Sous Vide Miso Maple Salmon

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a year is always a good time for me to review my resolutions and take stock of what I have done over the past year. In 2016, I ditched Korean fried chicken for the Chairman’s smoked pigeons, feasted on numerous macarons and cupcakes, and let countless meals go cold in the search of photographic perfection. As I loosen my belt and take a look at the culinary fads that flooded my social media feeds in the past year, including superfood sensation (kale chips? really?), sweet-savory creations and an array of pimped up ice-cream sundaes crowned with egglettes, I wonder how many of these gourmet trends can stay in the scene.

2016 was also a year for upgrading my kitchen gadgets- I owned my very first sous vide machine!! Sous vide cooking was developed in the mid–1970s by chef Georges Pralus at the Michelin Three-Star Restaurant, Troisgros, in Roanne (still remember this place?) initially as a means of cooking delicate foie gras. In the last two decades, sous vide cooking has become the secret of top chefs at major restaurants around the world. This alternative method of cooking promises incredibly succulent meats without having to worry about overcooking, charring, timing. Unlike the aforementioned culinary fads, I’m sure this gadget will be something I swear by for the years to come.


Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 12-ounce skinless salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

1) Set the water bath to 104ºF (40ºC).

2) Place the salmon in a large zipper lock bag. Add the miso, mirin, and maple syrup. Seal the bag tightly.

3) Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 30 minutes.

4) When the timer goes off, gently remove the salmon from the bag and discard any remaining cooking liquid.

5) Heat up oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the salmon and sear until well-browned on top and bottom, about 1 minute total.


 

 

Dutch Baby with Blueberry Compote

I’ve always been amazed by how many different breakfast food you can create using just milk, eggs, and flour; here is one of the more interesting examples.

Oh, did i mention that everything comes together in about 30 blessed minutes?

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Ingredients:

Batter:

3 eggs

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup whole milk (warmed)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Blueberry compote:

1.5 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

Grated zest and juice of a lemon

Powdered sugar,for dusting

Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Combine eggs, flour, milk, salt, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
  3. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Place butter in the skillet, as soon as the butter has melted, add batter to the pan.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven.
  6. Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Lower oven temperature to 150°C and bake five minutes longer. It will deflate as soon as it’s removed from the oven.
  8. Dust pancake generously with powdered sugar and top with 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serve with blueberry compote.

For the blueberry compote: Combine the blueberries, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.


Fettuccine with Black Truffle Cream Sauce

Still trying to process the shock, disgust, horror and anger I get from reading the news, both local and international.

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog/ Facebook for some time. I was, in the past few months, taking some major moves in my career. And I have been working my butt off to adjust to the transitions. In difficult times like this, I am particularly grateful for all the men in my life, who treat women with respect. I grew up getting all the education I needed; my father often reassures me that it is okay for a girl to be smart and ambitious. When I was too tired to cook after work, my husband would just get us takeaways, without the slightest complaint. I have never felt duty-bound to complete all the household chores, I needn’t be the domestic goddess of the house or the new Martha Stewart – I can just be myself!

Cooking has always been a meditating process for me; I feel a sense of tranquility and peace whenever I cook. Tonight, I felt something more – while I cooked, I thought of all the strong women in my life, starting with my mother, all my girlfriends… colleagues… Susan B Anthony… Claudette Colvin… Instead of feeling confined in a box, like many women before my time did, kitchen is a place where my dreams flourish. To me, food is the key to different cultures… Through all the kitchen experiments, I learn to be a person with an open mind.

So, I feel it really personally when I see how women are being demeaned, devalued and degraded publicly, how some leaders rule by intimidation, how they stifle opposing voices and diminish the potential of their citizens… it is just saddening to see how the world is moving backward…

I guess we all need a hearty truffle pasta like this to heal our souls.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoons minced garlic

8 ounces fresh fettucine

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons truffle paste

Truffle shavings

1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions

  1. Add salt and olive oil to water, bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile cook garlic in butter over low heat.
  3. Add heavy cream and simmer until thickened.
  4. Cook pasta until al dente and add to cream; toss to coat.
  5. Whisk in truffle paste into pasta and remove from heat.
  6. Season with salt and serve with truffle shavings or fresh truffle.

An Edible Roadtrip in California Part II- SF and its excursions

Set along the ocean, with compact network of steep rolling hills and the iconic cable cars, San Francisco is one the most beautiful cities in the United States and the jewel of Northern California. The city is full of history, hip neighbourhoods and a whole lot of eateries…

My heart swoons every time when I see this photo ♥

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San Francisco has long been famous for its sourdough bread, but in the past few years, the city’s more innovative and eclectic bakeries have stolen the spotlight…The trendy white-tiled sweet shop serves up traditional pastries with a twist. They have recently opened their second location in Seoul.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: 1042 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The restaurant offers amazing view of the Bay Bridge but most importantly the food and service do not disappoint too. The sides (mac and cheese!!) are good and not of the usual Titanic size that you encounter at other American steakhouses.

EPIC Steak: 369 The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94105

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The food truck is very easy to miss and trust me, you don’t want to miss this! Hilarious name and even better food. Yum!

The Codmother Fish and Chips: 496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Sausalito

Half an hour’s ferry trip from San Francisco, just over the Golden Gate Bridge, is the quiet, scenic city of Sausalito. A popular residential area, this waterside city famously has a large number of striking houseboats.

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Founded in 1937 by Valeriano Jacuzzi, patriarch of the famous hot tub and spa manufacturing family, the winery is one of the largest in the Sonoma Valley, covering several hundred acres. Remember to stop by the Olive Press at the grounds of the vineyard, where you can sample locally pressed oil in interesting flavours, from lime to jalapeño.

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476

 

A grape that produces one of my favoritefood-friendly wines.

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Californians’ favorite burger. One of the fun things about eating there is that you get to order custom-made food, often at no additional cost! Try out the fries in animal style and the neapolitan shake (mixture of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavored shakes)!

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California is home to some of the most protected, untouched coastlines in America. Pacific Coast Highway is rated as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.


 

An Edible Roadtrip in California Part I-LA and SB

There’s something special about going on a road trip, isn’t there? It screams adventures, great tunes and spontaneity. Some would say it makes the best kind of holiday. So, with my bags packed, playlist created, I knew an American road trip was the way to go…

The term California cuisine arose as a result of culinary movements starting in the 1970s. It emphasized a lot on the non-traditional take on classics, as well as a lot of fusion- involving the freshest ingredients possible. In California, your meals may be served on a simple wood plank set with mismatched cutlery. No fancy china and polished silver in sight, but there is always abundant sunshine, and, the meals are always magnificent. Dusty and down-to earth, Californian food reaps its star power from its authenticity.

I simply appreciated the fresh take on everything I ate in the Golden State, from homemade ice-cream to super fresh seafood and produce… Here are some of my favorites!


Lived up to expectations and I enjoyed strolling around the well presented food stalls and eateries.

The Original Farmers Market: 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Nothing screams California more than the Venice beach. Best place for people watching.

Friendly staff and nice location as you can watch people walking on the boardwalk while eating, sometime enjoying the street singers.

Figtree’s Cafe : 429 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Route 66-aka the Mother Road crosses 8 states from Chicago to Los Angeles. The famous route cruises its 90th year this November, driving down it has been one of the items on my bucket list.

So many delicious food choices to satisfy any palette.

Grand Central Market: 9, 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The beautiful Sterns Wharf, Santa Barbara.

Situated at the end of the wharf, is small enough to make you feel like a local. Food is fresh and delicious. Standing at the end of pier and looking back at the city of Santa Barbara… is a very special moment you will never forget!

They also serve clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (which is a typical San Francisco dish) and pretty decent crab cakes.

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company:230 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Simply the ice cream heaven!! I went there twice within 3 days, they have all these unique flavours but whisky & pecan pralines definitely won my heart.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams: 728 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

 

 


Strawberry and Nutella Swirl Bread

Happy Sunday! It’s always tempting to head out for brunch on the weekend, but why not stay in and try these? Coffee refills are free and brunch at home means you don’t have to get changed or put on any make-up.

And if someone ever tells you that you put too much Nutella on your bread, stop talking to them… You don’t need that negativity in your life!


Ingredients

For the dough:

2⁄3 cup lukewarm whole milk

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

0.25-ounce active dry yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

1/2 cup of Nutella or any other chocolate sauce

2 cups fresh berries (sliced fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries)

1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm milk, granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup flour, beating at low speed to combine.
  2. Add melted butter and 1⁄2 cup flour, beating until combined. Add eggs, beating to combine. Gradually add salt and remaining 1.5 cups flour, knead to form a soft dough.
  3. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Grease a cast-iron skillet with butter.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18×16-inch rectangle. Spread with Nutella, leaving a 1⁄2 inch border. Sprinkle generously with berries.
  6. Starting at one long side, roll up dough, pressing seam to seal.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise, leave 1-inch of the edge uncut at the top. The doughy halves are then flipped upward.
  8. Start braiding the two pieces, by carefully lifting the left strand over the right strand. Repeat this motion until you reach the bottom of the dough. Press together to seal.
  9. Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together.
  10. Transfer the dough ring to the prepared cast iron skillet. Brush the wreath with the beaten egg.
  11. Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for around 30 minutes (loosely cover with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary), or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

The dish sounds like something you can find in the menu of some fancy restaurants. By deglazing the pan with a combination of chicken stock, cream and a little bit of whisky… everyone can turn those pan drippings into a fantastic sauce, no culinary school degree required!

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Ingredients
2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4 inches thick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 apples and onions, cut into wedges
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whisky
8 small fresh thyme sprigs

Methods:
1. Preheat oven to 240°C. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
2. Add apples and onion to skillet; cook until browned. Remove from skillet
3. Add broth to skillet, stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, cook and stir constantly, cook for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in bourbon. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme.
6. Bake at 240°C for 15 minutes or until liquid is just beginning to bubble. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.


La MaisonTroisgros- Un Jour de Septembre

It’s been 8 months since my visit to Maison Troisgros. The restaurant has been running since 1930, with three generations of the family as chef. It is the only Michelin 3 star restaurant situated in the unlikely setting of Roanne, a town with glorious history as a trading centre due to its situation on the Loire, but now a rather quiet and modest place. The restaurant is truly an oasis amongst such blandness.

I had chosen the menu ” A day of September” and every dish was a delight…

The precision and ease with which Michel Troisgros uses and judges flavors in his dishes is in my experience second to none, the chef is clearly at the peak of his powers. Delicious flavors, elegant presentation and innovative combination of flavors. Troisgros is a culinary dynasty run entirely by family, where tradition is in the making, and perhaps one of the last of its kind in France!

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A gemstone amongst the granite

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Tomato caramelised with sesame and ginger, Puff pastry with fresh white cheese and Egg with safron jelly

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Laminated cornbread with Salted butter from Normandy

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Artichoke pasta, Smoked Mackerel with Orange Zest and Nut Oil

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Oyster, Apricot and Rice, beautifully seasoned with warm Soy Sauce

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Monkfish loin, Sakura blossom, White wine cream sauce with dashi

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Lobster, Coriander, Carrot and Red fruit sauce with Beefheart cabbage

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Cheese served with fruit bread, Tomato jam and Orange marmalade

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Almond and Sabayon Ice Cream

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Shortbread, Rhubarb, Cardamom, Celery ice cream

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Strawberry and fennel arlette, Meringue with coacoa and ginger and Lemon sesame tart

 

La Maison Troisgros

Address: 1 Place Jean Troisgros, 42300 Roanne

Tel: +33 4 77 71 66 97


Sakura and Tofu Cheesecake

Happy mother’s day!! Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, but let’s be honest, the job also comes with burnout, sleep deprivation and countless moments of insanity. Moms hold so many positions, chef, maid, nurse, financial advisor, personal shopper, psychiatrist and superhero to name but a few. Think about all the fashion phases you went in and out of as a teenager, all the hobbies you obsessed about for two weeks before moving on to something new, and all the dreams and ambitions you had as a little girl… She supported you through every single one of them. Mother’s Day comes once a year, and even though you should celebrate your mother every single day of the calendar, today is really when she should be treated like a queen- because she, without a doubt, deserves it!

Stayed up late last night to make this non-bake cheesecake: sakura blossoms are a classic Japanese ingredient, which not only has a very unique flavor but also adds beauty to the cake; and the tofu-based cheesecake gives a pleasantly refreshing taste.

For a special mom like mine deserves better than standard delivered bouquet =)

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(Serving one 7’ cheesecake)

Base:

200g graham biscuits (crushed)

80g butter (melted)

Filling:

Silken Tofu 350g

200 g cream cheese (room temperature)

40g sugar

250ml whipping cream

15g gelatin

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Konnyaku powder

Sugar

Water

Pickled Sakura

Method:

  1. Rinse off the salt on the pickled sakura and soak with clean water for 2 hours .
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 7’ springform pan with removable base. Chill until firm.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in 100ml of water, stir until well combined. Warm up in microwave oven until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Set aside the mixture and allow it to cool completely.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and Tofu until combined. Sieve the mixture afterwards.
  5. Beat whipping cream and sugar at medium speed until fluffy (around 5min).
  6. Lastly, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese-tofu mixture. Add in gelatin solution and vanilla extract.
  7. Remove the prepared cake pan from refrigerator, then pour the cream cheese mixture on the cake pan. Refrigerate for about 4-5 hours or overnight.
  8. Topping: Combine the konnyaku powder and water in a small pot, stir until well combined, then set aside and allow it to cool completely.
  9. Remove the cheese cake from refrigerator, gently pour the mixture on top of the cheese cake, then gently place the pickled sakura on the topping mixture and arrange them nicely.
  10. Refrigerate until the topping is set.

Lemon Meringue Tart

When life gives you lemons… make lemon meringue tart!


Ingredients:

Pastry

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

70g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter, cubed

2 egg yolk

Beans for baking

Filling

5 eggs

140g caster sugar

150ml double cream

2-3 lemon (to produce about 100ml lemon juice and 2 tbsp lemon zest)

Meringue

2 egg whites

Half cup of sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan.
  2. To make the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until crumbly.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks, roll into a ball. If the pastry is still too dry, add 1-2 tbsp water until it comes together.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film, chill for at least 30 mins.
  5. While the pastry is in the fridge, make the filling. Beat all the ingredients, except for the zest, together. Sieve the mixture, then stir in the zest.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a $1 coin, then lift into a 23cm tart tin. Press down gently on the bottom and sides, then trim off any excess pastry.
  7. Stab a few holes in the bottom with a fork and put back in the fridge for 30 mins.
  8. Line the tart with foil and fill with dried beans. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the tart tin from the oven, discard the foil, and bake for another 20 mins until biscuity.
  9. When the pastry is ready, remove it from the oven, pour in the lemon mixture and bake for 30-35 mins until just set.
  10. Leave to cool, then remove the tart from the tin.
  11. In medium bowl, beat egg whites, salt and vinegar with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Around 6 min in total, do not underbeat.
  12. Spread the meringue on top of the filling with a spoon, starting from the outside edge of the crust.
  13. Brown the meringue with a blow torch.