Easy Pizza Dough

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 260 degree C.
  2. Mix flour and Greek yogurt together in a bowl; transfer to a work surface floured with self-rising flour. Knead dough, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from being too sticky, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes and then cut crosswise into slices and serve!

 

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Braided Pesto Bread

Perfect with a glass of sauvignon blanc!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 package active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoonkosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar until blended. Let stand in the bowl for about 5 minutes until the mixture appears foamy.

  2. Add the milk (at room temperature), olive oil, and salt to the yeast and mix until just combined. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mix after each addition until combined into a homogeneous mass.
  3. Scrape the raggedy dough from the edge of the mixer bowl. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes. The dough will be less sticky and become smooth on the surface. It will clear the sides of the bowl.
  4. Cover dough with a large kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot in the kitchen. Allow to rise for 1 hour until it has almost doubled in size. The dough should be smooth and puffy-looking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare egg wash by whisking the egg and water in small bowl and set aside.
  6. When the dough has risen, lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto it and divide it into 3 equal pieces.
  7. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Roll one piece of dough into a rough 8-inch square. It should be about 1/8 inch in thickness.
  8. Spread pesto on the dough, leave a 1/2-inch border uncovered. Use a pastry brush to brush a small amount of the egg wash over the exposed edge.
  9. Lift up the pesto-covered edge and roll it up, as tightly as possible. Pinch the seam closed with your fingertips. Gently roll the tube back and forth until it spreads lengthwise to about 10 inches long.
  10. Line up 3 rolled tubes on a sheet of parchment, positioning the thin ends toward you. With a very sharp, long knife, make a lengthwise slash through each, cutting a deep slit halfway down the depth of the tube; make sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom.
  11. Braid the tubes together, crossing one of the outer tubes gently over the middle one. Then cross the other outer tube up and over the new middle one. Repeat, working your way down to the end. Half of the tube should be braided. Then turn the parchment paper around and braid the other side, from the center point to the end, so that the entire loaf is braided. Tuck under ends if desired.
  12. Let the bread rise for another 30 minutes before baking.
  13. When the loaves have risen, uncover and brush well with the egg wash.
  14. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.  Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, turn the pan 180° from its original position every 15min to ensure even baking, bake until the bread is brown and crusty.

 

SHIMA STEAK TOKYO – THE Glorious Steak sandwich 

Shima is a hidden gem, quite literally, located in a basement of a bland office building in the Nihonbashi neighborhood in Tokyo. Chef Manabu Oshima uses marbled premium steak from his hometown of Kyoto that he ages himself and then cooks over binchotan- Japanese white charcoal.
150g Fillet Steak (¥15,000 or $150 USD). The steak options were either filet or sirloin in 150 g sizes (1/3 of a lbs). There isn’t a lot of complex dishes on the menu which is a testament to the minimalist nature of it all.
We didn’t order a lot because, after all, we are coming for the steak sandwich.
Here comes the BEST part – the takeaway steak sandwiches you get at the end of the meal. The sandwich is made with lovely thick Japanese toasts, juicy, tender and packed of flavors. Simply out of this world!
Obsessed with eating food when it’s just made and still hot, my husband (fatter-half!) and I gobbled up the whole thing once we stepped out of the restaurant! Eating premium steak sandwich while braving the spring chill at the nighttime of Tokyo- that’s a first even for a foodie like me:) still I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!

Biscoff Buttercream Icing

Happy Birthday to my fatter half!

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Biscoff is one of my favourite cookies, crispy and aromatic, full of caramelized sweetness of well-toasted sugar, they are simply out of this world! And you know what?  These Belgian babies are even more addictive when made into buttercream icing…

Ingredients:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (cubed)
  • 1 cup Biscoff spread

Directions:

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into a medium-sized bowl, whisk until combined.
  2. Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
  3. Whisk on med-high with hand mixer until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
  4. Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add Biscoff spread and mix until smooth.

Ribatei 里葉亭

The place is located at Yokohama – a bit far from the city centre of Tokyo, but it definitely worths a detour. Looking like any other other yakitori restaurant from the exterior, but u will be surprised to enjoy the very high quality skewers they serve here.

Using only the finest Miyazaki chicken (sashimi grade) and the best charcoal available. Above all, the grilling technique is perfect!

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Masters in action!

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The best chicken liver skewers- served still pink at the centre, surely not for the faint of heart!

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The oh-so-good chicken cartilage.

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Chicken kidney with ginger paste on top.

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Meaty chicken thigh.

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My favourite of the night – chicken aorta! So plump, fatty and juicy!


Ribatei (里葉亭)

045-251-7676 (+81-45-251-7676)

3-2 Fukutomicho Nakadori Naka-ku Yokohama Kanagawa

No Knead Crusty Raisin and Walnut Bread

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1g instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup raisin
  • ½ cup of walnut
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 350ml warm water (about 35°C)

Directions:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water and honey. This should result in a sticky dough, if it is not sticky to the touch, add a few spoonful of water. Gently shape the dough into a ball as best you can. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will be doubled in size and covered in air bubbles.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper.

3. Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Leave dough alone for 30 minutes.

4. During this 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 246°C. Place the dutch oven (with the lid) inside for 30 minutes so that it’s extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and tucking it all– the parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.

5. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.


 

Lemon Butter Sauteed Clams

Woohooo It’s starting to feel a lot like spring!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so ready for the change in season! Awaken your taste buds with this lemony dish after winter’s heavy meals.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lb littleneck clams, scrubbed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat up a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add the butter and saute the garlic until slightly browned.
  3. Add the clams into the skillet, and quickly toss around.
  4. Add the wine and cayenne pepper. Cover the skillet and let cook for 1 minute, or until the clams are all open.
  5. Add the lemon juice and parsley, stir to combine well. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Bourbon-Maple Glazed Pork Belly

The more you weigh the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe… Eat pork belly!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh pork belly
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-5 whole allspice cloves/ anises

Sauce:

  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 100ml bourbon whiskey
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven. Sauté onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and spices until fragrant.
  3. Add in stock and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Place pork belly in the Dutch oven, bake for 2½ hours, until tender.
  5. Drain away sauce; chill the pork overnight to improve the texture of the meat.
  6. When ready, tip the ketchup, soy sauce, maple syrup and bourbon into a small pan. Set over a high heat and bubble for 5 mins until thick and syrupy. Pour over the chunks of pork and toss to coat. Roast for 15-20 mins more until sticky.
  7. Serve with risotto!

 

Merry Cherry Sponge Cake

Let us eat cake, it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere. Oh, in fact it’s everyone’s birthday today!

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Ingredients (yield two 4-inch cakes):

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 10-12 cherries, stoned and halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease two 4-inch cake tins with butter and flour.
  2. Lay the cherries at the bottom of the cake tins.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and creamy.
  4. Fold in the flour until well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared cake tin.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
  6. Serve while still warm!

 

Ferrero Rocher Cookie

Happy year of the dog everybody!

Chinese New Year is the time when you visit your friends and relatives, very often those you only see during this time of the year, and got “interrogated” by them =.=.  Gift plays an important role in Chinese culture, so you never go empty-handed! If you pay attention to TV commercials enough, you may notice that many of the most popular gift items among Hong Kongers are, interestingly, not Chinese produces. Kjeldsens Cookies, Almond Roca, Sugus, Ferrero Rocher… just to name a few. Ferrero Rocher is particularly popular in Hong Kong for its golden package, a color Chinese people love for it symbolizes wealth.  I’m not a superstitious person, but I do like their creamy, nutella-like centres!

And…. Surprise, surprise! They are equally nice when made into cookies!!


Ingredients (yield 12 pieces):

  • 6 Ferrero Rochers  (freeze them before baking)
  • 1 cup (packed) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼  cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place the Ferrero Rochers in the freezer until firm, about an hour. Remove from freezer and hit with a hammer in a zip-loc bag a few times until they’re broken into chunky pieces. Put back in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the full egg, then the vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add flour mixture in three parts, stirring until just combined after each addition.
  5. Stir in ½ the Ferrero Rocher pieces. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Place the remaining Ferrero Rocher into the tops of the cookies, pressing them into the dough slightly.
  6. Bake for around 10 minutes until edges are nicely browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.