Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice… A MaurPowerFoodie Specialty!

When I was younger, my first job was working in a Chinese Take-out Restaurant answering the phone, taking orders, and ringing people out. This means I ate a lot of fried rice. So it is no surprise I learned how to make it and decided to put my own spin on it to keep it exciting. Today, I am here to show you how to make my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice. Great as either a main course or side dish, this one is not for the extremely health conscious eater as I actually fry the rice in BACON FAT! Anyways, we are going video style on this post, so enjoy as I teach you how to make MaurPowerFoodie’s Bacon, Garlic and Egg Fried Rice.

There you have it… Nice and easy, not to mention DELICIOUS! For those of you who want to print out the recipe or have it at easy access, I have included it below.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of long grain white rice

2 cups water

4-5 slices of thick-cut slab bacon or pork belly

2 tbs unsalted butter

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch of green onions

1 bottle of soy sauce

1-2 eggs

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1) Combine rice and water into pot with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let steam for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed by rice. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

2) In a large pan or wok place bacon onto pan and turn on high, wait till bacon begins to sizzle and reduce heat, allowing bacon fat to render in pan. Flip bacon and repeat process.

3) While bacon is cooking, chop garlic (if not done so already) and cut  green onions into small rings (Chop off white ends, and cut the rest of the onions as a bunch upwards from chopped off end)

4) Increase heat to high again and allow bacon to caramelize on both sides.

5) Remove bacon from pan, add butter to pan and allow it to melt into the bacon, distributing butter evenly.

6) Add garlic and onion to pan and stir, this will cook pretty fast, so remove from heat before moving on to the next step.

7) Chop the bacon into desired chunks. I prefer larger chunks so I cut the bacon in half lengthwise and then chop the slices about pinky finger width ( I also have small hands, so take that into account and use your judgment).

8) Put the pan back on the heat, add the bacon chunks, and stir.

9) Add the rice and stir.

10) Add soy sauce. (as with most cooking, I cook to taste and not in exact amounts. As seen above in the video if you pour in a spiral from the outside in it works pretty well)

11) Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. (be light on the salt as there is already sodium in the soy sauce)

12) Create a well in the middle of the rice exposing the pan, add the egg into the well stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking and then mix into the rice.

13) Serve and Enjoy!

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy it too! Until next time, this is Jason Maur, the MaurPowerFoodie, signing off.


Tres Leches Cake… MaurPowerFoodie Style!

I was never one for the traditional cake. I always wanted an ice cream cake, or a cannoli cake, or a lava cake. Regular cake just always seemed to dry and mundane. That is until I stumbled upon my first Tres Leches Cake. Moist, flavorful, delicious, and simply right up may alley. Well recently I thought, “Why only have this special treat when I go out?” And so I set to work to create my perfect Tres Leches Cake recipe… And I did! I put my own twist on this classic Brazilian dessert, and instead of simply a vanilla cake with whipped frosting, I make a citrusy Orange-Vanilla cake with Cherry Whipped Cream. Don’t worry, even if you are not a baker, just follow these instructions and you will be fine… in fact, you will be the talk of the party! (like I was this past Easter when I made it)

Alright, so here goes…. First the Ingredients:

  • For the cake:
  1. Vegetable oil
  2. 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 4 ounces of room temperature, unsalted butter
  6. 1 cup sugar (fill the measuring cup a little of the brim on this one 😉 If you like it sweet )
  7. 5 whole eggs
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
  10. 1 tsp lemon juice
  • For the glaze (aka The Three Milks or Tres Leches):
  1. 1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
  2. 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  3. 1 cup half and half
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 teaspoon orange extract
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For the Whipped Cream
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 cup sugar (again, fill it a little over the brim)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 3 tablespoons cherry juices (juice from a jar of maraschino cherries)
  • Top of the cake
  1. 1 lemon (for zesting)
  2. 1 jar maraschino cherries

There you have it. Now that you have all of the ingredients, let’s put this bad boy together. Starting with the cake batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly oil and flour a 13″x9″ metal pan.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about a minute until fluffy.
  4. Decrease the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the sugar.
  5. Add one egg at a time, allowing it to mix thoroughly before adding the next egg.
  6. Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, and lemon juice.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, and salt.
  8. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the stand mixer at a time, allowing the ingredients to mix before adding the next batch.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and set aside and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, it is time to make the glaze! Here goes:

  1. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, half and half, vanilla extract, orange extract, and lemon juice.
  2. Take the baked and cooled cake and using toothpicks or a fork, perforate (poke) the cake to create tiny little points for the glaze to seep through.
  3. Pour the glaze on top of the cake. (this will look like it might overflow, but it won’t)
  4. Let the cake sit until the glaze has soaked in and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 6 hours, overnight is better)

Finally, now that the cake has sat and absorbed all that moist goodness, it is time to make the whipped cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk together on medium-low the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and cherry juice.
  2. As stiff peaks begin to form, increase the speed and whisk until thick.
  3. Spread the whipped cream over the cake.
  4. Place cherries on top of the whipped cream as desired.
  5. Zest your lemon, and sprinkle the zest over the cake.

That’s it! Now let’s take a gander at how it looks 🙂

Then simply enjoy it with your friends, family, coworkers, or whoever else you want to impress until it looks more like this:

I hope you all enjoy this delectable dessert as much as I do. Until next time, this is MaurPowerFoodie signing off.


Michael Jordan’s Steak House – Mohegan Sun Casino

This past weekend I went with my mother to enjoy a meal at Michael Jordan’s Steak House up at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. We had a wonderful meal, and since there were two of us, we got to share a couple of cuts of steak, which is how I always like to dine. I love tasting many different menu items in the same meal, so that I can get a real feel for what a restaurant has to offer. Anyways, I know you want to see and hear about the food, so I might as well get straight to it. Thank you to Executive Sous-Chef Enrique Reyes (pictured below with me), not only for the great meal, but for coming out and talking to me about the restaurant and the meal.

To begin with we of course had some of their rolls and split a Caesar Salad. They do something I like here, which is that they split the plate for us (with no charge) so that we each had our own smaller salad, rather than having to pass it back and forth. So this picture is actually 1/2 a Caesar Salad.

The rolls were actually excellent. Obviously fresh, warm, and fluffy, these rolls had a nice buttery texture (which did not stop me from adding more butter… yum) and also a bit of melted cheese on top. Great start. As for the Caesar Salad, it certainly matched up to Caesar Salads I have had at other high end Steak Houses. That being said, there was nothing that necessarily made it stand out from these other restaurants. If you like a good Caesar Salad, with excellent aged cheese on top, you will like this one too, just as I did. Just don’t expect the salad to be the highlight of the meal.

Next we moved on to our entrees. We split the Bone-In Filet Mignon with a lobster tail, the New York Strip, and the MJ’s Home Fries.

Now here is where you should expect the highlight of the meal. Let’s start with the Home Fries. These babies are freshly wedged potatoes and sliced onions, seasoned well and fried in bacon fat. BACON FAT! This means, of course, they are delicious. They were also cooked very well… Crispy on the outside and nice and soft and fluffy inside. Then there was the lobster tail. The meat was so sweet and buttery on its own, I almost did not want to dip into the melted butter… But I had to, because butter makes things taste even better… and what do you know, it did. Now lets take a moment talking about these two very different cuts of steak. To begin with, the Bone-In Filet has that nice fat on it that you usually don’t get on a regular filet cut, which imparts some extra flavor. Add to it the fact that this cut of meat is then cooked in a devilishly delicious garlic butter and seasoned with MJ’s Worcestershire Glaze, and you have one juicy, well flavored, and well cooked steak. The New York Strip on the other hand is a fantastic cut of aged steak, coated in a signature dry rub and the Worcestershire Glaze, and grilled off to perfection. Ask me which one I liked better, and I would be hard pressed to tell you because the flavor profiles were so different and unique. If you are looking for the steak itself to be the hero, where you are tasting mostly just the high quality meat, I would suggest the New York Strip. However, if you are a garlic lover, and enjoy a juicy, flavor-filled, well seasoned cut, go with the Bone-In Filet. Both were excellent, so what I really suggest… do what we did, and split some different styles with the people you are dining with.

Finally, we come to dessert.The Creme Brulee!

I am a Creme Brulee fanatic. I make it, I order it everywhere, I love trying new flavors (my specialty is a Chambord Creme Brulee topped with Fresh Raspberries), but for me the traditional vanilla creme brulee is a must have staple at any quality steak house. Michael Jordan’s delivers and hits a home run with this one (yes, that is a shout out to MJ’s baseball career). With a nice smooth and creamy textured custard, bursting with fresh vanilla flavor, and topped with just the right amount of bruleed sugar, I will say, I was impressed. The cranberry and pistachio biscotti was a nice touch and paired well with the rest of the dessert. As a fanatic of this dessert, I have learned some tricks of how to tell the quality of the ingredients used. Here is my favorite. Take a look at this picture of the partially eaten Creme Brulee.

See those black dots on the bottom of the dish? That is fresh vanilla bean. That is how you know that the restaurant is using fresh vanilla and not vanilla extract or syrup. If you see those black dots, you have found a place that cares about the quality of the ingredients in their desserts.

Overall we had a fantastic meal at MJ’s. I will say that they are very pricey, so it is definitely a place for special occasions. Our meal with no drinks was $92.00 a person after tax and tip, which is pretty steep, even at Casino prices. However, not only was the food excellent, they have a Sunday Special I will be going back for. It includes Caesar Salad, Creamed Spinach, Mashed Potatoes, Prime Rib, and Fruit Cobbler, all for only $25.00 per person. THAT IS A FANTASTIC DEAL. I look forward to trying that out and will give you all my feedback once I do. Thank you again to Michael Jordan’s Steak House and Chef Reyes for a great meal, and for allowing MaurPowerFoodie into your home.

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse - Mohegan Sun on Urbanspoon

Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing out.


The Best Burger in Connecticut?

In a State that hosts some iconic burger restaurants, from Louis’ Lunch (purported home of the original hamburger sandwich in the USA), to Ted’s (home of the World Famous Steamed Burger), to Bobby’s Burger Palace (burger restaurant of Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay), you would think there would be much debate as to who has the BEST burger in the state. Well, if you ask me… It’s none of them (Sorry Bobby… You’re still my culinary role model). My favorite burger comes from a small place in Newtown, CT called Pub 25.

To me the quintessential meal is the burger. I love them. Whether it be a beef burger, bison burger, chicken burger, shrimp burger, whatever, I love to eat them and I love to cook them. So it should come as know surprise I also have searched for the absolute best burger wherever I go. Luckily for me, in CT it is only one town away. Made from a mixture of Short Rib, Sirloin, and Chuck, this burger blows my mind. I get it topped with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg, and Pub 25’s very own fried pickle chips. Juicy, flavorful, fresh, and quite simply amazing.

Well, today I got a special treat… A behind the scenes look into the making of this masterpiece. Join me as MaurPowerFoodie goes video style on location at Pub 25 with Chef Charlie Pfeiffer…

To go along with their taste-bud tantalizing burger, co-chefs Charlie Pfeiffer and Andrew Eriquez have created a gastropub menu that features home-style favorites with a twist. From homemade potato chips with a Gorgonzola sauce, to smokey wings, to ceviche, to a killer bowl of chilli, to fall apart ribs, to meatloaf that would rival your mother’s… this place does it all, and does it all well. Throw in reasonable prices, a great bar atmosphere, a beautiful outdoor patio, and that burger… Pub 25 is the winning combination in my book. Today, in addition to our burgers, we tried the Chicken Quesadilla, topped with a jalapeno sour cream… All I can say is check it out for yourself, and yes it does taste as good as it looks.

Located at 266 South Main Street; Newtown, CT, Pub 25 is definitely a spot to not only try, but return to… again, and again, and again. Chances are you will see me there chowing down on another burger and enjoying an cold beer. Thank you to Manager Phyllis Gavin for allowing me to come and take a look behind the scenes of what, in my opinion, is the Best Burger in Connecticut. Why don’t you head on down and try it out for yourself?

Pub 25 on Urbanspoon

Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off…. “Om Nom Nom… mmmmm…. Burger….”