Tag Archives: recipes

Mille-Crêpe Tiramisu Birthday Cake

4 Sep

millescrepes-recipe

You know you want to make this….

Mille-Crêpe Tiramisu Birthday Cake

Recipe adapted from Francisco Migoya of Hudson Chocolates, Poughkeepsie, New York

Yield: One 8-inch cake

Cook Time: 40 minutes (plus 5 hours chilling)

INGREDIENTS

Crêpes

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons Armagnac or cognac
  • Nonstick pan spray

Tiramisu Filling

  • 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 cups mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup sweet Marsala wine (or half as much rum or coffee liqueur)
  • ¼ cup natural cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS1. Make the crêpe batter: In a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour and sugar. Whisk in the salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth and webby (it will be very thick). In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the butter, then the milk and the Armagnac, until the batter is smooth (if there are any lumps, strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium bowl). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with nonstick pan spray. Gently stir the crêpe batter, then pour ¼ cup of batter into the skillet. Holding the skillet by the handle, tilt and turn the skillet to quickly disperse the batter. Cook the crêpe until the underside is golden-brown, about 1½ minutes. Lightly jerk the skillet to loosen the crêpe, then flip the crêpe over using a spatula, a more vigorous jerking motion, or your fingers. Cook on the other side until golden-brown, about 30 seconds, then slide the crêpe onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the batter is used (you’ll end up with about 20 crêpes total, and will need 18 for the cake). Refrigerate the crêpes on the baking sheet until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Make the tiramisu filling: To a fine-mesh sieve set over a large sheet of parchment paper, add the confectioners’ sugar. Transfer the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), and add the mascarpone cheese and the Marsala wine. Use the paddle attachment to combine the mixture on low speed until well combined.

4. Remove the crêpes from the refrigerator. Insert an 8-inch cake round (a cardboard circle for the cake to rest on) into an 8-inch cake ring. Add 1 crêpe to the cake round so it lies flat. Add ¼ cup of the tiramisu filling to the center of the crêpe and use a small offset spatula to evenly spread the filling over the crêpe. Repeat with the filling and 17 more crêpes, leaving the last crêpe on the top plain (refrigerate the leftover filling; you’ll use it to finish the cake). Leaving the cake in the cake ring, chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use a blow-dryer to warm the sides of the cake ring and loosen it (a hot, wet and wrung-out kitchen towel pressed against the sides of the ring works too). Remove the ring by setting the cake on top of a tall, quart-size cylindrical can (a 28-ounce can of tomatoes works well). Slide the cake ring down (if it sticks, apply more heat); the ring should slide right off while the can supports the cake. Remove the cake from the can and set it on a cake plate or platter. Spread the remaining tiramisu cream on top of the cake. Add the cocoa powder to a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle it over the top of the cake. Slice and serve.

Read more:http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chefs_recipes/12552/Mille_Crepe_Tiramisu_Birthday_Cake_Recipe.htm#ixzz3koGBco7a

Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg for Ramen (Ajitsuke Tamago)

13 Jan

JAPANESE MARINATED SOFT BOILED EGG FOR RAMEN (AJITSUKE TAMAGO)

Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg for Ramen (Ajitsuke Tamago)

About This Recipe

YIELD: makes 6 eggs
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: At least 4 hours to marinate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs

Procedures

  1. Combine water, sake, soy, mirin, and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Pierce fat end of each egg with a thumbtack to make a tiny hole (this prevents them from cracking and eliminates the air bubble at the end). Carefully lower eggs into water with a wire mesh spider or slotted spoon. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook for exactly 6 minutes. Drain hot water and carefully peel eggs under cold running water (the whites will be quite delicate)
  3. Transfer eggs to a bowl that just barely fits them all. Pour marinade on top until eggs are covered or just floating. Place a double-layer of paper towels on top and press down until completely saturated in liquid to help keep eggs submerged and marinating evenly. Refrigerate and marinate at least four hours and up to 12. Discard marinade after 12 hours. Store eggs in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in ramen soup to serve.

Thanks to Serious Eats

Avocado Toast

18 Apr

avocado toastWhat you will  need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • REALLY good bread – dense, seedy – I like Cob’s Cape Seed Loaf. Believe me, the bread makes the difference.
  • extra virgin olive oil that’s just for eating – I like Bom Dia
  • truffle oil (optional)
  • fresh lemon juice (for sprinkling)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  1. Toast bread till crispy
  2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and truffle oil (optional, to taste) – can go on bread or on avocado. Personal preference.
  3. Put as much avocado on your toast as you want – some recipes call to mash like guacamole but I prefer mash some, leave some chunks. It’s a personal preference.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice on avocado.
  5. Season with sea salt (crunchy), freshly ground pepper and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Green Smoothies

3 Apr

green-smoothie1

Green Smoothies are a simple way to incorporate large amounts of greens into your diet. Did you know that leafy greens have more valuable nutrients than any other food group? They contain high-quality amino acids, important minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and beneficial phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals also known as phytonutrients). Phytochemicals keep your body’s immune system and body functioning properly, improve health and longevity, and may reduce life- threatening diseases.

I’ve made green smoothies and juices a daily part of my diet – it’s taken coffee, tea, coke, iced tea and other sugary drinks from 100% of the liquid part of my diet down to 30% and it feels sooooooo good! Discovering and trying new smoothies is always fun and keeps it less boring (and painful sometimes!).

5 REASONS WE LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES

1. Natural energy booster
2. Natural weight loss drink
3. Simple way to boost your immune system
4. Full of disease-fighting antioxidants
5. Hands down— The best fast food

Here are a couple of my favourite recipes – the best site out there is http://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes – offering categories such as banana free, 5 ingredients or less, immune booster, kid friendly recipes.

The “Salad” Smoothie

  • 1.5 cups coconut water
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 kale leaves (cut into pieces)
  • 1 celery stalk (cut)
  • 1 cup frozen mango cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • Optional: whey protein

Blend coconut water, kale and celery stalk. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Enjoy!

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Homestyle Craving: 小米粥 Millet Congee

20 Dec

20121021_172600When I went back to Taiwan, out of the very many dishes I craved, I really wanted something that I dreaded to eat as a child. It was tasteless but nutty and had a weird texture – that’s probably because my mom wouldn’t let me put brown sugar in it. The secret to 小米粥 is to toast the millet before you make it into congee. Simple, but I couldn’t figure it out till I asked my grandma. If you have a chance to go to Taipei, hit up the restaurant on the corner across from the parking lot at the Shida Night Market (vague, I know) – really good stuff.

Note that if you apply heat to the millet beforehand, it will be more separate in the porridge as the starch will have hardened. Thus it’s recommended to toast QUICKLY 1/3 to 1/2 for flavour, then rinse with the rest and then cooked.

UPDATE: Mine wasn’t turning out in the same consistency as what I ate in Taiwan. Mom said to add half a cup (rice cup) or less of uncooked rice. Wash and cook with the millet.

UPDATE 2: For creaminess – boil water w/bit of salt then add millet. Cook like you would with oatmeal. Add almond milk for creaminess & boil down. Add raw sugar to taste. 

NOTE: if you need to add more water if the consistency is too thick, ADD BOILING WATER, not cold water!!!

小米粥 Millet Porridge (Xiao Mi Zhou)

Ingredients:

Serves: 3-4
Yield: 3 cups
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups boiling water as reserve
  • 1/2 cup dry millet
  • 1/2 chinese cup of uncooked rice (more like 2-3 tablespoons)

Directions:

  1. Toast 1/3 or 1/2 of the millet in bottom of pan or in skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until some aroma begins to waft.
  2. In the meantime, bring water to a boil. How much you use depends on how thick you want your porridge.
  3. Add the rest of the millet.
  4. Add millet to boiling water and boil over medium-high to low heat for 25 – 30 minutes, until done. It will not absorb all the water, but some color and starch will be released to let you know as cooking finishes.
  5. If desired, add a few tablespoons of milk for creaminess.
  6. Eat warm, adding  demerara sugar or honey to taste.

If you like chinese soups, check out The Chinese Soup Lady – for all the pregnancy soups, confinement soups etc.

I <3 Niçoise

26 May

The Nicoise Salad is a fave of mine – I can eat it for days on end because not only is it delicious, filling without the guilt and colourful, but it adheres to the Mediterranean diet that is low-fat (or of healthy fat), a source of high quality, lean protein, and even supplies Omega-3 fatty acids. A bit of background here, it’s a specialty of the Côte d’Azur and named for the city of Nice.

Best place in Vancouver (I welcome your suggestions) and where I got hooked on it: Les Faux Bourgeois

This is my staple recipe, but feel free to sub tuna in olive oil with seared Ahi, or grilled chicken,  or cherry tomatoes for the larger variety. Haricot verts can be found in the frozen section at the Gourmet Warehouse and maybe Whole Foods.  There’s also a pasta version, if you want to serve it potluck style.

Bon Appétit!

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Biscotti

19 Dec

Pistachio-Orange Biscotti

Recipes are not all the same — no, not to state the obvious, but some work, and some don’t. For example, I can quote a ton of people who can testify that the majority of Martha Stewart’s recipes don’t turn out right. If you want recipes that turn out most of the time, try Epicurean, Saveur or my go-to (especially for baking) Williams Sonoma.  The last time I made Orange Almond Biscotti – it was so hard it chipped the tooth of the person eating it. But armed with the right recipe, you’ll never have to make sure your loved ones have dental insurance in advance again.

What I love about these biscotti recipes from Williams Sonoma that they’re soft and crumbly enough that you don’t need to dip them in milk/tea/coffee and adapt as you will… enjoy!

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Thanksgiving Recipes: Part 2 – Veggies

10 Oct

Thanksgiving seems to be one of the few occasions where veggies are tolerated or even welcomed as a reprieve from all the meat and starch. Glazed veggie or brussel sprouts are traditional, but it seems like not everyone likes brussel sprouts, probably because they’re boiled or steamed (oh so bland) or overcooked and emit that sulphurous stink.

The key to perfect brussel sprouts is to watch them closely while cooking. To prepare for steaming/boiling, remove outer old and wilted leaves, trim the stem and score an X in the stem.Boil or steam for 4-7 minutes until they turn a vibrant green, then quickly remove from heat and drain. Pick the smaller, tightly packed sprouts, and purchase as close to the use date as possible.

I hope you heart sprouts as much as I do after trying one of my favourite recipes below – Brussel Sprouts, Chestnut and Bacon Sauté. As for something sweet, a take on the traditional honey/brown sugar glazed carrots – Mirin Glazed Carrots

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Thanksgiving aka Turkey Fest Recipes: Part 1 – Starch

5 Oct

Thanksgiving is next Monday – Canadian Thanksgiving that is. Unfortunately since most of the food mags and sites are American, the recipes for all the ‘what’s new’ and trendy ideas for Thanksgiving come out in November. I’m not fretting too much though – as long as there’s all the essentials like turkey, veggies, starch and pumpkin pie on the menu, I’m good. Over the next few days leading up to the turkey/binge fest, I’ll be posting up recipes I’ll be trying or want to try, and hope you are inspired to do so too.

I can only eat so much turkey, but I can never get enough starch. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, candied yams, roasted sweet potatoes or any starchy gratin, it’s always a crowd pleaser. Here are some of my favourites, from savoury to sweet…

p.s. and no, I will not be putting the nutritional values up for these =)

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Summer dishes: Yucatan Shrimp

22 May

Warmer weather usually means get togethers with family and friends -potlucks, picnics, BBQs – communal cooking and casual dining. One of my fondest childhood memories was the gathering of 3 or 4 families (actual relations, friends, neighbours) to eat shellfish. No bbq, no meats, no fish. Anything with a shell – lobster, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels – that all the men in the family would go early morning to the docks to buy fresh off the boats and the women would clean/devein and boil and serve on large platters, only to be instantly descended upon and devoured. It wasn’t the just the food that brought people together, but the barbaric and natural act of eating without utensils and using your teeth, fingers and the occasional napkin. The communal and raw way of eating shellfish like this transcended sex, age, race and class – and gave way to a sense of bonding.

In honor of the first long (and much anticipated) weekend of the year – I give you Yucatan Shrimp. Happy bonding.

Yucatan Shrimp (wok style)

Variations below

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (yes, the whole damn thing)
  • Juice of two large limes
  • 1 tablespoon Indonesian sambal (preferably sambal oelek)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound large, fresh, shell-on shrimp (or prawns, deveined)
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.

1. In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

2. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to saucepan. When it melts, stir in the lime juice, chili sauce, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to rest.

3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until they are just firm and pink. Do not overcook. Drain into a colander and shake over the sink to remove excess moisture.

4. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp and chili sauce. Add jalapeño, if desired, sprinkle with cilantro and toss again. Serves 4, messily. Adapted from Greg Nelson at Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille, Sanibel Island, Fla.

Notes: Do not use more butter than needed, or your shrimp will be swimming in oil. Be liberal with the garlic – you can never have too much! Because I didn’t have sambal on hand, I figured since it’s kinda stinky and spicy, I mixed fish sauce and vietnamese chili sauce and threw in some lemongrass paste. If it’s not sweet enough, squirt  in some agave, or use honey if you don’t have it. Sugar is just too 2D sometimes. Serve with beer and lime.


Yucatan Shrimp (BBQ style)

  • 2 tablespoons achiote powder (see Note)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds large shelled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Summer Vegetable Rice and lemons, for serving
  1. Light a grill. In a large bowl, blend the achiote, garlic, orange and lemon juices, chile powder, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the oil. Add the shrimp and toss. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Thread the shrimp onto six 12-inch skewers. Season with salt; reserve the marinade. Grill the shrimp over a hot fire, basting with the marinade, until barely cooked through, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with Summer Vegetable Rice and lemon wedges. Serves 6.

Notes: Achiote powder is ground from achiote (annatto) seeds. It has no discernible flavor and is used in Latin cooking to give dishes a reddish-orange color. Achiote powder and seeds are available at Latin markets and some supermarkets.