The streets were oddly quiet and that’s when I soon realized that I had my dates mixed up. The Tall Ships Festival was actually next weekend. Oh well, I will have to wait to see the west coast debut of the international art installation, Rubber Duck, by Dutch Artist Florentijn Hofman. Before leaving town, my sweet tooth flared up pretty badly; which, by the way, was no surprise. A quick internet search pointed me in the direction of Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe for Apple Strudel. Yes, Hungarian-Austrian style Apple Strudel.
A good one mile walk from the Ports O’Call Village into the heart of Downtown San Pedro is Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe; a charming Hungarian-Austrian bakery with an old world appeal that reminded me of the family-run bakeries and cafes in Europe. Along side the counter were displays of each homemade strudels. What a pleasant surprise to see that a slice of sweet strudels were an affordable $4.85 - $5.25 each. At further glance of the menu, there was also a selection of savory strudels at $7.15 - $7.75 per slice. What a bargain!
Mr. Schuller, whom the restaurant is named after, kindly took my order. I opted for two sweet strudels (a plain Apple Strudel and a Cherry & Cheese one) with a cup of coffee for the added caffeine jolt. I told him that I’ll take home whatever I didn’t finish.
The wait for these pastries hot out of the oven was only 10 minutes, which gave me some time to sip on my coffee and check email messages. I then started a conversation with Mrs. Schuller about the strudels.
I had admitted to liking the Trader Joes version of Apple Strudel. The price is right for a box of frozen strudel that anyone can just place in a hot oven. Mrs. Schuller replied that the TJ version is a very simple one and unlike theirs, which is more complex and made from scratch. She pointed out that they make all the strudels in-house. Their pastry dough is a lot like filo dough, which is the style of the Hungarian and Austrian Strudels; very thin, flaky layers. The German Strudels are made differently with puff pastry or the dough that’s similar to croissants. In Hungry and in Austria, the fruit filling is practically layered on the dough thinly like butter. The fruit filling at the Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe is layered more generously than the traditional style.
My first bite was the Cherry and Cheese Strudel. I would agree that the pastry was noticeably flaky (like baklava) and the fruit and cheese filling was light in texture yet delicately sweet. Then I took a bite of the Apple Strudel, which has a generous portion of tarty apples. There was just the right amount of tartness like hot apple pie. The verdict…Mischi’s is, by far, the best homemade Strudel that I’ve ever eaten.
I finished what was left of my coffee and asked for a small box to take the remainder of my strudels to-go. I still day dream of strudels since I left Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe. I also kick myself for not taking home some frozen strudels to stock my freezer for the unexpected potluck parties or to eat for my weekend brunches. I’ll be back.
The Tasty Chronicles: These food pics chronicles my attempts to simplify the making of the Mexican Yucatan Slow Roasted Pork dish called Cochinita Pibil. What would normally be a 4 - 5 hour oven roasting process became a 40-minute cooking process using my Fissler Pressure Cooker.
The only draw back with the pressure cooker method was that it didn’t have the nice smokey aromas that comes with the oven roasted method. In the oven roasted method, the pork butt is wrapped with banana leaves and slow roasted at 400 degrees. For my pressure cooker method, I laid a couple layers of banana leaves on top of the pork butt. The banana leaves softened and had no effect that enhanced the flavor of the pork. Rather than doing this, what I should have done was add a drop or two of liquid smoke.
Despite the minor flaw, my attempts to make a Cochinita Pibil via a pressure cooker was a success especially when my friends saw that I had brought Cochinita Pibil Tacos for our picnic.
The Tasty Chronicles: There are so many ways to roast a pig in different parts of the world. But did you know that Filipinos know how to roast a pig as well? Yes, we do. The Filipino delicacy is called Lechon. After a few hours of roasting, the pork meat is succulent from the rendered collagen and fat. It tastes even more flavorful when it’s accompanied with condiments like a sweet liver sauce or some banana ketchup. However, the best part of eating Lechon is the crispy skin. Like candy, we always fight to get a piece of it.
The Tasty Chronicles: Hey #rubberduckla …..I can’t wait to see you at the Tallships Festival on the Port of Los Angeles next week. xoxo
Celebrate Julia Child’s 102nd Birthday with a collection of quotes.
The Tasty Chronicles: Happy Birthday to Julia Child!
The Tasty Chronicles: Posting these pics is just another reminder to myself to cook and bake more. This batch of Pâte à Choux is just what I needed to jazz up the homemade chocolate ice cream that I made the day before. Since I’m a HUGE Martha Stewart fan, I used her recipe from a video segment on her website. For the cooking video, click here.
The Tasty Chronicles: The Evolution of Corn at Maude. These are food pics of the dishes from this month’s Corn Themed seasonal menu. Curious to know more? Well, read all about it by clicking here.
I sure hope that you make Maude in Beverly Hills one of your Foodie destinations. TV Personality/Chef Curtis Stone's new restaurant boasts some of the best dishes that my friends and I have eaten. Our almost monthly dinner nights (whether we're able to get that coveted dinner reservation) at Maude Restaurant has evolved from initially being fans of Curtis Stone to being food-obsessed with everything at his restaurant. Yeah, everything is remarkably first-class there. Whether it be the kitchen, the food, the service, the wines, the ambiance, and the tiniest details like the finding your napkin folded when you return to your table, Maude Restaurant has all the stellar qualities of a classy restaurant and I quite like it that way. Now, let’s talk corn. That is, the Summer Corn theme at Maude.
Corn is like the most notable summer food in the U.S. yet it’s never a focal point in a restaurant menu. As the primary theme ingredient for the 9-course menu at Maude; corn transforms into a luxurious keepsake. Like, the Cuttlefish dish pictured above. Corn and cuttlefish doesn’t seem to go together, but opposites attract at Maude. It was very euphoric to eat the luscious sauce that cradled the almost noodle like cuts of cuttlefish and clumps of crab meat. Soon the fireworks of joy encompassed me when I found that the sauce was not heavy one, but a light, airy composition accompanied with a fresh and crisp corn taste.
Then there’s the pasta that always reappears each month, but in different form. In this month’s Corn theme, it was a magnificient Agnolotti with Romesco sauce that was lavishly adorned with Buttered Popcorn and generous shavings of Black Truffle. If only this pasta were served a la carte for seconds and thirds.
Another delectable dish was the Snakeriver Farms Pork with Corn Pudding, Green Figs, and Apples. The pork is from a pure bred Berkshire pig, which is equivalent to the quality of the Japanese Kurobata pig. I’ve eaten my share of preimium Berkshire pork many times in the past and at this go around at Maude, the meat had the very same qualities that I was looking for, relaxed and tender. The preparation of this dish was a simple one as the pork already has a slightly smokey taste to it. A forkful of the pork, the corn pudding, and the rest of the components harmonized quite beautifully together. Oh, and the pork skin was like pig candy…delicate yet crispy! Only wished for more Corn Pudding on the plate.
After 8-courses and an amuse bouche, we finally made our way to the dessert course. The Purple Corn Crepes with plantain inside was an attractive dessert. I liked the interesting use of corn as a dessert, but unfortunately the crepe didn’t exactly taste like corn. Because the parcel was so small and delicate, the creme caramel and chocolate pudding seemingly over powered the crepe. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.
Just shy of midnight, we were the last customers in the restaurant. Curtis Stone was long gone while his staff worked quietly in the background. I loved that that the Service staff were still as energetic as as they were when they first greeted us a few hours earlier. Before bidding us adieu, we each received a token farewell gift of homemade Almond Milk and Corn Flakes. (I always forget that these farewell gifts are a signature of the restaurant.) According to the staff, the Chef wanted us to have a good, healthy breakfast when we woke up in the morning. I love lasting impressions, don’t you?
The Tasty Chronicles: If and when you finally make it to Downtown Los Angeles, I recommend a visit to The Grand Central Market to eat, drink, and shop. This Foodie mecca is perhaps the best representation of L.A. food all under one roof.
One of my favorite food stalls at The Grand Central Market is Sticky Rice where the Thai street food menu is small, but a good one with favorites like Hainan Chicken, Panang Curry, and the ever so hot and spicy fresh Papaya Salad.
The Grand Central Market, Sticky Rice, and many other food stalls are easily accessible via the LA Metro Red Line at the Pershing Square Station. Just follow the signs to 4th Street/The Grand Central Market and the Angel’s Flight.