Sunday, 31 July 2016

Miso-Glazed Tofu

In China, there are entire aisles in the chilled sections of supermarkets dedicated to tofu.  The variety must be fascinating to a foreigner where they are used to just tofus categorized into soft and firm.  Some specialist shops have overpriced fusion tofus studded with olives and sun dried tomatoes, which are surprisingly good actually, but the choice is still limiting.  Tofu comes in different textures, formats and flavors - they come in sheets, they come in tubes, they come dried and they come marinated.  Maybe tofu would not be so off-putting to so many people if they were exposed to it in all its forms.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The hard-to-mess-up apple cake

I was heartbroken.  I shouldn't have made this cake.  My baby sourdough was quietly proofing in the bowl and I got a bit bored. My friend was visiting in a few hours so I thought I might as well bake something else whilst I wait for my bread and then just pop my baby in the oven when it would.be.perfect.  It was my 4th try with my sourdough, I was determined to make.it.perfect.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Homemade Ricotta

Ricotta is disappointingly underrated outside of Italy.  People think of it as a filler ingredient, an extra in a dish filled with big stars.  You mix it up with big flavors assuming it is only useful for its texture.  Poor ricotta, why don't more people swoon over ricotta?
My grandmother used to mix up freshly made ricotta with sugar and give it to me and my sister as a sweet afternoon snack.  Still warm, wonderfully creamy and rich, it was eaten up in just a few mouthfuls.  It honestly is incredibly flavorsome and lovely on its own -- as long as it's good ricotta.  So give it another chance, and hey, the good news is you can easily make good ricotta at home.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Ginger Cookies

They're classic American cookies, the crispy kind, like those simple, welcoming chocolate chip cookies.  This is a version with my favorite flavors.  They remind me of my high school friend's mother.  American cookies in general.  She was Malaysian, and what a cook, with a repertoire that stretched from curried chicken to fried noodles and chocolate cakes.  And my generous friend, YC, always brought boxes of her mom's baked goods to share with us ravenous teenagers.  I recalled her brownies in particular: decadent, rich fudgy brownies with that crisp top.  When I asked YC for her mom's magical brownie recipe, she said it was from Betty Crocker - a ready mix - all this time her mother was just mixing some egg and water into a bowl along with the contents of a commercialized box - and I had never felt so cheated before.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Scallops with Herbed Peas & Citrus Crumbs

Oh as much as I love eating scallops I just hate preparing them.  They're stubborn little things when you try to pry them open -- fair enough, you're killing them, but it's a task I face with utter dread.  I always fear my knife snapping in half.  Or, since once I stabbed my palm really badly, I'm worried about cutting myself or stabbing myself or have the knife snap in half and the blade pierce through my body #paranoidmindset
 
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