Fridge Clearing.

I was going to make chicken pot pie this weekend but.. I realized how much random foods are in fridge…I should eat most of it before adding more things into it for the recipes I try.

Until next week, I’ll try a Halloween recipe 🙂

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Thanksgiving Turkey

So, now that my LSAT is over. What better time to start new recipes than thanksgiving?

I’ve made this before a few years ago, using my mom’s directions and it worked out fine. The timing for the recipe is a little whack because our oven does not have the convection function – only bake. This recipe is really, really, really easy. It’s hard to go wrong. The turkey I used is about 5 1/2 KG.

You will need poultry herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage), salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil, and non-salted butter.

Finely chop 3 sprigs of rosemary, 7 sprigs of thyme, and 6 leaves of sage. Set aside.

Take about 1 table spoon of butter and place small pieces of the butter between the skin and the breast meat. To make this process more easier, use your fingers to tear away the skin from the breast meat from the end closer to the thighs (don’t worry, the skin won’t rip easily!). Afterwards, rub with a few table spoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle the entire turkey with salt and pepper, then the herbs. Fill the cavity of the turkey with 3 sprigs of rosemary, 6 sprigs of thyme, 6-7 sage leaves, the rest of the lemon, and a garlic head sliced horizontally.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F and then put the turkey into the oven for about 30 minutes until the top gets brown. My picture is ugly because I don’t have a convection oven so it’s not even.

Tent with aluminum foil and lower the oven temperature to 325F and cook for 2-3 hours. Use your thermometer in the thigh of the turkey and make sure it reads 180F. If not, put the turkey back into the oven. If you are using a normal oven (bake), then I used 350F and put it in the oven for about 4 hours.

Set the turkey aside for 20-30 minutes for the turkey to rest.

Slice the turkey as desired. The picture below is one of the turkey breasts.

After everything was all said and done… dinner is finally ready for the four of us 😀 Go calgarians!
1. Roasted turkey
2. Green beans with butter and roasted garlic
3. Fish/Corn Soup
4. Stove-Top Stuffing
5. Spinach Salad (previously posted)
6. Garlic bread – the bread from Cho Pain on Davie St.

I wish you all a happy thanksgiving. Until next time!

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Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

Hi everyone, this week I made a mushroom lasagna. One of my friends requested it a while back so this is for you 🙂

What you need for this recipe is, 4 table spoons of butter, 1/4th cup of flour, salt, pepper, 1.3 kg of portobello mushrooms, 12 dried lasagne pieces, 1 pack of defrosted and squeezed chopped spinach, 2 cups of 3.25% milk, 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and 1 head of roasted garlic.

Cut the top of the head of garlic and sprinkle sea salt and a table spoon of olive oil and rub. Wrap with aluminum foil and put into the convention oven for 45 minutes at 350F. When the head turns a slight brown and it soft to the touch, its ready.

Next, cook the lasagne in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then I usually cut the temperature off and put the entire pot on the side to cool down slightly. I dislike fully cooking the pasta through because it will lose texture when you bake the lasagna.

While the pasta is boiling/cooling down, slice the portobello mushrooms into 3/4th inch slices and panfry on medium heat with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Remember that you want to brown the mushrooms and remove as much moisture as you can so pay attention to how quick your mushrooms cook. This should take about 5-10 minutes depending on how many mushrooms you throw into your pan. The mushrooms are cooked when they are tender to the bite and no more moisture remains in the pan.

Prepare the bechamel sauce by bringing up the 2 cups of milk to a simmer and in another smaller pot, melt the butter and then mix in the flour. When you add the flour, remove the pan from the heat or turn the heat to the lowest setting. Stir the rue constantly with a whisk. When the color has turned slightly brown, add the milk slowly and continue whisking to prevent lumps. My bechamel sauce came out thick as I kept stirring (but I prefer it to be a little thicker than usual for lasagna because you dont want a runny-mess when you eat it!). Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the bulb and whisk into the sauce with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

After all the items have cooled to room temperature (the lasagne was still warm), you can assemble the lasagna.

Place some of the bechamel sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Layer with lasagne sheets. On-top of the sheets, place some bechamel sauce ontop of the sheets, 1/3rd of the mushrooms, 1/3rd of the spinach, and 1/4th of the cheese. Repeat two more times.

Layer with the final layer of lasagne, bechamel sauce, and the remaining cheese. Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 375F uncovered.

The recipe was pretty good. You can’t go wrong with the basic spinach/mushroom/garlic/cream sauce combination 😀 However, in the future, I will probably thin the bechamel sauce a little more by adding more butter or milk (hey! I never said this was healthy). Give this recipe a try and add your own spin to it to personalize it to your taste, like adding some cooked pancetta. Until next time!

The original recipe can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/portobello-mushroom-lasagna-recipe/index.html where it is very basic (and looks bland), which is why I added to it.

Until next time!

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Spinach Salad

So this week, this is kind of a cop-out recipe since I’ve made it before a few times over the past few years. Anyways, it’s usually a hit because it really hits all the keynotes a salad should have: salty, crunchy, savoury, and peppery.

I was going to make something this weekend but… when I looked at this week’s flyer from IGA, Safeway, T&T, and HMart, nothing popped into my head.

For this salad you need:
1. 4 rounds of pancetta (I asked the deli to slice them about 1/4th inch slices), cooked and broken up into pieces
2. Half a red onion (thinly sliced)
3. 3/4th pink lady apple cut (matchstick) tossed with juice of half a lemon. The lemon will prevent the apple from browning.
4. About 6 cups of spinach.

Hi all! Long time no see.

Toss all of these ingredients together. Do not make this too much in advanced because the spinach will welt when it’s not kept cold – I only put saran wrap to cover the bowl because I’m bringing this to a picnic next door (burnaby national park is what I think it’s called?).

For the dressing, mix together 2 finely chopped shallots, 3 table spoons of dijon mustard (here I used Dijonaise by Maille – I only eat mustards by the Maille brand), 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3rd cup of red wine vinegar, juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Put into an air-tight container and shake to combine. Of course, you can adjust the recipe to suit your taste.This amount of dressing is enough for two salads.

Lightly toss with the apple/spinach/pancetta/red onion mixture to coat. Remember to only add enough to coat everything evenly.

I’ve made this for pot-lucks because it’s really simple and cheap 😀
The dressing really hits all the good points of a dressing/vinegrette because you taste the vinegar, oil, with the added notes of the lemon juice, mustard, and shallots. The vinegrette helps offset the bitterness of the spinach, while the apple, pancetta, and red onions work perfectly into this salad adding the sweetness and saltiness.

I don’t remember where I got this recipe – but it’s somewhere on foodtv.com/ca.

Enjoy 😀

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Pork belly and Taro w/ Red Fermented Beancurd

Hi everyone,

Friday evening, I was sitting at home relaxing and attempting to study for the LSAT exam coming up in a little more than two months until I got bored. I’m not going to lie – logical reasoning is so much fun (/sarcasm). I started to think about some food that I haven’t had in a long time (over 1 year+) and something that you probably wouldn’t want to eat more than once per year. The first thing that came to mind was Woo Tau Kow Yoke. I never tried making it at home before because I always thought there was a secret blend of spices to make the ‘weird’ but delicious sauce. After doing some research, the recipe was relatively simple, and also really cheap to make.

1. Begin with the fresh pork belly. I chose a piece that is relatively lean because… it’s pork belly, enough said. You want to make sure the hairs are taken off, you can do this by holding the pork belly upside down with tongs and waving it over a flame. Boil the pork belly with 4-5 slices of ginger and green onions. This will help remove some of the fatty oils. Place the pork belly aside to cool. Brush the pork belly with soy sauce and lightly pat with a few pinches of five spice powder. Cut the pork belly into 1/3″ or 1/2″ inch slices.

2.While the pork belly is cooling, slice your taro as the same length of the pork belly and about 1/3″ or 1/2″ inch slices. Remember to wear plastic gloves and always use a dry cutting board and knife because raw Taro can irritate the skin.

3.Place a few laves of lettuce on the bottom of the claypot and alternate the taro and pork belly to form 1 layer. This will ensure your food cooks evenly.

4. Im assuming most people haven’t seen what red fermented beancurd looks like. This is the main item of the dish that makes it taste so delicious and gives it that bright red color.

In a saucepan, add 1 tbsp of oil and add 3 cloves of shopped garlic. After 30 seconds, add the beancurd and mash the beancurd with a spatula. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the red fermented beancurd sauce (from the jar), 1/2 tbsp of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Lastly, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.

5. Pour into the claypot. Add more water until the pork belly and taro is fully submerged. To cook, either place on-top of the stove on low-heat (until you reach a simmer) uncovered for 1 hour. Every 10 minutes, use chopsticks or a utensil to poke the taro/pork belly so it doesn’t burn onto the bottom of the claypot. Or, steamer for 1 1/2 hours. Essentially, just keep cooking the pork and taro until the taro and pork belly are soft. The sauce will naturally thicken as the taro cooks.

6. EAT!

I’m not going to lie – the cooked product is fairly ugly but it’s so delicious. It’s hard to describe the taste of this dish but it’s pretty awesome. You won’t know how it tastes until you’ve made it yourself so GO AND TRY THIS!

My recipe primarily came from http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2006/02/woo-tau-kow-yoke.html. I didn’t deep-fry the taro and the skin of the pork belly because steaming/braising will remove the crispiness that deep frying does.

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Green Onion Pancakes

Hi everyone,

Wow, I can’t believe its been 4 weeks since I’ve last posted!! I’m so sorry. So many people have been visiting over the past four weekends so it’s just been crazy!!

I’ve decided to make this post because Laura was looking at green onion pancakes, so she can make them too back in Korea!

I stumbled across this recipe while in Milano last year and decided to make them because its quick, simple, and delicious! It may take a few times to may to get the texture right because humidity differs across cities. For example, I got have this recipe nailed down in high humid places but definitely not in Calgary where it’s very dry… made my green onion pancakes incredibly dry!.

Let’s begin shall we?
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of boiling water, 1/4th cup of cold water, 5 stalks of green onion, salt, and 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.

1. Start with 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour.

2. Add the boiling water into the flour and slightly mix until all the water is absorbed. The flour will not come together because there isn’t enough water. The purpose of adding the hot water is to help the flour develop glutton so you’ll get that delicious slightly chewy texture. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, finely slice the green onions and set aside.

4. After 10 minutes, add the 1/4th of cold water. Mix the dough until it comes to a ball. At this point, this is where it may take a few tries to get the right consistency. You want the dough to be a little elastic and a sticky – the dough should be able to fold into itself seamlessly. For example, if you pinch the to pieces of dough, it should easily combine into one dough ball. Add flour or cold water to reach the right consistency.

5. Divide the ball into three equal portions. Roll one of the portions out as thin as possible and try to make it a square or rectangle. Spread 1 teaspoon of oil over the dough, add as much green onion as you like, and sprinkle with sea salt.

6. Start from the bottom or top, and tightly roll into a tube. Cut the roll into pieces depending on how big you want your pancakes. I like my pancakes about 1/4″ thick.

7. Flatten each piece by rolling them out into a circle or stand them up-right and flatt with a clever.

8. If you are not going to eat them all at one-go, use parchment paper to wrap the pancakes into portions. Layflat in a freezer bag and put them into the freezer. Even if you are going to eat them right now, I prefer to have the green onion pancakes cold before frying.

9. Heat a generously oiled pan to medium-high. Place the pancakes until the pan until its golden brown. Flip and press flat with a spatula. Once both sides are golden brown, they are done!

10. Serve with soy sauce and rice vinegar.

The inside should be ‘light’ but with a slight chew and the exterior should be crisp. This is a great afternoon snack food because it takes absolutely no time to cook. I hope you enjoy!

The recipe I followed/follow is at http://momofukufor2.com/2010/01/green-onion-pancakes-recipe/.

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Caprese Sandwich

Hey everyone,

Wow, it’s been so long since i’ve posted.. just a bit busy! Friends, Family, and Roommate + his family over the past 4 weeks. Not only that, but this past weekend I had volunteering. Hopefully! i’ll be able to start posting once a week again now that things have cooled down in my schedule.

This weekend i’ve only made a simple sandwich since I did not have much time. It’s very quick and simple especially when you’re no the go!

Sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, a few slices of prosciutto, a few basil leaves. sea salt, cracked black pepper, and a fresh baguette or similar type of bread, and last but not least! fresh mozzarella.

1. Slice the bread horizontally into three slices. Layer the mozzarella and basil on the bottom. sprinkle some salt and cracked black pepper onto the bottom slice of the bread.

Note*: pat off the extra water on the mozzarella using a paper towel.

2. Place the middle slice of bread and top with tomato and prosciutto. Salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

3. Eat with some potato chips and a salad.

Yum, until next time!

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