Sunday, August 27, 2006

the aftermath of speakeasy august

first of all, matt, the dishwasher, wanted to commend you all for making sure his job was as easy as possible and going just shy of licking your plates. rita and margo frances, however, were not pleased with the measley parsley-garnish table scraps.

we had a fantastically dynamic and diverse crowd, from students to lawyers to artists to engineers. thanks to everyone who attended -- every single one of you were mentioned to me in a conversation with someone else who was there... the conversation usually started as follows: "i sat next to this really interesting person, (your name here) ..."

now, stay tuned for speakeasy autumn...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

hot stuff at speakeasy kitchen

just a 5 minute update on what's going on in the kitchen:

got a lot of last-minute cancellations and so i decided not to hire the perv off craigslist who offered his table-waiting services and do it all on my own instead. mrs. liu might come help out as well this evening. we'll see how it is to have a mom in the kitchen.

i got creative and now peewee's punkin pie's got a kick. cayenne-style.

the onion soup has been brewing for a very long time... delish! i had no idea scallions would go so well in an onion soup -- dad was onto something with the scallions.

all of my fingertips are burning from the jalapenos. kim hassan won't be there tonight after all, but there'll be plenty of kim representing in the torgie kim-kebab.

okay... time to get back to it -- have to figure out how i'm going to sear-roast 12 servings of grain-fed farm-raised chicken and keep them all hot and coming out in quick enough time over 2 seatings... who knew washington d.c. harbored this many chicken-lovers?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

riding a wild scallion

Matt and I took a special trip to Trader Joe's upon hearing they were carrying a double magnum of tasty Amarone for a steal of a deal. ($29.99 for a Jeroboam??? You can't beat that with a stick! And my theory is that the larger bottles age better and since it's typically a bigger investment to purchase one, vineyards only bottle their better harvests/varietals in the double magnum+ sized bottles.)

While we were there, I also bought a couple dozen scallions. They were unusually fresh by DC standards (probably because I bought them in Alexandria, VA) and paired well with the juicy hunk of ginger root that I picked up at the neighboring grocery store. So the last 48 hours have been spent in a ginger root-scallion frenzy, from steamed red snapper to pan-fried chicken breast, I really milked these ingredients to the best of my ability. I'm starting to appreciate why my dad loves those scallions. Bold and zippy, they can hold up to stronger-flavored foods, but light and zesty, they don't over-power milder fish or chicken.

Not to break up the Chinese bulb-root flavor trifecta, I made sure to add a little garlic into each meal, by putting a side of edamame flash-fried in XO sauce, dried scallops in a spicy garlic sauce, on the snapper and putting a side of garlicky asparagus on the chicken... mmm... Speakeasy Kitchen is coming in strong!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Speakeasy Birthday

Back from what felt like a long SEK hiatus, I put my red apron back on and made what was probably the foulest thing I've ever tasted (short of the plantain-taro root mash at Zengo today) -- olive-crusted turbot on a mediterranean fig smear. Matt Rose choked it down and said "Actually, this is isn't so bad." I keep telling him that he doesn't have to say that -- I won't be forever discouraged from cooking... or am I?

As I approach what my best friend from McGill, Linda Griffith, calls "the 2nd annual 29th birthday," I started to wonder... has my culinary creative drive lost its va-voom?

Well, after spending an evening on the sofa with a bottle of Flor de Cana 7 Year Reserve (the most delicious Nicaraguan rum) waxing sentimental about Pee Wee who is moving to Atlanta and thinking about how the olive-crusted fish went so terribly wrong, I started to brainstorm. Va-voom, voom, vroooom! Voila! The Speakeasy August menu was born.