I love sushi. Being Asian helps but it’s more than just being Asian, this love for sushi. Sushi is an “edible” that looks weird but infuses flavors, which explode in your mouth . Sushi is famous for being raw (which btw is called sashimi) fish but it is so much more.
That’s why when my daughter came home exclaiming she found a running/moving sushi bar, I was all in. Sushi Choo Choo is a sushi with locations in Houston & Humble, Texas.They specialize in creating small portion size sushi rolls with names like Sea Dragon, Shaggy Dog, and Crazy Lover. The creations look creative and is delivered to you via moving belt.
Sushi Choo Choo’s ambiance is a very clean sleek but makes you feel like you stepped through a portal to Japan. I went to the Houston location twice, once for lunch and dinner another time. Both times our servers were very welcoming and efficient.
“The experience is unique and simple. Here is how it works.”-Sushi Choo Choo
The sushi that comes around is fresh and priced right. The sushi plates are color coded such as yellow is $1.50 and orange plate is the highest serving of sushi priced at $4.00. If your on even more of a budget for the Sushi Choo Choo’s has a “happy hour”. Happy hour means that you get 20% off sushi from the running bar and 50% off sake. Sushi Choo Choo is definite must if you get a chance to head to Houston. “Happy Hour” times are Sunday through Thursday 9pm to close and Monday through Friday 2:30pm to 5pm.
Crème brûlée has been one of my favorite dessert since I was first served it in a restaurant many years ago. I love the slight crunch of the sweet caramelized sugar as it touches my tongue. Followed by the slightly sweet and creamy custard that finishes off the explosion of flavors. How can you not love a dessert that was featured in a cookbook published in 1691? French chef François Massialot who published the cookbook worked in the royal kitchens. Crème brûlée was one of the featured desserts in the world’s first alphabetical recipe listed cookbook titled, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeoise (article). I bow to chef Massialot for sharing this wonderfully tasty, yet easy to make dessert. Instead of cake on my birthday I set out on a mission to make the perfect dessert: Crème brûlée.
Put the oven at 325° F (160° C) and as the oven preheats you can start making the custard for baking. First put the heavy cream with the vanilla on the stove on low heat. There is no need to stir it, but you don’t want the cream to boil over, so keep a close eye on the cream. You will know it’s ready when there is a thin skin formed over the cream. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with a whisk. By this time the cream should be ready to pour in. This is where you need to be careful because the heated cream poured in too fast can result in cooking the eggs. This is what you don’t want to happen. You’ll want to pour only a small amount in as you continue to whisk. This in the cooking world is called, tempering. The pouring of cream slowly and continual whisking helps the cream’s heat to disperse evenly. When you’ve poured all the cream in you will have a creamy pale yellow liquid.
Now comes the fun part! Get a cake pan to put the ramekins in and distribute the custard evenly. If there are bubbles in the batter just use the torch heat to lightly go over it and the bubbles will disappear. You don’t want air bubbles in your crème brûlée. The bubbles will cause the custard cook unevenly or may come out runny. Another thing that helps the custards cook nicely is another cooking term called, a “water bath“, which means that the food cooking needs a moist cooking environment. Pour water into the cake pan about half way up the ramekins. Carefully transport the pan to the oven (make sure that water does not get into the ramekins) and cook custard for around 30 to 40 minutes or until the custard has a wobbly feel (like jello) when you shake the ramekins a little. If all is well let custard cool for another hour, or for a faster cool down you can put the ramekins in the refrigerator.
Once the custard has cooled sprinkle the brown sugar on top evenly (add more sugar to caramelize of you prefer a thicker crust). Then take the torch and move over sugar lightly in a sweeping motion. You will be able to see (and smell) the sugar caramelizing. After running the torch over once wait about 2 or 3 minutes before torching the sugar again. The rest time in between torching gives the sugar time to harden (that’s the yummy part). Let the dessert sit for another 15 minutes. You will know it’s ready to eat because when you tap the caramelized sugar with the flat of the spoon it will be hard but brittle.
So now that it’s all done dig in and enjoy that wonderful taste first introduced in a French Royal court. Bon Appétit.
For those who need a visual this youtube video really helped me.
Even if you are not a master chef, you can be a pretty good chef. Use the internet to find easy recipes from around the world. You’ll be surprised at how easy some of your favorite restaurant dishes are to make at home. Take control of your kitchen and make it a fun place to be. I love cooking with my children. It’s a time where we can create something together and talk. My son found these so easy to make he made breakfast dumplings.
He filled the wrappings with scrambled eggs and sausage, browned both sides, and viola! He had an easy finger food breakfast. So go ahead give a recipe a try. Have you ever discovered a recipe you never thought you’d make yourself? Leave a comment and let me know your experiences.
I love monterey jack cheese and freshly made pico de gallo. Even better a hamburger topped with my two fave ingredients. Cooking for a large family is a challenge especially in this economy. Day after day making the same meals can become boring, and the food becomes tasteless. So here I was, faced with making dinner,and not feeling the old hamburger thing. Then the light bulb went off in my head. So I decided to spice thing up. Here’s how I did it. Before cooking up the hamburgers make your pico de gallo.
Thai peppers (or any type of chili pepper you prefer)
The recipe does not have measurement because this is the kind of thing that i based more on the chef preference. Slice everything up to into small pieces because remember you will need to put this on top of the hamburger. I used a mortar and pestle to crush the peepers because it really brings out the heat in the pepper Thai Pepper. Now you can cook up your burgers and melt the monterey jack cheese just before the hamburger finishes cooking. You can top the burger with your usual toppings, such as lettuce, and condiments that make you want to say…mmmmmmm. Until next time bon appetite!