HEEELLLLOOOOOOOO MY FRIENDSSSSSS long time no see. I’m back on the blog! To start the year off, I’d like to share with you some photos of an intimate dinner I had at R.C. and J.C.’s beautiful apartment. It’s actually pretty awful of me to do this to you because the dinner was effing amazing and you’ll… never actually get to have it.
You see, Chris Lee, R.C. and J.C.’s good friend, is about to head to California to open a new Nobu, and before his move across the country, he decided to cook a simple meal for his friends themed “Decadence.” And LAW and I were lucky enough to be invited.
The meal started off with a Lobster Cocktail and White Sturgeon Caviar (looking at the menu I stole from dinner because I definitely can’t remember the fancy shmancy names of all these delicacies) with smoked sablefish, creme fraiche, and a baguette from Maison Kayser – which is Chris’s favorite baguette in the city! This caviar was super smooth, lightly sweet, and with juuust enough of a punch to make it a delicacy. Ugh I’m drooling writing this.
Chris also made us some truffle butter, you know, just so we could finish up the bread.
Yup, delicious. Continue reading
WOW I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW I FEEL LIKE CHRISSY TEIGEN FROM HER SCALLOPS POST (READ IT RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY). I JUST WROTE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, ELOQUENT PROSE OF A POST (LIKE JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNING STATUS) ABOUT THE PERFECT SPAGHETTI RECIPE (I ACTUALLY STOLE IT AND “ADAPTED IT” FROM SOMEONE MUCH MORE LEGIT THAN ME) AND IT. JUST. ALL. DISAPPEARED.
LAW IS TRYING TO COMFORT ME BUT HIS WORDS ARE JUST PISSING ME OFF EVEN MORE. IT WON’T ALL BE OKAY AND NO, MY POST WON’T BE AS GOOD THE SECOND TIME I WRITE IT.
AAGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHGH. IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE I’VE POSTED SO I’M GOING TO JUST WRITE IT OUT NOW INSTEAD OF WAIT FOR MYSELF TO CHILL OUT.
Okay so you just need some spaghetti (I got mine at Eataly because I’m fancy), ripe tomatoes (DON’T PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE or else they turn all sandy and gross), basil, garlic, chili flakes, and lots of olive oil. Oh and parmesan. I used one pound of spaghetti and 14 tomatoes (I actually counted from the photo because I care about you so much).
FIRST, boil some water. While the water is boiling, make this basil-garlic-chili-infused olive oil. What you do is you heat a ton of olive oil (you can put however much you want because you can save it and use on other things) on low heat (NOT TOO HOT OR ELSE THE OLIVE OIL WILL TURN BITTER). Add garlic slices, fresh basil, and chili. Let it all simmer on low heat for like 20 minutes and remove from heat. Continue reading
Oh, home. I love home. Whenever I go home I find that I’m in this room most of the time, watching either my mom or grandma prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or some snack. During every waking hour of the day, someone is always in the kitchen prepping or cooking. This past Christmas, I learned how to make Braised Pork Over Rice (卤肉饭), a classic Taiwanese comfort food. I have yet to meet a single person who doesn’t enjoy this.
Finished product! The pork belly that we used was a bit too fatty… hence all of the extra oils. Feel free to use less fatty meats or skim the fat (or eat it like me because it has so much flavorrrrrr). The recipe is very simple and very similar to my Red Cooked Pork Belly that has become quite popular.
Couple pounds of pork belly (sorry, this recipe isn’t super precise but it’s also because it doesn’t need to be). Blanche the pork belly (aka. dump slabs of the meat into boiling water for about a minute and take out). This gets rid of some of the gamey flavors. Then chop them up into 1cm thick bits.
Diced onion, garlic, and ginger.
Star anise, cinnamon, ginger, a few bay leaves, and rock sugar (not pictured). Continue reading
Egg tofu is one of my favorite things in the world. And that’s only a slight exaggeration. For some reason, I haven’t seen it any any restaurants in Manhattan. Why isn’t anyone making this? Well, I took the matter into my own hands and have been making this version of egg tofu for years now. It’s delicious. Simple. And reminds me of home. Not much more you can ask for in life.
- 2 tubes of egg tofu (Yes, they come in tubes. No, it’s not gross. You can find at HK Supermarket)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 longhorn peppers
- 1-2 stalks of scallions
- 0.5 pounds of ground pork (about a fist size)
- chili bean paste 豆瓣酱 (which I also use in my Braised Chili Fish and Yu Xiang Eggplant)
First slice the egg tofu into half inch slices and pan fry each side until golden. Takes about a minute per side. Continue reading
I’m supposed to blog about Central Europe but I’m kind of over it now so I want to tell you about the Linguine con le Vongole that I made. I’ve been ordering vongole anytime I see it on the menu recently and it’s because I’ve just discovered how amazing it is. I talked about this discovery from my Lil Frankies post but basically, I think my baby taste buds have just grown to love the more subtle flavors from this dish. As a kid, I would only ever order tomato based pastas because I craved the juicy, tart flavor of tomato. I would NEVER order an olive oil and garlic based pasta because it just tasted like nothing to me. But now I have matured (okay maybe only my taste buds have). Vongole is an olive oil and garlic based pasta INFUSED with the deliciousness of clams. It’s surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. Check out my super simple recipe!
Ingredients (for one):
- a dozen littleneck clams (rinsed under water)
- bunch of parsley (just take the leaves and chopped up finely)
- about 6 cloves of garlic (also chopped up)
- about a quarter to a third cup of white wine
- one portion of linguine (form an “O” with your thumb and index finger, that’s about how much you need, maybe more if you are me)
Ever since a dinner party I went to recently where C.H. made fresh pesto, I have been non-stop thinking about pesto. I soon realized that the only way I could cure myself of this was for me to make my own pesto. I don’t own a blender (yet), but discovered that a blender is only optional in the world of pesto making. As a matter of fact, the first blog I’ve ever read (with the most beautiful food photos), blogs “Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother” – chunky monkey style (she doesn’t call it that, she’s a little more graceful of a writer than I am).
As I do with most recipes, I followed this one loosely. I bought the following ingredients:
- bunch of basil (leaves only, washed and dried)
- handful of raw pine nuts
- 3/4 cup of parmesan
- 3 small cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- some kind of pasta – I opted for fettuccine
A long time ago, a reader asked me for my pasta recipe that I frequently post on Instagram. I love pasta and pretty much need it weekly, if not more. I love all kinds of pasta too. From fancy ones that are extra al dente and served in small portions in a ginormous curved plate, to the home bolognese pictured above. The pasta I make is simple, very tasty, and completely unpretentious. You’ll see why: Continue reading
One slow Saturday morning, I decided I wanted to make a citrus chocolate something. Orange and chocolate has always been one of my favorite chocolate combinations. Something about the combination of the citrusy acidity and the creamy cocoa tastes so complex and rich. I googled a bunch of recipes and this simple one from My Baking Addiction caught my eye.
The ingredients are basic, which is always the first thing about a recipe that attracts me. I don’t bake nearly enough to own all these weird baking-specific ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I actually skipped this because, like I said, I don’t own baking things)
- 1 cup of milk
- zest of 1 orange (I would probably do zest of 2 oranges next time)
- 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chunks
My first time zesting an orange! Made the kitchen smell glorious. It was pretty cool to see the citrus oils spray into the air. Continue reading
Happy 3.14159265359.. Day! I’m not normally nerdy enough to celebrate the day (let’s be real now, the true reason I don’t celebrate is because I actually don’t love pie – minus Pearl’s summer blueberry pie… two and a half months away from my tummy). I don’t love desserts and I rarely bake because I don’t like to measure things, which generally causes a disaster in baking. But my team at work celebrates the day so I felt obliged to participate. I decided to make a no-bake pie to minimize failure.
This recipe is super duper easy. All you need is:
- 32 oreos ish (if someone steals one or two while you’re cooking, you’ll live)
- two packs of JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
- half a stick of butter (melted)
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip (go with extra creamy)
As I don’t bake very often, I don’t have any of the right tools. I read online that it’s easiest to crush oreo cookies in a food processor but why would I have one of those when I have knife and hammer skills? As you can see, I laid out Oreos in a ziplock bag and hammered them into crumbs. A lack of resources inspires innovation, guys. Do as you like as long as you break the cookies up. Continue reading
Eggplant really doesn’t get enough love. The craze was brussels sprouts in 2012, kale in 2013, not too sure what the vegetable craze will be this year… but I’m hoping that eggplant will make it to the list in the near future because it’s a damn good (and healthy) vegetable that too many people find repulsive. People who say “it’s the texture” are just being narrow-minded. The texture of an eggplant is similar to a zucchini!
Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子) is a classic Sichuan homecooked dish. As Appetite in China (where I got my recipe) says, the name is deceiving because it isn’t meant to taste like fish at all. The flavor is associated with how fish is often prepared in Sichuan cuisine, hence the name. It’s super easy to make and goes great with a bowl of rice. Very few Chinese kids hate eggplant and I attribute that to them growing up with this very specific dish. Continue reading