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El Rey

Recently I did a photo shoot for Sweet, a brand new Snapchat channel from Hearst. The shoot was with Chef Gerardo Gonzalez at El Rey.

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Matcha Waffles With Yuzu Whipped Cream And Chocolate Sauce

Initially I bought matcha powder because I wanted to make Molly’s matcha oreos but…..I got lazy. Oh and this was back in November 2015. So the jar of matcha powder just sat on my desk, very sad and lonely. And then couple weeks ago I made a batch of waffles to go with my fried chicken so I decided to make matcha waffles. I had all the ingredients anyway. I sort of took Molly’s idea of matcha oreos, the combination of green tea and chocolate, and used that with my waffles. Also, drizzling chocolate in images is very sexy. Right?

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Serves 2
Things you’ll need:
2 teaspoons matcha powder + 1 teaspoon for dusting afterwards
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Any waffle recipe, I used this one
Chocolate sauce, I used this method from Food52 to make mine
Waffle maker/machine/iron

Steps:
Make the chocolate sauce, set it aside.

In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream till soft peaks. Add sugar and yuzu juice and continue to whip until stiff peaks. Cover it and put it in the fridge while you make the waffles.

Turn on the oven and set it to the lowest temperature.

Make the waffle batter and add in the matcha powder.

Before making all the waffles, I would suggest putting a spoonful of batter into the waffle maker, cook it, and taste it. Tweak waffle batter to your taste. Also, depending on what brand of matcha powder you get, you may need more matcha.

Brush the waffle maker with the melted butter and add a scoop of the waffle batter. Cook waffles according to your waffle maker’s instructions. When done, place the waffles on a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan and stick it into the oven to keep warm.

To assemble, place a waffle on a plate, smear the whipped cream on top, place a second waffle on top then cream then waffle….etc. To finish, top with whipped cream, drizzle chocolate sauce, and a dusting of matcha powder.

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waffles

Clay Pot Rice With Chinese Sausages And Cured Pork Belly

I’ve been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. Started late last year when I had an idea about traveling to Hong Kong and just eat. Eat the food that I ate when I was a kid and to just learn more about Hong Kong food.

What I know about Hong Kong food is just snippets of memories, certain things I remember eating. Most of what I know about Hong Kong food is what I grew up eating in Los Angeles and tv shows. So I decided in 2016, I want to cook and eat more Hong Kong and Cantonese food. And what’s more Cantonese than dim sum and roast meats? Clay pot rice!

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Clay pot rice is very simple. It’s just rice and whatever veggie or meat or seafood cooked in a clay pot. It’s super comforting. I have cooked this in a rice cooker many times but I wanted to do it properly so I went and spent $7 on a clay pot.

Serves 2
Things you’ll need:
1 cup rice (soaked in water for 30mins and rinsed)
1.5 cup water
2 Chinese sausages
1 piece of Chinese cured pork belly
Scallions
Handful of muy choi (preserved mustard greens), optional
Oil
Clay pot rice soy sauce (which you can get in a bottle or make your own by combining light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar)

Of course you DON’T need to cook it in a clay pot. This can be done in a rice cooker or a Dutch oven.

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Coat the bottom of the pot with oil.

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Add the cup of rice and water to the pot. Put the lid on and put the pot on high flames to bring the water to a boil. Here’s the tricky part which I didn’t master. Many recipes I found online have different ways of telling when the rice is ready or different times. A person said to put the lid on and cook for 10mins while another person said when the water is about 80% gone. I feel it’s hard to go by minutes because it depends on how much rice you’re cooking. Also none of them were clear if I was suppose to cook it for 10mins after the water boils or 10mins total.

So I kind of went with my gut. Spoilers, at the end the rice could’ve used another 5-7mins of cooking. Next time…

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While the rice is cooking, occasionally stir the rice. This is to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot.

When the rice is about/close to done aka 80% of the water is gone, place the sausages, pork belly, muy choi (rinsed and chopped) on top of the rice. Put the lid back on, lower the flame to low, and let it cook for 13mins.

OK, so here’s a tough part. After 13mins, turn the flames to high and tilt the pot at an angle. The point here is to create the popular crusty/crispy rice that everyone loves. But to do that, you have to cook the sides as well. I found it difficult to hold the pot tilting it on all the different sides while trying not to burn my hands. Gotta figure this one out too. Online says, about 2mins on all sides.

After you’re done cooking the sides, turn the heat off, and just let everything steam inside for 10mins. This is a good time to prep your soy sauce if you’re making your own or for me, figuring out how to style this. Food styling isn’t my strong point.

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After it has been steaming for 10mins, take the lid off and drizzle the soy sauce and finish it with some scallions. I served it with some bok choy.

Of course if you’re being fancy and sharing it with someone, take the sausages and pork belly out and slice them.

Hopefully you’ll have some crispy rice….unlike mine.

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The Year For Chinese Pastries

Are you familiar with Chinese bakeries? They’re pretty rare outside of Chinatown. Chinese bakeries are awesome because they offer such a wide range of baked goods and pastries and it’s also common to find some dim sum stuff there too. There are some old school bakeries that will mostly sell the basics (hot dog buns, roast pork buns, almond cookies, wife cake) while there are some fancy new ones that have included western pastries like eclairs and croissants. Wikipedia has a great list of baked goods that are common in Chinese bakeries while Serious Eats has a nice list that includes pictures.

I had a thought last year. With all the people going crazy over cronuts and donuts and babkas and rugelachs and pies and cupcakes….where are all the excitement for Chinese pastries?! Do we need someone like Ansel to make it popular? Does it need to be updated? Re-invented? I have to say that the hot dog bun I had when I was a kid, taste the same as the one I had couple days ago. Maybe it is time to update it.

So here’s a thought. What if I get all of you to just make something. I have put together a list of the most common pastries and baked goods I could find and included recipes from the internet to help y’all get started. I wasn’t able to include ALL the pastries but you’re welcome to make something else. It’s up to you if you want to keep it traditional or make it your own. Keep it simple or go crazy. Let’s make Chinese pastries popular, yeah?!

February 8th is Lunar New Year so I thought that would be a GREAT day for all of you to post (blog/tumblr/instagram) your results. And please tag your instagram post with #bakewithdonny

Hot Dog Bun
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Recipes: i am a food blog, The Woks of Life, Flavours of Asia (Video)

Roast Pork Bun
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Recipe: The Woks of Life, Thirsty for Tea, Chubby Hubby, Baking with Mi (Video)

Chicken Pie
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Recipes: Ivy Ngeow (Video), 號角月報加拿大 (Video), Day Day Cook (Video), The New Art of Baking

Egg Tart (Cookie Crust)
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Recipes: The Woks of Life, Kitchen Tigress and video, China Sichuan Food

Egg Tart (Puff Pastry)
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Recipes: Wantanmien (Video), Pop and Wok (Video)

Hot Dog Scallion Bun
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Recipes: Fresh From the Oven, Awayofmind Bakery House

Pork Floss Bun
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Recipes: Fresh From the Oven, Yin’s Homemade

Pork Floss Roll
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Recipes: Angie’s Recipes, Corner Cafe

Pineapple Bun
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Recipes: Lady and Pups and The Woks of Life

Roast Pork Pastry Puff
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Recipes: Dim Sum Central, The Tasty Bite Blog

Curry Beef Pastry Puff
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Recipes: Use Real Butter, Corner Cafe, Yu Chiang (Video)

Sponge Cake
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Recipes: Baking Mum, Nasi Lemak Lover, Siu Kitchen (Video)

Cream Buns
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Recipes: The Moonblush Baker, Siu Kitchen (Video)

Wife Cake
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Recipes: Siu Kitchen (Video), Guai Shu Shu

Cocktail Buns
Recipes: Wantanmien (Video), The Woks of Life

Almond Cookie
Recipes: China Sichuan Food, Table for Two, Chao Li Zhang (Video)

Swiss Rolls
Recipes: Winse’s Wee Wok, Mandy’s Baking Journey, Siu Kitchen (Video)

My End Of 2015 Fried Chicken Post

My 2015 Favorites
Manhattan Inntumblr_nssli5hMo91qgcixto1_1280If I had to pick the ONE fried chicken that just totally blew me away, this would be it. I can’t believe none of the food media people wrote about this. Forget fuku, forget Root & Bone, forget everything…just go here.

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*For more info on any of these places, check out my fried chicken project website

Places Food Media People Are Not Talking About But Really Should
All of these places serve EXCELLENT fried chicken yet I have never seen any of these places in any fried chicken lists.
Manhattan Inn – See above
J’eatjet? – I hate sausage gravy but the one served at J’eatjet? changed my mind.
Egg – Looking for something simple and delicious and just a solid plate of fried chicken?
Ma Peche – Yes, the food media loves David Chang and gets load of press but people mostly talk about the fried chicken dinner at the noodle bar and fuku. The habanero fried chicken at Ma Peche is crazy good and should be getting a lot more press.
44 & X – I had low expectation for this place but it surprised me.
Marietta – Peaches HotHouse, the sister restaurant, gets most of the love because of their Nashville inspired hot chicken but Marietta does a better job.
Yafa Deli – Anyone that loves fried chicken, knows about Yafa Deli but I rarely see it on any “Best Of” lists.
Broadway Bakery – Feeling nostalgia? The fried chicken here tastes just like old school Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Sidecar – A solid plate of fried chicken at this local Park Slope spot.

Favorite Sandwiches
Cheeky Sandwiches
Wilfie & Nell
Parson’s Chicken and Fish
Delaney Chicken
The Commodore
The Meat Hook Sandwich

All The Places I’ve Been In 2015
-Manhattan
The Breslin
Hudson Common
Maharlika Filipino Moderno
Ma Peche
Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque
Delaney Chicken
The Smith
44 & X
Wilfie & Nell
Root & Bone
Egg Shop
Cheeky Sandwiches
Birds & Bubbles
Spitzer’s Corner
Bian Dang
Pies N Thighs
Seoul Chicken
fuku+

-Brooklyn
J’eatjet?
The Commodore
Wilma Jean
Egg
Yafa Deli
Pies N Thighs
Red Star Sandwich Shop
Abilene
Manhattan Inn
Shake Shack
Wangs
Marietta
Beehive Oven
Esme
Mayfield
Endless Summer
Sidecar
Fawkner
Keg and Lantern

-Queens
Broadway Bakery
Queens Comfort
Sweet Afton
Mister Chicken to Go
BocBoc Chicken Delicious
Engeline’s Restaurant and Bakeshop

-Los Angeles
Tokyo Fried Chicken Co.
Ledlow
Howlin Ray’s
Gentry Chicken

-Philly
Federal Donuts

-Chicago
Parson’s Chicken and Fish
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Longman and Eagle