Taiwanese sticky rice

aka “Oily Rice” (油飯). Adapted from an Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) cooking workshop recipe hosted by the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations (NATWA)

2 cups long-grain sweet rice (I used 3 rice-cooker-cups glutinous rice)
5 dried black mushrooms (if you haven’t, shiitake)
10 slices ginger (I only used 5)
100-200 g boneless pork (I used 4 Chinese sausages)
75 mL sesame oil
300 mL hot water
60 mL soy sauce

Pre-cooking preparation:
a. Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse thoroughly. Cover with water and soak for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. Drain.
b. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft. Wash mushrooms thoroughly and slice thin.
c. Crush ginger slices with a rolling pin to release the flavor.
d. Slice pork thin.

IMAG5663Heat sesame oil in wok. Brown the crushed ginger. Remove ginger from wok. Brown pork and mushrooms in the remaining sesame oil. Add the rice and soy sauce to wok, mix thoroughly. Here you can either cook it in a rice cooker (less water than covers the rice) or: Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the wok. Cover and cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir and add the remaining hot water. Keep stirring until the rice becomes translucent. Cover wok and cook on low heat for 10 more minutes. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. I added some extras suggested by It’s My Dish and The Grub Files: cane sugar, 2 star anise (~16 points), 1-2 fried shallots, 3 cloves garlic (lightly smashed), dried shrimp (soaked 30 minutes in warm water), Shaoxing rice wine, oyster sauce, boiled peanuts, five spice powder.

Bacon-wrapped dates

Adapted from Bright-Eyed Baker

12 Medjool dates, pitted
6 strips of bacon, cut into halves (I used local pork belly)
fresh mozzarella or Fontina or chèvre (I used chèvre)

Balsamic Reduction:
300 mL good-quality balsamic vinegar

IMG_20160723_195613

IMG_20160723_195620

Photos courtesy of Jake

Preheat oven to 225 deg C. Half-slice dates and insert cheese. Wrap with bacon tightly and secure with toothpick. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, then another 10 more. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve warm.

~Jessica

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Adapted from smitten kitchen

Dry
95 g all-purpose flour
1 g baking soda
pinch of ground cinnamon
120 g rolled oats

Wet
115 g unsalted butter, softened
125 g brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
drop of vanilla extract

120 g raisins
65 g walnuts, chopped (I used toasted hazelnuts)
flaky sea salt

Made with thanks.

Follow the steps here. Or: Whisk the dry ingredients. Melt the butter, and add it to the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla to this. Add the dry ingredients to this. Add the fruit and nuts. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Scoop out onto parchment paper. Let sit as long as possible! Then sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10-14 min at 175 deg C.

~Jessica

Bulgur salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers and cumin

Adapted from smitten kitchen, adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

500 g fine-grain bulgur
700 mL boiling water
3 splashes of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt
60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (400 g)
170 g drained jarred roasted red peppers, diced (I made mine)
170 g quartered cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 medium head Bibb lettuce (I had iceberg)
4 pita breads, warmed and cut into wedges

IMAG5540.jpgAdd boiling water to bulgur. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. Mix lemon juice, honey, cumin, cayenne, salt, and olive oil together. Toss chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley with the bulgur to this dressing. Plate this on lettuce leaves inside the pita bread.

~Jessica

Sesame noodles with chili oil and scallions

Following Gastronomy Blog, adapting Bon Appétit.

4 scallions, thinly sliced
vegetable oil
red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, Sichuan pepper
700 g ramen noodles (I used mung bean thread, aka cellophane/glass noodles)
35 g tahini (sesame seed paste)
60 mL rice vinegar (I used diluted black vinegar dumpling sauce )
soy sauce, sugar, toasted sesame oil, to taste

IMAG5538

Fry scallion whites, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and Sichuan pepper in oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Let chili oil cool, set aside. Cook noodles until al dente; drain and rinse cold. Drain. Set aside. Whisk together tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and the chili oil (to taste) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil.

~Jessica

Yam lentil curry

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, Adapted from smitten kitchen from The New York Times.

coconut oil + butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ginger root, grated
garam masala, curry powder, paprika
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (I had red pepper flakes)
1 L vegetable broth, or as needed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
300 g dried lentils
1 bay leaf
380 mL canned tomatoes
125 g frozen spinach
salt + black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime

IMAG5425.jpgSaute onions, garlic, and ginger in fat until fragrant. Add the pepper and spices. Add the broth and bay leaf. I added canned tomatoes here, cause I like a tomato-based curry. Boil lentils and potatoes in this for 20-30 minutes. Stir in greens if you have any, and lime juice. Taste. Add more water if lentils need more time. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

~Jessica

Tian de Courgettes au Riz

Zucchini, Rice and Cheese Gratin Adapted from smitten kitchen, From Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II. Serves 6

~1 kg zucchini (I used 3 green & yellow squash)
90 grams plain, uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, minced (I used 2 shallots)
75 mL olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced
15 g all-purpose flour
Milk, as needed (I used veg. broth)
55 g grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Butter for dish

Wash the zucchini and trim ends. Halve lengthwise. Coarsely grate and toss with salt in a colander set over a bowl. Let drain for 20-30 minutes. Save the drained liquid. Taste. If too salty, rinse and drain the zucchini again (not saving the liquid this time). Squeeze in handfuls, gently, collecting the drained liquid. Blot dry on a paper towel.

Saute the onions on medium-low in olive oil for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the grated (dry) zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss and turn for 5 – 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Measure the drained liquid. If you have less than 600 mL, add milk/broth until you have this. Stir this into the zucchini-onion mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat again, stir in the rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

In a baking dish, add mixture, then sprinkle with reserved cheese and remaining olive oil/butter. Heat oven to 220 deg C. Bake in upper third of oven until bubbling and browned on top, about 25 – 30 minutes. (If yours begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil up until the last 5 minutes.) The rice should absorb all the liquid. Serve immediately.

~Jessica