cherry tomato

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

This recipe was inspired by Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episode about Thailand.  The original recipe used shrimp paste and cooked with pork.  Instead of shrimp paste, I used Japanese white miso for a sweeter and lighter taste.  It was a little experiment I had this afternoon.  The outcome was very satisfying.  I think this recipe would go well with most winter vegetables.  Expect to see my future dishes flourished with a twist of Southeast Asian flavors.  :P

Thai Chili and Miso 

Thai Chili with Miso

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

Servings: 1-2 person

PreparationTime: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 50-60 mins

Ingredients: 

1 floret broccoli

1 small zucchini, quartered 

1-2 carrots, cut into sticks

1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped

1 bunch coriander, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup vegetable stock

Ingredients for the sauce:

2-3 tbsp white miso

1 chili

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

3-4 cherry tomatoes

Ingredients for fragrant sprinkles: 

1 garlic, minced

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 handful almonds, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1) Use the mortar and pestle or a blender to make the sauce.  Set aside. 

2) Preheat a small frying pan with a tiny bit of olive oil on medium low heat, cook garlic 1 minute, add breadcrumbs and almonds and cook until they turn golden.  Heat off and set aside.

3) Preheat oven at 200-220ºC.  

4) Place broccoli, zucchini, and carrots in a baking dish.  Season and drizzle a little olive oil.  Roast the vegetables 20 minutes.  

5) Add vegetable stock and 3-4 tbsp chili and miso sauce.  Mix well.

6) Stir occasionally to coat the vegetables with the sauce.   Roast 30-40 minutes.  

7) Transfer the vegetables to a plate.  Garnish with some fragrant sprinkles, spring onion, and coriander.  Drizzle a little more oil before serving.  

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies 

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

some easy starters..

This pumpkin salad is dedicated to a dear friend who loves pumpkin so SO much.  Every time we have potluck at hers or her boyfriend's place, she would ask me to make something with pumpkin.  I know it's not exactly the pumpkin season right now but we are fortunate to have the luxury to get them from a few local farms here in Yuen Long.  I especially like the mini squash because they give off a much sweeter flavor.  

Another starter that I always make is bruschetta.  There are many different ways to make bruschetta.  I usually make it according to what I have in my fridge or what I can get in the nearest supermarket.  There are times when I can't find mozzarella cheese (like today) and if it happens, I usually just skip it.  And sometime if I happen to pass by Il Bel Paese, I would grab a small bowl of fresh olives in oil to add to my bruschetta.  Just be flexible and creative.  Our imagination is unlimited.  :) 

Have a good week ahead! x

some easy starters for a mini gathering.

Servings: 4 persons 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 mini pumpkin, deseeded & skin removed, chopped in wedges

1 large bowl arugula or mixed greens

1-2 sprig sage leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180ºC.  Get a baking tray, drizzle a little oil, add pumpkin, sage, garlic, and chili.*  

2) Roast the pumpkin for about 15-20 minutes.  Try to stir and flip the pumpkins in midway.  

3) Once the pumpkins are ready, mix them with the greens.  Season, add more oil, and ready to serve! Simple!! 

* If you don't like your garlic, chili, and sage a little burnt, add them to the pumpkin a few minutes after roasting.  

Servings: 4 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1-2 minutes for toasting the bread

Ingredients: 

1 small loaf baguette

1 garlic clove, minced half garlic and leave the other half to brush the bread's surface

200g - 250g cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped according to the size that you like

2 tbsp basil pesto*

1 tbsp pine nuts

1 tsp caper, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

*Remark: To make the basil pesto, simply blend a bunch of fresh basil leaves, 1/2 garlic clove, 1 tsp of roasted pine nuts, and sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan, season and add oil.  

Instructions: 

1) Slice the baguette into 6-8 pieces and toast the bread.  

2) Get the halved garlic and rub against each bread's surface.  

3) Get a small bowl, mix pesto, tomato, minced garlic, and caper.  Season.  

4) Transfer the tomato mixture to each slice of bread and sprinkle some pine nuts on top.  Garnish with some basil leaves if you like.  I ran out of basil leaves so I couldn't do it. ;)