Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The First Dinner

Last night I attempted to cook dinner in the hotel room kitchen....
It was no easy feat.

Although after overcoming the obstacles of not enough counter space, annoyingly dull knives, and a very difficult to control electric stove, I was able to concoct a very decent meal from the treasures I acquired from the farmer's market that morning. Et voila, here are the results.

Fresh Linguine in Tomato Pancetta Sauce
accompanied by a Green Salad Dressed with Balsamic Vinegar

A pan full of freshly made al dente pasta mingling with a tomato sauce of browned pancetta, shallots, garlic, white wine, fresh Roma tomatoes, and tomato puree. FRESH pasta is ALWAYS better than dried pasta.

Paired with a nice little salad of local greens, a variety of baby tomatoes, a balsamic vinaigrette, AND the crowning touch---homemade herbs de provence croutons I made from a day old baguette! I think taste testing that first crunchy crouton was my proudest moment yet.

All this paired with a little glass of white wine and a Pellegrino and you've got a wonderful meal made from a few fresh ingredients in an absolutely TINY kitchen. :) Please be proud.

Hopefully this kitchen and I will continue to get along...

Farmer's Market

Being jet-lagged still, I woke up too early for class today. Luckily, it's a Tuesday--which means that there's a farmers market right down the street. It was amazing--with beautiful produce, fresh pasta, cheeses, charcuteries, seafood...anything a cook's heart desires. I am sure these will not be the last pictures of the farmers market that will end up on here.

The Farmer's Market

My Lunch

Monday, June 29, 2009

My First French Baguette

From the moment the yeasty scent of freshly baked bread first wafted towards my direction, my nose started leading the way. It took me down a tree-lined side street and into a cute little boulangerie. I contemplated a sandwich, a macaron, or a pain au chocolat but ultimately I was there for the baguette--and that was what I got. The nice French lady handed the baguette wrapped only in a tiny piece of parchment paper to me and to my utterly delighted surprise, it was still warm! Thoroughly excited, though too embarrassed to let it show--I didn't want to seem completely incompetent to the French--I pretty much skipped my way back to my hotel room with a long baguette in hand.

I had to restrain myself from breaking the perfectly golden crust before I made it back into my room, but when I did, it was amazing. The thin crispy crust easily gave way to the soft, tender, yeasty center. I devoured a piece with entire baguette still in hand before remembering the cute glass jar of Nutella I got this morning. Add a smear of nutty, chocolate-y Nutella and you've got heaven in a bite. sigh. I'm loving Paris.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

shopping is tiring...

good thing there's delicious snack'ums in the shopping malls!

Fried Pork Cutlet Sandwich
in the Breeze Center Mall, B2

it comes wrapped in a cute little plastic bag

a slice of slightly toasted white bread with the crust cut off--only on two sides!--filled with a piece of fried pork cutlet(pork katsu), thinly sliced onions, tomato, lettuce, and THREE different kind of sauces!

so japanese! oishii!


Knife-cut Noodles

wonderfully chewy short, thick noodles cut with a knife from a firm slab of dough into boiling water topped with a meat sauce made from pork, bean sprouts, and julienned cucumbers
mix it all together and YUM!

a pan-fried pancake-like delicacy with a juicy filling of beef and scallions

its delicious with a nice bowl of beef broth although the pancake itself is so juicy that when you take a bite, you have to catch the juices with a spoon but be careful--it's super hot! I know because I was so excited for it, I bit into it while it was still hot and the juice squirted out and almost burnt my lips.

yummy yummy yum yum

Friday, June 26, 2009


Just one more day in Taiwan and then I'm off to Paris. Although it's only been about a week, I've already made it to most of my favorite eats here--but only once, and most of them deserve a good two or three visits! Taiwan is as much about the food as anything else--and those who know me know I'm about the food more than anything else ;)

Initially, the plan was to start this blog as soon as I landed here so that I could document and share each delicious meal. However, I soon realized how difficult it was to refrain from taking a bite before taking a picture. Therefore, not every plate and every bite ended up being documented but here's a few...

Mitsui Japanese Restaurant
Mitsui Culinary Art Museum:No.108, Dun-Hua South Road Section 1, B1-1, Taipei City

sashimi appetizer...
We sat at the sushi bar and because we frequent this restaurant so much when we're in town, all the sushi chefs know us. Therefore, none of the following we actually "ordered." They just prepare whatever is freshest that day.

fish liver with fruit/yuzu vinegar dipping sauce...
one of my favorites

uni nigiri with pickled daikon

I don't remember the name of this fish but it was topped with a tomato gelee that was slightly sweet and sour. orgasm in my mouth

teka makki...
tuna roll--it's my brother's favorite. An entire roll usually comes with about six pieces and Kevin can down a good four rolls on top of everything else.

seba nigiri...
lightly seared with a hand held torch and topped with ginger and chives

some other fish whose name I dont remember...
also lightly seared

beef nigiri...
this was the most special piece of sushi from that night. It was about four thin slices of marbled beef--I want to say it was Kobe beef but I'm not entirely sure---sitting on top of sushi rice, lighty seared with the blow torch so that it is still nice and medium rare, topped with a special sauce and chives. It was absolutely divine--a nice slightly chewy texture from the rareness of the beef, a natural sweetness from the beef complemented by the sweet sauce and vinegared rice.

soft shell crab...
super juicy meat inside the super crispy shell destined for a hand roll

where the sushi chef worked his magic

So this is my first post...hopefully there will be more to come--in Taipei and Paris :)