Archive | 4:46 pm

Elvis Presley sings “Hot Dog”

7 Aug

This short little food ditty was penned by the legendary Leiber & Stoller.

Bob Dylan’s “Country Pie”

7 Aug

Here is yet another food song — from Dylan’s Nashville Skyline LP.

Interesting Asian Recipes

7 Aug

Chinese Spare Ribs

This recipe is based on one that appears in the Joyce Chen Cook Book (J. B. Lippincott, 1962) by the author of the same name. For this dish, we like to use leaner, Chinese-style spareribs, also called St. Louis style, from which the breast bones and flaps of cartilaginous meat have been removed.

1⁄3 cup hoisin sauce
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. dry sherry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. sugar
3⁄4 tsp. red food coloring
1⁄4 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
1  2-lb. slab spareribs, preferably St. Louis style,
   cut into individual ribs

1. Whisk together hoisin, soy, sherry, garlic, sugar, food coloring, and spice powder in a large bowl. Add ribs; toss to coat with marinade. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap, to let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 350°. Arrange a baking rack on top of a rimmed, foil-lined sheet pan. Remove ribs from marinade (reserve marinade); arrange on the rack, meat (not bone) side up. Place pan on middle rack of oven; pour in enough water that it reaches halfway up the sides of the pan, making sure the water does not touch the ribs. Bake ribs for 35 minutes. Baste ribs with reserved marinade; flip and baste again. Bake for 35 minutes more. (Add more water to pan if it dries up.) Raise heat to 450°. Flip ribs again; baste with remaining marinade. Continue baking until ribs are glazed, browned, and tender, about 20 minutes more. Serve with Chinese mustard or duck sauce, if you like.

Crab Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

For making spring rolls, most Vietnamese-American home cooks use the spongy, wheat-based wrappers called TYJ Spring Roll Pastry, which are made by the Spring Home company. They’re available frozen at most Asian food stores. For illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to fill and wrap these rolls, go to

4 oz. backfin crabmeat (small chunks
   from the rear fin area), picked through
   to remove any bits of shell
4 oz. medium shrimp, finely chopped
3 oz. ground pork
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. grated carrot (use the large-holed
   side of a box grater)
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large shallots, finely chopped
12  8″-square spring roll wrappers
1 oz. bún (Vietnamese rice vermicelli),
cooked according to step 1 in our Crab Soup
1 egg white, beaten
Corn oil, for frying
12 ibb lettuce leaves, for garnish
12 sprigs Thai basil, for garnish
12 purple perilla leaves (called tía tô),
   for garnish (optional)
Nuoc châm (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)

1. Stir together crabmeat, shrimp, pork, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper, and shallots; set filling aside.

2. Make rolls: Working with 1 wrapper at a time, arrange wrapper so that a corner faces you. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp towel.) Place 2 tbsp. crab mixture and 1 tbsp. vermicelli on bottom third of wrapper, near corner facing you. Brush top corner with a little egg white. Lift bottom corner of wrapper over filling; pull wrapper back against filling to tighten cylinder. Fold in sides; roll cylinder forward, to form a 4″-long roll about 1″ thick. Transfer to a platter.

3. Pour oil into a large pot to a depth of 2″; heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted into oil reaches 350°. Fry rolls until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer rolls to a paper towel–lined plate. To serve, wrap lettuce, basil, and perilla around rolls; serve with nuoc châm.

Note: Both of the above recipes were found at — a great web site and an essential monthly food magazine.

Puffy Tacos Hit the Big Time

7 Aug

Los Barrios and La Hacienda de Los Barrios are both excellent Tex Mex eateries in San Antonio. They are most famous for a dish called the Puffy Taco. It’s essentially traditional taco filling housed in a tortilla that has been deep fried until “puffy.”

Last night we watched “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” and we were pleasantly surprised that they devoted an entire show to the puffy taco. Flay did his best to compete, but in the end he was no match for Diana Barrios Trevino and her fresh masa tortillas. It’s not unusual that Flay loses in these competitions, but he normally holds his own. This time he was blown away — some people found his peanut sauce a bit too non-traditional, while others claimed his puffy tacos were too crisp and crunchy. Congrats to Diana and long live the mighty puffy taco!

The San Antonio Missions Pro Baseball Club has a Puffy Taco mascot    

Here’s Diana’s recipe so you can make your own puffy tacos:


3 cups corn tortilla mix
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 1/4 cups warm water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. When the dough is consistent begin rolling dough balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Using a tortilla press that is lined in a thick plastic, press out the dough. You use the plastic (it can be a ziploc bag that has been cut) so that the dough does not stick to the tortilla press. Meanwhile have a deep pot filled with cooking oil approximately 2 inches high and heated to 250 degrees. Drop the flat tortilla in the hot oil and using a metal spatula repeatedly douse with the oil. You will see that it will begin to puff up. Flip it over and using the spatula make an indention in the middle of the tortilla to forma taco shape. Remove from oil and allow to drain. Fill with ground meat, shredded chicken, guacamole, bean and cheese or your favorite filling. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomato.

Caution: Be very careful when making these. Make sure there is proper ventilation and do not allow the oil to get too hot. Also, if you can’t get your hands on a tortilla press then use a clean counter. You will still need the plastic so that the dough does not stick to the counter. Place your dough ball on the plastic and cover with more plastic and then using something heavy to press it out. – Website for La Hacienda De Los Barrios in San Antone