New Website

I never thought that I would do this but I have now ceased all blogging on here. I have a new and an official website: Chef Ron Yan.

I’m still going to keep this website active but all my new stuff will be in the link above.

Thank you all for following me for the past 9 years! Go to Chef Ron Yan to continue following me. Much love.

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Plans for Thanksgiving 2013

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. First reason: my new studio apartment has poor lighting. I barely have any natural lighting. Second reason: my apartment isn’t accommodating for house parties. Third reason: My job is my life.

I haven’t been hosting any parties since August and the first potential opportunity would be Thanksgiving. Since I cannot host in my tiny apartment, my boss is allowing me to use the restaurant space! That’s super awesome because I’ll be using industry cooking-ware, etc…

This is what I have so far:

Butternut Ginger Soup with Pistachio
1st Course

Citrus Marinaded Quail with Parsnip Purée, Arugula,
Pea Leaves Salad, and Satsuma
2nd Course

Risotto with Shrimp & Sea Beans
3rd Course

Duck with Seared Bok Choy, Wheatberries with
Maitake Mushroom, Blueberry Reduction
4th Course

Apple and Lemon Tarts
5th Course

Seared Shrimp with Savory Coconut Risotto

I loved the savory coconut risotto that I did during my New Year’s Day Dinner so much!!! It hasn’t even been that long yet and I’m craving for it again! When I was in bed, writing my ingredients list, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go the lump crab meat + mango or shrimp + pineapple set. Ultimately, I love eating shrimp. It’s one of my staple foods.

At Whole Foods, I bought mango but I completely forgot about it. Damn.

DSCN1662b

[100% organic, gulf shrimp]

For the Coconut Risotto recipe, click here.

Plans for Thanksgiving 2012

I was scheduled to work this year on Thanksgiving but it got canceled. Yay! But that didn’t give me that much time to think and plan my Thanksgiving menu this year!

This is what I have so far:

Persimmon Carpaccio with Prosciutto & Fennel Radish Salad
1st Course

Seared Tuna over a Bed of Cucumber with Pickled Peanuts
2nd Course

Seared Duck Breast & Braised Leg over a Potato Herb Salad with a Blueberry Sage Sauce
3rd Course

Ginger Panna Cotta with Black Sesame Gelée with Blueberry Compote
4th Course

Thanksgiving 2011

I’m going to Los Angeles again for Thanksgiving. And this time, my Uncle and Aunt requested for me to cook. Actually, they’re just leaving everything up to me. Thank goodness I don’t need to cook the turkey, they already pre-ordered that from a restaurant. Oh boy, I know it’s going to be a tiring day. At least I’ll have my brother and two of my cousins to help me.

My Thanksgiving 2011 lunch:

My Thanksgiving 2011 dinner:

Change in Food Perception

Before coming to culinary school, I considered myself to be an “experienced” foodie, to the point of becoming snobbish, among my circle of friends. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? I just have higher expectations to how my food should come out of the kitchen and served in front of me. Aren’t all foodies a little snobbish? I know how most dishes were supposed to taste, to look, to smell, to feel, and to sound by appealing to our five senses. You’re probably thinking about the “sound” sense – have you had Chinese sizzling platters (铁板烧) or Teppanyaki? They are supposed to be sizzling when served to you; that same sound every time Hell’s Kitchen goes to commercial break.

I’ve been in school for a month and I noticed that my food perceptions have changed whenever I dine in. I really nitpick at everything on my plate – from the presentation to all the elements on the plate or bowl. Does everything on the plate have a purpose? Do all the ingredients complement each other? My instructor, Chef Phil, says to really test a restaurant’s chefs are to order a salad dish and a fish entrée.

For salads, we learned that there are three types – simple, mixed, and composed. A Caesar Salad is a simple salad – one main ingredient that is dressed simply in a dressing. A mixed salad has several ingredients and they are seasoned together, e.g. Macédoine de Légumes (Cooked Vegetable Salad). A composed salad has a mixture of several ingredients seasoned separately and then presented together on one plate. The classical French Salade Niçoise is such an example of a composed salad. When preparing the salad, the salad greens should be healthy, dry, and not be bruised. For the dressing, too many elements can cause it to become overpowering and it may cancel out flavors in the salad. It is important to select ingredients in the salad greens and in the dressing to complement each other. The flavor of the main salad ingredient should be enhanced by the salad dressing, not masked by the dressing.

I had lunch at a well-known hotel in Midtown last week and I had a Manhattan clam chowder soup, a beet and goat cheese salad, and a ham and swiss sandwich on ciabatta bread. I ordered the beet and goat cheese salad because we had already made it in class so I knew how it was supposed to taste/look/smell/feel. If I had made the salad, I wouldn’t have drowned it in dressing. In school, we learned to take a spoonful and slide it around the edge of a stainless mixing bowl and then toss it with the salad greens. The beets were not tender in the center so that told me that it should have been cooked in the oven a little longer. Also, I would have liked the vinaigrette to be a little less acidic. The sharp tang wasn’t too pleasing. However, I did enjoy the clam chowder and sandwich.