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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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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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Cafe Arazu and Magnificent Mulligatawny!

18 Mar

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Last week, a friend and I went to lunch at Cafe Arazu to celebrate my birthday. The Cafe serves a variety of Middle Eastern cuisine.

This adorable Newburgh restaurant is as delicious as it is charming. Set in the heart of downtown Newburgh, the Cafe is surrounded by all sorts of quant little shops and boutiques.

I had eaten at Cafe Arazu several years ago and remember enjoying it. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to return!

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The soup of the day, mulligatawny, was a creamy, filling stew of chicken, rice, and vegetables.

It tasted strongly and wonderfully of curry and was topped with chopped green apple and herbs. It was one of the most delicious soups I have had in a long time and I’m already craving it again!

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Malian Saka Saka

8 Mar

Oh. my. tastebuds.

Over the weekend, I hosted a dinner party with my Malian-American friend Tigui as the featured chef.

For weeks, my friend had tried to hunt down some goat meat for us. It got a little complicated, so we decided to go with roast lamb from the Old Fashioned Butcher Shoppe.

Lamb + Onion + Spinach + Okra = Deliciousness!

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If this picture makes your mouth water, here’s the recipe (based on 3 lbs. of meat):

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Happy taste buds, empty wallet

17 Feb

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Ever since I sampled their delicious food at a downtown event several years ago, Eclipse Spanish Tapas and Bar has been at the top of my “must try” list.

The concept of tapas, small dishes that everyone shares, reminds me of one of my favorite Cantonese Chinese traditions, Dim Sum.

Adventureous friend in tow, I finally checked it out last night. The ambiance and decor were delightful. We were seated quickly. I drooled over the menu. But *gulped* at the prices.

We decided to try three different dishes…

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