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Posts posted by maftoul

  1. I have cooked only from Land of Plenty. I don't have the Hunan book, yet. These are the dishes we've made from Land of Plenty

    Traditional Dan Dan Noodles

    Xie Laoban's Dan Dan Noodles

    Yibin Kindling Noodles

    Spicy Cold Noodles with Chicken Slivers

    Hot and Numbing Chicken Slices

    Gong Bao Chicken

    Strange Flavor Chicken

    Cold Pork in Hot and Garlicky Sauce

    Haricots Verts in Ginger Sauce

    Sweet and Sour Red Peppers

    Spicy Cucumber Salad

    Fish Fragrant Pork Slivers

    Pork in Lychee Sauce with Crispy Rice - My daughter made this one, I was a happy guest. It is one of my favorite recipes in the book.

    Sweet and Sour Pork

    Ants Climbing a Tree

    Dry Fried Chicken

    Tai Bai Chicken

    Fish Fragrant Eggplants

    Dry Fried Green Beans, Versions 1 and 2 - version 2 was our favorite

    Stir Fried Water Spinach with Chile and Sichuan Pepper

    Zucchini Slivers with Garlic

    I've had the book for 5 years. I use it every couple of months. We have our favorites that we make time and again, such as the traditional dan dan noodles, strange flavor chicken and sweet and sour pork. I love all of the vegetable recipes we've tried.

  2. Pangea is closed. I guess that was announced in the Pitch already, but I just noticed it the other day.

    I hope Martin and Wendy are doing okay.

    I feel awful... we've been so broke, and eating out is really not happening for us these days, but I know these talented folks need our patronage. At least we're moving back into the city (Hyde Park) from the boonies (south-east KC... the only decent grub I've found out here is an amazing Middle Eastern deli, behind the 7-Eleven at the corner of Bannister and James A. Reed).

    I'm intrigued by the Middle Eastern deli. Does it have seating, or is it carry out only?

  3. As for the left-overs - when I had my restaurant we got stuck with the makings of a couple of hundred hoagies we had prepped for a restaurant festival the was subsequently rained out.  I put hoagie soup on the menu - didn't sell all that much soup, but got some good PR out of it.

    What we can't use or re-sell, we donate to our community kitchens (aka "soup kitchens" that feed hundreds of people a day) It's tax deductible, we aren't sitting on it, and it's put to good use.

    The whole hearing impaired person thing is amazing. I'm in the midwest, but apparently this sort of hearing impaired person scam is happening all over. That's pretty evil.

  4. It sounds exactly like something that happened to us where I worked. A person called saying they were an operator typing in information for a hearing impaired person and that this person wanted to order a large amount of food for pick-up. We declined when the potential customer stated he/she wanted to email several credit card numbers. We thought it was quite odd that someone would email several credit card numbers, saying that they felt better about emailing the numbers than giving it to us over the phone. We also weren't comfortable with splitting an invoice between several cards.

  5. P.S. Any recipe recommendations from the book, i.e., which recipe should I start with? I've only cooked Chinese food successfully a handful of times.

    The Gong Bao Chicken, page 237, is great! Xie Laoban's Dan Dan Noodles, page 89, Pork in Lychee Sauce with Crispy Rice, page 198, and Sweet and Sour Pork, page 210 are all dishes that I've made successfully time and time again. Land of Plenty is one of my favorites.

  6. We had a wonderful time at Extra Virgin Tuesday night (Dec. 23)

    Not in accurate order, four of us had:

    Baby goat with apples

    Beef tongue

    Grilled baby octopus

    Pork cheeks

    Pig ears

    Hanger steak

    Chicken thighs stuffed with figs

    Warm eggplant salad

    Stuffed escarole

    Carrots and parsnips

    Nearly everything was terrific. The carrots and parsnips with sumac was not so great. That dish needs some work. It was pretty mediocre. All of the meats were wonderful. Succulent, well seasoned and flavorful. The grilled baby octopus was excellent! We all thought that some morsels of bread would have been great to eat with the delicious sauces and juices that each dish contained. One of our party has spent considerable time in Spain and said you do get bread with tapas in Spain for just that reason. None was provided at Extra Virgin.

    Another minor quibble was our server questioning our every choice, asking us if we were sure we knew what escarole was, among other questions to see if we knew what we were actually ordering. Well, we knew what we were ordering, thanks for the offer to explain, but don't assume we don't know what escarole is, and goat and pork cheeks. Other than those few minor issues, Extra Virgin was great. We will certainly return.

  7. Seen on a chalk clapboard outside of chefBURGER:

    Daily Special

    $8.95 for a chefBURGER, fries, and a drink. 

    $9.95 for a chefBURGER with cheese, fries, and a drink. 

    M-F 11am-2pm."

    They need to change their sign! We stopped by Chefburger Sunday for the first time in several months. The fries we ordered weren't fries at all, but the kind of fast food potato product that is cooked, then extruded into fake waffle shapes, then frozen. Not good at all :shock: They were very similar to what kids are served in school cafeterias. If I would have known that they were billing those as fries, I wouldn't have ordered them.

    The Chefburger was okay, but wasn't very hot. It appeared that maybe they are pre cooking the burger somewhat. We got are order in less than 5 minutes.

  8. I have the good fortune to be in KC tomorrow with a few hours free around noon.  I'll land at MCI around 10:30 am and then I'm free until around 4 pm when I have to check in for a conference at UMKC.

    Any recs?  (Not looking for BBQ, but otherwise open to suggestions!)

    Blanc Burgers and Bottles in Westport is very good. It's at 419 Westport Rd, just west of Broadway.


    Korma Sutra is great for Indian food, they are right around the corner from Blanc on Pennsylvania.


    Both are just minutes away from UMKC.

    Even closer is Cafe Sebastienne at the Kemper Gallery at 45th and Warwick.


  9. I made a few recipes a few weeks ago, I'm away and will need to check my notes when I get home for the specifics and some pics.  From what I remember, we made a few of the dumplings, the square noodles in a lamb broth, a carrot salad with sesame oil and picked chilies, a pork and leek stir-fry, some kind of beef and cellophane noodle dish, and the pulled noddles.  I haven't tried any of the breads yet.  Most everything was completely delicious, although the soup and the beef dishes were too watery.  I'm going to post a review on my blog in another week or two but I"ll try to post pics here first.

    In the interest of full disclosure: I really liked Mangoes and Curry Leaves.  I traveled for months in India and although the coffee table feel of the book put my off at first the recipes were earthy and brought back lots of good memories...Also the Bangla (sp?) Dal with lime and tamarind is my all-time favorite dal recipe, since it's got tons of flavor unlike most dal recipes.  I'm curious why people didn't like Mangoes and Curry Leaves.  Any additional thoughts?  Also, has anyone tried their flatbreads cookbook, I think it's called Flatbreads and Flavors?

    I have all of the Duigud-Alford books except the Seductions of Rice. I happen to really like Mangoes and Curry Leaves, too. The Mountain Dal and Bangla Dal with Lime are my favorite dal recipes.

    I've cooked a great deal from Flatbreads and Flavors. My wish would be that they would do a revised version of that book. Many of the recipes seem to have much more whole grain flour and yeast than seem necessary. I've adapted lots of the recipes to fit my personal style of bread baking with very fine results.

    I'm definitely going to try some of the nans from Beyond The Great Wall.

  10. We made the warm romaine salad with beef dressing. Very simple, very subtle. The romaine stayed nicely crunchy, the beef sauce was silky and savory. Next time I would make it a little more complex with the addition of some bean paste and chilies maybe.

    I do like this book and am looking forward to making more of the recipes. Many of the bread recipes are in my future and the Uighur recipes sound intriguing. I would love to find a bread stamp like the ones pictured. That kind of bread stamp is also photographed in Flatbreads and Flavors. It's a wooden mallet thing tool with nails protruding from the bottom for docking bread doughs. I've never seen one in the US. If anyone has seen one, let me know where!

  11. I hope this is an appropriate place to post this. I have a friend who is looking for chefs in Omaha to do demos at the “Taste of Omaha” for Turbo chef ovens. Free  PR and a chance to work with these things.  These ovens are pretty bad ass.


    So she is looking for people that are good and have some versatility.

    Any suggestions?

    Are these things as sweet as they sound? I might be getting new equipment and have been asked. Darn, wish I was up that way, I sure would volunteer to play with one. The Garland stove that I have, the ovens really, really, really suck big time. The stove top is no problem, but the ovens are some of the coldest ovens I have ever worked with. And I hate the broiler function, it is a piece of crap also. But I didn't work here when they were specking the kitchen. Some ding dong designer did.

    Ah, yes..the professional kitchen designer. Usually someone who has not cooked in restaurant kitchens. I feel for you Joiei, I've been there!

  12. Ah, but the problem with the lunch special is that is does not include the Kobe burger, which costs $12 and adding fries is an additional cost.

    Were the sweet potato fries good?  I love them elsewhere, but I was splitting with the BF and he doesn't do sweet potatoes.

    Yes, the sweet potato fries were quite good. Very crispy, which is usually a problem. They were seasoned perfectly. Sometimes sweet potato fries can be sticky, these were not.

  13. ...There is a Monday thru Saturday lunch special, which is a selection of several burgers and sides for 8 bucks.

    Monday through Saturday?

    I'm assuming that you mean that the $8 lunch special gives you a choice of ONE of several burger options and ONE side. If, indeed, you mean $8 for several burgers AND sides, that is quite a steal!

    For those of you who have been to both ChefBURGER and Blanc, what's the verdict?

    Yes, you assumed correctly, it's a choice of one burger and one side for $8. It's still a steal. Of course you knew that :biggrin:

    I'd be more likely to return to Blanc. The food was a notch or two above Chefburger, at least to our party.

    Edited to add:

    A smilie face to not appear snippy, which was not intended!

    Edited to add:

    In retrospect, comparing Chefburger to Blanc is not quite fair. Their approaches and intents seem to be quite different. Blanc is a table service place, Chefburger is certainly a fast food type operation, but with very good fast food. Both places have great things going for them.

  14. We ate at Blanc recently, and enjoyed it immensely. I wish we would have had our camera. Three of us shared a Pulled Pork Burger, Turkey Burger, and an Au Poivre Burger. We all got different sides. There is a Monday thru Saturday lunch special, which is a selection of several burgers and sides for 8 bucks. Quite reasonable to us. Our sides were Boulevard Pale Ale Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries, and regular Fries.

    The Pulled Pork Burger was seriously tasty. It was pulled pork molded into a burger shape, then grilled on a flat top it seemed and served on a Farm to Market bun with Chipotle Slaw and pickles. We all loved it. We ordered the Sweet Potato Fries with than. They were some of the best of their kind that we've had.

    The Turkey Burger was good, not as exciting as the Pulled Pork. It had the ubiquitous special sauce, avocado, tomato, etc. It was on a Farm to Market Whole Grain Bun. We had the nicely crispy regular fries with that. Chefburger should do fries that well.

    The Au Poivre Burger had just the right amount of pepper without being too harsh. The Boulevard Pale Ale Onion Rings were terrific. The portion was so generous, three of of couldn't finish them, but hey, we are older folks!

    I understand at night the fries and other side orders come in a little toy cart...ala carte. When we were there last Saturday, the lunch speciasl had the sides right on the platter with the burgers. That's ok by us.

    3 of us spent $30 for the lunch specials and our drinks (no booze) not including the gratuity. We didn't feel that 10 dollars per person was out of line. It was a very good lunch.

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