Archive for the 'Delicious' Category

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Tangy Roasted Corn Fritos

Imagine a flavor called “We decided to use some Chili Cheese™ flavor we had on hand and mix it with some old components of Wild and Mild Ranch™ Fritos (RIP) and some lime from our Mexican Limon™ flavor and abbreviate it as some weird non-sensical ‘Tangy Roasted Corn’ tag.” If you like fritos, this flavor is ungodly delicious in its otherworldliness of overkill, and most likely MSG or something. You can’t stop eating them and very soon you are full frito. I would like the Skimmer to eat a bag of these and then plant a gross one on BG before breakfast, then she will experience Full Frito!!!!!!

Verdict: Delicious, then Disgusting!

Ben and Jerry’s “Fossil Fuel”

COBAGS! HOW COULD THEY?? I CAN BARELY RESIST “DUBLIN MUDSLIDE”!!!!!!!! HOW DO YOU MAKE A “CRISPY FUDGE SWIRL”??? WHAT THE EFF IS THAT????

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UPDATE

The truncated category should be: “So Delicious if you scoop it out too hard and it goes flying onto the floor and gets a Smokey hair in it, it is still Delicious.”

XO Sauce

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Analysis of XO Sauce and its syngergistic properties

The Uncanny Canadian

Abstract: XO Sauce is an intriguing and complex condiment, whose efficacy in deliciousness is uncharacterized at Delicious or Disgusting. We assayed XO sauce on Trader Joe’s shrimp gyoza, and found that whereas the sauce on its own was too fishy and tentacly, in combination with gingery soy marinade, it enhanced the pre-existing flavours of both the marinade and gyoza and made the meal spectacularly delicious. Further analysis should reveal the optimal utility of XO sauce.

Introduction: XO Sauce was first brought to the attention of Three Bulls! in a comment written by Res Publica about Asian sauces. We were intrigued. Given that: a) condiments are delicious, b) Asian food is delicious, and c) we write about delicious foods, we attempted to define the deliciousness of XO factor through systematic empirical observation. XO sauce can be obtained from a variety of manufacturers and rather than a single concoction, is actually a collection of high-end seafood-based hot sauces. The Lee Jum Kee variety contains the following seafood: dried shrimp, dried scallop, shrimp roe, oyster extractives, and other uncharacterized crustacean products in combination with soybean oil, ,chili, pepper, water, shallot, chili pepper powder, dried garlic, sugar, salt, and other flavourings. As such, it is both complex and poorly defined.
Materials and Methods: Trader Joe’s Thai shrimp gyoza, Trader Joe’s ginger soy marinade, and Trader Joe’s 100% Canola oil were purchased from Trader Joe’s. Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce, Extra Hot, was purchased at Super 88. Preparation of shrimp gyoza was performed according to the manufacturer’s directions for pan frying on a GE stove using a standard teflon-coated skillet. All tastings were performed in duplicate using matched gyoza.
Results: In order to test the deliciousness of XO sauce and other condiments of interest, we first set up an assay based on the consumption of shrimp gyoza. Gyoza were pan fried and sampled using a base sauce, find to be an excellent dipping sauce for gyoza, Trader Joe’s Ginger Soy Marinade (see Materials and Methods). We used the marinade as a control both to normalize the palette and to look for possible interactions. Importantly, the ginger goy marinade was not spicy and therefore did not attenuate possible spice response. Shrimp gyoza eaten with the marinade were given a normalized score of 8/10 (Table 1).

Next, we ate gyoza with XO sauce directly applied. Since the XO sauce contains both supernatant (oil) and precipitate (seafood) compartments, we were careful to ensure that both compartments were assayed separately and then combined in different bites of the gyoza.  Overall, we were disappointed with net effect of XO sauce on the gyoza.  In the absence of a suitable carrier, the seafood component of the precipitate had a noticable and crustacean texture and overall too strong a seafood taste, most notably that of dried shrimp.  Even though the supernatant contained chili and garlic, these flavours did not give a satisfactory counterpoint to the seafood.  The average score of XO sauce alone was 6/10 (Table 1).

Finally, we assayed for synergistic effects by mixing XO sauce with the ginger soy marinade in an approximate 1:5 ratio.  Consumption of the marinade/XO mixture had a delightful and delicious result.  We found the XO sauce, when appropriately diluted in ginger soy marinade imparted a layer of complexity to the gyoza that made each bite an adventure in flavour.  The strong seafood presence was gone, and instead, the filling of the gyoza appeared more interesting and exotic than with either sauce on its own.  Furthermore, the slight spiciness of the XO sauce increased the boldness of the marinade and brought a very slight tingle to the tongue.  The overall score of ginger soy marinade/XO was 9.25/10 (Table 1).

Table 1:  Gyoza scores

Trade Joe’s Ginger Soy Marinade alone:  8/10

XO Sauce alone:  6/10

Ginger Soy Marinade:XO Sauce (5:1):  9.25/10

Discussion:  XO sauce, though incredibly interesting and diverse on its own, may not be suitable as a condiment on its own.  Although widely used in such dishes as chili fried rice and a number of dim sum preparations, XO sauce deserves further investigational analysis in a variety of condiment combinations.  In particular, blander foods such as tofu or noodles might serve to gain even more from inclusion of XO sauce than gyoza, which are very delicious, even in the absence of any dipping sauce.  It is important that XO sauce be combined with something containing sufficient viscosity to effectively combine the supernatant and precipitate.

References:  Wikipedia

Acknowledgements:  UC would like to thank Pinko Punko for the generous gift of XO Sauce and for the idea of testing condiments on gyoza.  This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Condimental Research (to UC).

The authors declare no competing financial interests

Korean Fried Chicken

Long story short, chicken is fried to order (takes about 15-20 minutes) and the pieces are exclusively drumsticks and wings. A New York Times article describes how these pieces cook perfectly so the fat is entirely rendered and the meat very juicy. Korean fried chicken is served relatively unseasoned in the plain style, but then there are sauced varieties which are more similar to American buffalo wings dressed with a variety of sauces.

Now for the chicken- it was exactly as described in the article. We happily discovered a combination option for trying all the styles of chicken with the different sauces- this option is listed on the menu as something like (“Modeum chicken- 3 plain, 3 spicy, 2 sauce, 2 sweet”). We found out what those descriptions mean:

“3 pieces plain”: fried chicken, relatively unseasoned. However, each table was furnished with a shaker of seasoning mix that seemed like salt and pepper, but actually tasted like salt/pepper/msg. No bother for us, a light sprinkling of this mix on the plain chicken really accented the chicken, the main attributes of which were crispiness and juiciness. The peppery/savory seasoning was perfect.

“3 spicy”- 3 pieces liberally slathered in a spicy, savory, touch of sweetness, garlicky, red colored sauce. The way the chicken is sauced directly before serving means that there is still some crispness to the skin even though the chicken is covered by the sauce. This form of chicken is most similar to eating buffalo wings with a slightly different sauce and quite similar to a number of wing places [Spicy Pteradactyl in everything but color -Ed.] I have eaten that offer many types of sauce. The sauce is advertised as homemade and was a nice touch, but be warned this chicken is quite saucy, so be prepared to be licking fingers.

“2 sauce”- Same sauce as above but not spicy, still quite good, but I would skip this and get either more spicy or more plain.

“2 sweet”- the sweet sauce is more of a syrup or a glaze- a clear, sticky glaze lightly covering the plain fried chicken. I personally love honey on american style fried chicken, and this was close to that, although the glaze had no honey in it. For the “sweet” chicken to really shine, it needs either seasoning in the coating or some at-the-table sprinkling of the magic mix (and happily that was provided).

The chicken is also served with some pickled daikon radish that is sweet/tart and totally addictive. The Times article described that this food is kind of bar/drinking food in Korea and the savory/saucy chicken and pickled radish would be perfect for having with beer or a cocktail. The owner also brought some slightly sweetened bagged Korean popcorn over and this was a great snack too. Especially with some salt/pepper/Msg sprinkled on it. Read it and weep, UC. Next time you go to NYC you have to get this stuff.

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2nd tier Philly Cheesesteak

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First let’s be clear about the tiers of Philly Cheesesteak. According to the materials I’ve read, there are really only two in the elite class, Pat’s (the originator) and Geno’s. There is endless rivalry and debate about who is better, but I can’t comment, since in my quick trip to Philly recently, I didn’t make it to South Philly.

However, many real Philadelphians usually prefer their own places and finds, mostly non-touristy locations. Of these, the most intriguing to me was Steve Prince of Steak. I really wanted to try it, but it is a million miles away from where I had access. Instead I had my cheesesteak experience at a place called Abner’s, which is fairly well-thought-of among locals (see here and here and here). I don’t know if I’m getting the best, but I am getting authentic and representative of the indigenous version.

Here’s what goes on. First, fresh and very thinly sliced roast beef is thrown on a greased grill. As it’s cooking, it is chopped into small very very juicy pieces. Along on the grill, in my case, were peppers and onion. Finally, the cheese. While most tourist believe it has to be Cheese Whiz to be authentic, my research indicated that provolone or american are favoured by locals. I asked Abner (or whoever was grilling my cheesesteak) for his suggestion and he said definitely go provolone. So I did. I wasn’t disappointed. No matter how good Cheese Whiz might be on a cheesesteak, I don’t think it would have been optimal for me. A hoagie bun is then placed on the grill and the contents expertly transferred inside the bun.

So how was the sandwich? All in all, a bit of a letdown, given my astronomical expectation. The grilled beef is delicious and goes wonderfully with the toppings. The sauce is usually pretty minimal or in this case absent, so you are really getting the flavour from the grilling and the ingredients. No horseradish, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or MSG juice to add flavouring. I think I need some with my beef. I’m used to say a Kelly’s Roast Beef sandwich. Beef is great, but beef is better when sauced. The sandwich is very very hot and greasy. The grease needs to spend a little time saturating the bun, meaning that the sandwich kept getting progressively better with time. I think to truly evaluate this cheesesteak, I need to try at least two others, just in case one is the most amazing thing ever and all the others are just pretty good. But I suspect that I will be disappointed.

Absolute verdict: Delicious

Relative verdict: Push

Husman’s Hawaiian Sweet Onion Potato Chips

As you may have not noticed, we are addicted to local and exotically flavored potato chips. Here, here, here.  So whenever we go someplace outside of the sphere of influence of the University of Suck™, we assess the situation as it were at the grocery store.  And we came back with these bad boys.

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“Those aren’t Cincinnati’s own Husmans,” say you.  “Those are Snyder’s of Berlin.”  Yes, you are correct, but this is the exact same or very similar bag the Husman’s came in, so there must be some flavor sharing betwixt the companies.  Here’s the dealio, these are kettle-style chips in that they are thicker and extra crispy, but not in the Dirty Chips, super hard and or excessively peanut-oily way that some kettle chips can be.  These are more like extra-thick Lays, lightly potatoey, NOT peanuty, and cruchy without being too hard.  The flavor is a super burst of sweet, oniony goodness, and reminds of the late, lamented Wise brand “Onion and Garlic” flavor.  These bad boys were yummy.  Sadly, I was forced to eat the whole bad.  The terrorists will have won once they come up with the “potato chip bomb” plot.  That will seriously f*** up America.

Verdict: Super Delicious.

Memphis Blues Smokehouse-GUEST POST!!!

Mendacious D. brings it.  I would add some crazy Canadian was talking up Slimz or some such place as a rival to this one, but we know nothing, you decide.

What I will decide is that if we can accomadate Gregor and our various vegetarians, when 3B wins the lottery, our convention committee will consider this as a possible site.  It goes without saying that anyone that could get there, it would be our treat.

I would add I just had a wonderful night with some friends at a very mediocre BBQ place.  The University of Suck and its environs knows not the ways.  So unfortunately I am harbo(u)ring a burning jealousy of Mendacious D and his laden platters of meat doncha know.

Here’s the scoop:


Nestled at just off the corner of Granville and Broadway, arguably one of the most hellish and garment-rending of intersections in Vancouver, lies a Mecca of meat: the Memphis Blues. Savvy Vancouverites know there are two of them in the city, but this is the original. Its descendant lies in wait on Commercial Drive, better known as hippy central, seemingly mocking the puritanical preachings of vegeterianism’s most ardent supporters. This is better put in context when you see a vegetarian or two wander in unawares, to look at the menu and cringe. More than once, I have witnessed fleeing non-customers being yelled at by the manager as they scamper away to Earl’s or some other, lesser, restaurant.

Actual quote: “What? We’ve got salads.”

This is technically true, even though most of the salads involve pulled pork. Their tshirt collection says it all: “We pull pork,” “Best rack in town,” and so on. They are proud of the carnivorous urges which draw us there, having an open kitchen where all can gaze lovingly as they slow-cook ribs and briskets, lathering them in sauce and arranging them with cornbread, chili, chips, wings, and all manner of artery-clogging goodness.

But all this pales in comparison to the Memphis Blues’ magnum opus: the Elvis Platter.

Imagine a large number of different kinds of meat. Now add several more you didn’t think of, like pheasant (but no emu, as yet). The last time I counted, this masterwork included jerk chicken, chicken wings, pulled pork, brisket, short ribs, long ribs, and the aforementioned pheasant. Add slaw, cornbread, chips, and a large dollop of barbeque sauce. Feeds four. For two to three days. You get a stack of napkins several inches high. I don’t need to fill you in on how this works. It is a carnivorous feast worthy of The King of Rock’n’Roll himself.

Add their selection of bottled beers (almost all Czech), the perenially crowded standing-room-only atmosphere, and the posters and photos of blues artists and slow-smokers (one of which I swear was salvaged from a jet turbine), and you have yourself one hell of a restaurant.

Verdict: Eleven out of one. Deeeeeelicious.”

Beard Papa’s Japanese Cream Puffs

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Sadly you need to be in Asia or the coasts to try these bad boys.  A highly successful Japanese chain is now expanding int the US, ready to shoot for the moon and then flame out a la Krispy Kreme (stock wise, you know I love them).  Some may claim these cream puffs are overrated. They would be wrong.  Actually, these puffs underline clear divides in how people function with relation to expectation vs. hype vs. actual taste.  Many people assume cream puffs should have a custardy filling, thus when they taste the relatively thin cream filling here (very light) they are disappointed or they think it is wrong.  Others used to Western baking expect them to be much sweeter, and when they taste the Japanese style baking that uses less sugar, they are disoriented.  Others think that the wait in line affects the taste.  It does not.  Too bad if lots of people want to try them.  They seem to have chocolate and vanilla flavored all the time with a rotating third flavor.  We had vanilla and chocolate.  Both were quite good, but the chocolate was outstanding.  Both very light, yet tasting of rich, darker chocolate at the same time, it was exceptional.  I would definitely go back. They are a bit pricey, but what the hell isn’t?  Don’t rain on my cream puff, haters.

Verdict:  Goddamned delicious.

Omakase at Tojo’s Restaurant

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Omakase, as is elaborately described in the menu at Tojo’s in Vancouver, is all about trust. Literally, it means ‘chef I am in your hands’, and nowhere is this truer and more desirable than Tojo’s. AG and I read countless reviews of the restaurant basically stating that one need not bother travelling to Tokyo for the finest sushi in the world; why not go to Tojo’s?

When considering ordering Omakase, there are two key questions that need be answered. First of all, do you trust Mr. Tojo? I did. AG, not so much. The second question is how much debt do you want to assume following the meal. The prices begin at $60 CAD and go up to no limit. Can you imagine ordering food without limits? I couldn’t. I chose the $80 version, trying not to sound too amateurish or too bold at the same time.

The menu describes a process where you then discuss your food likes and dislikes with the waiter, to properly customize the dishes you will receive from Mr. Tojo. Our waitress asked me one question, and one question only: Do you have any allergies? No. Good. That was it. I had to trust Mr. Tojo from here on.

Course 1: Raw appetizer

The first dish was quite exciting. The waitress brought it out with a big smile and told me that I was getting some kind of raw albacore tuna salad in a marinated soy sauce. It had different peppers and herbs mixed in as well. The appearance was not unlike that of raw gefilte fish, a fact I was delighted to share with AG, but the taste was fantastic. Delicate, savory, daring, and oh so raw. It looked a little like this dish from their website, but was a little different

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Course 2: Cooked appetizer

A different waiter brought out the next course, which was also explained to me in sparse detail. I think it consisted of slices of lightly torched salmon perched over a mixture of shiso leaves and a few other wild greens, which topped a shredded salad of mushrooms, avocado, eggplant, and other uncharacterized items mixed in a creamy sauce. It was good. Very good. The shiso leaves have a strong taste that influenced all the other tastes, but once you are used to the flavour, it becomes very addctive.

Course 3: Cooked appetizer

With each subsequent dish, the explanations got shorter while the food grew apparently more elaborate. The next dish was titled as halibut cheek. Which it was. Many people do not consider the craniofacial components of fish as a savoury treat, but I have to say that fish cheek is wonderful. The texture is soft and buttery, kind of like, well, my cheeks. Just lightly cooked, and served with some other delicate greens in a complex and fantastic sauce. I think the sauce was a mixture of teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, and L-DOPA. Very exquisite.

Course 4: Cooked sushi

As usual, I was only offered a short explanation of what I was getting: Suntan tuna. It was basically three pieces of tuna wrapped in seaweed, then dipped in tempura batter and deep fried. The way it comes out, the inside is completely raw, while the outside, interacting with the crispy batter was more cooked. The pieces were cut like maki, and it was served with a sweet and tangy sauce. They were very nice, albeit not particularly substantial. I was a little concerned that this was the main course, and I was not going to be sated, but I was reassured that the main even was coming next …

Course 5: Sushi

When the main course was finally served to me, I gave an inquisitive look to the waiter, hoping to get the rundown on what I was about to eat. The waiter just snickered and walked off. Not quite the gut busting laugh of Mr. Tojo (pictured above), but definitely a chuckle of some kind. Well, I trusted Mr. Tojo. It was time to put that trust in place. Sadly, I have no idea what the four pieces of maki and two pieces of nigiri really were. I presume they were taken from the regular menu, but am not really sure. Mr. Tojo’s maki is quite extraordinary. For example, AG ordered a Great Canadian roll, which included lobster, asparagus, and smoked salmon. Suffice to say that the sushi was vivid, unpredictable, and wonderfully syngergistic. One of the nigiri may have been sablefish, and another may have been a toro that the waitress told us is only availabe a few times a year. Who’s to say. It was phenomenal.

Epilogue: Dessert

Nothing too fancy here. A nice scoop of mango ice cream, which AG got as well on the house, with a few tasty garnishes.

Overall the dining experience was unlike anything I’ve ever had. Between eating outside with a view of downtown Vancouver and the mountains behind it, and eating foods I have never had before, or combinations of foods that were novel to me, it was a most wonderful way to spend a Saturday night in Vancouver. But don’t take my word for it. Just trust Mr. Tojo.

Verdict – Delicious

UPDATE:  Pictures and better descriptions of some items at this here fine blog

Item-Haagen-Dazs Caramel Cone Light If You Can Effing Believe It!11!!

Dear Lord. Dear Cookie Jesus. Come ON. Picture some awesome ice cream cone. Picture the best ice cream cone your feverish brain can conjure. A veritable creamy lover. Anyway, you are going to TOWN on this bad boy, you are feeling it, and just laying it down in a frenzy. And you are getting close. Close to that moment where your dairy make-out session hits second base. The moment when you get a perfectly balanced bite of cone and ice cream together. This ice cream from Haagen-Dazs tastes like that bite. Over and over and over again. A revelation. Just enough cone to keep you massively satisfied, but not so much like a Ben and Jerry’s where it feels like you are eating some sort of frozen trail mix. I need to break in here and say that you are not eating this ice cream cone the way I imagine Blue Girl would eat it. With delicate little licks where she slowly harvests the melted ice cream product at a glacial pace. To the point where she practically tongue-baths the outside of the cone cleaning up the dribbles. This can only lead to one thing: soggy, deflated cone. In fact we predict that BG, after excavating quite a bit of the ice cream within the cone, she probably hands it over to BG-Guy as she has no use for this discarded shell of a creamy lover. Verdict-Delicious