Making Grilled Corn Salad
This is it folks. Summer has finally come around and what better way to celebrate than gorging yourselves silly with a bowl of what the season has to offer. While I wait for my stubborn, stubborn mustard seeds to sprout, I thought I’d entertain you with a recipe that’s appropriate for the warmer air.
It’s super easy to make. One thing to remember though - season to taste at the end, when everything is already in the bowl - adjust lime juice and chili peppers to your taste. This salad can also be put together almost anywhere. In a backyard barbecue, a campsite or just in your kitchen. The corn can be grilled outdoors or in your oven, cranking it up at the last minute to get the nice burnt bits. If you’re feeling rather indulgent, you can also crumble in a bit of feta cheese at the end. However or wherever you decide to make this, I hope you enjoy it. It really is pretty darn good.
GRILLED CORN SALAD:
[ 2-3 ears of corn + 2 cucumbers + 2-3 tomatoes of any variety + 1/2 cup chopped cilantro + 3 shallots, minced + 2 garlic cloves, minced + juice of 1 1/2 lime + 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil + 2 teaspoon honey + salt and freshly ground pepper to taste ] OPTIONAL: 1/2 teaspoon cumin + 1 teaspoon chopped chili pepper or Serrano pepper
If you’re using an oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the corn into discs 1 1/2 inch thick.
Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium-hot grill, cut sides down, about 2 minutes per side.
If you’re using an oven, roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, uncovered, in a baking dish, or until a few of the kernels have just barely started to shrink and wrinkle.
Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and the chili pepper, if using.
Throw tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, chili, shallot and garlic in a bowl.
Add the lime juice.
Add the remainder olive oil and honey and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the corn is ready.
When the corn disks are done, throw those in too. Give it a good toss to coat it with the dressing. Season to taste, adding more lime juice if needed.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Making Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
The 10-weeks rotation of General Surgery has finally ended in happy tears. I don’t think I’ve done better in a final exam for any department (except Cardiology, perhaps). To top it off, I came home to an email from Food & Wine magazine asking if I’d be interested to participate in a new project for their Tumblr - can someone say omfg/isdead?! So I made a bowl of beef and broccoli to celebrate - a recipe I made a while ago for Aritzia, but this would be the first time I’m posting the full thang here, complete with pictures from the old shoot, just because I can and I feel like sharing.
PS: The split peas totally didn’t sprout. Meh. Maybe I should wait a little longer.
BEEF & BROCCOLI STIR-FRY:
[ 1/2 pound flank or sirloin steak, sliced thinly across the grain (about 3mm thick) + 1/2 pound broccoli, cut to bite-sized florets + 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil + 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic + 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger ] OPTIONAL: 1 egg + 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
FOR THE BEEF MARINADE
[ 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce + 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch + a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes ]
FOR THE SAUCE
[ 2 tablespoons oyster sauce + 1 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar + 1/2 teaspoon chili oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons water ]
Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes
Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Cook the broccoli for about two minutes in a small pot of boiling, salted water until tender-crisp. Drain thoroughly, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching).
Let the beef fry undisturbed for one minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to one minute until no longer pink. Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and heat until the sauce boils and thickens.
Serve on top of warm rice or noodles topped with a fried egg and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
Sprouting yellow split peas - Day 1 and counting
I might be mistaken, but these are yellow split peas, right?
They better be, because I’ve just finished putting some into a jar with high hopes that they’ll sprout. And if they do, then I’ve got a recipe in mind that will be fit to officially welcome the warmer months.
And if they don’t, well, as with any other experiments, I guess we’ll find out some other answers.
Here’s the start of Day 1. Watch this space for further developments!
NB: To Autumnsprout who asked about advice for working with fluorescent light source, these photos were shot under fluorescent kitchen lights and I don’t think they look that bad, so hopefully I’ll get around to writing a new photography post about getting similar results soon.
Making French Silk Pie
Almost a fortnight ago, I received an e-mail from a Sonja Schmitt and she wrote, and I quote:
“Help, help, oh lord Jesus, where has the chocolate silk pie recipe gone? i wanted to write it down for a friend of mine who’s going to get married in June. can you save her wedding by sending me the recipe? ;) would be so nice
greetings from Dresden,Germany”
Now the chocolate silk pie in question is actually this pie;
a recipe I posted a few years back and have since taken down because of the low quality images. Now I’d hate to be the cause for the possible demise of someone’s wedding, so I urgently, sensibly and responsibly replied with:
“Oh noes! Whatever will I do to avert this crisis? :D
And so come about this recipe post that might look a little rushed, but rest assured, I had the best intentions. Oh and before I forget, this recipe comes with a **WARNING: it contains raw eggs, so don’t feed it to the very young, the very old, the expecting mothers and those who are immuno-compromised. I’m going to include an alternative recipe that’s vegan friendly, should you want to give that a try instead. You can use a pre-made crust for this, or make your own if you feel like it.
PIE CRUST (recipe from Simply Recipes)
[ 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup cold, unsalted butter - cut into cubes + 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon sugar + 6-8 tablespoon cold water ]
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate; set aside
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. Add a little more water and pulse again if the dough doesn’t hold together.
Remove dough from machine and gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down to line the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
Put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom and fill it with baking beans or rice or any dried beans you have to keep it from shrinking while it bakes.
Bake blind for 20 minutes, take out the pie crust and remove the aluminium foil with the beans or rice. Bake again for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Now make the pie filling:
FRENCH SILK PIE:
[ 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled + 1 cup salted butter, softened + 1-1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 4 eggs ] OPTIONAL: Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for topping.
Beat sugar and butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 6-7 minutes.
Add the melted (and cooled!) chocolate and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add eggs two at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Add filling to cooled pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight - all that graininess you taste will magically disappear!) and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
and here’s the vegan alternative:
VEGAN FRENCH SILK PIE (recipe from Connoisseur for the Cure)
[ 13 ounces semisweet chocolate chips + 1/3 cup coffee liqueur + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu, drained + 1 tablespoon agave ]
Melt the chocolate chips with the coffee liqueur and vanilla in a metal bowl over simmering water, or in a double boiler.
Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the tofu, chocolate mixture, and agave to the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Process the mixture until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed to make sure the ingredients are fully mixed. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Whoops! It looks like someone got a little too excited and spilled the whipped cream. Lots of it. On the pie. Thinking that it would make a good picture. Take note folks - be patient and whip that cream first!
Meh, it happened again. Oh well.
Enjoy! (and best wishes to your friend, Sonja!)
Cavatelli lunghi. orecchiette. cavatelli. tortellone. cappelletti. gnocchetti, all handmade by Linda Pugliese.
Here are the things that I always have in my kitchen:
Carb fest, grains and whatnots:
I always have potatoes, rice (brown and white), dried pasta, varieties of noodles (egg noodles, rice noodles), lentils and couscous in my kitchen. Flours are always on standby (glutinous rice flour, rice flour, corn flour, potato starch and the everyday normal All-purpose).
Once that’s covered, I also have an arsenal of spices - dried, powdered, fresh - the whole shebang. To name a few: garlic, ginger and onions (fresh and dried), basil, a few varieties of hot chili peppers, spring onions, lime, coriander, cumin and cinnamon.
Next up: condiments. These include soy sauce, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), hot sauce, mustards, chili oil, sesame oil, black and white vinegar, Korean black bean paste and fermented red pepper paste.
Last but not least - milks! I always have a can of condensed milk stashed somewhere, coconut milk, rice milk and the usual jug of low fat milk.
***Other must haves: Eggs, dried anchovies, dried shrimp, yeast, nori/dried seaweed sheets, dried mushrooms, bars of dark and milk chocolate, honey, nuts (almonds and cashews are my go-tos). Beansprouts, carrots and cabbages comes as a default with the fridge.
Thanks for asking!
NB: Some things are not mentioned because everyday staples; cereal, bread, a bunch of greens and vegetables (spinach, string beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cukes etc.) and a big jar of Nutella, for example, I’ll just assume everybody already have sitting in the kitchen.
Making Ginger Fried Rice
It’s Mother’s day. You have just hours to decide how to honor the most important woman in your life. Whether it slipped your mind or you’re still indecisive as to what to make, here’s a last minute recipe that will put a great start to the day. It takes a mere 30 minutes to make, less if you’ve got leftover rice from a recent Chinese takeout night. If you’re cooking the rice fresh, here are some tips to make sure it isn’t too soggy:
- When the cook time is done, leave the rice undisturbed in the pot (uncovered) for 5 minutes.
- Spread the rice on a tray (or two) to dry out. While you prep the rest of the ingredients, put it by an open window or a fan, or pop the tray in the fridge or freezer if you have room.
Happy Mother’s day, mummies! (and a big thank you to those who answered my Mother’s day cooking question - here’s wishing you a good one!)
[ 1/2 cup peanut oil + 2 tablespoons minced garlic + 2 tablespoons minced ginger + salt + 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried + 4 cups day-old cooked rice (or see note above) + 4 large eggs + 2 teaspoons sesame oil + 4 teaspoons soy sauce ]
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Using the same oil, reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add the leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among four dishes. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil or chili oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and top each with an egg. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.