Simple Home Cooked Meal:
Citrus and Spice Marinated Grilled Lamb Loin Chops and Butter Sauteed Asparagus with Bacon
Sunday dinner and my husband was solely responsible for these perfectly grilled chops, tender and buttery asparagus spears with (literally) bacon confetti… any excuse to incorporate bacon in a dish and we always go for it.
2.5 lbs Lamb loin chops (1 1/2 inch-thick chops)
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon (Mexican) Adobo Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons sea salt (or according to taste and DO NOT USE TABLE SALT)
1 lb Asparagus spears
1 Tablespoon Butter
Crisp bacon bits (3 rashers)
- Put lamb loin chops in a large ziploc bag.
- In a bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and pour into the ziploc bag with the lamb chops. Securely seal bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Let meat marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling (much better to marinate overnight for the marinade to completely sip-through the meat).
- Grill (cook) loin chops according to your preferred doneness. It is very crucial to rest meat (at least 8 minutes) before serving and eating it so that meat evenly cooks and stay tender and moist.
- Put bacon bits in a cold non-stick skillet, fry until fat renders out and bacon bits are crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Saute asparagus spears in butter until tender.
- Assemble everything. Serve. Eat. Belly Happy.
Cook’s note: Juice of citrus fruits like lemon and orange in marinades help to tenderize meat. The acid in citrus breaks down the protein fibers of meat, therefore, making it tender. And these Lamb loin chops were very tender.
Putting oil (fat) like olive oil, garlic oil, etc. in marinades help the meat (specially when it will be grilled) stay moist and succulent as it cooks.
You can also serve these grilled chops with Chimichurri (a herbaceous Argentinean condiment made with chopped fresh parsley, oregano (or fresh cilantro), garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil and chili) as if you are in a Churrascaria.
My Mint Chimichurri
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
handful of fresh mint, chopped
handful of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
5 cloves of garlic (from a large head), minced fine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
red chili flakes (according to taste)
salt (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients together. Serve with grilled lamb chops.
(My recipe / Hub’s cooking and photos)
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
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
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.
All About The Unctuous EGG
A perfectly poached or soft-boiled egg, for me, is my idea of easy and comforting spoonful of luxurious heaven.
Oozy, runny and warm golden yolk, so creamy and velvety, easily coating anything that is dipped or dressed in it. The only word I could think of to best describe a perfect cooked egg is Unctuous - rich, lush, intense, delicate, soft, velvety.
They say that the hardest ingredient to cook is egg, and I believe this is true. In a matter of a second one can easily overcook an egg (unless you are indeed aiming for a very solid yolk that of an over hard or hard hard-boiled egg). Even world renowned, Michelin-starred chefs (e.g Heston Blumenthal, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne) become obsessed mastering the art, technique and methodology of egg cookery, they are even on a race with each other to invent the most clever, even scientific way of cooking eggs. Case in point, Heston Blumenthal's precise, scientific and molecular gastronomic approach here (video link).
I myself have a few secrets cooking scrambled, boiled and over-easy (which is never really turned over, but I will explain in a moment) eggs.
For my scrambled eggs:
I used to whisk-in a splash of milk (full fat) with eggs I scrambled, but I always found my scrambled eggs, after I turned off the heat and transferred it on the plate, to suddenly leech out water, which made my scrambled eggs a bit soupy in a way. I believe, it’s because the milk proteins in milk separates and the milk proteins and the protein in the eggs whites (albumin) coagulates together after heat is applied, and so the water from both the egg whites and milk (whey) gets separated from the coagulated proteins and leak out.
So here is my fool-proof and very tasty recipe for
Creamy Scrambled Eggs (Serves 1)
2 whole eggs
1 Tablespoon Crème fraîche (or substitute Sour Cream)
pinch of sea salt and a crack of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon butter
- In a bowl, put eggs, Crème fraîche and salt and pepper. Whisk until well beaten.
- In a small skillet over low heat, melt butter. When butter is bubbly, add the egg mixture and gently stir until egg mixture starts to curdle, for soft scrambled eggs cook for 1 min. to 1 1/2 mins. maximum, for firmer almost knobly scrambled eggs, cook for 2 mins.
Crème fraîche has 30%- 45% butterfat, it is produced by adding bacterial culture to heavy cream (36% - 45% or more butterfat), an egg yolk contains approximately 4.5 grams of fat and makes up 1/3 of the weight of a whole egg, while egg white even though it makes up 2/3 of the weight of a whole egg, egg white contains nearly 92% of water. Milk contains more water than butterfat even in full fat milk.
Fat from creme fraiche and egg yolks overwhelm the amount of water present in egg whites, therefore it produces a creamier and denser scrambled eggs than scrambled eggs with 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.
This just means, food and cooking are both complete science if you think about it.
Asian Soft Scrambled Eggs (Serves 1)
2 whole eggs
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
a crack of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon flavourless oil (grape seed or canola oil)
4-6 drops of white truffle oil (this is intensely flavoured and very expensive oil, a few drops is really all it takes)
or if one is on a budget, just substitute the same amount of sesame seed oil.
- Mix first 4 ingredients and whisk until well beaten.
- In a small skillet over low heat, heat oil. When oil is decently hot but not (never smoking) gently stir-in the egg mixture.
- Cook for 1 minute no more. Transfer to a plate and dot drops of white truffle oil on top.
For my Over-Easy (but never turned over) Egg:
I am heavy handed and can never do a gentle soft toss or flip, so flipping over an egg in the skillet briefly and gently and cautiously flipping it back up after 3 seconds for over-easy egg is a horrible daunting task (I was never in the egg station) for me.
So what I do is heat a small skillet over low fire, add 1 Tablespoon of oil or butter (but I usually just use canola oil) while the egg gently cooks, I gently spoon hot fat over the yolk until it forms a thin white veil or blanket. The yolk is still oozy and runny inside but the top is cooked. Not very cheffy-like, but it is practical!!!
For my Boiled Egg:
I put 1 or 2 eggs in a small saucepan 2/3 full of water, I add approximately 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, I do this because if ever my eggs will crack in the boiling water while it is still in its liquid state, the vinegar which is straight forward an acid will help stop the raw egg white to ooze out by instantly coagulating the proteins in the egg white. So putting vinegar is in fact a preventive measure.
When the water boils, turn off heat and let egg/s stand inside the covered saucepan of hot water for 6 mins. if using a large- extra large egg add additional 2 minutes.
Semi Hard-Boiled Egg:
When the water boils, turn down heat to low and let the egg/s simmer for 2 mins. then remove from heat and let egg/s stand inside the covered saucepan of hot water for 4 mins.
When the water boils, turn down heat to low and let the egg/s simmer for 6 mins. then remove from heat and let egg/s stand inside the covered saucepan of hot water for 4 mins.
This method will not make the yolks develop green rings (iron sulfide coating) instead the yolk is firm and still a bit creamy and not overcooked.
For the Perfect Poached Egg:
Just follow Heston Blumenthal’s technique from the video link I provided earlier in this post… it’s brilliant!
To easily remove the shell of a semi-hard and hard-boiled egg, the second you remove the egg/s from the hot water, immediately shock the egg/s in an ice bath (a bowl of water with lots of ice).
When cracking a fresh egg, do not crack the egg with the rim of the bowl, the small broken shells tend to go inside where the bowl put an inward dent and pierced through the broken membrane, this is how you get small broken shells mixed in with the egg in the bowl. Instead, gently tap the egg on the counter or work surface, this creates large cracks and does not puncture the protective membrane of the egg.
Upside-Down Bacony Italian Meatloaf
This is my husband’s meatloaf masterpiece, I see it as a beautiful rustic bacon-enrobed brick of succulent spiced meat.
I love that my husband is indeed very capable in the kitchen, and I love the fact that even in the kitchen we are a solid team, meaning I can never and will never claim the kitchen as “my” turf in our home, but it will always be “our” place where he is as passionate as I am about cooking, baking and eating.
And although this meatloaf is my recipe, my wonderful husband did every single prep work, baking, picture taking, eating and raving about how “f”**ing awesome!” this is. And so this is my husband’s home cooking, and this meatloaf is nothing short of awesome.
(Asian) Ham Wraps
These tasty wraps are super simple, easy and even inexpensive (not to mention kinda healthy) to make as appetizer, snack or entree (if one eats a dozen) that I am utterly convinced this dish can even easily replace Cup Noodles (Ramen) in every college kid’s diet.
Simple really, all you need are Chinese pancakes or flour tortillas, fried matchstick slices of ham, julienned red and green bell peppers, scallions (spring onions), torn iceberg lettuce and hoisin sauce (if you are actually making it “Asian”) or your favourite store-bought bottle of barbecue sauce.
Fresh, salty, sweet and savoury, oh, and I did mentioned “kinda healthy”.
Chilli and Garlic Sauteed Prawns
I think this is the most easy yet most tasty dish to cook and eat with crunchy garlic bread.
All you do is saute crushed garlic and chilli flakes in butter (or olive oil) until garlic is soft and fragrant, then throw in shelled and deveined prawns and add a splash of dry white wine, season with salt and pepper. The minute prawns curl and turn orange (cooking time is only 3-5 minutes) remove from heat, sprinkle chopped chives or parsley, serve on crusty garlic bread, and apply to face.
Strawberry Crumble Tart
Anything that requires minimum effort with maximum YUM and gorgeousness will always be a winner to every cook and baker in any kitchen. I personally cringe and always get stressed-out whenever I have to compose or even eat a dish with so many darn components on a plate.
My style of cooking, presenting a dish and eating is, as much as I can, always with balance, symmetry and always with focus… that, or I am just a baker and a cook with OCD who also cannot multi-task (most likely, because whenever I remember that darn Tiramisu trio sampler I prepared and plated on my very last professional kitchen gig a few months ago, I still get a bit of a surge of adrenalin rush… darn pain-in-the-butt dessert that was!). Right, and anyway, it’s been ages since I shared a recipe here, so I figured, WTH… Why not write a simple tart recipe? and make use of my Homemade Strawberry Jam from last week’s post and this 2 year old picture of a Strawberry Crumble Tart I posted but never wrote the recipe (too lazy).
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cubed cold butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup strawberry preserve/jam(preferably not too sweet or less sugar variety)
- Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Work the cold cubes of butter into the flour mixture with the your fingertips or use a pastry cutter. When mixture resembles pea-size rubble, add the rolled oats.
- Divide the crumble mixture in half. Firmly press half of the mixture in 9-inch round cake tin.
- Evenly spread the strawberry preserve on the tart base.
- Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture on top of the jam.
- Bake tart for 20-25 mins. in a 350’F oven until top of the crumble tart is light golden brown.
- Let tart slightly cool at room temperature before slicing.
- Serve with cream, strawberry coulis (optional) and slices of fresh strawberries.
Other filling suggestions that are YUM:
- Strawberry jam + peanut butter (reduce the amount of rolled oats into 1/2 cup in the crumble recipe and add 1/2 cup roasted chopped peanuts)
- Apricot preserve/jam + sultanas (golden raisins) + almond butter
- Cooked rhubarb pie filling
- Apple pie filling (home cooked or canned) or apple butter (add 1 teaspoon cinnamon in the crumble mixture)
- Orange marmalade + chopped pistachios (mix the chopped pistachios with the orange marmalade before spreading on the tart base.
Purple Yam Fudge (Halayang Ube)
I remember a couple of Christmas and New Year days in my childhood, and those were spent visiting houses of other grandparents, aunts and uncles and even friends of my mother’s. And every single house I had gone to accompanied by my mother or aunt or grandmother, I was always handed a platito (saucer) with a slice of Halayang Ube (purple yam fudge). Now, proper etiquette for visitors here is to always welcome and be gracious to anything the hostess offers or serves you, I never had a problem following this particular rule of etiquette, most specially if it is food that is generously shared to me.
By tasting about 3 or 4 versions of Halayang Ube from each house I visited at the end of the festive day, I somehow, and although a bit embarrassed to admit, haven’t had the resolve (even at an early age) NOT to be a silent judge and NOT knit-pick and compare (like a Top Chef judge) each purple yam fudge I tasted.
One can tell which home spent hours cooking and stirring their purple yam fudge and which did not, and even who was patient and meticulous enough to not let any chocolate chip-size morsel of boiled purple yam get mixed up with the finely grated mound, and who was not that particular in making their halaya close to lump-free perfection in texture.
There are, I think, close to a dozen arguments on how to make the best Halayang Ube throughout this country. But all I wish to divulge is how I make mine.
- You have to buy the best looking purple yams with the most intense purple colour, which can range from bright lavender to Barney purple to really deep dark purple (almost verging into blackish in colour).
- You can either boil or bake the purple yams, skin still on (this way none of the gorgeous purple colour bleeds out of the root vegetable) until very tender. Finely grate the yams using a fine grater, or for your modern-day convenience, use a food processor- cut the boiled (or baked) and peeled yams into medium dices. Fill the food processor tub half full (for each batch) with the yams and blitz/puree.
- The amount of milk (both condensed milk and evaporated milk) is as much as important as the amount of purple yam is. The creaminess and richness of the milk should compliment and enhance the starchy quality of the purple root veg.
- Use a large non-stick (teflon coated) pan to cook the mixture. I do recommend using a big and sturdy silicone (very heat resistant) spatula to stir the mixture, and also by using a silicone spatula instead of a wooden spoon, you can conveniently scrape all the sticky mixture away from the base of the pan preventing scorching or burnt bottom.
- And finally, patience is really the key element in making this decadent confection. For the amount of purple yam fudge mixture in this recipe, you have to cook and constantly stir it for 3-3 1/2 hours on a stove top over medium heat or until the fudge when stirred, can be lifted off the pan like a dense dough. The best characteristic of a very good Halayang Ube is that is it chewy and dense and rich and toothsome.
2 kilos finely grated purple yams, prepared*
*(boiled or baked with skin still on until fork tender, then peeled and finely grated or blitzed in a food processor)
4 cans condensed milk
2 cans evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter + 2 Tablespoon softened butter (to lightly coat the moulds the purple yam fudge will be poured to be moulded and set)
1 teaspoon salt
Prepare moulds- coat the base and sides of dish moulds with softened butter.
- In a large non-stick pan or even teflon coated wok (much suggested and preferred) , combine all ingredients and thoroughly mix until homogenised.
- Place pan over medium heat. From this point, you only have to stand in front of the stove and your pan of purple yam mixture for the next 3- 3 1/2 hours- constantly stirring, making sure the bottom of the mixture doesn’t get scorched and burnt.
- After working the hours stirring the fudge, it becomes chewy and much like a very heavy and dense dough, and you can see that the mixture easily lifts itself off the pan. At this stage, turn off heat.
- Divide purple yam fudge into prepared moulds/dish. Smoothen the surface of the fudge with an offset or regular spatula lightly coated with softened butter (this will make the surface shiny). Cool completely and let it set.
- Slice according to preference.
Makes about 3 kilos
Note : Arms, neck and shoulder massage is recommended… most probably inevitable, afterwards. :)
Chilli, Garlic and Butter Prawns
Prawns, I think, are the best protein to make a dish of for when you only have 15 minutes to cook.
This simple but boldly flavoured dish is incredibly easy to whip up, all you do is saute, toss and YOU’re done!!!
1 kilo large prawns, shelled (but with heads intact) and deveined
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 whole head of medium size garlic, minced
2 red chillies, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
* 1 teaspoon Asian chilli-garlic paste (optional, but suggested)
salt (according to taste)
- Heat a saute pan or wok (if you have one) over medium heat and put in the butter, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.
- Saute garlic until aromatic and soft. Add chopped red chillies or dried red chilli flakes and Asian chilli-garlic paste (optional).
- Increase heat of the stove to high. Add prawns in the pan and toss into sauteing garlic and chillies.
- Cook prawns 4-5 minutes or until they are curled and turned orange.
(note: shrimps/prawns cook quickly, so a couple of seconds longer and they tend to instantly get overcooked.)
- Serve with rice or toasted and crusty garlic-rubbed baguette bread.
Smoky Baked Potato Wedges with Hickory Smoked Bacon served with Spanish Red
I like comfort foods but I like comfort cooking more. My self-definition of comfort cooking is to cook something easy yet pleasurable in all aspects - doing the cooking at a convenient time, cozy atmosphere in the kitchen, ingredients that are pleasurable to eat as they are or put together to create something of a hearty dish, a blissful eating experience which, really, can be instantly achieved when all your heart and attention are focused only at the promise of bite after bite of satisfying morsels of starch, and cheese and Bacon.
These baked, cheesy potato wedges are flavoured with Spanish sweet smoked paprika, olive oil, cream cheese and manchego cheese, topped with smoky hickory bacon bits and a dash more of pimenton dulce de la vera.
1 large potato (1/2 pound), scrubbed, unpeeled, quartered and boiled in slightly salted water until tender
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon good quality dijon mustard, Maille Fine de Dijon
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika, Pimenton Dulce de la Vera
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese (or can substitute gruyere or swiss cheese), divided into 2 (1/4 cup), 1/4 cup to mix in the mash, 1/4 to sprinkle on top of the potatoes
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup crisp hickory smoked bacon bits
1 Tablespoon chives, finely chopped
- While potatoes are still hot, scoop the flesh and put in a bowl.
- Mash potatoes and mix in extra virgin olive oil, softened cream cheese, dijon mustard, milk, Spanish sweet smoked paprika, chives, grated cheese and season with salt and pepper (to taste).
- Spoon mixture on potato skin wedges, top with the remaining grated cheese and a few bits of bacon.
- Bake in a 375’F oven for 12-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and tops are browned.
- Top with remaining bacon bits and a few dashes of paprika (pimenton).
Makes 1-2 servings
* I paired this dish with a Spanish red wine Almez Tempranillo - acidic and fruity with blueberries and lilac notes which complimented the smokiness of this dish.
Goddess of Scrumptiousness Food Photography and Original Recipes by Jeannie Maristela are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at goddessofscrumptiousness.tumblr.com
The Snack Junkie’s Choice of Brunch When Home Alone : Curry Masala Pita Crisps Dipped in Soft Boiled Egg
I think I am the worst person to be left home alone. When I am all by myself my mind instantly goes in hyperactive mode thinking of something good yet very simple and easy to make. And since being home alone means I only have to worry about feeding ME, I tend to give in to what I really want to eat that very moment.
I love soft boiled egg, it’s really my most simplest comfort food, and childhood food. And whatever I can come up with to dip and use as an edible tool to spoon it out of its shell, I make and use, in this case I discovered some left over pita in the fridge.
What you need:
Pita bread, flour tortilla or flatbread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Brush whole pita with extra virgin olive oil.
- Sprinkle over your choice spice mix.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut pita into halves and cut each half into 3 triangles.
- Place pita triangles on a baking sheet and bake in a 350’F preheated oven for 5 minutes or until crisps are light golden brown and are crunchy.
- these crisps can be served with various kinds of dips and condiments such as hummus, harissa, tzatziki or curries. As well as made into a Fattoush Salad or if you are like me who is a soft boiled egg and brunch lover, by all means use these crisps to scoop out your own soft boiled egg and EAT!
Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Kimbap and Hawker Style Shrimp Balls
As much as I love Mexican, Italian, American, and of course, Filipino dishes, I also fully embrace the dishes of other Asian countries such as Korea and fusion flavours of Singaporean food. And what I love most about Asian food is that it can be the cheapest to make, but really, the tastiest and with the most bold flavours.
I particularly love hawker food, mostly snacks in bite-size morsels jam-packed with savoury goodness either eaten on its own or dipped in a sauce, served on a stick -skewered in a row or picked up with a pair of chopsticks.
And although what I share with you all are recipes clearly not at all traditional and really kind of veered away from authenticity. I assure you all that these recipes are as equally enjoyable to munch on as those proper dishes that I borrowed from.
KIMCHI FRIED RICE
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup kimchi, chopped
4 cups cooked white rice
7 grams chicken stock powder (can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoon of chicken stock concentrate)
2 teaspoons sushi and sashimi soy sauce (or light soy sauce)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
In a large pan or wok on medium-high heat, saute chopped garlic in canola oil for 10 seconds. Add kimchi and saute for another 10 seconds.
Add the cooked rice making sure to break the lumps. Season the rice with chicken stock powder, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and cracked black pepper.
Toss and cook fried rice for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and immediately pour the beaten eggs over rice, stir and toss. Serve hot with shredded nori and thinly sliced omelette.
* Kimchi Kimbap *
Kimchi Fried Rice
Sliced Fried Spam (luncheon meat or ham is also good)
- Place nori sheet on cling or sushi mat, spread kimchi fried rice, 2 (3/4 inch in diameter sticks) of fried spam and sliced omelette.
- Roll sushi tightly and cut into 1 inch slices.
Hawker Style Shrimp Balls
1 pound raw shrimps, shelled, deveined and heads and tails removed
juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
2 Tablespoons spring onions, roughly sliced
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
canola oil (enough to reach half the height of your fry pan) for frying
wedges of lime or lemon to serve
- Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor.
- Chill shrimp ball mixture inside the fridge for 30 mins.
- Heat canola oil in fry pan over medium-high heat.
- Using 2 spoons, scoop 1 tablespoon each of shrimp mixture and form into irregular shaped balls.
- Fry in oil until golden.
- Serve with lime or lemon wedges on the side.