jeudi 28 juillet 2016

Grilled Shrimp Louie – Dressing Up a Classic

I don’t do a lot of salad dressing videos, since it’s pretty much just adding things to a bowl, but when that dressing is going on a grilled shrimp Louie, I’ll make an exception. By the way, this is usually done with crab, but I think the smoky, grilled shrimp are a great summertime twist.

This is my take on a classic Louie dressing, and as with all such recipes, you’ll need to taste and adjust for acid, salt, and heat. Just be sure to wait until the dressing is nice and cold before tasting. You’ll get a more accurate reading, since that’s the temperature we’re going to be serving at.

If you do grill the shrimp, don’t toss it with the oil and lemon until right before you grill. This isn’t a marinade, and we don’t want the shrimp to start “cooking” in the acid. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 1 3/4 cups:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 packed teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

For the grilled shrimp:
2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt

mercredi 27 juillet 2016

Next Up: Something with Grilled Shrimp

Just a little heads-up that Friday's post will be up a little later in the day than usual, due to a sudden and unusual problem with my camera. My Canon T3i just started giving me "Movie recording has been stopped automatically" error messages after a few seconds of filming, and I wasn't able to finish the video. Apparently, I need a faster card, which is weird since this one has been working for months. I know shockingly little about cameras, so if you have any additional info, or advice, please share. Thank you, and stay tuned!

mardi 26 juillet 2016

Grilled Mojo Beef – Rhymes with “Everybody Say Ho!”

I got a request for a Cuban-style mojo marinade recently, which sounded like something I’d enjoy making, but to be honest I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I knew I was probably pronouncing it wrong, but other than that, I couldn’t remember having it anywhere.

I’d seen “mojo” sauces before, but they were at Spanish restaurants, and seemed to be chili-based; so I did a little of research, and of course, every single recipe I looked at was different. They all had garlic, citrus, and olive oil, but after that, the spices and seasonings varied greatly. So, this is basically a composite of what I saw, and it really came out well.

I think this would work great as an all-purpose marinade for just about any thing destined for the grill, but as I mentioned in the video, skirt steak would be my top choice.  Unless horribly overcooked, it always comes out juicy, and tender, as long as you slice it across the grain.  It also tends to really soak in the flavors of the marinade quite well, which I believe is due to it being such a well-marbled cut.

Once again, please excuse my makeshift brick grill, but I’m happy to report there’s help on the way.  So stay tuned for me to show that off soon, but in the meantime I really hope you get this delicious Cuban inspired mojo marinade a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 pounds beef skirt steak, cut into smaller pieces
1 large navel orange, juiced
3 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6-8 cloves garlic, finely crushed
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
extra lime wedges

vendredi 22 juillet 2016

How to Make Sushi Rice That Even Works for Sushi

I don’t make sushi at home very often, or ever, since we’re surrounded by top-notch sushi chefs here in San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make sushi rice. I think sushi rice makes a perfect side dish for just about any grilled meat, and since it’s perfectly fine at room temperature, it’s great for picnics.

You can even turn it into some quick tortilla-less tacos using nori seaweed wraps, as seen in the video. They make for such a unique summer meal – the perfect delivery system for any and all leftovers. I even seen it rolled into balls, and tossed in toasted sesame seeds, or seaweed, and served like truffles.

What I’m trying to say is, you can do a lot with this stuff. Including sushi. There are thousands of videos on YouTube showing how to make literally every type of sushi in existence, so check those out if you’re so inclined. Maybe one of these days I’ll even give it a go, if only for the “constructive criticism.”  I really hope you give this sushi rice technique a try soon.  Enjoy!

2 cups sushi rice, rinsed well, and left to dry for one hour
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 to 1/3 cup seasoned *rice vinegar, or to taste

* I buy mine already seasoned, but to make your own seasoned rice vinegar; combine:
1 cup rice vinegar, or cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt

jeudi 21 juillet 2016

SPider Man chocolate cake

A birthday cake request from one of my team-mates which I hesitate to do initially.
Intend to use fondant for the spiderman mask but didn't work and end up using cream cheese.

Cake was "baked" using rice cooker since it been awhile I have used this method.

Glad that it turned out ok.

Adapt from Everyone eats well in Flanders

60g unsalted butter
85g castor sugar + 85g brown sugar (or just 160g castor sugar)
½ can or 200ml evaporated milk
1 big egg
125g plain flour/cake flour)
40g cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ vanilla extract (Optional)
A pinch of salt
3 ripe bananas(150g)

Cream cheese frosting

1. Sift flour,
cocoa baking powder, salt, in a big bowl, set aside.
2. Melt butter, milk and sugar in a non-stick pot and set aside to cool a while.
Lightly beat the eggs with vanilla extract and add into the cooled mixture of melted
    butter/sugar/milk. Add In the mashed banana and mixed well.

4. Finally, fold in sifted flour mixture (over 3 times) using a spatula.
. Pour the cake batter into a greased rice cooker bowl and drop the pot 2 times on your
    table top to release the air pocket. 

6. Outline the mask using edible marker after cake is cool
7. fill the mask with cream cheese frosting
8. Use black icing to draw out the web.

For normal rice cooker without cake function,  press Cook x 3 time or till u place a skewer inside the cake and it come out clean.





Next Up: Something with Sushi Rice

mardi 19 juillet 2016

This Tuna Poke is No Joke

There are many of foods I’ll stand in line for, and/or pay too much for, but Hawaiian-style tuna poke isn’t one of them. I can’t make a world-class croissant at home. I can make a decent one, but not a perfect one, so I’ll happily queue up at a boulangerie that does.

However, when it comes to poke, the technique is so basic that even the most inexperienced cooks can get something pretty much identical to what they’d get out. There’s one catch though. You have to use only the freshest possible tuna, even if that means it’s frozen.

Hopefully you’ll be able to get a hold of some fresh, sushi-grade tuna, but if you can’t, frozen will work. What many people don’t realize, is that most of the fish they enjoy at their favorite sushi restaurants has actually been frozen beforehand anyway. Google it, it’s true.

So, as long as the tuna is Grade A, or sushi grade, the frozen variety will work. Above and beyond that, all the other ingredients, except for the soy sauce, are optional. So, please use this video as merely a guide to the technique, understanding that this will work with so many different ingredients. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Makes 4 portions Tuna Poke:
1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna (aka yellowfin), cut into about 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup high-quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons roasted macadamia nuts, crushed
1 tablespoon finely crumbled dried seaweed
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Other delicious additions include (add to finished poke, not the marinade, otherwise you may lose that gorgeous appearance):
- seasoned rice vinegar
- lemon or lime juice

* Toss tuna with marinade, and chill for 2 hours in the fridge before serving.

dimanche 17 juillet 2016

Captain america cookies


Attempt to bake Captain American SHield cookies that looks so cool and easy to bake in the video..but it was the opposite...very time consuming as I have to ensure that the pastry are solid hard to mould the star or it will run out of mine. I gave up completing the 2 outer colours as I though my "star" were ruined...

Use remaining plain tough to mould into hello kitty shape using my new mould bought from Japan.

Glad that the cookie is tasty on its own and I bake it a little longer for a crispy texture.

Video for Step by step instructions-

Ingredients :
2 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour (you may need a little extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional- I didn't use)
1 cup butter (227g)
1 cup sugar( Reduced to 3/4 cup approx.120g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tablespoons milk
navy blue soft gel food colour by Americolour
Red soft gel food colour by Americolour

egg white to help stick the cookies together.

1.   Whisk butter and sugar till creamy
2.   Add in the egg, vanilla extract and salt , mix it well
3.   Slowly whisk in dry ingredient(Flour/Baking powder) and lastly the milk.
4.   Knead till dough is smooth and paliable.
5.   Divide dough equally into 3 portion, 1 portion mixed with Navy blue colour,
      One with red and one plain portion.

6.   Wrapped the dough and place in fridge for 30 min.
7.   Use star mould for the plain dough, make about 16 and keep remaining for
      the outer roll

8.   Placed the star in freezer for 20mins or more before stacking them together
      with egg white and placed the stacked star in freezer till it harden.
9.   Roll Blue dough into 0.5cm thickness and trimmed into triangular shape x 5.
10. Remove stacked stars from freezer and placed the blue triangular strips
      around the star and rolled to shape into a round roll.

11. Roll the red dough into 0.5cm and wrapped around the rolled star, put in
     freezer to harden 

12. Repeat step 11 for remaining plain dough and keep the complete roll in
      freezer for 30mins or still slighty harden.

13. Cut the cookies to reveal the shield pattern and keep in fridge for 20 mins.
      before baking.

14. Preheat oven 180C and baked for 9-20mins depends on your preference for
      the crispness.

15. Let cookies cool before storing

Chocolate bear bun


Another bake ticked from my TO BAKE List...
These cute little bear bun are so adorable to look at though my 1st trial some looks really ugly. I use varlhona chocolate powder (dark cocoa) which the bun is quite bitter on its own but tastes great with the nutella spread. I will give it a generous spread in my next bear and better bear look.

Recipe source adapted from baking language

For the bread
350g High protein flour or bread flour
40g caster sugar
15g cocoa powder (I use Varlhona dark cocoa powder)
1/2tsp fine salt
1tsp instant yeast
230g fresh milk
25g unsalted butter, room temperature

For decorate the bear face
White chocolate(I replaced it with cheese, cut small circle from I slice of cheese)
Dark chocolate (Use black icing )

  1. In a stand mixer, add in bread ingredients except butter, mix and knead till smooth. I use my breadmaker for the kneading part.
  2. Add in butter, knead till elastic and shining dough. Cover and set aside to proof till double in size.
  3. Punch down the dough to expel air, to weight 35g each for 16 portions for the body and shape into round ball. And also to weight 2g each for the ear for 32 portions, rest for 15mins.
  4.  Take 35g dough and fill in ~1tsp Nutella, wrap and shape into ball, place into a baking pan (9’x9’), repeat till finished.
  5. Brush milk on the dough, then place two 2g dough for the ear, lightly press to stick. Repeat till all ear dough finished .Cover and let is proof for another 30-45mins.
  6. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180C for 20mins, remove from baking tin, set aside till completely cool down before decorate it.
  7. Melt white chocolate, then use a Chinese brush to paint at the centre. I used piping bag, cut a small slit and piped. Melt dark chocolate, fill in a piping bag, then make the eyes, nose and mouth.
  8. Store in air-tight container to avoid bread buns turned dry quickly.

jeudi 14 juillet 2016

Nashville Hot Chicken – Yes Cayenne

It’s not often I reduce the amount of cayenne in a recipe, but that’s the case with this striking, and intensely spiced Nashville hot chicken. If you’ve never had it, we’re talking about an ultra-crispy fried chicken, doused with a cayenne-infused glaze, and by “glaze” I mean melted butter and lard.

It sounds crazy, but it's basically like being able to put lots of hot sauce on fried chicken, without it getting soggy. For the record, I’ve never been to Nashville, so I can’t tell you how authentic this is, but it works for me, and is fairly easy to pull off. 

By the way, do yourself a favor, and toss the chicken with a tablespoon of kosher salt the night before you fry, and you’ll get a nicely seasoned, moister bird.

You can cut up a whole chicken, or just buy a package of leg sections, which work great in this recipe. If you want to see how to cut up a chicken, check out this old buttermilk fried chicken video. I cut the breasts in half in that one, but the technique is the same. I really hope you give this amazing fried chicken recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Nashville Hot Chicken:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, tossed with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and refrigerated overnight.
For the marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup pickle brine
2 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 large egg

For the flour:
2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons fine table salt or 4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup lard
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- Heat oil to 350 F. and maintain temp of 325 F. during frying. Cook to at least 160 internal temp.

mardi 12 juillet 2016

Orange Peach Cake

Tried one orange cake when I was on board JAL and it was so soft and flavourful that I must make one to satisfy my crave.
Chance upon Jeannie Tay orange sponge cake and decided to bake it for my dad's birthday since he like fruits and something light as well.
The cake is super moist and soft which the elderly likes it but I find it too moist and soft  for me but my family and friends likes it. Am going to try baking it again but without the water bath for a firmer sponge.

Cake recipe adapted from jeannietay
( 1 x 6" pan and 1x 5" pan)

A.  Cake
6 large egg yolks
70g oil
100g orange juice
90g cake flour
1/2 salt
Zest of one orange

6 egg whites
100g sugar(I used 95g)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

B. Filling and frosting
200ML whipped cream and 1 tbsp. powder sugar (or your preferred sweetness)
125g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp. lemon juice
drop of orange colouring (Optional)

C. Decoration
1 can of peach (Sliced) 
Toasted almond flakes

1. Line the bottom an 8″ round pan. Preheat oven to 155C
    (I bake at 160C
into one 6" and 5" tin.)
2. Sift flour and salt together.
3. Beat egg yolks, oil together until combined before adding orange juice and
    zest. Stir in the flour. Set aside.
4. Beat egg whites until frothy before adding cream of tartar and continue
    beating and gradually adding the sugar. Beat till soft peaks.
5. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter with a hand whisk. Add
    another 1/3 and fold until almost combined. Add the last portion and switch
    to a spatula to scoop the batter from the bottom of the bowl and fold up.
    Keep at it until no streaks of yolk batter can be seen.

6. Pour into prepared pan and bake with a water bath at 155C for 70-75
    minutes or until cooked.
7. Remove from oven, wait until cake has pulled away from the sides before
    inverting on to a smooth non stick pan. Remove paper lining and re-invert on
    to a rack.
8. Place cake in the oven (do not turn it on) to dry using the remaining heat if
    the cake is still wet.

9. Slice the cake into 2 when cool and sandwich with whipped cream
10. Crumb coat the whole cake with whipped cream and another layer with
      cream cheese frosting and decorate the side with 
almond flakes.
11. Pipe the orange cream cheese in the centre of the cake
      (cos I round out of sliced peach) 

12. Decorate with pearl bits

The 6" pan(shorter ht)

Banana loaf with walnut & Chia Seed


After trying a few recipes I would still go back to this buttery , soft and moist recipe which my family and friends loves. If you want the texture drier, can cut down on 1 tbsp. of milk.

I added chia seed and walnut to give it a different texture with slight crunch to it.

Again, half way through preparation I realised there no baking powder so I have to substitute with cream of tarta/ baking soda/corn flour. Luckily it turned out nice.
Ingredients for loaf tin  (one 8" x 3.5" x 3" & one 7" x 2.5")
250g salted butter
120g castor sugar
30g brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
4 tbsp milk/greek yogurt/sour cream
4 Big mashed banana or 5 Medium banana (very ripe with black spots) 
220g plain flour 
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder (substitute: 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tarta and 1/4 corn flour) 
Crushed Walnuts(Optional)
10g poppy seed/chia seed (Optional)

1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in eggs, vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
3. Add mashed banana & walnut into mixture and mix well.
4. Add sifted flour and mix well,pour into a cake mould
5. Decorate cake or cupcake with walnut sprinkle on top
6. Bake in preheated oven at 160 degC
For cake tin - 45mins-1 hour / For Cupcake bake 30-35mins or when skewer come out clean

The big loaf pan

Using disposal aluminium mould  (smaller loaf)

Pairing with vanilla Ice cream - yums!

lundi 11 juillet 2016

Just Corn Soup – Finally, Less is More!

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy fresh, summer corn, and a great lesson in just how little help these sweet ears need. If you’re using perfect, peak season ears, a little butter, salt and pepper is really all you need. And no, water never counts.

In case you’re wondering why we blended half the corn at the beginning, even though we were going to blend it at the end anyway, I have a great reason for that. The first time I made this soup, it came out so perfectly delicious that I’m now afraid to change the steps.

I blended the corn, and started cooking; not knowing it would look so terrible and broken. It tasted amazing, but looked like a horrible mistake, so I ended up giving it a little blitz with the stick blender. That did the trick, and I had something that looked as gorgeous as it tasted.

Would it taste the same if you simmered the corn in the water, and then blended it all at the end? I’m not sure, but my instincts say no. By the way, if you don’t have a stick blender, you’ll have to carefully puree about half the soup in a blender (in batches if necessary), and then add it back in. I really hope you give this amazing corn soup a try soon. Enjoy!

Makes 4 small portions:
3 cups packed fresh sweet white corn kernels (about 3-4 ears)
3 cups cold water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
generously season with salt
cayenne to taste

Next Up: Something with Corn

Due to yesterday being my birthday, and my refusing to work on that day, this week's first video will be slightly delayed. It should be up later this evening, or tomorrow morning at the latest. Stay tuned! 

vendredi 8 juillet 2016

Basil Ricotta Gnocchi – The Other (Better?) Gnocchi

One of these days, I’ll do a proper potato-based gnocchi video, but it’s hard for me, since I enjoy this style so much more. Sure, once in a while, with the help of perfectly cooked potatoes, and trusty ricer, you’ll nail the classic technique, and achieve beautifully light, tender dumplings; but, that’s how these come out every time. Besides, I’m pretty sure since these don’t use potato, or as much flour, we get to call these “low-carb,” which is nice. 

Anyway, the point is these are easy to pull off, and great for a dinner party, since you can shape/boil your gnocchi ahead of time, and then simply brown them up in some butter when you’re ready to serve.

I tend to keep the plating fairly basic for these, but any of your favorite pasta sauces should work. They're great as a main course, especially if you accessorize with some seasonal vegetables, but "as is," they also make for a stellar side dish, or first course. I really hope you give this basil ricotta gnocchi recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Portions Basil Ricotta Gnocchi:
12-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese (1 1/2 cups), *drained well
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, blanched in boiling water
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 not-packed cup)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 unsalted butter for optional browning

Note: Cook a test piece of dough in salted water, and check for seasoning. Add more salt if needed

*My fancy basket ricotta tends to be low-moisture, so if you’re using the much wetter supermarket brands, be sure to drain in a strainer in the fridge for a few
hours to allow the excess water to drip out.

lundi 4 juillet 2016

A Tale of Two Salts

I’ve been promising to do this video for a long time, since not understanding the difference between regular fine table salt, and kosher salt in a recipe, can cause all sorts of mayhem when cooking. 

Since chefs use kosher salt almost exclusively, and write many of the recipes you see online, that’s the type most often used. When you combine that with the fact that most home cooks typically use fine salt, there’s going to be issues.

Basically, if it’s not a recipe you can season “to taste,” and you’re using fine salt for a recipe that calls for kosher, then you’ll want to use about half the amount. Of course, it would be nice if every recipe were written in weight, but that’s not about to happen, and besides, there are already a trillion recipes out there.

So, why do chefs like kosher salt so much? It’s easier to handle, and doesn’t clump like fine salt. That’s big in a moist kitchen. It’s also nicer looking when finishing plates, as you can actually see the flaky crystals. Lastly, it’s a textural thing, providing a little crunch on occasion. By the way, there are different kosher salts, and other coarse salts on the market, but you can find all kinds of conversions online to fine salt. Good luck, and as always, enjoy!