Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Adventures at Safeway

I went to the store tonight to get an exciting list of items including yogurt for the dogs, eggs that will be mostly for the dogs, creamer for tea, Drayno and a flea comb, also for the dogs. As I took a detour through the U.N. of grocery store isles otherwise known as the "ethnic foods" section I saw it. There it was on a low slung ankle high shelf. It called to me, it beckoned to me. My Datu Puti love affair was about to begin. Datu Puti graces our shores all the way from the Philippine Islands. Bear in mind that I am not as familiar with Philippine foods as I am with other Asiatic tasty yum yums. I've tried a few different dishes and, meh. I do enjoy the Adobo, but beyond that, I dunno. Datu Puti is basically white vinegar with chilies and garlic. What more do you need? Not much. I intend to whip up something using Datu Puti very soon. Also Datu Puti is real fun to say. I cracked open this rather sizable bottle and tried one of the peppers and I have to say it was a delicious bit of spicy goodness. On a side note making an infused vinegar is pretty easy and I could have done this myself but the label is far to awesome to not be in our kitchen. 

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cauldron of Doom!

On Friday night the Steph and I went to dinner with our peeps Esther and Oliver, or henceforth Est-liver (thank you for din-dins guys!), to the Royal Teppan Steak House in Cupertino for a little Hot Pot. This place is located in small little strip mall complex that sort of makes you feel as though you've landed in Taipei or Hong Kong, without your passport. It's just loaded with so much Asia-rificness. The staff at the restaurant barely spoke English to make it more authentic. But what about the food? Ah yes, Hot Pot is sort of like fondue except that it's China-tastic, and they don't fuck with cheese or chocolate. Hot Pot is also a very sexy thing to say to a girl as there is much innuendo that can be experimented with. Such as, if you are on a date and you can tell you're going to score a good way to seal the deal is lean over the boiling vat of broth and say something like "ahh girl, I'd like to be dipped into your Hot Pot!" Like I said, it's pretty much a closer. Also, Hot Pot is known by it's much more whimsical Japanese name, Shabu Shabu, which is just way, way more fun to say Hot Pot. Although not as sexy on the surface, knowing the term Shabu Shabu, and being able to use it in a conversation with Fobby Japanese girls can get your foot in the door to possible Japanese lady action. For example let's say the next time you're hanging, make that lurking, around the Purikura place in Japantown it would be a step in the right direction if you were to ask that Fruits girl who's caught your eye "hey, where can a guy get some good Shabu Shabu around here?" And with that you're halfway there. One of t he great things about Hot Pot is that it's a perfect meal for peeps from vastly different sides of the spice spectrum. If you ask for a half and half they will bring out a pot that has a partition and in one side will be a spice benign yet flavorful broth full of onions and Napa cabbage. On  the other side will be a lavenous vat of fiery hell! Know it by the color of a fire engine and the chili oil sheen of a tanker spill. I was being told actually I was being dared to try the hottest level possible, but the server sort of balked and insisted I try medium. I like to push my own boundaries and I like some heat in every bite but I still like to taste my food. Suffice it to say the Medium was sufficient and was delicious. Although Oliver, a confessed non spicy and as yet unrated  on the spicy scale peep tried valiantly to give it a go and was dispatched quickly with a spice laden blow to the head. Good try son, good try. We ordered squid, lamb, pork, chicken, beef, kidneys and pork blood. Also it was buy one get one free meat night. We had a veritable slaughter house on our table. But we did get some veggies and noodles too. You can also ask for a raw egg which you mix into your dipping sauce to give it a bit more texture. Delightful! Eventually your broth tends to disappear and the servers come around with a refill. On my side she sort of went to town and the result was anything but medium. It was now an absurdly rougey affair. Amazingly it was also a science experiment as the almost purely water based side was at a nice roiling bubbly boil. My side however just sort of sat there and did nothing as if to say to the flame below (for literary purposes only as it was an induction burner) "Your heat is not needed here for I am alight with chilies bright and igneous." In fact i am fairly certain that my side was actually boiling their side. It was at this point that I'd reached a threshold. The heat had indeed buried the flavor. I could dip a piece of cow or a piece of squid and each would taste the same. The advanced level of  capsaicin permeated cracks in my lips and caused me to wince a little bit.  I am not a proud person. I did find it to be spicy but I wasn't sweating it. Hot Pot yummy, Hot Pot good! 

Yes there were photos taken as well as video and as soon as i get them uploaded I'll post them. They really make a statement. But as per usual I have pilfered some photos from other peeps.
Oh look at me on the right in this picture! Notice how the spicy Hot Pot has put a manly or "mandsome" moustache on my upper lip. 

These peeps obviously aren't us but I'd say their enjoyment represents our groups overall enthusiasm for "Hot Pot." I feel like the guy on the right would be cast to play me in the TV movie of my life. 

Yeah, that's pretty much your full blown "Hot Pot" right there. Note the nuclear option on the right. I love it!

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses. (And no I did not have to camp out on the toilet the next day. It was all good. The "hot in, hot out" thing is a myth.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

achaar-ry or Damn girl! Your Hot Mango Pickle is bhangin!

Last night was semi-rando "Indian Cultural Edibles and Bhangra Appreciation Night." We ordered up a little India Clay Oven, and had that shit delivered yo! Anyway, yeah, we had Tikka Masala and some other Chicken Curry, and yes those are perhaps the whitest (re: least adventurous) things on the menu but at least the curry, which was of the Punjabi variety, was real nice and spicy. Steph got the mild Tikka, and it still burned her delicate mouth lining a lil' bit. Mild is a relative term. On to the crux of the message I am trying to deliver to you. One of my recent foodie love affairs is with Indian pickles called Achaar, espesh the mango variety. By the gods, these are delicious! OK, to be honest the first time I tried them, I hated them! These pickles are made from bits of mango, garlic, onions, and yep, HOT PEPPERS!!!!! soaked in salty oil instead of vinegar. But what do they taste like? Hmmm, a fine question indeed. To put it simply first you get socked in the maw by a very, very salty taste. Once that subsides, which is never, then you get slapped like Brenda Walsh would do to Dylan by the sour mangoes. Wait, it gets better because then the demon peppers start to commit unspeakable acts of horror. they'll call your mom in the middle of the night heavy breathing and the like just before telling her you got fired today, even though you said you didn't want to worry her and that you'd tell her in your own time and thus just creating an awkward situation for everyone but the peppers because they have just hung up on her and are now reveling in the misery they've caused (of course, since the spice affects me not I'm actually the one goading the peppers on in this case.). So why would you eat these crazy things? I dunno they just taste delicious to me and especially with a beer. I managed to find a jar of these at the store and I will be back for seconds. They're of British derivation and the brand is Patak's

 The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hispanic Cup o Noodles: ENCHILOSA

Try not to look so excited.
Try not to look so excited.

One time at Safeway ... I got really excited about taking home this box of instant noodles. Maybe it was the fat and sodium content that made me so giddy. I'm always up for something that's going to slowly kill me.

Sorry it's blurry. It's to hide the bad news.
Sorry it's blurry. It's to hide the bad news.

I've had this in my cupboard for a while, and today was The Day.

I boiled water in the Holy Hot Hot, and peeled back the noodle cup lid.

I kind of freaked out at this point because I could SMELL the spicyness.

I know I should have taken the obvious chili graphics on the box as an indication. But at the time I thought that was just decorative, and not any indication of actual heat.

How did it taste?

Ok, I lied. Two or three bites later, and my mouth was blowing up. I will not be revisiting the Enchilosa, but this means that I can eat almond M&M's to make up for all that loss in fat intake. WIN!

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our O-rings.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ko-Rhea Fud

On Friday night we'd just dropped our buddy Oliver off at SFO and Esther was left in our care as she is new to SF and didn't have much to do. Thus it decided that eating was the way to go. I'm always open to suggestion and Sushi had come up, but I was in the mood for something more substantial and then  it hit me. I was in the mood for some Korean. The trouble with Korean is that it tends to be a little rough on the Spice Campers as there's just so damn much spice in just about everything. Steph likes Korean, and agrees that it is tasty, but I just feel bad when something I asked the staff to make "non spicy" invariably ends up being laden with the hot stuff. 
We usually get the Korean BBQ, you know the kind where they basically bring a tray of hot coals to the table and you cook your own meat. This is very delicious, and not spicy on it's own. But, on this night I had no desire to smell like grilled meat nor did we feel like shelling out too much dough. So what the hell was I going to convince Steph and Esther to eat that wouldn't make them miserable. Then it hit me Dol Sat Bibimbap. this stuff is delicious. It's rice, meat, some veggies topped with a raw egg in a super hot stoneware dish. It gives the rice a nice crust on the bottom and cooks the egg. Lucky girls. 

What did I have? Only the most tasty and yes, spicy dish on the menu called Doenjang- Jiigae. It's basically a spicy miso stew with tofu, beef, onions, potatoes and delicious ja
jalapenos. I didn't stop there. I added a liberal amount of Gochuchung, which is spicy red pepper paste. It was served in the same stoneware as the Bibimbap and it made me sweaty and my nose was running. I gave it a huge thumbs up. 
Also, as per usual. I never think to bring the camera, so no these aren't my pics. 

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Spice Girls

The things you learn because of the power of hot sauce are sometimes amazing. As I was settling into my Mongolian cow for lunch today my pre-eat preparations caught a coworker off guard . "Wow you sure put a lot of Sriracha sauce on your food!" Damn right I do. She went on to exclaim that she cannot handle the spicy food, but she did inform me of a very awesome mecca for spice in Oakland and it's called SPICE GIRLS!!!!! The caveat is that this is the translation from Chinese to English and she is unsure of the English name for the place. Also she could only give an approximate location. I have sent her out to do some recon as I refuse to rocket up and down the streets of Oakland on a mission to find a restaurant whose name is in a moon language I do not speak. Even in the name of spice I will not do this. We could be on the cusp of a great spicy adventure! More to come.

Oh, have you had your Sriracha sauce today? Let me just douse your afternoon with a little, yum yum. (The pic is not mine, but wow what a great hand modeling job! I am mega-jealous.)

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.