Archive for January, 2009

I am the eggplant!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

So, we decided to make some eggplant pizza.  Our version is a far cry from Mama Mia’s, but it’s pretty good. 

I salted and rinsed the eggplant slices prior to crisping them up in a little olive oil.  I probably didn’t have to fry it, but I didn’t want it too mushy, or worse, spongy.  I grated some mozzarella and added some dried herbs.  We cheated a lot– sauce in a can and pre-made pizza crust from the co-op. 

Before 12 min at 450F

After:

On another night, we had some great steaks from the co-op as well.  Nacho prays for a spontaneous plate-disintegration. 

On the grill.

Charred outside, rare inside; the way we likey.

Also, Nina has really taken a liking to white truffle and cream of asparagus soup served with a dollop of herb chevre, see:

I kid; it’s rice paste. 

For no reason, here is a picture from the Strunz and Farah concert we attended at the Egg with our friends T&A.  (Who doesn’t like a little T&A?  Set to music, no less!) 

Also, it’s true; Albany, our dear friend, we are moving away from you.  We won’t ever forget you though. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2d2llB4oIQ

You Rang?

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

So we went from this…

to this…

…in one short plane ride.  No one likes it except Nacho.

When the mercury drops, Cati and I enjoy few things more than some core-warming soup.  Man, there is just something downright cozy about a bowl of steamy broth on a cold day.  We found two places here in Albany that scratch that itch quite well– CCK Chinese and Arirang Japanese, Korean, and Thai; both on Central Ave. 

CCK, or “if if what” as my wife calls it (get it? she’s Spanish– Ha, I kill me sometimes) is the real deal.  Great Chinese food is their forte, not English.  Check out the specials posted above the cash register; they are only in Chinese. 

Cati and I had some wonton soup, dumplings, fried tofu, and the braised yee mein with beef.  Cati’s favorite dish is the Buddha delight, but they were all out on our last visit. 

Celinabean has a far-superior post on this place here.

Arirang is a real find too.  I know that I have derided multi-ethnicity restaurants as being sub-par jacks-of-all-trades-masters-of-none, but we only stick to the Korean food when we go.  As for sushi, my palate is spoken for, thank you very much, and why would I want Koreans to make Thai food for me?  That’s like having a Greek chef make haggis– no thanks.  Maybe I’m guilty of restaurant racial-profiling, but I like the chefs that prepare my food to be of the nationality of the cuisine in which they specialize (or at least trained there for YEARS).  Even then, it’s still no guarantee that the food will be any good.  It’s just a stereotyping tool I use to save time.  [wink]  Am I just a food-bigot or does anyone agree with me on this one?  Anyone?  [crickets chirping]

I digress, back to Arirang.  The (Korean) food there is quite good.  Have a look at the dumpling soup and seafood stew Cati and I had on our last visit.  The soups were so warm and flavorful we were reeling.  Plus my soup was so spicy, I was super content.  And who doesn’t love those little Korean plates of kim chee, potatoes, and fish cake…mmmm.  I have to be quicker with the camera if I want to get photos of the appetizers.  The dumplings lasted for 0.43 seconds. 

I had their tasty bibimbap on a previous visit.

Celinabean scooped me on this place too (see here)…and naturally, she did a better job.  “Drats, foiled again!”

Here’s an enjoyable Stones’ video circa 1978 (you didn’t post this, Celina– so there!!):

Look, even Nina likes the video…”yep!”