Tuesday, December 13, 2011


FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: EASY DUCK BREAST WITH CHERRY SAUCE: I love duck - in many ways. This recipe is simple enough to do even after a hard day's work and even fit to serve to guests. INGREDIENTS:...


I love duck - in many ways.  This recipe is simple enough to do even after a hard day's work and even fit to serve to guests.

1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup dried cherries
2 pieces duck breast
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 TB Demi-Glace (demi glaze by D'Artagnan) (can find through Amazon)
1TB butter

In a bowl, measure about 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/3 cup of dried cherries. Soak for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, take 2 pieces of duck breast.  Slit the skin side diagonally across about 3/4 inch apart.  Repeat going the other way across over the other slit.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat frying pan to medium high and add duck, skin side down to cook for 10 minutes.  Fat will be rendered.  Turn duck over and cook for another 8 minutes.

Remove duck and pour off fat leaving 1 Tablespoon in pan.  Return pan back on stove and pour the white wine and soaked cherries in the pan.  Simmer till alcohol reduces in half.  Then add 1/4 cup chicken broth and half Tablespoon of French concentrated Demi-Glace (demi-glaze).  When all is incorporated, add 1 TB of butter.  See glaze sauce preparation below:

*Do not overcook. Duck meat must be pink when sliced.  You will ruin this dish if you overcook it fully.


You may serve this dish either with red, black or wild rice.  It also goes well with garlic mashed potatoes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: NEW WORLD MALL: Although we have a big Chinatown in Manhattan, last weekend, I decided to explore Flushing Queens, New York, for its Chinatown; particularly...


Although we have a big Chinatown in Manhattan, last weekend, I decided to explore Flushing Queens, New York, for its Chinatown; particularly the New World Mall.  I was happy to discover that it was very close to the last stop of the #7 train.  A friend of ours had talked it up so I was curious to see it for myself.  I was in for a great surprise!  As soon as I stepped in the mall, I felt as though I was suddenly beamed down into another world!

The mall has three floors and a basement with a big food court.  I was transported into Asia (mostly China) with restaurants galore.  Except for the 2nd floor, the entire building including the basement, was dedicated to food!  A foodie's heaven. (NOTE:  I have a quick recipe below)

Our first stop at this food court to try was the grill place below. It's easier to remember it as Food Stall #16.  It's where we had the sticks of various foods of your choice for $1/stick.  (Unbelievable for New York City)They came in a variety of seafood, beef, chicken or lamb and vegetables.

The stall for grilled foods in a stick  (easier to remember as #16)
I selected skewered shrimp, seasoned lamb, stuffed long thin peppers with seasoned pork, and wrapped cilantro.  They were all very well seasoned with Xian type condiments.  The taste reminded me of Szechuan food I had in Xian, China except that these were grilled.

Above is how my skewered meats were ready to eat!
At New World Mall, some of the shops make their own noodles and buns.  Below are some of the videos I took:  This one was Tianjin Foods where we ordered the bun with chives and pork.  Watch her make it!

First, the man above made the noodle.  Then, she steps in to continue and stuff it.  Note:  She also tasted the filling before stuffing them in to make sure it tastes good!

 Above, she's preparing the dough to put the chive pork mixture  (bowl of greens on the left) into it.  It is then fried on an oiled oven skillet.

Bun with chives cut in half to show the filling.  You get 2 large buns for $5.  They are slightly crisp outside with very tasty filling.  The filling has been cooked ahead of time prior to stuffing it in the homemade dough.

Above, watch the man make the noodles.  It reminds me of a pizza maker except this looks like you need a lot more muscles and precise movement to make the noodles.  By his slamming and stretching, the dough splits in multiple strands to become noodles.

And he does it again and again!
Another interesting place was the Seafood bowls of food at Tian Fu.  One selects from an assortment of seafood to use from lobsters, cut up fat crabs, to tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables.  They sell the lobsters by the pound.  They cook it for you and serve it in a huge tin bowl.
 Also called Spicy Wok.

Seafood of your choice is placed in a bowl to be made into soup with Chinese condiments that again remind me of Szechuan or Hunan style cooking.  They serve the soup dish in a silver bowl as you see them on the left.  They are very big!

Then, we went over to the Taiwanese food stick stall.

Above is an assortment of food found at the Taiwanese food stall.

Notice how the signs are mostly in characters.  Although they have a menu board above, it is still pretty challenging to make one's mind a pick the food you want. It's really another world!  Fortunately, they all look good to eat.  Pointing at something may be the best way.  That's how I did it when I selected the foods to grill at the grill area #16.
After our meal, we went down to the main floor for some supermarket adventurous hunt.  Below, we found some geoduck clam.  This is more than a pound so it's actually a very good price.  They also had very fat crabs.  This is something you buy at their market to take home and cook yourself.

Above, I like the razor clams.  The recipe below is not a Chinese recipe but it's delicious!  It's what I did with the razor clams.
Olive oil
razor clams
sea salt
minced parsley

One can actually cook them with garlic and olive oil.  Then sprinkle it with minced parsley.  It's so delicious!  First, quickly blanche the razor clams; then, brush them well with olive oil mixed with minced garlic (or olive oil that has been soaked with garlic to get a strong garlic flavor). Open the razor and lay them shell up on a hot griddle.  You can put a large heavy pan on top to flatten the razor clams open.
Above was our dessert.  I selected the sesame paste and almond soup.  It was different but we liked it.
I hope that I've given you an idea of what you will see under one roof at The New World Mall at Flushing Queens.  If you're like me, I'm never contented to have the same thing to eat and go to all the time.  With over 7000 restaurants in New York City, and various openings and closings of restaurants, why would you go to the same place all the time??  That's what I like about this city.  It's always changing and things to try is endless.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is there arsenic in your rice? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Is there arsenic in your rice? MNN - Mother Nature Network

I usually buy Jasmine rice from Thailand or Japanese rice from Japan or sometimes from California. In Southeast Asia, only rice is usually grown in rice paddies so maybe it has much less arsenic in it. I don't recall seing pesticides as well. If it organic food, the soil must have been free from pesticides for 8 years prior to planting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pork Meatballs

With this economy, we have to be a bit more creative with less expensive cuts of meat and create something new and delicious.  Here's a take on what I think is a copy of what I ate somewhere.  I can usually guess what went in the food if it's "home cooking" kind of dish.  My family liked it; including my sister who usually does not like sandwiches.

1-1/2 lbs of ground pork (preferably without hormones nor anti-biotic)
1 to 1-1/2 slice of stale or fresh bread (grated for bread crumbs)
1/4-1/3 c milk to soak fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp Tommy Tana's Secret Thai seasoning or 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Thai Red pepper powder
1 tsp BBQ Rub seasoning of your choice
1 tsp smokey chili salt or salt and 1/2 tsp smoke flavoring
1/2 minced onion
1/2 sliced onion for caramelizing
Jelly Pepper of your choice
6 hot dog buns or 15-18 slider buns

FETA CHEESE PIMENTO: (You can make this in advance to set aside)
8 oz Greek feta cheese
4-5 Greek prepared marinated peppers
2 TB pepper paste
1 TB sour cream (optional - if too thick)

At Left:  Greek style red peppers I used for the pimento cheese. Below is a container of Feta cheese

To make the pimento, simply combine the feta cheese, Greek peppers and pepper paste in a food blender.  If too thick, you may add 1TB of sour cream.

Combine fresh bread crumbs with milk and wait a minute or so for bread to absorb the milk.  Add next 4 ingredients (Thai seasoning, pork rub, smokey chili salt or substitute, and the minced onion) and mix well.  Make balls.

Heat a grated griddle and cook the meat balls turning it on all sides in medium heat - about 5 minutes.  Set aside. 

Meanwhile, with a little olive oil in frying pan, fry the sliced onions to caramelize - about 10 minutes.  When finished, split the bread and toast open on griddle where the meatballs were cooked in; about 3 minutes.

Above, the hot dog buns split open to heat up and make grill marks and absorb some of the flavor from the pan.

On the right is the sliced onions being caramelized

To serve:  Spread one side of bun with feta cheese pimento.  Place 3 meatballs in a row (1 meat ball if using sliders).  Top it with 1 TB of pepper jelly and some caramelized onion.  Close bun and serve!!

Makes a good lunch, brunch or appetizers served in sliders.  Salad on the side for a healthy meal!
You can use any pepper jelly

The Greek-style marinated peppers came from Whole Foods as well as the Feta Cheese.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Every year, a large area of Union Square on 14th Street transposes into a festive Christmas market.  There are many little kiosks under the red and white striped chain of tents that sell many specialized goods from small vendors.  You will find a variety of things from neckties, jewelry, sweaters, arts and craft, and even food.  Yes, food!  As a foodie, I will cover the stores that specialize in foods that I tasted and saw at Union Square.

Imagine the picture above long enough to form a semi-half a circle in 4 rows of stores.
You are viewing only a quarter portion of the semi-half circle formation.

Robicelli's on the left, is one of the participants of the Christmas Market in Union Square.  They do distribute their cupcakes in other select stores.  Their cupcakes are delicious and moist because they are not made in mass production but by hand.  The cupcakes I bought this time was their creme bruleer and the chocolate cupcake with merlot.  Both were very moist and delicious.  Highly recommended! The creme brulee had caramelized crunch sugar on top of the frosting.

There are cookies for sale.

Still my favorite:  Wafels & Dinges is here again!
Below:  I ordered the liege wafel.  Liege wafel has caramelized sugar at the edges
and you can choose your topping.  I chose the dark rich chocolate.  Mmmmm!

Above:  The various waffles they have

This tea place was here last year too.  They used to have a shop at the Limelight building on 20th Street and Sixth Avenue.
  They carry reasonably priced glass tea pots and tea cups and of course various teas including the kind that blooms like a flower in your teapot.  This is best served in one of the see-through glass tea pots they sell.

They make awesome cookies.  I like the one they call garbage cookies.

Above:  Samples of the meatballs they prepare at Mighty Balls

PRETZEL shop!  A variety of choice.

Even coffee shops!

The Yoyo Dog sells dog cookies! I have to include dog food in this blog.  It's food!

Dogie treats from Yoyo Dog
Some of the vendors, both food and goods are also found at Bryant Park Christmas Holiday Market.  Most of the food vendors are not at Bryant Park nor at Central Park corner 59th Street.