Archive | April, 2011

Tonight’s Cooking Experiment – Panko Crusted Ling Cod with Strawberry Reduction Sauce (500 calories)

19 Apr
 Tonight’s cooking experiment Panko Crusted Ling Cod with Strawberry Reduction Sauce

Today is just a quick fish dish.


  •  6 ounces Ling Cod
  • 1 Tablespoon of Mayo
  • 3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • imitation Lobster (I’m on a budget)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Strawberry Champagne Reduction Sauce

See my instructional picture show below

Start with 6 ounce pieces of defrosted and completely dry Ling Cod

combine the dry seasonings with the Mayo and lemon juice


Cover the cod with the mayo mixture


Coat Cod with Panko bread crumbs

Cook Cod on med-low heat until fish flesh is firm and flaky


For Lobster Relish: Combine Imitation Lobster, Ginger Powder, Sesame Seeds, Mayo and Lemon Juice

Plate the Cod and top with the Lobster Relish. Garnish with the Strawberry Champagne Reduction Sauce and Wasabi

Tacos Ensenada – Authentic and Fresh! A must for hole-in-the-wall Mexican Food Junkies

18 Apr

Tacos Ensenada –  Authentic and Fresh! A must for hole-in-the-wall Mexican Food Junkies

24601 Raymond Way
Lake Forest, CA 92630

For those of you who really like Mexican food and look for the best holes in the wall to get real regional flavors, then this place is for you. The menu contains traditional fare like burritos and enchiladas, but they also have great dishes like Chile Verde, tortas, tostadas. What is truly remarkable is their wide selection of Seafood choices from shrimp tacos, to octopus tostadas.  I give this restaurant a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning I will recommend it to friends and actively try to eat it as much as I can.

Below are pictures of the dishes we tried

Custom Omelette - This thing is bigger than your face! Enough for two people and it was good! 3 out of 5, but a deserves an extra star for the size

Ceviche Tostada with Octopus and Shrimp! I havent had this good of a seafood tostada since I worked in East L.A. or Lived in Carson. 4 out of 5 stars.


"Seite Mare" -(Seven Seas Soup) - Plenty of Seafood, awesome broth and topped with avocado. My Grandpa was almost giddy while eating it. 3 out of 5 stars.


Carnitas- Great flavor Almost as good as Dianes in Los Angeles. 3.5 out of 5 stars

Chili Verde - Good Blend of sauce and pork. Very Amazing Flavor and pork is very lean! 4 out of 5 stars

Enchiladas Platter – Fully of Cheesey inside and out. 3 out of 5 stars

Seared Ahi and Vege Experiment (450 calories + Sauce 80 calories)

14 Apr

Seared Ahi Experiment with Stir Fry

Just a quick post on my experimentation cooking Ahi, as I was inspired by the Ahi Salad at the Daily Grill


  • Ahi Tuna Steak from Costco
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Black Pepper (coarse ground)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
Not shown in pictures, but I first soaked the Ahi Steaks (Whole) in Soy Sauce, Lemon Juice and a dash of toasted sesame oil.

Seasoning the Ahi - I cut two ahi Steaks against the muscle line into two-inch wide strips. and then seasoned with the Paprika, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, Course Ground Pepper, Sesame Seeds

Searing the Ahi - Cooked the first side on high for 2 minutes, flipped to the opposite side for 1 minute.

Fliped tuna on the remaining sides for less than a minute each

Searing is done, perhaps I overdid it just a tad...won't know till I cut it open though! Good way to tell is my how firm it is by pushing in on the center of the loin with your thumb

Cut the strips into 1-2 inch cubes, exposing the raw interior

Cook the stir fry

The Glamour Shot

Trader Joe's Island Soyaki - Amazing Sauce you have to try. This is the sauce on the plate.

Food Truck Review- “Louks To Go” – Taste of Louks, Chef’s Choice Combo

13 Apr

“Louks on to Go” Food Truck Review – The $10 Louks  Combo (gyro, fries and louks!) A little piece of Greece through the portal of a food truck.

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s food truck day at the Teller Food Truck Meetup Spot in Louks TruckIrvine.  There were a lot of food trucks today including a sushi truck!, but hat one will have to wait for another review. I had already been tweeting @loukstogo to come to the Teller Meetup spot, and today he answered to my requests and showed up!

My favorite dish the lamb burger was not being served  today 😦  As a result, I had to branch out to new items.  After scouring theLouks Main Menu menu for a couple of minutes, Kevin Johns (my consultant) and I both decided to try one of the daily deals. What did we find? A Combo plate! I have dubbed it the Louks Combo, it is really called “Any Gyro, Any Fries and Any Louks”. When the Greek

Gyro Options

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Sausage
  • Vegetarian

Fries Options

  • Original with sea salt and oregano
  • Feta Fries
  • Tzatziki Fries
  • Feta Fries
  • Spicy Feta Fries
  • Honey Feta Fries

What in the hell is a “Louk ” you maybe asking your foodie blogger and what flavors do they come in?  A (Loukoumades) “LOUK” is a deep fried greek doughnut (similar to a Bignet) and topped with something sticky sweet. The Louks came in these flavors

  • Honey cinnamon
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Peanut Butter Nutella

Kevin’s Chef Surprise Bag Contents and Review:  Gyro = Beef;  Fries = Spicy Feta ; Louk = Strawberry

The Spicy Feta Fries– The fries were of the thinner variety with a pleasant flavor. The spicy feta was more like a thick sauce, “…almost like a casserole due to the thickness and how it holds together like serving a Feta casserole on my fries”. Kevin ate the fries with a fork, “where I come from, you have to eat this type of dish with a fork”.

The Beef Gyro was very full in content, “it was a large portion of gyro meant and filling, the pita was soft and fresh, better than in Michigan. I didn’t recognize it at first”. “The French Fries in the gyro didn’t make or break it for me”. Kevin indicated  he would like Julianed pickled beets or other Med root vege. The meat was good and thinks he had the lamb/beef gyro. The pieces were sliced thick and no burnt.

The Strawberry Louks were excellent…..aside from the topping spilling out of the container, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Kevin at dessert first, and ate it all….he had leftovers of his Gyro and Fries. He told me not to post that 😉

Tom’s Surprise Bag of Contents and Review: Gyro= sausage Gyro Meat; Fries = Fire Feta; Louks= Peanut Butter Nutella

Fire Feta Fries– I pretty much agree with Kevin on his post on the consistency of the fireFire Feta -  Same as Kevin's feta, although I will say that perhaps it was a little too viscus and would have preferred it to be a little more chunky than casserole. The flavor of the topping tasted very good, with a smooth texture and spicy flavor balanced by the feta. The fries were a little thin for me, making the a little more greasy, although overall they were crispy and an excellent flavor I would give it a 3 out of 5 on my scale, meaning I would order it again but I wouldn’t run back to my office telling everyone to try it like I was Paul Revere.  I forgot to get Kevin’s rating.

Sausage Gyro? – It is my guess that my gyro was the sausage gyro, it had a darker color than Kevin’s, but the meat was still in the strips like Kevin’s Gyro Meat.  The content of the Gyro consisted of Pita (decent quality), lettuce, Onions, Tomato, Tzazitki Sauce, and Sausage Gyro Meat and French Fries in the gyro.  The produce was fresh and the Tzazitki was creamy and good flavor, on par with my favorite greek restaurants. The fries were a nice touch in my opinion, as they changed up the consistency of the gyro filling and tied it all together by adding a little “crunchy” to each bite.  My complaint is that the meat for both the beef gyro and the sausage(??) gyro still not sure to be honest) is that the meat came from frozen strips out of a box. I would challenge Louks to one day invest in the Gyro Rotisserie, I would pay more if it were fresh, toasted and carved fresh.  Overall, I really enjoyed the Gyro. It had a great flavor, pleasant mouth feel and perfect balance of flavors and content. Even though the meat was frozen,  it was seasoned nicely and tasted very good.

Peanut Butter Nutella Louks – When I pulled out the container I had no idea was to expect, as I never had a Louk. At first I thought the topping was chocolate, but when I tookNutella Louks a bite I discovered it was a creamy Nutella!  The Louk itself was crispy on the outside, full of air pockets on the inside and gooshy! When placed in the mouth, it was crispy on the tongue, but when you bite down it was creamy goodness! Now mixed with the Nutella…it was a small bite of bliss.


Greek Lamb Burger – The best dish on the menu in my opinion! The bun is a homemade style Brioche Bun that is fluffy yet buttery dense. The Meat is a pure lamb patty that was extremely juicy on the first

Lamb Burger and Tzazitki Fries

 bite. It was topped with honey humus, onions, and grilled onions and red peppers……seriously a perfect combination!  This was a 5 in my opinion, meaning I would eat this whenever I get a chance and would tell my friends and family about it. This dish is restaurant quality

Tzazitki Fries-  These are the same fries that I mentioned before, but drenched in their yummy  creamy Tzazitki.  This is a very  heavy dish,  but a great flavor.  This dish really did need a fork and knife.

Overall an excellent lunch truck.

Today’s Cooking Experiment- Greek Burrito with Beer and Blood Orange Reduction Sauce (500 Calories)

13 Apr


Today’s Cooking Experiment – Greek Burrito with Beer and Blood Orange Reduction Sauce  (500 Calories)



Tonight’s food experiment started with a rock solid piece of chicken breast in the freezer, fresh brick of greek feta, avocado humus, romaine, cilantro, red onions. yogurt butter, blood oranges, whole grain and high fiber tortillas and a stray can of bud light. The goal is to make a dish using these ingredients before they go bad and keep it under 500 calories.  My idea is a greek style burrito and a fancy sauce.

First, defrost the chicken in a pan by using the bud light, until it is 90% cooked. The goal is

Frozen Chicken Breast defrosting and boiling in Bud Light

 to cook the chicken and infuse some flavor into the chicken. The second goal is to create a beer reduction for a sauce. This is the same method used with champagne in fancy restaurants, I hope that this method will also work with a cheapy light beer.


Next I assembled my side ingredients, romaine, cilantro, red onions and feta and chopped these up to little bit sized pieces.

Ingredients all chopped up and chicken fully cooked in beer bath



The next thing to do was work on the sauce. Once I removed the chicken from the boiling beer bath, I cranked up the heat to high for 10 minutes so that the beer /rendered chicken broth mixture was starting to congeal and reduce to less than a quarter cup of liquid. 

Beer and Yogurt Reduction

I reduced the heat to low and added 3 tablespoons of yogurt butter and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder. Once this mixture reduced to a thick sauce I turned the heat off and removed from the hot stove.


  Next, I juiced a blood orange into the mixture and mixed thoroughly into the beer reduction sauce.

Beer Reduction Sauce with Blood Orange

The result was a sweet and savory mixture, that was bright in flavor and full of body.




 Now that the Sauce, chicken and fixens were complete, it was time to assemble the  greek burrito

1) Apply avocado Humus to the tortilla



2) Add meat, veges and then slices of Feta Cheese



3) I took a bite and it was good and then dd the Beer and Blood Orange Reduction Sauce



5) Assemble then eat! YUM!!!!

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