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eG Foodblog: mizducky - San Diego: A (Really!) Moveable Feast


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I am definitely having fun here, thank you Mizducky. Of course, I'm totally distracted by the non-food alien culture things such as PARKING IN FRONT OF A RESTAURANT. When I'm in Japan, I forget about the whole concept of strip mall parking, roadside parking, etc. (Japan is more of a park-across-the-tiny-intersection-and-block-four-roads-at-once kind of place).

I do like that stand (lacquered, no less!) you showed us for temaki sushi - rather like an icecream cone stand.

Enjoying your comments on the influence (impact? :rolleyes: ) of shared kitchens/cooking. Maybe because it's not dinner-party cooking, it's all the more interesting for housemates/dorm mates. If I ever wrote a book, I think I'd want to dedicate it to One-Pot Dinners Observed.

As one freelancer to another, do you take extra pleasure in eating out or shopping in markets rather than ordering in or dashing through supermarkets just for the delight of crawling out of your cave and looking at other live human beings, or is that not an issue?

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I am definitely having fun here, thank you Mizducky. Of course, I'm totally distracted by the non-food alien culture things such as PARKING IN FRONT OF A RESTAURANT. When I'm in Japan, I forget about the whole concept of strip mall parking, roadside parking, etc. (Japan is more of a park-across-the-tiny-intersection-and-block-four-roads-at-once kind of place).

Heh. The "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot" aspect of West Coast US car culture definitely takes some getting used to--especially since I spent so many years associated with East Coast cities (New York, Boston) where you basically either walked or took mass transit everywhere. One of the biggest things I miss about Boston and Cambridge are what beautiful walking cities they were--there, a sidewalk cafe really *is* a sidewalk cafe, not a parking-lot-side cafe. :rolleyes: Seattle at least had a whole bunch of walker-friendly neighborhoods. San Diego just has a relative few--OB is one of them, which is another reason why I like it so.

As one freelancer to another, do you take extra pleasure in eating out or shopping in markets rather than ordering in or dashing through supermarkets just for the delight of crawling out of your cave and looking at other live human beings, or is that not an issue?

Oh, it's *totally* an issue! Sometimes, especially when I'm slaving at a particularly huge deadline, I can look up and go, "waitaminnit, have I even been out of pajamas and out of the house in the past three days?" And I totally use food errands to make sure I get out of the house and face something besides a computer screen all day. It's one of many reasons why I can easily spend an hour or more dawdling my way through a supermarket--that, and, well, I just like *looking* at all the stuff and thinking of interesting things I can make with it. :smile: (I confess I'm that way in hardware stores too--it can take one of Home Depot's crowbars to get me out of the darned store--but that, to paraphrase one of my favorite TV food personalities, is a topic for another board. :wink: )

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...  One of the biggest things I miss about Boston and Cambridge are what beautiful walking cities they were--there, a sidewalk cafe really *is* a sidewalk cafe, not a parking-lot-side cafe. :rolleyes:

Hey, not ALL East Coast cities are walking cities, Mademoiselle Canard. I've moved to Englishtown in NJ this past year, and I MISS South Beach SO MUCH! The only thing I can do here without my car is eat mediocre ice cream, semi decent Asian, or go through the local junk shop. Now that's not so bad compared to the rest of this area, I know, but back home I could go months without driving if I wanted to! Does your new neighborhood have any walking distance areas of intrigue?

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But what really turned me on was their non-perishable grocery items, which included a bunch of ethnic ingredients--not only Mexican, but also Middle Eastern, Indian, etc.:

gallery_28661_3_230412.jpg

(I had more photos of the ethnic bounty, but alas they did not come out at all.)

Ya know, even here in Duluth we have displays like that, admittedly smaller, but they're there. I zero in on those by smell alone. I haven't worked out what that precise smell is that's so distinctive, so tantalizing. It isn't sweet, it isn't hot, it isn't - well, it isn't basil, oregano, chili, or cumin. Or thyme, saffron, cloves or fruit. What the heck is it? I don't know, but it grabs my attention from 2 aisles over, every time. It's luscious. Any ideas what that precise odor combination is?

They had this cute li'l guy welcoming you into the parking lot:

gallery_28661_3_309085.jpg

That is soooo California. I grew up in the Central Valley, where orange juice was sold from stands made like giant oranges that dotted the landscape along Highway 99. They're all gone now, but I still see the odd relic, like Bob's Big Boy. Or your cow.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Nice to see you can get some good Iowan meats out there. One thing I'll miss if I move away from Iowa is the great meats and dairy we have. This is the only place I've lived where I will actually drink the milk. Is the meat at your market expensive? It looks a little more than what I would pay here but thats probably a given. The sushi looked divine btw. *sigh*

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Miz Ducky: I've just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying it! Asian food, budget gourmand, San Diego (I attended UCSD), AND Frank Zappa references... (Mr. Chardgirl loves FZ: I'm looking forward to sharing this with him.)

Blog on M. D. !

(I had my first chicken feet in a tiny dim sum joint in a strip mall near down town San Diego in 1984....)

cg

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Okay--it's audience participation time!

So I've got this 2.5-lb hunk of pork belly I picked up at Iowa Meat Farms this afternoon. My intention is to cook it Saturday evening (it's currently defrosting, wrapped, in the fridge, so I figure it will be ready to roll by Saturday afternoon). Now the question becomes: what exactly to make with it?

The last time I cooked pork belly, I used this recipe and was well pleased with it. I could do this again--it's been several months since the last go--but why repeat myself when I could do something different? Plus I'd really like to do something that gets the skin all crispy. (Yep, the skin is still intact, I checked.)

This recipe purports to produce crispy skin, but it strike me as being a bit on the fussy side, plus I don't think Fearless Housemate would be happy with confronting a nekkid hunk o' pork belly lying around on a plate in the fridge. :shock:

This one certainly has simplicity to recommend it. And I imagine I could use substitute some other spicing if I so desired--not that I have anything against fennel seed.

But somehow I want a happier medium between minimalism and fussing. There's a pork belly recipe halfway down on this page that looks like it's in that groove. And I like soy/five spice powder seasoning. So I might wind up doing that ...

... or I might try something suggested by one of you out there.

So--any opinions? Let me know!

Oh yeah--the reason why I'm looking on the web rather than in a book for this: believe it or not, I actually don't own all that many cookbooks, and those I have, lack recipes for pork belly. I've been a net-geek for literally a couple of decades, and it's really spoiled me in some ways--for reference work, it often seems so much easier to Google than to buy, shlep, and pore through books, especially since so many book indexers seem to do a slap-dash job (sez the veteran tech writer who has seen slap-dash contract indexers in action for twice the bux per hour she was getting paid ... :raz: ).

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You could do the recipe I did in the regrettable dinner thread your remarked on. It won't give you crispy skin but it is delicious. You stew pork belly in a five-spice powder and soy sauce marinade. Let me know if you would like the recipe and I'll go dig it out. :smile:

gallery_39656_2144_305604.jpg

Edited to add picture in case you forgot.

Edited by OnigiriFB (log)
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Hey, not ALL East Coast cities are walking cities, Mademoiselle Canard. I've moved to Englishtown in NJ this past year, and I MISS South Beach SO MUCH! The only thing I can do here without my car is eat mediocre ice cream, semi decent Asian, or go through the local junk shop. Now that's not so bad compared to the rest of this area, I know, but back home I could go months without driving if I wanted to! Does your new neighborhood have any walking distance areas of intrigue?

That's a bummer about Englishtown--somehow, I thought it was far enough out of the Metro-New York Suburbia orbit to follow the small-town pattern rather than the suburbia pattern. And you're right--suburbia around East Coast cities can also be parking lot/strip mall purgatory, which is why I ran screaming from my childhood home in suburbia as soon as I was able to engineer my escape. :laugh:

As to my new neighborhood: the main drag, alas, would make a really ugly walking neighborhood. However, once you get away from that into the residential area, it really is quite charming. Plus I'm also within a few miles of another hunk of major terrific urban greenspace, Mission Trails Regional Park, where I think at least a few of the trails are flat enough that I can try working out on them. I'm hoping, as I progress in this new exercise/physical therapy thing I'm starting next week, that I can start taking advantage of that.

And if all else fails, I guess I could do the mall-walker thing at the nearby humongous shopping malls (shudder!). Although I can't totally slag off the Mission Valley area shopping malls--after all, the Fashion Valley Mall is where Alton Brown has done his San Diego stops on his last couple of cooking demo/book-signing tours.

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You could do the recipe I did in the regrettable dinner thread your remarked on. It won't give you crispy skin but it is delicious. You stew pork belly in a five-spice powder and soy sauce marinade. Let me know if you would like the recipe and I'll go dig it out.  :smile:

Oh yeah--I remember that one! I still think it looks darned delicious, not regrettable at all! Like I said, I think I'm more leaning towards a crispy treatment than a braise this time around, but I sure wouldn't mind having your recipe for future reference ... or in case I decide to change my mind and go for a braise again anyway.

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MD~

You might like this one :

Aromatic Pork Belly Hot Pot

I tried posting it before with all sorts of credits and sources and was told it violated copyright laws. Is that true? Isn't it public domain when it is posted on the Web, especially if you are told where it is coming from?

Whatever. you might like it, given your predilection ofr Asian style goodies........ :wub:

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MD~

You might like this one :

Aromatic Pork Belly Hot Pot

I tried posting it before with all sorts of credits and sources and was told it violated copyright laws. Is that true? Isn't it public domain when it is posted on the Web, especially if you are told where it is coming from?

Whatever. you might like it, given your predilection ofr Asian style goodies........ :wub:

Heheheh ... great minds think alike--that's actually the first recipe linked in my audience-participation announcement post, the one I actually cooked the last time and liked so well. :smile:

About public domain--alas, just because something is on the web does NOT make it public domain. Public domain, regardless of whether an item appears on paper or in electronic format, generally means the author's copyright on the piece in question has officially run out on it. I dunno how long that takes for recipes, and they keep changing up the laws on full-length book works, but I think it used to be something like at least 50 to 70 years? Anyway, it's a danged loooooong time, whatever it is. The bottom line is that copyright laws are in full force for all authored works regardless of format, and unless you see a piece (recipe, text, graphics, photo, whatever) specifically labeled as public domain, the safest thing is to assume that it is not, and is not legal to reproduce unless one has received explicit and documented permission from the author to do so. In this case, since this recipe is on the BBC website and has the chef/creator's name right on it, it's pretty safe to assume that it's completely and totally copyrighted right to its very last period and pixel (and that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall probably got financially compensated in some way by the BBC for the right to reproduce his recipe on their website). However, it's perfectly legal to link to it to our hearts' content--and that's the beauty of the Web, innit? :smile:

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Crispy crispy.... is there any way to BBQ the little tummy?

Alas, I currently do not own a barbeque grill. Shocking, I know--I guess I'm not living up the the SoCal ideal here. But at least the apartment complex I'll be moving to has a community grill right in the courtyard. :laugh:

Edited by mizducky (log)
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I'll be happy to share the recipe. I actually got it off the back of a package of five spice powder I got from the Asian market. It had this dish specifically on it and is from Thailand so I thought I'd give it a try. Which actually is how a lot of my cooking comes about. Unfortunately I never got the recipes from my aunties and some of them are now getting old and not doing so well mentally. :sad: Our cook got married a few years after I left for schooling so I'm not even sure if I could get a hold of them now. *sigh* I'll dig it out tomorrow and try to post it since it's my bedtime here. Even if you don't try it now you never know someday another pork belly craving might hit. :biggrin: One thing Emeril says right, "Pork fat rules!"

Rebecca - yes it has hard boiled eggs in it. You precook the eggs and then when you stew the pork belly you add the eggs and tofu and they all take on that wonderful flavor and color of the sauce. It's sweet, fatty, and salty all at once. Like many braises it taste much better the longer it sits. One of my favorite "kiddy" Thai recipes. My dad used to make it for me all the time so it brings back memories. We didn't eat too often in Thailand unless we had a lot of kids around that needed something non spicy to eat as it's a little more time consuming than the standard non-spicy soups we serve to children. A prettier presentation would have been to take the eggs out and quarter them and then arrange them around the bowl with the pork belly and tofu in the middle. :smile:

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Pork belly...I like to pretend that it's really yakitori, and cut it into small pieces and grill it on skewers. I would like to tell you about some great exotic Japanese spice, but apart from using yuzu-kosho (chilis ground up with salt and green yuzu peel), I much prefer to rub the meat thoroughly with salt and dried sage before making the skewers.

You could just grill the meat and eat it with a miso dip (3 tab ground sesame seeds (use black if you want it to look really evil), 2 tab miso (hatcho or dark red if you use black sesames, any type at all otherwise), 2 tab sake, 1 tab sugar, 1 tab mirin, 1 tsp - 1tab soy sauce depending on how salty the miso was). You can either just paint this stuff on the meat and grill it (burns easily...), or give it a little bubble on the gas and have it as a dip.

I'm so glad other people work in their PJs too!

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...  One of the biggest things I miss about Boston and Cambridge are what beautiful walking cities they were--there, a sidewalk cafe really *is* a sidewalk cafe, not a parking-lot-side cafe. :rolleyes:

Hey, not ALL East Coast cities are walking cities, Mademoiselle Canard. I've moved to Englishtown in NJ this past year, and I MISS South Beach SO MUCH! The only thing I can do here without my car is eat mediocre ice cream, semi decent Asian, or go through the local junk shop.[...]

For all of you who, like me, had never heard of Englishtown in your lives, feel free to look here:

http://www.idcide.com/citydata/nj/englishtown.htm

And a relevant quote to show that this is not the kind of community most of you would think of when using the word "city":

Englishtown, NJ, population 1,764[...]

In New Jersey, a community with a population of 1,764 can be officially designated as a "city," but that doesn't mean that most people are thinking about such small towns when they use that word. I'm sorry but not surprised that there is little variety of good food there, given the observations many people made on the "Small Town Dining -- Spare Me, Why France is better than America" thread.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Congratulations on successfully negociating the dreaded Mission Gorge/Friars Rd. intersection. Clearly designed by some demented men with an axe to grind with CalTrans. Once you get used to it, it's not so bad, but admitedly the first few times through it kind of resembles one of the old E-ticket rides at Disneyland. Even though you limit your coffee intake, if you ever decide to splurge, across the street from Jump Tokoyo is a drive through coffee hut (yes, this is the land of the ultimate in car convenience) called Cuppa Cuppa. They serve a pretty decent cup of coffee. They recently reopened after having been closed for - ahem - remodeling after someone took the concept of "drive-thru" just a little to seriously.

Not exactly in your new neighborhood, but close and definitely worth a visit with your trusty camera, is Vine Ripe Market. 10 minutes tops from your new place. Closer than OB, but the neighborhood isn't nearly as colorful. Point the duckymobile East on the I-8 and keep going until till you see the Fletcher Parkway exit. Follow that past Chipotle's, past Costco and past Babies R Us (I'm not making that last one up). Slow down when you see Ethan Allen Furniture cuz, the next driveway's where you turn. If you zip past the Chili's you've gone too far. But never fear if you do, a right and 2 lefts will put you in the parking lot for BevMo! a liquor emporium with something for everyone and in all price ranges. But back to Vine Ripe, very interesting selection of "stuff". From dates still ripening on the stalk, to the largest supply of Patak's Indian line I've ever seen on the left coast, halal meats, 3 different varieties of eggplant, chile peppers galore, you name it and it's pickled in a jar, 9 kinds of feta, packages of mystery spices with labels not in English, and mochi ice cream bon-bons are but a few of the offerings. And olives, did I mention the olives? The largest olive bar in San Diego, and they're all good. Produce is usually very ripe, just about to turn, not photo-op pretty, but it is priced to move out the door, and it usually does. The market also operates the Middle Eastern resto that is attached to it. Supposed to be good, but I haven't tried it so I can't vouche for it. (BTW, if it's Lebanese you want try Mama's just off of El Cajon Blvd., on Florida or Alabama).

If you visit Vine Ripe and you're in the mood for an offal taco, the Azteca taco shop is only a block and a half away in the 7-11 strip mall on Jackson Dr. just off Fletcher Parkway. You'll hear more Spanish here than English. Buche, tripas and the lot are offered. I haven't tried these, but I have tried some of their other choices and found them quite good. Around the corner from the 7-11, on Jackson, is a liquor store and next to it is another Mexican place specializing in mariscos that's worth a visit too.

And as for Mission Trails Park, not a lot of flat land for walking, Lake Murray is a better choice. However, if you want to investigate, there is a market on the corner of Jackson Dr. and Mission Gorge Rd. - right across the street from one of the little parking lots for Mission Trails - that touts their sandwiches. For my money and a sandwich, I'd turn on to Jackson, take it to the top of the hill and then turn left on to Navajo and hit the Cheers Deli in the liquor store in the Kiel's shopping center (kinda behind the Exxon station). Their sandwiches are very generous and reasonably priced (around $6.50), tasty and perfect for a stroll in the Park or by the Lake. And as you know, San Diego has nothing that vaguely resembles a real deli (no, I'm not a DZ Akins fan), but we do have places that make good sandwiches and Cheers is one of them.

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Crispy crispy.... is there any way to BBQ the little tummy?

Alas, I currently do not own a barbeque grill. Shocking, I know--I'm guess I'm not living up the the SoCal ideal here. But at least the apartment complex I'll be moving to has a community grill right in the courtyard. :laugh:

Is the hope of Kurabuta Kakuni out of the question????

Basically Nagasaki Style Braised Pork - it dies use okara - which is tofu lees

1 1/2lb Pork Belly

1 1/2Cup Okara

1 Cup Water

1/4 Cup Sake

2-4 Tb Mirin

1/4 Cup Sugar

4 Tb Soy sauce

Place pork and okara in a pot and fill with water, and bring to a boil. When brought to a boil reduce the heat to med-low, and continue slow boil for 2 hours, adding water as necessary until the pork is tender enough for a bamboo skewer to pierce the meat without difficulty. Turn off heat and let stand until pork is cool. When the pork is cool, rinse the pork under cold water, and eliminate unclean parts and excess fat. Cut into bit sized cubes.

Place water, sake,sugar, and pork into a pot, and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil add soy sauce, and cover. Reduce heat slighly, and simmer until liquid ids reduced to half. Increase temp to a boil and pour in mirin in a circular motion. boil until alcohol is burnt off.

Arrange in a bowl, garnishing with shredded snow peas and mustard.

Kirk

www.mmm-yoso.typepad.com

Edited by mmm-yoso (log)
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About public domain--alas, just because something is on the web does NOT make it public domain. Public domain, regardless of whether an item appears on paper or in electronic format, generally means the author's copyright on the piece in question has officially run out on it. I dunno how long that takes for recipes, and they keep changing up the laws on full-length book works, but I think it used to be something like at least 50 to 70 years? Anyway, it's a danged loooooong time, whatever it is.

U.S. copyright law these days is written for the benefit of the Walt Disney Company. That's why it's almost impossible to determine now when something will enter the public domain, because whenever Mickey Mouse is on the verge of doing so, another extension bill sails through Congress. :angry:

Rant over--back to the chow in Cali.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Miz - you are my hero! I grew up in So Cal, my folks are now in Huntington Beach. I graduated from San Luis Obispo Polytechnic University. One of my fondest memories was traveling to my best friend's grand-parents house via Amtrack to SD to visit the area and go to the famous SD Zoo.

Thanks for blogging and for all your contributions to eGullet!

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I have never had pork belly as such. I can't wait to see what you decide to do with it! I vote for crispy, just because I like crispy fatty things, yum! And, yes, folks, I live in the tiny Town of English. It's the only place I could find a 2 bedroom rental, decent school zone, SOMETHING to walk to, SOMEWHAT in my price range(living on savings, still, ulp), SOMEHOW near my suburban sister's town of Marlboro($$$$$). There are lots of horse farms, places where George Washington slept, orchards and Dixie flags :shock:. I am singular here, of course. :wink: Come visit me, and we'll visit the horses together, and go junking. Now you all know why I roadtrip (Philadelphia :wub:) so often! MizDucky, wake up, I miss you!

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My mom volunteers at the Mission Trails Regional Park center. She doesn't like to go for walks around the Trails due to the sporadic presence of rattlers. :shock: She threatens to climb Cowles Mountain every once in a while but she prefers a walk around the Lake Murray pedestrian path (as kalypso suggested) due to its gentle hills and flat runs. Lake Murray is actually part of the Mission Trails Park, though it's quite a distance from the rest of it.

In your new area:

There's a small mexican "fast food" joint (in the vein of Roberto's) on the corner north of the Souplantation strip mall (if I recall correctly) on Mission Gorge that serves a good carne asada burrito. I can't remember if they have any of the more daring (cabeza, etc) cuisine that you prefer.

And the San Diego Brewing Company, at the other end of the strip mall that Troy's is in, has oodles of micro-brewery beers on tap. The food is typical deep fried-this and burger-that.

Thanks for all your hard work...this is a great blog!

 

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