A Fantastic Week!

Go Southbayfood.com!

Go Southbayfood.com!

This week has been crazy, but rewarding!  Today is Easter, and this week was my Spring Break, not to mention three articles were published about our own southbayfood.com!  Talented reporter Stephanie Cary (@stephiecary) interviewed me about my blog and wrote an astounding article about my culinary love and my likes and dislikes in the kitchen.  Congratulations to Stephanie on her article being printed in both The Daily Breeze and The Beach Reporter (as well as online with several newspapers partnered with The Daily Breeze)!

Thanks to The Daily Breeze for the great picture!

Thanks to The Daily Breeze for the great picture!

Also, Grub Street LA’s blog posted a piece about young chefs elevating, and southbayfood.com was a big part of it.  They were very supportive of kids’ talents, but just so you know, I’m no professional chef.  I’m just a girl who is still learning and following her interests.  Thank you, Grub Street Los Angeles!

I haven’t done much for Spring Break, but here is the news flash on Easter 2013 …

 

 

Happy Easter!

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Our Creative Creation

Our Creative Creation

“Perfect!” my dad smiled proudly, as I placed the last decoration upon our watermelon Easter egg basket.  We had just hauled every last bit of watermelon from the rind.  We filled the watermelon three-fourths the way full with fake grass, and then I carefully placed our polychromatic Easter eggs in the basket.

What you need:

  • One watermelon (pick a size that will fit your contents), or other melon
  • A melon baller or a scoop
  • Paper towels or fake grass to cushion the eggs (or whatever your basket will contain)
  • Easter eggs, refreshments or whatever else you will stash in your basket
The delightful by-product of our creation was a boatload of melon balls.  We might do something artistic with them before devouring the sweetness, but most likely, they will just end up in our mouths in about 2.5 seconds!
Merry Easter! ;)

Merry Easter! 😉

 

Happy Easter and Spring, and have a great day!

An Unbeatable Breakfast

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

One crucial concept you must know to cook:  “Mise en place,” a useful phrase meaning “everything in place or set up.” Every chef who excels must know how to set up, and how to clean up.

Remind yourself of “mise en place” every time before you cook.  Why use this important phrase?  Later, you will not be running all over the kitchen in order to find what you need.  Second, you will make sure you actually have every ingredient before cooking.  Running out of stock when you are creating a dish would never be a good thing.  So, I suggest that you use “miss en place” whenever you are in the kitchen.

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Sharing My Ideas With the World

Sharing My Ideas With the World

This morning, I decided to make Mini-German Pancakes for our family breakfast.  I thought it would be nice to make breakfast without any help, so no one else would have to work for a delicious breakfast.  (Dad sat this one out!)  German pancakes are “a mildly sweet pancake, oven-cooked in a skillet until brown and puffy.”  I personally prefer them with fresh fruit or a good-quality fruit syrup, like our unique Blackberry Patch “Whole Blackberry Syrup” or “Peach Cobbler Syrup” from Belgian Waffle Works in Lake Arrowhead.  I enjoy these delicacies with my dad’s tasty sauteed cinnamon apples.  So, let’s see what’s on our menu today …

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Mise En Place

Mise En Place

Step 1:  “Mise en Place.”

  1. First, lay out your recipe (ours being Bobby Flay’s Mini-German Pancake recipe) in your workspace.  Also, read through your recipe carefully to make sure you have the ingredients, the right quantity, and it is in your time range.
  2. Second, preheat the oven.  For this recipe, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Next, once you are positive you are capable of cooking the dish, lay out all of the ingredients, including refrigerated items.
  4. In addition, get yourself ready:  Get your hair out of the way, roll up your sleeves, and make sure to wash your hands.  Now, you are ready.

Step 2:  Follow your recipe.

Blending it Up

Blending it Up

Bobby Flay’s Mini-German Pancakes

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we used Mexican vanilla and we might have put a bit too much — totally on accident!)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (we did not include orange zest, but feel free to try it and comment about how it works out)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we used Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Salt)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Powdered sugar to sprinkle

Directions:

  1. Pour O Pour the Pancake Batter

    Pour O Pour the Pancake Batter

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Blend eggs in a blender until smooth and frothy.
  3. Then add milk, sugar, vanilla, and zest (optional).  Blend again to smooth.
  4. Add the flour, butter, and salt, and blend for about one minute.
  5. Spray muffin tins well with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Pour batter into each muffin tin, filling about three-quarters full.
  7. Bake until golden and puffy on top, about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove and let sit on baking rack or stovetop for a few minutes.
  9. Remove the individual pancakes to a platter.
Bon Appetit!

Bon Appetit!

Serve with syrups, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Enjoy!  I personally make a deep cut into my German pancake and let all of my syrups pour out.  While I am eating, I dip pieces of my pancake into the dripping syrup.

 

 

Heaven

Heaven

Notice:  Beware!  Almost immediately after these delights are taken from the warm oven, they start to collapse.  Eat them quickly and enjoy every last bite, because they are not transportable.

Overall, I had a blast making our Mini-German Pancakes!!  I think everyone else enjoyed eating them as much as I did.  Tabitha and I each ate five! Unfortunately, Mom was out, so she could not try our dish, so that meant more for us!  It was certainly a great feeling to call Tabitha down for breakfast and tell her that I made German pancakes.  She said “Thank You” so nicely!

Thank you, Bobby Flay, Tabs, and Dad!  See you next time at Southbayfood.com!

How Does This Birthday Dinner Sound to You?

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”  -James Beard

Just Getting Started

On January 21, my 11th birthday, I decided to go to MB Post for dinner.  As my early readers remember, I toured this restaurant at cooking camp, and I have been inspired to eat there ever since.  There was only one way to make it better, and it happened:  My grandma flew out to our house and surprised me on my birthday!  So, she joined my friend Angie, Dad and I on my birthday dinner experience.

MB Post is a unique restaurant in many ways, including seasonal harvest changes to the menu, the chef’s instinct of the day, and its family-style seating.  But something that stood out to me was the one-of-a-kind decor.  The entire restaurant is themed like a post office, because that is what MB Post’s building used to hold.

I think it is important to write about MB Post because it is “all the hype” in the South Bay right now.  As my dad said, “David LaFevre (MB Post’s chef) is practically a legend.”  So stay tuned for an extra special birthday post.  Let the culinary adventure begin…

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I walked into MB Post with high expectations.  I knew this place was great.  Legendary.  Unbelievable.  But what I didn’t know was that I would leave far more satisfied than I expected.

Thank You!

Our server hand-delivered an envelope addressed to us, containing the evening’s menu, which had “Happy Birthday” written across the top.  As we scanned through a menu like I have never seen before, they were already on my good side.  MB Post serves only small plates, so we could order many different dishes to try.

Yum, yum, yum!

 

 

First Parcel of the Night:  Bacon Biscuits.  I saw it on the menu and it screamed out my name!  Angie was with me – we just had to get them, so we did.  Our bacon biscuits were obviously concocted by an accomplished baker.  The biscuits were crunchy but flaky, melting but solid, with a perfect balance of all pastry textures.  The bacon was cooked to a crispy, dissolving state, and worked in unison with the crunchy dough to create what was probably the best biscuit I have ever had.

Heaven Times A Million

Next on the list was the Salumi Cutting Board.  A wooden cutting board supporting piles of cheese and cured meats, this was perhaps the most impressive selection of meats I have ever laid eyes on.  Cabacero, also known as “Literally The World’s Best Pork!”, was “literally” unbelievable.  Served like salami, it surprised me the way it was prepared, but I loved it anyway.  It was not too fatty, but was still moist and well-loved at our table.

We also ordered Speck on our Salumi Cutting Board, which was prepared with a little bit more fat than some other cured meats.  In my opinion, it truly tasted like heaven.  Cold and smooth, it melted in my mouth and brought immense joy to my taste buds.  I would definitely suggest the Speck — and the entire cutting board — from MB Post.

Also for our cutting board, I chose a delicious cheese called Challerhocker.  It was on verge of SHARP, but that is how I like it!  It wasn’t too firm, but it wasn’t creamy either.  I enjoyed it, and it was a good choice.  Also, on the side of the cutting board was a cup of pickled grapes and selection of luscious honey.  I wasn’t so sure about the pickled  grapes, but I tried them and fell in love.  I guess it was an acquired taste, one that I enjoyed though.  I was so sad when the cup was through, and I would suggest to you to try the pickled grapes if you order a cutting board.

The honey assortment was excellent.  There was chestnut honey, truffle honey, and honeycomb, and it ALL blew me away.  Who knew honey could be so darn delicious?

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Shrimp Starter

Next we drifted into the real dinner course.  We started by ordering Thai Marinated Shrimp Ceviche.  The shrimp were, unfortunately, lacking much flavor, but the acidity of the limes made up for most of that.  It was not the best ceviche I have ever had, but it was not bad either.  I cannot say I would order this item again, but I would not disapprove of it either.

Scrumptious Scallops

 

The Diver Scallops, on the other hand, were incredible.  The seared goodness was placed directly in front of me, as if they were intentionally meant to be.  The scallops had a perfect crust, and they were moist and well-seasoned.  I hate scallops that are seared to perfection, but tasteless or fishy inside.  This, however, was not the case at MB Post.  They were rather large, but I ate my share gladly.  The cabbage and bacon butter on the side were tasty and approved of.

Our Veggie Delight

Next, Romanesco took flight to our table, or “Broccoflower,” as they called it.  I practically shoveled it in my mouth, savoring each splendid bite.  The Broccoflower was perfectly cooked, well-seasoned, and about as good as veggies can get!  Yum, yum.  The Broccoflower definitely earned our stamp of approval!

 

Luscious Linguini

 

Then we had the sausage linguini.  it was delicious in every way possible, and the sausages’ kick flavored the entire concoction.  It was not unbelievable, but nonetheless enjoyable and always welcome in my stomach!

Ready for some mussels?  Angie and I ordered the steamed mussels, with green curry, Chinese sausage, and coriander rice.  They were perfectly cooked and the chef who created these obviously had some good taste and contrasting flavors.  The mussels were exceptional in combination with the bacon, and I would definitely order it again.

Saucy! Saucy!

Last for the dinner course were the pork ribs, smothered in a pungent mahogany sauce.  These were pretty good ribs, but could definitely be beaten.  I was not head-over-heels for this entree, but it was not bad.

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NOW … for dessert!  We ordered panna cotta and “The Elvis”.   “The Elvis” is “a wonderful mess of chocolate pudding, peanut butter mousse, and bacon brittle,” as described on the menu.  It was wonderful, yet it was a bit too rich for me.  Me, can you believe it?!?  (Thank you to MB Post, for making this dessert their birthday present to me.)

Music in My Mouth

The chocolate pudding was like taking a bite out of heaven.  Just perfect.  But the heavenly chocolate, luscious thick peanut butter mousse, and crunchy bacon brittle were a little too much.  Individually, they were all amazing flavors, but together they overpowered each other.  Overall, it was a so-so dessert, but filled with spectacular flavors.

The panna cotta was really good.  It was the first time I had ever tried panna cotta.  The fruit was sweet, and the cream was a bit tart.  They matched together, and it was a unique flavor that my taste buds had not yet been introduced to.  When they finally met, my taste buds were pleased, but I don’t think they will be meeting again very soon.

Our Destination

Overall, my experience at MB Post was exceptional, fantastic, and very memorable.  Thank you so much to Angie, Dad, and Grandma for such a great night!

Go MB Post!

 

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MB Post

1142 Manhattan Avenue

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Tel:  (310) 545-5405

www.eatmbpost.com

Twitter:  @eatMBPost