Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Recap (11/12/11-11/13/11)


     The first foodie adventure of the weekend included dim sum at Hei La Moon in Chinatown. It was another late meal (breakfast at 2pm), and the second time I was so hungry I forgot to take pictures. Like Monica’s, I plan to return soon and will post pictures and a more in depth review.
I’d been to Hei La Moon once several years ago, and remembered it being the best dim sum I’d had in Boston. Having been so long, I worried that I’d built it up too much (as I sometimes do) and that it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered.  Hei La Moon did not disappoint. I’ve tried several restaurants in Chinatown for dim sum, and while I’ve never had a bad experience the food at Hei La Moon is the freshest, highest quality, and they serve many variations of shrimp, tofu, and taro, which are some of my favorites.

     Here is a complete list of plates I tried. The total came to $38 before tip and was enough for two people to leave feeling full for almost the entire day.
  • Shrimp Chung Foon (steamed rice noodle roll filled with shrimp)
  • Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf (rice mixed with chicken, sausage, vegetables)
  • Fried taro cake stuffed with shrimp
  • BBQ Pork Bun
  • Sautéed Asian greens with soy sauce
  • Crispy tofu skin roll stuffed with shrimp
  • Soft tofu roll with shrimp and mushrooms
  • Baby clams in black bean sauce
  • Pork spareribs (bone in)

     After feasting on dim sum, the fellow foodie and I didn’t start feeling hungry until 10pm Saturday night. We decided to try the baked mac & cheese recipe from Mark Bittman’s cookbook How to Cook Everything. This is one of my favorite cookbooks and absolutely a foodie essential (we each have a copy). The recipe was straightforward and took about an hour to prepare. It included large shells, a sauce of milk, sharp cheddar, butter, and flour (optional parmesan), salt and pepper to taste, and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. We included the optional parmesan, added some truffle salt, and chunks of sweet turkey apple sausage. Overall, we were happy with the results but agreed next time to use fewer breadcrumbs (our fault, not the recipe) and add a layer of cheese on top. The sauce was delicious and creamy, but with too many breadcrumbs it started to dry out a little. 

     The left over sausage and cheese made great omelets Sunday morning, and the mac and cheese reheated well.  I spent all morning looking forward to eating this for lunch!

     The final meal of the weekend included shrimp tacos, which was a creative effort without any recipe at all. We used seasonings and toppings inspired by several types of cuisine (Asian, Latin, Creole, and Middle Eastern) ended up with a unique, global flavor we couldn’t have found in any restaurant.
     We started by coating and marinating the shrimp in a mixture of Israeli spices, olive oil, and lime juice for about an hour, and then steamed them in a broth of beer, onions, and garlic. We served the shrimp in soft flour tortillas, topped with black beans, seasoned rice (a mix from New Orleans), diced tomatoes, guacamole and vegan miso mayo (both prepared from Whole Foods) and the onions from the beer broth. 

     The tacos were delicious, the flavors worked well together, and the only thing I would have done differently is made enough for leftovers. It was a perfect ending to a weekend of great food, and will be difficult to top (although that won’t stop me from trying next weekend)!

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