Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I Ate: Bibimbap

I've been doing a lot of these 'What I Ate' posts lately. Yes, it's an easy way to generate content for my blog but also, I've just been trying to practice with my new camera. And, I recently got a new lens so I've been trying to figure out how to work with that one too.

Today's post is bibimbap.
{marinate the meat. in this case, I used chicken thighs}
{the marinade consists of soy sauce, honey, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger}

Monday, April 29, 2013

What I Ate: Williamsburg Flea Market

A few weekends ago, I went to the Brooklyn Flea (Williamsburg location) with my favorite friend, D. We did a bit of eye shopping and then had a yummy lunch on the waterfront. It was quite chilly when the wind blew, but we made it work. You can pop over to my travels blog to see some more photos of the market.

Here's just a shot of the flea market itself, bustling with people:
And here's a shot of me with the food! First, we grabbed a lobster roll (Maine style) from the Red Hook Lobster Pound, as we both were craving lobster. Then, we each got a fresh juice from Vaquero Elotes (sorry they don't have a website); D got the lemon-lime while I got the watermelon - both were super delicious. And lastly, we got some sopes from Maria's Tacos Autenticos (sorry, no website for this one either); one was chorizo and the other was steak, both were topped with sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, avocado sauce, and a hot green salsa. Everything was really delicious; I think in general, you can't go wrong getting food from any of the booths.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Orange Chicken

So when I made eggplant with garlic sauce the other day, I also wanted to make a meat dish to eat with it. Not because I'm in love with meat but because I like to have a protein, since otherwise, I get hungry way too quickly after a meal.

Usually when my family orders Chinese takeout, we get beef with garlic sauce (which I've also made before) but lately, we've been getting orange chicken. I usually prefer the former, as it appears healthier than the latter (whether that's true or not is debatable) but I love the crispy texture of orange chicken and the tangy spicy sauce.

It's easy enough to make at home and tastes so much better so if you're a fan, I recommend that you give it a try. By the way, it's quite similar to General Tso's chicken - I'm actually not sure what the difference is, though I'm sure a quick search on the internet would get me an answer but right now, I am too busy writing this post!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (I prefer dark meat so I used thighs)
1 egg
¼ cup corn starch
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
+ oil for frying
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 orange, juice and zest
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 scallion, whites and greens chopped separately
Start by getting the mise en place for the sauce ready - chop the scallion greens and the scallion whites, mince the garlic and ginger, zest the orange, and get a bit of hot pepper flakes ready. If you're like me and you enjoy orange zest pieces, use a vegetable peeler. If you're not a fan of orange zest pieces in your dish, you can use a microplane or grater.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (2)

Last year, I posted a recipe for eggplant with garlic sauce which was quite delicious but a couple weekends ago, I made it again using a few different seasonings and it also came out delicious so I'm sharing it. This version doesn't have oyster sauce; instead it has ginger and Thai roasted red chili paste and both ingredients give the dish a sweeter flavor.

2 baby eggplants
1 scallion, whites and greens chopped separately
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Thai roasted red chili paste
¼ cup water
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon bean paste (either Korean or Chinese)
oil for frying (around 2 tablespoons)
Start by mixing the sauce. Combine water, corn starch, soy sauce, sugar, and bean paste in a bowl and stir together.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo

As a kid, at home we mostly ate Korean food with the occasional exception of hamburgers (which we still ate with rice) and pasta. We'd often make fettuccine alfredo using the canned sauce, which tastes great until you compare it to the real stuff.

Ingredients [serves 2 if eaten as a meal, serves 4 if eaten as a side dish]:
½ lb. fettuccine (½ a box)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup butter (½ stick)
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
optional: chopped fresh parsley

Start by boiling a huge pot of water.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

First of all, I used to despise Brussels sprouts. They have this smell that made me go blegh, they look like little cabbages which skeeved me out, and they just sound nasty. Also, I had no idea they were actually called "Brussels sprouts" with the capitalized 'B' and the 's' at the end - not "brussel sprouts" - until two weeks ago. How dumb am I?

However, as I like to pride myself as the type of person who will always try something once (that is hyperbole of course, as I will never try eating dog and I will never try to murder someone, etc) I decided that I should have a go at Brussels sprouts. The market had small-ish packages on sale so I grabbed a bag and decided to make them for Easter dinner (as you might've seen in my roast chicken post).

Brussels sprouts have been somewhat trendy for the past few years - I've seen Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Ree Drummond, among others, make them on Food Network a bunch of times so I already knew what I was going to do: toss in olive oil, season, and roast until edges are crispy. A few of the FN chefs added a bit of lemon, some added balsamic reduction, some added a bunch of herbs, but I decided to keep it simple so that 1) I'd learn what these vegetables actually tasted like without the mask of a dressing and 2) if they ended up being horrible, I didn't want to have wasted any lemon/balsamic/what have you.

And just so you know, if you've never had Brussels sprouts before, I did end up enjoying them so you should also give them a go. They're high in sulforophane (also found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) which some scientists believe are anti-cancerous, so even if you eat one and it's horrible, at least you're being healthy.

Okay, so enough blah-blah-blah-ing, onto the recipe!

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Start by cleaning the sprouts. I like to trim off the brown bits at the ends for aesthetic reasons more than anything. Also, remove any leaves that are yellowing or worse, browning. Then, cut the larger sprouts into quarters and halve the smaller sprouts. If you have any super small sprouts, like the size of a cranberry, leave those whole.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Duchess Potatoes

I've only had duchess potatoes once before in my life and it was at some party function hosted at a hotel with a buffet-style dinner. They were good, not great, but so pretty to look at. I decided to share my version, which I made for Easter this year. And this is a great recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes.

2 lbs potatoes (I prefer yukon gold)
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup + ¼ cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Start by peeling the potatoes and boiling them. I like to cut them up into smaller pieces so that 1) they cook quicker and 2) they cook through the center without the outside going all crumbly.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Roasted Chicken & Gravy

For Easter, I was torn about what to make for dinner. I made an herb-coated rack of lamb last year, which was great, but I wanted to do something different so I decided to just roast a chicken. I thought it would be delicious, easy, and the leftovers would be great.

Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
1 whole chicken
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary but thyme or parsley would also be great)
  + a few extra sprigs
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

& if you want gravy:
chicken innards
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
+ any flavorings like onion, mushrooms, herbs, garlic, etc.
Start by chopping up some rosemary.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nutella Ganache Triangles

I love Nutella and have yet to find someone who doesn't enjoy it. I was craving something sweet and had some leftover Nutella ganache from my profiteroles so I just wrapped some up inside of phyllo dough and baked it and it turned out pretty good so I'm sharing it today.

⅓ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Nutella
phyllo dough (½ a package)
1 teaspoon melted butter

Start by making the ganache and let it cool until it's hardened. It should have the texture of peanut butter.
Then, take a few sheets of phyllo dough and cut them in half, lengthwise. Place a blob of the ganache in the corner (about 1 tablespoon) and then fold the dough up into triangles - reference my lamb samosas post if you need tips on how to fold it up, though, it's pretty easy. Brush each triangle with a bit of butter.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This recipe is something I came up with after I saw how yummy and fresh the poblano peppers at the grocery store looked. I grabbed a bunch and decided to stuff them with something delicious.

Ingredients [for 4 peppers]:
4 poblano peppers
1 lb ground chicken
½ cup + ½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup + ½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup medium grain rice
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeno, minced
1 egg
½ cup cubed cheese + extra grated cheese (something that melts well like Havarti or Monterey Jack)
+ olive oil
Start by chopping up the onion and garlic and cilantro.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I Ate: Soon Tofu Stew

Spicy and hot - which was kind of perfect for the bursts of cold weather we were having at the supposed start of Spring.
{worked off of my soondooboo recipe except I made it beef flavored instead of seafood flavored}
{added in a few strips of stew meat, used beef broth, skipped the seafood medley, and added in some squash}
{lookin' good}

Monday, April 8, 2013

What I Ate: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs - child and adult-friendly, delicious, comfort food.
{making a meat sauce}
{used my basic tomato sauce but just added some ground beef}

Friday, April 5, 2013


Profiteroles a.k.a. choux à la crème a.k.a. cream puffs a.k.a. choux pastry is a puffy pastry filled with a cream and drizzled or dipped in chocolate. The batter, called a pâte à choux literally translated means cabbage paste because of how the puffs looks like little cabbages once it's baked. The dough doesn't use any leavening agent but instead, relies on the moisture in the batter to turn into steam to puff up the dough as it cooks. This basic dough is great for making profiteroles but can also be used to make eclairs and funnel cake and churros and beignets as well as savory pastries like gougère but those are all recipes for another day.
Ingredients [makes about 2½ dozen puffs]:
½ cup water
½ stick butter (¼ cup)
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 eggs

+ ½ cup heavy cream
+ 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

+ ⅓ cup heavy cream
+ ¼ cup chocolate chips (I prefer bittersweet or dark)
+ 2 tablespoons Nutella

I also included ice cream in this photo of potential filling/topping ingredients because filling the pastries with ice cream would be amazing in the summer time. Get your creative juices flowing - you don't always have to follow a recipe to a T.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

What I Ate: Pot Roast

Happy April Fool's Day. I don't have a joke for you; just some photos of pot roast, side dishes, and cupcakes.

A bit of a variation on this recipe.
{searing the meat}

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