potato

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

Malaysian Curry Vegetables and Homemade Scallion Naan

I recently came across an interesting article about empathy shared by Dr. LaBier on Huffington Post dated a few years ago.  The article was well written about the lack of empathy in today's America.  Dr.  LaBier clearly defined the difference between empathy and sympathy.  He also provided some useful guidance of how we can develop an empathetic practice.  

I personally feel that EDD (Empathy Deficit Disorder, a made up disorder by Dr. LaBier) sadly is apparent everywhere.  Many of us can't relate because we simply failed to recognize that at the end of the day, we are in fact interconnected and bound together.  It took me awhile to understand how important it is to know how to empathize.   I am thankful for all those sleepless nights when I had the voracious appetite for readings.  

This traditional Malaysian curry dish and naan bread is my tribute to Dr. LaBier's insightful article on empathy.  I've never been to India nor Malaysia and I would love to visit one day.  I used Malaysian curry because that's what I found in my mom's fridge.  As for the naan, I got this recipe from a blog called Half Baked Harvest, created by a beautiful young blogger called Tieghan.  The only difference is that I added some chopped scallions to my bread.  

I think last night's cooking experience was very inspiring.  I realized why curries and naans represent today's Indian cuisine.  This realization also strengthened my passion for cooking.  Cooking different cuisines enables me to feel more connected to the people in this world.  I hope my recipes can inspire some of you out there.  

Happy cooking, everyone!

With love, 

Cindy x

This curry vegetables dish is made with a traditional Malaysian curry paste.  This wonderful curry flavor gets even better overnight.  

Servings: 4 persons

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1 eggplant, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 large potato, diced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 tsp paprika powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 cup rice wine/white wine

1/2 vegetable stock cube

2-3 tbsp curry paste

2 cups water

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a saucepan with olive oil on medium heat, cook onion and eggplant for 3-5 minutes.  Stir frequently to avoid burning your vegetables.  Add carrot, garlic, fresh ginger, and potato.  Cook for another 3 minutes.  

2) Add cumin, paprika powder, and chickpeas.  Season.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  

3) Add rice wine and let the alcohol evaporates.  Keep stirring.

4) Add water, vegetable stock, and curry paste.  Bring the saucepan to boil then reduce heat and simmer with a lid on for 10-15 minutes. 

Recipe for Naan --

Servings: 8 naan

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes for each naan

Ingredients: 

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt 

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1 cup greek yogurt

3-4 tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup chopped spring onion

Instructions: 

1) Dissolve water, sugar, and dry yeast in a small bowl.  Let it sit for 10 minutes and allow the yeast to foam up.

2) In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Then add the yeast mixture along with greek yogurt and milk to the mixing bowl.  You may use a wooden spoon or spatula for mixing and start kneading with your hands after.  When the wet and sticky dough forms, cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.  

3) Divide the dough in 8 small balls equally.  Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface.  

4) Brush melted butter and sprinkle scallions on each side of the flattened dough.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt if you desire.  

5) Preheat a skiller or frying pan on medium low heat, cook each side of the naan for 1-2 minutes with a lid on.  

Eating with hands......  Mary is my hand model nowadays.  Lol

Every scoop of the curry with naan is sensational.  Enjoy! :) 

pure vegan patties with homemade sweet teriyaki sauce

I can't quite grasp what the hell is wrong with me these days.  I hate to say it out loud but I think I am slightly bored and depressed OR maybe I'm simply obsessed with my passion for food making and photography.  I would hope it is the latter because it sounded "better".  But I think it is a combination of "everything" to be honest.   

Since human mind is a rather complex mechanism, I can say I am quite perplexed by the "many things" that's happened to me.  Those unpleasant disputes between business partners and friends did some serious damage on my self-esteem.  Every decision that I've made seems to go wrong and this goes from choosing to believe in something or someone to following the path that I think it should be right for my well-being.  I've reached a point where I REALLY don't give a damn anymore.    

Everyday after my awakening, the very first thing I do is to check my emails and messages.  Then, I go straight to the kitchen and start cooking.  The following would be styling, shooting, and editing.  Yeah, this is pretty much my daily routine.  Cooking food that I like seems to be a huge part of my life these days.  I think it is the only thing that could fulfill my emptiness at this stage.  Personally speaking, I think many people overlooked the amazing things what a humble home cooked meal could do.  It's not just about the taste to some.  Cooking is the cure to our mind, body, and soul.  The entire process if I may say is therapeutic or at least it is to me.  I get an immense joy after making something that turns out good and satisfying.  I assume these feelings could only be shared with people who love food as much as I do.   I also assume that is the only reason why I can't stop cooking.   

Today, I made some vegan patties, rosemary buns, teriyaki sauce, and roasted chips.  I might've spent a little more time in the kitchen but hey, it is Sunday and it is worthwhile.  I think healthy and clean eating's very initial step starts from knowing what's in your food.   

Cindy x

Some Asian flavors to our vegan patties.  I used my homemade sweet teriyaki sauce and it was good for those who like strong flavors.  As for me, I think creme fraiche and yogurt are just as good.  

Servings: 4 patties

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

For the patties:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 can chickpea, drained and rinsed with cold water       

a bunch fresh spring onion                                                   

a bunch fresh coriander                                                  

1/2 red onion                                                                        

1/2 red chili *optional                                                             

1-2 garlic cloves                                                                    

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs                                       

extra-virgin olive oil    

For garnishing:

a bunch fresh greens such as arugula and cucumber

For teriyaki sauce: 

  - 1 tbsp all-purpose flour               - 1/2 tsp grated ginger

  - 1/4 cup soy sauce                       - 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  - 3 tbsp cider vinegar                   - 1/3 cup sugar

  - 1/2 clove garlic, minced             - 1/4 cup water

For rosemary bun: 

3 cups bread flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt 

1 1/4 cups warm water

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 2-3 tbsp extra for brushing the dough

Remark: the excess dough can be stored in your freezer for future use.  

Instructions for the patties: 

1) Put everything in a blender except for the panko bread crumbs. 

2) Add the panko breadcrumbs to the mixture and mix well.  

3) Use your hands to form a 3 cm thick sized patties.  

4) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium heat, add the patties and cook each side for about 5 minutes or less.* 

5) Place the cooked patties on a kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil.  Serve them with a bun as a veggie burger or finger food as you like. 

6) Garnish and serve with your favorite sauce.

Instructions for the teriyaki sauce: 

1) Cook all ingredients EXCEPT water on a small frying pan on low heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.  

2) Add water to dilute and adjust taste.  

Instructions for the rosemary buns: 

1) Preheat oven at 200ºC.  

2) Get a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and combine with salt and yeast.  Mix well. 

3) Make a well in the center, pour water and oil.  Mix together with a  wooden spoon in a circular motion until the mixture turns to a dough mass.  Add some chopped chopped rosemary herbs.  

4) Spread a half handful of flour on a work surface, start to knead the dough until it turns to a smooth ball. This took around 5-7 minutes.  Spread a little more flour if the surface gets dry up and the dough starts sticking to the surface.  

5) Add a drizzle of oil to the large bowl, put the dough back in and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel.  Place the bowl at a warm place and let the dough rise for about 30-40 minutes.  I left it at my balcony because it is quite warm during the day here in Hong Kong.  

6) After the dough is ready, divide the dough into 8 - 10 small dough.  Fo this recipe, I only used four small doughs.  I stored the rest for future use.  

7) Make a small round ball with each dough and flatten to palm-size, add some flour to prevent sticking to your hands.  

8) Brush a little oil on the baking tray and dough's surface.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  

I also made some rosemary chips to go with these beautiful sliders.  

Preparation Time: less than 5 minutes

ooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients: 

4-6 small new potatoes, cut in chip size                                     

1 small sprig fresh rosemary                                                                      

extra-virgin olive oil          

 For the lemon aioli:         

 1/2 garlic clove, minced         

 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise     

 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp lemon zest                                        

Instructions:                                                                                            

1) Preheat oven at 180-200ºC.                                                                

2) Get a large bowl, coat the potatoes with rosemary and 2-3 tbsp olive oil.  Season.  Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray.  

3) Roast for 20-25 minutes.