Tupperware Tuesday: Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Tupperware Tuesday, a real look at the food I make each week. No fancy cameras, no lightbox contraption, no perfect angles. Just what’s for lunch.


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Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2013.

I substituted chicken breast for chicken thighs since I’m really not a big fan of dark meat. I don’t mind it so much if it was fried, but then again, practically anything is good fried! This was the first recipe I made with lemongrass that didn’t involve broth. I was kind of clueless about what to do with the lemongrass, but that’s what YouTube is for! amiright???

Unless you want a big block of rice noodles in your tupperware, I would recommend vermicelli noodles. However, if you’re making this recipe for dinner then I would serve with thicker noodles.

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I eat: UMAMIcatessen

I’ve been craving burgers lately. Like, a lot. Apparently, eating In-N-Out on the weekends while watching playoff hockey has not been enough. I NEED MOREEEE BURGERS!!! So on one of my off Fridays, Henry and I headed to DLTA to try UMAMIcatessen, a food-court-esque eatery, which houses UMAMI Burger (yes, I’m totally stating the obvious :P). Having never eaten at UMAMI, we both wanted to see if the burgers were worth all the hype.

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As we looked over the menu, we knew we had to try their signature burger, the Umami Burger. Choosing our 2nd burger was tough. We were interested in both the Manly and Hatch Burgers. This was a battle of bacon vs. chiles, which we both LOVE, but ultimately, bacon won, as it usually always does. Always.

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Umami Burger, $11
shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, umami ketchup

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Manly Burger, $11
beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings, bacon lardons

We ordered the burgers medium rare, as suggested by our waiter, but when we split the burgers, the patties looked more like medium, almost medium-well. I couldn’t really complain because the burgers were actually incredibly tender and juicy.

To my surprise, I liked the Manly burger a lot more than the Umami. Simply put, the Manly is a high end, refined version of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I really enjoyed the combination of smoky + sweet and the contrast in texture provided by the fried onion. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the Umami Burger. The flavors just didn’t mesh well and I did not care for the roasted tomato or the Umami ketchup. Am I only one??!! I’ve read many reviews raving about the ketchup.

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Smushed Potatoes, $4.50
dutch yellow creamers, double fried

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Crispy Pig Ears, $7
parsley, lemon, brainaise

In addition to the burgers, we also ordered two sides. If you love potatoes as much as I do, you must order the smushed potatoes. Starchy, salty goodness! And if you’ve never had pig ears and are feeling adventurous, I recommend the crispy pig ears; they’re a great alternative to fries.

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FG&J, $8
foie gras mousse, forest berry jam, peanut (yeast)

I gotta say, even though UMAMI is a burger joint, I was most excited about dessert. I love foie gras and I love doughnuts so the FG&J sounded amazing on paper. After a lengthy wait (longer than we waited for our burgers), I took one bite and was immediately turned off. My taste buds were so confused – the delicate flavor of the foie gras mixed with the tartness of the jam just didn’t make sense in my mouth. It was such a shame because the doughnut itself was quite good!

Verdict: 3.5/5
UMAMIcatessen
852 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

I eat: Bar + Kitchen

One of the benefits of working in Aerospace is the 9/80 schedule, which many companies are on. For those of you who don’t know, 9/80 = working 9 hours M-Th and 8 hours on alternating Fridays.

Yesterday was my off Friday. Yesterday was also the last day of dineLA.

On our day off, Henry and I braced ourselves for traffic and terrible parking as we ventured into DTLA for a dineLA lunch at Bar + Kitchen. I decided on lunch as opposed to dinner because I was more intrigued by the items on the lunch menu.

Bar + Kitchen is located in the lobby of the O Hotel. I found it interesting that there is no distinct separation between the lobby and the restaurant. The first level of the O Hotel truly epitomizes the open floor plan concept. Tables with half booth seating run along the side of the wall with the exception of a communal table (or table for a large party) situated behind the hotel’s front window.

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In addition to the dineLA menu, we also ordered mussels off of the regular Winter menu.

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PEI mussels fennel, saffron, tarragon aioli, grilled bread $9

The mussels were tender and I loved the spicy kick of the broth. Grilled bread with mussels is a must!!

Appetizers

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Crispy pork belly, pickled sunchokes, plum puree

Perfect execution! The pork belly was indeed crispy on the outside, but tender with the right amount of fattiness on the inside. I liked the play on sweet and sour from the plum puree and pickled sunchokes.

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Butternut squash & ginger soup, créme fraiche, spiced pepitas

Very comforting. Incorporating ginger into butternut squash soup never crossed my mind, but it really works! The ginger breaks up the sweetness of the butternut squash and adds depth of flavor. The spiced pepitas were a nice touch, providing a contrast in texture.

Entrées

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Shrimp & grits, spanish chorizo ragout

This was the dish I was most excited about, but it disappointed me. The ragout was so so so salty, even when mixed with the grits! If not for a heavy hand with the salt, this dish would have been great. At least they didn’t skimp on the shrimp (5).

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Mustard glazed kurobuta pork loin, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts

The pork loin was tender and the mustard glaze gave it amazing flavor. Note to self: must try to recreate this at home!

Desserts

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Warm chocolate & peanut butter cake, banana ice cream, peanut brittle

There wasn’t anything wrong with this dessert; it was just very ordinary.

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Butterscotch pot de créme, whipped cream, shortbread cookies

I preferred this over the chocolate/peanut butter cake because it light. My only complaint would be that the consistency of the custard was a little thicker than what I’m used to.

Given the short time frame of dineLA, my goal was to try two new restaurants.
Waterloo & City ✓
Bar + Kitchen ✓
Done! I’m very happy with my choices this time around. Best dineLA run so far!

Verdict: 3.5/5
Bar + Kitchen
O Hotel
819 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90017

I eat: Julienne

I actually wanted to try breakfast at Julienne, but it’s only served until 11:15AM on Saturdays. I couldn’t make it because I had a dentist appointment in the morning, but honestly, even though I love food, it’s a tough sell for me to wake up early on the weekends.

When we arrived, my first impression was… wow! Fancy, schmancy! Since it was a beautiful day, we chose a table outside.

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Our meal began with bread service. I really liked the Rosemary Currant bread. Henry, on the other hand, isn’t a big fan of rosemary so I basically finished his bread for him.

Since I looked at the online menu before we left the house, I was set on ordering the Sauteed Shrimp and Broccoli Curry with Steamed Rice. I was a little bummed when I found out that the menu posted on the website was Julienne’s winter menu and the curry was no longer available. However, there were a couple of other items that caught my eye. I couldn’t decide between the Tuscan Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Chutney, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach and the seasonal Fish Tacos so I asked our waiter for his recommendation. He said, without any hesitation, fish tacos.

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And they were SOOOO GOOD! The swordfish had a nice char, the citrus was refreshing and I absolutely LOVED the jalapeno aioli. It was definitely the best fish taco I’ve ever had! NO CONTEST!

Henry ordered the Roasted Lamb with Caramelized Onions, Avocado, Tomato, Basil Aioli on Pain Rustique. We were both expecting a hot sandwich, but it was cold.

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Although it was a good sandwich, I really couldn’t tell I was eating lamb. If you told me it was roast beef, I would have believed you. The best thing about the sandwich was the caramelized onions.

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The dessert menu was presented to us with a tray of desserts. Cute points!! We were sold on the Blueberry and Lemon Bread Pudding. It was served warm, drizzled with raspberry sauce and topped with whipped cream. Delish!

The only downside to this great meal was the bill. Two entrees, one dessert and one cup of coffee set us back $50. Julienne may not be my casual weekend brunch spot, but I’ll return when I feel like splurging 🙂

Verdict: 4/5
Julienne
2649 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108

I eat: Euro Pane Bakery

It’s such a struggle to decide where to eat on the weekends. We always end up at the usual suspects, ordering the same food. So when Henry reminded me that we still hadn’t tried Euro Pane Bakery, I welcomed the break from monotony and off we headed to Pasadena.

Parking turned out to be a breeze, which is more the exception than the norm. I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite the small size of the restaurant, there were tables available. I guess we came at the right time. After placing our order at the counter, we picked a table next to the storefront window to sit.

We started off with a cup of coffee and a lemon bar.

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Dessert first! It’s a way of life 🙂

Not to toot my own horn, but I like my lemon bars better. I thought the lemon filling was way too dense; it was almost as hard as the shortbread cookie crust!

Anyway, we didn’t have to wait too long for our food ~ only about 10 minutes or so. And good thing since we were starving.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE……

I present to you the infamous open-faced sandwich that was featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Served Cold”:

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Egg Salad Sandwich

I liked the sandwich! It was chunky, well seasoned and balanced, with just the right amount of mayo/mustard. The sun dried tomato pesto spread was a nice touch and added depth of flavor to an otherwise one dimensional egg salad.

If you read the reviews on Yelp, you’ll see mixed reviews regarding the Egg Salad Sandwich. I understand that people will have differing opinions, but some of the negative comments I’ve read about this sandwich are a bit ridiculous. Complaints include:

– not a real sandwich since there’s no piece of bread on top (UM, that’s why it’s described on the menu as being served open-faced)
– too much egg (UM, it’s an egg salad sandwich)
– difficult to hold in hand and eat (UM, it’s called a knife and fork)

The only reasonable thing to complain about is the price: $7.50 (w/o tax) is a steep. It’s interesting to note that the cost differential between the Egg Salad and the Salmon Sandwich below is only a $1.

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Salmon Sandwich

The Salmon Sandwich ain’t no Russ & Daughters bagel and lox, but it was still pretty good. Next time I would definitely choose another bread. In hindsight, brioche was an odd choice to pair with smoked salmon. My bad.

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Yea, that’s right. I couldn’t leave without some macaroons! I took home 2 sea salt caramel, 1 pistachio, 1 passion fruit and 1 mocha. My favorites were the passion fruit and mocha because they weren’t overly sweet. The macaroons were a little chewier than I’ve had before, but delicious nonetheless.

Verdict: 3.5/5
Euro Pane Bakery
950 E Colorado Blvd, Ste 107
Pasadena, CA 91106