Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Lumpia: The Post-Thankgiving Edition

While trying to come up with different ideas for utilizing Turkey Day leftovers, my mind kept going back to lumpia.   Maybe it's because I hadn't had any in a while, but I was thinking it might be another way to use up the remaining turkey and spare veggies not used for the holiday stock or stuffing/dressing.

I had my first taste of the crispy fried spring rolls as a child when my Filipina stepmom made a huge batch for a family get-together.  I've loved them ever since but only recently have I attempted to make my own (I would normally depend on the kindness of a good friend for my local lumpia fix).  As you'll soon see, my lumpia rolling technique needs a lot of work, but I plan to get more practice in over the next few weeks.

As a reference point, I turned to a recipe for Lumpiang Shanghai from one of my favorite food blogs, Burnt Lumpia.   I made a few changes for this Turkey/Shrimp version (I decided not to add ginger and opted for slightly less garlic).  For this recipe, I used roasted turkey thigh meat.  I'm usually more of a "white meat" gal, but for this recipe the higher fat content of the thigh meat makes it more ideal.   I also decided to throw some shrimp into the mix as well-just because.  In retrospect, I think I should have followed Marvin's instructions and made them a bit smaller (he suggests cutting each lumpia wrapper in half-I think I'll do that next time).  The lumpia I'm used to are usually the size of cigars-don't ask me why I decided to make them larger!  This recipe yielded 10 large lumpia and should yield about 20-25 smaller ones.  Recipe follows after the jump...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Potato & Cranberry Nut Bread

Have a few extra sweet potatoes left over from last week's holiday feast?  Here's one way to put them to use!  This quick and tasty sweet potato and cranberry nut bread is great for breakfast, brunch or anytime snacking.  If fresh cranberries are a bit too tart for you, use sweetened dried cranberries instead.

Sweet Potato & Cranberry Nut Bread
(yields one 9x5 inch loaf)
2 cups cake flour (or all purpose flour, sifted)
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinammon
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium sized tater)
1 cup fresh cranberries or ¾ cup dried sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and spices.  Add the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed (scraping the sides of the bowl) for about 1 minute.  
Fold in mashed sweet potato, chopped pecans and cranberries.
Pour batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indulging My Sweet Tooth

I normally don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I recently indulged a bit while attending The Broke Socialite Does...Sugar Coma Festival.  The event brought some of Atlanta's best bakeries, caterers, ice cream shops and restaurants together under one roof (Le Fais do-do on Atlanta's westside).   Since I'd missed previous tours, I figured that I needed to have the full Sugar Coma experience at least once.  This was the perfect venue and opportunity to do so!

Talk about sensory overload-I didn't know where to start sampling!  The venue was jam packed with everything from cakes and pastries to truffles and tarts.  Cotton candy, petit fours, little marshmallows, brownies, and cupcakes.  Tons and tons of cupcakes.  Cupcakes as far as the eye could see...

Somehow I made my way to the Peacecake table, which is where I began my sampling.  I was really impressed with the Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes and their Gluten Free Brownies.  Delicious stuff!  You can order their Organic, Vegan & Gluten free brownie, muffin, cupcake and cookie mixes online at their website, www.mypeacecake.com.

There were so many treats to sample and after a few I'd had my limit (I tihnk I may have suffered from Red Velvet Overload).  Among my favorites:  a mini pear frangipane tart from Konfections by Kristina,  the Whoopie Pies from West Egg Café, and a wonderfully refreshing Meyer Lemon Sorbet from High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet (love!).   I'm kind of kicking myself for not sampling their Citrus Ginger sorbet (which received raves from several Sugar Coma Fest attendees).  A delicious Patrón Margarita cupcake from CEO Custom Cakes (purchased at the Sugar Coma Marketplace) was the perfect ending to a sweet afternoon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop

I recently had a chance to visit the sandwich shop so many seem to be raving about, Super Pan in Poncey-Highland.  In a little space just behind his popular tapas restaurant Pura Vida, chef Hector Santiago and his staff have been whipping up specialty sandwiches for the intown lunch crowd since earlier this summer.  After reading various reports from fellow food bloggers, critics and general Atlanta food fanatics, I had been dying to see what all the fuss was about.  One problem:  Super Pan is only open for weekday lunch service (Tuesday through Friday) and my half-hour lunch break and (former) Alpharetta work locale made it virtually impossible for me to stop by and sample the goods.  When I was fortunate enough to have a rare week off before beginning a new job in Buckhead, I was determined to pay a visit to Super Pan to check it out.

I was immediately impressed by the prompt and friendly service.  I arrived towards the latter part of lunch service and fortunately did not have to deal with the long lines and wait times others have experienced.  On this visit, I ordered Super Pan's version of the Cuban media noche sandwich, the Medio Dia.

The Medio Dia
I loved everything about this sandwich: the toasted pineapple "submarino" roll, the gooey melted Swiss cheese covering the slightly sweet Niman Ranch ham, juicy roasted Berkshire pork and crispy pork skin.  Habanero mustard and chayote pickle round out the sandwich and give it a nice little kick.  Of the Super Pan sandwiches I've tried so far, the Medio Dia is my hands down favorite and the one that I'll order on every return visit.

Because I wasn't sure when I'd be able to visit again, I ordered two more sandwiches "for the road": the BBQ Rib Bolillo and the Coca de Jamón y Queso.  The bolillo is quite substantial, loaded (and I mean loaded) with tender adobo beef rib and topped with fresh grated carrot, onions and cilantro.  A deliciously sweet and spicy orange chipotle BBQ sauce was served on the side; I was able to add just enough to suit my tastes.  Even upon re-heating a few hours later for my evening meal, this sandwich was still fantastic.

The Jamón (with Serrano ham, manchego cheese, arugula, date marcona almond butter and piquillo pepper agridulce) was also quite tasty.  However, it ranks third among the sandwiches I've tried so far and I don't see myself ordering it again on a future visit. 

Yes, these sandwiches are far from "cheap eats".  The least expensive sandwich, the Smoked Tofu Buns (a veggie version of their smoked Pork Belly Buns) comes in at six dollars and their most expensive sandwiches are twelve bucks.  However, when you consider the quality of ingredients that go into these sandwiches, you really do get what you pay for.  Not only are the ingredients top notch, the folks at Super Pan don't skimp on them either!  Speaking for myself, I felt like I got more than my money's worth and will have no problem forking over another eleven bucks for a Medio Dia or twelve for the BBQ bolillo (I'm looking forward to trying those pork belly buns as well).  Obviously it's not something I would eat every day or even every other day (for various reasons), but I can see Super Pan becoming my off day "splurge".  A Medio Dia washed down with a ice cold bottle of Mexican Coke is my idea of a perfect little lunchtime treat.

My lone complaint:  I really wish Super Pan was open for Saturday lunch service.  Even though I now work a lot closer to Poncey-Highland, it's still not close enough for me to swing by for an occasional weekday lunch (pouts).  But if you're fortunate enough to work close to the neighborhood and haven't made it to Super Pan yet, do give them a try and see what you think.

Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop
1057 Blue Ridge Avenue NE (just behind Pura Vida)
Atlanta, GA  30306
(404) 477-0379
Open Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
Super Pan on Urbanspoon


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