Friday, May 28, 2010

San Choy Bow

One of my family's favorite meals. Eating with your fingers is always a hit with the kids, this dish has the added bonus of wrapping. A great make ahead dish, just warm the meat when needed.

40mL dark soy sauce
40mL rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
20mL peanut or canola oil
500g mince
2 teaspoons each ginger and garlic, minced
3 shallots, sliced finely on diagonal
150g water chestnuts, chopped
150g bamboo shoots, finely chopped
2 cups shredded carrots and cabbage
2 cups thin rice noodles, softned
8 iceberg lettuce ‘cups’, washed and drained
2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/3 a cup of crushed peanuts

Combine soy, rice wine, sesame oil and five spice in a bowl.
Heat canola oil in wok, add minced meat and brown well.
Add ginger, garlic and vegetables and stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add noodles
Add soy mixture and stir until heated through.
Spoon into lettuce cups, 2 per person, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and peanuts.


The smell of simmering Dashi stock brought with it the memory of Japanese evenings, fading light and filling food, warming you right down to your frozen fingertips.


Adapted from At Home with Japanese Cooking, by Elizabeth Andoh

Makes 4 servings
1/2 pound boneless chicken breast
1 medium onion
2 cups dashi
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (mitsuba would be more authentic, if you can find it)
3 cups cooked Japanese rice

Remove any skin or fat on the chicken breast and then slice it in half lengthwise. Then slice those pieces into smaller thin pieces by cutting across the width of the piece of chicken with your knife at a 45-degree angle. Peel and slice the onion into thin verticle wedges.

Heat the dashi in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is simmering, then add the soy sauce and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the chicken and onion and cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions have wilted and the chicken is cooked through. While this is cooking, gently beat the eggs very well.

Pour the cooked onion and chicken mixture into a skillet and heat it over medium-heat until it is simmering. Pour the beaten eggs into the center of the skillet and cook until the edges of the omelette begin to set. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, then garnish the top with the chopped cilantro, and cook for an additional minute.
Divide the rice among 4 bowls and then place one quarter of the omelet over the rice in each bowl. Pour any seasoned broth that may remain in the skillet over the omelets and serve.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 2010 Daring Bakers

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

For the vanilla pastry cream filling:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

For the pastry cream:
Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.

Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).

Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Bean and Chickpea Salad

700g green beans
175g chickpeas
225g halved cherry tomatoes
1 red onion diced
Baby Lebanese cucumbers, sliced

3 tblsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

Wash trim and halve the green beans. Cook in boiling salted water until tender.Drain and rinse under cold water. Mix together all the ingredients and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No Sugar Oat Drops

When I first saw this recipe I was intrigued by the fact that these have NO sugar, butter, eggs or anything that can be considered unhealthy. Always on the hunt for things to throw at my kids at feeding time, I gave them a whirl. They are amazing, surprisingly light, incredibly filling and tasty, you can mix and match the ingredients to get a different result each time, adding different seeds  fruits or nuts.You can freeze them wrapped individually and  have a easy breakfast on the go.

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats (use whatever type of oats you like)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal (or nutmeal of your choice)
( If you want to make it nut free you could use a flour, just adjust the wet ingredients to get the right consistency)
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1 cup dried fruit (of your choice or chocolate chips or berries)

3 ripe bananas, mashed ( or substitute applesauce, or 2 eggs)
1/4 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 175C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.
In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Take a large cookie cutter and press spoonfuls of the batter into it. Remove cookie cutter.  Or simply form balls with your hands and flatten slightly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

*These are not gluten free, due to the use of oats. Please adapt to your personal preferences.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

I wasn't able to find any of the required green elements so I ended up making a straight salsa. This dish was so good we copyed it a little while later in a much simpler way. Check out Daring Kitchen for the original recipe or join me in the lazy-ness here:


1 tablespoon olive oil
500g chicken breast fillet
10 enchilada tortillas
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
3/4 cup grated tasty cheese
375g jar chunky tomato salsa
450g can beans

Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook chicken for 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through. Stand for 10 minutes.

Heat tortillas using packet directions.

Empty beans into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat, uncovered, for 2 minutes on MEDIUM (50%) power, or until hot.

Slice chicken. Place 1 tablespoon of beans onto each tortilla. Top with chicken and a little cheese. Roll up tightly to secure. Place onto a greased and lined baking tray.

Spoon salsa and yogurt down centre of enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until heated through

Serve with avocado, fresh coriander and salad

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

A certain chef I know makes me an amazing pumpkin soup, with bacon, cream and duck fat if he can get it. The primary function of chefs is to make food fattening. I once heard that in your average restaurant dish there is 100g of butter. Because of this soup I've never, made one my self. However an empty fridge drove me to create this simple, healthy and delicious soup. When I say simple I mean simple...

2 cups of pumpkin peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 carrots peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 a cup of milk or rice milk

Place everything except the milk in a pot and simmer for 20 -30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Blend until smooth and stir in milk. Serve
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