With islandwide restrictions on eating establishments, and operations limited to takeout at his two popular restaurants, Chef Eddie Chien decided to try something different for fans of his food. So in early September, the chef behind Rotten Apple and Delmonico Kitchen & Bar began sharing recipes of popular menu items on the restaurants' social media accounts.
At first, he said, the recipes were "just something to post, not political or COVID-related."
"I'm a cook, you know? I like making food," Chien said in a phone interview on Monday. "So this kind of stuff (social media) has always been a second priority to me."
Still, he was happy to see the positive feedback from customers and friends, he said.
"People enjoyed it. I had a customer, Michelle, she even named her cat after me" as thanks for sharing the recipe for his Eggless Caesar Dressing.
The longtime chef and restaurateur said sharing his recipes wasn't as easy as leafing through a book in the kitchen and then posting online. He and his cooks have been working together for so long, "they're in my head, they know what I'm thinking." At this point, he said, "99% of the stuff we do is by taste."
"It was a little difficult to come up with actual recipes. I can't just write: 'A little bit of this, a little bit of that.' "
So after his restaurants' Instagram followers voted on their favorite dishes – "Da Bone and the Caesar dressing and the spinach salad were kind of the top vote-getters" – Chien took the time to write down measurements he could share along with the ingredients and steps.
He said he's looking forward to sharing even more recipes his customers can try at home.
"There were a few more, like the pulled pork, that we're coming out with soon," he said.
"It just takes us a little time – 'a little bit of this, a little bit of that.' "
The Rib & Da Bone
Whole short rib, bone in
2 yellow onions (quartered)
2 large carrots (rough chop)
2 stalks celery (rough chop)
Natural demi glace for service
Fried garlic chips for garnish
Mongolian Sauce for glaze
For the Mongolian Sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sambal
Prep short rib
Place short rib in heavy stock pot. Cover with cold water.
Add in onion, carrot and celery.
Bring to boil then simmer for 7-8 hours until meat becomes fork tender.
Chill to make portioning easier (One bone per portion).
Dredge in flour. Fry until crispy. (The Rib only)
Smother short rib with Mongolian Sauce and heat in 425 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until glaze starts to caramelize.
Heat demi glace with chopped garlic.
Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with fried garlic chips.