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Ginger ale, best friend, China and killer hotdogs!

May 11, 2010

Why do I only drink ginger ale when I am on a plane? I stopped drinking more than an occasional soda some years back but a ginger ale always sounds good on the plane. I am heading from Los Angeles to San Francisco to meet one of my best friends Ken. We are heading to Hong Kong and Shanghai for a week of food adventures. He is the perfect travel mate for this trip. Not only do we get along brilliantly and both pretend that we didn’t need permission from our wives to go but he has the same philosophy about food as I do: just because you are full doesn’t mean you should pass on trying something amazing that you walk by. Eat we will! Discover we will! With Ken’s help and another friend of mine Sam I have managed to get myself into some local kitchens to learn hot to cook some authentic Chinese food. I can’t wait!

Ginger ale makes me think of comfort food and comfort food makes me think of the hotdog I made for a dinner party the other night. I was hired to do a six-course meal and one of the courses was to include a hotdog. I toasted the bun with olive oil, smoked paprika and cumin. In the same pan I then added all beef, grass-fed hot dogs and thinly sliced onions. I cooked them over medium heat so that the hot dog would just start to blister but not crack by the time it was hot in the center. The onions were partially caramelized and partially charred – crispy and sweet. I smeared the toasted, soft bun with Crescenza cheese (AKA, Stracchino. An amazing triple-cream cheese from Northern Italy that tastes like Gorgonzola without the blue). The cheese melted into a sauce from the heat of the hotdog and dripped through the onions and out of the ends of the bun. One bite and the hotdog popped with a rich but not fatty beef flavor. There was enough acidity in the cheese to balance the richness. The smoked paprika and cumin came through in the finish making what appeared to be a simple hotdog much more complex. Can’t wait to get back to the stove or in this case in front of the wok! I look forward to bringing you some tasty new tidbits from China. Take care and enjoy!

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2010 10:48 am

    Short note to show you this, that we discussed:
    It sounds interesting, and Alton Brown touted it a while back.
    Yet there are so many things I hope you get into. I bought two pounds of Pink Peppercorns, after reading what ended up a non-informative article, and the taste is unique and “out there.” Too much, unless I can figure it out.
    Oh, have to say that I love both titles, Cooking without Borders and Spice (or Ingredient) Smuggler. I hope you manage to work both into whatever you do… and your philosophy behind it. What I am really learning is that the main part of the dish can be a hundred different things, depending on the addition of some simple spice mixtures (not just spices alone). Having someone come up with these mixtures is almost like having an extra chef in the kitchen.
    Have fun in China. Darn you. heheh

  2. Chase Lane permalink
    May 13, 2010 4:44 pm

    I received my spices today and can’t stop sniffing them. Hmmm… could I get a spot on your next show as the Spice Sniffer?

    With these excellent products, you might want to consider opening up a forum on this site so that will allow for a freer and more on-topic Q&A. Forum subsections, for ex.: Eggs, Online Store, Specific Country cooking, Jeffrey’s next appointments.

    To whoever might be reading this: These spices are very nicely tweaked, bold (in SEVERAL aspects) but not overdone. You can smell the separate spices in one sniff, yet get the overall flavor. Waiting for my second dish to finish in a few minutes.

  3. Rachel Durham permalink
    June 10, 2010 1:15 pm

    So glad to find you website. Have been terribly disappointed in Food Network since you lost.
    Happy your life is going well!

    • Rachel Durham permalink
      June 10, 2010 1:16 pm

      please change you website to your website.

    • belairrealestatejournal permalink*
      June 11, 2010 12:39 pm

      Hello Rachel, Thank you so much! Keep an eye out…
      I appreciate the support, life is great, best to you! Eating a curried pea soup right now, tasty! Best, Jeffrey 🙂

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