Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Umami Review

I decided to have a tourist day and go down to Hollywood/Los Angeles area and just look around. I ended up in Los Felis and found a burger place there called Umami. It is a small place with a small bar area and a fairly decent sized dining area.

It is for sure a hole in the wall place that if you walked by you wouldn't know that the place was there unless you were really looking for it. Which makes it nice when you have been walking around and just want to relax and enjoy your food with out wanting to punch someone in the face. The seating is interesting. Went during the lunch "rush" and there were only three other tables occupied and about 4 seats taken in the bar. Walked into the place and one of the employees said to sit anywhere in the place and that someone would be there to help.

Ordered The Hatchet burger. I am a lover of spicy food so this was right my alley. Four types of green chiles and house cheese. It was like eating a piece of Heaven it was so amazing. Service was rather slow at times. By the time that we were finally ready to leave was when they finally came around to refill my glass of water.

Over all 4/5 stars for this place. Gave the food four stars and only knocked off a star because they were kinda slow in service. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Odd and interesting facts.

  • Celery has negative calories.  It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.

  • Honey is believed to be the only food that does not spoil.  Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs has been tasted by archaeologists and found to still be edible.

  • Cheese closes the stomach and should always be served at the end of a meal.

  • Peanuts are salted in the shell by boiling them in a heavily salted solution, then allowing them to dry.

  • The canning process for herring was developed in Sardinia, which is why canned herrings are better known as sardines.

  • A quarter of raw potato placed in each shoe at night will keep the leather soft and the shoes smelling fresh and clean.

  • Pineapples are classified as berries.

  • Milk is actually considered to be a food and not a beverage.

  • The table fork was introduced into England in 1601. Until then people would eat with their knives, spoons or fingers. When Queen Elizabeth first used a fork, the clergy went ballistic. They felt it was an insult to God not to touch meat with one’s fingers.

  • The Mai Tai cocktail was created in 1945 by Victor Bergeron, the genius of rum, also known as Trader Vic. The drink got its name when he served it to two friends from Tahiti, who exclaimed “Maitai roa ae!,” which in Tahitian means “Out of this world – the best!”

  • Before Columbus, Europe had never tasted cord, potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, sweet potatoes, tapioca, chocolate, pumpkins, squash, coconuts, pineapples, strawberries, and much more.  Why?  All these food items are native to America.

  • The cashew nut in its natural state contains poisonous oil.  Roasting removes the oil and makes the nuts safe to eat.

  • Although explorers brought potatoes back from the New World in the early 1500s, Europeans were afraid to eat them for fear that the spuds would give them leprosy.  It wasn’t until Louis XVI, who was looking for a cheap food source for his starving subjects, served them at the royal table that people were convinced potatoes were safe to eat.

  • In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

  • There is no alcohol left in food that’s cooked with wine.  The alcohol evaporates at 172 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Cabbage is 91% water.

  • The strawberry is the only agricultural product that bears its seeds on the outside.

  • It takes, on average, 345 squirts from a cow’s udder to yield one gallon of milk.

  • Ever wonder how Swiss cheese is made? As the cheese ferments, a bacterial action generates gas. As the gas is liberated, it bubbles through the cheese, leaving all those holes.

  • Cheese is the oldest of all man-made foods.

  • The white part of an egg is called the glair

Friday, April 5, 2013

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn't seep into the pan).

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake).

Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggle. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not over beat).

Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won't be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don't worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting.

Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn't have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired. I recommend white chocolate shavings