Monday, April 26, 2010

Peruvian perfection

Let's play a game.  It's called word association.  Ready? 


Do you think of the Andes mountains, soccer players eating each other or maybe chickens being roasted in a brick oven?  All good answers but not what I'm thinking of.

When I think of Peru the first thing that pops into my head is steak.  Specifically, lomos saltado.  Lomos saltado is Peruvian style steak that's been marinated in vinegar and soy sauce and then stir-fryed with onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices and fresh herbs. 

What you end up with is a whole bunch of tender meat in a vinegary tomato sauce that you traditionally serve over white rice and french fries. 

It's delicious, exotic and the french fries make it delightfully white trash. 

Try it.  You'll never think of Peru the same way again.


  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen French fries (I like the restaurant style myself)
  • vegetable oil as needed
  • 1 pound beef sirloin, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 dash soy sauce to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups of white rice, prepared according to package directions


  1. Combine the 1/2 of the soy sauce, garlic, parsley and vinegar together in a large ziplock bag.  Add beef strips and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the bag of French fries according to package directions.
  3. While the French fries are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the sliced meat with salt and pepper to taste. Sear the outside of the beef until the juices begin to release.
  4. Remove the meat from the frying pan, then cook the onions and bell peppers, with additional oil if needed, until the onions are transparent. Stir in the tomato and 1 tablespoon of cilantro; cook until the tomato softens. Pour  in the remainder of the vinegar and soy sauce, cover, and cook until the beef is done, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with rest of the chopped parsley and cilantro.  Garnish with jalapenos and sliced radish and serve on top of the cooked french fries and plain white rice.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top Chef DC? Looks like it's already started filming...

From a random tipster to the DCist:

See all the white lab coats and the camera boom?  Apparently there were a bunch of rental trucks full of camera gear parked outside as well.  Now we just need to find out where they're staying...

Bug fights

You've seen girl fights, bum fights and if you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you've probably seen a dog fight. But now our good friends over in Japan bring us something new: Bug Fights.

I don't even have words to explain how awesome this is. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prince of Persia

I hated my last job.  While I actually enjoyed the people I worked with, the work itself was soul crushing and awful.  Maybe not so much the fault of the employer as it was the fault of the employee for not doing something he was really passionate about.  This has since changed and I'm doing work I truly enjoy.  One fond memory I will always have from my last job was a secret treasure hidden across the street known as Shamshiry.

Shamshiry is a Persian restaurant probably best known for their humongous portions of rice that accompany their dishes.  When I say humongous, I mean FRICKIN' HUMONGOUS!

Not only are the portions large, they're incredibly tasty too.  The kabobs are cooked and seasoned to perfection.  The rice is butter and savory and yet, at the same time, light and fluffy.   If you're a repeat customer you may even get a little but of the crusted rice from the bottom of the pan (absolutely amazing).

While the kabobs are my favorite, the menu is full of delectable items for you to explore.  And they do a terrific job of explaining each item and making it sound irresistible.  Example:

Chelo Kabob Kubideh
Kabob is the Persian word for meat or fowl cooked over a charcoal fire. There delicious strips of charcoal broiled ground meat are served with a snowy mound of rice topped with saffron. All the beef dishes achieve greatness when you add a raw egg yolk on the side, which you rapidly pour into the hot rice, continuing to toss it so that the egg coats all the grains as the heat cooks it. Stir in as much butter as you dare, and sprinkle in the brown powdered sumac that’s in a shaker on the table. Its tart spiciness is irresistible.

I mean, doesn't that just make you want to eat your screen!?  Whatever you decide upon, pony up for some of their fragrant hot Persian tea.  It really completes the experience and may help stave off the rice induced coma later...

Shamshiry Chelo Kabob
8607 Westwood Center Drive
Tyson's Corner, Virginia 22182
  (703) 448-8883     


Monday, March 29, 2010

Cool bookends

Looking for a way to keep your books from toppling over on the shelf and pancaking your cat in the process?  Tired of the same old book ends everyone seems to have from Ikea or Pottery Barn?  Check out my favorite bookend solutions:

1. Starwars (aka I never get laid) style.  The answer to your questions is yes, they do light up.  And yes, you're never going to move out of your grandmother's basement:


2.  The "I'm so American I pissed red, white and blue!" style.  These will look great next to your signed portrait of Rush Limbaugh:

3. The "Loving Unicorns doesn't necessarily make you gay" style. On second thought, yes.. yes they do make you gay.  Sorry.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My dog hates squeaky toys


I'm keeping anything of value far away from her... :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Going Grocery

I love food.  I think anyone who spends more than 5 minutes on this blog and gets through the grammatical errors and off-color humor sees that.  I love food so much that it fosters a love affair with things related to food.  I love cooking, trying new restaurants, sampling local cuisines of places I visit, reading cookbooks and watching food shows.

I especially love shopping for food.  Few things make me happier than perusing the isles of a Whole Foods or visiting a local farmers market.  There are few other places where you can find the quality and variety of produce available in this area.  But as I found out Saturday, there is a place that does indeed stand head and shoulders above even Whole Foods in its selection and quality of not only produce, but meat, fish, spices and other assorted food stocks.   And for far cheaper than even discount grocery stores sell for.  This place?
Super H Mart.

If someone blindfolded you and marched you into an H Mart you would swear you were in some new Whole Foods store with its clean and modern design, well stocked shelves and wide open spaces to walk.   Then you'd notice things like instead of having a section devoted to cheese, there's one devoted completely to kimchi and you'd know you're some place special.

When you first walk in you notice many of the signage is in Korean.  Which makes sense because it is, in fact a Korean grocery store.   But you immediately forget about any signs or writing or any care in the world when you see the produce.  Dear god, the produce.  It's beautiful.  The most ripe and beautiful looking fruits you've ever seen.  Plump and gigantic tomatoes, fragrant herbs, crisp lettuces.... amazing.   And the variety is unlike anything I've ever seen.   Things like bitter melon, star apples and even durian (which smells a little like rotting flesh but is very popular in Southeast Asia.  I may have to try it!).

And the rest of the store doesn't disappoint either.  The freshest fish I've ever seen not swimming.  Tons of beautiful beef and pork.  Row after row of spices, noodles, rices, soups and even Asian cereals.  All waiting to be discovered by me and you.

I took a few snapshots while I was shopping there.   I would have taken more, but I was took busy being mesmerized by this place.   Take my word for it and just go, if you like food even a little bit, it's an experience that shouldn't be missed (and it's hella cheap!).

The outside of Super H Mart


More produce!

This smell... no so good!

Cereals and health foods - The have cereals for students, expecting mothers and people who are "excellent".  I love it!

I have no idea why i found this funny... but I did

Power snack - Ingredients?  Power and snack.

Award for the creepiest looking packaging surprising goes to a can of "milk coffee"