Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Well, I'm officially back from San Diego. Sad to see the past week come to an end but it definitely was something to remember. Just having a blast with family, it could not have been any better. With Sea World, Disneyland and a wedding, it was a packed week. First stop on food was Lucha Libre Taco Shop.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop was featured on Man V. Food and while in San Diego, my brother had mentioned that we should head over there. Being from Seattle, we're not exactly known for our Mexican Food; San Diego however is. Thus, it has been a goal to eat REAL mexican food.

After a long day at Sea World, my cousins and I headed over to Lucha Libre Taco Shop to eat an early dinner. I was surprised at how small this place was. It was literally decorated with pictures of mexican wrestlers from wall to wall. I've heard that this place gets crowds of people but luckily, there were only a couple other people there.

I ordered a Classic California Burrito with Carne Asada. Now, the whole notion of "California Burrito" simple means french fries is wrapped inside it. Inside this burrito was french fries, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and the carne asade and man was it good! Best burrito I've ever had. It was also a good price for the size of the burrito. It was about $6 and I was only able to finish half of it before getting full! Of course, I saved the rest for later.

All the flavors and textures of this burrito melded beautifully. The creaminess of the sour cream, cheese and the french fries, juiciness of the carne asada, freshness of the pico de gallo. This burrito showed me simplicity is best when it comes to Mexican food. Not to mention, they give complimentary chips and have a condiment bar with different salsas.

They also have a gold booth for important people. I guess we were important since we got to sit there for a picture XD

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lucha Libre Taco Shop
1810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103-3734
(619) 296-8226
Open Mon-Thu, Sun 10:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat 10:30am-3am

Monday, September 19, 2011

Going MIA

No food post this week. Instead I'm heading to the the happiest place on earth! Not my kitchen but Disneyland! A California trip for 6 days is well deserved after 4 years of no vacationing. It's going to be filled with Disneyland, Sea World, a wedding and of course FOOD!

See you all when I get back!

-Aaron John

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monkey Bread

With two weeks remaining before class starts up, my time left for working with yeast is slowly decreasing. Why you ask? Yeast simple takes a lot of patience and time and with my school work, that's just a no-no. With my last attempt at bread, I decided to make Monkey Bread. Circular dough balls drenched in butter, rolled in cinnamon sugar with pecans, placed into a bundt pan and baked. Served best when warm. YUM!

Monkey Bread reminds me of an inside out cinnamon roll. Instead of having that delicious gooey centers of cinnamon rolls, monkey bread has more of a crispy sugary crust. With the added crunch of the pecans, it's to die for. This isn't a diet food by any means so if you are on a diet, I apologize. It definitely gives you that sugar rush with every bite you take.

Trust me, with the next two weeks, I'm gonna need that sugar rush. To start off the first two weeks, I'm taking the PCAT for pharmacy this week. EEEEEEEEEKKKK! Super nervous. Just reading through the rules and regulations are freaking me out. The security is crazy! Apparently they have to capture our signature and our PALM VEIN! I thought I was taking the PCAT, not getting arrested! haha. Oh well, I just can't wait to get it over with :)

Monkey Bread
Recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes one 10-inch Bundt Cake
For The Bread:
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, plus more for pan and bowl
1/4 cup warm (110 degrees to 115 degrees) water
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch for yeast
1 envelope dry active yeast (scant tablespoon)
3/4 cup warm (110 degrees to 115 degrees) milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For The Coating:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
For The Icing:
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Lightly coat a 10-inch Bundt pan and a medium bowl with shortening; set aside. Put the warm water and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl; sprinkle yeast over top. Stir; let the yeast soften and dissolve, about 5 minutes.

Place shortening, milk, sugar, salt, and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Add yeast mixture to shortening mixture, and beat to combine. Slowly add flour. Knead on medium-low, 1 minute. Transfer dough to the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place, 20 minutes.

Make coating: Place melted butter in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts; sprinkle 2 tablespoons nut mixture into prepared Bundt pan.

Cut dough into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll into balls. Coat in butter, then roll in nut mixture, and place in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate, and let cool 20 minutes more.

Make icing: In a small bowl, combine milk and confectioners' sugar. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over bread.

-Aaron John

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Arancini di Riso (Risotto Balls)

What the?? How is August already over and Fall just around the corner? Time seems to fly when you get older. I can honestly say, when I was younger, summer break seems to go by slower. Maybe that happened because all I did was sit around and watched my daily cartoons.

Anywho, when time seems to fly, you always want to reinvent or use up leftovers in a whole new way. Risotto balls are no different. Every culture seems to get the most value for their buck whether it's using every part of the animal, including internal organs, in dishes or changing a leftover into a "makeover". I mean have you seen Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern?? The things that guy eats are just uhhhhh..., if you've seen his show you know what I'm talking about.

Since I made a bunch of risotto last week, I decided to save some risotto for the next day and whip up this. Man oh man are these good! I do have to say, they're pretty filling so 2 of them are good enough. Squeeze a little lemon on top and it's taken to a whole other level.

Arancini di Riso (Risotto Balls)
Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
Makes about 20 servings

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 cups Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas, recipe follows, cooled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs
2 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Pour enough oil in a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture for each, form the risotto mixture into 1 3/4-inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat.

Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot ail and cook until brown and heated through, turning them as necessary, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Let rest 2 minutes. Serve hot.

- Aaron John


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