Taiwanese Beef Noodles made with Dutch oven

My go-to recipe for a hearty meal full of braised tender beef, vegetables and plenty of carbssss!

Sluuuurp~


Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds meaty beef short ribs
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 slices of peeled fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 bunch scallions, white parts smashed with flat side of a large knife and green parts chopped
  • 1.5 cup Chinese rice wine
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 fresh red chile
  • 3 tablespoons of Doubanjiang
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grinded pepper
  • 2-3 cubes of rock sugar
  • 10 ounces dried Chinese wheat noodles
  • Bok Choy for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Cut onions and tomatoes into wedges, scallions into sections.
  3. Chop short ribs into 3-inch cubes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onions, tomatoes, scallions and ginger slices and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned.
  5. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels. Toss into the Dutch oven, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  6. Add the soya sauce, water plus Chinese rice wine, just enough to almost cover the meat.
  7. Add the rock sugar, pepper and Doubanjiang , toss in red chili. Bring to a simmer
  8. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 2.5 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
  9. Serve with noodles and bok choy!

 

A woman’s love affair with doughnuts

There is no doubt that Bostonians love doughnuts. After all, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every other block. The city even has a doughnut named after it (Boston Creme, anyone?). I mean, who can blame them? There’s something special about that fluffy, sugary, fried dough. I am not from Boston, but I’m in no way above the temptation of fried dough goodness. When Krispy Kreme closed all its stores in Hong Kong overnight ten years ago, a part of me was taken away…  Since then I go on a doughnut hunt whenever I’m out of town, independent joints or big chains, I visit them piously, almost like pilgrims.

These local doughnut places in Boston have survived the turf wars with Dunkin’ Donuts, many supported for years by a fiercely loyal clientele… and it’s not hard to tell why!


Union Square Donuts

20 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch is a real show stealer

DSC_0019.jpgDSC_0025

Kane’s Donuts

90 Oliver St, Two International Pl, Boston, MA 02110

Great selection of fancy donuts. Go for glazed and creme brûlée if you’re committed to an ultimate sweet tooth experience.

DSC_0071

Twin Donuts

501 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

Highlight is definitely the inviting neon sign!

Blackbird Doughnuts

South End, 492 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

We all need a confetti doughnut from time to time to celebrate life!

DSC_0942-2.jpg

Red Apple Farm

100 Hanover St, The Boston Public Market, Bostom, MA 02108

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…
So, why not eat your apple in donuts form?

DSC_0032.jpg

Flour Bakery

12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210

Not really a doughnut shop, but the bakery’s renowned sticky sticky bun, especially when fresh out of the oven, mimics the flavours of  a doughnut.

 

Crumbliest Scones

These are essentially British, delicious and simple to make… Get baking and fill your home with the smell of freshly baked scones!

scone illustration

It is no secret that I have always wanted to open my own cafe. And this is the sign that I will put up at the storefront when a batch of scones are hot and ready (Yes! I stole the idea from Kripsy Kreme’s neon sign!!).

scones

sconeeee.jpg


Ingredients (serves 8):

Plain flour, for dusting

1.5 cups self-raising flour

40g butter, softened and cubed

3/4 cups milk

1 cup dried fruit, e.g. cranberries/ raisins (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  2. Rub butter into flour using your fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add milk and mix until mixture forms a soft dough. Add in dried fruit if any.
  4. Knead gently until smooth (don’t overwork the dough or scones will be tough).
  5. Pat dough into 2cm-thick. Cut out 8 rounds using a 5cm round cutter.
  6. Place scones onto baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen.
  8. Serve warm with jam and cream.

Rustic New York Style Cheesecake

 

Phew! I survived another V-day! Never have been a big fan of this “Hallmark holiday”, I sometimes like to think of myself as a Valentine’s day scrooge with a secret desire to ruin everyone else’s best laid plans (like booking every other seat in the cinema so couples can’t sit together!!). That being said, I think romance and love and caring and all those gushy sweet feelings we have for others should be celebrated every day… Why not start doing so by making this cheesecake for your loved ones?

Because a piece of classic New York cheesecake- likes any great love, never goes out of style. ❤

p.s. I like to have mine looking all rustic, cracked and glorious… but do feel free to add any toppings you like!

Yield an 8-inch cake (3 inches in height)

Ingredients:

Crust-

16 digestive crackers, crushed  

3 tablespoons butter, melted  

Filling-

3.5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese  

1 1/4 cups white sugar

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract  

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

1.      Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 8-inch pan.

2.      In a medium bowl, mix digestive cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of pan.

3.      In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar with hand mixer until smooth. Blend in milk, and then add in the eggs (one at a time), mix until just incorporated.

4.      Add in plain yogurt, vanilla and flour, mix until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

5.      Bake in preheated oven for 50min. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 2 hours to prevent cracking.

6.      Sprinkle icing sugar on top. Chill in refrigerator until serving.


No-peel Apple Cream Cheese Tart

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am a BIG sucker for apple tarts. Indeed, I like all sorts of apple desserts- apple turnover, tarte tartin, apple strudel, etc etc… As much as I like these aromatic pastries filled with the unmistakable scent of cinnamon, I seldom make them on my own because I hate peeling apples!!! So you can probably imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this no-peel apple tart recipe. ♥

Happy baking everyone!


Pastry:

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

70g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

Beans for baking

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon

Topping:

3 apples (cut into 8 -12 slices each)

4 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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. Place the pastry in your tart pan and, using your fingertips; evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.)
  5. When ready, place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
  6. Beat cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar gradually until incorporated. Add eggs (one at a time) until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended and smooth.
  8. Carefully pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell and then bake the tart for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer tart to wire rack to cool and start making the topping.
  9. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoon brown sugar. Sauté the apples, frequently stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes until they just begin to turn tender. (Be careful not to overcook at this stage as the apples may become puree!)
  10. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar and add cinnamon. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize, and the apples are crisp-tender.
  11. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping spiral pattern. Pour the remaining caramel sauce on top of the apples.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving!

Baked Oysters with Miso-Mayonnaise

I am a real party animal, house parties, to be exact. Nothing beats sharing hearty laughs and intimate conversation with your closest friends in a cozy environment. The truth is, I approach house parties with the same mix of excitement and apprehension you might feel before a first date—what if my home looks messy? What if I get an elaborate menu planned, and then they cancel at the last minute? And obviously you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard… To ease off the pressure of hosting a house party, every hostess should have a few quick, easy recipes up her sleeve for any event on the calendar.

Made this very simple dish with the leftover miso from last week, this serves as a great snack or party appetizer, taking next to no time or effort to do. Add this dish to your arsenal and you won’t regret it, I promise!

dsc_0551


Ingredients:

½ Dozen oysters

¼ Onion (minced)

1 cup Japanese mayonnaise

1 tablespoon miso

1 teaspoon butter

Paprika (for garnishing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the miso and mayonnaise into a smooth paste; set aside.
  3. Heat up butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, sauté the minced onion until they turn transparent.
  4. Divide the onion evenly into shells and top off thickly with the miso-mayonnaise mixture, make sure to completely cover everything in the shell with the mixture.
  5. Place oysters in the oven on the top rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be a nice dark brown when done.
  6. Remove oysters from the oven, garnish with paprika and serve!

 

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.


 

 

NYC Part III- Eleven Madison Park

It has been two months since my visit to Eleven Madison Park, one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. The visit was truly an amazing culinary experience that I will not forget for a while! When I think back to my memories of the restaurant, not only do I recall each specific bite of food, but I also remember the emotion of eating there, the unadulterated rapture of tasting great (not just good!) food…

The tasting menu which consists of 14 courses of creatively prepared dishes was a gastronomic experience like no other. The presentation, taste and service were top notch; the pacing was on point due to the attentiveness of the staff. Everything on the tasting menu was decadent and delicious. Highlights of the meal included a little egg filled with sturgeon caviar, sabayon and chives, a caviar and cauliflower take on Eggs Benedict and a custard dessert made with a ball that shattered to spill honey. The relatively mediocre dishes in the menu would suffice as good or great in any other restaurant, but deemed to be overshadowed by the remarkable dishes.

Overall a truly whimsical, innovative, daring and phenomenal food journey…I better let the photos speak for themselves!!


Savory cookies made with apple and cheddar in stylish B/W and Sturgeon sabayon presented in an egg shell that was perfectly cut on the top and emptied.

IMG_6817

Oyster: pie and velouté. The velouté was creamy, and the crust on the mini pie was crisp.

IMG_6818.jpg

Scallops marinated with black truffle and leeks

IMG_6821

My absolute favorite! An upscale reinvention of classic Eggs Benedict made with caviar, cauliflower and ham, totally showcased the creativity of the Chef. The house made English muffins was a lovely accompaniment.

IMG_6822.jpg

House made rolls along with butters and sea salt.

IMG_6823.jpg

An interesting take on “surf and turf” made with perfectly seared foie gras with Brussels sprouts and smoked eel.

IMG_6824.jpg

Waldorf salad. The original recipe was invented in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky who was the head waiter at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel at the time (which was later demolished in 1929 to make way for the building of the Empire State Building). The salad was prepared in front of you, combining multiple ingredients, such as celery root, walnuts, grapes and apple. The salad was served in a giant bowl which had two compartments, in the bottom there was a cold soup made of the same dressing as the salad.

The duck was roasted with honey and lavender; it was perfectly cooked and packed with flavors!

duck.jpg

The cheese course totally exceeded my expectation. It was a beautifully melted Cato Corner cheese fondue sitting in a squash, you simply have to dip the homemade pretzel bread in to enjoy it. And guess what: it was divine!

IMG_6838

Pre-dessert- Botrytis with Ice Cream, Bitter Almond, and Ginger Crumble. Inspired by the flavor of grapes lucky enough to have been infected with the fungus, also known as noble rot.

IMG_6840

Milk and Honey Custard with Bee Pollen Ice Cream. Shattered the honeycomb shell and you’d be thrilled to discover the honey inside!

IMG_6841

Dishes are playful and interactive from start to finish, the dessert ‘Name That Milk’- which came in an ornate wooden box containing four bars of specially commissioned Mast Brothers chocolate together with pencils and a card with four animal drawings totally blew my mind. Diners must taste each bar to determine which chocolate belongs to which animal: cow’s milk, sheep’s, goat’s or buffalo’s.

IMG_6843.jpg

Eleven Madison Park (elevenmadisonpark.com)

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010