mint

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 

more summer love..

Hello there!  I've gathered a few more recipes with some more summer flavors.  Many friends ask me where I get my veggies and I've finally managed to get the contact from my mom.  Well, honestly, my mom and her helper do most of the grocery shopping in this house.  I am grateful for that.  The only time I run out to do shopping myself is when I need some particular international food produce.  That's because she doesn't know where to get them.  So I prefer to do it myself.  Ha! ;) 

Anyways, to go back to where we get our fresh greens, the farm is called New Life Organic Farm located in Kam Tin, Yuen Long.   Thankfully, we can get these green genies' from their vegetable stand in the heart of Yuen Long.  They have a reasonably wide range of vegetables depending on what is ripened that day.  So eating fresh and local isn't so difficult for us.  Plus, their prices are very reasonable.  Mom told me that their main distributions are for the 4-5 stars hotels in Hong Kong.  So yeah, if you are a residence of Yuen Long, you might want to check out this vegetable joint.  :) 

Knowing where our food comes from is very important and knowing that our plate of food can also contribute to the local community means even more.  Enough yapping, and let's get to my recipes now.   

Enjoy your weekend and stay cool....  xx

This summer salad is light and fresh.  Perfect for the busy bees.. :) 

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1-2 capsicum, julienned

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 corn cob kernel, cooked and kernel removed 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1-2 shallot, finely chopped

1 - 1.5 bowl cooked quinoa(in miso)

1 bowl fresh greens

1 bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1 fresh lime juice & zest

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Grilled the capsicums and onions on a griddle with a little oil.  

2) Mix everything in a large salad bowl, season, and add 1-2 boiled eggs if you like.  

bean pasta with a hint of spiciness..  

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

100-150g french beans, halved

100g pasta

1/2 lemon zest

1/2 chili, deseeded, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup vegetable stock/cooked pasta water

1/2 cup parsley pesto*

1-2 tbsp grated pecorino

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

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

2) Preheat a sauce pan with 2-3 tbsp olive oil, cook the french beans on medium-to-high heat for 3-5 minutes.  Put a lid on to avoid the oil spattered.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning the beans.  

3) Add garlic and chili.  Cook for 3-5 minutes,  Reduce heat if the fire is too strong.  

4) Add vegetable stock and simmer for 1 minute.  

5) Add the cooked pasta to the saucepan.  Mix well.  Season.  Heat off.  

6) Add parsley pesto and mix well.  

7) Serve the pasta with some grated pecorino, fresh lemon zest, and a twist of lemon juice.

* Parsley pesto is made of chopped parsley, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil.  Season.   

this is a vegetarian version of shepherd's pie.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 baked potato

6 brown button mushrooms, thinly chopped

1/2 onion, thinly chopped

1/2 carrot, finely chopped

2 shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 cup milk

1/2 glass white wine

1-2 tbsp butter

3-4 roasted almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup of breadcrumbs

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 bunch sage, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Cook the potatoes in a salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes.  After they are cooked, let them cool down then remove the potato skins.  

2) Preheat a small pot with butter on medium-low heat, add the potato, carrot, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, roasted almonds, chopped shallots, and milk.  Mash everything with a potato masher.  Heat off when the potato turns mushy.  Season.  

3) Add the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  Mix well.  Set aside. 

4) Heat up a frying pan on medium heat, add onion, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, and sage.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  

5) Add mushrooms and white wine, raise heat to medium-high.  Let the alcohol evaporates.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Let the mushroom cook for 3-5 minutes with a lid on.  Heat off.  Season.  

6) Use a little butter to coat around inside of the two ramekins, add the mushroom and onion mixture to the bottom.  Then layer the top with the mashed potato.  

7) Sprinkle a little more breadcrumbs and cheese on top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200ºC.  

8) Let it cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.  Add a twist of lemon juice if you desire.  

Happy Fourth of July.. :)

Well, July First has just swung by (with its annual protest) quickly in Hong Kong and July Fourth is just around the corner for those in the US.  Honestly, I am not here to stir up any controversial topics as I am not keen on sharing too much of my thoughts.  I might make a few comments here and there only when I chat with friends in person.  Besides, I don't read much news and this is something that I should really start doing - just to know what is going on in this world.  One thing I learn throughout the years of encountering numerous mistakes is that I learn to shut up.  When I say shut up, I mean both physically and digitally.  I have no problem with people sharing online.  Every now and then, there are some who might annoy me a bit with their destructive and deviated posts.  I usually hide their feeds so I don't have to read them.  Perhaps, that's why I find blogging rather tough because I get too self-conscious with what I say.  I often contradict myself and start doubting my thinkings.  I don't want to spread the wrong message and end up causing a dispute with anybody.  And most importantly, I don't want to make a fool out of myself.  In fact, I feel like I already am.  ;-)  So yeah, coming up with words has become extremely cautious for me nowadays.  This is what I'm aiming to do and that is being responsible with my words.  It's not easy sometime and certainly requires a lot of mindfulness.   

Instead of voicing out so much of my thoughts, I turn to creating things and that is with cooking.  I would rather use my meals and photos to speak for me.  I love it so much and I can't stop doing it.  I also love staring at those beautiful food images that are posted by the other food bloggers.  That's probably the biggest joy I find in everyday - checking out and getting inspired by the other bloggers.  Just give me a bit more time to get comfortable at rambling on my blog.  One thing at a time.   

So I spent the entire week messing around with Lightroom and consolidating a few awesome recipes and images as a celebration for the coming Fourth of July.  I hope these recipes can inspire some of you out there.  Happy Birthday America!

This salad is spicy and minty.  The taste suits perfectly for the summer.  

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 block grilled extra-firm tofu, quartered/halved* 

1/2 carrot, julienne

1 bowl mixed greens

1 bowl cooked soba, drained after running with cold water

1 handful chopped fresh mint leaves

Dressing Ingredients: 

1/2 garlic, finely chopped

1/2 chili, finely chopped

2-3 thin sliced fresh ginger, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp honey

1/2 lime juice & lime zest

2-3 tbsp water

1 tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

spicy & minty string beans crostini

Servings: 2 pieces

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

100g-150g string beans

1 bunch of mint leaves

1-2 eggs

2 slices of sour dough bread, grilled

Parmesan, shaved

1 lime, halved/quartered

1 tbsp butter

Pesto: 

1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

1/2 chili, finely chopped

1/2 garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven at 200ºC.  Place the string beans on a baking tray with olive oil and season.  Bake for 20 minutes.  

2) Use a halved garlic to brush the grilled breads' surface, spread butter and place the string beans on top.  Add chopped mints and shaved parmesan.  Drizzle with pesto.  Serve with an egg of any style you like on top with a twist of fresh lime juice.  Bam!  Easy and pretty.   

what do you do when you have one potato and 6 little mushrooms?

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 baked potato

6 brown button mushrooms, stem removed*

1/2 carrot, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic, finely chopped

1/2 chili, deseeded, finely chopped

1/4 cup milk

1-2 tbsp butter

3-4 roasted almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup of breadcrumbs

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1-2 tbsp grated cheddar

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1-2 tbsp sour cream

1 lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Boil and cook the potato for 20-25 minutes in boiling water.  Let it cool down.  

2) Cut the potato in half and scoop out the inside.  Set the potato skin on the side and transfer the flesh to a mixing bowl.  

3) In a mixing bowl, add potato flesh, chopped mushroom stem*, carrots, shallot, chili, garlic, almond, and parmesan.  Mix well.  

4) Heat up a small frying pan on medium-low heat, add butter, milk, and potato mixture.  Use a potato crusher to mesh the potato mixture.  Heat off as soon as the milk and butter blends with the potato.  Add breadcrumbs and season.  

5) Preheat the oven at 200ºC.  Brush oil on the halved potato skins and mushrooms(inside and outside).  Season.  

6) Transfer a tablespoon full of potato mixture onto each mushroom bottom.  Lay the mushrooms on a baking tray.  Drizzle oil on the surface to avoid sticking to the tray. 

7) Sprinkle a bit of cheddar cheese on each top.  Bake for 20 minutes.

8) In the midway of baking the mushrooms, add the potato skins to the oven and bake each side for 5-10 minutes.  Keep checking to avoid burning the skins.  Heat off.  

9) Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve with sour cream and lemon juice.  

* I chopped the mushroom stems and mix them with the potato for a more mushroomy taste.  This way, we are not wasting any parts of the mushrooms.  :)