rosemary

an authentic Italian meal- homemade focaccia, aglio olio e peperoncino, and a side of greens

Earlier today, I made a pretty simple and authentic Italian meal.  We were gonna sit outside to enjoy the nice weather we had this afternoon but the heat was unbearable so we ended up moving back to the air-conditioned indoor.  Perhaps, we should wait another couple of months to really consider sitting out.  

Back to my meal, it was my first time making focaccia and surprisingly, the result came out fantastic.  I got this recipe from a blog called The Cookery Wife that was created by these two sisters from Texas and Oregon, Andrea & Hannah.  I'm a huge fan of their Instagram feed.  Their blog got a lot of pretty awesome recipes and many of them are quite easy to follow.  I've been obsessed with making bread lately so I am collecting a bunch of bread recipes on Pinterest and trying out the simple ones for now.  Once I get the hang of this whole dough making phenomena then I will try something a bit more challenging. ;)  I think bread making is pretty phenomenal because all we need is just a few key ingredients to do the magic.  Pretty much is just water, yeast and flour, given the right amount of time and quantity,  knead a little here and there, toss the dough into the oven for a set time, and BAM! You got a beautiful loaf of bread right in front of you.  That IS magic.  

This was inspired by The Cookery Wife's recipe.  I used a little bit of garlic powder, fresh thyme and rosemary as topping.  I baked it in my oven for about 15 minutes at 200ºC.  

Ingredients for dough: 

2 tsp dried yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar
3 ½ - 4 cups flour
1 tbsp coarse salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil + extra for brushing

Topping:

extra-virgin olive oil 

fresh rosemary 

fresh thyme 

salt and pepper

Nothing beats a loaf of fresh homemade bread.  Must try if you love to bake.  I made the dough the night before and after rising, I place the dough in the fridge and bake it the next morning.  Bring the chilled dough to room temperature before popping it into a preheated oven.   

Alicia, my niece, is loving her bread. :) Such a satisfying moment.  

You can't get any simpler than a plate of aglio olio e peperoncino.  Every family does it differently and here is our recipe. 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

ooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: (for 2 persons) 

200g spaghetti/linguine

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 red chili, finely chopped

1 sprig sage

1 small anchovy

1 tsp caper

grated parmesan

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

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

2) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium low heat, add garlic, sage, anchovy, and chili, cook for 2 minutes.  

3) Reduce to low heat and let the garlic and herb to cook slowly so the fragrant and flavor would kick off.  This should take about 5-7 minutes and watch out for burning the garlic.  

4) Add capers and cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to the frying pan along with the cooked pasta.  Stir well and coat the pasta with the garlic oil and pasta water sauce.  Heat off.  

5) Transfer the pasta to a plate, Add some grated parmesan and a drizzle of oil before serving.  

A simple homemade Italian meal that we never get tired of in this house.  :) We served our meal with a side of greens and some fresh lemonade.  

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.