Sunday, February 28, 2010

Japanese Cooking 101!

I had the privilege of going to my neighbors friends house who is Japanese for lunch and learning how to cook Japanese food. We ate a cucumber pickle salad, ginger pork, a radish miso soup, rice, green tea and ice cream filled mochi!

Here are the recipes:

Cucumber and Sesame salad:

  • 5 small cucumbers cut in small pieces
  • a little sesame oil
  • sea salt and sesame seeds

  1. smash up the cucumbers with a rolling pin and mix in the sesame seeds, sesame oil and salt.

this is a Japanese Basil seasoning you sprinkle on the top of rice, I am going to look for them next time I am in the Asian store.
Radish Miso Soup

  • 1/2 a Japanese radish cut into Julienne
  • one pack of Dashi seasoning with 3 cups of water
  • one tablespoon of red miso paste

  1. boil the water with a packet of dashi to make a stock with the radish in it
  2. then stir in the miso paste, simmer for about 10 minutes
Ginger Pork

  • 2 lb of Pork, its best to be partly frozen as it needs to be cut paper thin
  • one large onion
  • 2 tablespoon sake
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of mirin
  • a little all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated ginger
  1. blend the sauce together with ginger
  2. heat wok, no oil was needed!
  3. slowly add the pork dipped in flour, turning all the time
  4. add the sauce and stir fry for 10 minutes until cooked
the sauce
cooking the pork

dessert ice cream filled mochi and Japanese tea
this is a little toy sushi table that she framed, She's a true foodie!

During lunch we talked about food customs, never stick you chopsticks in the rice use the rest. It is OK to lift the soup bowl to your lips and drink from it.

It was a lovely day, they are coming to my house next, oh what should I cook!

and the lovely Lisa of The Kitchen Queen of La La

Gave me this award thanks so much, always enjoy her blog and great sense of humor

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gumbo and Olive Oil Bread

So for Healthy Bread in 5 min a day we were to make an olive oil bread and goat cheese focaccia. I made the olive oil bread overall it was pretty good, but quite dense surprisingly it was much lighter as focaccia. I didn't have all the ingredients for the cheese one, so I topped it with roasted garlic and rosemary it was really good.

Just had to add this picture can you see Jasmine little hand touching it as I was taking the picture!
So as you all know I got a Le Creuset last week and have been cooking up a storm in it. My neighbor kindly lent me a Le Creuset cookbook! and I found a great recipe for a Charleston style gumbo. Ever since Ed did the Gumbo guest post, I have been craving it.

This recipe is quite unique as it doesn't use flour to brown it. It thickens with the okra and potatoes it was simple to make and hubby gave it 8/10 good for him!

  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • one spoon olive oil
  • one small red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sticks of celery chopped
  • one green pepper chopped
  • one cup of okra chopped
  • one cup of wild shrimp
  • 2 small red chilli's
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • one cup of vegetable broth
  • parsley
  • 3 medium potatoes chopped
  • some cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. cooked the bacon for 3 minutes add the onions, garlic and celery for another few minutes then add the pepper, chilli's, potato, tomato, okra
  2. add the broth and the rest of the spices turn the heat low and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. then add the shrimp and simmer for a further 15 minutes
Great served with rice or bread.

While I was on twitter the other day after making the Gumbo Adriane a native of Louisiana told me she makes great Gumbo in fact the sausages are even homemade by her uncle, she just tweeted this snap, doesn't it look amazing, she even sells, sweets from her Grandma's recipes

Even Megan from Tomato Tots made a Gumbo after chatting on twitter be sure to check out hers as well!

Has everyone tried Gumbo? if not go one you will adore it!

also Amy from The Wayland cook gave me the Sunshine award thanks so much

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Portuguese Baked Cod

The lovely Ruth of I love Flavor me inspired this dish I have been reading her blog for a while now, and always admire her seafood dishes.

Cod is a wonderful and healthy fish low in Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Potassium, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Selenium.
  • 4 pieces of Cod, Frozen wild Alaskan (I didn't use salted cod)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • a few olives
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • some salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • one carrot chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of milk, I used 2%

  1. slice the potatoes then boil with carrots for 5 minutes
  2. in a separate pan lightly poach the fish in the milk for 5 minutes not allowing it to fall apart
  3. then heat olive oil and saute the garlic, pepper, onion, olives and spices
  4. heat a little butter in the bottom on the dutch oven and layer the potatoes on the bottom, then add the veggies, carrots, and peas, with the cod and milk on top
  5. bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 300
This was a simple and delicious meal, little Jasmine ate a whole piece of fish!

Have a great weekend everyone


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings

On Sunday I made roast beef and yorkshire puddings, Its a tradition back home in the UK to have a roast dinner on Sunday's as a dietitian we always joke with folks that its the only day of the week folks eat their veggies, sad but it can be true.

So I roasted the beef with fresh herbs (rosemary, cloves, thyme, sage), garlic, a little red wine with carrots and potatoes all in all pretty good. But a wee bit dry, I did it at 300 for 2 hours, help me fellow food bloggers and foodies what did I do wrong?

But the Yorkshire puddings were lovely, small but good all the same, the best are made by my Grandma who hails from Yorkshire!

  • about 2 cups of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour multi purpose flour
  1. blend it all together until you get a pancake batter
  2. heat the oven to 400 needs to be nice and hot, add a little olive oil to the bottom of the muffin pan then fill with batter and add to the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Oh and as a little treat with a cup of tea the left over Yorkshire puddings are great with jam, or golden syrup!

Has anyone else had Yorkshire puddings?

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Guest Post: Chef Tiago

Let me introduce you to Tiago a chef at the Sheraton Algave, Portugal. I stumbled across his blog and just adore to admire his skill in the kitchen, he kindly agreed to do a guest post and made foie gras just look at the picture!

Here is a little about Tiago:

I am born a I am born a 09 de November from 1991 had a completely normal childhood, a boy was shy, reserved, but very aware of himself, surrounded by fields where they inhaled various flavors, various flavors felt surrounded by corn fields ... in fact a healthy environment.

Early on I began to awaken a curiosity about the act of cooking, intrigued me that you do not know why things were hard and then were so soft that they cooked ... Then, my 5 years, I gave my "first steps" in culinary world when I helped my sister and my mom make the Christmas cakes and Easter. Before finishing the 9th grade had no doubts about what I wanted to do: take the cooking course.
In 2006 I enrolled in the School of gastronomy of Santa Maria da Feira, having no place went to the school of gastronomy of Lamego. At first it was very complicated for me because it separated me from my friends, my family to go after a dream.

With 14 years then I packed for the first time, and for once spent a whole week away from home ... It was all complicated but once made aware there were any problems.
The first contact with the school was good and the "kitchen equipment" as well. I made two placements in Solverde Hotel and Hotel Sheraton Algarve, participated in two competitions a dessert of chocolate and other national-level schools.

In the latter contest, Nestlé Professional, each school chose a student who would represent their school, a total of 17 schools across the country.
Of these 17 representatives, only 8 passed the final and I managed to pass. The finals was in my school which made me feel a little more comfortable. Still, the day before I felt very nervous and anxious. Fortunately everything went well, despite the nervousness. During the luncheon ceremony, my boss told me: "You are a caveman" (donkey) ... At that point I was completely tracked ... Soon as I heard my name in 1st place, I felt calm and glad.

Much was left behind: a moment of joy, moments of sadness, difficulties ... moments that I will not forget! Three years ... It was very good, it can be said, a launching pad.

This year then started to take the first steps in the world of work at the Sheraton Algarve: the first company I worked for

Foie Sponge


90gr Foie


80 gr Flour Type 55

2 yolks

3 white egg

QB Juice bird

QB Port Wine


Make a paste with broth and foie for birds (at least 80 º C) Cool to 40 ° C in the minimum join the egg yolks with the white egg and flour then add to the paste of Foie.
Reduce the port wine with honey
Place an order to your liking and bake in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Garnish with black salt flakes and saffron threads.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rebecca's Chicken Fricassee

So I got my first Le Creuset the other day they were on sale in Williams and Sonoma I am thrilled with it, the first day I roasted a chicken not just any chicken a little Poulet Rouge. All in all it was a success but a wee bit dry maybe I cooked it too long. You know its funny I can cook elaborate dishes but when it comes to simple roasts I am stuck!

So the next day I made chicken fricassee with the left over chicken, this was one of my favorite dishes as a kid.


  • any amount of leftover roast chicken
  • 1 cup of milk
  • one tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • one tablespoon butter
  • a little Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 of an eggplant chopped
  • 6 mushrooms chopped
  • one small yellow squash chopped
  • one small zucchini chopped
  • 1/4 green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • a little white wine if desired
  • a handful of snap pea's

  1. heat some olive oil add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes
  2. then add all the vegetables and saute for 10 minutes until cooked
  3. in a separate pan, head the butter slowly stir in the flour to make a roux then add the milk little by little stirring continuously, to make a white sauce, add some herbs
  4. then mix the sauce with the vegetables and the chicken.
We ate it with rice and steamed vegetables, would also be great with pasta.

What's your favorite recipe for left over chicken?

and finally our darling little Jasmine has started to walk!!! we are so proud

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Flowers Just Because

I was in the store the other day and saw these beautiful daffodils and thought why not get some.
It doesn't need to be a birthday or valentines to treat yourself to flowers. I really enjoyed them and every time I looked at them it brought a smile to my face I hope it does the same to you

Have a great weekend everyone

Much Love

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate filled Madeleines

Oh Madeleines they are my weakness, I adore making this yummy little French cakes. Easy to make and oh so good, this time I added some chocolate to them, Green and Blacks toffee it was divine.

  • 2 eggs
  • 75g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 90g flour (about a cup)
  • 3g of baking soda
  • grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 90g melted butter, still liquid but cold
  • one spoon of runny honey
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • your favorite chocolate broken up
  1. melt the butter and keep it to one side
  2. whip the eggs with sugar and salt then slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder, lemon and vanilla essence.
  3. Mix until smooth then add the melted butter and honey and leave to chill for 30 minutes
  4. bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
What will you add to yours?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Purple Potato and Leek Soup

I saw these beautiful purple sweet potatoes in Whole Foods the other day grown right here in North Carolina so got a couple. The amazing color comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin I decided to make a potato and leek soup, its one of my favorite soups and its so easy to make. It was a lovely soup and just look at the color, but it tasted like beet root!

2 big leeks
3 purple sweet potatoes, chopped into very thin slices
4 cloves of garlic
one liter of vegetable or chicken stock
Italian herbs

1. saute leeks and garlic for 3 minutes in olive oil
2. then add the sliced potato and some Italian herbs
3. add the stock, and simmer for 20 minutes

Its that simple and yummy

Has anyone ever seen these before and cooked them? Here are some recipes on the growers website, check out the creme brulee!

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