stir-fried udon with shitake, anchovies and gochujang

We have a strange heat wave impacting SoCal these last few days. It kinda comes and goes and I cannot wait till it’s finally over so I can officially welcome my favorite cooking season of the year and while I wait, here’s another asian inspired recipe that I wanted to document here and share with you. I love udon noodles and this dish, in particular, is becoming a tradition in the house. I have made it twice this week it is that good. Perfect comfort concoction in a bowl and as you’ve probably already guessed really simple to make. It’s’ noodles come on, let’s go do this! 

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takana fried rice

takana fried rice @ thatothercookingblog.com

Hey guys, here’s my humble version of takana fried rice. I’ve had this dish a number of times at Musha: A little Japanese restaurant not far from where I live in the Santa Monica area, LA. They serve traditional homemade style food, warm and cold dishes. The ambience is awesome and I really love that place. When I order I tend to gravitate towards the same dishes every time I visit which isn’t hard. The portions are tapas style so it’s pretty easy to sample your way through their entire menu in a few visits and find the dishes you really like. 

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smoked chuck roast on the grill

I’ve spent the whole summer grilling outside. I got this pretty nice Webber Spirit grill about 2 months ago and I haven’t used the stove much. The grill is small, it only has 2 burners but it works really well. Gets super hot and I’ve successfully smoked a ton of different things.  I wish it were a charcoal grill but regulations in LA prohibit its use in apartment complexes.  

 I’ve owned a number of grills in the past but I rarely used them, and rather misused them. Grilling is not an easy technique, especially for a cook that’s used to sous vide cooking. Grilling provides an extremely harsh environment for food. It is extremely inaccurate in terms of heat distribution too. But being able to cook outside without setting off any smoke alarms is awesome. 

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steamed mussels with garlic and parsley

steamed mussels with garlic and parsley @ thatothercookingblog.com

Hey, guys, I’ve been gone for some time so a few updates: This cooking blog is not going away! (more annoying blog writing coming up! ) in fact, I just purchased a new theme and I’m planning the makeover to happen sometime this summer (northern hemisphere summer time).  I’m also moving to a new apartment with much better kitchen lighting (natural and awesome). I will also have the ability to grill outside which is amazing considering how much I love it and how long I haven’t done it. So, all in all, a pretty outstanding setup for blogging and cooking so I hope I can get things back on track with more food experimentation, sous vide recipes and just cooking fun in general. I have a couple of really cool products to review as well so I will get into that in the next few days. 

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rigatoni with pork sausage and plums

rigatoni with pork sausage and plums @ thatothercookingblog.com

The Hestan guys just invited their brand ambassadors to a cooking/photo competition to show off their skills and their hestan skillets! and as you already know… that would impossible for me to pass. They facilitated the recipe which is great because I don’t cook by following recipes so this was different and really fun. It’s a recipe by chef Brad Spence whose culinary career is outside the scope of this post but let me tell you we’re talking about one of the best chefs  in the country. He’s critically acclaimed and has a vast knowledge of Italian cooking.  Go check out Amis Trattoria’s or Vetri’s websites when you have a change. Pretty wild huh? 

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sous vide round tip asada tacos. coffee. 55C 32H

sous vide round tip asada tacos. coffee. 55C 32H

This taco might be a bit different from your usual asada taco but amazing nonetheless and if you love meat and you love tacos and you love sous vide cooking… then, yes, you must try this.

By definition most asada tacos feature carne asada which is grilled or pan-seared flank steak. I didn’t have any and as much as I love flank steak I tend to take sides with the less popular tougher cuts when cooked sous vide.  Why? because they can be transformed into something that’s quite possibly superior in flavor and texture via sous vide. And you’re still within rare to medium rare range… which is just amazing. 

Yeah, that’s the thing… I love rare or medium rare steak and without sous vide cooking, it’s nearly impossible to achieve the doneness level I’m looking for when cooking these tougher cuts. You can choose to sous vide your steak to whatever level you want but most of my posts on this blog are about applying the least amount of heat to cook ingredients. Just enough to ensure the food is cooked, the texture is what I like and proper pasteurization is achieved.

Enough with this sous vide babbling.  Get your gear ready because this is extremely simple once you have all the components ready. This is not a recipe per se. More like a reference guide if you’re interested in this kind of cooking. Let’s do this. 

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coffee flavored round tip sous vide @ 55C 32h

coffee flavored round tip sous vide @ 55C 32h

This should be a pretty quick one guys. As you know, brining is one of my things. I’m hoping to write a whole post about brining in depth (no pun intended) soon. Today let’s keep it simple. Just grab a beautiful round tip (you probably just want a portion of it, they can be big) at your butcher shop. A good size would be 3 to 4 pounds. Trim any excess fat if need be and let’s go. 

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most delicious fermented tomatillo hot sauce

most delicious fermented tomatillo hot sauce

Yep… hot sauce making has taken over my life and so has fermentation. If you haven’t tried either and are hesitant well… put that hesitation aside and dive in. In my opinion, fermented hot sauces are superior in taste to their vinegar-acidified counterparts. There’s that extra complexity in the flavor that just can’t be described. And I’m not even gonna get into the whole health aspect of eating fermented foods. I’ll leave it at… probiotic, etc, etc. This is gonna be a really quick post guys… there’s seriously nothing to it. Let’s make some awesome hot sauce. 

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shrimp tacos

One important fact, at least important to me: This is the 4th taco post on this blog which could possibly be interpreted as a lack of interest in the subject. Quite the opposite. Tacos are a pretty standard in my daily diet, specially recently. I love them. As you know, they’re easy to make and there are so few rules involved that they’re also almost anxiety free, specially if you fear the criticism of the purists out there. I don’t mean to oversimplify them. There are successful and disastrous tacos out there but if you keep things simple, work with good ingredients and follow good cooking technique expect success.  If you want to take a look at some more convoluted and risky if not exciting taco recipes… check out my sous vide lamb shoulder asada tacos or my second taco recipe, the wonderful sous vide swordfish taco. Anyways, get about 20 shrimps at the store and follow me. 

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