Category Archives: Cooking

Thai-inspired brussels.

These brussels will convert anyone who can’t abide brussels. And the recipe today comes courtesy of the Mr., who discovered it and has made it a lot for us!

Here they are mid-fry:

And post-fry delicousness:

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Shallots, and ChiliesPosted by J. Kenji López-Alt, on Serious Eats.

Ingredients

serves serves 8 to 10, active time 20 minutes, total time 20 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 to 2 limes
  • 3 to 4 Thai bird chilis, finely chopped (see note above)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 quarts vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, outer leaves removed, split in half
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

Procedures

Combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chilies, garlic, and cilantro in a small bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. In a large wok or Dutch oven, heat oil to 400°F. Add half of brussels sprouts and half of shallots. Oil temperature will drop to around 325°F. Adjust heat to maintain this temperature. Cook, stirring and agitating with a metal spider until brussels sprouts are deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet. Reheat oil to 400°F and repeat with remaining sprouts and shallots.

Transfer sprouts and shallots to a large bowl and add dressing. Toss to combine and serve.


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Lamb, leek and artichoke stew.

We just got back from Sundance and the ALTitude Design Summit. Whew! 15 hr jetlag with a wee one is not for the feint of heart. While I was in Park City trying to decide what to make for dinner, I was inspired by this beautiful artichoke tureen in my parent’s china cabinet. It ended up being a great thing to serve 16 of our friends visiting for Sundance as I was able to make it in the morning in between FX’s naps. The lemon and leeks play beautifully off the lamb, which is cooked until very tender and until it has lost any hint of gaminess–making it quite a crowd pleaser. The recipe is pretty simple: you brown the lamb, remove it, cook the onion and leeks and herbs together in the lamb juices, return the lamb, add stock and simmer for a couple of hours. Add lemon juice and artichokes (I used canned hearts in water) and simmer a little longer. And you’re done! I served this with risotto, but egg noodles or potatoes would also work well. I’m definitely adding this to my list of great make-ahead, crowd-pleasing, winter dishes! See this post for more great lasagna alternatives.

Oh and here’s a picture of the lil man in the official Sundance onesie!!

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Black forest cake.

While often made for Halloween, the festive nature of this dark chocolate, cherry and whipped cream cake makes it equally appropriate for the holidays.

To be honest, I would never have thought to make it on my own as I’ve never tasted a decent version and am very adverse to desserts with cherries… but as it was the Mr.’s request, I gave it my best effort!

It is a labour of love! Basically you bake a cake, slice it carefully into three layers, and then fill it with layers of ganache, home made (there is no other way, really) whipped cream and cherries and kirsch (which is a cherry liquor).

But as we were just home for Christmas and not entertaining hordes, I had plenty of time for the requisite steps most notably making sure the cake is completely cool before slicing and I really enjoyed putting it all together.And it was delicious! Recipe: Nigella Lawson community member.

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Everyday Harumi.

New Year’s resolutions are only a few weeks off so I thought I’d share one of my life resolutions that, unlike so many, has actually been quite successful!

When I moved to Asia I resolved to learn how to cook Asian food. And it’s been very fun and inspring. It would also be a fun resolution if you’re unable to travel in the year ahead… so much of visiting a new place is about tasting the food, but there’s no reason you can’t do that at home, right?!

About a year ago I posted about Tonki’s in Tokyo, which is an amazing tonkatsu (fried pork) place. Donna, a HKHousewife reader, suggested I try out Everyday Harumi and she was right on; it’s a really great book because the recipes are very simple and she makes it easy to get into this new cuisine. Harumi is a Japanese housewife, Martha Stewart equivalent.

I prefer to really get into one type of Asian cuisine at a time… my first year here it was Thai and lately its been Japanese because you do need some staples particular to that type of cuisine so it doesn’t really make sense to only cook in that style once.

There are a lot of toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil for example in Japanese food. You also need lots of dashi (Japanese fish stock), miso, sake!, and mirin (Japanese rice wine), ginger and garlic.

It’s also nice to have lots of little dishes as the Japanese are all about little tastes of this and that. These dishes were re-used from my travel party. For this meal, I made Harumi’s pickled cauliflower, green beans with a sesame dressing, Japanese coleslaw salad and Harumi’s famous barbeque sauce.

Anyways, I think gifting an entirely new genre of cooking to someone is a great idea and I am thinking of giving several copies of Harumi to loved ones this year!

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Chocolate CHIP cupcakes.

I can never get enough of sweet / salty and if you share my obsession, then you’ll love these chocolate chip cupcakes!

Ruffles chips drizzled with homemade caramel are the highlight!

But the lovelies are also filled with homemade caramel, painted with coffee syrup and then dipped in a chocolate ganache. Yum!!

I found the recipe on Sweetapolita, but it’s actually from a new cookbook: The Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats from the Sweetest Little Food Cart on the Planet.

They were pretty tasty. I think they even give my traditional St. Paddy’s cupcakes a run for their money.

The cupcakes were made for my good friend K.C.’s 30th birthday!

So gave them a cute little name. A little branding never hurt anyone… or did it?!

I picked up boxes for transport at Complete Deelite down in Central and I’m glad I did after all the work that went into these babies I wouldn’t have wanted them to get wrecked in transit.

And here the birthday gals is blowing them out. A tray of cupcakes each with a candle is pretty festive.

And I can’t help but Hong Kong-ify this post a bit… the party was in the basement of the Jardine House… who knew there was anything even there… but I thought this was a cool picture of a very iconic Hong Kong building.

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