Tag Archives: garlic

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Nong’s Khao Man Gai, a.k.a. Chicken-crack

There is a food cart that I really enjoy and try to get to once a week.  In fact, it is so tasty and addict­ing that at work it we dubbed it “chicken-crack.”  The cart is Nong’s Khao Man Gai, in the cart pod on 10th.  It serves one thing and one thing only, but they have absolutely mas­tered it: a tra­di­tional Thai chicken and rice dish (khao man gai) that actu­ally orig­i­nated as a tra­di­tional Chinese dish (Hainanese chicken).  You start with a whole chicken, poach it, then use the broth to make rice, sauce, and soup.  There is a ton of gar­lic and gin­ger through­out the process.  When served, is sim­ply wrapped in a sheet of butcher paper, sav­ing pack­ag­ing waste.


I really like this chicken and thought I would give it a try at home.  Brian pointed me at a recipe (that I think he got from Natalie), so that is exactly what I did last Sunday with Grace and Micha as culi­nary guinea pigs.

While I expected a lot of gar­lic, the amount of gin­ger in this chicken sur­prised me.  It gets stuffed with big fat potato-slices of gin­ger and plenty of green onion before boil­ing.  There is also a good amount of salt involved — it gets rubbed with salt for clean­ing, washed, re-rubbed with salt, then sesame oil.  The chicken was spot-on.  The rice was pretty darn close, though I think Nong uses a bit more gin­ger and a pinch of some other more exotic spice that I can’t quite iden­tify.  Her soup has a bit more veg­gies in it.  There is some kind of celery-type thing — I do not think it is actual cel­ery, but maybe Chinese cel­ery or pos­si­bly bok-choy.  She also has some kind of squash-like veg­etable (cucum­ber or zuc­chini?) that’s boiled down to translu­cent taste­less­ness, but adds a good tex­ture.

The recipe’s sauce, though, was totally dif­fer­ent.  The recipe builds up a sauce that is about 1 part broth to 2 parts sriracha (a.k.a. “rooster sauce”) with some sugar and spices thrown in.  It ended up red and spicy and, while good, was not the brown sauce with a touch of spicy and a touch of tangy that Nong serves up.  At the time, I sus­pected that maybe hers was more soy-sauce based, but did not have the time to exper­i­ment.  Upon return­ing later in the week, I paid closer atten­tion to the menu and saw that it is a “fer­mented soy­bean sauce” base — though if I’m not mis­taken, isn’t that the very def­i­n­i­tion of soy sauce, or is it maybe based on fer­mented soy­bean paste (like used in miso soup)?

I made the rice (just the rice) again last night with some left­over broth, but have yet to tackle the sauce again.

Posted in: Food

Garlic

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2007/03/

Growing up, I had sev­eral Vietnamese and Chinese friends. When going over to any of their houses, I always encoun­tered a strange smell that I had not known from any­where else. Much like old folks homes have a par­tic­u­lar smell and hos­pi­tals have a cer­tain smell, I assumed this was Asian-house odor and never really men­tioned or ques­tioned it.

In my [late-]teenage years, I learned that “Asian-house smell” has a name and that name is “gar­lic.” I was no stranger to gar­lic as a kid, but all of the gar­lic my fam­ily used came in spice can­is­ters: gar­lic salt, gar­lic pow­der, and the like. It would get ten­der­ized into steaks that would be grilled on the bar­be­cue. It would get added to margarine-covered bread to make “gar­lic bread.” I hon­estly had no idea what fresh roasted gar­lic smelled like until I was nearly an adult. It smells quite dif­fer­ent than the dried, pow­dered form. It smells like Asian houses.

Posted in: Food

Gar Lick

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Whole bulbs of roasted gar­lic look just like insec­toid hives.

[Posted with hblog­ger 2.0 http://www.normsoft.com/hblogger/]

Posted in: Dear Diary Food

Turkey Day

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We skipped out of host­ing an Orphan Thanksgiving this year, hav­ing just thrown the 80+ per­son party with live band last month, and instead went to a friend’s house. It was great food and great com­pany. A few tid­bits from the evening, in bul­let point form:

  • As I said, the food was great. I’m very much a stuff­ing guy and it tasted amaz­ing. Garlic mashed potatoes==yum. They even gave me a big chunk of turkey skin. (I guess I was the only one who likes it.)
  • The wine was beyond great. Their friend, the wine con­nois­seur, picked out about 6 dif­fer­ent wines, each for dif­fer­ent por­tions of the evening, from hors de’oeuvres (I love spelling that word. Whores what?) to dessert and beyond.
  • Unfortunately, the very same wine con­nois­seur missed most of the evening. At 11am he got a call from his sis­ter, whose car broke down out­side of Eugene. He dropped off the wine and went to bail her out. (Obviously, I don’t know her, but got the impres­sion that she has a bit of an emo­tional and finan­cial depen­dent streak–didn’t know what to do about the car and couldn’t pay for it any­way.) He wasn’t able to join up with the party until dessert.
  • A cou­ple brought their dog, who was super-cute and play­ful and instantly decided that I was his best friend. Later in the evening, the very same dog pooped down into the heat vent (caus­ing semi-soft poo to drip down into the house’s heat­ing sys­tem) and peed an ocean on the din­ing room’s hard­wood floor.) That con­cludes this month’s FDA rec­om­mended dosage of dogs. I like dogs and chil­dren when they’re fun and belong to others–I can play with them for a while and then they go home and be annoy­ing else­where and some­one else has to be respon­si­ble for it.
  • The same cou­ple was the stereo­typ­i­cal “bick­er­ing gay men” that you see por­trayed on movies and tele­vi­sion. I know that there’s a rea­son that stereo­types exist, but they cer­tainly seemed to be play­ing up to the stereo­type. I find petty bick­er­ing annoy­ing in the media as well as in per­son, in homo­sex­ual rela­tion­ships as well as in het­ero­sex­ual rela­tion­ships. Please stop. You’re great guys, just bet­ter with­out the bick­er­ing.
  • Nekkid pic­tures of the host­ess! See, folks, the OS X “Ken Burns effect” pic­ture screen­saver takes images from your iPhoto library. When your iPhoto library holds lots of pic­tures of your vaca­tion, your stu­dents, and a cou­ple of naked pic­tures.... well, it’s only a mat­ter of time.
Posted in: Dear Diary

Garlic Coffee

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This morn­ing, I washed out my travel mug using the same scrubby sponge I used to clean a pan in which I cooked gar­lic last night. The lin­ger­ing gar­lic smell is now on the lid and body of the mug and causes my cof­fee to have an over­whelm­ing gar­lic taste. It is kind of like the old grade-school exper­i­ment where you are blind­folded and some­body holds an onion slice near your nose while you take a bite out of an apple. You could just swear you were munch­ing on an onion. My cof­fee is like that, except that while I love gar­lic, the coffee/cream/chocolate/garlic com­bi­na­tion is not being too kind on my nose and taste­buds this morn­ing. I do not want to wash this out and put in generic office cof­fee and I do not have the time to wash it out and walk down to Diedrich's, down the street.

Posted in: Dear Diary Food

Stuph

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I had a few ran­dom thoughts arise today...

  • Will the pay­check I deposited last week ever clear?
  • Will the cor­po­rate bureau­cracy bestow upon me a pay­check this Friday, or will some­body along the chain of com­mand drop the ball?
  • Why do so many “styl­ized” web­sites use that weird par­al­lel­o­gram shape that has pointy-pointy acute angles, but smoothly curved obtuse angles?
  • Why does it always seem that light and time are so closely related?
  • Where did Jeremy get that gar­lic peel­ing thingey that he gave to Conrad?
Posted in: Dear Diary Work