You could say that he’s got a way with shaking beef

Traditionally, this dish is prepared in a seasoned wok over a flame, which imparts an intense sear on the beef and cooks the entire dish with a flick (or two) of the wrist.

This pared down recipe caters to the home cook and yields immense reward for very little effort. While using a saute pan on an electric stove offers significantly fewer BTUs, the results were most satisfactory. We’ll be making this recipe again and again.

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or canola
  • 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice or white wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 bunches watercress, washed and dried, or 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and separated into leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Bo Luc Lac - Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Marinate meat with garlic, half the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil for about 2 hours at room temperature. (Refrigerate if your kitchen is very warm.)

Meanwhile, combine vinegar, remaining sugar, wine, soy sauce and fish sauce. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Mix about 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.

Bo Luc Lac - Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Divide the meat into 2 portions, and do the same with the onion and scallions. Put a wok or a large skillet over maximum heat, and add about 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil smokes, add the meat in one layer. Let it sit until a brown crust forms, and turn to brown the other side. Browning should take less than 5 minutes.

Add half the onion and half the scallions, and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add about half the vinegar mixture, and shake pan to release the beef, stirring if necessary. Add half the butter, and shake pan until butter melts. Remove meat, and repeat. Continue reading ‘Bò Lúc Lắc – Vietnamese Shaking Beef’

Knuckle & Claw – Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

Knuckle & Claw - Los Angeles - Silver Lake

In a devastating turn of events, I traveled to Boston two weeks ago and did not consume a lick of seafood while in town. It seems that I’ve officially transitioned to the part in my life where family time takes precedence over food-centric pursuits. Well, I guess this is growing up

Knuckle & Claw - Los Angeles - Silver Lake

Needless to say, I was totally craving a lobster roll as soon as my feet touched down on Southland soil, so I made my way to Chloe Dahl and Nikki Booth’s Knuckle & Claw just as soon as I could.

Opened this past March, the Sunset Boulevard eatery serves up classic New England fare using Maine lobster that’s flown in daily. The menu is super-simple and highly-specialized; it’s my kind of place.

Knuckle & Claw - Los Angeles - Silver Lake

The Astronomer, June, and I shared the shrimp ($5), blue crab ($6), and lobster ($9) mini rolls, as well as the grilled cheese ($8) and a cup o’ soup ($8), on our visit.

Continue reading ‘Knuckle & Claw – Los Angeles (Silver Lake)’

Fresh Fig Galette

Fresh Fig Galette

It’s fig season. Hooray! In celebration of this most joyous time of year, I baked a Fresh Fig Galette. The figs, Black Mission and Kadota, arrived at my doorstep from Farm Fresh to You, a fantastic new-to-me service that brings local and organically grown produce to homes and offices across Southern California. Pro Tip: Use code CATH3482 for $10 off your first order. You’ll love it, I promise.

Farm Fresh to You Delivery

Whereas most Fresh Fig Galette recipes call for for a layer of jam, cream, or marzipan between the fruit and crust, this recipe from Cooking Light only requires the essentials. Simple is best when it comes to highlighting the season’s finest and ripest.

Whereas the Black Missions tasted wonderfully earthy, the Kadotas were juicy and sweet. Together, they made for an irresistibly jammy filling. The crust, made from a combination of all-purpose flour and ground almonds, came together in rich and crumbly fashion, like a fine shortbread.

Figs will only be around from now until early fall, so hurry up and bake this galette before this much-too-short season comes to an end. What are you waiting for?

  • 6.75 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons almond meal (Note: Almond meal is finely ground almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 pound fresh Black Mission and/or Kadota figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Fresh Fig Galette

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, almond meal, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Scatter butter into processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in oil; pulse to combine. Add ice water; pulse just until combined. Turn mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; pat into a disk. Continue reading ‘Fresh Fig Galette’

Christina Tosi’s Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

“This cookie is the reason I learned to bake,” writes pastry superstar Christina Tosi in her latest book, Milk Bar Life. If you’ve ever tasted any of her daring and delicious Momofuku Milk Bar creations (See: Crack Pie! Confetti Cookies! Salty Cucumber Soft Serve!), then you’ll understand that this is a very bold statement.

While The Astronomer and June were on a long walk last weekend, I dusted off my Kitchen Aid and got to baking these life-altering cookies. Aside from having to bring the butter to room temperature, this recipe is as low maintenance (and fast!) as they come. Butter and two kinds of sugar are creamed until fluffy, eggs and vanilla are added in, then finally, the “dry” ingredients are incorporated just so.

Following 10 minutes in the oven, Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies baked up crispy along the edges and moist throughout. The combination of rolled oats and sweetened shredded coconut brought a double punch of flavor and texture, while a good hit of salt kept all sweetness in check.

While these cookies are certainly solid as is, the batter is an excellent base for a more complex cookie. Classic oatmeal cookie add-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, and nuts would work great here, or more Tosi-esque ingredients like popcorn, potato chips, and pretzels. Go crazy because Christina Tosi would definitely approve.

  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Continue reading ‘Christina Tosi’s Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies’

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