Father’s Day Tomahawk Steak Dinner

Father’s day may be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your loved ones a delicious Tomahawk steak dinner!

We picked this bad boy up at the Cheese Boutique out in Etobicoke. We originally wanted to go there to pick up some artisanal cheese but was pleasantly surprised when we found out this place was actually a grocery store too! We honestly expected to go in and only see cheese based on the name lol.

This place was like whole foods, but better because things weren’t crazily overpriced but you can tell the quality of their food was good. What really impressed us was while we were shopping, a guy came around and offered us espresso. The first thing that came to mind was “Do we have to pay for this?” but it didn’t seem like it would cost us anything so we just went for it. Nothing makes us feel more special than having espresso while grocery shopping, especially when it comes served to you in a saucer with a little shortbread cookie! How cute 🙂

They even came around with free sorbet after! This place was awesome. We got to sample all the cheeses and cured meats too. Love it.

Anyways, we ended up leaving the store with quite a number of things, the Tomahawk steak being one of them.

We prepared the steak using the reverse sear method that we learned from Serious Eats and it turned out delicious! The key is to generously season the steak with freshly ground pepper and coarse sea salt. It may seem like a lot of salt on the steak but trust us, it’s not! Continue reading

Chirashi bowl

Chirashi bowls have become a thing in our household now. Whenever we want to make Japanese food, our default answer is to make Chirashi.

I guess the reason we tend to default to this is because:

a) We’ve found a pretty good sushi rice recipe

b) We can make numerous Chirashi bowls with a single cut of fish.

Although the cut of fish isn’t cheap, if you consider how many portions you can make out of it, it’s pretty worth it as it’s much cheaper than what we’d be paying in the restaurant.

As part of the #JapanWeek series, I decided to ball a little bit since it was for a special occasion. I chose Blue Fin Tuna (please don’t go extinct – you’re one of my favourite fishes for sushi), Uni from British Columbia, and Scallops from Hokkaido, Japan. I learned that the best way to make this bowl even more visually stunning is to include fish with different colors, top it with a generous amount of pickled ginger to cleanse the palette, and finally garnish it with a dollop of fresh wasabi.

If you want to make a simple dish that would impress your friends and family, this is it. It’s really not that hard to make but the presentation is just stunning. I would say the hardest part was slicing the fish evenly ^_^”

 

Nobu’s Miso Black Cod Recipe

I love miso black cod. Everytime I go to a Japanese restaurant, this is the default dish that I order. When it came to me brainstorming what I should make for our anniversary dinner this weekend, this dish immediately came to mind as it’s one that I think we’d both enjoy. Besides, I wanted to learn how to make it so that I don’t have to wait until I go out to a restaurant to have it. This post will be part of an ongoing series called #JapanWeek

While searching for a recipe online, Nobu’s recipe was clearly the most popular one. As always, I cross referenced this recipe with several others to see if there was a significant difference in terms of proportion of ingredients and method of preparation but it was pretty unanimous. All recipes required me to marinate this fish 2-3 days in advance to get the most flavour out of it.

And boy was it worth it. The fish was so flavourful… and after searing it in a hot pan and baking it the oven afterwards, it left this nice golden crust which was soooo goood.

I’d make this more often but the fish itself was pretty pricy –  I paid $20 for 2 pieces of fish… mind you it was a very generous cut of fish but still…

To view the recipe, keep reading

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Agedashi Tofu Recipe

This weekend marks Team J’s 7th anniversary. In order to celebrate, I decided to make a Japanese dinner since J loves all things Japanese. I will be featuring all the dishes that I made on the blog as part of the #JapanWeek series.

I’ve been prepping for this meal all week – looking up various recipes and blogs to get inspired as to what to make. I finally came up with the final menu and I got super excited because I knew he would love the dishes that I will be making. One of the dishes I stumbled across was this Agedashi Tofu recipe and I knew it would be the perfect appetizer dish because it was light and simple.

Agedashi Tofu

I adapted this recipe from JustOneCookbook and slightly altered the sauce recipe from a Japanese cookbook that we owned. Although I’ve never made this dish before, it turned out really well!

For this Agedashi Tofu recipe, see below:

Agedashi Tofu Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a medium-firm tofu block
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
    Sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup dashi stock
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
    Toppings
  • Bonito flakes
  • Grated ginger
  • Grated daikon
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Instructions

  1. First, prepare the sauce. Add light soy sauce, mirin, and dashi stock into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down to low to keep warm until ready to use.
  2. Cut the medium-firm tofu into small blocks and dry them all in a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
  3. Meanwhile, prep the vegetable oil in a small sauce pot or deep fryer until oil is 350F.
  4. Once the oil has reached 350F, lightly dredge the tofu in potato starch and deep fry the tofu until they turn golden brown. When done, remove them from the oil and place them on a wire rack lined with paper towel to remove excess oil.
  5. Place fried tofu into a shallow dish and pour the hot sauce on the side of the bowl (not directly on top of the tofu). Garnish with grated ginger, grated daikon, thinly sliced green onions, and bonito flakes. Serve immediately.
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Chinese beef brisket with daikon recipe

There aren’t that many traditional Chinese dishes that we know how to make but this one is one that we are proud of.

Growing up, my dad made me beef brisket all the time, usually in really large batches so that we could freeze them and eat it whenever we want. It wasn’t until I moved out that I realized how much I missed it but at the same time, I also realized how difficult it was to find good, authentic Chinese recipes online. Truth is, most chinese people don’t follow a cookbook and they kind of just make it up along the way, not keeping track of the portions of each ingredients needed to cook the dish. Luckily, my dad is pretty good at giving rough measurements of the ingredients needed to make this dish so he emailed it to me and we’ve been tweaking it ever since. We served it to our friends and family recently and they all loved it 🙂

Chinese beef brisket

This dish does require a bit of prep time… in fact, we recommend you make it a day in advance from when you want to serve it. The dish needs time to braise in its own juices so that the flavour can really develop.

To make the dish, you will need 2-3 lbs of beef brisket, cut into cubes.

beef brisket cubed

Meanwhile, prep the spices and the sauces.

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Chicken noodle soup

Whenever I’m craving soup, I often default to chicken noodle soup because it seems to be the easiest to make. I also feel that it has enough substance in it that it could double as a meal opposed to some other soups that I make. It’s not too rich and it’s not too light – just right 🙂 Whenever I’m too lazy to make dinner or lunch, I will just heat this up in the microwave and boom – meal is done.

DSC_1522

This soup can be made in just 30 mins. I prefer to use homemade chicken stock opposed to the ones bought in store as I can control the amount of sodium that goes into it. However, any chicken stock will do.

Chicken noodle soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oilve oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lbs leftover cooked chicken pieces, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked noodle of your choice (I used rotini)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
  2. Add in the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add in the chicken stock and dried oregano. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then down to a gentler simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. At the 25 minute mark, add in your cooked chicken pieces and fresh basil. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Add in the cooked pasta when you're ready to eat. If you leave the pasta in the soup for too long, it will expand and soak up all your soup.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2016/08/23/chicken-noodle-soup/

Super delicious chicken stock recipe

We, Team J, are a frugal bunch. Whenever we go grocery shopping, we often gravitate towards purchasing whichever meat is on sale and then plan our meals around it accordingly. We often find whole chicken to go on sale quite frequently and we like them because they’re extremely versatile. We can debone it and use the other chicken parts for separate dishes. We could then use the chicken carcass to make chicken stock. Over time, we’ve frozen a lot of chicken bones and once we have enough, we make stock and save it for other dishes as well – it never ends!

Chicken stock

This chicken stock was used to make Chicken Noodle Soup and Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Bacon (a winning combination!). I found it to be very flavourful and I think the key to that was letting the stock boil without the lid on to really help the flavours concentrate as the excess water boiled off.

This recipe was adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s chicken stock recipe. For instructions on how to make it, see below:

Super delicious chicken stock recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken carcass + any excess chicken wing and thigh bones you have lying around
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • Kosher salt - season to taste. I used 1-2 tbsp (approx)
  • Cold water

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients into a stock pot or a 5 1/2 quart dutch oven. Fill the pot with water just enough to cover the chicken carcass and ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil for a few minutes with the lid off, skimming off the foam regularly.
  3. Bring the stock down to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hour with the lid off. If the water level is getting too low, add a little bit more water.
  4. Strain the stock. Taste and adjust for seasoning
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2016/08/21/chicken-stock-recipe/

You can keep the stock in the fridge if you plan on using it within a week or two. Otherwise, you can easily freeze this and use it later.

Nutella Crepe Cake

It finally feels as though spring has arrived. For the first time in god knows how long, the sun is out! The day is also longer so that means there will be more opportunities for me to take food photos 😀

I’ve always loved nutella but for some reason I never got around to buying it. I took the plunge last week and decided to see how many dishes I can make with it as it feels like the possibilities are endless. To start, I decided to make Nutella Crepe with mixed berries. But I thought why stop there? Why not make a Nutella Crepe Cake! And hence the idea was born.

Nutella Crepe Cake

Guys, this tastes as good as it looks. Imagine layers upon layers of Nutella! This gives you the satisfaction of eating multiple crepes (because we all know you won’t be satisfied with just one) in a few slices.

Layers

Indulge yourself and make this super easy to make crepe cake!

Nutella Crepe Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract together. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine with a whisk. Do this in several batches to ensure all dry ingredients are evenly incorporated
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a ladle full of the crepe batter into the centre and quickly swirl it around the pan to ensure even distribution. Once the sides start curling up and you see some air pockets forming, flip it to the other side to cook for a couple of minutes. Do this for all the crepes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat up the nutella for about 45 seconds or until it has a very smooth consistency. This will help it spread easier.
  5. Once all the crepes are done, start assembling the cake. Take one crepe and spread nutella on top. Then add another crepe on top. Repeat until you're down to your last crepe.
  6. Top with some fresh raspberries and you're done!
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2016/04/16/nutella-crepe-cake/

Chinese Wintermelon Soup Recipe

If there’s one thing we missed about living at home, it’s the soup that our parents used to make us. We generally prefer drinking Chinese soup opposed to western soup as it tends to be more light. I don’t think you’ll ever see heavy cream being used in a Chinese soup recipe lol. Surprisingly enough, Chinese soup is pretty easy to make but getting the right ingredients can be tricky.

Before I moved out, I asked my dad to give me his Chinese wintermelon soup recipe. It’s quite common for Chinese people to not follow a recipe and just wing it so he did his best to give me his guestimations when it came to how much of each ingredient to put in. We made this several times now and let’s just say the Chinese dried mushrooms made a huge difference in terms of adding flavour!

Wintermelon Soup

It’s best to let this soup sit overnight to help the flavours really develop. You can still drink this right away and it’ll taste good but it’ll taste even better tomorrow so try to make this a day in advance 🙂

Here’s how we made the soup:

First, gather your ingredients. As you can see, there aren’t that many.

Soup ingredients

There are a few key things to note:

  • Presoak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms and dried dates (found in your local chinese supermarket – likely dried soup mix section) in warm water for at least an hour
  • Do NOT throw away the water which it was soaking in. These ingredients released a lot of flavour so do not waste them. Save them for the soup later.
  • Try to have a mixture of pork and chicken bones to make the stock. This will enhance the flavour of the soup

Once you have all those items ready, it’s time to parbroil your chicken and pork bones to get rid of all the impurities. Do this for 5 minutes and then rinse it under cold water. Make sure to give them a good rub to really get rid of all the dirty.

Rinse

After parbroiling the bones, put it back into a large stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients (and the water which the mushrooms and dates were soaking in!) and fill the pot up until all the ingredients are covered. Bring it up to a boil and once boiling, turn it down to a gentle simmer for at least 1 hour.

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Soy glazed chicken thigh recipe

It’s nearing the end of the week and with a bunch of uncooked chicken thighs from Costco that are about to go bad, we decided to look for a recipe where we can just cook them all at once and leave the leftovers for lunch the following day.

We wanted something that would require as little prep work as possible. This recipe was perfect since the only thing you need to worry about is making the marinade. Just dump all the sauces you need into one bowl and you’re good to go!

Glazed Chicken

When you first make this recipe you’ll notice you’ll have a lot of extra marinade leftover. You can boil this to thicken it up as a sauce to further baste the chicken in later as it cooks, or you can poor it over your rice. Serve this alongside some oven roasted broccoli and rice and you have yourself a nice dinner 🙂

See recipe below.

 

Soy glazed chicken thigh recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp asian chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli oil and minced garlic in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Marinade the chicken thighs using half the marinade. Keep the other half to make a sauce.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum 1 hour, turning the chicken once or twice.
  4. When you're ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 425F.
  5. While the oven is preheating, boil the leftover marinade in a saucepan for ~5 mins or until thickened. If it's not thickening the way you like, you can add some cornstarch + water mixture to help it thicken up. This will be your glaze/sauce for the chicken.
  6. Arrange the chicken in a 9 x 13 inch pan and brush each chicken thigh with the glaze/sauce you just made and bake for approximately 20 minutes, basting the chicken with more glaze/sauce 10 minutes in. Cook until the chicken thigh reaches an internal temperature of 135F (You can use an instant read thermometer for this).
  7. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 135F, crank the heat on the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 5 minutes to help crisp up the skin. Depending on how hot your oven is, it may not take 5 mins so keep your eyes on it so you don't get burnt chicken!
  8. Once it's all nice and crispy, you can take it out to cool and garnish with some chopped green onions to garnish.
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http://cookingwithteamj.com/2016/02/03/soy-glazed-chicken-thigh-recipe/