Road Trip!!!

2 May

Havana Rumba LLC[1]Now that we have explored some wonderful restaurants in the tri-state area, how about venturing out a bit further?

Only two hours from Evansville, Louisville could easily be explored during a quick day or weekend trip.

There are three amazing restaurants I would recommend in Louisville.

The first is a Cuban restaurant called Havana Rumba. Besides being extremely tasty, the food at Havana Rumba must be pretty authentic as well because my Cuban friend put his stamp of approval on it. In fact, it is his favorite restaurant!

If you’re in the mood for a flavorful sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth tender meat, try the Cubano!

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Roppongi

22 Apr

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Roppongi Japanese Steak and Sushi is one of the newer restaurants in town.

Roppongi  literally means “six trees” and is a district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. This area is famous for its rich Roppongi Hills area and for its active night life.

According to Linda Negro’s article in the Courier and Press, this is the first restaurant that co-owners Sona Weeks, her husband Lee, and her brother Youngho Sun have opened.

Our meal began with soup and salad. Although the dressing was delicious, the salad itself was nothing special…just your basic iceburg lettuce with a few sparse shreds of carrot and cabbage.

The soup was not awesome, either. It was a thin broth with bits of mushroom and scallions.

While the warmth of the soup was nice on a cold evening, it had a slightly odd flavor that I had trouble identifying. It tasted a bit stale, like the soup had come out of a box instead of made fresh. Or like there were a lot of preservatives in the soup.

The main dish was much better. The teriyaki salmon was perfect: slightly crusty on the outside and tender on the inside.

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Must…Find…Food!!!

18 Apr

080922135227[1]So…you read one of my posts and your mouth started watering. “How can I get some of this food for myself?!?” you wondered.

Perhaps you have a hot date tonight and want to impress your sweetie with your cultural savvy and taste for fine cuisine.

Or maybe you’re at a loss as to what to cook for dinner tonight but don’t know where to get the ingredients for one of my recipes.

Or maybe you’re like me and love to throw a dinner party for friends.

Whatever the case, I don’t want you to end up looking like these ladies as you seek out some delicious international cuisine.

Thanks to technology, Google maps is here! For your convenience, I have mapped out all the local restaurants and markets that I have written about. It can’t get any easier than this…you don’t even have to Google the location yourself!

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Beyond the Potsticker – Jiaozi!

17 Apr

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When I was 20 (long, long ago), I taught English in Beijing for a summer. While I was there, one of my students invited me over one weekend and her family taught me how to make jiaozi.

My life has never been the same. 😉

Last week, I went to cook this dish for my friends Tim and Amy and their family. They lived in China for several years and these dumplings are still a family favorite.

A few years ago on Chinese New Year, we threw a giant jiaozi party at their house. There were at least 30 people there. Everyone helped wrap the jiaozi, and then we had a feast.

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Since then, every time I make jiaozi, I have to share some with their family. It just doesn’t feel right to keep all the jiaozi deliciousness to myself!

“Ooohhh, I’m so full,” Tim groaned. A few minutes later, he was snacking on another dumpling.

I was in the same boat. The little morsels are irresistible.

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An Ode to Herbs for Spring

11 Apr

basil-74219_640[1]This time of year, I get especially excited about planting a variety of herbs. There’s nothing like cooking with fresh herbs from your garden!

Last year I enjoyed fresh sweet mint, basil, and rosemary throughout the summer and fall. This year, I am thinking about adding cilantro, parsley, and thyme to my herb family.

I remember one late summer day last year when I picked an entire large bowl full of basil, my absolute favorite fresh herb. Heavenly.

I especially enjoy turning fresh basil into pesto. The following is a great recipe from my friend Jan Secrest. She and her husband have a little greenhouse in their backyard where they grow a variety of plants and herbs.

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Kanpai and Chuck Norris

9 Apr

Kanpai Sushi and Asian Bistro has long been my favorite restaurant here in Evansville to get my sushi fix.

048I was delighted when Kathryn Russell, assistant manager at Kanpai, agreed to let me interview her. I knew it was going to be great!

I have loved Kanpai’s sushi for years, especially the S.O.B. roll.

The happy marriage of tuna, cilantro, onions, jalapeno, spicy mayo and lime makes my tastebuds dance!

After making the slideshow, Kathryn generously let me sample all the dishes we had photographed.

While all the food was delicious, the Seared Ahi Tuna simply blew me away!

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How to Open a Fresh Coconut!

6 Apr

020A few months ago, I found myself hanging out in my living room with some friends, passing around a fresh coconut with three straws.

As I drank the sweet juice, a balmy early spring breeze meandering through my screen door, all I could think was “Ahhhhh.”

I felt like I was on a tropical island, just having come inside after a day at the beach.

That evening was actually what inspired me to share this blog, the idea that food can transport you to another time and place.

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Fruit Dating

31 Mar

Carambola_fruit[1]Have you ever wished your food could be as adorable as it is delicious? I mean, I’m talking food that just makes you want to put your hand over your heart and croon “Awwwwww…”

If you, like me, appreciate cute food, I have the perfect little gem for you: Starfruit, aka carambola.

Here’s a picture of the little guys from the side, the top, and sliced.

See, I told you. Adorbs, right?

It’s extremely juicy, and has a mild, sweet flavor. Besides all that, it is good for you, too!

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Wednesday $5 Bang Bang!

28 Mar

002If you love seafood, this dish is for you.

If you think seafood is ok, this dish is for you.

If you are trying to like seafood, this dish is for you.

If you are allergic to seafood…er, well maybe this dish isn’t for you.

But for everyone else, Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp is a dish you don’t want to miss!

“Tender, crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce” is how the restaurant’s website describes it. I would add “…that will make your tastebuds dance!”

It is served on a bed of mixed field greens, the perfect complement to the rich shrimp. It is meant to be an appetizer, but combined with the complementary bread, it is more than satisfying.

The bread, served with an olive oil and pesto dip, is also amazing. Tonight we had to wait to get our bread, because it was still baking. Oh. My. Goodness. Incredible.

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Aihua International Market, Part 2

26 Mar

443What’s that? You were so intrigued after reading my last post, that you want to know more about Aihua International Market?

Well, it’s your lucky day! I’m totally smitten with this treasure, too, so I went back for another round of food hunting! If you haven’t stopped in to check the market out yet, maybe this post will give you that final little push.

Ever tried guayaba, also known as guava? These little gems are native to Mexico and Central and South America, but are now cultivated in the tropics throughout the world.

My uncle loves them for their overwhelming scent as they ripen on the tree. I love them for their sharp, sweet-and-sour bite that leaves you wanting more.

The are also low in calories and full of nutrients. A single guava has four times more Vitamin C than an orange,  so feel free to indulge guilt-free!

(See above photo of the guavas taunting the oranges with their much smaller size AND higher Vitamin C content. I never said they were nice…just tasty.)

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