Saturday, August 28, 2010

the hidden gem of altadena

ely took me to this gelato place, bulgarini gelato, in altadena. it's in this ghetto shopping center with rite-aid and kragens auto parts. you would never know it's there unless someone takes you.

ely found out about this place, through her friend, evelyn. ely raved about it! so we finally had a chance to go the other night. it was especially nice to enjoy gelato while we've been experiencing a major heat wave in pasadena.

first i tried a sample of their yogurt gelato. when they give you a sample they dip it in a bit of olive oil. it reminded me of cheesecake. it was a unique taste, and it was very different.

then i sampled everything from pear, yellow peach, pistachio (one of my favorites), almond, etc. in the end ely and i split a pear, almond and cream custard.

i loved how when i tasted the pear, i could taste the gritty texture like an actual pear. it's not overly sweet or overly creamy. it tasted like the actual flavor.

well, i ended up returning the next day bringing my friends, kevin and jesse. i wanted to treat kevin to this amazing delight before he left california. i found out it was his first time having gelato. kevin sampled almost everything. we decided on banana, almond and cream custard.

i plan to return a few more times to bulgarini, the hidden gem of altadena, before i leave california.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pakistani kima

my roommate kindly reminds me when there's too much stuff in the freezer. i remembered that i had frozen ground beef, and i wondered what i could do with it. my friend passed along this simple recipe for pakistani kima which i tried the other night. along with it, i made a cucumber yogurt sauce as well as a light refreshing cucumber salad.

below are the two recipes. i did adjust the seasoning for the pakistani kima. i added a lot more seasoning that just a dash. don't go overboard, but just taste as you go. you'll know when to stop.

for the cucumber salad, just cut up cucumbers, lightly salt them, and let it sit to draw out all the water. as this sits, chop up tomatoes and some red onions. then drain the cucumber and use a paper towel to pat it dry. then combine the cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions. sprinkle with a dash of fresh cracked pepper. it goes really well by itself or with the yogurt sauce.

Pakistani Kima
More with Less Cookbook

Serves 5-6

Saute in skillet:
3 T butter (or substitute with olive oil)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb ground beef

Brown well. Stir in:
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 1/2 t salt
dash pepper
2 tsp cinnamon,

1 tsp ginger,

1 T turmeric

1 T cumin
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 potatoes, diced (I used sweet potatoes)
2 cups peas or green beans or corn (or any other veggie you like!)

Cover and simmer 25 min. Serve w/ rice and pita.

Cucumber-mint Raita

1 large unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, coarsely grated
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of cayenne pepper

Wrap grated cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Whisk yogurt, mint, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can beprepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Sprinkle raita with pinch of cayenne pepper and serve.