Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cream Scones With Chocolate


Try making these Cream Scones With Chocolate, they are such a fantastic in-between meal treat! To avoid leaving a mess, use a large bowl to mix all the six ingredients together and I am sure you will be pleased with the end result. Be prepared to get lots of compliments! The scones have a lovely crisp crust, light and soft texture inside, and very chocolaty!


Recipe adapted from bittersweet by Alice Medrich

Cream Scones With Chocolate Chips/Chunks

Ingredients

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup (50 g) Sugar
2 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt
3 ½ oz (100 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate Chips or Chunks, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ Cups (300 ml) Heavy or Whipping Cream

Glaze
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream

Method

With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C). Line a cookie sheet with 2 layer of parchment paper.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. Mix the dry ingredients well with a whisk. Stir in the chocolate and make a well in the center and pour in the cream into it.

Use a rubber spatula to push the dry ingredients from the sides of the bowl into the well, cutting and turning the mixture just until the dry ingredients are almost entirely moistened and the dough looks rough and shaggy. Gather the dough into a lump and knead it gently against the sides of the bowl five or more times, pressing in the loose pieces, until the dough just holds together (it should not be smooth) and the sides of the bowl are fairly clean.

On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands or roll out to about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. Using 2 inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving space between each one.

Brush the tops with cream and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 Scones


Friday, October 29, 2010

Meatballs With Gravy


I made these Meatballs With Gravy using a combination of ground beef and chicken. It may sound complicated, but, rest assured it is a real easy recipe to bring to fruition. I then added sauté onions, breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasoned with dried oregano, parsley, paprika, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to the mixed meat. Shaped them, brown in a pan, and finished in the oven! That’s it. :) Here, I served the meatballs with roasted Hasselback potatoes and gravy that’s made with roux and beef stock. The meatballs were flavorful, moist, and simply divine! You can either serve the meatballs as an appetizer or as a main course.


Meatballs With Gravy

Ingredients


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
530-540 g Ground Beef
300 g Ground Chicken Breast or Ground Pork
1 Cup (150 g) Breadcrumbs softened with 1-¼ cups of water
2 tsp Dried Parsley
½ tsp Dried Oregano
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
2 Large Eggs
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter for frying

Gravy
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Beef Stock
1 Tbsp Black Pepper or to taste
Sea Salt to taste

Method


Preheat an oven to 350˚F.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil until soften, about 8 minutes. Remove the onion mixture and set aside.
Put the mince in a large bowl with onion mixture, parsley, oregano, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and the breadcrumbs mixture. Mix everything together thoroughly, kneading it with your hands as though it were bread dough. Form about 80 to 90 meatballs the size of large walnuts, rolling them between your palms so they are compact and smooth. Keep the made ones on a plate while you finish rolling the rest.

Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they are brown on all sides. You should be able to shuffle them by holding the handle of the pan and giving a good flick with your wrist. If not, use tongs to turn them. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer the meatballs into a baking tray.

Baked the meatballs in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are fully cooked.

Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat the butter in a large saucepan; add the butter over moderate heat. Then mix in the flour, and cook until lightly browned. Slowly add the beef stock and pepper. Cook and whisking until the gravy is thick and smooth. Season the gravy with sea salt.

Serve the meatballs warm with the gravy.

Makes about 90-100 walnut sized meatballs.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato


You should have a go at whipping up this lovely Sicilian Chocolate Gelato. There are only 4 ingredients needed for this recipe, namely, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and cornstarch. Just ensure you use the best cocoa available. Enjoy.


Recipe adapted from bittersweet by Alice Medrich

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato

Ingredients

3 Cups (720 ml) Whole Milk
2/3 Cup (130 g) Sugar
¾ Cup (180 ml) Premium Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Natural or Dutch-Process)
1 ½ Tbsp Cornstarch

Method

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1-cup milk with the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in another bowl. Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges. Then boil gently, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Scrape into a bowl and let cool. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap placed directly against the surface and chill overnight.

Freeze according to the instructions of your ice-cream maker. Because the mixture is slightly thick to begin with, it may take less time than usual to freeze and thicken to the desired consistency.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

French Toast With Caramelized Apples


I picked up some fresh raisin brioche from the bakery a couple days ago and with the leftover, I made French Toast With Caramelized Apples for breakfast today. You can choose a different variety of bread, such as plain brioche, challah, or just simple white bread. Just ensure the bread you use won't fall apart when soaked. The caramelized apples are cooked with dark brown sugar, cream, rum, vanilla, cinnamon and their natural juices. Although the toast can be enjoyed by itself with just some icing sugar, I thought it was nice to treat myself a little by pairing it with some caramelized apples. Simply delightful I thought!


French Toast With Caramelized Apples

Ingredients

4 Large Eggs
½ Cup (125 ml) Milk
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of Sea Salt
6 Slices of Raisin or Plain Brioche
4 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter

Caramelized Apples
1 Large Apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch chunks
5 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
¾ (180 ml) Cup Cream
2 Tbsp Dark Rum
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
A pinch of Sea Salt

Method

Preheat an oven to 350˚F/180˚C.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, and a pinch of sea salt until well combined. Dip the bread slice, one at a time, turning once, for 1 to 2 minutes. Then transfer the bread to a plate. Repeat with the remaining bread and egg mixture.

In a skillet over medium to high heat, melt about 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp of butter. Place the bread slices and cook, turning once, until golden in color. Transfer to a baking tray, and repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices.

Place the toast on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the center of the bread is heated through and golden brown in color.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, add the brown sugar and cook until it melts. Gently whisk in the cream and the rum. Then mix in the apple chunks, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. Cook the apples until they are slightly soften and the sauce has thicken with pourable consistency. Serve the French toast warm with the caramelized apples.

Serves 4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thai Fish Cakes-Tod Mun Pla



This is one of my favorite version of the popular Thai Fish Cakes (or Tod Mun Pla). This version contains red curry paste and long beans. I like the light texture of the fish cakes and the subtle flavor of the red curry paste in them. You should be able to find Thai red curry paste in most Asian grocers or even at your local grocers. Served with a simple cucumber salad, Thai Fish Cakes are best enjoyed while they're still hot and juicy after being deep-fried. Yummy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stir-Fried Orange Beef


Remember the Chinese Orange Chicken recipe that I posted earlier? It was so popular that I thought it was time I posted the beef version, Stir-Fried Orange Beef. There are a couple of main ingredients that needs to be changed for using beef, namely, use Shaoxing wine and fresh orange zest instead. If you love beef, this is a fantastic dish that you will enjoy with just some steamed rice and a simple stir-fried or steamed vegetables dish on the side. A quick no fuss dish to prepare. As with all stir-fried dishes, the trick is to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. Enjoy!



Stir-Fried Orange Beef

Ingredients




2 (About 750 g) Rib-Eye Steaks, trimmed excess fat, cubed (about ¾-inch pieces)

Freshly Ground Black Pepper
A pinch of Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Corn Flour

10-15 Dried Red Chilies, cut into ½-inch pieces

35 g Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp of Fresh Orange Zest
4 Scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces

3 Tbsp of Peanut Oil



Sauce

1 Cup (250 ml) Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (2 large oranges)

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 ½ Tbsp Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
1 tsp Chinese White Rice Vinegar

1 tsp Corn Flour



Method



Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.


Toss the beef with black pepper, sea salt, and coat with corn flour. 


Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large wok or cast iron pan until hot. Add beef cubes into the pan and brown for 10 to 12 seconds on each side over a moderate to high heat. (Cook the beef in 2 to 3 batches) Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add in the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil. Then mix in the dried chilies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing color (do not burn them). Add the ginger, garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds more, then add the orange zest and stir-fry until the oil is fragrant.



Add the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the beef cubes and stir vigorously to coat it in sauce. Toss in the scallions and stir a few times, switch off the heat, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Coconut Panna Cotta With Mango And Orange Eggs


Next time you hold a gathering, you may want to hoodwink your guests by serving them these lovely “soft-boiled eggs” for dessert. Try serving them along with some coffee or liqueur as well. Bet your guests will think you have gone off your rails for sure! These Coconut Panna Cotta With Mango And Orange Eggs are so much fun and I am sure it will put a smile on the face of anyone you serve it to! Don’t you think they look a lot like soft-boiled eggs? I think it’s also a good trick to pull off on your kids this Halloween.

I found this fantastic recipe from the British Larder website. I just made a minor tweak by substituting the recipe’s passion fruit with a mango and orange juice puree instead. Do check out the British Larder website for the original recipe and hope you will have as much fun as I did making these fun and lovely dessert.


Coconut Panna Cotta With Mango And Orange Eggs

Ingredients


18 Cleaned Egg Shells – please refer to the British Larder for cleaning the eggs.

Coconut Panna Cotta
500 ml Coconut Milk
100 ml Double or Whipping Cream
120 g White Chocolate
8 g of Unflavored Gelatin
4 Tbsp of Cold Water

Method

Combine 4 Tbsp of cold water and gelatin in a small bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes to soften.

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk and cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate and gelatin. Stir the chocolate and gelatin until completely dissolved.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the prepared egg shells. Refrigerate until firmly set, about 4 hours.

Once the coconut panna cotta has set, use a small scoop to scoop out a small bit from the center to make a small indent. This is for the mango and orange fruit jelly which resembles egg yolk.

Mango And Orange Fruit Jelly
200 g Frozen Mango Chunks, thawed for 10 minutes
200 ml Orange Juice
3 Tbsp Sugar or to taste
2 g Gelatin
2 Tbsp of Cold Water

Method

Only prepare the mango and fruit jelly when the coconut panna cotta is completely set and you have scooped out the holes in the center of the panna cotta.

Put the mango, orange juice, and sugar in a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth. Taste, then add more sugar if necessary.

Combine 2 Tbsp of cold water and gelatin in a small bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes to soften.

Pour the mango and orange puree into a saucepan, heat over low heat until it starts to bubble, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved.

Pass the mango and orange puree through a fine sieve and leave it to cool completely but not set, it must be pourable. Then slowly pour the mango and orange jelly into the center of the coconut panna cotta. Return the eggs to the refrigerator and let the jelly set, about 2 hours.

Makes 18 eggs

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tahu Telor-Fluffy Eggs With Bean Curd


Tahu Telor or Fluffy Eggs With Bean Curd is an Indonesian comfort food which is simple and yet so delicious! I always order it whenever I dine at an Indonesian restaurant back in Asia. Sadly, the restaurants here in Vancouver does not serve Tahu Telor in that method, so, I decided to try to replicate the dish at home, in a simplified method and presentation though. The bean curd is deep-fried using a special mold. I wish I have a picture to show you, but sorry I don’t. The end result, or shall I say, taste-wise, it turned out pretty good or maybe even a tad better than at the restaurant. Anyway, I love anything tofu as they are full protein and is so delicious. Tofu telor is another great meat-less alternative to get your protein requirements!


Tahu Telor-Fluffy Eggs With Bean Curd

Ingredients

175 g (½ pack) Firm Bean Curd, cubed
4 Large Eggs
1/8 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
A Pinch of White Pepper
1/8 tsp Soy Sauce
Peanut Oil

Sauce
4 Tbsp Indonesian Kicap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce)
2 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, chopped
1 Tbsp Lime Juice

Accompaniments
60 g Bean Sprouts, lightly blanched
½ Cucumber, julienned
Chopped Red Chilies, optional

Method

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasoning with lime juice, if necessary.

Add about 2 Tbsp of oil in a cast-iron or non-stick pan over moderate to high heat. Fry the bean curd in few batches until light golden in color. Drain the bean curds on a paper towel, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sea salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Beat the egg mixtures until lightly frothy (about 1 minute).

Using the same pan, add another 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Pour the egg mixtures onto the pan, and scatter the bean curd on top of it. Use a lid and cover the pan, let the egg mixtures cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the eggs are golden brown in color.

To serve, top the tahu telor with some bean sprouts and cucumber. Serve immediately with the prepared sauce.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake


This Catalan Salt Pinch Cake doesn’t have any salt in it at all. I know, the name is a bit misleading; but, there is a rational explanation. According to the baking book, the name was derived partially from the recommended way of eating it i.e. pinching out pieces of the fluffy cake between your fingers. The most exquisite of all the versions is called Salt because it was created by Miquel B. Costabella, a baker and patissier of Salt Bakery, which was named after the village of Salt, close to Girona, Spain. Naming semantics aside, this cake is very soft and fluffy. The texture is quite similar to a chiffon or an angel cake. If you like cottony soft and nutty cakes, then I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this cake.


Recipe adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Catalan Salt Pinch Cake
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

112 g (1 Cup + 2 Tbsp) Slice Almonds, preferably unblanched
181 g (3/4 Cup + 2 ½ Tbsp, divided) Superfine Sugar
6 Large Eggs, whisk lightly in a cup
2 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
1 tsp loosely packed Lemon Zest
56 g (½ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Cake Flour, or Bleached All Purpose Flour, sifted

Equipment: One 9 x 2 ½ to 3-inch spring form or cake pan.

Method

Coat the pan with shortening, bottom and sides and line with parchment paper. For sides cut a 33 x 3 inch band of parchment, overlapping an extra piece if necessary to make long enough. Wrap and press it against the inside wall of the pan. Use some extra shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place against the first strip of parchment.

Preheat the oven to 325˚F or 160˚C.

Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and 2 ½ Tbsp of the sugar until as fine as possible. Stop before the nuts start to become pasty.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form and gradually beat in the remaining sugar, stopping the mixer once to scrape down sides of the bowl. Continue beating until the meringue is very thick and glossy, but will not be smooth. Detach the whisk from the mixer and use it to stir the almond mixture into the meringue until evenly incorporated.

Reattach the whisk beater and with the mixer on medium speed, add the beaten egg to he meringue 2 Tbsp at a time, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. It should take a total of 20 to 25 minutes, but be sure to beat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest. Remove the bowl and beater from the stand. While the mixture is beating, weigh or measure out the flour.

Sift the flour onto the batter and, using a large whisk, fold in the flour until fully incorporated. Reach to the bottom of the bowl and be sure that no white specks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake spring back when pressed very lightly in the center. The cake will rise just a little and then sink slightly in the center.

Set the pan on a wire rack and immediately loosen and remove the sides, leaving the parchment attached to the cake. Allow the cake to cool until it is warm or at room temperature, about 1 hour. Slice the cake or eaten in the traditional way by pinching out pieces of the fluffy cake. The cake keeps wrapped airtight for 1 week at room temperature, for 10 days refrigerated, and for 6 months frozen.

Serves 8 to 20


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coriander And Lime-Crusted Tilapia Fish With Mango Salsa


It seems like Tilapia fish is a very popular choice of fish everywhere these days, and no difference here in Vancouver. They can be purchased either live and still swimming in the tank or quick frozen. This fish has a mild flavor; but, is full of protein, low calorie, and low saturated fat. Anyway, I baked this Coriander and Lime-Crusted Tilapia Fish using a packet of quick frozen Tilapia fillets in less than 8 minutes. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the Tilapia, which I served with some fresh mango salsa. If you need the recipe for the mango salsa, you can get it here. Just remember to dice all the ingredients into smaller than the usual bite sized pieces to complement this delicate fish. Enjoy!


Coriander And Lime-Crusted Tilapia Fish With Mango Salsa
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Packet (454 g) Quick Frozen Tilapia Fillets, thawed according to the packet instructions
4 Tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs
A Handful of Fresh Coriander (about 4 Tbsp), chopped
1 Large Lime, zest
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
½ Red Chili, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Olive Oil or Peanut Oil
2 ½ Tbsp Butter, melted
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Lime Wedges

Mango Salsa (click for recipe)

Method

Prepare the mango salsa.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, fresh coriander, lime zest, garlic, and red chili.

Grease a large baking tray with 1 Tbsp of olive or peanut oil. Toss the remainder oil to the fish, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish fillets on the baking tray and top with coriander and lime breadcrumbs. Pour the melted butter all over the fish fillets. Bake the fish for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the fish fillets are fully cooked. Serve immediately with some lime wedges and mango salsa.

Serve 2



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chanterelle Mushrooms Sandwiches


Like everyone else, I enjoy a good sandwich every now and then. I try to squeeze in a sandwich meal at least once a week at home. This week, I decided to make Chanterelle Mushrooms Sandwiches. Chanterelle mushrooms happens to be one of my favorite wild mushrooms. They are flavorful and hold their shape very well after cooking. Chanterelle mushrooms are in season now, and you can get them at very reasonable prices.

Here, I sautéed the mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, parsley, and seasoned it with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan and more importantly, to savor all the jus. As for the sandwich’s bread, I used some store-bought crusty country-styled bread, lightly brushed them with extra virgin olive oil before toasting them in my Panini pan. Then, “sandwich” the sandwich with your favorite cheese in between the mushrooms. Toast the assembled sandwich till the cheese melts and you have a delicious warm sandwich ready to be enjoyed!


Chanterelle Mushrooms Sandwiches
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

350 g Chanterelle Mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite-size
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Shallot, minced
1 tsp Chili Flakes
A Handful of Fresh Italian Flat Parsley, chopped (3 Tbsp)
A splash (1 ½ Tbsp) of White Wine
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges
Swiss Cheese or your favorite cheese
Crusty Country-Styled Breads
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Method

In a heavy cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot, and sauté until light golden in color. Add the chili flakes, mushrooms, and parsley, and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the wine and scrape around the pan to deglaze, and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

To prepare the sandwich: Brush the bread with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Toast the bread lightly on both sides. Then layer two pieces of cheese in between the mushrooms. Toast the assembled sandwich till the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seafood Pasta In Paper Bag


Have you ever tried cooking your favorite meals in a paper bag? If you haven’t, I suggest you give it a try. It’s convenient, less cleaning, and you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious the food will turn out … just as great! Today, I am sharing one of my easy seafood pasta recipe that’s cooked In paper bag. There’s no fuss here, just cook the pasta according to the packaging’s instructions, or until al dente. Then, arrange them in a parchment paper, toss in all the ingredients, wrap it up, and tie it with kitchen strings. Place it in the oven for about 20 minutes and you have a bag of delicious seafood pasta waiting to be enjoyed. Yum!



Seafood Pasta In Paper Bag
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Packet (about 450 g) Linguine or Spaghetti
16 – 20 Large Peeled Prawns, tail intact
700 – 800g Clams
12 Medium Size Fresh Scallops
250 g Small Roma Tomatoes, halved
2 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
1 Small Bunch Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
1 Small Bunch Italian Flat Leave Parsley, chopped
1 Cup White Wine, divided
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, divided
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Lemon Wedges

Parchment Paper
Kitchen Strings

Method

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packaging's instructions, or until al dente. (Drain well)

Use 2 large pieces of parchment papers for each serving. Place the papers on a large bowl. Divide the pasta into equal portions (4 portions). Top the pasta with seafood, tomatoes, garlic, basil leaves, white wine, butter, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Wrap the paper up and tie it with kitchen strings.

Place the bags on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the seafood are fully cooked. To serve, cut the kitchen strings, open the paper bag, drizzle some olive oil and garnish the seafood pasta with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Strawberries in Bubbles of Snow & Foodies of the World recipe book



Hi SSWF readers, there’s a new unique recipe book published by Slattery Media Group, Australia, Foodies of the World. I’d like to introduce you to the book as I think the idea behind the book is wonderful, it’s a collection of great recipes from the best cooking blogs from around the world. It covers an international spread of cuisines, courses and recipe styles, as well as profiles of the bloggers themselves from all corners of the globe! Containing stunning photography, styling and images, this is a high-quality cookbook filled with delicious real food from real people, including yours truly. The editor of the book contacted me earlier this year and without any hesitation, I immediately agreed to participate in the project. I felt flattered and was very excited to be invited as one of the recipe contributors.




Right now, I am eagerly waiting for my very own copy to arrive. If you plan to get a copy of this book either for it’s great recipes or to discover new blogs, please do consider to use the link here or simply click on the Foodies of the World widget on the right side of my blog link for your purchase. (No secret here, they will obviously allocate a small commission to SSWF for copies purchased through the link.)
 


Meanwhile, I will indulge myself with these delicate Strawberries in Bubbles of Snow or also known as Ichigo no awayuki-kan in Japanese. These cuties are snow light and they taste like soft marshmallows that’s served chilled. 



Recipe adapted from Japanese Cooking by Masako Yamaoka

Strawberries in Bubbles of Snow-Ichigo no awayuki-kan
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

2 Cups (500 ml) Water
2 ½ tsp Agar-Agar Powder
½ - 2/3 Cup Sugar (I used ½ Cup)
2 Large Egg Whites
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
16-24 Medium or Small Strawberries, washed and hulled

1 Baking Pan (I used brownie pan 13” x 8 ½ “)

Method

Combine water, agar-agar powder, and sugar in a medium size pot. Bring it to a boil and continue to simmer until agar-agar and sugar dissolves.

Using a mixer beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the agar-agar in a fine stream while continuing to beat the egg white, and then mix in the lemon juice. Continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy. (About 50 seconds)

Moisten the pan with cold water. Spread the egg white mixture evenly and arrange the strawberries, bottom end up, in several rows. Allow the mixture to congeal, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve chilled.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Polvorones-Almond Cookies


Polvorones are delicious Spanish Almond Cookies enjoyed throughout Spain during Christmas. A traditional treat that’s crumbly, buttery, sweet, soft, and yet slightly crunchy. They literally crumble in your mouth and I think they are simply scrumptious! So, don’t wait till Christmas to enjoy these crispy Spanish almond cookies, try baking them when you get the chance. Enjoy! :-)


Recipe adapted from Okashi by Keiko Ishida

Polvorones-Almond Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

110 g All-Purpose or Pastry Flour, sifted
100 g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
40 g Confectioner’s (Icing) Sugar
50 g Ground Almond

Method

Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C).

Line a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the sifted flour and bake for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking, and then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon beat the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Mix in the ground almonds until well blended. Add the flour and mix until smooth dough is form.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 10mm( 1/2 inch). Using a cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking pan. Gather up and reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies.

Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes and transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

Dust the cookies with some confectioner’s sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container to keep them crisp.

Makes 16 to 24 cookies.
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