pesto

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 

veggie whole wheat pita sandwich and hummus

As you can see, I've been obsessed in dough making these days.  My reasons are simple.  1) I have control with my ingredients and 2) I like to eat bread when it is fresh out of the oven.  The only problem is that it takes a bit of time to make bread.  So it's not so easy for many of us during the week.  

So far, I think pita bread is probably one of the easiest to make.  It still requires a good couple of hours. I like pita because it is light and it goes with a lot of vegetables.  I found this recipe on Pinterest as usual.  The blog is called Yummy Healthy Easy.  Just like the blog's name, this whole wheat pita bread recipe is yummy, healthy and easy.  

I wish you a good week ahead.  

Cindy x

This veggie pita sandwich is tasty and light. 

Servings: 6 pita 

Preparation Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 cups warm water

1 tsp sugar

4 tsp dry yeast

4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp salt

Instructions: 

1) In a mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast.  Let it sit for 3-5 minutes for the mixture to foam up. 

2) Stir in salt and flour.  Knead with your hands for a couple minutes.  Let rise for 30 minutes cover with a damp towel.

3) Preheat oven at 240ºC.  Divide dough into 6 balls evenly.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough into an 8" circle with a rolling pin.  

4) Place the doughs on a lightly greased baking sheet on the baking tray, bake for 8-10 minutes.  Beware not to over bake.  

5) Divide the bread in half and add fillings to each pocket as you desire.  

Ingredients for the veggie whole wheat pita sandwich: 

crispy tofu in squares (recipe is here)

greens

basil pesto

caramelized onion

roasted eggplant

greek yogurt

Hummus and pita -  the perfect combination :) 

Ingredients:

1 can chickpea, drained, rinsed, and skin removed 

1 garlic clove

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

2-3 tbsp creamy peanut butter

3-4 tbsp greek yogurt

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 fresh lemon juice

Instructions: 

1) Put everything into a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add more yogurt and oil if the texture is too thick.  Adjust to your taste preference.  

pesto bismol :)

I'm not sure if you have watched "The Three Stooges" and there was a scene when Will Sasso was holding a plate of seafood with his pink Pepto Bismol stomach medicine on the side.  And he was calling it his "pesto bismol."  I thought it was really funny.  So every time I make pesto sauce, I would laugh because the term "pesto bismol" would emerge in my mind.  

I've had a busy weekend organizing some works for next week.  Pasta always works for me when I have a busy schedule because it provides enough energy to last through the day.  I have a bit of chinese squash and half of an eggplant left in my fridge.  So I made a simple pesto pasta for two.  Nothing fancy but never grow tired of this simple dish.  

Have a good week ahead! 

Fresh pesto is the bomb.  It goes so well with or without the other vegetables.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 eggplant, diced

1/2 chinese squash, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 tbsp fresh pesto*

2 sun-dried tomato, chopped

sprig fresh basil leaves

1-2 tsp pine nuts

1/2 glass dry white wine

extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup reserved pasta water

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/2 fresh lime juice

150-200g spaghetti

* fresh pesto is made out of a bunch of fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, roasted pine nuts, and grated parmesan cheese.  Season a bit.  

Instructions: 

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

2) Heat a saucepan with oil on medium fire, cook eggplant for 5 minutes with a lid on.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning the eggplant.  Reduce fire if needed.  

3) Add squash and garlic, stir a bit.  Add white wine and turn the fire to medium-high.  Let the alcohol evaporates.

4) Reduce heat to medium-low, add sun-dried tomato and pine nut to the pan, cook for 1-2 minutes.  Season*.  Add 1/2 ladle of salted pasta water.  Simmer the vegetables in low heat with a lid on for 3-5 minutes.  

5) When the pasta is ready, transfer the pasta to the saucepan.  Mix well.  Heat off.  Add less than 1/3 ladle of pasta water and fresh pesto to the pasta.  Mix well.  

6) Garnish the pasts with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese.  Drizzle a little oil and add a twist of fresh lime juice.  

* I didn't add salt to my seasoning because I used the pasta water that was already salted.  So please bear in mind when you add seasoning.  I only added black pepper as to season my vegetables.