Adsense

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix

I've been a member of FoodBuzz for a couple of years now and one of the benefits - besides the $17/month in ad revenue (click the banner ads - click click click!) - they send me products to try from time to time. 

Recently they sent me a free box of Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix - that's a mouthful! 


I had some chicken thighs and breasts in the freezer so I decided to try my hand at making some "chicken nuggets". 


It was pretty easy - you just cut the chicken up, throw the pieces in a ziploc bag with the pouch of seasoning and then fry them. I used a big stock pot and put 1/4-1/2" oil in the bottom of the pot - mainly so I would have a lid and dropped them in once the oil was bubbling. 


I really have never fried things like this before and it's a bit messy - every time you lift the lid - splatter splatter! But it wasn't difficult at all and thankfully I bought some cheap metal tongs at the flea market the weekend before! 

You don't want to put all the chicken in the pan at once - otherwise it won't really fry up - so I did it in three small "batches". The first two batches turned out better than the last - by the last the oil was a bit "used" and they came out a little darker.

I was surprised at the amount of flavor that the coating mix did have - I'm not a huge fan of ginger but it wasn't overwhelming. Overall - I'm not sure I would purchase this product - but I will definitely use the second pouch from the box.

I think I just don't fry things enough to really buy the product - but since it wasn't difficult - I would recommend it if you like homemade chicken nuggets. It's also recommended with fish - I'll likely use the second pouch for that to try it out.

The Kikkoman website also has recipes for the product as well.

And I made some acorn squash to go with the nuggets - I forget how much I love squash! My Dad made me eat every vegetable under the sun as a kid - so I love brussel sprouts and all that kinda stuff. My vege box from Green Bean Delivery a while back had a couple squash and what a refreshing change from corn & broccoli!

Thanks to FoodBuzz and Kikkoman for letting me try your new product!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jimmy G's GIVEAWAY!!!

Sometimes I am AMAZED by architects and designers...seriously - SHOCKED by what they can do. What does this have to do with food? One word: Wah-Mee

I'm not sure how many folks ever went to Wah-Mee Chinese downtown (near the Elm St Hustler) - but it was classic stinky Chinese. You would NEVER go there for the ambiance! I didn't care much for the food either...


But last fall the location re-opened as Jimmy G's and WOW the transformation is amazing! You still walk in at street level and head downstairs. It's all dark and red and very chic. The folks at Jimmy G's provided me a $50 gift card to visit their recently opened location. 


These were the beads next to our table. The tables are all in a big open room but you still feel cozy. More about the decor later, let's get to the food!

We started with fresh bread served with soft butter and olive oil. The bread was delicious of course - crusty outside and soft inside.

From the salad menu, we started with the hand pulled mozzarella salad with winter fruits and summer dried tomatoes ($9). This was so light and refreshing. The best part was one bite was a sun-dried tomato and then the next was fresh tomatoes! The other thing I enjoyed was that it's meant to be a portion for one - but when we said we were sharing it - they brought it out in 2 bowls - nice touch.

I was torn between a few items and asked our extremely knowledgeable server for his recommendation and he said to go for the Braised Moroccan Lamb Shank ($25). The "sticks" on top were made from red chili peppers (I think - it was some type of chili pepper). The liquid was a tomato-base and had a very unique flavor. The lamb was cooked beautifully of course. It's a very rich sauce and while I enjoyed it - I'm not sure I would order it again. The sauce has a lot of spices and I enjoyed it - but it's a very unique flavor.

As with a few other restaurants in town - you have to order your sides separately. We went for the Charcoal Grilled Asparagus ($8). Larry is a big fan of asparagus and when he likes a vegetable - we go for it! It was served in a brown butter with hazelnuts. We both enjoyed it and the portion size was plenty for the two of us to share.

Upon the server's recommendation we went with the Potatoes Aligot ($8) - it was described to us as the ultimate cheesy potatoes. It was made with Yukon Gold, Cantal Cheese and Creme Fraiche. While I liked this - I didn't love it. Larry thought it was too cheesy - I just thought it was a little thick and not a lot of flavor. Now granted - I ate them up and then took the leftovers home - but I would like to try their Mac & Cheese next time. 

Larry went for the Filet of Ribeye ($19). We know Jimmy is well-known for steaks after working with Jeff Ruby for years - so one of us had to try the steak! It LOOKED like a small portion - but it was about 3 inches thick and so delicious! Cooked to a medium-rare perfection. I was lucky enough to get a couple of bites and was very thankful to my husband for sharing! 

Jimmy came out and chatted with us as well - and he's awesome! It was so fun to have him just come out and chat us up about the restaurant, the decor and just life in general. He also mentioned that next time we come in we can just ask for him to make us something - and give him the leeway to just come up with something great - I already told Larry - that's what I want for my birthday! 

Jimmy also gave us a dessert of our choice for free and there was even something that was egg-free! It was a Fig Newton Chocolate Slice - that's not the name he had for it - but it's the best my memory can do. It was extremely rich and had little cookie chunks as well as fig nibbles in the chocolate. The nice thing was though - as rich as it was - it wasn't TOO much. We really enjoyed it - thanks Jimmy!

And finally back to the decor - here's the funky bar! How cool is that?! 

Why Should You Go? Well if you're looking for a special night on the town - this is definitely a contender! Jimmy made the point of saying he doesn't want to be thought of as "just a steakhouse" and it's not - there are apps, salads, seafood, steaks and much more. While everything wasn't perfection - everything was great and the points that weren't perfection - were more just my taste buds vs. someone else's. I completely enjoyed our night and can't wait to go back! 

And now - it's Giveaway Time!!! That's right Jimmy G's has given me a $50 gift card for one of you! Just leave a comment below about what you'd like to try from Jimmy's menu and you'll be entered to win! 

Thanks again to Jimmy G's for the gift certificate for me and you! 

Jimmy G's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food Hussy Recipe: Baked Seasoned Salmon

Sometimes I get food cravings - no - I'm not pregnant - I just want certain foods. Last week - it was salmon - I've been dying for salmon!

I got a bit over a pound at Meijer and was a bit shocked that the guy at the seafood counter had NEVER HAD SALMON! He asked me if it was good (no - I'm just spending $10 on something crappy) and I said YES YES YES - go home tonight and make some!

I decided to take my own advice and made mine. I was looking for a recipe that I could bake and that was EASY.


And after some googling - I found one of Food.com. This was great because I had all the ingredients and didn't have to do much! Woohoo!

I did use balsamic vinegar instead of cider vinegar because that's what was in the cupboard and I think I liked it better!!!!

I LOVED this recipe - it was tart (from the vinegar), lemony (from the lemon - duh) and buttery (from - you guessed it - the butter!).

This recipe is definitely going to be saved and made again and again in our house!



Baked Seasoned Salmon Ingredients
  • 1 lb salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  1. Arrange filets in a shallow baking dish.
  1. Mix together the remaining ingredients, & pour half of this mixture over the fish.
  1. Bake 20 minutes, basting with the remaining sauce.
  1. When done, sprinkle with paprika & chopped parsley, if desired.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese - wowza!

I've heard lots of peeps rave about Tom + Chee - I had only been once when it was on Fountain Square and wasn't too excited. So - I decided to give it another shot - and see their new physical location on Court Street. 

The menu is up on boards around you when you walk in and is pretty overwhelming. I know this is popular - but when your menu is this big - it's hard to make a decision when you're standing in line with impatient customers.

I was with a couple of friends and it was a week ago - so sadly I don't remember what this is. But Ryan was pretty happy with his lunch and I have to say - their Grilled Cheese side salad ($5 on it's own) looked awesome! So many veggies and chunks of grilled cheese groutons! You can't go wrong there!

Beth, my gluten-free friend was rebelling and going for the gluten with her sandwich (again - don't remember) and the tomato soup of the day. She also was happy. We were noting that the sandwiches are a bit greasy...

I decided to be a little crazy and go for the grilled macaroni & cheese grilled cheese - along with a cup of broccoli cheese soup. The macaroni & cheese grilled cheese is as decadent and rich as it sounds - it was good but heavy and a bit greasy (shocker). I'm not expecting health food - OBVIOUSLY - but all three of us felt the sandwiches were a little too greasy.

The soup was a huge standout! I'm not usually a fan of soups that don't have chunks in them - this was fairly pureed with little specs of broccoli throughout but it was DELICIOUS! I would go back for this soup for sure! And I might get that salad that looked so awesome!

Yes - looking at that again, I think my arteries are hardening as we speak.

Why Should You Go? Well - again - after a second try - I'm not a huge fan. It was fine - but probably not a place I would choose given the chance. The soup was really great and the salad was big! This location is also VERY busy during the lunch hour - so expect some awkward time giving people the stink eye so you can get a table.

Tom+Chee (Court St) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Finally! Camp Washington Chili

I cannot tell you how many times I have driven by this place and never gotten to go inside! Either we didn't have time or it was Sunday and they were closed - but FINALLY - I got to go to Camp Washington Chili!

It's got a very retro feel - which is definitely fun - and the owner was out clearing tables off the whole time we were there. It's nice to see an owner get involved and get his hands dirty!

We got an array of items between the three of us but definitely had to try some chili - first up were the chili cheese fries ($4). The fries were crispy, the chili was very dark and saucy and lots o' cheese!!!! I have to say - this first taste of the chili definitely makes it stand apart from Skyline & Gold Star. It's similar in texture but a different flavor. Beyond that, I'll leave it to the expert of Cincinnati!

Nicole got a tuna melt (which I can't seem to find on the online menu) - I thought it was pretty adventurous of her to try something like that! Must have been good because she finished it!

Larry got a BLT ($3.60) - he was in the mood for one - he enjoyed his as well. Nothing too much to go wrong here and he said it was a little dry but he had to get it sans mayo (allergies) - so he knew it would be.

Besides his BLT - he got a cheese coney ($1.30) - he just can't resist. It's practically another food group for him. I was allowed a bite and liked it!

For some reason, I wasn't in the mood for coneys - I needed some comfort food and got a grilled ham & cheese ($3.75). It was really good - quite salty - but I like salt. Nice and cheesy gooey!

Why Should You Go? If you haven't been - it's a really cool location - old diner feel. It's big, bright and open. I wouldn't say it's my favorite Chili Diner - but we liked everything and will definitely be back.


Camp Washington Chili on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pinterest Recipe: Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups

So like a lot of other folks on the planet right now - I'm addicted to Pinterest! I'm finding quite a few good recipes as well as some new Food Hussy readers! 

One of the recipes that has taken Pinterest by storm is the Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups - there are a few recipes out there - but I found one from The Little Birdie Blog

 First you mix together hash browns, salt, pepper, oil and shredded cheese...

Then pop them in a muffin tin about half full - this might work better if you had the "jumbo" muffin tins. Bake these for about 15 minutes to get them to start crisping.

While that was baking, I chopped up some leftover bacon & sausage from the weekend's breakfast.

After you take them out of the oven, crack an egg in each cup and top with meat, cheese, veges and anything else you want to throw in.

Then back in the oven for another 15 minutes and they're done! I had a couple while they were warm and then let the rest cool. After cooling I popped them out and put them in a ziploc bag in the fridge.

Here are a couple shots of them - they're sort of lumpy and floppy - but they taste delicious!


Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups

1 24 oz. bag of shredded hash browns
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs oil (I use olive oil)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
Bacon bits or 8=10 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
Eggs
Extra shredded cheddar
Muffin tin
  1. Take your bag of hash browns and mix in the salt, pepper, oil and 1/3 cup shredded cheese.
  2. Divide amongst the cups in your muffin tin, making sure to grease tin beforehand.
  3. Bake hash browns at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until toasty.
  4. Once they're finished, take them out and lower the temp of the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Crack an egg into each of the cups
  6. Top with bacon and a sprinkle of extra cheese
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes (or until the eggs are as firm as you like them).
  8. Slide a knife along the edges to remove from pan when cooled.
Birdie Notes:
  • I like to break the yolks in my eggs a bit once I put them into the hash brown cups
  • When I cheat on these, I use the Oscar Meyer Bacon pieces found in the "salad dressing" section of the grocery store. They're the closest thing to fresh bacon I can find, and all-natural. :)
  • You can also experiment with ham, sausage, and veggies to make them your own!
Food Hussy Notes:
  • I will scramble the eggs next time - I broke them like she recommended and they came out sort of like hardboiled eggs - which isn't a bad thing - but I want to see if I can get them a little fluffier. 
  • I added salsa before baking and it was a really fantastic addition - it added a little juiciness and lots of flavor! 
  • Have fun - add what you like and/or what you have in the fridge! 




Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Final Cut Class @ The EQ and a Giveaway for You!

Recently, the folks at Hollywood Casino contacted me and provided me two free seats to a cooking class at The Party Source and a giveaway for all of you! 

The Party Source has a ton of great classes that range from $15-$75. They have demonstrative and hands-on classes as well as tasting events. This one was " Hollywood Casino: A Taste of the Final Cut Steakhouse with Chef Clendon Springer" and cost $35/person:

Originally from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Chef Springer refined his craft at the Four Star, Four Diamond Cafe L'Europe and the Four Star Four Diamond Grill at the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach. At the Final Cut, Clendon strives to create dishes using seasonal products from the Midwest along with fabulous ingredients from worldwide purveyors, to create dishes that are alive with flavors and entice the palate. 

The menu for the night was Oysters Rockafeller (recipe only - they didn't make), Lobster Risotto, Braised Beef Short Ribs and Sauteed Fruit with Rum & Vanilla.

We started the night with fresh crusty bread, soft butter and a nice glass of white wine. I always like that the EQ provides the recipes printed out along with a pen so you can take notes throughout the class. The chefs always provide so many helpful tips!

The chef got started quickly and shared with us his Caribbean background and explained the menu for the night. I really enjoy classes at EQ because of the setup - we each had a great view of Chef Clendon as well as the screens above which gave a top-view of his cooking.

First up was the Lobster Risotto. Risotto is such a tricky dish and is often made incorrectly. One of the misconceptions is that its full of cream - Chef Clendon explained that isn't the case at all. The starchy/creaminess actually comes right from the arborio rice. As it cooks, it releases the starch that makes it creamy!

The biggest tip he passed on was that you cannot rush risotto! It was clear - that you need to plan some time for this dish. He did say if you're trying to save time when preparing for a dinner party, you can precook the rice (3/4 of the way) and then spread it out on a cooking sheet and refrigerate it until the next day. Then heat it back up with a little extra liquid and go from there.

We also got into an olive oil discussion and he suggested keeping your olive oil in the refrigerator so it doesn't go bad. Chef also gave us the differences between Virgin and Extra Virgin - he added that if you're cooking with the olive oil - you might as well use virgin because heating extra virgin lowers the quality. Save the extra virgin for salads, etc... (So many tips!!!)

Larry & I also got introduced to truffle oil! We had just seen the news item on 60 Minutes the night before about truffles (very interesting) - we wanted to jump up and ask if the truffles were from China (bad).  Chef passed around a bottle of truffle oil and it is POTENT - he said you would only use 5-6 drops in something (I guess so at $50/bottle).

One last risotto tip - if you have leftover risotto - fry it up like a potato cake!

(If you'd like this or any of the other recipes mentioned, post a comment with your email or dm me @foodhussy and I'll send them.)

Chef Clendon was very expressive - such a great teacher. And there's the shot of the Dutch oven I'm dying for! (Why can't I get a Le Creuset giveaway?)

As with any great Chef - he has a great team behind him. Folks from EQ and Final Cut were there as support staff as well. They are SO attentive to your needs - clearing plates and filling water better than 99% of restaurants in town!

Chef Clendon called this Braised Beef Short Ribs - I prefer "Heaven on a Plate". OMG - seriously - I'm dying for braised short ribs again - I could eat them every day!!! (Again - I'll give the recipes to anybody who wants them. It's just a lot of typing and makes this post 10 miles longer!)

One of the best lessons we learned was that you don't NEED recipes! He reiterated that once you learn the technique - you can make the dish your own. The technique for braising for example is to brown the meat - take it out; brown the veges - take them out, then cook the meat and veges in a liquid for a long long time on a low heat. That's it!

Here's an herb tip for you - you know when you buy the container of fresh sage (or whatever) at the store and there's enough for an army of people - just freeze the extra! It still holds the flavor and is far better than the dried stuff in a jar!

Braising meat also has a similarity to risotto - you can't rush it. Don't turn your meat/veges all the time while they're browning - just let them rest and let the heat do it's thang! He also said that you can braise in a short cooker (for those of us that are Dutch ovenless) - nice!

The last tip for this one was that it's almost better if you make it the day before - the flavors all get together and make magic. If this was any indication of that magic - yahoo!!!

Last up for the night was Sauteed Fruit with Rum & Vanilla. Larry was REALLY looking forward to this - he is always talking about how his grandma sauteed apples and such. This one was really delicious - he used nectarines, peaches and blueberries. The blueberries broke down and made the sugar sauce all blueberry-y - it was divine! 

For fruit tips - he mentioned using any firm fruit (pineapple, peaches, nectarines, apples, etc...) and said that you can use blackberries and raspberries but add them in after you take it off the heat or they'll break down too much. 

The gist of this was melt butter, add fruit and saute until it softens. Then add blueberries, sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean (the stuff inside the bean). Stir, add rum - cook a bit more. Take the pan off the heat and voila - magic! So delicious!!! 

Everybody left with full bellies and full brains! Chef Clendon taught us so much and I can't wait to visit Final Cut and taste more of his excellent cooking. 

And guess what? One of you will get to have dinner for two at Final Cut - up to $165!!! - for commenting on this blog! 

That's right - leave your comment about which dish you'd like to try the most along with your contact info and you're entered to win Dinner for Two! 

I have been to the Marquee Cafe and had their Mega Burger and that was quite a treat - so I can bet that this will also be a great experience for one of you. And hey - if you win - you can always take me as your date!!!! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yeah!!!! The Cursed Spot is Uncursed!!

Sometimes there's a business location that always fails and you can never figure out why. It seems like a great spot - the food isn't bad - but yet - FAILURE. Well there's a spot in East Hyde Park that has been just that. It's got a HUGE patio, great location and nothing works there. 

Hopefully - the curse is now broken!!!! Keystone recently opened on Erie and is doing gangbusters from what I can tell! I first had Keystone in Covington and loved it - so was really giddy when they were moving up to my neighborhood. Their brunch is FANTASTIC! 

Well - now that it was open - I had to tell some folks about it! My good friend Danielle lives just up the road so a group of us decided to go there for dinner one night. 

I was also told before I went to bring something home for the husband. I got him buffalo wings ($7.99) but had to try one and they were REALLY good. Not too spicy and very meaty. I would definitely get these again!

I went for the Black Sabbath ($8.99) with steak and mushrooms as my mac & cheese of choice for dinner. I always think it doesn't seem like much food when they bring it - and then halfway through I realize - wow - that's a lot of mac & cheese.

It's not your Kraft Mac & Cheese but it's also not the homemade kind my mom used to make (gak). It's creamy and very very very very cheesy - but also has flavor and bite to the noodles. I'm a fan.

I really have no recollection of what my friend got - but she liked the chips. The tables all have their house-made bbq sauce for them as well.

My other friend Karen got the Buffalo Chicken Salad ($9.99) and practically licked the plate clean. So I  think she liked it. :-)

Why Should You Go? I'm a big fan of Keystone - great food, great specials (1/2 price Mac & Cheese on Mondays, 1/2 price Quesadillas on Tuesdays) and a great patio (oh when is Spring here again?). The brunch is also fantastic (potato crisp thingy - TO DIE FOR!). And if you're not familiar with their Mac & Cheese/Quesadilla menus (linked above) - check them out - there are SO many selections - good stuff!  Yeah for Keystone in Hyde Park!!!!!

Keystone Bar & Grill (Hyde Park) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My New Neighborhood Diner

With our new-found neighborhood, there's a new diner up in the center of town that we have been wanting to try for sometime. We headed to Brotherton's one Sunday for a brunch of sorts. They don't really serve brunch - but I got breakfast and Larry got lunch - so BRUNCH! 

As always, I have to try the biscuits and gravy - this is a half-order. It was okay - not as good as Bluebird. I'm convinced some of these other folks don't use cream/milk in their gravy. It just tasted a little watery and too much pepper. 

I also got eggs, sausage and toast. Again - the sausage - not as good as Bluebird. It was fine but nothing to get too excited about.

Larry went for his traditional "first time in a diner" meal and got a steak hoagie. He also thought it was fine but nothing special.

Why Should You Go? It's pretty standard diner fare - and the staff is very friendly. It's ALWAYS busy - so I think the neighborhood loves it. There's another diner down the street that is always empty - so I think if you're in Mt. Healthy - you go to Brotherton's. It very much has that small-town feel - which we liked. I'm sure there is something there that will be my favorite - I just have to find it.

Brotherton's on Urbanspoon