Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spicy Ramen and J's Tofu Dumplings

We headed to Super H Mart and picked up a fresh, spicy ramen package. Adding in some cooked chicken, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and corn, this was nice. Of course I couldn't stop without doctoring it up a bit.
I added some kochujang (Korean chili-miso paste), sriracha sauce, hot chili flakes and some crushed Sichuan peppercorns for a little mala essence. If you're never tasted Sichuan peppercorns, you need to. Floral and spicy, with an indescribable essence, I love the Sichuan peppercorns we picked up from Penzey's. I reheated leftover homemade Korean tofu mandu made by my sweet friend J, and this was a fantastic quick dinner.

Post-Golf Lesson Lunch at Moby Dick

We worked up an appetite at our 3rd week of golf lessons. We headed nearby to Moby Dick for some freshly cooked Persian kabobs.
Super Combo #3 with spiced beef and lamb kabobs.
My husband loooves the lamb, and the spiced beef is really juicy and delicious.
Joo-jeh (chicken) kabobs on salad.
For me, the kabob on salad meal is the perfect amount of protein and vegetables.

Sloppy Pork Sliders

What do you bring to a party with 50% vegetarian yogis? Why pulled pork sliders of course?! I love cooking a picnic pork or pork shoulder in the crock pot for 10 hours. With the crock pot, you can add the pork with sliced onions and a little water, cook overnight and have fabulous cooked pork to pull with forks in the morning. Add in Ina Garten bbq sauce and this is ready for pulled pork sliders.
My husband dubbed these "sloppy pork sliders", akin to Sloppy Joe's with pulled pork. Add some fresh homemade pickled radish on a half of a potato hot dog roll, and this is party-ready.

Ina Garten BBQ Chicken

My friend was hosting a party on the weekend, and I offered to make a dish to go along with all of her delightful vegetarian dishes. I scoured the internet and found a great bbq sauce recipe by Ina Garten. The last time I made a slow-cooked pulled pork I copped out and used a store-bought bbq sauce. Reading the ingredients label, I really disliked seeing high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredient. I decided to try my hand at making my own sauce and it was so worth it. I used some to baste half a bbq-spiced chicken to try out my handiwork.
Bake the chicken in the oven for an hour total at 350F. 40 minutes in, I basted the chicken in the bbq sauce and let it finish cooking in the oven. Beautiful lacquer-looking bbq sauce on a super juicy chicken. Winner.

Viet House Chicken Pho

Last time we went to our neighborhood pho joint, I made the mistake of ordering a non-pho dish. I learned my lesson, not this time. I did venture further afield from my normal #15 with thin sliced top round beef.
White Meat Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) 
Pho-tastic. This or the dark meat chicken pho option would be perfect when you're battling a cold. Super satisfying and comforting with an Asian twist to the traditional chicken noodle soup.

Vidalia Bar Menu

I rarely leave work right at quitting time. However, a friend from grad school finished an interview early and met up with me at Vidalia's bar for a fun reunion with delicious bar food and drinks. His fiancee was able to meet us too, and it was great to catch up with them while trying out some fun bar snacks. You order from a paper menu by checking off the number of plates you want to try, and the nice chef behind the bar cooks up some fantastic bites.
BBQ pork slider with coleslaw
The enticing smell of warming bbq sauce pulls you in, and the size is perfect for a bar snack.
Pork terrine with spicy mustard and pickled okra.
Pimento cheese spread, highly recommended by the chef and worth ordering.
Deep-fried pork ear slider.
Crab on a hoecake
We tried almost all of the different dishes on the bar menu, and it was very cool to watch the chef behind the bar put things together right in front of us. The price isn't cheap, but it's totally worth it if you love food and a comfortable bar for good conversation. It's not generally the place I normally would head to, but the experience was good enough I would definitely go again.

Penzey's Chili 5000

We stopped in one of my favorite spice and herb stores, Penzey's in Falls Church. This place smells magical. Prices are not for the faint of heart, but the quality of the herbs and spices are worth the investment. We picked up the Chili 5000 spice blend.
Kidney beans, ground beef, green peppers, jalapeno, yellow bell pepper and onion mixed with the Chili 5000 spices, spicy red pepper flakes, garlic, extra paprika and sriracha sauce. Cooked then simmered for 2 hours, this was fantastic.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lotte Supermarket Food Corner

My husband's coworker believes the food corner at Lotte is better than Super H Mart's, so we had to give it a try. I like the produce and the general layout of Super H better, but she's right, the food options and execution at Lotte is much better with great prices.
 Udon and Gyudon (beef on rice) combination ($8.99)
 Hamul Jajambong (spicy seafood noodle soup) ($7.99)
 Kimchee Bokumbap (kimchee riced rice) ($7.99)
Next time, I'm going to order one of their bentos, which looked fantastic. Tons of food for a really reasonable price. There's also sushi, Japanese dishes, Korean dishes and Chinese-Korean options.

Vit Goel Lighthouse Tofu Restaurant

When the temperatures hit 105F, it's time for some soon dubu. We headed over to Lighthouse in Annandale and had a great early dinner.
 Fresh and tasty pan chan with Cass beer and soju.
 Small hamul pajeon (seafood pancake)
In my opinion, Lighthouse has one of the best pajeon. 
I love it, with its nice crispy crust and good proportion of seafood to scallions.
#1 Mushroom Soon Dubu Spicy

Here comes the sun...

Beautiful sunflowers from a beautiful friend.

Sakura in Fair Oaks

My husband loooves the hibachi table restaurants, which help him reminisce his childhood in Columbus, GA. I'm not as big of a fan, but mostly because it's too salty. Once in a while, we indulge his craving. After heading to a golf shop to get kitted out with some hot weather-appropriate golf clothes for our upcoming golf lessons, we went to a late dinner at nearby Sakura.
 Cold Sapporo and salty osuimono soup.
 Hibachi chef cooking the vegetables for the fried rice.
 Prepping for the onion volcano.
 Add the second liquid.
 Onion Volcano! 
 Cooking mushrooms and shrimp.
 Fried rice and cooking seafood.
 Shrimp and lobster finishing up on the grill.
Shrimp and ribeye steak hibachi dinner.
Soooo super salty, I fell almost immediately in a salt coma. The theatrics of the hibachi chef were well-done without being super over the top. 


Craving onion rings, we headed after work to BGR, which has a great version. We haven't gone here in awhile, but it's a great occasional diet buster. 
 Standard bacon Swiss cheese burger with lettuce and tomato, this was super juicy.
Husband went with the same burger with sliced onions and fries.

Viet House in Alexandria

We headed over to our local pho joint on the 4th of July for a quick lunch. After the derecho storm, so many stores had lost power so we skipped our normal grocery store run over the weekend. After lunch we had to pick up some groceries for the rest of the week.
 Summer Rolls
Bucking my regular #15 pho order, I tried the pork with fried vegetable spring roll, cucumbers, carrots and sliced lemongrass chicken. This was way too much food for me, I should have stuck with my pho, but good.
 Lemongrass pork
Great combination with a small bowl of pho broth.

Dickson Wine Bar

At the suggestion of the effervescent Ms. K, we headed up to U Street after Pearl Dive Oyster Bar to Dodge City for sausages. Unfortunately we arrived 30 minutes before they opened for the night. Instead we wandered next door to Dickson Wine Bar. I haven't been back in a while, but it's a relaxing and cute wine bar. Apparently there's a new chef at Dickson, a low point were the spicy marcona almonds but the rest of the small plates were good.
A bit tart from citrus, great with wine.
Hard to mess up, these were great with a nice spicy flavor.
 Hummus with warm pita triangles.
Waitress-recommended bbq chicken flatbread.
Great smoky flavor from the bbq sauce with fresh, bright flavors from the cilantro and carrots.
Great evening with the ladies, and fortunately my sweet husband arrived with our chariot to drive us home.

Pearl Dive Oyster Bar Happy Hour

The day before the July 4th holiday we got an early release from work. With an early release, I was able to try out Pearl Dive Oyster Bar's 4 pm happy hour start with some lovely ladies. We ordered a variety of happy hour menu items and the $5 wine special. 
 2-for-1 Oysters
 Delightful steamed mussels
Shrimp Po'Boy with fries
We were really lucky to make it to PDOB right at the opening time for happy hour, and snagged four stool seats. Space at the bar becomes a premium, as other guests arrive and squeeze into the small bar area. With 100F weather, the a/c struggled to keep the bar area cool. The bartenders did a great job at serving everyone efficiently and politely. The oysters were great, but my favorite was the super savory mussels.