Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dallas Eats

Last month I spent a week in Dallas, TX for a Kaizen event for work. So, the first thing I did was do some restaurant research and made a list of options. I made it to about half of the places on my list and was pretty happy with my choices as were the people that joined me.  Most of my lunches were spent at the training facility's cafeteria and wasn't really anything worth writing home about. The dinners were more fun and exciting.

The Blue Fish

The Blue Fish is a fancy (aka expensive) seafood place with very dim lighting that I pretty much spent all my per diem on for the day. It was one of the places I was looking most forward to. I went with the pan seared Chilean sea bass, topped with balsamic soy vinaigrette and served with shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers and rice. It was a nice light and healthy meal but not worth the expensive prices in my opinion.
  Tempura Tower Chilean Sea Bass

Goji Cafe

Goji Cafe is advertised as "Healthy Asian Food". What makes it healthy? It's 100% vegan! I've been to vegan restaurants before but this was the first Asian Vegan I've been to and was pleasantly surprised with how good it was, especially the spring rolls. They have a great sampler option on their menu with 6 sets of samplers or the option of creating your own sampler with any 2 entrees and 1 appetizer from any of the sets of samplers. I chose that option and got the Salt n Pepper "Pork" Ribs, Kung Pow! Tofu and the Spicy Dumplings. Goji Cafe - Vegan Asian Sampler

Koryo Kalbi

Koryo Kalbi is a Korean BBQ restaurant located in Dallas' Koreatown. It is one of the restaurants that was not on my list but came across it in some restaurant research I did while in Dallas. Texas is known for its BBQ and I couldn't go to Texas without trying some BBQ though I'm not sure they are very well known for their Korean BBQ. I do kind of regret not checking out any American BBQ places while there. I read reviews saying people drive hours just to eat here so I figured it must be good and it definitely was.  I love all the different side dishes they bring out. There's a little something for everyone. I went with the pork belly and they cook your meat of choice on the gas grill in the center of the table along with some onion and mushrooms. It was my favorite meal during the trip.
Plate of Korean Side Dishes Korean BBQ

Pasand Indian Cuisine

This was my last meal in Dallas on the way to the airport. Pasand was your typical Indian fare. They had a buffet set up with just about everything though I couldn't tell you what any of it was. I tried a little of almost everything.
Pasand Indian Buffet

The only other restaurant worth mentioning was Andalous Mediterranean Grill. It was kind of subway style looking. They had tons of different dishes and you had the option of creating your own platter from the various dishes on display almost like a buffet but you only got 4 or 5 options and they served it for you. They had 4 different types of hummus including a spinach hummus which I'm going to have to try making myself one of these days. I got a kabob combo that came with 3 different meats and the lamb was definitely the best of the three and if I went back would just get lamb and skip the beef and chicken. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the food here but recommend it.

Another thing to note about Dallas. A coffee capital it is not. It's difficult to find a coffee shop there besides Starbucks and even those are far and few between. Java Me Up was the closest option besides Starbucks and we drove 8 miles out of the way for it. It was nice that they had a lot of non-dairy milk options. I tried rice milk one morning and coconut milk another morning and it wasn't bad but I still prefer my Seattle coffee. I also found it odd that they didn't have any branding on their cups. They were plane white cups with a cup holder with Claritin advertising on it. It looked like something you'd get at a gas station. It was better than Starbucks but not sure if it was worth driving 8 miles for.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Hummus Recipe

Hummus Recipe I've wanted to make hummus for some time but kept putting it off and putting it off and I have no idea why. It's so easy to make and once I made it, I was hooked and have made it at least half a dozen times already this year. I first made it to snack on during the Superbowl, serving it with carrot and celery sticks. I've made a few different variations of it and like experimenting.  I had a tasty spinach hummus at Andalous Mediterranean Grill in Texas last month and am looking forward to adding some spinach to my next batch.

I've tried both a food process and a blender to make the hummus and found the hummus to be a bit creamier with the blender and is my preference.  Some people go through the trouble of peeling all the beans to make it even smoother but I don't have the patience for that and don't think it would make that big of a difference.

Below is the recipe I've used the last couple of times I've made it and it has gotten rave reviews from people, including Mark, who claimed to not like hummus before he tried mine. You can alter the amount of garlic and spice to suit your tastes. I prefer a garlicy hummus and usually use 3 garlic cloves.

Recipe: Gapey's Grub Hummus

Yield: approximately 2.5 cups
Total time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 can garbanzo beans
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
juice of one lemon, approx. 2 tbsp
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

OPTIONAL GARNISHES:
toasted pine nuts
dash of paprika
whole garbanzo beans

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Drain beans, saving liquid for possible use.
2. Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, adding a tbsp or more of saved liquid or water to thin.
3. Garnish with toasted pine nuts. paprika and/or garbanzo beans.
4. Serve with sticks of carrots and celery or pita bread or pita chips.
Hummus Ingredients Hummus in the Making