Monday, June 08, 2020

my kitchen: i strongly recommend FLOUR BAKERY BANANA BREAD



Today I made pizza dough from scratch for the first time (thank you Mark Bittman). I don’t know why but for some reason I had been afraid of baking recipes that called for yeast and when I finally made my own focaccia last week I realized that instant yeast is my friend. 

So today after making pizza, the oven was still hot, I had a few very ripe bananas on the counter and coincidentally had creme fraiche in my fridge. So I’m glad I tried this popular banana bread recipe from my favorite Flour Bakery in Boston because it is AMAZING. Moist, caramelized crust and not too dense from whipping the eggs and sugar together first. Definitely worth the effort, though I moved the directions around a bit so that you can just use 1 mixing bowl.

Thank You Joanne Chang!!! I miss Flour Bakery, I want to try to make their breakfast sandwich next!! 

FLOUR BAKERY BANANA BREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar *(I reduced to 3/4 cup, I might use 1/2 cup next time)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • *3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed *(I used 4)
  •  2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped *(I used whole pecans on top) 
  • *added a handful of chocolate chips)
  • *(I also added 1 teaspoon baking powder to get the top to rise higher)

Directions
Set oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.or butter generously 

Beat sugar and 2 eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup oil. Add mashed bananas, 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Sift together the 1 2/3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and *stir in a handful of chocolate chips atop. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until middle is set and top is golden

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

mexican: i strongly recommend EL SABROSO


No. 107-1, Tingzhou Road, Section 3, Zhongzheng District
(02) 2368-9599

MRT: Taipower Building

Hours: 11AM - 2PM ; 5PM -9PM, Closed Mondays 

$-$$ (under NT$250 per person) cash only 

Kid friendliness: very small shop with counter seating or sidewalk seating only. non-spicy items if your kids don't eat spicy. 

Visit reviewed: 6/12/2018 & 2/5/2020


Sometimes I get asked about "where to find tacos in Taipei" or "where to find the best Mexican food in Taipei" which is understandable since that is one of the first things you end up craving when you have been in Asia a long time. So the last few years, my answer has been El Sabroso, a tiny shop that serves up burritos, quesadillas and nachos. And just in time for taco tuesday, El Sabroso serves tacos ONLY on Tuesdays.  



I actually passed by El Sabroso several times while they were building it because it's not far from Lan Jia Gua Bao and Chen San Ding brown sugar boba (RIP). So when I saw a few posts about it, I had to give it try. 

The colorful signage and murals outside the shop make it hard to miss, and a nice extension of the shop, since most of the seating is outside on the sidewalk. When you step inside the shop, the cashier is right at the front with menus and signage that is pretty well done for a mom and pop shop. The menu introduces the chef/owner Oscar, who is from Toluca Mexico and passionate about cooking Mexican food and bringing authentic flavors to Taipei. 


Every time I have gone, I've spied him there behind the counter in the kitchen. The reason why they only offer tacos on Tuesdays is because he makes all the corn and flour tortillas and meats/salsas in house, and it was mostly just him. It's also why you should expect to wait 10-15 minutes (at least) after ordering since the tortillas are pressed and griddled to order.  The first time I went, I waited about 30 minutes for 3 tacos, a burrito and nachos. Now I usually call ahead and pick up my order to go.


My usual order is the chicken tinga burrito with guacamole on the side. The chicken tinga is definitely spicy, but the pineapple salsa gives it a touch of sweetness to balance it. The burrito is a good size has mexican rice and lettuce and sour cream (which sometimes I ask for no sour cream).

I also enjoyed the tacos, but I was not a fan of the nachos. There's also carnitas (pork), asada (steak), pastor, ground beef, grilled chicken and a few salsas to choose from.

I would advise if you have your heart set on tacos, or a certain meat, then go early at lunch or dinner as things do run out sometimes, or call ahead to order/check, and know that they close in the afternoon and promptly at the end of lunch and dinner hours.


If you're looking for other places for Mexican food in Taipei, I like the fish tacos and chimichanga from Macho Tacos, the tacos from Town by Bryan Nagao. There's also Eddy's Cantina in Tianmu and Twinkeyz Tacos, both which I should revisit as I haven't been in years. Oh and maybe Teotihuacan which I should post about. I know there's also a few newer ones that I've been hearing about, any of you guys still reading have any recommendations? 


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