About Rachael

I'm Rachael Faught, a food loving, globe-trekking geek girl extraordinaire. Based in Los Angeles, I am dedicated to the life of a true bon vivant, experiencing all life has to offer and then promptly writing about it. When I'm not on the go, I'm typically at home cooking up a storm and obsessing over Attack on Titan with strangers on the internet.

LAFW: Asian Night Market

LAFW: Asian Night Market



Well, here is the first of…three or four posts I have for LAFW, or the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. Coverage will be out of order, because, frankly, that is just how I roll these days. #Likeaboss. Even though I drank about six glasses collectively over a four day period, I still feel like I am just recovering from the sheer amount of energy a multi-day festival takes out of a person. A Spoonie like me feels the drain all that more poignantly, but I have to say, I would not trade a minute of it!

LAFW: Asian Night Market - Chef Jet Tila
Chef Jet Tila


Although, I’d have to say that due to an overwhelming throng of people, I think Asian Night Market was my least favorite night. I missed out on Chris Oh, one of my favorite Los Angeles chefs, and lamented I hadn’t taken a photo with him when I ran into him the night before. The lines on Friday night were aggravating, and Tanaya and I called it a night shortly after nine o’clock. There were still a handful of tantalizing bites that made the crowds completely worth it, as recorded below:






Here is a closer look at my favorite bites of the night:


LAFW: Asian Night Market
Five-Spice Pork Belly Taco
Chef: Jet Tila | Pakpao Thai



LAFW: Asian Night Market
Hoegaarden Waffle: cilantro, yuzu custard, meringue, lime zest
Chef: Bart Vandaele | B Too



LAFW: Asian Night Market
LAFW: Asian Night Market
Coco Chili Snails & Beer Caramel Panna Cotta
Chef: Thi Tran | Starry Kitchen



LAFW: Asian Night Market
LAFW: Asian Night Market
Salmon Sashimi Tacos & Elote Dry Miso Aioli
Chef: Jason Benavente | Nobu Los Angeles



LAFW: Asian Night Market
Tea Smoked Ora King Salmon
Chef: Brad Farmerie | Public / The Thomas



LAFW: Asian Night Market
Indonesian Shrimp Satay: cashew curry, fried shallot, sambal
Chef: Tin Vuong | Little Sister



LAFW: Asian Night Market
Mango Pudding
Patina Group Catering



LAFW: Asian Night Market
Pork Belly – Octopus – Calamari – Big Eye Tuna – Fish Sauce – Puffed Rice
Chef: Jeffrey Lunak | Blue C Sushi



LAFW: Asian Night Market - Duck Slider
McDuck Sandwich + Duck Chips
Chef: Andre Bienvenue | Joe’s Stone Crab



Shockingly enough, the pork belly taco from Jet Tila wound up being my favorite bite; surprising as I don’t particularly care for pork outside of the dried cured deli meat variety. I’m depressed that Pakao Thai is in Dallas! Booo-urns! A close second would be the sweet and spicy bites from Starry Kitchen. NGUYEN, YOU MADE ME BREAK MY VOW NEVER TO EAT SNAILS! *shakes fist at you* AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS, DAMN YOU! Ugh. Now I need to go and try that Singaporean Chili Crab.

The duck sandwich was also amazing, though I was sure to give my best playful scowl to the chefs for the dig on my favorite Disney characters. I enjoyed the duck chips equally, if a little more than the sandwich itself. Ah, I wish Joe’s Stone Crab were in Los Angeles and not Miami! So much good food, and a tremendous amount to follow, so stay tuned!

  • Learn More: Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival | Asian Night Market

  • Pozole Rojo de Pollo – Del Real Blogger Recipe Challenge

    Chicken Pozole Rojo
    Blogger Recipe Challenge by Del Real Foods

    About a month ago I was approached by my contacts at Del Real Foods, asking if I would join in the Blogger Recipe Challenge. I haven’t blogged a recipe in quite some time, and though there was a bit of a time crunch with Steffie’s wedding on the horizon, I decided to participate. Incorporating a brand of market food in a recipe is not something I take lightly; I would never take such a risk on a brand I had not already tasted. Fortunately, I have tasted most of what Del Real has to offer and we wouldn’t be having this conversation if I thought their food wasn’t worth our time! Entrants have free range on picking any Del Real product, but there wasn’t much contest on what I would end up using:



    Chicken Pozole Rojo

    Low in sodium, flavorful, and juicy, this shredded chicken breast would serve as the protein for the recipe that instantly came to mind: red chili pozole. I don’t quite know what possessed me to tackle this Latin America favorite, other than my adoration for creating and consuming soups – which I suppose is good enough a reason. Anyway, if you think my Pozole de Pollo is majestic, and you appreciate that I endangered my life by dangling precariously from a very narrow step-stool to achieve quality photos, and you have a moment to vote for me, that would be radical: Vote for Me at the Del Real Blogger Recipe Challenge!


    Chicken Pozole Rojo

    Pozole Rojo del Pollo
    with Avocado Lime Crema

    Yields: 6 servings

    prep: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Equipment: 1 large stock pot, 1 wide skillet, 1 medium sauce pot, 1 mesh sieve, blender OR food processor OR Vitamix

    Ingredients:

    8 cloves of medium large garlic, peeled
    6 dried guajillo chilies, stems, seeds and spines removed
    8 dried arbol chilies, stems, seeds and spines removed
    1 white onion, chopped

    1 25 oz can of hominy, drained
    3 cups chicken stock
    3 tablespoon garlic chili oil, divided 2:1
    1.5 tsp dried oregano
    2 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
    3 whole cloves
    1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
    1 package Deal Real Foods Pechuga de Pollo Deshebrada (Shredded Chicken)

    optional: 1 cup frozen or fresh corn off the cob + 1 additional tablespoon of garlic chili oil

    garnish: cilantro, slivered raw radish, finely chopped red onion, avocado lime crema

    Recipe:

  • Fill the medium sauce pot with water and set on the range at medium-high heat.
  • As the water comes to a boil, heat chilies on the skillet until softened but not burnt.
  • Place softened chilies into the boiling water and bring down the temperature to a simmer.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the sauce pot from heat, cover and let the chilies soak for another 15 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of garlic chili oil in the skillet and add the drained hominy. Crisp up on medium-high heat for five minutes before adding hominy to the stock pot along with the shredded chicken and chicken stock.
  • Either using a hand blender, blender or food processor, puree half of the chopped onion with half of the peeled garlic. Add to the stock pot, combine well and add a pinch of salt.
  • Once the chilies are ready, add them in the blender/food processor with 1 cup of chili liquid, the 4 remaining cloves of garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander seed, cloves and the remaining onion. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the smooth puree.
  • Heat remaining garlic chili oil in the skillet before adding the chili puree. Allow sauce to thicken over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes before adding it to the stock pot. Mix well and allow soup to simmer for fifteen minutes, adding extra seasonings according to your tastes.* Squeeze the juice of a lime for an added citrus flavor.

  • Optional: In the skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of garlic chili oil and add 1 cup of frozen or fresh corn (off the cob). Roast over medium-high heat until partially blackened before tossing in the soup.

    * = I personally ended up adding quite a bit more cumin, a tablespoon of ancho chili powder and a generous teaspoon of garlic powder. I’m kind of insane about layering spice, though.

    Avocado Lime Crema
    1 avocado
    1 tablespoon cilantro
    juice of ½ lime (use whole lime if you’re a big fan like me)

    Combine all ingredients and thoroughly incorporate, either by hand or with a hand blender for optimal results.

    Once the soup is ready, garnish with freshly chopped red onion, cilantro, radish, and avocado lime crema. Enjoy!

    Chicken Pozole Rojo
    Thank you for your votes!

    Food I Love Friday!

    FoodILoveFriday2

    Today is a day of both joy and sadness. Sadness, because I lost a camper. For the last eleven years, I’ve been volunteering with Camp del Corazon, a non-profit for kids living with cardiac issues, as I have and will for all of my life. As a counselor, and a grown-ass woman, I am technically supposed to be imperious to having “favorites”, but I am human and not a parent, so of course, I always had favorites. There was a group of roughly 7 teen girls I bonded with, and went out of my way for if they should need me – even if I wasn’t assigned to their cabin that year. One of my girls, long since graduated from camp now, has passed away. I’ve lost kids before: kids I loved dearly, kids I didn’t know well but still enjoyed seeing their faces, and kids I may have clashed with but respected nonetheless. But this is the first of my group of girls to die.

    This young woman enjoyed everything about the country; wide, open spaces, horses, archery, she was overall a very outdoorsy girl, and while I cannot recall her favorite foods to eat, I dedicate this Food I Love Friday to her and her love for the great outdoors.



    Whole Crispy Fried Fish - ZENGO - Santa Monica
    Trout

    While I love lobster, adore crab and could slurp down whole, raw oysters by the dozens, give me a simple trout and I am a happy girl. Fry it, grill it, bake it, poach it, smoke it, trout will always trump the salmon as “king” of fish in my heart (and stomach!).



    Roasting Marshmallows
    Roasting Marshmallows
    photo: Nina Hale

    Whether you go balls to the wall and S’more it up, roasting marshmallows is a time-honored camping tradition I try to get in at least twice a summer. There seems to be a fairly heated debate on how one ought to roast a marshmallow. I like an extremely crispy, burnt exterior with a gooey, 75% melted interior. On the other hand, my brother likes a slow, even toasted golden brown exterior with a softened but not wholly melted interior. What about you?



    Tommy's Double Cheeseburger
    Chili Cheeseburgers
    photo: Doran

    For the majority of my life, I avoided anything remotely associated with the hamburger. Then, circa 2010, I indulged in my first cheeseburger in roughly a decade. My life has vastly improved with the addition of the cheeseburger, and as of late the deep, unbridled craving for a solid chili cheeseburger has fiercely griped me. Though probably more appropriate for winter comfort food, I associate this sloppy character with a good old-fashioned outdoor barbecue. I don’t know why this craving has appeared, or when it will be satisfied, but I’m riding out this wave until it peters out.



    Oregon Berries
    Fresh Picked Berries
    photo: JPellgen

    Eating freshly picked, just-washed berries right out of their carton is one of life’s purest joys. Do not deny yourself this basic human right, friends.



    Takoyaki
    Takoyaki
    photo: hermitsmoores

    I know this is a curve ball, but bear with me. I’m using the takoyaki as a representative of the kind of food-on-a-stick prevalent during the summer street food/county fair/festival/carnival season. Takoyaki is one of my staples when I visit Little Tokyo, along with odango (rice dumplings on a stick) and imagawayaki (sweet red bean paste between two pancake-like patties). Your summer stick and finger food may be corn on the cob, tacos, a candied apple, kebabs, corndog, or a deep fried candy bar. Whatever the case, eat up and enjoy!

    Thank you, my former camper, for sitting with me by the crackling fire on the shores of Catalina Island and trusting me with your care, your troubles, your humor, your friendship, your heart. I will miss you dearly.

    A Day In Cork, Ireland

    The view from Electric, Cork
    Cork, Ireland


    I’m still under the weather and preparing for my busiest four-day food excursion of the year, but in the meantime, please hop over to my friend Evin’s website, 40 Shades of Life, for my guest post: A Day in Cork (Ireland). From 09:30am until 11:00pm, I have a full day in Ireland’s culinary capital all mapped out. Of course, I recommend several weeks there, but I realize this is not realistic for many tourists. From the best places to eat, to leisure activities, to shopping, to history and evening activities (for either those seeking culture or a couple of pints), these recommendations are all taken from my personal experiences, so don’t miss out!

    Binge Watching to Wellness

    Out sick today...
    credit: Diane Main

    This summer cold had best kick itself by Thursday, because not only do I have an appointment with another surgeon at 10am, but it’s my first official evening at Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival! Last year, I ate, drank and was thoroughly merry throughout my 2-day adventure, but this time, I’m going bigger and longer: Four days, four events, all of them huge. I’ll be tag-teaming with Tanaya again and hopefully some other food bloggers will be found in the melee. It’s a huge event I’ve been looking forward to all year, and no cold is going to stop me!

    In the meantime, however, I’ve had the task of keeping myself occupied while trying to recover. I can only focus on work so much, needing longer periods of time to just zone out or rest. Here is what I’ve been doing to keep myself occupied while still getting rest:

  • Made chicken stock. OK, a bit labor intensive BUT I had all of my vegetable scrapes separated and in a reused container, ready to go and get roasted along with the chicken carcass in my fridge. The filtering process at the end was a bit of a chore, but I used a second wind to get it done. Now I have lovely, flavorful homemade chicken stock in case I need some homemade chicken noodle soup.
  • Re-watching The 10th Kingdom. In one day. Whew. My love for Scott Cohen, Dianne Wiest and fairy tales kept me powering through that one.

  • Going through photos that need to be edited, chucking out the crap photos. I don’t feel right enough in the head to actual edit, seeing as I do not have all of my wits about me. But this is a good head start.
  • Goofing around with my Attack on Titan Nendoroid figures:
  • Organizing the living room. Mom has been painting and move furniture in preparation for our forthcoming sofa (insert squeal of excitement here), but I have been picking up the smaller stuff and putting it back into order, like shelving books properly.
  • Eating a mega-fuck ton of spicy food via Yunnan Garden, as recommended by Minty.


  • Playing a lot of Dragon Coins. Like, an embarrassing amount.
  • Creating immune-boosting green drinks. If you have a recipe of your own, please leave me the ingredients in the comments!
  • Reading. I’d wanted to whiz through A Song of Ice and Fire this summer, but I’ve been slowly trudging the third book, as it’s packed with all sorts of high’s and lows I will need ample time to savor/recover from. I have also been re-reading The Nightrunner Series, by Lynn Flewelling; she concluded the series this year (thankfully I have not read the last two, so there are still some surprises awaiting me!).
  • and of course, what sure-fire way to a full recovery would be complete without:

  • BINGE WATCHING TO WELLNESS! Time to plow through titles in my Netflix queue and on my DVD shelf. On the agenda today & tomorrow:
  • - Clueless
    - Sushi: The Global Catch
    - Pollyanna, my go-to “I am sick, help me, mummy!” movie I always watch when I’m under the weather.

    - Adventures of Baron Munchausen ~ My brother always played Terry Gilliam movies when I was not feeling well, and between this one and Time Bandits, I think a nice nod to Robin Williams is in order.



    - Somm
    - Lewis Black: Old Yeller
    - Center Stage ~ Ugh. It’s horrible, but I love it.
    - The Babysitters Club TV series ~ I am morbidly curious if it holds up.


    OK, the jury is out on this one.

    - I am Divine
    - Malcolm in the Middle
    - Manor House / 1900 House / Regency House (PBS series)


    I think this is a great start!

    What do you watch when you’re sick? Do you have any recommendations for me?



    featured image credit Anna Gutermuth

    Food I Love Friday

    FoodILoveFriday2

    I knew the Friday Five was ill-fated the moment I obligated myself to thinking positively on a weekly basis. Not that I am a negative person in general, but some days I just can’t be bothered to find five things to look forward to, and that’s okay. Sometimes life is just meh and there is no reason to pretend otherwise, which is the trouble with “looking forward to” posts. They invariably become stale and inauthentic. THANKFULLY I had a back up plan, one much more suitable to my blog: Food I Love Friday. It’s like “Things I Love Thursday” except exclusively food and, well, on Friday’s! Feel free to join in next week, shoot me your post and I’ll link you up!

    ON with the list:

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    Moon Crisis Sailormoon Exhibit at Rothick Art Haus

    I had missed out on the first Sailormoon event in Little Tokyo, and then again on the opening night of Moon Crisis down in Anaheim. I mean, Anaheim? Yikes that is far for me. After I’d heard about the insane crowds at both events, causing some folks unable to even get into the gallery, I didn’t feel too left out. THEN one of my favorite artists, Miss Kika, announced she would be at the Moon Crisis “second opening night” to sign what remained of her limited edition silkscreen print, “Moonlight Legend”, at a reduced price. Now, I’d seen this piece up close and personal at Anime Expo, so I knew how gorgeous it is – and I’d been coveting it ever since she would tease her instagram followers with images of its progress. I decided I’d do everything I could to get out to Anaheim and splurge on this truly spectacular piece. It a twist of serendipity, my friends decided to take their daughter to Disneyland that afternoon, and dropped me off at Rothick Art Haus right before Moon Crisis was getting underway.

    Here are some of my favorite piece of artwork from the exhibit:



    Chibi Usa and Luna P by Pamela Barbieri

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