brunch

Shroom Shroom Shroommm..

This is the sound of Hong Kong.  People think fast, act fast, and talk fast.  Hey, we also eat fast.  To compensate this whole frenzied lifestyle, I choose cooking as a balance.  It is very rare that I would blog twice within the same week.  In any case, I should do it more often because practice is the only way to gain mastery.  So I just have to put myself into practice.

Note: Please don't discard the coriander stalks.  Chop them up finely and add them to make mint pesto and dumpling fillings for the two recipes below.  

Here is the list of key items I got for my 2 shroom recipes: 

1 bunch fresh coriander     HKD4

1 bunch fresh mint     HKD6

1 package baby corn     HKD6

2 bags mixed locally grown mushrooms     HKD6 each bag 

Total Spending:  HKD28

Ingredients for my two wonderful meals

First meal - garlicky mushrooms n’ egg & mozzarella crostini served with fresh mint pesto

Mint pesto recipe: 

1 bunch mint leaves

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 lemon zest & juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped coriander stalks

Instruction: Put everything into a blender and season.  

Mushrooms and egg with mozzarella cheese crostini 

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

250g fresh chinese and button mushrooms, chopped

2 eggs, whisked and seasoned

1/4 cup milk 

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-3 sprigs thyme

2 tbsp butter 

1/3 cup white wine

4 toasts with butter

1-2 tbsp pine nuts

2-3 tbsp mint pesto

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/4 fresh lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium-low heat, cook garlic, thyme and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine.  

2) After the alcohol evaporates, turn to low heat and add butter to the mushrooms.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Season.  Heat off.  Set aside.  

3) To make the scrambled egg, simply mix eggs and milk.  Season.  Preheat a frying pan with oil, cook the egg on medium low heat.  Add mozzarella cheese.  Use a fork to swirl the egg and cheese mixture to create fluffiness.  

4) Layer the toasts with scrambled egg and mixed mushrooms.  Garnish with grated parmesan and pine nuts.  Serve with a dash of mint pesto and a twist of lemon juice.  

Second Meal - Mushroom Dumplings

These delicious dumplings were made with the freshest ingredients that cost less than HKD30.  

Servings: 2 persons - around 12 pieces

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 8 - 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

 250g fresh chinese and button mushrooms, chopped into smaller bits

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped spring onion

50-80g baby corn, chopped into small bits

1 package bean curd sheets, chopped into bits

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg, whisked

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine

1 bunch chopped coriander stalks

12 pre-made dumpling skins

extra-virgin olive oil

 

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium low heat, cook garlic, spring onion, chopped coriander stalks, mushrooms, baby corn, and fresh ginger for 3-5 minutes.  

2) Add rice wine.  After the alcohol evaporates, add sesame oil, bean curd, soy sauce, and season.  Cook the vegetables for about 3 minutes on low heat.,  Heat off and set aside.  

3) Transfer the filling to a large bowl for wrapping the dumplings.  To make the dumplings, spoon 1 tbsp filling to the center of the dumpling skin, use a knife to dip into the egg mixture and spread evenly around the edge of each dumpling, then start folding the dumpling from one corner to the other.  

4) Once the dumplings are all wrapped, fry the dumplings in a preheated frying pan with oil on medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup of water and lid on to allow the dumplings to be cooked fully.  Let them cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes. 

5) Transfer the dumplings to a plate and garnish with some chopped mint leaves and coriander.  Serve with dumpling sauce and mint pesto.  

mushroom dumplings with mint pesto 

Asparagus 2 ways

Ciao!  Hope you had an awesome New Year!  To give a quick and fresh start of 2015, I'd like to introduce more of my no-brainer meals.  My intention is simple --  I want to share more different ways of utilizing our ingredients and minimizing food wastage in today's bustling Hong Kong.  

Pardon me this blog is not eloquently written.  It's been awhile since I started blogging but til' this day, I'm still struggling to pour words out of myself.  I know it's due to the fact that English is nonetheless my second language (yet my Chinese is even worse) and I still give too much of a damn what people might think.  I certainly regret my negligence of reading and writing when I was young.  So now, I am going back to what I should've studied ages ago and start from the basic.  I've got a few books in hand to learn how to write better sentences in English.  Let's just hope that there'll be some improvements along the way.  Ugh.  

Enough rambling.  Sooooooo, I got some fresh asparagus the other day.  I turned them into two simple meals.  Check them out! ;)

Have a lovely day!

Love, 

Cindy xx

A pound of asparagus can turn into two simple and delicious meals.  

Roasted asparagus with 2 eggs and pistachio (served with a drizzle of honey mustard vinaigrette)

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb fresh asparagus

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 eggs

1-2 tbsp chopped pistachio

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan 

extra-virgin olive oil

For Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:

1 tbsp mustard 

1 tbsp honey

1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180ºC.  Place the fresh asparagus on a baking tray or an oven-proof dish/pan.  Roast for 5 minutes.  

2) Add garlic and oil to the asparagus.  Season.  Roast for another 5 minutes.  

3) Add 2 eggs to the asparagus.  Season the eggs a bit if you want.  Roast for 3-5 minutes depending how you want your eggs.  

4) Sprinkle some chopped pistachio and fresh parsley as garnishing.

5) Serve with a drizzle of honey mustard vinaigrette.  Voila! 

Asparagus and mushrooms in light cream sauce fusilli

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb asparagus, slivered

1 cup mixed mushrooms (I used white buttoned and oyster mushroom)

1/3 cup light cream 

1/3 cup dry white wine

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 handful pistachio, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

150-200g fusilli

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to its package label. 

2) Preheat a saucepan with oil on medium heat, cook garlic, mushrooms and asparagus for 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine.  Let the alcohol evaporates.  

3) Add light cream.  Season.  Lower the heat to medium low.  Let the vegetables to cook for about 5 minutes.  Heat off. 

4) Add the cooked pasta and a little pasta water to the saucepan.  Stir and coat the pasta with the light cream sauce.  Garnish with some chopped parsley, pistachio, and grated parmesan before serving.  .  

Veggies Frittata with Hash Brown Crust

Have I ever mentioned that most of my favorite cookings came from brunch ideas?  What actually got me hooked on cooking was the first tortilla that Marco made for me on a late Sunday afternoon.  I was impressed by how good of an egg dish could've tasted.  That deliciousness was stuck in my head for days.  And that's when my curiosity kicked off along with my food creation's journey.  

Ever since I've became a vegetarian, eggs became one of my main source of protein.  I've always loved dairy products and hence I don't think I could ever become a vegan.  Excluding meat in my diet is easy but dairy?  Hmmm I highly doubt that.  I apologize to the vegans out there.  My obsession for dairy is more or less the same as for coffee.  My day isn't complete without that cup of caffeine rich ritual.  So yeah, giving up coffee is like ending my life NOW.  So no.  Can't do.    

Today, I've simplified my cooking procedures and shortened the time to make an awesome brunch.  Instead of making a potato side dish, I've put everything into one dish!  I don't know who isn't a fan of hash brown.  Well if you don't like hash brown then I guess this dish is not for you OR maybe this dish could change your misperception about hash brown. ;)  Trust me, this is an awesome and easy brunch to impress whoever you want.  Try it to believe it! :D 

Happy New Year!

Love, 

Cindy xx

Veggies Frittata n' Hash Brown Crust served with fresh lime aioli 

veggies frittata n' hash brown crust served with fresh lime aioli

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 - 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 capsicum, diced

1 handful spinach/baby spinach

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 large baked potato, shredded

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 cup grated cheddar & parmesan cheese

4 eggs, whisked and seasoned

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp garlic powder *optional

extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 tbsp butter

fresh lime aioli - recipe is here

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 200ºC.  

2) Preheat a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat, cook shredded potato for 3-5 minutes, add garlic powder, nutmeg and season.  Place the knobs of butter on the edge of the hash brown in the pan.  Put the pan into the oven while preparing to cook the veggies.  Bake the hash brown for roughly 5 minutes.  

3) Preheat another frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil on medium low heat, cook onion for 3 minutes.  Add capsicum and spinach,   cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Season.  

4) Transfer the cooked veggies to the hash brown pan.  Add the seasoned and whisked egg to the pan.  

5) Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and grated cheese on top.  Place the pan back into the oven and bake for roughly 10-15 minutes.  

6) Remove from the oven.  Garnish with some chopped parsley and extra grated parmesan.  Serve warm with the fresh lime aioli.  Happy Brunch!! 

veggies frittata n' hash brown crust served with fresh lime aioli

veggies frittata n' hash brown crust served with fresh lime aioli