Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Salmon Fried Rice

sticky rice stir fried with salmon, pickled mustard greens, and other yumyums!
1 - stir fry the salmon, bacon, tiny shrimp, and pickled mustard greens til fragrant
2 - mix it all up real good
3 - add diced green beans, onions, and baby bell peppers

4 - stir fry everything til onions are fragrant and translucent, adding sugar and soy sauce
5 - add cooked sticky rice (best to use leftover or slightly dry/cooled rice)

5 - add chopped green onions, mix well, and enjoy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Challah French Toast with Kaya


Friday, June 15, 2012

Green tea white chocolate ice cream

The ice cream is so green that the dusting of green tea powder on top just blends right in. I think I put half of the container of green tea powder. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turned out to be too much of a good thing! The ice cream was a little too intense. Or maybe I'm not sophisticated enough. 

We found three different types of matcha from Maeda-en: culinary quality, universal quality, and ceremonial quality. Felt a tad underdressed to touch the ceremonial stuff and a little too good for the culinary dust, so we went for the universal one. It was green, fragrant, delicate, delicious, and most important, ridiculously universal.

Got the recipe from Steamy Kitchen, and modified it by reducing the sugar and increasing the matcha a little. I think next time I would stick with the original amounts. The white chocolate really comes through and gives the ice cream an intensely milky taste! Kinda like a green tea white chocolate square...mmmmmm. :D

Olive balsamic saffron macaron

You know when you try to watch TV, check your email, do yoga, and floss at the same time? If you're the kind of person who likes that kind of thing, then you would love these. For the average joe, like myself, these are a somewhat bewildering combination of intense balsamic vinegar jelly, grassy olive oil valrhona white chocolate ganache, and vanilla bean saffron shells. They are deliciously confusing. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fermented Sweet Rice Ice Cream

We wanted to take a picture with the bottle of 酒 (tian jiu, fermented sweet rice) in the background, but we realized that the bottle is actually quite unphotogenic. Fermented rice is delicious - if you've never had it before, think something that's sour, winey, sweet, and ricey at the same time. Yeah, you know you want some. It's incredible in a sweet soup with some mochi, and it was very good in this ice cream. The alcohol content helps keep the ice cream soft and creamy, and the flavor gets more complex as it continues to mellow. We served it with fresh tian jiu and also on some warm, crispy, freshly toasted slices of choux pastry from our freezer stash. 

Fermented Sweet Rice Ice Cream
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or just salt it to your liking)
3/4 cup fermented sweet rice, drained well
2 Tbsp fermented rice liquid (the stuff you drained out)

Pour cream into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Heat milk with half of the sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat til steaming, stirring once or twice to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, whisk yolks with the other half of the sugar until pale yellow. Temper the yolk/sugar mixture with the heated milk, and cook over medium low heat until the mixture thickens or reaches 180 F. Immediately strain into the cream. Add fermented sweet rice and the fermented sweet rice liquid, and mix well. Add salt and adjust to your liking. Chill overnight and churn in the morning. Transfer freshly churned ice cream to the freezer and let it set up for 2 hours before enjoying.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Taro Cake

Filled with straight-up taro puree (lightly sweetened), frosted with sweetened whipped cream.

The cake turned out to have a mochi-like texture - quite moist and chewy - maybe there was too much liquid or taro in the cake. However, it was well loved by the mochi-fans in the house. Taro-fans were pleased too. Goes great with jasmine tea.

Taro Cake 
adapted from this pumpkin cake recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour (120g)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon taro (yam) extract
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1 cup super smooth lightly sweetened taro puree

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8 inch cake pan and line with parchment. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs. Blend in oil, taro extract, yogurt, and taro puree. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Spread batter into prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Super Smooth Lightly Sweetened Taro Puree

1.25 lbs peeled taro
3 tablespoons sugar

Cut the taro into 8 medium sized chunks. Place in a medium saucepan and fill with water to submerge 3/4 of the height of the taro chunks. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until taro is soft when poked with a chopstick. Remove taro from water and let cool (reserve the water in the pot). When cool, puree in a food processor, adding water as necessary. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and puree until smooth (about 2-3 min, small chunks may still be there). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.

To assemble the cake: Cut a 6-in round from the center of the 8-inch cake. Carefully slice in half through the middle to get two layers. Place on a rotating cake stand. Spread about 1/2 cup of Super Smooth Lightly Sweetened Taro Puree on top and sandwich with the second layer. Whip up some cream with sugar (use about 3 tablespoons with 1 cup of cream) and use to frost the sides and top. I used a Gateau St. Honore tip for the decorations and attempted to cover up the ugly parts with plums disguised as roses.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Olive Oil Ice Cream

This ice cream tasted like the smell of an Asian bakery - you know, the really fragrant aroma from the cute little sponge cakes hanging out on the shelves? It was divine. With a little drizzle of legit balsamic vinegar, it was even better! The best part of homemade ice cream is licking the freezer bowl and the plastic churner component with all its nooks and crannies. Don't use your tongue to lick the freezer bowl directly. That would be a mistake, albeit an initially delicious one.

Olive oil ice cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 1/3 cups (330 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
Pinch of sea salt (taste the custard and adjust salt as needed - salt really intensifies the flavors!)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 ml) legit olive oil - the key is in the legitness of the olive oil

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Make sure that you don’t over cook it or else you’ll get scrambled eggs. It’s better to err on the safe side by turning off the heat when the custard just slightly thickens because the heat in the pot will continuously cook the mixture. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Whisk the olive oil into the custard vigorously until it’s well blended, then stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Mont Blanc


Jacques Genin Lime Tart

Tarte au Citron (recipe translated from here)
by Jacques Genin, Chocolaterie Jacques Genin, Paris
serves 6

For the sweet pastry:
- 120 g butter
- 85 g icing sugar
- 20 g ground almonds
- 40 g of whole egg
- ½ vanilla pod
- 2 g salt
- 210 g flour

For the lime cream:
- 110 g of whole egg
- 110 g caster sugar
- 110 g of lime juice
- 13 g of lime zest
- 150 g butter

The day before, prepare the sweet dough. To do this, split the ½ vanilla bean in half and remove seeds that are inside with a small knife. Put them in the bowl of a blender with the butter, icing sugar, almond powder and start mixing (dough can be mixed in a blender or by hand). Add eggs and mix again. Put the flour and mix gently. The dough is ready.

Flour a work surface and dough and spread with the roller to give it a form of thick square. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and let stand one hour and a half in the fridge. Out the dough and spread it. Cut a circle the width of your pan, leaving a centimeter over the edge. Roll out the pastry on a roll, lay it on a plate and put in the fridge for an hour. Remove dough from refrigerator and line the pie plate. Replace the fridge overnight. The next day, cook the dough in the oven at 180 ° C a good twenty minutes.

On the day, prepare the lemon cream. Beat eggs. Place in a saucepan with the juice and lime zest. Add sugar and stir. Cook over low heat, stirring until the cream clings to the back of the spoon. Remove from heat (when the cream reaches a temperature of 45 ° C), add butter and mix. Chill in fridge for a few hours. Garnish the tart with lemon cream. Sprinkle with zest and then return to refrigerator for fifteen minutes.

Serve the tart immediately from the fridge, slightly chilled. The cream is rather loose, so it will run if left to sit out at room temperature for more than 10 minutes. You can also freeze the tart and slice neet slices, and let the tart defrost for 10 minutes at room temperature until creamy and delicious.