All posts by marco

That is just mean, Tom Douglas

Coming into work into the morning, I smelled something delicious. I went around the corner and looked at this beauty, at 9 AM.

I sometimes take interview candidates to Trattoria Cuoco. The food is pretty good, but their grilling always looks and smells phenomenal – even early in the morning. Sometimes they do this rotisserie style, sometimes they break out their Big Green Egg, which causes even more serious envy ;)

Naanz Kitchen + Bar on Republican & Pontius Ave

I wasn’t a fan. They try to be the Chipotle of Indian food. They even sold their daal as being like refried beans, but the prices were not Chipotle.

I guess phrases like “Indian-inspired food” and “naanwiches” should have been warning signs for me …

If you make the meat separately from the sauce it is not going to taste as good. I had lamb + vindaloo on a rice bowl. Both meat and sauce were so-so. My friend had his naan sandwich with chicken tikka and felt similarly.

I payed $12 and was still hungry afterwards.

The Spice on Curve food cart on Republican has better Indian food at better prices. The buffet at Royal Palace on Fairview tastes better as well.

Polenta Cake (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

These came up moist and crumbly. The polenta had quite a bite too it, so I will soften/pre-cook it a little next time.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Polenta
  • 3 large free-range organic eggs, alternatively use 3 tbsp of flaxseed meal and 9 tbsp of water
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable or extra light olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups packed organic light brown sugar
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed into puree (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Prepare a 10″ x 13″ (25x25cm) baking pan by lining it with greased parchment.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients except the sugar.
  4. If using, mix flaxseed meal and the water and set aside for 5 min.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients with the sugar. Use a hand mixer.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 33 minutes, or until done.

    Check the center for doneness with a wooden pick. The cake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, firm to a light touch.

Zucchini Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free)

Made these muffins for my kids, when they went to a birthday party without gluten-free birthday cake and we liked them a lot… so much that I couldn’t take a picture before they were all gone ;)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (e.g. Trader Joe)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Shred the zucchini and mix it with the tbsp of sugar and let sit in a sieve over a container. The sugar will draw out moisture. You can discard the water.
  3. Mix flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp water and set aside for 5 minutes. (If you like it, you can use an egg instead)
  4. Mix all dry ingredients.
  5. Combine the flaxseed meal mixture and oil; carefully stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  6. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and raisins.
  7. Coat 6 large muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter.
  8. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Seafood from Seattle

Found this show today on Amazon Prime Instant Video (so for free if you have Prime):
Moveable Feast – Episode one features chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau.

Together with Australian host Pete Evans the three chefs first catch their seafood out in the Puget Sound (Crabs and Sand Dabs) and next they shop for squid and vegetables at Pike Place Market. They cook a very nice seafood feast for their friends in a penthouse loft overlooking Seattle.

They tried to teach some techniques in this show, which I have to admit for seafood, I have to learn a lot, so I enjoyed this :)

By the way, Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat, I last saw at a Christmas concert, where he read the Nativity Story in his thick French accent. Though, while we have visited most of Tom Douglas’ restaurants, I have yet to go to Loulay!

Seven Star Pepper

Seven Stars Pepper Szechwan Restaurant on 12th and Jackson is one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. We used to go here a lot, when we were all working in Beacon Hill at PacMed and it was just a short 5-minute walk away. The big family-style lunches, where everybody helped themselves to the many different dishes by turning the “Lazy Susan” are a very fond memory and even ten years later we do our reunion lunches there.

Wikipedia tells us that Szechwan cuisine, also Sichuan, or Szechuan is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province in southwestern China. It has bold flavours, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan pepper.

And yes, a lot of the food here can be quite spicy. I’m just going to list a few of our favorite dishes:
Green Onion Pan Cakes are an excellent appetizer, Twice Cooked Pork Szechuan Style, Fish in White Sauce, Eggplant in Hot Garlic Sauce, Cumin Lamb, Honey Walnut Chicken, …. and many more. Go explore the menu! :)

Osteria Rigoletto for lunch

We went to Osteria Rigoletto on a Friday for lunch with a group of 15. We came unannounced, because Lunchbox Lab had lost our reservation and there were only 4 other guests, so they were able to seat us right away.

I ordered the Minestrone, which was way too hot: At least 80F, so I burned my mouth and had to wait 10 min before I could start eating it, but it tasted pretty good. The vegetable soup didn’t have pasta, which I usually like, but a good helping of parmesan.
One thing that I found pretty weird, when I asked them for a to-go-container for the rest of my soup, this is how they packaged it…
Minestrone to go!
…soup in tinfoil?!?

I also ordered the cappellini con calamari e pomodori for $10 from the lunch menu. The pasta was al dente and had plenty of sea food in it. Could have used a little salt and pepper, but there wasn’t any on the table and I never saw our server until I was done.

For the large group we were, service was ok and nobody had to wait for too long. Gratuity was included in the bill. I really liked the industrial design of the place and will likely come back. Sometimes it is hard to find a lunch place in SLU that isn’t super crowded yet. The owner also has the Bakery La Toscanella on Westlake.

Ten Leaves Bistro – Great Vietnamese food

Went to visit Ten Leaves (at 12th & Jackson in the ID) with my son on a Saturday for lunch. The other guests were about 10 older Vietnamese couples – I take that as a good sign :)

I had the Bánh xèo (vietnamese Crêpe), which was not on the menu, but was on the specials board. It was delicious and exactly, what I was craving. Now the kicker: It happens to be gluten, dairy, and egg free. It’s made with rice flour and water (sometimes coconut milk as well) and is filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. Of course, you get a big plate of greens to fill it with, so it makes quite a balanced meal!

My son always orders the chicken vermicelli, but this time I got him the tray with rice paper. So much fun! You dip the rice paper into hot water and fill it with the chicken, vermicelli, greens, mint, basil, sprouts, and add a little of that awesome fish sauce. We love hands-on meals, especially if they taste this good :)

(Also posted this on Yelp)