Monday, February 21, 2011
Galette. It's a simple pleasure of enjoying the abundance of summer time berries. Yes... so it gets a little expensive if you try to make this in the winter when berries can get up to $5.00 per cup. I make this often in the summer especially when we have guests, for a few reasons: it is simple, quick, tasty, and the presentation has the WOW factor that makes guests say "you made that"?? NOT because it looks store bought, but because they think they've seen something like it in a magazine once but had never had it brought out to them in real life. It IS impressive :)
Galette doesn't have to be all sweet either. A savory galette with balsamic caramelized onion, goat cheese and sauteed mushroom... sounds like a heavenly lunch, right? Just omit the sprinkling of granulated sugar at the end :)
This recipe is a combination of many recipes I read and I just took the middle for everything. With Vanilla Ice ream?? Agh! to die for! sometimes, when I am feeling lazy, I don't brush the pastry with egg wash before popping them in the oven, but for this dish, it just gives that healthy shine that makes your stomach make more room for dessert.
For the crust:
1 cup flour
1stick (1/2c) cold butter
a pinch of salt, if butter is unsalted.
4-5 tbsp COLD water
1 cup blueberry
1 cup strawberry (quatered)
half cup raspberry
1 tbsp cornstarch
1-2 tbsp sugar
tiny pieces of butter to put on top of berries right before you bake.
Oven: bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min. turn the baking sheet at mid point
1. to make the crust: put flour, sugar, and cold butter in the food processor and pulse until its incorporated. (so the butter pieces are rice-size.)
2. add the water in a trickle until the mixture is wet enough to form a dough. I
used only 4 tbsp, I think. Then onto a floured surface. Make it into a ball, but don’t
knead. Wrap it and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. with berries: sprinkle them with a little sugar (you can omit this if you want)
and cornstarch, about 1 tbsp each. (but really according to your sweet tooth) And toss them without breaking the berries and let them sit while you roll out the dough.
4. Quarter the dough and roll each quarter into round disks, about 1/8 thick.
5. In the middle of each disk, pile the berry mixture and fold the sides to form
roughly pleated wall.
6. Brush the walls with some egg wash and sprinkle with sugar to form a nice
crust, but this can be omitted. Dot the small pieces of butter on top of the berries. It will melt in with the berry juice to made a wonderful sauce in the oven.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min or until the pastry is golden.
Do you like seafood pasta? I visited this place several times during my time in NYC. I actually lived a block away :) I think there are many Umberto Clam Houses... but the one I am telling you about is the one on broome st. (386 Broome Street, New York, to be exact). Every single time I went there, I had the same thing: Vongole. Vongole is basically pasta with baby clams in their shells. The sauce, usually, is made with garlic, olive oil, clam juice and wine. It's oceany, garlicky, carb heaven. mm mm mmm. Their portion was quite large for a NY dining. especially going for dinner, one portion was enough for two ladies... though I finished mine on my own :) this particular time I went, I think they gave me normal clams instead of the tiny baby ones. I like the baby ones a tiny bit better, but who are we kidding?? Any way they come, it's going to be delicious.
Ina Garten is my idol. Not because of her recipes, I'm afraid, but for her overall character. I love her sense of space, decor, color, elegance. She is feminine and soft spoken... watching her show is soothing :) I've tried some of her recipes and some works wonderfully, but some... a bit off. But come on, who's perfect?
At Fresh Market by my parent's house, I bought this red velvet cupcake mix. It's very easy to prepare and very good. wait... easy for cupcakes... but more steps than you think for a boxed cakes. I made it because a little girl was visiting my house with my friend (her mommy). I looked back to my childhood and yes, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on top would've made my day. Our goal that day was to make ginger bread house! but I knew that was not going to be the dessert, so I went ahead and made this eye pleasing dessert :D
(yes, I filled the cups too high and I got the muffin top. Hey, more space for the frosting. These cupcakes rise well, so be careful to only fill it about 2/3 full)
Saturday, February 19, 2011
We were at whole foods the other day. I guess it was around lunch time and the store was full of little stations of sample heaven. Wonderful selection of cheeses were what I was really enjoying :) In the vegetable section, there was a rather large sample station of this salsa, Salsa Sol de rio. There was a man assisting the tasting, and we spoke briefly about his salsa. He starts his salsa with fire roasted green chille, resulting in his salsa to be less red than others. But Holy Mary... This stuff is Gooood. I am having a very difficult time trying to describe HOW good it is. It's not like the salsa taste "green"... it's just all around delicious. I don't know why anyone would want the other kind. Yes, it is locally made in GA, so you will find it in the very bottom row of the salsa section. The guy said they had JUST started to sell it at Whole Foods. My jar was $5.99, at bit pricier than others-but I don't eat chips and salsa that often, so when I feel like having some salsa, I will reach for this one.
I bought the medium, but the other flavor I tried -mango salsa- was also scrumptious. If you've never tried a green chille based salsa before, I highly recommend that you do. I will not go back to the red stuff.
I had been meaning to post this for a long long time, but for some reason, I did not have any picture of this dish. Not one. So when Jason said that I should make whatever I wanted to blog about this weekend, I made carbonara. Aaaamazing dish, I must say. Authentically, carbonara is made with just cured pork, egg, cheese and black pepper. So though creamy, it contains no cream, which is the common misconception:) Its also one of those dishes that are GREAT for one person meal! finally! Its rich, nutty(not from nuts), cheesy, creamy, salty... it almost feels sinful... well, its not the most healthiest of all pastas. But if you are like me, (generally a healthy eater and 'active') you won't have to worry about your waist line with this.
check out the ingredients: (for one person)
1 slice Pancetta
1 slice bacon
1 clove garlic (can be omitted but my family requested to have some garlic flavor)
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 heaping tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese (maybe even almost 3 tbsp :))
2 heaping tbsp freshly grated pecorino cheese (")
4oz pasta (with nicely salted water)
1 diagonally sliced green onion
***skip this part if you don't want to read it, but I think this is important.
original Italian recipe would use Guanchiale, which is cured meat that is the cheek meat of a pig. But since its harder to find, even ppl in Italy would use Pancetta. I like the smokiness of bacon, so I do half and half.
Cheese: in Italy, again, they use Pecorino cheese. It's like Parm, but from sheep's milk and is a lot saltier, usually. I really enjoy the nuttiness of parm, so i use some parm as well.
1. render your meats and pop a garlic in there as well if you prefer. low and slow until they are nice and crispy, set aside to cool
2. mix your egg, grated cheese, and black pepper in a bowl (not a small bowl, your pasta is going in here as well and need some mixing room).
3. when the crisped meats are cooled add it into the egg mixture. rendered fats and all.
4. cook the pasta. make sure the water is nicely salted.
5. when the pasta is al dente, use your kitchen tongs to scoop out the pasta and dump it right into the egg mixture. be quick. mix vigorously. the point of not straining the pasta is that you WANT some of the salty/starchy pasta water to make the sauce more... saucy. if your sauce is too thick, then ladle in some more of your pasta water.
6.sprinkle with green onions.
These are some of youtube videos I used to learn how to make this dish. my method, i guess is combined version of these.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I used to use any canned tomatos, but now I use San Marzano alsways. There's a definite taste difference. San marzano is long, packed, juicy, sweet... it's worth the $$. Here's the photo of mine. if you go here, you can see their photo.
IngredientsI did not have chilli pepper... so I omitted it, but yes, I think it would've been even better with it.
- 1/4 cup/59 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 dried chile peppers, crushed, optional
- 2 cups/500 ml plum tomatoes, peeled
- 1 1/4 pound/571 g string beans, tips trimmed
mine took a lot longer than the recipe said... about double. but I would just keep watching every 5 min.
- 15 Medjool pitted dates
- 1 pound aged Manchego, cut into 15 blocks
- 5 slices bacon, cut into thirds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Make an incision on one side of each date and insert a block of Manchego. Squeeze the date shut in your hand to secure. Wrap each date with a bacon strip and secure with a toothpick. Place all the dates on a sheet tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roast the dates in the oven until the bacon on top is starting to crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the dates over and cook the other side until the bacon crisps.
Remove the dates from the oven and brush both sides with maple syrup. Return the dates to the oven until they are really crackly and sticky, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
(so all the measurement is kind of up to you. I ended up with about a 15 pieces of poppers and used 2/3 block of cream cheese and a clove of garlic.)
- My Jalapenos were really large, so I ended up cutting them into quarters once length wise, then cut the long halves in the middle. I took a small tea spoon to empty the insides so only the meaty flesh remained.
- I mixed up some cream cheese, salt, and pepper, then grated a clove of garlic into it. depending on how garlicky you want the mixture to be, you can either omit it or go crazy.
- I simply filled the jalapeno boats with cream cheese mixture so that it's kind of flush to the flesh.
- Batter it like you would batter anything else: flour it, then dunk it into egg wash, then into the Italian breadcrumbs.
- Fry'em up. I used my fryer that has no temperature variation, so I fried mine at 350. It went REALLY fast. so keep your eyes on them!
Vanilla and chocolate macarons with these fillings: dulce de leche, White chocolate raspberry ganache, and dark chocolate ganache. I have made everything once before except for the DULCE DE LECHE.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Another hot spot in Athens GA for me is the Cali n' Titos. This is a Latin American restaurant in 5 points... one of the only one I go to in town, actually. I've heard many good things about many of their dishes, but my favorite will have to be their FISH TACOS.
Athens has a lot to offer when it comes to dining options. I recently tried Trapeze pub for the first time. This place was recommended to me by a few people and I am glad that they did. Trapeze pub has a menu of beer... impressive appr.10 pages long! if you are a beer lover, this would be a great place to be.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Wings---- I am not a football fan (can I say that?), but I do LOVE game day food like pigs in a blanket, chips and dips, and or other healthy or unhealthy mini deliciousness, especially chicken wings. when I first came to the States, boy was I confused about the "buffalo" wings.