Sep 30, 2009

Gorgonzola + Honey = Unbelievably Delicious

I wish my morning can start out like this everyday!


Sliced baguette
Extra virgin olive oil


Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the baguette,
Toast it in the oven till slightly golden brown on the top.

Simply slice some gorgonzola and place on top of the baguette slices,
Drizzle some honey over it, serve with grapes and tea,
That's it! Super good! Seriously!

I also had some other sliced baguette in the background,
I toasted them without olive oil,
Spread two with blueberry jam and one with nutella,

Cindy's Rating: 9!!

Sep 29, 2009

Ensenada Street Food - Cactus Fruit with Chili Sauce

I went on a cruise recently to Mexico, Ensenada,
During the offshore excursion, I saw this small stand lining up with cactus fruits,
I had to order something from there.

Not too sure what I got from the lady (since she only speaks Spanish),
She peeled the cactus, chopped it up in big chunks, and asked if I want chili sauce with it,
How in the world do I know what she was asking for?
Well, at least I know chili, or chile, either way, I got my cup of chopped cactus with chili sauce-

The sauce tastes kind of like the plum powder people use for guava,
As for the cactus itself, it has a slight sweet taste, the texture is similar to dragon fruit, but a little bit harder...
By the way....I didn't expect so many seeds in the middle....

Good experience though! Never had fruit with chili sauce before!

Sep 25, 2009

Classic Madeleine Dipped with Ganache

I was working on some school projects the other day...
After hours of staring at my laptop and taking notes....I've decided I need a break!!
My brain was about to explode...seriously...those's killing me!

So I walked into the kitchen, saw the madeleine mold I got few days ago,
(I was in a shopping mode, got so many things that day),
Yes, I shall make some madeleines! Cooking always helps to release my stress!

Ingredients (for 12)?

1 cup of all purpose flour
2/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of melted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Small pinch of salt
(Some extra flour and melted butter)

For the ganache:

1.5 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
1.5 oz of bitter-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream


Always start out with preheating the oven (since mine takes 10 minutes to do so),
Set it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush the madeleine mold with butter and dust with flour,
Remember to tap the mold for a little bit so the flour can coat the mold evenly-

Have a big bowl ready,
Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and a small pinch of salt,
Beat the mixture till well blended, sift in the flour,
Keep blending till all the flour chunks are gone, now add the melted butter,
Keep blend it till the mixture looks like this,
(You can see the source of my headache in the background too - my school work)-

Into the oven for 12 minutes or so, depending on how big the mold you're using,
Or just remember this, bake till it turns semi-brown color on the edges,
It took me 16 minutes for the madeleines,
And here's the picture when I took it out from the oven-

Set the mold aside till it cools down a little bit, transfer the madeleines on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile let's make some ganache,
Have a double broiler ready,
I simply have a small pot filled with a little bit of water, bring to a boil and turn to medium heat, then I place a bowl on top of the pot, it works just like a double broiler!

In the bowl, break the chocolates into smaller chunks and stir it so they melt evenly,
Add in the heavy whipping cream, mix till well blended.

Now lets coat the tip of madeleine with the ganache we just made,
Back to the cooling rack again till the ganache is set completely,
Here you go, classic madeleine dipped with ganache-

It was my first try and I absolutely loved it!
After eating few madeleines....back to school work?
Mmmmmm maybe take a nap instead.

Cindy's Rating: 8

Sep 20, 2009

Mini Crab Patties with Worcestershire Reduction

This giant package arrived at my place few days ago-

Inside the box,
I got my 2 packs of organic udon, 1 pack of organic brown rice, 1 worcestershire sauce, 1 flower crab meat, 1 oyster sauce, and 1 acid cleaning thing for free!!

Yes! You heard me, freeeeeeee!

So here's the recipe I came up with using some of the googies I got,
Mini crab patties with worcestershire reduction-

Ingredients (for 6 small patties)?

1 can (6.5 oz) of flower crab meat
2 tablespoons of finely chopped scallion
2 teaspoons of Japanese mayonnaise
1/3 cup of grated parmesan
1 egg
Some flour
Some fine panko (regular bread crumb will do too)
Some orange zest (less than 1 teaspoon)
Some Worcestershire sauce
Small pinch of salt
Small pinch of white pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


Drain out all the extra liquid from the crab meat and transfer to a bigger bowl,
Add 2/3 of the chopped scallion, parmesan cheese, mayo, a small pinch of salt, and a small pinch of white pepper.
Beat up one egg, transfer about half to the mixture, and save the other half for later use,
This will help to bind all the ingredients together,
You might want to add just a little bit of flour into the mixture to help with the binding,
Blend the mixture well and set aside.

Have two plates ready,
One sprinkle with some flour, one sprinkle with some panko.

Form the mixture into 6 small patties,
Take one patty, cover with flour, dip into the remaining beaten egg, and coated with panko,
Repeat the same steps for all the patties.

Now, let's drizzle some extra virgin olive in the pan, turn to high heat and wait till it gets really hot,
Sear both sides of the patties for about 2 minutes each, or just till it turns semi-brown color,
Transfer the patties to a plate.
As for the sauce, simple reduce/heat up the Worcestershire sauce till it thickens a little bit,
Drizzle some onto a plate, place the crab patty, garnish with the scallion we saved earlier.

One more picture-

Makes a perfect h'orderve at the party!
*Or my yummy Sunday afternoon snack!

Cindy's Rating: 8

Sep 15, 2009

Simple Comfort Food - Chicken Soup Noodles

Home sweet home!

After spending 3 nights on my cruise vacation to Ensenada, now I'm back to my tiny cozy apartment!
It was my first cruise experience and man...let me tell was like...buffet all the way for the entire weekend,
I did my best to restrain myself from the dining area...until the last day...I couldn't hold it anymore...way too much food...way too much...

I also had an awesome seafood ceviche in Ensenada, heard that the place I went was actually aired on National Geographic channel,
Any details? I'll keep you posted, but first let me write about this recipe here.

So why I chose to make chicken soup noodles as my first meal after my cruise vacation?
First, after few days without Asian rice and noodles, I'm in a huge craving for some Oriental comfort food,
Second, there was a sale in the supermarket, the whole chicken only costs me $2.81!
By the way, a tip here for you folks out there who want to save some $$,
If you see any whole chicken sales, just buy it!!!
You can do so many things with it,
Simply roast the bird and save the meat for other dishes,
The bones can further be utilized for chicken stock,
No time to deal with the chicken? Just throw it into the freezer first!

Anyways, I got too excited talking about chicken sales there,
So another reason is that I got sick....and if you know me'll know that I never loose my appetite while I'm sick...
But being sick means no more energy for me to go out for food...or even cook some fancy stuff at home, (more like I prefer to lay on the sofa, , and doing absolutely nothing for the next few days)
As a result, chicken soup noodles it is, super simple and very comforting!

Oh! please don't panic here hearing that I got sick after I'm back from Mexico!!!
And don't you dare to report me to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention!
I checked, it's just a seasonal flu, nothing related to "oink oink" flu! Calm down yo!

Ingredients (for a gigantic pot of soup)?

1 medium chicken
25 shitake mushrooms
1 medium daikon (coarsely chopped)
1 large carrot (coarsely chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
2 stalks of scallion
1 medium sized ginger


To clean the chicken, rinse it under cold water for couple minutes,
Remember to clean the cavity area too,
I saved the neck bones and the inner organs, but those are not required for the soup.

Pour the water in a big, deep pot, about 70% full, turn the heat up,
Meanwhile, remove the stems from the scallion and mushrooms, peel the ginger, and chop all other vegetables,
Transfer the chicken with all the veggies into the pot, bring to a boil.
(You can also add celery and tofu into the mixture)

After the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium/low, just let it simmer for at least 2 hours,
Remember to scoop out the foamy bubbles constantly, otherwise it'll leave an "unclean" taste to the soup.

Ideally, I would cook the soup for 4 hours and leave it overnight before serving,
Add the salt when you're done cooking it,
I used a lot of salt since it's such a huge pot of chicken soup,
Just add a little bit at a time and give it a taste to adjust the flavor.

Move on to the noodles part-

I used wide Asian dry noodles, cooked them for about 8 minutes and here's my ultimate comfort food-

The chicken just comes right off the bones since it's been cooking in the soup for so long,
You can dip the meat in soy sauce while eating the noodles,
Hope this meal will make me feel better soon...
Stupid flu!!

I did it!! I still managed to update my blog while my head is spinning like a roller coaster!

Sep 7, 2009

Dragon Well Tea with Cononut Milk Granita

Just a quick post here before Labor Day weekend ends (> _.<)"
This time we gonna use Chinese Dragon Well tea and make a dessert that will definitely cool down the heat!

Tea leaves-

Unlike one other popular Chinese tea, Oolong, which actually shapes like a tea leaf,
Dragon Well leaf has a long, thin feature, and carries a slightly lighter color tone.
You can read its history from Wikipedia here,
The tea leaves I got really comes from its origin place, where the Chinese emperor Qianlong had the exact same tea many many years ago!

Dragon Well tea with coconut milk granita-


1 1/2 cups of Dragon Well tea
2/3 cup of condensed coconut milk
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of brown sugar


Pour in all the ingredients in a small pot and turn the heat to medium,
Let it simmer for about 3 minutes or until all the sugar are fully dissolved into the mixture,
Remember to give it a quick stir to help the ingredients blend together.

Pour the mixture into a baking pan, or anything that is wide and about 1 inch in depth,
Cover with foil and into the freezer.
Initially it'll take about 1.5 to 2 hours till the mixture freezes a little bit,
Take out the pan, scrape the surface with a fork,
Don't just stir it or break all the ice apart, a gentle scrape will do the job.
Back to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, or till the mixture freezes again,
Again, take it out and scrape the surface,
Repeat this step till the whole mixture is scraped.

The final product is similar to shaved ice, but the flaky kind instead of the chunky kind.
Perfect labor day weekend dessert!

Cindy's Rating: 7