The Tasty Chronicles: This video of my hometown ROCKS! I love L.A.
It’s no secret. It’s finally here! Kevin Bludso, the Grill Master at Bludso’s BBQ in Compton, California, made all of our dreams come true over the weeked with the debut of the Whole Smoked Pig. It’s about time we got it.
Every year, I trek to Bludo’s BBQ for my friend’s annual special dining event. With the freeway construction on the Westside derailing my shortcut, I had to painstakingly drive through five freeways to get to Bludso’s BBQ for the party. When I arrived, I noticed lots of changes.
Besides the opening of Bludso’s Bar and Que in the Fairfax District (a predominantly Jewish community) in Los Angeles and the food show appearances, what’s new is remodel of the original location in Compton. The entire take-out counter window has expanded. There still isn’t any tables and chairs to sit down and eat your meal, but that will soon change when the former church space next door is converted to the dining and banquet room.
What I’m also excited for is the super-large smoker perched in the back with all the other smokers that are like the size of my car. You see, this new smoker is solely used smoking a few whole pigs Texas-style, which is slow and low for some 15 plus hours depending on the size.
Of all the meat choices at our party at Bludso’s, I dove into that whole smoked pig. I ate slices of pork belly, pulled off some pork shoulder, and I even took one of the jowls.
So you’re probably wondering what the verdict is? Well, not only can Kevin Bludso smoke a mean brisket, he can also smoke a whole pig! OMG, it’s a MASTERPIECE! Every single cut of meat is divinely smoked, juicy, tender, and succulent. Eating with a fork and wearing a napkin on you shirt collar do not do justice when, instead, the pork juices dribbles all over your fingers and onto the palms of your hands.
At the moment, the Whole Smoked Pig is only available for catering and only at the Compton location. The regular menu of Brisket, Chicken, Pork and Beef Ribs, and Rib Tips are still available for purchase until they run out for the day. The menu has Meat Combo platters for $14 or you can order a la carte per pound. Big Eaters will like the $30 Texas Platter, which gives you just a little bit of everything. But if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket and want to feed the entire family, I suggest ordering the $99 Large Party Tray.
Whatever you do, please don’t miss out on the BEST homemade Banana Pudding and Red Velvet Cake desserts at Bludso’s BBQ. No meal is complete without their dessert.
Now you get to see the person behind this food blog. This is my very first Tastemade food video…Click here.
Last month, I was talking about the Tastemade Food Video app after attending their Launch Party debut of their Android app. Well, I finally decided to try it out. The app still has some dreadfully annoying technical glitches, which does not sync the voice and visual recordings. The Team at Tastemade has assured me that they are still working on fixing these bugs. While they do, let me just say that lunch with my friends at Wako Donkatsu was fantastic!
Notice how the food looks very similar to Japanese food? Don Katsu is the Korean-version of the Japanese fried Pork Cutlet, Tonkatsu.
In the heart of the Koreatown community of Los Angeles, Wako Donkatsu (or Wako Donkasu) is a one of a kind restaurant that primarily serves cutlets. The Pork Cutlet is their best seller and they also have other varieties of cutlets to choose from like a Cheese version, Pork Loin, Chicken, Ground Beef, and Fish.
The combination plates ($14+) are the best deal in town, because it comes with your choice of cutlet and cabbage salad, miso soup, rice, and your choice of either cold Soba noodles or hot Udon soup. Each combo is a lot of food so sharing is a good thing when you dine at Wako Donkatsu. Oh, and don’t forget to press that button on your table to call your Server for more napkins, more rice, more cabbage salad, or water. And yes, they do take credit cards.
The video pretty much sums up what my friends and I thought about the food at Wako Donkatsu. Enjoy! Here’s the video again…Click here.
2904 W. Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Did you forget to add an ice cream maker to your wedding registry? Or maybe you finally threw it out after not using it for so many years. Whatever the case, you have a serious homemade ice cream craving and machinery. Whatever will you do? Don’t give up and head to the freezer aisle. Instead, watch this week’s Mad Genius Tips video in which F&W Test Kitchen genius Justin Chapple reveals how to easily make ice cream at home with a Ziploc bag, a freezer and a food processor. Learn more essential cooking tricks by watching all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.
A few days ago I was in the produce section of my local grocery store, where I found a huge sale of locally grown Driscoll’s Strawberries at four 2-pound baskets for $5. It was a whopping
steal deal, because Driscoll’s strawberries normally go for $2.99 a pound. So I snapped up four baskets as I enjoy consuming strawberries in the summer months. I like tossing them in iced cold water with mint and some Basil Seeds for a refreshing drink. I also make Strawberry Ice Cream or I just plain eat them as-is since Driscoll’s produces one of the most sweetest strawberries that I’ve ever tasted. It has been like a whole 12-months since I made that French dessert Clafoutis with strawberries. Because the opportunity presented itself, I decided to make it again to appease my desires for the illustrious strawberry.
Clafoutis is a French Dessert that is usually made with Cherries. It’s a sort of custard-like dessert with some cakey edges and it’s best served warm. I quite adore the strawberry version, because the oven-warmed fresh strawberry is such a comforting taste. The folks at Sunset Magazine through MyRecipes.Com has a super easy recipe for Strawberry Clafoutis that I’ve used for a few years. It’s so easy that even children will have fun making it. Here it is below. I hope that you enjoy making it and eating it.
Strawberry Clafoutis (Serves 4 - 6)
1/2 tablespoon butter
8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-qt. baking or gratin dish with the butter. Toss strawberry halves with cornstarch until evenly coated, then arrange berries, cut side down, in bottom of dish and set aside.
2. In a blender, whirl eggs, milk, flour, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt 15 seconds. Pour batter over strawberries.
3. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and set in the center, about 50 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
The Tasty Chronicles: This is what I am craving for. It’s a Cold Brewed Coffee on the rocks from Demitasse Cafe, a Coffee Bar) in the Little Tokyo District of Los Angeles. When it’s hot outside, an Cold Brewed Coffee is the only caffeine kick that I drink to cool off.
Cafe Demitasse http://cafedemitasse.com/cafe-info/
It seems rather strange that the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles is a Dessert Desert. I visited the foodie mecca twice last week and noticed that the entire place is missing a good piece of chocolate cake, caramel apples, soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate, ice cream sundaes, banana splits, and mile-high apple pies. As a matter of fact, there is not one place that serves a good Root Beer Float or cream soda. Having seen vintage photos of the Grand Central Market back in the 1930s and 1940s, it makes me wonder why the good old American Soda Fountain establishments have not returned. Hmmm, I guess I’ll continue to scratch my head in bewilderment while I drink the almost $8 Coffee Milkshake from the guys at Glanville & Babinski Coffee aka G&B Coffee. The one thing that has not changed….finding a good cup of coffee at the Grand Central Market .
Properly called the G&B Coffee Milkshake according to the chalkboard menu, this caffeine-potent concoction kept me on a caffeine-high for about four days. Don’t get me wrong, it was well worth it to stay up late to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live. If you’re a coffee fanatic like me, you’ll find that it’s worth every dime to purchase this milkshake too.
Made with Ethiopian coffee beans roasted by Heart Coffee Roasters from Portland, Oregon, this milkshake contained every nuance of a typical Ethiopian coffee bean. Imagine smelling the aromas of a wet flower pot filled with colorful Gerbera Daisies. Blended with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream, this Ethiopian coffee morphs into a velvety, rich, creamy yet earthy frozen treat. I truly enjoyed every sip of this grown-up version of a milkshake.
I’ve decided to make something from those cherries that I picked last month. The French dessert, Cherry Clafoutis, is one of my favorite desserts to bake, because it’s super easy. For today’s baking, I used the Cherry Clafoutis recipe from the food blog, Simply Recipes.
Clafoutis is basically a baked custard dessert that can be made with a variety of different fruits. It can also be made into a savory side with cherry tomatoes and cheese. However, I love making Clafoutis the traditional way with cherries. Another favorite of mine is a Strawberry Clafoutis when it’s strawberry season.
Recipe for Cherry Clafoutis by Simply Recipes guest author Garrett McCord.
2 cups of fresh sweet cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of whole milk
2 teaspoons of Amaretto -or- 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 9X9 or 10X7 baking dish. Toss in the cherries and slivered almonds.
2. Whisk the eggs, sugars, salt, and flour together until smooth.
3. Add the milk, Amaretto (or almond extract, if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you pull it put of the oven it will wiggle a bit which is normal. Place on a wire rack to cool. The clafoutis will have puffed up quite a bit and will deflate while cooling. When cool dust the clafoutis with powdered sugar. Serve.
Simply Recipes: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/
Cherry Clafoutis Recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cherry_clafouti/