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May 14 2011 Taste of Mount Vernon Triangle

16 May

So this is my review of the second inaugural taste of my neighborhood; the Taste of Mount Vernon Triangle.

Mandu – Offered a selection of a handful or so of tasty dumplings in the bar area. Very friendly staff.  I didn’t take a picture only because I ate them all so quickly : )

Kushi – So I was dissapointed that Kushi did the same thing as last year – pre-wrapped plum or pork in rice and seaweed. They taste fine, but it’s not at all representative of the quality or diversity of their food. And it’s a bit of a cold atmosphere to come in, as you just pick it up and leave. Very different than the fabulous food and boisterous atmosphere you find normally there.

Busboys and Poets – didn’t participate this year. Last year, they served a pink lemonade.

Taylor Gourmet – Offered a choice of half of an italian, turkey, or portabello mushroom sandwich.  Tasty, as always.  Below is the sandwich (plus cheese from Subway, referenced below).

Subway Liquor – Offered a tasting of one chardonnay (which they offered at a discount for 8 bucks and we enjoyed later on that night), and a selection of cheeses and marinated mushrooms. I’d never been there before given Tunnel is closer to me. They have a good selection of inexpensive wines, as well as the usuals, beer, liquor, etc. I noticed they had jugs of Manishevitz; good to know.

Henry’s Soul Cafe – I think Henry’s is great, but they were unfortunately out of sweet potato pies when we got there around 4 pm.

Papa John’s – When we got there late last year they let us take a remaining box of pizza home, this year we were there earlier so picked up a veggie slice and a meatball slice.

Buddha Bar – Didn’t participate this year, unfortunately. Last year, they were a class act offering sushi and martinis.

Tunnel Liquor – Offered a beer tasting of shock top amber and raspberry.

Overall, I enjoy exploring my neighborhood (and getting to meet others in my neighborhood doing the same thing). But no one beat Buddha Bar’s sushi and martinis this year (and they, disappointingly, didn’t participate this time), and I wish Kushi would do something worthy of themselves, as their food is fantastic, or just not participate, because it’s hard to convince people I know to go there and drop that type of money on food when that rice wrap is the only thing they’ve had there.  Mandu was great and Subway stepped up to get neighbors to show up.


Gochujang Blue Cheese Burger with Gochujang Marinated Bacon and Blue Cheese Cole Slaw Contest Recipe

6 Oct

Gochujang Blue Cheese Burger with Gochujang Marinated Bacon and Blue Cheese Cole Slaw Recipe

Because I can’t resist a contest and making a new recipe (or at least a new take, this one using Annie Chun’s Gochujang sauce), and because the only reviews of it I found online suggested it wouldn’t be good on a burger, I decided to take up the challenge.  Below is the recipe I submitted (more pics to come). 


1b ground beef

4-6 pieces bacon

Annie Chun’s Gochujang sauce (4 to 5 tbsp)

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 package/container crumbled blue cheese

2 cups red cabbage (shredded)

1 english cucumber



Mayonnaise (1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp)

2 tbsp dijon or grainy mustard

1 lime (juice)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

4 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp minced ginger

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp brown sugar

4 hamburger buns with seeds

Kimchee (optional)

Lettuce, sliced tomato (optional)





1.         Marinate meat in mixture of 2 tsp gochujang sauce, ½ tsp worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tbsps garlic, 2 tbsps ginger, 2 tbsps brown sugar for a couple hours or overnight, and form patties.

2.         Grill until done.

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw:


1.         Mix ½ cup blue cheese, the cabbage, ½ cup mayo, mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl together. 

2.         Cover and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Pickled cucumber/radishes/jicama

1.         Cut cucumber, radishes, and jicama into pieces. 

2.         Bring ¼ cup rice vinegar, ¼ cup water, 4 tbsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt to a boil in a saucepan, then cool to room temperature. 

3.         Combine vegetables and let sit in fridge for a few hours or overnight.  

4.         Drain vegetables before using. 

Gochujang mayo

1.         Mix 3 tbsps mayonnaise with 1 tsp Gochujang sauce.

Gochujang marinated bacon

1.         Place bacon in plastic bag with 1 to 2 tsps gochujang sauce and shake to distribute the sauce. 

2.         Preheat over to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack.  Cook for 10-18 minutes depending on thickness of bacon and desired crunchiness.  If bacon begins to stick to the foil, turn over. 

3.         Remove and drain bacon on paper towel.

Putting it together:

Spread gochujang mayo on bun.  Place burger on bun, gochujang marinated bacon on top, and sprinkle blue cheese.  Top with pickled vegetables and blue cheese cole slaw.  Optional: add kimchi, tomato, onions, and/or lettuce. 

Top Chef DC Inspired English Pea Puree and Salmon

10 Aug

Inspired by the recent infamous “pea puree” episode I made my own version for us less experienced busy chefs and with ingredients that are easy to get.   I used orzo as a substitute for black forbidden rice, and didn’t marinate the salmon overnight.  I am a terrible plater, but I promise it is delicious!

This is a recipe for two:


1 package salmon

Salt and pepper to taste

Salmon marinade:

1 tbsp champagne or balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp low fat maple syrup

1 tsp olive oil

A couple drops of worcestershire sauce

Orzo soaked in fennel broth:

1 box orzo

1 can low sodium chicken broth

1-2 shallots (optional)

1 tsp olive oil

Fennel and pear salad:

1/2 bulb fennel

Pear balsamic or balsamic vinegar

2 pears

1 red onion

Pea puree:

English peas (1 bag frozen)

1 pint low-fat or regular cream


Slice one half of the fennel, the pears, and red onion.  Add a touch of balsamic or pear balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Soak overnight if you have time.

Warm up chicken broth.  Add ½ of the sliced fennel bulb. In a separate pan, sauté shallots until translucent (optional).  Add fresh parsley or rosemary (optional). Add orzo and olive oil and cook slowly.  Cooking the orzo slowly will allow it to absorb the flavor of the fennel.

Blanch peas in boiling salt water for one minute; shock in ice water.  Warm cream and reduce by half.  Combine cream and peas in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Mix together marinade ingredients and cover salmon.  Grill salmon.  Add fresh or dried parsley or rosemary or garlic (optional).

Plate and enjoy!

And beware of cat! Who knew they liked pea puree too?