Compound Butter Recipe

February 28, 2014

IMG_20140228_013133I love compound butters. A dollop of these flavoured butter goodness can take any dish through the roof. What is compound butter? It may sound fancy but that cannot be further from the truth, it’s basically butter mixed with whatever herbs you have at hand. Garlic butter is an example of a compound butter, and I am sure you know how delicious it is when slathered onto toasts. You can easily make your own flavoured compound butter at home. Store it in the freezer and it freezes well for up to a year and when you want to use it, just open the packaging and cut a few chunks out. In the fridge, depending on what herbs you used, it can last quite a long while too. I just wouldn’t recommend storing your compound butter in the fridge for long periods of time if you used a lot of fresh herbs.

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This is my version of compound butter, made in a food processor. You can also make it by hand, you just need to make sure your butter is soft and your herbs finely chopped. And you should make a lot of compound butter, especially when butter goes on sale. 😉  read more …

Black bean brownies

December 20, 2013

black bean brownies
I was a skeptic when I first read this recipe at the Minimalist Baker. I was wary about because black bean is not a conventional ingredient in baking but the number of reviews raving about these brownies can’t be lying, right? They’re not liars because these black bean brownies are divine! These brownies are chocolatey, fudge-like in the centre and they are gluten-free; and completely vegan. Eating
them makes this Christmas feel, how shall we put this, like a guilt-free indulgence. Oh, don’t forget to lick the batter off the spoon, it’s safe.

The black bean brownie recipe takes 5 minutes to put together, if you have all the ingredients. If not, I suggest you buy the ingredients because they are multipurpose and great for health too. And you will make the batter in a food processor or a blender. My other brownie recipe is pretty awesome too. If you want something traditional and non-vegan, that’s the one you want make.

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How about a Green Sriracha sauce?

November 3, 2013

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When the Sriracha sauce’s factory was threatened with closure, the foodie world went into a frenzy. Like, there are people out there genuinely concerned about the potential shortage of their beloved red Sriracha sauce. The LA Times even published their solution to the potential shortage by sharing their recipe on a DIY Sriracha sauce. Luckily, the court overturned the ridiculous suit and the world is all well again. For now.

The recipe from LA Times was easy enough with only 5 ingredients and 25 minutes from start to finish. I started to wonder, how about a green Sriracha sauce? “Don’t be silly”, my friend tweeted back.

Well, silliness is what got me 2 x 250 ml of green Sriracha sauce. And it’s pretty dang good! I followed the recipe very closely in a way, the only thing different are the proportions of the ingredients and the chilies I used, of course. I had more than 1 pound of chilies to work with so I taste-tested along the way to come up with the measurements below. You’re welcome. My lips are burning and my nose is leaking like something awesome as I’m writing this. Okay, TMI.

Before you start:

  1. Remember to not rub your eyes with your chili fingers.
  2. You don’t have to remove the seeds and stems from the chilies.
  3. You will need a food processor/blender.
  4. Use non-reactive cookware.
  5. This recipe uses serrano and jalapeño but you can use other green chilies as well.

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Leeks and chickpeas soup

September 3, 2013

leeks and chickpeas soup
Today was a soup day in Vancouver.  The sky was cloudy and rainy but it wasn’t dull or gray. It was quite pleasant and welcoming to hear the rain pattering against the glass window by the kitchen. All that was missing was a bowl of heartwarming soup.

This leeks and chickpeas soup that fills your heart with wonder because it’s so flavourful. It’s chock full of goodness filled with aromatic vegetables, chickpeas and some potatoes and a bundle of herbs – that’s it! It is a perfect bowl of soup if I should say so for a day like this or for when you need a little dose love, give or take.

I would recommend that you use dried chickpeas that you would have to pre-soak first but tinned chickpeas will do too. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. And they are delicious to eat. I am sure you’ve had in them in their various incarnations, i.e. hummus, falafel, or chana masala?

For this recipe, you will need two pots; one big soup pot and a smaller pot. If you are using tinned chickpeas, you can make this soup in one pot but if you’re using pre-soaked chickpeas, you’ll need two. You’ll see why in a minute. read more …

Porchetta with proper cracklings

August 25, 2013

porchetta

Since moving to Vancouver, I’ve had the pleasure of eating Meat and Bread’s porchetta sandwich. I saw the guy at the counter chopping up this big hunk of porchetta and that picture stayed in my mind. That was two months ago.

So yesterday, I hosted a small dinner for my friendly neighbours. It was the perfect opportunity for me to make porchetta because in this household where vegetarianism is more of a norm, I rarely get the opportunity to make roasts for dinners (unless it’s roasted vegetables, which I also love but that’s not the point). This was my chance! Merrily, I went to Big Lou’s Butcher Shop to get myself some pork loin and belly. The guy at Big Lou was like, “Ohh..we might have a cut where the pork belly is still attached to the loin”. That is the cut  Meat and Bread uses for their porchetta! I was elated. Five-point-five pounds of porkage later, I was home and ready to start. I realized that the butcher didn’t exactly cut the pork properly for me. The pork belly end’s width was smaller than the loin end so I cut about 70% of the pork belly section out and rolled it as a separate roast.

I had the taste of the M&B’s porchetta in mind but I needed some guidance on the temperature and method. So I found iamafoodblog.com’s porchetta recipe and boy, did her porchetta looked good. I checked out her method, found out the temperature she used and decided I’m going to adapt the recipe a tad bit but keep the same cooking method. It was similar to my aunt’s roast pork method anyway so it made sense.

This recipe feels like it’s a lot of effort but active time is probably only 30 minutes if you get the butcher to score the meat for you and the rest is refrigeration, waiting and cooking the porchetta. It’s slow cooking goodness 🙂

Before you start

  1. Please note that you need to start preparing the pork 24 hours before serving for the best results.
  2.  You will need twines to tie the pork up (ask your butcher for them).
  3. Paper towels to dry the pork skin.
  4. Toast all your spices first before pounding them.
  5. To maintain a lovely green pesto, blitz the herbs, seasoning and lemon juice first and then stir in the oil.
  6. Make sure your porchetta is not fridge cold when it goes into the oven.
  7. If you have convection setting in your oven, use it.

read more …

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