Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Carrot Pancakes with Spiced Salted Yogurt

I just went to an Italian deli and totally spoiled myself by buying some Parma ham and pickled artichokes.  Sorry, this has absolutely nothing to do with these pancakes but the taste of the prosciutto is still in my mouth and, I'll be honest, these pancakes, which I just had as well, were good, but man that prosciutto was divine.  I eat cheap meals of carrots and root veg and pulses normally so that I can afford to splurge every now and then at a nice deli.  I've always wanted to work in a nice deli where you're taught so much.  And you probably get to nibble on everything as well.  

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mung Bean Hummus

I grew up with mung beans being something sweet.  Mashed with lots of sugar and fat as a filling in pastries or powdered down and turned into cakes, they're very popular in China.  Oh and mung bean popsicles are fantastic.  I realized, however, that it is unfortunately only an acquired taste.  See, I love sharing food.  I love introducing people to foods they've never had before and sharing everything that's on my plate.  So when foreign friends come to visit in China, I make them try all sorts of weird and wonderful things and I've learned that mung bean popsicles are not well-received by everyone.  What a shame. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Rustic Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Soups can be made with care and finesse.   They can be passed through a chinois twice, velvety smooth, meticulously presented on an oversized white plate with dainty garnishes neatly placed on top.  It's a starter, a small portion, something to introduce you to the main meal.  It's clean, delicate, and pleasing to all senses.

Then you have the more rustic soups.  Soups made without a kitchen scale, chinois or even a whisk.  Lumpy dollops dropped into a bowl with a ladle and it's as simple as that.  In a big bowl that you can cradle and love and makes you warm and satisfied.  It's anything but delicate.  It's made with care but no finesse.  It's made with care and love and your own senses and it's beautiful.  

Monday, 20 October 2014

Arepa & Co. (London)

As a devoted fan of their food stall in Camden Market, it's exciting see Arepa & Co finally with a permanent home in London, and their restaurant/cafe/bar is simply brilliant.  It's a quirky place with colorful hammocks and rainbow-tiled open bar but also simple metal chairs and humble wooden tables. Oddly enough you can see how it's a casual brunch place by day and a Latin-themed party venue by night with lots of rum. The atmosphere is friendly and lively and most importantly, the food is absolutely fantastic.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Carrot Terrine with Walnut Sauce

The most distressing thing happened to me -- I went to four different grocery stores before I could find simple goat's cheese.  I went to a Turkish greengrocer where there was feta, feta and more feta.  A Mediterranean supermarket where there was feta, feta, and more feta along with cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella.  Then a Food Coop where there was cheddar, more cheddar, feta, mozzarella  and parmesan.  Then finally I went to a Sainsbury and there was goat's cheese amongst the feta, cheddar and parmesan.  I'm in London, guys.  I know stores stock based on the demographics of the area but I live in Kentish Town, one of the "Whitest" areas in London supposedly, and no goat's cheese? 

But then I did a bit of research and discovered the problem.  This area has no continental Europeans.  It's largely British and hence no goat's cheese.  Or camembert.  Or brie or any other standard supermarket cheeses. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Cumin Roasted Aubergines with Persimmon

How cute are these baby aubergines?  They're literally 5 times more expensive than your normal aubergines and they taste exactly the same but look how cute.  You know how we are evolutionarily predisposed to like babies and puppies and kittens and I think the same applies to vegetables.  We find baby vegetables irresistible.  I personally prefer these to human babies.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Simple Chinese Crispy Fried Tofu

Pity the poor tofu. In the West, if you're not vegan or overly health conscious you probably dislike tofu.  In fact, most vegans and overly health conscious people here probably dislike it as well and only consume it due to the fact that it's vegan and healthy.  Poor tofu.  Tofu is loved by omnivores in Asia and yet here it has the reputation of being bland and boring.  Perhaps due to its association with vegans.  See, back home in China, we eat them deep-fried with dried shrimp and minced pork.  I love it.  I love it drenched in oil and accompanied by meat and seafood.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Tahini and Rye Pancakes

It's the sudden change of seasons.  The harsh winds, the incessant rain, the miserable gray sky -- and this is all just from looking out the window. Then, no matter how prepared you think you are to endure the bitter conditions outside, the weather gods still slap you in the face with the most unexpected cold as you walk out the door.

This is why everyone's a bit stressed and grumpy lately.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Coconut Butter & Lemon Scottish Oatcakes

These have been my breakfast on the go.  I leave at 6:45am most mornings to get to school by 7:30.  I can't eat breakfast at 6:30.  My stomach is not yet awake at 6:30, which I only just discovered.  I normally wake up with the hunger of a bear awaken from hibernation and I thought my bottomless pit of a stomach could eat at any time, but 6:30 no.  So this is the perfect breakfast on the go which I can eat on my way to school.  They're filling and tasty and.. in all honesty, I'm scared that if I do this for a whole year I'll grow to hate oatcakes.  I love oatcakes, I don't want to hate oatcakes... That's why I try to change them up a bit every now and then.  They're identical to my Olive Oil Oatcakes, but you know, coconut butter instead of olive oil.  Maybe next time I could do a mix of butter and sesame oil..or walnut oil or other flavorings.... Some spices..

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Salmon with Grapefruit Hollandaise

So, as you may know, I'm in culinary school now.  Yes, after 4 years of blood, sweat and tears to obtain my Psychology and Economics degree, I'm now bleeding, sweating and crying to get a diploma in Culinary Arts.  Oh I'm loving it. I've just started, it's only been a week and it's been so exciting/nerve wrecking/exhilarating/terrifying/intimidating... But good, overall good... I just have serious problems with anxiety haha.  Anyway.  We've been doing basic knife skills and I simply need to practice.  I've been julienning carrots, emenciering onions and macedoining courgettes.  And I need to segment my citruses.  So I got some grapefruits to practice.

© Design by Neat Design Corner