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.

 

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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.

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.

Mushroom Garlic Butter Chicken Bake

Winter is here! Dark days of winter make me want to pull on my heaviest sweater and stay in bed all day. That’s where these simple, casserole recipes come in handy. Baked to perfection in a single pan – a hearty casserole always satisfies your hunger and warms you from the inside out.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 bowl sliced mushrooms

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup bacon
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Season chicken with generous amount of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken on both sides, for about 3-5 minutes each side, until golden all over. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Fry bacon in the remaining oil, add in mushroom and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, or until just beginning to soften. Transfer to the same plate as the chicken
  4. To make the sauce, melt butter, add in garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
  5. Put chicken and mushrooms back to the sauce, brush chicken with butter and sprinkle with extra salt and pepper, bake for 30-40 minutes.