Friday, July 3, 2020

Morimoto Napa@Napa Day 1 ★★

Napa Road Trip during Pandemic. Went during July 4th weekend, when all wineries and bars in LA shut down again. Had our struggles, but ended up going. (Now indoor restaurants are closed again after our trip Was asked about the trip, so I decided to blog about the experience and share the itinerary. We left LA at 6am and arrived Napa at 12pm. Were able to sit at sushi bar without reservation. First time eating out since pandemic in March. Felt uneasy. Nervous to sit at sushi bar facing the sushi chefs. Luckily, we brought face shields to eat with them on. We also brought hand sanitizer. Pretty fresh sushi. Temperature checked upon check-in.

Sushi Lunch Set $47

Negitoro Roll $16, Soft Shell Crab Roll S15


Eating with Face Shield on

Morimoto Napa
10 Main St
Napa, CA 94559
(702) 252-1600
morimotonapa.com

JaM Cellars@Napa Day 1

Not worth it. Wine tasting with cool music vibes, but wines were too salty with mediocre service. Menu available to scan via QR code. We had the Napa Exclusive Tasting of 5 glasses for $30 per person, which included sparking, Chardonnay, 2 dry Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Everyone in the group needs to have the same tasting. We had face shields on the whole time. Our server spent a lot of time chatting with the table behind us and neglected us. Free glass pour of your choice with Yelp check-in. Temperature checked upon check-in.




JaM Cellars
1460 First Street
Napa, California 94559
(707) 265-7577
jamcellars.com

Kenzo Estate Winery@Napa Day 1 ★★★

Exceptional Private Tour & Wine Tasting. Kenzo is the founder of Capcom (think Street Fighter). Limited to 3 groups each time due to pandemic. Must wear mask during tour. We wore our face shields on top of that. Tasting was outdoor. Very safe and distanced. Did not have to wear face shield during tasting. Aaron booked our reservation and also led our private tour. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. He let us decide if we wanted him to introduce all wine at once so that he can leave us alone during tasting (while still checking on us occasionally). It felt safer that way. He would suggest a dish pairing with each of the wine we were tasting. All their wines were amazing. Yui and Muku were some of my favorites. Taking WSET certificated wine course helped me understand wine much better. Aaron warned me that taking Level 1 make me keep going Level 2. He was also very helpful in terms of answering my questions related to WSET. Tour was $80 per person. One of our fees was waived because we bought so many wines. Our tour was at 2pm (booked a month prior). Went to their kaiseki restaurant for dinner the same night. Temperature checked upon check-in.


Aaron Ramo, our private guide



Wine Tasting after Tour


Spacious Environment with No One Nearby


Wine We Bought

Kenzo Estate
3200 Monticello Road,
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 256-1555
www.kenzoestate.com

Kenzo Restaurant@Napa Day 1 ★★★

Exquisite Kaiseki Fine Dining. 1 star Michelin. Went to their restaurant after visiting the Kenzo Estate winery (2 separate locations). Our 2nd time returning. Exceptional service from Joan (same person as last year). $225 pp. Had fantastic wine pairing for $150. Customers were properly spaced out. We ate with our face shields on at the sushi counter. Our reservation was at 7:30pm (booked a month prior).

Seasonal Hassun
sweet corn tofu with shrimp soboro and okra, sonoma duck breast string beans with cream cheese and sesame, eggplant and sweet potato

Hyogo Horse Mackerel
cucumber, cherry tomato, japanese yam, myoga ginger buds and pickled plum gelee

Junmai Ginjo Minakata

Hokkaido Scallop Shinjo Owan
dashi broth, wakame seaweed and spinach


Miyazaki Grouper Sashimi
shiso leaves and ponzu gelee

Chiba Sea Bass Okakiage
zucchini and yuzu pepper sabayon

Shizuoka Freshwater Eel Mille-Feuille
carrot, shiitake mushrooms, edamame, mitsuba pasrsley and burdock root coulis

Slow Roasted Satsuma Wagyu Tenderloin
japanese kabocha squash, kale and green onion inflused red miso


yui 2019

Face Shield on While Eating

asuka

rindo

Junmai Daiginjo Mizubasho

Chef's Selection of Sushi

Uni Sushi


Chef's Featured Desserts

Kenzo Team

Kenzo Restaurant
1339 Pearl Street
Napa, California 94559
(707) 294-2049
kenzonapa.com

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Potato Chips Recipe ★★★

Homemade Fried Potato Chips. My first time. Pretty good. Got 10 lbs. of potatoes from Vons for free, so trying different potato recipes everyday. Instead of using olive oil, I saved the oil from baking bacon and used it for this. It gives the chips a bacon aroma. Some people also add white vinegar to it. Recipe below.


Ingredients:
2 Medium Potatoes
1.5 Tablespoon Olive Oil (I used oil from bacon)
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven at 425°F.
2. Skin potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1/8" thickness. (I will try using a peeler next time too)
3. Grease baking sheet, toss chips with Olive Oil. Place chips in single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Additional spices optional.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy. (Can also Air Fry for 15 minutes or until crispy)
Tip: After baking or air-frying, line plate with paper towel to absorb extra oil

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Taiwanese Sliced Noodles Recipe ★★

Taiwanese Comfort Food. The thick Taiwanese Sliced Noodles are available in the Chinese supermarkets. I modified my recipe a bit after learning how to cook Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Noodles. Recipe below.



Taiwanese Sliced Noodles

Japanese Chili Oil with Garlic
secret seasoning that tastes good on almost anything
tip: get it on sale from the Japanese market

Ingredients:
Pork, Chicken, or Beef (Pork has the best flavor for this)
1/4 - 1/2 Onion
Vegetables – I used Eggplant, Napa Cabbage, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Lettuce
1 Tablespoon Oil
1.5 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
Cilantro (optional)
Sliced Spring Onions for Garnish (optional)
Sesame Seeds for Garnish (optional)
Japanese Chili Oil with Garlic on the side

Directions:
1. Wash and slice all vegetables.
2. Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and drain.
3. Heat oil on pan. Add Onions and Eggplant until slightly browned. Add rest of vegetables and a little bit of water. Add meat.
4. When meat is cooked, add noodles. Add Sesame Oil, Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce, and Oyster Sauce on noodles and mix well. Add Cilantro and turn off heat.
5. Serve and garnish with Spring Onions and Sesame Seeds. Serve with Japanese Chili Oil with Garlic on the side.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ludo's Omelette Recipe ★★★

Chef Ludo Lefebvre's Classic French Omelette. Fluffy. Perfect Breakfast. Chef Ludo has been very generous to share his recipes on his Instagram during the pandemic. I am very excited to try this with the new The Rock by Starfritt non-stick pan I bought. Considering it my first time, it's quite successful. This takes practice to perfection. I paired it with Sunrise Tequila Shot (tropical juice + tequila). Recipe below.


I asked Ludo if I can use a fork instead

Recipe Source: @chefludo https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_I22s5p2ZG/
*Watch Ludo's video first before making, as cooking the egg gets quite technical.
I wrote a recap of the directions below.

Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
2 scoops of Cream Cheese or any Soft Cheese (eg. Ricotta or Parmesan)
Salt
White Pepper
Chopped Chives for garnish (optional)
Non-stick Pan (around 9 inches)
Rubber Spatula
Whisk
Bowl

Directions:
1. Crack 4 eggs. Add a pinch of salt and white pepper.
2. Beat the eggs. Mix very well evenly until you don't see any eggwhites.
3. Heat a chunk of butter in pan in low heat. Pour eggs when butter begins to sizzle. Make sure that it doesn't sizzle after. Scramble eggs. Make sure to stir and mix everywhere. Occasionally lift away from heat. (Medium heat?) Stir fast as egg hardens a bit. Let set. Set sides.
4. Add 2.5 tablespoons of cream cheese on 1/2 of the side inside omelette.
5. Roll like sushi. Massage with butter.
6. Lift end and slide onto a plate.
7. Wet towel with hot water. Remold omelette with towel on top so it looks more like a crepe. Massage with butter.
8. Add a bit more salt and white pepper. Add chopped chives for garnish (optional).

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Chow Mein & Oxtail Soup Recipe ★★★

Lovely Taste of Hong Kong. I got Taiwanese noodles and made it into Chow Mein. It tasted great. Oxtail Soup is easy to make. It's tasty and healthy. Recipes below.


Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chow Mein
 
Chinese Ox Tail Soup


Soy Sauce Chow Mein
Ingredients:
Dry Noodles for 2 people (I used Taiwanese)
120 g Bean Sprouts (I used napa, lettuce, and mushroom instead – sliced)
1/2 Onion
Ginger – Sliced (I used ginger powder instead)
1 Spring Onion – Sliced
Sesame Seeds for garnish

Sauce: (can premix or add on the spot)
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2.5 teaspoons Dark Soy Sauce
1.5 teaspoons Raw Sugar (I used regular sugar)
2 teaspoons Oyster Sauce
A drizzle of Sesame Oil

Directions
1. Follow package directions to cook dry noodles and drain. (Tip: Don't cook for too long, or else it will be soggy)
2. Add oil to wok (or large frying pan). Cook ginger, spring onions, and onions until soft. Add vegetables. Set vegetables aside and add drained noodles. Add sauce in circular motion and stir for even tone. Taste.
3. Garnish with sesame seeds.


Oxtail Soup
Ingredients:
1 lb. Oxtail
3-4 Medium Tomatoes – Roughly Diced
1 Large Potato, peeled – Roughly Diced
1/2 Onion – Roughly Sliced
Celery – optional
A lot of water

Directions
1. Boil water in a pot. Cook oxtail for 1-2 minutes. Discard water.
2. In a larger pot, fill pot with a lot of water and bring to boil. Add everything into the pot of water and simmer for 1 hour.
3. Soup is ready to serve.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Cha Traop Dot Recipe ★★★

Cambodian Stir-Fry Eggplant with Pork. One of my favorite Cambodian dishes. Amazing. Great with rice.


Recipe Source: Food.com
Ingredients:
3 large Eggplants
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
5 Garlic Cloves (smashed and coarsely chopped)
3/4 lb. Ground Pork
3/4 lb. Shrimp (shelled, deveined, and chopped) (optional)
1/4 cup Fish Sauce
1-1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
3 Spring Onions (thinly sliced)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prick eggplants with a fork, then put on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes (or until soft). Allow to cool slightly, then peel and discard the skins (optional). Mash the flesh with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic until golden (about 10 seconds). Stir in the pork and shrimp, breaking up any clumps.
3. Add the fish sauce, sugar and ground pepper.
4. When well mixed, add the eggplant and continue stir-frying until warmed through (about 3 minutes).
5. Add the spring onions, stir well, and remove from heat and serve over rice.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Pasta Carbonara Recipe ★★★

Chef Ludo Lefebvre's Pasta Carbonara. Chef Ludo has been very generous to share his recipes on his Instagram during the pandemic. I baked the bacon instead and saved the egg whites for sandwiches. I mistakenly used a pot instead of a pan, so the sauce looked a bit thick. Still delicious.


Picture with Chef Ludo at Trois Mec in 2016.

Recipe Source: @chefludo https://www.instagram.com/p/B-7fRHgpX0C/
Ingredients:
360 grams Penne Pasta (approximately 4 cups)
4 egg yolks
8 slices of smoked bacon
160 grams grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (approximately 1 ½ cups)
touch of salt
touch of black pepper

Directions:
1. Slice bacon in to ½ inch pieces. Cook bacon until soft. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta.
2. Add 4 egg yolks in medium sauce pan.
3. Add ½ of the parmesan to egg yolks. Whisk together. Add remaining parmesan to yolk/cheese mixture whisk.
4. Drain bacon fat into egg/cheese mixture.
5. Warm egg/cheese/fat mixture over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in ½ cup of pasta water and fully incorporate.
6. Drain pasta. Add pasta to egg/cheese/fat mixture, stir in bacon, salt & pepper to taste and serve.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Sukiyaki Recipe ★★★

Easy Sukiyaki. Pre-boil vegetables (daikon, spinach, napa, mushrooms, corn starch noodles, etc.) in pot and drain. In a pan, brown onion. Add generous amount of soy sauce and water mixture (1-2 cups) in pan, bring to simmer. Add tofu, beef (or pork), drained vegetables, and spring onion. Whisk an egg for dipping sauce and eat with rice. Yum.


Japanese Corn Starch Noodles and Soy Sauce Base from Marukai Market

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mickey Chocolate Waffle Recipe ★★★

Chocolate Waffle for Breakfast. Used a mixer this time for smoother consistency. Can't be lazy. Cocoa powder is causing cracks tho. May try to use real chocolate chips next time. Best with fruits, cream cheese, and chocolate syrup.



Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
chocolate syrup

1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with beater until fluffy. Put in the rest of the ingredients and beat altogether.
2. Let the batter rest. Preheat waffle maker for 4-5 minutes.
3. Pour batter into waffle maker and heat for 3-4 minutes.
4. Serve with chocolate syrup on the side.