I know that nori from Korea are exactly like these nori chips I have here, fried and salted with a hint of toasted sesame oil and you can always buy nori like this from any Asian food isle in most stores these days. But these nori chips are made from Japanese nori sheets (10”x10” sheets usually for making sushi rolls or cut into smaller sheets for garnishing ramen) which are dry (not fried) and unseasoned.
I do love store-bought Korean nori a lot (because then I wouldn’t have to fry my own), but most of the time the ones I find in stores are either rancid or soft and very greasy, sometimes a tad salty, but these nori chips are crunchy and stands and stacks in bowls beautifully enough to serve at parties. And since I do have Japanese nori sheets in the cupboard and freshly made is always better, I stood in front of the stove with kitchen sheers in my hand and got crafty with the sheets (this kinda sounds foul… but you know what I mean).
What you need:
1 pack (10 pieces, 10”x10”) Japanese nori sheets
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
table salt for seasoning, better if it is in a salt shaker
(this is the only time I am recommending
the use of this kind of salt because this salt easily sticks on the
hot nori and you need just a small pinch of this stuff to season a batch)
8 inch fry pan/skillet
pair of kitchen tongs
plate lined with paper towels
cookie sheet lined with paper towels
1. Cut nori sheets in 2”x3” inch pieces, or better yet, cut each sheet in half
then cut each half sheet into 1/3’s.
2. Put canola oil in a skillet over medium heat, wait for the oil to get hot
then turn down heat to low, add a teaspoon of sesame oil into the pan.
3. Fry 2-3 pieces of nori at a time, the minute the nori sheets scrunch-up,
2 seconds after they hit the hot oil, immediately turn the sheets over
and fry the other side for 2-3 seconds.
4. Fish-out the nori chips from the oil, and put on a plate lined with paper
towels. Immediately season with salt.
5. Transfer the fried and seasoned nori on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
- Repeat Steps 3-5.
- Pile fried nori in a bowl and serve as is or with Wasabi Mayo dip.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- mix all ingredients until mixture is smooth.
Buttermilk and Honey Biscuits
I have to admit, I am a bit shy about posting the recipe for these sweet biscuits, but because these biscuits came out so darn flaky, tender, buttery and scrumptious… I guess I have to be shameless.
Ingredients: Pre-heat oven at 375’F
4 cups Bisquick mix (yes, the pre-mixed pancake/waffle boxed mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 medium-size whole egg
1 Tablespoon honey
extra Bisquick mix or plain all-purpose flour (for dusting)
2 Tablespoons milk + 1 Tablespoon honey
(mix to brush the top of the biscuits before baking)
- Combine bisquick mix and baking powder in a mixing bowl, add cold cubed butter.
Work the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or
by rubbing your fingers against the flour and butter until mixture
resembles coarse medium crumbs.
- Mix buttermilk, egg and honey and beat with a fork until well combined.
Gradually add the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture in
the center of the mixing bowl, use a fork to gently incorporate the wet
and dry ingredients until mixture gathers into a soft (but not sticky and wet) dough.
If mixture is sticky, add 1-2 Tablespoons more of Bisquick or plain flour… just feel the dough :D
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, flatten the dough with the palm
of your hands (do not knead, overworking/kneading the dough will make the biscuits tough)
into a 1-inch disk.
- Using a 2-inch diameter round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds.
- Place cut dough (2 inches apart) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Combine the milk and honey. Using a pastry brush, paint the biscuit tops with the mixture.
- Bake biscuits for 15-18 minutes, or until tops are light golden brown.
- Serve fresh and hot out of the oven as is or spread with jam,
whipped or clotted cream or a drizzle of honey.
Makes 1 dozen
Fish Diary (and Etcetera)
When I decided that I want to do food photography and start this food blog, my original plan or maybe more my intention was shoot not just plates of food and write recipes but also shoot food in the raw. Raw in the sense that I wanted to shoot in stages, from its beginning, middle and end (or end product), I also wanted to do food (travel and culture) photography like the world-renowned food and food culture, travel photographer and photo journalist Penny De Los Santos (I could only wish).
Unfortunately, to be able to do all those things, one must have all the means, resources, tenacity and frequent flyer miles which I did not have when I started 3 years ago. And so I did the next best thing, I settled for writing my own recipes, cooking my own food, plate and style and photograph my dishes in the comforts of my own home.
I think one of the reasons why I occasionally get bored or suddenly get uninspired to run this blog is that I still have not done, even once, what I really wanted to do here, but this post with a (sort of) beginning, middle and end is a start.
What I wanted to convey in these series of photos is a story of the sea near my home town, of the seaside view, of fishermen, of fishing, of the local fish caught, sold and eaten.
Of all the food stories a food photographer can easily tell through his photos, it is the story of humble local fishes (and seafood) caught by local fishermen in a local fishing village, pure and simple and raw.
I shot this photo of fishermen and the other coastline photos while me and my husband were on a boat (exactly like the fishing boat in this picture) in the middle of the sea exploring the islets sparsely scattered around the main island in Subic, Zambales, Philippines.
I shot the rest of the photographs on separate occasions all throughout the past year. And I took this picture of a fisherman/fish vendor at my town’s public market August of last year for Scrag End Publication. This picture ended up in the front end page of Scrag End Journal Issue #0 (published in Australia, November 2013)
I love this photograph of the fisherman selling his day’s catch. This to me is the epitome of raw and unpretentious representation of where real food comes from. And real food comes from people like this poor fisherman.
Where I was from, we always cook and eat fish in whole, never on a tray from the frozen section of a supermarket. Seafoods never from a bag or a box.
This is my Fish Diary, as raw as I want the world to see.
© Jeannie Gust 2013/2014
Test Photos shot with the New (Lomography x Zenit) PETZVAL Lens
(photography by S.Gust)
I am very stoked and absolutely digging my husband’s new lens, the Lomography/Zenit New Petzval Portrait Lens, I love the “vintage” look it produces. These photos are the first few test shots he took. This is a great investment really, specially if you’re into portrait photography, and what I mean by portrait photography I do mean family portraits (spouse, children and pets) that looks very cool (with great unique swirly bokeh backgrounds) and timeless.
ps. 1st photo is not a real dog, it’s a statue dog from a cemetery, I know those chains looked offensive.
Last Yummy Bits
I visited my food photography archive files in my computer and found these. Both were shot outdoors with the summer afternoon sun a little less than 3 years ago. I used to do some serious and a bit elaborate food styling and “photo-shoots” in my front yard that time… And as you all can see, the job of shooting food isn’t that hard for me (never), well I can’t even deny it if I wanted to because I also take pictures of the evidences that implicates myself (at the scene of the crime).
Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs (Recipe)
This week, my Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs photo post became VERY popular, not only it got featured on the #Food page (not my doing since we Tumblr editors cannot tag our own posts) but it was on Tumblr Radar twice (Sunday and Tuesday), ridiculous and delirious really, but I did came to the conclusion that people of the world are big BIG pasta lovers (as also with the case of my other pasta post Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Lemon and Herb Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes… now a Pinterest (jeanniegos) and Google Search utter success).
So I think I owe it to my old and new followers the recipe for this pasta dish.
Caution: This dish is quite addictive as with all food with bacon and cheese… and this recipe has both! Also harmful to peoples thighs and waists. Induces carb coma to individuals who will consume 3-4 servings of the dish in one sitting.
Disclaimer: Author of this recipe will not be held accountable for folks who might or will sleepwalk to their fridges and "sleep eat" their left-overs of this dish. (Author of this recipe already has her own “sleep eating” problems.)
For the Spicy Meatballs
Show Me Love
Today is my 11th month of being happily married to my bestest bud and bestest man I ever met in my entire life, my husband.
Every month we celebrate each month we are married (yes, we still are in the honeymoon stage) and we always and forever will be grateful God made us end up together. In any marriage, I believe, each person making up 1/2 of the union should always look and remember everything that is good and amazing about their other half and always be grateful for their existence in his/her life. When you are married to a person that always brings out the best in you and always make you smile and absolutely fucking fuzzy and blissful in the deepest depth of your very core, you better be very grateful every single day, so you learn how to value that person really well and never ever ever take him/her for granted. I must have done something really good in my lifetime for me to end up with such a wonderful, kindest and loving man.
Anyway, why this picture of a Filipino sausage (Longganisa) when I am just babbling about warm fuzzy hitched love? Well, because my husband always celebrates my nationality by patronizing Filipino food every wedding monthsary we breezed through. You see I am a Filipina and my husband is American, a burger and steak loyalist really, but come our special day of the month, he eats Filipino food and buys Filipino products by himself to surprise me and put a huge huge smile on my face. And so today, he took home 3 grocery bags of Filipino products and the following are his hoards…
4 Skewers of Pork Barbecue
1 pack of Longganisa (Filipino sausages)
1 pack of red hotdogs (yes, RED hotdogs)
Several flavours of Lucky Me Instant Pancit Canton (noodles)
Tobi Spicy Mexican Style Peanuts (his very favourite)
Mama Sita’s Flavour Packets (Sisig, Pancit Bihon Guisado, Adobo)
Canton Noodles (egg noodles)
Chopsuey Veggies Pack
Knorr Liquid Seasoning
Datu Puti Soy Sauce (VERY essential for cooking Filipino Adobo)
It’s the simple (yet very profound in effort and meaning) everyday things really and I can’t ask for anything more.
Happy New Year!!!
(photograph by hubs using (Lomography) Petzval lens)
Mini Christmas Cakes
These little cakes are rich, moist and boozy with all the depth of maturity of traditional aged Christmas cake, only these are speedy, individually portioned and very cute. My collection of different kinds of baking tins became handy because I made 8 quarts of this cake batter. I made 24 of these mini bundt cakes for our Christmas party tomorrow, 6 mini loaves which I individually wrapped and placed in basket gift boxes to give to anyone who visits in our house and 1 big loaf to keep in the store cupboard for New Year’s Eve.
This Christmas cake version of mine starts with boozy dried fruits (soaked in brandy for 2 weeks) - dried currants, raisins, cherries and sultanas. Then I blitz all these alcohol-soaked dried fruit into a puree, I then add crushed pineapples and grated fresh ginger (just a small knob size). I also add a jar of really sharp orange marmalade, fresh lemon and orange zests, vanilla and cherry extract (this flavouring echoes the cherry-oak flavour of the brandy). Into the flour I mix in baking soda, cocoa powder (not to make the cake chocolatey but just so the cocoa echoes the spices) cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and salt, then I mix in additional whole walnuts and the same mix of dried fruits (that was made into a puree). Cream the butter, muscovado sugar and whole eggs, add the boozy dried fruits-pineapple-orange marmalade mixture then fold-in the flour-fruit&nut mixture. Spoon cake batter into desired baking pans and bake. This cake is already boozy enough, but if you still prefer to brush the baked cake with brandy… by all means, this is the season of over-indulgence anyway.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Creamy Chorizo and Gruyère Scrambled Eggs
(The Perfect Continental Brunch)
These days I love having brunch more than breakfast because the mindset I have right now is doing brunch is like killing two birds with one stone. When I eat breakfast, I usually find myself still full to eat lunch, and when I skip lunch then I always end up feeling terribly hungry and sooo grumpy by mid-afternoon. So eating brunch between 10:30 am - 11:00 am works so well for me and keeps me full and NOT grumpy until dinner time.
I say this is the perfect continental brunch because this scrambled eggs dish is very satisfying and savoury and really verging on as a proper entree with ingredients from East and West continents- Chinese Chorizo Pork Sausage and Chives from the East, and Creme Fraiche, English Mustard, Gruyere Cheese and beurre noisette (brown butter) from the West, eaten with fresh and crisp torn piece/s of (now universal, I believe) baguette.
I like my scrambled eggs creamy, this means it’s neither runny nor gnarly solid, but you can cook YOUR scrambled eggs according to your preference… but this recipe still makes the eggs taste creamy and, dare I say it, rich. Well, I don’t recommend you make this dish everyday, but just make this for a special day, for a special someone (wink, wink).
2 large organic eggs
2 Tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
1 Tablespoon Creme Fraiche
1/2 teaspoon English mustard
1 link Chinese Chorizo pork sausage, diced
(or Spanish Chorizo or any sausage that is your favourite)
1 Tablespoon beurre noisette/ brown butter
(just melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a small pan and cook until brown, which takes 10-15 seconds)
1 teaspoon chopped chives (optional)
- Heat a small non-stick skillet, cook the diced sausage until brown (fry sausage in its own fat rendered into the skillet). Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
- In a bowl, add eggs, cheese, creme fraiche and mustard then season with fresh cracked black pepper (I don’t recommend seasoning this dish with salt since the sausage and cheese are already very flavourful). Beat all ingredients until well mixed.
- In a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, scramble eggs by stirring gently, 10 seconds into cooking the eggs add the cooked sausage bits and continue stirring until eggs cook to your desired consistency, 25-30 seconds for runny scrambled eggs, 35-45 seconds for an “in between” creamy eggs and 45- 60 seconds for well done knobbly scrambled eggs.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a plate. Drizzle over with brown butter (beurre noisette) and sprinkle chopped chives (optional).
Note: The nuttiness of the brown butter compliments the richness of the eggs. The slight tinge of acidity from the mustard and creme fraiche cuts in the richness of the whole egg dish.