Shia La Boeuf
I’ve got a confession to make.
I don’t know much about meat. I just put them in my mouth without caring what they’re all about.
Seriously though, all innuendos aside, I know next to nothing when it comes to different cuts of beef. So when I asked the house management team to buy me a piece of beef from the nearest butcher shop
because I couldn’t be bothered to drive all the way to the supermarket where they sell the labeled cuts, I have no clue what cut she came back with.
After some browsing and reading a-la exam cramming, my best guess is that this is a piece of beef chuck? Which is bad news for me because what I needed was a flank steak.
This much connective tissue would mean very tough pieces of beef and I was at a loss to what to do, except maybe get in the car and get the proper required piece. And that’s when I found this tenderizing method
which requires you to liberally salt the piece of meat and leave the salt on for 1 hour per inch thick - so a half hour for half an inch, or 2 hours for two inches, before rinsing all the salt off and patting it dry. I’m going to see how well this method works and hopefully won’t have to drag myself to the supermarket.
Might want to tenderize it the good old fashioned way…by beating the hell out of it. Breaks up the connective tissue.
Oh yes, if all else fails, I have the tenderizing hammer on standby.
Making Hot Chocolate
Last night I had a dream of Liz Hurley wanting to teach me how to make something called “Lava Butter”. I have no idea what that is, why I had said dream, or why that specific celebrity was in it, but the dream didn’t end well; she turned into this fat dude who turned out to be a crook who chased me out into free-falling off a plane.
I woke up feeling disoriented and realizing that it’s Valentine’s day. And I know I haven’t posted anything leading up to today, so I made the one thing that anyone can do in an urgent need for decadence - hot chocolate. Thick, rich, Polar Express inspired hot chocolate, to be exact. Perfect if you’re staying in during the nippy winter night.
Happy Valentine’s day to my readers, and I’ll leave you with an excerpt of Shakespeare’s sonnet for the lovebirds out there:
” Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds,
It is an ever fixed mark, that looks on tempest and is never shaken;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out, even to the edge of doom. “
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116.
HOT CHOCOLATE (adapted from Honey+Fitz):
[ 2 cups milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream + 1/4 cup condensed milk + 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar + 1/8 cup milk chocolate chips or bar + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1/4 teaspoon salt ] OPTIONAL: Marshmallow or whipped cream + chocolate shavings for topping.
Put all the ingredients except for the topping in a large pot over low heat, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes until chocolate is fully melted and incorporated with other ingredients.
If not smooth enough, you can run it through a sieve before storing it inside a thermos before serving.
Top with whipped cream or marshmallow and chocolate shavings before serving.
Ending the year of the dragon with some dragon’s beard candy.
Making JjolMyeon (쫄면)
It is now a little more than two weeks after the surgery and the restrictions on solid food is finally lifted. A little celebration is in order, and in my world the word celebration is synonymous with the word noodles; preferably those that are MSG-laden. But since my doctor made me promise not to eat any more of them (seriously, he might as well made me sign some form of agreement), I settled with this Korean noodle dish laden with vegetables and flavored with a spicy, sweet and sour sauce using red pepper paste. Also, just to kill two birds with one stone, I hope this will answer the food wishes of the many who asked if I could post more vegetarian recipes. Although you really needn’t worry, my dietary restrictions regarding meat is good for another two months.
JJOL-MYEON (쫄면): (Serves 1-2)
[ 1 packet of Jjol myun (I used egg noodles) + toppings: (1/2 cup bean sprouts + 1/2 cup julienned cucumber + 1/2 cup julienned carrots + 1/2 cup julienned cabbage + 1/2 - 1 hard boiled egg) + sauce: (2-3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) + 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) + 2 tablespoons vinegar + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic + 2 tablespoons Sprite + 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds + 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil) ]
Julienne carrots, cucumber, and cabbage using a mandolin or a really sharp knife. Set aside.
Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the beansprouts (covered) for 5 minutes. You don’t want to be overdone, so keep an eye on it. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
Cook jjolmyun noodles in boling water 8 minutes or until tender. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
For the sauce, combine all ingredients listed above in a bowl.
Place the noodles in a bowl and add the toppings and sauce.
Mix thoroughly before digging in.
Haley Bennett - Buddha’s Delight
So I was searching the tags for buddha’s delight for ideas of a possible post for the upcoming Chinese new year. I was hoping to find recipes or images resembling the one below,
but as Tumblr would have it, there were instead pages of the infamous soundtrack. I wasn’t frustrated, really, since I can barely listen to this thing without starting to shimmy.
Making Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
The deed is done. After 3 hours under anaesthesia, I am now tumor free. I spent most of my recovery time eating bowls of porridge under my mother’s watchful eyes. When she wasn’t making sure that I was swallowing every last bit of mushy rice, she played the Cooking Academy app on my iPad. One day she came across the doughnut recipe and was so engrossed in the ingredients and methods that she didn’t even notice me slipping my sister a portion of the papaya she made me eat.
Now that I’m a bit better, I looked at that one particular picture of food again and now understand why she was hooked. I can practically smell the cinnamon in the sugar that the pillowy, probably yeast-raised doughnuts were rolled in. And so naturally it is the first thing I made once I’m able to walk around without wincing every few steps.
CINNAMON SUGAR DOUGHNUTS:
[ 3 tablespoon active dry yeast + 1 cup whole milk + 2 - 2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more to dust the work surface + 2 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 3 large egg yolks + 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature + vegetable oil for frying + 1/3 cup superfine sugar + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder ]
Heat the milk until it just starts to bubble.
In a medium bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoon of yeast in 3/4 cup of the warm milk. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir to make a smooth paste.
Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of warm milk and 1 tablespoon of yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add flour-yeast mixture, sugar, salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Mix until smooth.Turn off mixer and add 1/2 cup of flour. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix until incorporated.
Switch to a dough hook and add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, turning off the mixer when you add the flour. Knead the dough on medium speed between additions until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very soft and moist but not too sticky (you may have flour left over!). Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 12 hours.
Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured dish towel. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch diameter rounds with 1-inch holes. Re-roll scraps and cut out additional doughnuts.
Place doughnuts at least 1-inch apart on baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm spot to proof until they double in size, for about 5 to 20 minutes, peeking every 5 minutes.
While doughnuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2-inches of oil until it reaches 180 degrees C (360F). Carefully place a couple of doughnuts (or holes) in the oil, careful to not overcrowd. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack or with paper towels. Let cool slightly before tossing them in a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.
Laughter is not the best medicine after a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy.
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
Making Lemon Drops
At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself to only post once every month because work and studying has gotten to a point where there isn’t really a lot of room for compromise. But I’m breaking that today, because if you’re as much as a Miyazaki fan as I am, you might know that it was his birthday yesterday. So I’m dedicating this post to one of my favourite Studio Ghibli movies, albeit not written by Miyazaki himself, Grave of the Fireflies.
The movie told a heartbreaking story of two Japanese siblings who were orphaned by the events of WWII. The film is both a powerful statement on the cruelty of war and the dangers of letting pride overrule responsibility, and it specifically addresses the plight of post-war Japanese orphans (who were often neglected by both extended family and state).
In this movie, the character Setsuko sets off her journey with a can of fruit drops, of which her brother Seita would give one whenever she feels sad. There was a bittersweet moment when there was none left, and in attempt to cheer her up Seita filled the can with water so it dissolved residual candy pieces and gave it to her to drink.
There are long, lingering shots on much of the food in this movie, whether it be a bowl of soup, a jar of pickled plums, a handful of fruit drops, or a rice ball. When someone is enjoying the thing they’re eating, it’s made very apparent.
I can’t say that everyone will agree, but personally I thought this jar of candy was worth all the rushing around and very close burn-calls from working with molten sugar.
[ 1 cup sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1/2 cup water + 1 teaspoon lemon essence + 1-2 drops of yellow food colouring + icing/confectioner’s sugar for rolling ]
Coat a pair of kitchen scissors and a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
When the sugar has dissolved, add the essence and food coloring and stir. Then stop and allow the mixture to cook at medium heat until it reaches hard crack stage/149°C/300°F.
Side note: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry. I didn’t either. There is a method to test at what stage your mixture is. Simply have a bowl of cold water nearby. While the mixture boils, periodically check its stage by taking a tiny bit with a spoon and dropping it into the water. If you can roll it into a soft ball, it’s at the soft ball stage. If it becomes almost hard and snaps when bent, its at the hard crack stage. If this happens, quickly take it off the heat and pour into the baking tray and start stirring furiously.
Once at the correct temperature, remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture out onto baking sheet.
Use a wooden spoon or pastry knife to move the mixture about until it is cool enough (but still hot and flexible) to handle.
When evenly distributed and just cool enough to handle, pull off pieces and roll them into ropes. Cut the ropes up immediately with the greased kitchen scissors into small pieces and drop them onto a plate of icing sugar.
Once all the mixture has been used up, roll the drops in icing sugar to coat them. This stops them from sticking together.
These will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 months.