Sunday, January 1, 2012
Monday, December 12, 2011
If you are are looking for a dish that will perfume your kitchen with roasted garlic and rosemary, then look no further because I have just the recipe for you. All you need for this recipe are six simple ingredients: Chicken drumsticks, garlic, dried rosemary, olive oil, Chinese spice salt and black pepper. The secret to making these drumsticks extra savory is the spice salt, which is salt mixed with Chinese Five Spice. We always have this on hand because it's a fast and easy way to add flavour to food other than the usual S&P.
I made this dish for my family the other night and honestly there's nothing nicer that coming home to the wonderful aromas of dinner cooking and roasted garlic. They thought I slaved in the kitchen all day.
Chinese spice salt
1. Wash the chicken drumsticks and pat dry with paper towel
2. To marinade the chicken, add spice salt, black pepper, dried rosemary and enough olive oil to coat. Using a grater, grate 1-2 garlic cloves over the chicken.
3. If you have time, pop the chicken into the fridge to marinade for a few hours. This step won't make a huge difference.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the drumsticks for 40 minutes.
5. After 40 minutes, turn the oven to broil for about 10 minutes. Once the skin is crispy and golden, they are ready.
Note: Don't worry if the garlic looks burnt, it should look this way. The garlic will taste sweet and not pungent like raw garlic.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Chocolate truffles are one of my all-time favorite desserts. Luckily, it also happens to be one of the easiest things to make and with the holidays just around the corner, these decadent treats make the perfect hostess gift or for easy entertaining. This recipe comes from Canadian Living and the recipe is foolproof. The most difficult part is stopping yourself from snacking on leftover chocolate and licking the whisk. Anyway, did I mention that this was my first time making truffles?
277g of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (make sure it's good quality)
2/3 cup of whipping cream
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tbsp vanilla
Cocoa powder (for the coating)
Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. In saucepan, heat cream with butter just until butter melts and bubbles form around edge of pan. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about two hours.
Using a melon baller or teaspoon, drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto two waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Gently roll each to round off completely. Freeze until hard, about one hour. (Make-ahead: Cover and freeze for up to one day.)
Coating: Roll each truffle in a small bowl with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to three months.
*note: You will notice that I used cocoa powder for the coating instead of chocolate because that's how I like my truffles.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I had dinner at Swish By Han tonight and it was one of best meals I've had in a very long time in Toronto. The restaurant had really nice decor, service was great and the food was delicious. I was especially blown away by their steamed pork belly bun. It was sweet from the hoisin sauce, spicy from the chilis and smoky from the charred pork belly. Party in my mouth.
Monday, September 12, 2011
On Sunday, I spent the afternoon planning my meals for the upcoming week and went grocery shopping. I rarely do this, so I felt really productive and prepared for the busy week ahead. I made enough quinoa salad to last me for the whole week, made a delicious steak and potatoes dinner and slow roasted tomatoes. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it felt good knowing that I wouldn't have to slave away in the kitchen during the week.
Now, back to the slow roasted tomatoes. I wanted to make pasta for dinner, so this was an easy way to make a hearty sauce. This recipe was inspired by Sophie Dahl's roasted tomato soup except much more simpler and rustic. No blender or immersion blender is required and you don't have to stew the tomato sauce for hours.
4 cloves of garlic
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Chop tomatoes into chunks and smash the garlic cloves. Place everything in a baking dish. Add, salt, pepper, dried rosemary, sugar (I eyeballed all of the measurements). Slow roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
3. Take the pan out of the oven and mash tomatoes with a fork. You can blend everything into a smooth sauce, but I love the rustic chunks of tomato.
4. Pour the roasted tomatoes into a pot and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. About 20-30 minutes. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and more sugar if the sauce is too sour.
5. Cook the pasta, top with the tomato sauce and garnish with some chopped parsley.
Serve immediately with lots of Parmesan.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I spent Sunday afternoon watching Delicious Miss Dahl on YouTube and felt inspired to make dinner from scratch. In this particular episode, Sophie was feeling nostalgic and made a homesick lunch. She prepared twice baked potatoes with goat cheese and crème fraiche and a roasted tomato soup. I definitely did not have any fancy ingredients stocked in my pantry, so I raided my fridge to avoid running to the grocery store. To my surprise, I found gouda cheese, scallions, onions, garlic and a carrot. I instantly came up with my own twist to Sophie's nostalgic meal and decided to make twice baked potato with gouda cheese and scallions and a roasted carrot soup. There was no recipe involved, just whatever I thought would taste delicious together. I think I learned this from my mom, she rarely cooks with a recipe.
Twice baked potato
1 stalk of scallion
Gouda cheese (Any cheese you prefer would work, also as much as you like)
Roasted Carrot Soup
1 Small onion
Few cloves of garlic
Enough olive oil to coat the vegetables
1. Wash and scrub the potato well. Place potato in 400 degree oven and bake for an hour and a half.
2. Cut carrots and onions and place on a sheet pan. Add the garlic cloves, rosemary, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and place in a 400 degree. Roast for 45 minutes.
3. Once the potato is cool enough to handle, cut it in half length wise. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Grate the cheese and add chopped scallions into the bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until blended. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins and top with more cheese. Place the baked potato back into the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
4. Once the vegetables are golden brown and fork tender, they are ready. Place the vegetables into a blender and add some hot water or chicken stock. Blend until smooth. (Tip, if you do not have chicken stock, add bouillon powder)
5. Reheat the soup before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.