Thanksgiving leftovers, courtesy of David Chang

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A holiday that is centered around food. And this is the reason why I feel that Thanksgiving is pretty awesome. It’s the start of the holiday season, you’re around friends and family, and you can stuff yourself silly with food; all together it’s a winning combination. But amongst the volume of eating you’ll find yourself with a mountain of leftovers. Unless you can go through a 14 lb turkey, several side dishes, and pumpkin pie, chances are you’ll need to find something to do with them. Have no fear, David Chang has ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers. And they sound amazing.

David Chang is the brightest culinary star of the moment. An opinionated and supremely talented chef who has been a game changer in the restaurant world. His Momofuku restaurants are considered some of the best in New York and his style of food is utterly unique and blow-your-mind delicious. Recently, he and Peter Meehan released an amazing cookbook, Momofuku, that tells the story of Chef Chang and his restaurants. Needless to say, David Chang knows how to make enticingly tasty food.

Last year, I wrote a couple of short posts about Thanksgiving; one was about what wine to have with the dinner, the other was what to do with the leftovers. Chef Chang has taken what to do with those leftovers to another level. In a recent article in Food & Wine magazine, Peter Meehan did a short feature on what David Chang would do with Thanksgiving leftovers. And the results sound amazing. For example:

What’s really cool about some of these recipes is that they aren’t too ‘chefy,’ – recipes that are crazy complicated with obscure ingredients and technique most home cooks don’t have. Most of these recipes are straightforward and use the leftovers that stick around from Thanksgiving. I’m already looking forward to trying some of them.

Enjoy this Thanksgiving! Take in the moment, exhale, eat up, and most of all have fun!

Photo courtesy of Food & Wine

Cheap eats at Lynnwood’s San Fernando


Roast chicken is one of those foods that resonates with me. I love that it’s simple enough for home chefs, elevated by restaurants, perfect with most types of wines; it’s one of my most favorite foods. That’s why I really loved this article that the Seattle Weekly‘s Jon Kauffman wrote about roasted chicken in the spring. He visited a few places, but the one that really caught his eye was this place in Lynnwood. I’m from Lynnwood and love it when the spotlight shines on us. The place is called San Fernando and he thought their chicken was the most delicious. This I had to see for myself.

The first thing that I think is great about San Fernando is that it’s in Lynnwood. As someone who grew up there, I really enjoy the fact that the culinary rep of Lynnwood is slowly growing. Although major chains dominate the local landscape, places like San Fernando’s helps the diners of Snohomish County. I’ve already written about the good Chinese food at Szechuan 99, and it is places like that and San Fernando’s that make a trek up north for food worth it.

For Seattle to continue growing as a top-notch food town, it only helps when the greater region elevates the food reputation. There are all sorts of cool and unique food stops at all points north, south, east and west. That’s why it’s great that this little Peruvian restaurant is around. Basically, look past the shroud of urban sprawl and find little neighborhood gems to visit.

Here are the three cool things about San Fernando:

The comfort food of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

Last week, I was finally able to go to a restaurant that I’ve always wanted to visit. I first learned of it back in the day from 90s hip hop. This is what first peaked my interest. And Will Smith always talked about it on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.Then one of my favorite movies, Swingers, talked about it. I’ve been to Southern California a bunch over the years but timing was never perfect. Well, this visit was different; I was finally able to have dinner at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.

And it was awesome. First off, I have to thank our dinner companions for wanting to go. We were in West Hollywood and had a vast number of opportunities to have dinner at any of LA’s fine dining establishments, but they were game to have fried chicken and waffles. Thanks TJ and Tyler! We had a great time.

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Filipino-style Crispy Chicken Flake


My appreciation for Filipino food has been documented, but the tough part is Seattle isn’t known for having an abundance of Filipino restaurants. Which is odd when you consider that Filipinos are one of the largest minority groups in the area. The general answer is that the best Filipino food in Seattle is found in homes. That’s great, but how can newbies experience for themselves? I’m going to visit a bunch of the local spots to grab some food and report back. First off, here is a quick dish that is super-easy to make, Visayan in tradition, and Pinoy in spirit.

Here is what you need to make it:

  • About a cup of leftover cooked chicken
  • Minced garlic clove (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking oil

That’s it! And it’s super easy to make; heat up a pan to medium, and add oil. When the pan is sufficiently heated, drop in the minced garlic (if you’re using the powder, add when you add the chicken). Let the garlic sauté a bit and then add in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

When do you know it’s done? It’s up to you! The chicken is already cooked, I like to cook it when the pieces are crisped up and the smell in the kitchen has a nice, nutty aroma. It’ll take about 15 minutes. Feel free to add a touch more oil if it’s stick as this’ll help crisp up the chicken. The big thing about this is recipe is that you want to have the crisp texture to really bite into. This is mainly done with chicken, but beef and pork would work.

And what can you put it on? I like to put it over some rice and some diced tomatoes, maybe some cilantro for color. You could add it to a spinach salad. With eggs would work too.

Masarap! (this means delicious in Tagalog)

Tips for turkey leftover hangovers

Much like the rest of the country, I indulged and gorged yesterday on Thanksgiving. My mother did an excellent job with our turkey – she brined it, roasted it with a generous butter smear and added oranges, apples, and onions for aromatics. Delicious. But much like everyone else, we’ve got a ton of leftover turkey and need to find a few ideas for what to do with it.

What I like to do with mine (outside of reheated leftovers) is to get a fresh baguette, slice it up, put gravy on one side of bread, cranberry sauce on the other and turkey to separate the two. Heat up the gravy so you have this nice ying-yang with the warm, savory gravy and the tart, cool sauce. And add the stuffing if you want to end up on the couch afterwards. Simple, quick and easy; I love this.

Other folks on the internet have weighed in with some ideas. The team at Serious Eats made an entire list of sandwich ideas for their leftovers. Tom Douglas has recipes for turkey pot pie and turkey pho (as we know pho is usually made with beef, this is more like a turkey noodle soup). There are a ton of recipes out there for leftover Thanksgiving eats, but remember the advice that the Chicago Sun-Times has; keep things simple!

Enjoy the leftovers and get ready for the holiday shopping season!

Toasting to Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving upon us, many of us will be in the festive mood. You could be festive for holidays, football, food, or family. Maybe all those things! And celebrating the holidays is a perfect chance to enjoy a great bottle of wine with friends and family. But the tricky part is trying to make a sense of what wine to have with Thanksgiving dinner.

Sparkling wine

Beth in the Wedge, this section is for you. Sparkling wine is one of the most underrated of all wines. Sparklers are perfectly suited to match with a ton of food. An apertif? A good way to start the meal. Because Thanksgiving menus are so diverse, a sparkling wine would be perfect to pair. The bubbles and acidity refresh your tastebuds and palate. This is a good thing! And don’t hold yourself to just champagne! Prosecco (Italian) and Cava (Spanish) would be an excellent change of pace.

First off, not all sparkling wines are Champagne. This designation only exists for wines made in the Champagne region in France. Everything else is sparkling wine. Sparklers are a great way to make any moment special, the bubbles (the ‘mousse’) create a visual story. And good sparklers will have a complex flavor that is pretty close to magical. Cheers to that.

Alcohol levels

Alcohol levels are tricky, but there aren’t that many hard and fast rules. One Syrah could be at 13% while another could be at 15% – this happens across other varietals too. High alcohol occurs from leaving the grapes on the vine longer so the fruit gets more ripe and the sugar levels rise to create high alcohol levels.

The dilemma. High alcohol levels in wine (>14% alcohol) can get you a bit tipsy quickly. This could a be a good thing if alcohol is the only way for you to make it through a long dinner with your family, then imbibe indeed. At least indulge in good wine – just don’t drive home.

Low alcohol wines (<14%) are good to pair with Thanksgiving dinner because your palate won’t be fatigued and you’ll still be able to actively participate in the family festivities. Heaven forbid palate fatigue from too much alcohol – your mouth could get overwhelmed by a high volume of alcohol. Don’t you want to taste both the food and wine you’ll be enjoying? Palate fatigue is the moment when alcohol has bombarded your senses and your sense of taste has gone haywire. To lessen it’s impact, pace yourself. Enjoy your entrees, be patient. Everything will still be there – even your family.

Wine pairing

Like roast chicken, turkey can play nice with almost any type of wine. Full-bodied (rich, complex) is a way to go, but take care not to get anything that is too bold (strong flavors that lean one way too heavily). The subtleties of Pinot Noir or Viognier would be excellent. The tricky thing with Thanksgiving dinner are the sides; so many divergent flavors that could overpower the nuances of wine. Sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries all make for a tough match. That’s why it would be a good idea to have a handful of bottles at the ready. Riesling is an awesome match; it’s bracing acidity and easy drinkability would be perfect for a rich meal like Thanksgiving.

Basically, have fun with dinner! Bask in the glow of the occasion and enjoy each moment with those around you. Happy Thanksgiving from Going for Seconds!

Celebrity Roast

I love roast chicken. Love it. What’s not to love; rich flavor, moist meat, basically everything you love about chicken is amplified. Great in its simplicity, but like most things that are simple can be incredibly challenging. Cook too long, you get cardboard. Cook too short, hello food poisoning. But that middle point of perfection is one of the best things you’ll ever eat. Roast chicken is the star of the show at any dinner.

Some interesting notes on roast chicken:

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