Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bites at Dark and Delicious 2012

It was Dark and Delicious if you know what I mean. If you are thinking about Petite Sirah, tasty bites, Chocolates and alot of Pigs then we are on the same page. It's my first time going to this event and I loved it. The event was held at Rockwall winery in Alameda which is a beautiful event space with a great view of the San Francisco skyline. This is the perfect place for this celebration. You are surrounded by barrels of wine on an old airplane hangar. There was a lot of delicious food, mostly pork since the event was sponsored by the National Pork Board. There's a lot of chocolates too that goes well with the wines. If you can't get enough, you can get both pork and chocolate in one with the salted caramel bacon chocolate from Nosh this or Fraiche catering's Bacon brittle.

Dark and Delicious is a yearly event by PS I Love you. It's a celebration of 58 Petite Sirah wineries and delicious food to pair with it. The event is mainly to promote the wines and the local food purveyors. Most of food vendors were not familiar to me. There were a lot of catering companies and local Alameda restaurants during the event and most of them delivered great and exciting pork goodness.

Since I'm not really a wine enthusiast, I mainly took photos of the food. Here are the food memories:

Pig's candy from Fraiche catering


Poblano Braised Pork, Cumin scented Tortilla chips and Cilantro Gremolata from Fume Bistro and Bar

Venga Paella

Pork loin and pear from Angela's Bistro

Chicago BBQ riblets and chipotle coleslaw from Blue Heron

Seared Pork loin with chimmichurri from California Rose catering

Meatballs from Mary's Pizza shack. These are some tasty balls

C'era Una Volta's pork dish (It was salty for me)

Big Jim's Pulled Pork BBQ sliders

Another pulled pork dish

Bhel Puri from Savoy

Paella on a pastry dough from Paul's Paella

Bacon salted caramel from Nosh This

Lamb with mint sauce and eggplant puree from 9 catering

Sous Vide Pork Belly with Umeboshi Plum sauce and micro greens from Chef Tyler Stone

My Top Bites:
  1. Chef Tyler's Pork belly which was sous vide for 36 hours and then seared topped with plum sauce and microgreens. It was so tender like butter, well since it's basically 90% fat with that crispy skin was just sinfully good. I got 2 bites of that which is enough! :)
  2. Big Jim's Pork BBQ sliders were amazing. There was a bunch of pork sliders served and this was my favorite. It has the right smokiness and a good amount of pork and sauce in it.
  3. Venga Paella was very tasty. There was a couple of Paella dishes during the event. One was wrapped in some sort of pastry and the other was more straight forward which is the one I liked more. They were both good but Venga's Paella was tastier and seasoned perfectly. 
  4. Savoy's Bhel Puri was the most interesting dish I tasted that night. It was packed with flavor. It has a lot of spices with puffed rice, potatoes and beans and it was complemented by the wine they served with it.  

FYI: Petite Sirah is related to the True Syrah of Rhone Valley. Syrah is the father of Petite Sirah. Petite Sirah aka Durif arose as a seedling around 1880, in the experimental vineyard of Dr. Durif in Southern France. The seed that became Durif was the result of cross-pollination between old French grape called Peloursin and Syrah. Thus Petite Sirah shared half of its DNA with Syrah. Now you know! (from Carole Meredith, Professor Emerita, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis)

It was a very sinful yet amazing night. Sinful because I think my cholesterol got extra high that night from all the swine. I think I consumed a whole year's worth of pork but it's sooooo good I couldn't resist. It's so bad it's good. Not to mention the delicious wines. It was simply a Dark and Delicious night for sure. Thanks PS I Love you! Til next year!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Arroz Caldo - Perfect for the rainy weather!

Arroz Caldo also known as the Filipino rice porridge is my go to dish on a rainy night or day or just  for any occasion you want. I crave for this especially when I have colds which is usually once a month. If your parents want you to eat chicken noodle soup when your sick then this is the Filipino take on it.

This is a very simple recipe that involves the basic ingredients when cooking Filipino food. It has garlic, ginger, fish sauce and soy sauce. I fried some sliced garlic to top it together with some chopped chives. You can also add boiled eggs but I didn't add it on this recipe since I feel like there's so much chicken happening with the drumstick and stock. Crunchy Pork skin chicharrones would be a great topping too for that crunchy texture.

Here's what you need:

(L-R) shallots, ginger, chives, sliced garlic for frying and minced garlic

Most ingredients of this recipe are from Trader Joes. 

1 medium shallot minced
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. sliced ginger
6 pcs. Chicken drumstick
32 oz./ 4 cups Chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of Jasmine rice (rinsed)
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin then fried until crispy (optional)
bunch of chopped chives

Here's how you do it:

1. Pat dry the chicken drumsticks with a paper towel. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put a little olive oil on a large pot on medium to high heat and fry the chickens until brown. This will take about 10 minutes. Make sure the oil is hot before putting the chicken. Oil might splatter so be careful. Set aside on a plate.

2. Using the same pot, fry the garlic, shallots and ginger for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Make sure to scrape those brown bits on the pot from the chicken. That's some great flavor! :)

3. Add the rice and mix for about 2 minutes to absorb the flavors. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Once boiling, place the chicken back to the pot with all the drippings from the plate. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes. What I usually do is to cover the pot for about 15 minutes. Then simmer it uncovered making sure to mix it every once in a while so that the rice won't stick at the bottom. On the 20 minute mark, add 2 cups of water and mix. Add another cup of water until the desired texture is thick but soupy like a rice porridge. I added a total of 4 cups on mine.

5. Add fish sauce and soy sauce. Mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. To serve it, put the rice porridge in a bowl, top it off with chopped chives and fried garlic. You can even add some chicharon. Squeeze some lemon before serving. Enjoy!

This is a great make ahead recipe that will last 3-5 days refrigerated on an air tight container. When reheating, microwave the chicken and the porridge separately. Put some porridge in a bowl and add about 2 tbsp. of water. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Mix it well, put the chicken on a plate and microwave for a minute. Put the chicken and the porridge together and add your toppings.

Any variations/suggestions? Please comment below. I'd love to hear them! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bites at Golden Glass 2012

This is the 8th Annual Golden Glass event. I've been to a couple of Golden Glass events and I really enjoy going every time. I'm not an expert wine drinker but I do enjoy it. Unlike most of the attendees that just spits the wine after tasting, I actually drank most of the wine I had. Not sure if that's a good idea but I feel like I don't want to waste any of it. The wines on this event are a combination of local and international wines. This is definitely a wine lovers' event. This is a great opportunity to know the stories about the winemakers since you get a chance to talk to them face to face. For me, as much as I appreciate wine, I was there for the food. I got to taste almost everything and enjoyed most of it.



Here's the link of their vimeo 30 second spot:

Here are the food shots..

Tuna Conserva from A16

Mortadella - A16

Leeks on a puff pastry from Farina

Pastries from Farina

Pesto from Farina

Agnolotti di Lidia - Pasta stuffed with veal, pork and spinach in a veal reduction - Ristobar

Gingered soft tofu from Izakaya Yuzuki 

mini pizza/ pizzetta - Ca'Momi

Beignet - Ca'Momi

Gott's with a smile

Ahi tuna cracker from Gott's

One of my favorites

Pasta Porcini truffle - E' Tutto Qua, another favorite

Harissa smoked BBQ pork - Wo Hing General store

Salpicon - Calamari, cod, orange and olives from Thistry Bear
Team Acquerello

Most beautiful dish of the day. Smoked salmon, horseradish cream, olives and blood orange from Acquerello

Butcher Brothers

Prepping the Porchetta

Porchetta bite from Butcher Brothers

Trio of sandwiches. Bollito Misto. Cotechino, Beef tongue and tripe from Delfina

My best bites were the Porcini pasta and truffle from E' Tutto Qua, Wo Hing's BBQ pork and Gott's Ahi tuna. I love Truffle so I was really enjoying the Porcini dish. Wo Hing's ribs were surprisingly delicious. It was very tender, smoky and has some great flavor. And Gott's dish really hits the spot especially since I love their Ahi Tuna burger. Everything else were really great. the Porchetta was on the salty side for me but other than that my belly was pretty satisfied. Again, another successful food and wine event and I can't wait to check out more of these events this year.