Austin Food trucks Hot dogs Korean Mexican Tacos Travel

I love you Austin, but I need a salad

Yep, we did sushi in Texas. But it was a jalapeño and cilantro roll!

I’ve always loved Austin for it’s being so different from other parts of Texas. The food trucks, the friendly people, and all the music venues. J and I were excited to venture down once again for SXSW. We walked all over the city, checking out bands for my day job, meeting with industry friends… and eating. Tex Mex and fusion dishes like Chi’Lantro Bulgogi tacos, Mexican sushi rolls with crunchy jalapeño and cilantro, smoked pork tacos, Frank’s hot dogs with BBQ sauce and burgers too big to admit you consumed. I think there was a poblano caesar in there, but it was underwhelming, probably because it was trying to be a salad. At the end of the week, we had blisters from walking from one side of the city to the other, but reinvigorated hearing great music. Ok, I won’t lie, we enjoyed ditching our normally clean diet for some Frito pie. But we were happy to be headed home… I love you Austin, but I need a salad.

Bali Fish Indonesia Mexican Recipe Tiny Kitchen Travel

Ceviche in Bali

Ceviche - Tiny Global Kitchen

Ceviche, Woobar W Bali

Nothing refreshes you in tropical climates like a cold ceviche. We were lucky enough to visit the W Resort in Bali last month where the famous sunset sessions are paired with electronic beats, overstuffed couches, exceptional service, and ice-cold drinks. Inspired by the ocean, their bar is designed to symbolize a giant wave in action on the beach, an artistic architecture of curvaceous raw concrete that adds to the spectacular vistas on the shore. Being that close to the equator, you’re constantly warm (ok sweating), the breezes are welcome and the cool drinks go down easily. J was there to DJ so they invited us to have some drinks and bites after we arrived.

Watching the sunset, we sampled our ceviche which was a bright and creamy combo of tuna, red peppers, chiles, and lime served with crispy chips. It was delicious and the backdrop of this Bali ceviche was worth all those miles we flew and perfectly paired with a ok a few chile mojitos.

However, we have to admit we have our favorite version. It’s typically a tomato base, lime, chock full of shrimp, cilantro, hot sauce and best eaten with Saltines crushed on top and devoured with a spoon. We once learned the recipe of J’s all time favorite spicy and sweet ceviche from a small Cuban restaurant (now closed) in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. We asked their manager for the recipe after we saw he’d been knocking a few too many back. He winked at us and started rattling off the recipe as I furiously typed it into the notes section of an old phone. Alas, the phone later took a swim, the recipe to forever remain a mystery.

Here’s a recipe for an awesome shrimp ceviche by Rick Bayless.

  • 1 quart salted water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 generous pound unpeeled small shrimp (about 41 to 50 count to a pound)
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce (such as Tamazula, Valentina or Bufalo)
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin (optional, but smooths out sharpness)
  • 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber or jicama (or 1/2 cup each)
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • Salt
  • Several lime slices, for garnish
  • Saltine crackers, for serving

Cooking and marinating the shrimp:

Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Add shrimp, cover and return to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, set pot lid askew and pour off all liquid. Replace lid and set aside, letting shrimp steam in closed pot for 10 minutes. Spread out shrimp in large glass or stainless steel bowl to cool completely. Peel shrimp (and devein, if desired). Toss shrimp with remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

The flavorings: In a small strainer, rinse chopped onion under cold water, then shake off excess liquid. Add to shrimp bowl along with chopped cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, optional olive oil, cucumber and/or jicama and avocado. Mix gently, taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate up to a few hours, or serve immediately. Serving the ceviche: Spoon the ceviche into sundae glasses, martini glasses or small bowls. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of lime. Serve with saltines or tortilla chips.

Recipe Street Food Thailand Tiny Kitchen

Let’s get hot

Chile sauce - Tiny Global Kitchen

We’d been talking about getting back to Thailand since we first were there, and were grateful to land four days in the steamy city three weeks ago. We vowed to eat more street food, albeit scary when raw pork hangs in the sun. Or the plates stacked with fried fish for sale that defy laws of food safety. But hey, live a little, right? We wandered the streets, checking out stalls, and ate many mini lunches.

Food stall - Tiny Global Kitchen

Food stall, Bangkok

One thing was everywhere we ate, chile sauce. Not the neon pink sweetened kind you see in a bottle, but these chopped tiny Thai chiles floating in liquid that could melt your face. It’s served with breakfast on eggs or that wonderful jasmine rice offered with spicy and fragrant dishes. We kept tempting fate by adding more and more to each plate. By the time we left Thailand we had to find a recipe. We found the Thai chiles at a Uwajimaya here in Seattle and the rest is in the recipe below, called Nam Pla Prik in Thai. Enjoy your level of heat addiction! More pics of our Bangkok trip here.

  • 1/4 cup sliced Thai Chilies
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Garlic
  • Sliced shallots (optional)
Mexican Recipe

Mango jalapeño salsa

Salsa-TinyGlobalKitchen

It may be raining in Santa Fe New Mexico as we celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday, but it’s hot inside this bowl. Listening to bossa nova watching the thunderstorm outside, we’re chopping mango, tomato, jalapeño and wondering how many times I’ve made a variation of this salsa. We’ve tasted so many salsas in restaurants, grocery stores, at many a BBQ… but I love this recipe for it’s chunky, crunchy, freshness. It’s also fun when people request “your salsa.” By all means, make this one your own.

  • Tomatoes – 4-5 romas
  • Yellow pepper
  • Red onion
  • Jalapeño or serranos, adjust the heat to your preference
  • Apple – I like the contrast of a green apple, but use what you prefer.
  • Cilantro, adjust to taste, I usually chop a good handful.
  • Garlic
  • 2-3 limes depending on the size of the batch
  • Mango
  • Salt & pepper

I chop all the above in the same size pieces, squeeze in the limes, add some garlic, salt and pepper. I like to chill this after it’s done. It’ll marinate together and come out better after a few hours in the fridge but holds its crunch nicely. Now that the thunderstorm is over… time to party! Happy Birthday Dad.

Recipe Street Food Travel Turkey

It all began in Istanbul

Simit

J and I were sitting at a very early breakfast buffet at our hotel. We had set our alarms to be (embarrassingly) first in line for a street food in Istanbul, Turkey called Simit.

Simit is light and flaky, baked to a golden brown color, and topped with sesame seeds. It is sometimes formed into rings, and are often braided. Chewy like a bagel but the buttery flavor of a croissant, these tasty little devils are very addictive.

We’ve been lucky enough to travel internationally together and food has been more than an interest for both of us. We would tuck into small restaurants together and sheepishly take photos of everything from fiery shrimp fried rice served in a pineapple in Bangkok to strange dried shrimp and sake in Tokyo. Returning home, we’d try to recreate our favorites. Through all of these food-related adventures, we’ve started to learn new recipes together, laughed in the kitchen and formed a much stronger bond.

Back in Istanbul, J was realizing he couldn’t fill his luggage with Simit and was frowning. We had to try and make them back home. And so we did. Here’s the chewy, salty recipe. No travel to Turkey needed, but it’s highly recommended.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon milk plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt. Make a depression in the dry ingredients with your fist, making a “hole” in the middle. Add olive oil, melted butter, water, milk, and egg. Fold dry ingredients into liquids to form a dough. This may take 10 minutes by hand. Once you have a dough, tear off pieces of dough, make long, cigar shapes. Bring ends of “cigars” together to make a circle. Place circle on greased cookie sheet. Brush with milk. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 30 minutes, or until Simit become a golden brown color and crispy on top.

French Recipe Tiny Kitchen

Blue cheese soufflé cures the blues

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It’s the bad news everywhere, it’s the incessant rain, my partner being in Chicago for a month, it’s [insert anything here.] Many things can make a girl have the Sunday blues these days. In an effort to keep “ing” (do-ing, cook-ing, runn-ing… you get the picture) I decided to attempt an infamous recipe, the soufflé.

I’ve heard the hype, seen the movie Audrey Hepburn movie Sabrina, but thought, why not? If I screw this up, at least there’s a new day tomorrow.

I found my Barefoot Contessa in Paris cookbook and turned a sticky page 50. As a self taught cook herself, when she claims it is really truly easy, I can believe her. (Or I’m a big sucker.)

I started off by prepping everything in advance and reading all the way through the recipe, so there’s *hopefully* no surprises.

Then, wow! Nothing compares to pulling a beautifully puffed soufflé out of the oven. I mean it. Gasp, success! I hate to admit that I actually enjoyed it more than finishing a week long work project. It really is the little things in life.

Here’s the recipe, maybe you can enjoy a little of the blues-curing Blue cheese… it really is easy. Be sure to enjoy while listening to a little French music, I suggest the Amelie soundtrack.

Blue Cheese Soufflé – Ina Garten/Barefoot in Paris. Buy here, it’s a great cookbook.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped
  • 5 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the inside of an 8-cup soufflé dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter x 3 1/4 inches deep and sprinkle evely with Parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 mintues. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisky attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

Whisk one quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into soufflé dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the soufflé rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Food trucks Tiny Kitchen

By way of Chicago

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When I met my guy in Chicago for the first time he told me there was one thing we had to do. I thought, ‘Hmm.. see the skyline along Lakeshore drive, visit the Sears tower?’ No. It was to eat a Chicago Style Hot Dog. I’ve never been a hot dog girl, even when they’re grilled on charcoal til it splits open its juices; I’ve always preferred to eat other things. I was wrong.

The “Chicago Style” hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel. The famous Chicago Style Hot Dog was born. They’d start with a Vienna Beef hot dog, nestle it in a steamed poppyseed bun and cover it with a wonderful combination of toppings: yellow mustard, bright green relish, fresh chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and finally, a dash of celery salt. (Don’t even think about putting ketchup on this doggie!) This unique hot dog creation with a “salad on top” and its memorable interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft, sharp and smooth, became America’s original fast food and a true Chicago institution.

I highly recommend this unique creation, we even found one in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a food truck called Chicago Dog Express, voted Best Food Truck in Santa Fe in ’09 & ’10!