PUNKWOK Asheville, NC

If you are lucky enough to be in Asheville on a Monday or Tuesday you can take advantage of Punk Wok. Elliott Moss takes over MG Road, offering small plates of dumplings, noodles and tartare. Specialty cocktails are offered and be sure to ask about house carbonated, fruit and herb infused Sake. Worth a visit and easy on the pocketbook!

MG Road 19 Wall St
Elliott Moss @blacktablecloth
pork rillettes

sweetbreads

tartare

chicken sandwich

house carbonated, lemon + rosemary infused Sake

house carbonated, lemon + rosemary infused Sake

punk wok

oysters and saltines

pork dumplings

papaya salad

amuse bouche

Midori Milk Greeter

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The Future is Bacon and the Future is Now.

Two things you can count on in my house at all times is homemade bloody mary mix and cooked bacon in the fridge.  The best way to cook bacon is on parchment paper (not to be confused with wax paper) in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, make sure a little bit is over the edges to catch the grease, not too much or it will burn.  Place bacon on the sheet not touching.  It can overlap a little, place in the oven, midway through when it shrinks, make sure you separate, if the bacon is touching, it won’t cook evenly.

Bake for about eight minutes, then check on it, never over cook the bacon where it looks crispy, if you overcook to look crunchy, it disintergrates in your mouth, not pleasant.  And you also want it a little undercooked so you can reheat in the microwave when you want to use in the future. When you reheat your bacon in the microwave, it takes like ten seconds.  Very easy to overcook, so keep an eye on it.

You can flip the bacon or leave it alone, when it looks done but not overdone, place on newspaper or paper towels.

If you want to cook another batch of bacon, just place it right on the pan with the grease from the previous batch.  An important tip, place pan on stove or on hot pads on the counter and let cool, the grease will congeal and you can carefully pick up the parchment paper (over the trash can), then take your trash out so you house won’t smell like grease.

Place cooled cooked bacon in a Ziploc bag and presto you have cooked bacon, if you can resist eating the pound of hot, yummy bacon.

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Million Dollar French Toast

Billy and I walk up to the counter to pay for two loaves of bread at Dean & Deluca, the girl at the register cheerfully said, “$15.60″, after I made sure I heard her correctly, I asked “how much is that bread?”  Twelve dollars.  Well, this better be good.  So this magical twelve dollar bread is cinnamon babka.  I wonder if babka should be capitalized.  There’s a Seinfeld clip on youtube about babka.  Cinnamon being the lesser babka. Who knew?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i78azsi7M94

I get up bright and early today to make some French toast!   I also made whipped cream, it made me very happy to break out my Kitchen Aid, really, I had to wash everything because it was so dusty.  It sits on the kitchen island shelf all sad and lonely.

All in all, a great day today, fresh brewed coffee and French toast made with cinnamon babka.  I hope Billy enjoyed it, because I can’t imagine splurging again.  Twelve dollars for a loaf of bread. Rolls eyes.

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Birthday Cake

I am not exaggerating, my first thought when I wake up on photography wedding days, is…. I get to eat cake today!  No different from birthday parties.  My friend sent me an email telling me his son’s party was at 1p.  First thought, CAKE!  YAY!!!    There is something special about cake and ice cream.  No matter if it’s store-bought crappy Crisco icing or homemade delicious cake with buttercream frosting, chocolate, pink, yellow, carrot, cupcakes,  it will all disappear.  Happy 8th birthday Spencer!!  Thanks for letting me crash your birthday.

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Taqueria Express, Charlotte, NC

I was heading out of the city for a dinner, I know it sounds crazy that I was going to a dinner, but I knew it would be hours before we ate and I needed something to hold me over, so I stopped at this little taqueria on Albamarle Road.  Two dollar al pastor taco and one hecho en Mexico Coca-Cola and I am in heaven.  Seasoned pork tacos heavily topped with cilantro and onion.  Man, it was all I could do not to order more.  And yes, by the time dinner rolled around that evening, I was ready to eat again!

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Porto, Portugal

My husband told me he was going to Portugal on business, so I immediately start seaching Amazon for Time Out Lisbon and checking hotels, we are emailing back and forth, then he tells me no, we aren’t going to Lisbon, we are going to Porto.  WHAT???? OMG Porto, seems like a dreamland, not a place that you really get to go.  That is the best thing about understanding wine, is really going to the city or region.  It is really amazing how it clicks when you visit.  So needless to say, I was very exciting about going to the home of Port wine.  We had an amazing visit and here is my trip documented by food and booze.  Let me say for the record, I had the best Sangria, I have ever had and I had a cocktail called a Porto Tonic made with white port that made my toes curl.  I would go back tomorrow if I could.

Porto Tonic ~There are several variant possible some like 1/2 white Porto ,1/2 tonic water, ice and lemon . Some like it with tawny, and no lemon… You be the judge.

 

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Belmont Soda Shoppe

I don’t even know where to begin with my delight in the Belmont Soda Shoppe.  I went to Belmont today to meet a couple for an engagement session, I had about fifteen minutes to find something to eat fast.  I poked my head in a pizza place and asked if they served slices. No, so she sent me to the soda shop for bbq sandwiches and hot dogs.  I can always eat a hot dog.

So I head down Main Street, it is a cute little space, it’s almost like you can imagine what it looks like, it used to be a pharmacy and now it’s a little counter that serves hot dogs and ice cream.  I saw a guy with some bottle soft drinks in his hand, so I walked to a reach in Coca-Cola refridgerator and I see Sundrop, Mountain Dew, tiny Coke bottles, Dr. Pepper, Orange Crush all in the bottle.  Oh my, what a big decision, so I finally decide on a Dr. Pepper, but then I get a whiff of fresh oranges and the man behind the counter is squeezing fresh oranges and then topping it with crushed sno cone ice. OMG, totally put my soda back in the box and ask for an orangeade.  I watch him, squeeze oranges for me, put a little simple syrup in my glass and then shave some ice for me and top it with a fresh orange.  It was delicious and such a special treat.

So, I scarf down an average hot dog and that beautiful drink and head out to meet my couple, we shoot some photos, walk around the small downtown, go have a bloody mary, take more photos, then end up back at the Soda Shoppe, I’m so bad, then I get a milkshake.  Also, homemade, made with love.  He tops it with a little more chocolate ice cream and a cookie. I have had so much sugar today, I think I will need to watch myself tomorrow.  I can’t wait to go back for an orangeade and I might bring a mini bottle of vodka with me.  My bride to be, ordered a cherry sno cup, no paper cones, I guess, but that shaved ice is good for everything!!!

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