As a continuation from our Valentine’s Day dinner post, one of the dishes I made for our appetizers was Bacon Parmesan Gougere. The easiest way to describe a Gougere is a cheese puff. The more technical way of explaining a Gougere is a choux pastry (used to make eclairs, cream puffs etc) made with cheese. They’re typically served as an hors d’oeuvres or it can be served along side soup like a biscuit or a bread.
While I was looking at different French cookbooks to come up with other dishes to accompany our French meal, this recipe came up a few time and it’s hard to turn down a recipe with bacon in it.
This recipe was fairly easy to make. First, I had to make the choux pastry dough by heating up the milk and butter in a small sauce pan over medium high heat and bringing it to a simmer. Then, I added the flour and pinch of salt to the mixture and mixed vigourously until it formed a smooth dough and the mixture no longer sticks to the side of the pan. When done, transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and press it out to the sides of the bowl to help the dough cool down faster. Allow to chill for a few minutes until it is warm to the touch (approximately 5 mins).
Chinese New Years may have passed but that doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate with Chinese Turnip Cake! I love ordering these at the restaurants and with our never ending obsession with buying daikon to make pickled daikon or Japanese dishes, it seemed to make sense to make turnip cake with any extra daikon that we can’t finish.
However, as some of you may know, finding Chinese recipes on the internet isn’t exactly the easiest thing and even when I do find one, I’m skeptical as to how credible the source is how ‘authentic’ the recipe is. Lucky for us, we’ve stumbled across the blog WoksOfLife and tried a few of their recipes and found them to be quite authentic and delicious. And thus, they became our default go to site for any Chinese recipes. When we decided to make Chinese Turnip Cake, lo and behold, we checked their site first and luckily, they had it (yay!)
The ingredients aren’t too hard to find – in fact, we would say most of them are staples in a Chinese household.
As mentioned in our previous blog post, we recently purchased the Momofuku cookbook by David Chang. As part of our Valentine’s day dinner, I tried a few of his recipes and decided to blog about my experience and how the dishes turned out. Spoiler alert – it turned out surprisingly well!
One of the dishes that I was compelled to was the Roasted Sweet Summer Corn recipe. I was compelled for several reasons:
I already had all the ingredients on hand though I did make a substitution for one of the ingredients
It had miso butter – the two things we love!
BACON (need I say more?)
Roasted Onions. MM sweet and savoury 🙂
I didn’t have fresh corn on hand but frozen corn did the trick. I personally found this dish to be quite rich on its own so I tend to pair it with some carbs to cut the richness such as rice. I presume it would also taste great with potatoes (whether baked, mashed, or roasted). This dish was a great accompaniment to the steamed pork buns that I made, along with the cherry tomato salad and compost cookie for dessert.
Find out how to make this dish using the recipe below, adapted from the Momofuku cookbook. I substituted ramen broth with dashi simply because I don’t have the time or resource to make it and I felt it turned out just as well.
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know that chicken and duck went on sale for us last week and we stocked up quite a bit…
With all this poultry that is enough to last us a a couple of months, we had think of different recipes to make with it. One easy one we could think of was Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken). It just required a simple marinade and a light dusting of potato starch before deep frying.
We made this a while back using a different recipe which you can read about here and although J could barely taste a difference, I personally prefer this recipe more as I felt that the chicken had more flavour than the other recipe.
Caprese salad is my guilty pleasure. Perhaps it’s because I really don’t know what else I can do with all the fresh basil we’ve been growing in our garden other than making pasta sauce but this dish is pretty solid. I’ve been making it so much that I’ve been told to cut back on it because eating that much cheese on a daily basis can’t be good for you.
All you really need to make this dish is 3 main ingredients – some form of mozzarella cheese (we used Burrata), fresh basil, and tomatoes.
Usually whenever we make this dish, we use good quality extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of freshly ground salt and pepper to season. However, since the quality of these tomatoes and cheese was so good, we were able to cut back on the seasoning quite significantly (which is better for our health!). I could eat this up for DAYS. I’m not typically a salad person but I could have this on the regular that’s for sure 🙂
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.
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!
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.
Cut the medium-firm tofu into small blocks and dry them all in a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Meanwhile, prep the vegetable oil in a small sauce pot or deep fryer until oil is 350F.
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.
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.
I love steamed buns, especially the ones you get at Chinese dim sum restaurants. I always found the idea of making them a bit intimidating because I don’t know what goes into making Chinese steamed buns.. I’ve only made western bread that’s baked in the oven such as the French baguette I made earlier this year.
I decided to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone to make my first Chinese steamed bao! Having seen a YouTube video on how to make this, I gathered the courage for my first attempt.
The entire process was definitely challenging and stressful… I actually failed at making the dough the first two times having followed several recipes I found online. Both times my dough was too dry and I ended up over kneading it trying to get the consistency that I wanted. On my third and final attempt, I decided to ignore the recipes I found online and went with my own flow, having reduced the amount of flour that was asked by at least 32 g. I only added extra flour into my dough mixture as needed.
The end result? Super fluffy steamed buns that were soft and flavourful. These were definitely time consuming to make but it was worth the effort in my opinion! Definitely do the majority of the prep work the night before to minimize the actual cooking time.
For a step by step process of how I made these Chinese Steamed Pork Buns, read on!
I love vietnamese spring rolls – they’re super easy to make, highly customizable, and healthy as well! This is usually my go to dish whenever I’m low on time and just want to quickly throw something together that I know will keep me full throughout the day.
I have a tendency to overfill my spring rolls to the point where my spring roll looks like a mini burrito -_- so I had to really train myself to portion out my filling just enough so that the spring roll looks presentable.
Assembling it can be a little tricky because the rice paper gets a bit sticky once it starts drying out. It’s also extremely delicate so there were a few times my sharp carrots actually pierced through the rice paper skin as I was wrapping it, creating rips 🙁
The bf had his usual craving for Japanese food this past weekend and in order to cook up a dish that minimizes the need for us to leave the house to purchase the necessary ingredients, we decided to make Karaage, commonly known as Japanese fried chicken.
The first time I had good Karaage was in Tokyo, Japan and it was kinda by accident as well. We were supposed to go to the Tsukiji fish market right when it opened to get good sushi for breakfast but unfortunately due to Golden Week, the market was closed. Hungry, tired, and extremely disappointed, we stumbled across this 24 hour noodle restaurant where I ordered Udon with Karaage.
Though we were nowhere close to replicating the same taste and texture that we experienced while we were in Japan, I say we made a pretty good effort!
First, we cut the 4 boneless chicken thighs (with skin) into small pieces and marinated it for an hour in the fridge. We would’ve marinated it a bit longer (overnight preferably) but since this dish was a last minute decision and I was getting pretty hungry, we settled for only an hour.
We love Jacob’s Steakhouse table side Caesar’s Salad that they make from scratch. Not only can the entire process be considered a great performance as you watch them aerate the extra virgin olive oil by pouring it really high from the bowl, but it is quite the unique experience to see them make the food in front of you so that you know what you’re eating is made fresh.
We’d love to eat it all the time but going to Jacob’s Steakhouse every time for it gets really expen$ive so we wanted to see if we could possibly recreate it at home for ourselves. Luckily (depends on how you look at it), we found a youtube tutorial by one of their staff members on how they make their infamous table side Caesar’s salad dressing. I say “depending on how you look at it” because of course no famous restaurant will give away all their trade secrets. No proportions were given in this video in terms of how much of each ingredient you should add. We had to go through a bunch of trial and error to get it down and though it’s not an exact replica, we’d like to say it’s pretty close!