I'M TIRED OF COOKING!
I'M TIRED OF COOKING!
Since this pandemic I've had the pleasure of cooking every single meal at home, al least in the beginning. For me it relaxes me in these stressful times and I can be creative in many ways. In the beginning it was a little challenging having food delivered as some products may not have been available, but who can be choosey right now. I made good with what was available. My daughter was the only one I had to feed besides myself. Boy, is she fussy. It was lie I was cooking on an episode of "Chopped" Now, you might realize I mostly cook Asian and for the most part I get a thumbs up from my darling daughter whn just turned 12 yesterday. Any variation from Asian is a hit or miss, so I try not to make too much. I try to cook breakfast but because of the demands of school, teachrs are giving students work and close deadlines. It goes without saying that I prefer my daughter to go to bed early but with all the work she must complete the reality is she get things done late and thats when all her friends finish too. So, most of the time I cook breakfast myself, scambled eff or sunny side up eggs with either Canadian bacon or bacon with buttered toast, cup of fruit and coffee, fresh maid, no Keurig. Lunch and dinner I pln for. You may ask how about the wife. Well, she decides that she gaining weight, working in the office, stressed out, high anxiety, she feels she may eat in excess and gain more weight. Who hasn't gained weight right now. Now is not the time to go on a diet? Anyway, she makes her special diet with organic foods, its better for you she says. The aftermath of the kitchen looks like a tornado hit it after she cooks, There goes the non-stick pans. Every one of them is scared for life. I bought high quality non stick pan and have guarded it with my life literally.
Anyway, cooking everyday provide a quality meal for myself and my daughter. You feel good and get all those good nutrients and in someway helps us mentally and physically. We feel better but every once in awhile, I'd like to take a break and have someone cook for me. ry reputable placeSince, I know I cook healthier than all the Asian take Out places, I still have a craving for the most Chinese American dishes, yep, Chicken Chow Mein, an egg roll and may be wonton soup. Yes, unhealthy and yet delicious and once in awhile is ok.
I had gone to 2 different take out places and I'd like to share with you my experiences:
Wok To Go
Very reputable, during the pandemic, they were one of a few take out Chinese restaurants. I asked for delivery. I ordered pan fried dumplings and you know how the traditional places make the dumplings in a crescent moon shape. We;;, Wok to Go, has their special way of folding their dumplings, different but very tasty. The Miso soup was good, this is fermented bean curd with sea weed and small cubes of tofu. Soup is only good when its hot and although it was delivery, it was piping hot. As every know the General Chou Chicken, we sked for the sauce to be put on the side to avoid getting the chicken soft. We like it crunchy. Although it came in breast meat, that was ok. When breast meat is cooked, it becomes tough. The preferre chicken is dark meat (thigh meat) after its been seasoned a battered, you can hardly taste the after flavor for dark meat. My dughter ordered Orange chicken and we ordered Beef with Broccoli.
The concern from the food standpoint is when I cook I use very little salt and sugar. I appreciate the natural flavor of the meats and vegeeies and the sauce brings out that flavor., so for me the meal was very salty and sweet. But no one ever said Chinese Food was healthy. Once in awhile is ok
My friend is the owner of this take out place. He purchased this restaurant awhile ago with the same name. In the beginning it was difficult for him, name recognition if not reputable takes quite a long time to persuade people to try again. It took awhile but he offered good quality food and just like a matchbox set on fire, word spread and he was off to the races. Then Covid-19 hit, set him back, he took precautions to protect his workers and customers. Once you enter, your in a small compartment designed for 1 person to pickup order. I know its a start to get back to business and maybe he has to watch his portions to his customers but when I ordered from him, I ordered Mongolian Beef. Sad to say I got more onions and scallions than beef. 75% was scallion and onions. Where's the beef! I ordered the red curry shown on the window, the coconut red curry broth was spicy and smooth but there was more bamboo shoots, onions, scallion and sliced peppers than sliced chicken.
You need to know that before this pandemic, the quantity of meat wasn't a problem but I say, in order to continue with customer loyalty, you need to provide good value with if anything equal quantity of protein with veggies. I was a disappointed.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I give Asian Cafe a "3" with an explanation. During the best of times, there was no skimping of the meats but I do realize he climbing out of tough times and I don't want him to loose his customer base that he built up.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
@chefwoocanreviewofasiancafe, #chefwoocanfoodandrestaurantcritic, #Asiancafe
QUALITY OF TAKE OUT DELIVERY FOOD &/OR DRIVE THRU
Popeye's Chicken Of Bel Air, MD
Restaurants haven't been given the thumbs up to reopen yet here in Maryland. But they can offer curbside service, delivery and pickup. I know that those establishment are hurting real bad but at the same time I give them an "A" for all their efforts offering 50% or less of their service allowed.
At the same time, as customers, most of us have been laid off, furloughed, unemployed with limited funds and being tired of cooking, and our wish to support business through these tough time, I have to offer my opinion of what is being offered. As a restaurant critic its my passion to critique any restaurant and inform my viewers what I experienced whether it be good or bad, sometimes with a pinch of sarcasm, (that's my New York upbringing).
Since the pandemic, businesses have been scurrying to make things as right as possible. Reinforce to the public what steps have been implemented from social distancing as well as how often they clean and require employees to wear face masks and gloves to ensure confidence that customers every precaution is being taken above a beyond.
First off, I reside in Bel Air, MD and the only fried chicken place we had was KFC. Lately, we received Chick Fil A and it was wonderful. I haven't frequented the place for awhile since the pandemic since now Popeye's has opened next door. Because I personally and my family had been in "Shelter In Place" and my love for fast food on occassion, I want value and I feel Popeyes provides the value when it comes to their chicken "classic' sandwich. I had uploaded the application and ordered for pickup, so far my sandwich has always been crispy and delicious and when pickup, the server offers a greeting, wearing gloves and a face mask. I also ordered the fried chicken special and it was great, flavorful and most imporotantly, very crispy and crunchy. In the beginning when the store opened, there were alot of new recruits before the pandemic, ok, I went in to see the inside and it was nice and when I met the cashier, she was less than enthusiastic to welcome me. I hope that has changed but by getting pickup, they made up for that.
Popeye's should know because of their excellent service I will continue to patronize their establishment.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being ecellent, I give Popeye's in Bel Air a 5. Good job Popeyes!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Small Business Is Hurting Real Bad!
Small business, the self employed, sole proprietorships are the fabric of our country. They are the epitome of the American Dream. We inherited business from family and made it better or saved as much as we could to live the American Dream of owning our own business. The only thing that has changed over the years is the technology.
We have stuck it out through thick and thin, natural and economic disasters but our American spirit has always risen to the occasion. That spirit is so strong, we stayed focus and through unpredictable circumstances we overcame. There's something about our American Spirit, its a part of all of us.
So, when it comes to helping us during this terrible Covid-19 Pandemic, we need help. Our government says they need to inject lots of money toward our cause of getting back our business to start getting business back. But government has failed to realize that money isn;t always the solution. It helps but not the cure all to end all.
I know this blog took a definite right turn but I have to say my opinion. Yes, I may lose some followers and I apologize but I'm not taking anyone side in the political system.
Let's think this through my suggestion or opinion.
During the best of times business operating at 100% full capacity and rent or lease can be sustained by the entrepreneur at 100%. So, lets say 80% of food service is dining inside and 20% is carry out orders. So the Pandemic eliminated dining in service. Even today, the probability of contamination inside an establishment is much higher especially higher if your not wearing a face mask. Let's despite the owners intent to open, the expense in precautions on contamination and reassuring the public that everything is ok will take time. The owners make the decision to close down the inside dining but emphasize curbside or delivery. In so doing, they will be generating 20% of revenues but the rent or lease is at 100%. If curbside service and delivery is the new wave of the future then logically, the rent or lese must be adjusted accordingly. Landlords are leasing/renting to make money but let's be serious, they need to know "We Are All In This Together" They should adjust their lease or rent accordingly to allow the entrepreneur to make some money. They need to go to their lending institution and ask for help. By doing this may not require as much money than the 2 trillion dollar bailout which may hurt us long term as a country overall. If anything, maybe a fraction of that money would help comply with CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of the virus. That's it!!!!
BUT this is an election year and there's a lot at stake. Doesn't matter and that's the curve ball that has complicated matters and confusion and total chaos for a uniform standrd operating procedure.
Obviously, these lending institutions are multinational and have a lot of investment income. These guys don't even twitch an eyelid when loaning highly speculative risk with millions of dollars. Now the role of the Federal government is to pass legislation to require these multinational financial to cut back and assist the commercial investors. Believe me when times are better they will make their money back but right now we must balance our economy while following a federal strategy to bring our nation together on how to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
So, what hope is there? I cannot answer this question as I'm suffering along with all other business owners. We'll haver to allow our State governments to offer their guidance. We need to listen to them no matter how frustrated we are. Stay safe my friends and follow these 3 requirements to stay safe: 1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, wear or carry a face mask if 6 " social distancing is not possible and 3. Shelter In Place" whenever possible.
We are helping each other and ourselves to contain this virus. Again "We Are In It Together"
Baking, Who am I kidding?
I've always felt that cooking is a little more difficult than baking. There are so many ingredients, various styles and techniques required to cook a good meal. I just thought with baking, just follow the directions and you get delicious cake or fresh bread. Thats what I thought. Well, during this "Shelter In Place" I had a lot of time to burn. Cooking is my passion but every once in awhile, I'd like to try different things, like baking!.
My daughter and myself love a nice French baquette. I always wondered how's it made, a little yeast, some flour and a tray of water in the oven to make that crispiness.
This wouldn't be the first time I tried to bake. Once upon a time I tried to make cupcakes. The recipe asks for soft butter. My rationale was whatever way to melt butter was ok. Wrong, first lesson, when a recipe asks for soft butter that doesn't mean melted butter.
So, that mistake won't be repeated.
Well, I took a look at the recipe for a French Baquette. I followed it to a T and saw the dough rise twice., so far so good but when the recipe said to form a baquette like shape and lay it on a cookie sheet, I did on parchment paper. Stuck the tray of water in the preheated oven to create steam which will make a crusty bread. But when I placed the baqueete on the parchment paper it had no body. After putting it in the oven, it was flat, no body, no firmness.
So, I said maybe I'll go back to basics and try making a simple chocolate chip cookies. But review of this simple recipe I noticed that the recipe required 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. I felt its way too much sugar. Then I was thinking what about substituting white sugar with Stevia but 1/2 cup and brown sugar 1/2 cup. Well, even though Stevia may be a good sugar substitute, using it for baking may not be the best nd cutting the quantity down for white and brown sugar definitely has an effect on the overall consistency and chewiness of the cookie.
The cookies I thought was suppose to melt down so to speak by putting a clump of batter on the parchment paper. The cookies did bake but never melted down. The next batch I flattened the dough, in the final analysis, the cookies were brittle and very heavy?
That was the straw that broke the camels back. I will never bake anything ever again. Baking is a precision craft an exact science.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#baking, #bakingisaprecisioncraft, #chefwoocanandbaking
CHEF WOO CAN IS BACK AS RESTAURANT CRITIC WITH A TWIST!
As restaurants get back to some sort of normalcy they are facing a drastic change in how they'll be doing business. They will have new priority and that is offering a safe dining area that potential customers can trust. Whether it through advertising or positie word of mouth, the marketing of their brand with precautions taken in compliance with State requirements is essential for reopening. Obviously this will pose to the establishment additional expense for compliance, rehiring furloughed employees who may or may not return, cost of food hs gone up dramatically because meat packing plants have closed and sensing whether customers will want to come back for their favorite dishes or just for the sake of getting out considering everyone has been in "shelter in place" for a couple of months? Is there a guarantee that business will be up and running right away or will it be slow process.
My responsibility is the at this point order curbside pickup right now and determine if the quality has been compromised. Now more than ever is it important if the quality of these fine establishments have been compromised. I could have done this review of take out or curbside pickup earlier but in all fairness to restaurants, it was a chaotic time. Now, while things have slowly begun to reopen, I felt this is the best time to see how's it going. I won't be very strict considering that the mom and pop business has invested their life earning in their business and only fare to promote their brands on my website because I believe whole heartedly that given time, they will bounce back!
So, stay tuned. I will not be eating in any dining room as the silent enemy is still out there and to be frank, I don't want to catch this contagious virus. Sometime in the future maybe but not right now.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
CHEF WOO CAN'S SUMMER SPECIAL ZOOM VIRTUAL COOKING CLASSES
Summer is just around the corner. Not knowing exactly whats being planned due to this Corona Virus Covid-19. You may already have book plans going camping or travelling but for those that want to plan it safe, maybe a family Summer picnic in your backyard. Well, Chef Woo Can is offering a special Zoom Virtual Cooking Class.
1. Register and Book a class now at regular price. You'll receive a code form with your individual special code to be used for your "2nd class for FREE"! (Check out the Zoom Virtual Cooking Class tab for more details).
2. To top it off, I will be demonstrating simple easy delicious dishes that are light and very tasty for the Summer Dog Day afternoons. Featured dishes for the 1st 2 weeks of June will be Thai and Vietnamese foods specially for the hot Summer months. Lots of Thai Basil, fresh mint, shallots, fresh garlic, birds eye peppers used in a number of dishes, fresh scallion, onions, carrots, peppers, transluscent noodles with fresh aromatic jasmine rice.
Tell your friends and relatives about Chef Woo Can You Can Too!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#Summerzoomvirtualcookingclass, #chefwoocansummervirtualcookingclass, #asianvirtualcookingclass, #chefwoocansummerspecialcooking
Asian Food Products at Amazon.com & Wegman's
Sometimes during this crisis the choices of how we're going to feed our families have placed tremendous pressure on us to create different meals for our family.
But the [rpblem is after reading the recipe they ask for certain ingredients not exactly readily available at our local supermarkets. I'm talking traditional authentic sauces. Don't get me wrong most supermarkets have an international aisle and the most common ingredients are available and catered to American taste. They are slow to introduce Vietnamese cuisine and sauces.
If you don't care if the availability is commercial american Asian sauces then fine.
At Wegman's, they see a potential market share by catering to the Asian Community. It's easy convenient and Asians have settled in the suburbs catering to affluent Americans who choose to buy authentic sauces and ingredinets. There is actually a refrigerated section for Asian produce like Baby Bok Choy, fresh ginger, Gai Lan, snap peas, snow peas, and Daikon to name a few.
Another company that may be very surprised at to offer Asian products is Amazon.com. Yep, Amazon.com. They offer a wide variety of Asian products and sauces and although you might pay more, various company vendors see Amazon helping them sell some popular products, so be careful and shop around.
The products are fresh and note that the rating system may be low may be from Asians that know they can pay less but when you need a prouct and this Covid-19 is creating stress shopping at these Asian supermarkets, I feel just click and you'll get your poduct delivered right away.
When this Pandemic is over, I will be doing a Vlog at a Asian Supermarket, introducing new vegetables, exotic fruit, pre-packaged frozen dumpling, varieties of Ramen Noodles, Asian table wear and cooking equipment to all types of sauces.
Stay in touch.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#wegmansfreshasianproduce, #amazonasianingredients, #amazonwegmansasianproduce
Chef Woo Can's Opinion
I love my country, the United States Of America and damn proud of being the greatest country in the world. We're not perfect but we do our best and always try to learn from our past.
We're a compassionate country, helping those in need in our country as well as internationally. There's something that can be said about us. We always have a way to help others even when we are in need of help, we always have that drive to do the right thing.
We are a proud people united as one no matter what the cause is, we are willing to fight to preserve what past generations sacrificed themselves for. When our country ask us to serve, we do so with honor.
Things may never always be black and white and there are some that don't agee but that is their right as the right that we believe in certain causes. That's the beauty of our country, the ability to get along even with different opinions. Some are etreme, some are expressed mildly and some get a bit violent.
Lately, our country has ben infected with an invisible deadly, highly contagious virus called Covid-19. Plainly speaking, it has crippled us economically and has killed so many of us. Our leaders are doing the best they can. Everyone has been "Sheltered In Place", furloughed, unemployed. What can we do.
Our leaders are trying to balance opening their states up, health officials are saying it premature to open up, social distancing guidelines are not being followed. Deaths have spiked, our loved ones are dying.
I know I'm saying alot but in a nutshell, cool heads have to prevail. If each one of us use common sense where a facemask. Stay 6 ft away from reach other and don't congregate with 10 or more. If we do that the curve will level off and move downward. Then, as states get testing done and tracking is in place, corporations can begin a slow gradual return to business.
We all have rights that our country has given to us and yes there are those that don't like government interference but in times of uncertainty, as this one is we have to stay vigilant and listen. Just think of this. YOU may be a carrier of Covid-19 without showing any symptoms. It's not the other person, it may be you. There will be plenty of time to second guess our leaders and healthcare officials later. Right now follow the basic guidelines and if everyone follows it, guaranteed you'll see us getting back to a sense of normalcy.
We are the United States Of America, we should be showing the world how strong we are, right now we're not exactly showing the world how we're dealing with this virus.
We need uniformity and standardization of government policy. Yes, there are external factors that are impacting decision making but our government has oversight of all actions as it was designed for. Yes our political parties have their agenda, sometimes polarized from each other but in the final analysis they do listen to us. Our freedom of the media is preserved no matter what our leaders say, we as Americans can decipher the truth.
So hang in there American and the sooner we follow social distancing and face mask, the quicker we get back on our feet and make this country prosper again.
We have to take change our lifestyle if no vaccine is found. You may all know that its never guaranteed that a vaccine will be found. then what?
If we have the attitude tht wearing a face mask violates your rights and the hell with social distancing, don't be surprised that our officials will put "Shelter In Place" again and then it will prolong recovery.
The opinions expressed are my own. I just felt I had to express my views. I went through the whole gamet of fear, shock, anxiety, stress, depression and boredom but I still maintain what little sanity I have going through this mess because I know my actions may result in someone's death. I wear a face mask to protect others and practice social distancing.
Gluten free products are the new norm right now. I have received a number of requests asking if I cook with Gluten free products (sauces). Moving forward I will be using Gluten Free products as soon as this Pandemic goes away.
Just to let you know I miss teaching Asian cooking Classes and miss talking to my new students, answering questions about stir frying and any other questions they have.
As a result of this Coronavirus, I'm not sure how much business may fare regarding teaching Asian cooking. My fellow friends around the country that own Chinese restaurants have taken a big hit. Whether its temporary, I cannot take a risk and specialize on just Asian. I may and with pleasure like to venture into Italian, Middle Eastern, Southern (New Orleans foods to broaden my portfolio. I'll be changing my calendar schedule to acomodate these non-asian dishes but will also have my asian dishes too.
So hang in there, we're all in this together and when its finally over we can return to a sense of normal.
By the Way, Chef Woo Can You Can Too, there is a positive meaning to my madness. What I'm trying to say, if I can do it, you can do it too whether it be cooking, or anything!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan
#glutenfreeasiansauces, #glutenfreeoystersauce, #glutenfreehoisinsauce
This Coronavirus Pandemic is hitting small business hard. These owners had dreams of success while saving their life's savings or taking business loans out to live their dream. The last thing they expected was this!. Myself included everything is on hiatus until this pandemic blows over. Now, I have to venture a guess that Asian food is not exactly favored right now or anything Asian. I might have to diversify into other areas of cuisines like European or even Southern cooking which I know. Oh, New Orleans Creole food, yum or Italian or Middle Eastern food. Yummy.
But getting back, all financial institutions MUST grant Amnesty right now to these businesses. We as customers need to support them with their limited service of drive Ins, and delivery. It's the right thing to do.
Yes, we invaded the grocery stores and supermarkets but how much Mac and Cheese can we make or offer variations of Mac & Cheese or even frozen pizza to baked beans to corn beef hash. I myself wouldn't mind a Chick Fil A or Popeye's Chicken sandwich or a 5 guys hamburger. You have to change it up a bit.
As for those that are the innocent victims of this crisis. Apply for unemployment if you qualify. If the economic Stimulus Package gets passed, there will be some relief. But for the service industry you can try to seek a job on Indeed but things are really difficult right now. Just hang in there. Everyone has been affected.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com