This will be a brief post, as the internet’s a bit slow and it took the better part of the morning to upload the video (actually had to cancel youtube a couple times, as it stalled out) but I extoll the wonders of mangosteen in this brief video.

If you have not experienced this fruit yet, I encourage you to try it if you see it in Asia or South America.

It’s origins trace back to Indonesia and it’s presumed to have spread to other parts of Asia from there. They are readily available in Thailand and run about $1.50 for a kilo. They are significantly more expensive in the United States, IF you can find them at all. Personally, I have only seen then frozen. Frozen doesn’t really give you the same experience, so go fresh if you can!

Corned beef potato pancakes

Corned Beef Potato Pancake

If you were to ask me what my favorite breakfast is, it wouldn’t even take me a second to come up with the answer. Far and away my favorite breakfast is a cross of corned beef hash and shredded potato pancakes that I make as often as my calorie conscience allows.

Corned Beef Potato Pancakes

To make it, you shred a potato, mix with corn beef (and, if you like, onion), and then pan fry it. I prefer it to corn beef hash, which I also enjoy, as I like the texture of the potato pancake better.

Continue reading

Delicious Cambodian food at The 252 Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We stayed at The 252 Hotel in Phnom Penh Cambodia, which was really pretty wonderful. Details about the trip are here on our travel blog, One of the features that we liked was their nice cook to order restaurant. Our room included breakfast, but as we were tired some days and their food was quite good we ended up eating there for other meals as well. Here’s a sample of what we had. Continue reading

Bacon Explosion

This past weekend was Super Bowl Sunday. I was having a couple of the guys over so I decided to try this interesting recipe from the BBQAddicts website. I won’t repost their recipe, but will describe what I did and the things I did, for better or worse, that was different than the recipe.

First, my ingredients. For some of the ingredients, I used the best (imho) stuff, for other ingredients it was just what was convenient. I used my local (and famous!) Gorilla BBQ spice rub. If you recognize the name, Gorilla BBQ was on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives television show. The sausage was home ground pork butt and seasoned using this recipe from TheSpicySausage. The barbeque sauce was Cattlemens St. Louis and the bacon, was Hormels. Continue reading

Ambience and flavor at Huen Phen in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The restaurant is quite unassuming from the quiet street, but Huen Phen becomes more interesting with each step you take. Although the outside tables are bustling during the day, they are deserted at night as dinner takes place inside the restaurant.

Huen Phen in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Huen Phen - Chiang Mai, Thailand

As you enter you realize that this place is unique. They have both tables and traditional seating. Continue reading

Happy Home Cooking School – Pattaya, Thailand (day 1, part 1)

Watching the clock tick. Sleeping, eating, then napping. Not a great way to waste time on a vacation, but I had the vacation doldrums. I was waiting for my wife to catch up to me and was bored. What to do? What to do?

Well, I’ve taken cooking classes in Thailand before, once at the well known Baipai cooking school in Bangkok, and a few times at the Marriott in Pattaya. Each time was different and quite fun. I searched the internet and a couple cooking schools came up for Pattaya. One seemed to rank higher. Looking at the website, it seemed a bit more down to earth and, I hoped willing to teach authentic flavors and heat levels, as I eschew “dumbed down” tourist food. There’s a tendency for the Thai to take it easy on foreigners especially with regard to strong flavors like Pla Ra and the level of spiciness, and I would be the first to agree that it is for good reason. Not everyone can take it, and many novices may not like it. Having decided to take a chance on the school, I sent off an e-mail and booked two days, both of their intermediate classes. The cooking of Lanna and the cooking of Issan foods.

I spent a couple very rewarding days there and this is my story. Following Soi Boukow from my hotel and crossing Central Pattaya Road led me to the quaint cooking school. Formerly a bar, now converted to cooking use, thinking about it, I can’t think of a better use for the location. Continue reading

Black pudding and a full English Breakfast in Pattaya

I was in the mood for black pudding. A taste I developed visiting Eddie’s Tavern in Bandung way up to the Northeast near Udon Thani. Black pudding is a sausage made of blood and a filler (often oatmeal) seasoned and cooked until it congeals. It’s not always the easiest item to find served in restaurants and a number of ex-pats I spoke to only knew where to get it to take home. I literally stumbled across it at Le Katai, a few doors down from China Garden on Soi Lengkee where I was staying.

Now, luckily this area has a good concentration of English ex-pats and tourists, so the food is geared towards their tastes. As I walked down the street, I saw their large “A” frame sign advertising a large English breakfast for only 140 baht (chance it was 160 baht, memory getting fuzzy 😉 ). In the picture was the pudding (yay!). Continue reading

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