Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

On Hollywood there’s a new café called Pie Hole. I had a craving for something sweet so I went there with my brother ostensibly to get a cup of coffee. 


My battery died, so I don’t have photos of the exterior.

Oh, you’re wondering about the pie? The chocolate was dark and rich. I could taste cinnamon and a tiny bit of chile. The crust was perfect and the whipped cream on top was fresh. It was an excellent pie. I am a dessert snob and I tasted only natural ingredients. 


They had a selection of pies, as you can see. 

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Fried Chicken Burrito

I went to Danny Trejo’s Cantina this afternoon with one of my brothers.


Danny Trejo’s pockmarked visage is omnipresent in this restaurant on Cahuenga Avenue in Hollywood. The menu looks good and I will return. 


This was awesome! Crispy strips of fried chicken, corn, rice, black beans, cheese and tomato were put together to make a tasty meal. 

The house chipotle sauce was savory and earthy but the house hot sauce was even better. 
There are so many reasonably priced restaurants in Los Angeles I really have to step up my game, as it were.  

Chicken Kebab

Sometime before Christmas I met one of my brothers in Los Angeles and we went out. Before we went to the bar we stopped off at this halal kebab restaurant. 


It was reasonably priced and it was served with a good amount of hummus. The chicken and hummus were nice and garlicky. 


As one can see, the kebab was served with hummus, puts bread and a small side salad.

Kung Pao Chicken 

I was in Santa Clarita, a week ago and after I had a brief meeting I was hungry and there weren’t many good options in the area. So I went to Pick Up Stix, a vaguely Chinesoid restaurant and ordered Kung Pao Chicken. 


It wasn’t bad at all, although the zucchini is an American addition. The sauce was sweet and tangy and the chilies were present. Sichuan peppercorns weren’t invited to this party. 


The rice was too dry to eat with chopsticks, so I had to eat it with a fork. 


I would rather not have to eat and Pick Up Stix again, but I’d eat there before I’d eat at Chikn Filet. 

Fensenjan 

I had heard about this Persian a few times and curiosity compelled me to try and make it.


http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017040-fesenjan
That was the final result. Although it didn’t look impressive, it was happily received by my audience, in this case my parents. 

I started off with walnuts.


Then I roasted them in the oven.


When the walnuts had cooled down, I put them into the food processor. 


I took a butternut squash and shredded it. 



I diced chicken breasts and thighs for flavor, I’m in the habit of dicing  chicken, but Persians probably would have tossed the chicken parts in the pot.


I cooked the chicken in the pot.


After it was browned, I took it out. 


It wasn’t really browned because I tossed it all into the pot, rather than cooking it in batches. 

I then added butter to the pot and then a chopped red onion.


Then I added the walnut paste and the pomegranate molasses.


I then added the shredded squash, saffron, cinnamon and the chicken stock. 


Last I put the chicken back into the pot and cooked it for awhile to let the flavors mix and sauce reduce. 


Savory, earthy and tangy, I loved it. I enjoyed the texture as well. 

I served it on rice with a side salad of cucumbers, parsley, tomatoes and red onion.

Pan Seared Salmon in a Dill Cream Sauce

I had wanted to eat crispy salmon skin and I wanted to eat a sauce with dill.


The finished product. This is actually a picture of the leftovers. I ate the freshly prepared dinner with my parents and they would have asked me why I was taking pictures of my food. That and I was starving.


I cooked the skin off side first.


I used a lot of garlic and a whole shallot,much more than advised the recipe I used from Emeril Legasse.

I added a half pint of cream after I had dumped 1/4 a bottle of Pinot Grigio to the shallots. I cooked it down a bit. I added the dill last. 

I added sliced English cucumber on the plate. Long ago I worked in a French bistro in Plymouth, Michigan and that’s what they used, although they sliced the cucumber into strings and lightly steamed it. 


I also roasted spaghetti squash, which I shredded and mixed with butter and Parmesan cheese.


It was all delicious. Not spicy at all, but the mellow flavors worked together. 

Twice Cooked Pork (两次熟猪肉)

One of my favorite Chinese dishes, this attempt did not measure up to my standards, but my parents liked it.

However, I know what I did wrong, so next time, the attempt will be successful. 


For the broth in which to boil the pork I places a chopped up scallion and a small handful of Sichuan peppercorns.


Instead of using pork belly (which I should have used) I used pork loin which was way too lean. This recipe needs fatty pork. So I cooked the pork in the pot for twenty minutes. 


Meanwhile, I had chopped up scallions, garlic, ginger and dried birds eye chilies.


I took the cooked pork from the pot.


Then I sauté the ginger and garlic in the wok. When the ginger began to turn golden brown I added the pork.


I then added chopped leeks, chilies and scallions. 


At this point I should have cooked this down a bit. Instead I added bell peppers. I also added a mix of soy sauce and sugar. 


It added too much sweetness to the dish. Twice cooked pork should be about spice and fat. It might have tasted fine, but I was disappointed. Next time I know what to do.