Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oohhs and Aahhs Soul Food, DC

This weekend, before the Cornelius show at the 9:30 club, I went to soul food restaurant, Oohhs and Aahhs on U street.
I decided on the Fried Chicken breast with some collard greens and mac & cheese. First off, the portions were huge.
The chicken was great; like all good fried chicken, the seasoning on the skin was delicious and the chicken was juicy.

Their mac & cheese was so nice and gooey, and the greens were solid. I also tried a side of yams, and everything came with corn bread.

Oohhs & Aahhs
1005 U St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 667-7142

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Holiday Cooking

I had some interesting food for the holidays thanks to someone at work who supplied me with a goose breast and a venison tenderloin.
The goose breast was an interesting experiment in a new meat I had never prepared before. I learned that the key is moisture, but alas, it did turn out too dry regardless.

After, I butchered the breast into filets, I used a recipe that called for soaking the breasts in red wine for about 2 days. I then stuffed them with apples and potatoes and wrapped them in bacon. They looked beautiful, but I think we sat them out too long before slicing them up because the meat was still pretty dry.

It was an interesting experiment though. Maybe next year I'll get it right.

One highlight of Christmas dinner was Fougoo's mother's dish of pike air bladder topped with shrimp and ham.
Fascinated by the idea of the air bladder, I looked at the package, and they looked like pork rinds. I think they are more for texture as the items themselves absorbed the broth from the dish. They were pretty darn good.

For New Year's, I scored an amazing piece of venison tenderloin. Redneckhunter, grillmaster, prepared it for us. First, a soak in some red wine, then searing the outside with butter.
He then coated the meat with whole grain mustard and smoked the meat for about 45 minutes.

The result was spectacular- the meat was still red inside and tasted amazing- so rich. He smoked a piece of beef at the same time and compared to the venison, the beef was like chicken in richness.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Vidalia in DC, Restaurant Week

Kwan, BigfatLar, and I managed to get reservations to Vidalia in DC for restaurant week, and boy were we not disappointed.
For appetizer, I had to get Vidalia's Veal Tongue- it was really nice and tender, and the way it was served on a flat bread with jalapenos reminded me of lengua tacos. Kwan got the wild mushroom soup which had sone nice pancetta in it, and Lar had the Briar Hollow farm rabbit sausage served in a nice broth.
For entrees, I got the Black Foot Pork Cassoulet which was a little different than what I'm used to in that it was served plated. You're less likely to get a crust, but the beans and pork were delicious regardless.

Lar ordered the Charles Farm Duck Breast- it was cooked beautifully and came with a nice little duck spring roll on the side.

Kwan got one of Vidalia's signature dishes, Shrimp and Grits. The shrimp were of good size and they came with the heads, yum. I tried the grits, too- nice and creamy.

Dessert was really good as well. We tried three items: Lar had the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cake- it had layers of strawberry jam in it and the sauce had poppy seed.
Kwan had the Valhrona Guanaja Chocolate Panna Cotta which had a real nice dark chocolate flavor, and went nicely with things like banana and a nice cherry compote.
I had the Peanut Butter Crunch which was like a chocolate peanut butter wafer, and it came with an awesome salted caramel sauce.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

BrookLEn visits Bouchon

Right before the new year, Mrs. LBT and I had the opportunity to trek through California wine country. On a tip, we were recommended Thomas Keller's least expensive outpost, Bouchon Bakery. As we walked over to the bakery in Yountville, we noticed that Bouchon, Keller's adjacent French bistro, was serving lunch. In a turn of events that could only be described as 'predictable', LBT and I found ourselves a lunch table and enjoyed a dejeuner feast. We started with the kabocha squash soup, with micro-savory bits of bacon on top. I had a quiche that threatened to float away, while the Mrs. enjoyed the winning dish, a crab and lobster salad with a citrus garnish. The towel was tossed in when we added an order of fries- the fries that made Anthony Bourdain cry out. Served in a rusty funnel that might have been salvaged from a junkyard, these fries made us sad that there was no room for us to spend the night.
Mrs. LBT did abscond with a delicious baguette (the crime is recorded here), and we finished the meal by returning to our original destination, Bouchon Bakery, for two cookies that we slowly consumed for two days, over wine (of course).