Monday, August 29, 2016

Arnold Palmer

Back in university, my roommates and I would drink Arnold Palmers all the time (the ones by Arizona). We would jokingly call them "alnord parmels" (switching the 'r's and 'l's). It's one of my favorite beverages, whether it's bottled or made fresh. I made a big pitcher to accompany a delicious burger dinner and it was so delicious and refreshing. Sure, it's more effort than buying the premade stuff, but it's so much better when made with true brewed tea and real lemons.
arnold palmer
2 cups cold brew tea
¾ cup quick lemonade
2 cups water
mint sprigs

cold brew tea
2 cups water
4 to 6 teabags

quick lemonade
5 to 6 lemons (½ to ⅓ cup juice)
½ cup sugar

Friday, August 26, 2016

Chicken Piccata

I've been buying lots of lemons at the market every week because I like to drink lemon juice every morning. I squeeze the juice out of half a lemon and then down it like a shot and then chase it with water. It's been helping me keep my skin really bright, it's been helping me not get sick *knock wood*, and it's a great way to jumpstart my metabolism in the morning.

The thing is, I forget to do this at least one day a week which means that there's always an extra lemon sitting in the fruit bowl. So, one night when I was trying to decide what to do for dinner, I stared at the package of chicken, then at the leftover lemon, and decided that chicken piccata would be the way to go. Luckily, we had a jar of capers in the fridge and a good bottle of white wine so I was all set.

I like using chicken thighs instead of breasts because they're more tender and more moist and because of that, I don't even bother pounding them. But, if you're a boob-person and/or a traditionalist, then go for the breasts and pound them out thinly. Seriously though, thighs taste better and they're cheaper so that's the cut of chicken I usually buy. You will likely never see a chicken breast-specific recipe here; I'm not a fan.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
4 chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
juice of ½ lemon
½ cup white wine (or chicken stock, if you're not a fan of wine)
1 teaspoon basil

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lobster & Sweet Corn Pasta

I'm back from holiday and I'm so cranky about it. I have an awesome tan that I can't even show off properly because it's freezing in the office! But, I can be in a good mood about one thing: this blog post. I'm pretty happy with this dish.

My mom was one of those crazy people at buffets where she would stuff herself until she was sick and would encourage my sister and me to do the same. She was especially embarrassing at seafood buffets where she would pile her plate high with king crab legs and harass the staff when stock would get low. I hated that behavior as a kid but I'm pretty sure I behave similarly when I'm at any buffet now.

This woman, who gave me life, also taught me how delicious lobster is and that one must always squeeze out every ounce of meat, including from the tiny legs. She and my dad used to steam a few lobsters for dinner maybe once a year. It was a special little treat for our family to indulge in and I follow a similar tradition. Maybe once a year (probably less often, due to my squeamishness) I buy a lobster or two and make an indulgent little meal. So, this post is to share this year's lobster dish: a delicious creamy pasta with plenty of delicious lobster. I went all out and made fresh pasta, I used in-season sweet corn, and I stuck with my love of butter poaching lobster. I think it yields the most tender, decadent lobster. Plus, I like how easy it is to pull out all of the meat by par-cooking it.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 lb. fresh pasta (fettuccine or pappardelle)
2 ears of corn
2 butter poached lobsters
¼ cup beurre monte (leftover from poached lobster)
lobster shells
½ cup milk
½ cup cream
1 cup + ¼ cup grated parmesan
1 scallion, chopped
2 basil leaves, chiffonade
+ fresh ground pepper

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What I Ate: Korean Food (4)

Since I did a roundup of non-Korean dinners on Monday, I thought I would share some Korean ones too.
Seriously, I get so hungry putting these together, reliving the meals.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What I Ate: For Dinner (2)

Hello! This is the first of two posts that have been prescheduled for while I'm away on holiday! I'm hopefully sunning in Santorini as this goes live.

I figured I would keep things casual around here while I'm away so I decided I would share another 'What I Ate: for Dinner' post, as I have collected quite a few photos of some of my more memorable meals from the past few months.
There's a mixture of really summer meals in there (the grill is featured a few times) but there are also some heartier dishes from when the temperatures dipped here and there early in the summer.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What I Ate: Blueberry & Cheese Galettes

Summer berry season is amazing. It makes the produce section at the market smell so lovely and it makes my stomach happy. I made some galettes with blueberries and cream cheese (to mimic a danish-style pastry) and they turned out pretty amazing.
I let them get a bit toastier than usual in an attempt to get the crust nice and crunchy so that they'd be extra delicious straight out of the oven and at room temperature. It was still crunchy even when I enjoyed one for breakfast a day later, so these keep really well.

Monday, August 8, 2016

What I Ate: Chili Cheese Dogs

I know chili may not seem suited for summertime, but hotdogs certainly are, so I think chili can be suited for summertime if you want to top your hotdogs. This time, we used lots of habanero cheddar, diced onion, cilantro leaves, and jalapeno.
The good thing is that making chili doesn't require too much time spent over the stove. Also, I added some finely chopped mushrooms and they were so good. I could totally imagine a vegetarian version of chili made with mushroom; they soak up the flavor of the spices really well.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Garden Update 2

This past month, we started harvesting some yummy produce from our garden. It felt like our plants really flourished from the major amounts of rain and days of intense sunshine.
Unfortunately, we had some terrible encounters with the deer this past month. They came and chomped off the budding baby lemons. But, the lemon tree has started producing new flowers so I've got my fingers crossed that we'll see at least one full-grown lemon this year.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Pork Belly Bao Buns (Korean-Inspired)

Hello, August! My sister was saying that if she could put seals of approval on my blog posts, that this one would definitely warrant one. We compared it to Joan Calamezzo's book club, ha!

Bao buns seem to be a thing now, thanks to Eddie Huang. But, not all of us have the time or the means to head over to Bao House every afternoon (which is the frequency with which I would like to enjoy bao). So, for someone like me who loves to cook, it means making it at home.

Koreans also have filled steamed buns, called ho-bbang (호빵) and steamed bread, called jjim-bbang (찜빵) which my aunt used to make all the time. So, I defaulted to the dough I know to make the bao bun. For the filling, I also went Korean-inspired and slow cooked pork belly in a sweet soy sauce. I topped the whole thing off with freshly made julienned radish kimchi (polluted with lots of Korean chive from our garden) and a little fried egg. Because Koreans like topping things with eggs.

The end result was a really delightful, super delicious bao. It was so good that I start drooling when I think about it. In fact, I'm drooling as I write this post.
Ingredients [yields 6 to 8 bao]:
steamed buns (bao)
½ cup warm water (110F)
1½ tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon canola oil

pork belly
8 oz. pork belly
½ small daikon radish
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 Thai chilis, chopped
½" knob ginger
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon sesame oil

filled bao buns
julienned radish kimchi
cilantro leaves
quail eggs
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