Thursday, February 24, 2011

Man Can Cook #8 - Pan Seared Duck Breast & Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Duck is usually something that gets my attention on a menu but I don't make it very often at home. I should though. It's not particularly difficult, but I think some folks are leery of the idea of cooking a bird to a level of anything short of "well done". Relax, it's duck, not chicken. There is no where near the risk of illness with under-cooking duck as there is with chicken. 

This is a pretty darned easy preparation, and tasty too if I do say so, that is sure to impress.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turning Japanese - Sumika Kushiyaki Grill & Sake, Los Altos CA

To most Americans the term “Japanese Food” conjures up an image of a Teppanyaki type of joint like Benihana wherein a caricature of Japanese cookery is put on display for millions of open gobbed rubes annually. There are Teppanyaki joints that are quite authentic to tradition….but Benihana isn’t one of them. My disdain of places like this is the same as the disdain I hold for the lion’s share of chain restaurants. Benihana is to Japanese food as Chili’s is to Mexican and Olive Garden is to Italian. There is no amount of kitschy décor that can make lousy food created to appease the masses seem even remotely authentic.

To a much smaller subset of Americans however “Japanese Food” equals Sushi with a smattering of Bento style cooked presentations and for the very bold, perhaps an Udon or a Don bowl. Sadly this is all most of us have access to. But there is more….and dear friends if you, like me, enjoy the flavor profiles of Japanese cooking but crave a more carnivorously centric palate from which to make your selections there is an answer….and a very authentically Japanese one at that.