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IMG_2704Adapted from The Kitchn and Serious Eats

Ingredients:
vegetable oil
2 red potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 large red onion
3 garlic cloves
Seasonings: smoked paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, scallions (optional)

Directions:
Chop the potatoes. Cover them with cold water in a pot and a pinch of salt. Heat until water boils for a couple of minutes then turn off the heat. Drain, coat in a little oil, and set aside. Chop the rest of the vegetables. Fry the onions in some vegetable oil/butter over medium-high heat, then the garlic, until fragrant. Fry the bell pepper. Set aside. Fry the potatoes until they sear, without crowding, then add back the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Top with scallions or parsley (chives could do as well).

I do love garlic butter roasted mushrooms, so I was inspired to incorporate this form of protein in the morning brunch (also because we had run out of yogurt. Ack). So of course I needed to know the best method How to saute mushrooms. Cut thick, cook hot, don’t overcrowd. Done. Accompanied by some freshly grated Parmesan, a dash of salt and pepper and olive oil, and a wedge of smoked gouda. The omelette included scallions, salt, pepper, and just before I folded it in half, several strips of the same smoked gouda (melts wonderfully when reheating leftovers).IMG_2706

~Jessica

Stir-fried snow pea leaves

IMG_2691.JPGAdapted from The Woks of Life and Viet World Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 lb snow pea leaves
3 tablespoons duck fat or canola or peanut oil
3-5 cloves of finely chopped fresh garlic (depending on how much you like)
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
a bit of chicken stock, or warm water if you have not
1 teaspoon cornstarch
oyster sauce

Directions:
Oil the wok, season it with some salt. Add garlic and ginger to the wok on medium-high. Stir fry the greens rapidly, not allowing any to burn, but just to wilt. Flavor with a few splashes of stock if you have on hand. Mix the pepper, sesame oil, more stock, and cornstarch until you have a nice slurry. Pour this into the wok, coat the leaves, then cover for a couple of minutes, to evaporate and thicken the sauce. Plate the greens and top with oyster sauce. Serve hot.

~Jessica

P.S. Same vegetable as my Garlic pea shoots post.

Garlic herb pizza dough

IMG_2703.JPG

Like that shape? Trademarked.

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
pizza dough
1/3 cup tomato puree
2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
basil to garnish
spinach
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated

Directions:
Let the refrigerated dough sit for 25 minutes at room temperature, longer if possible. Meanwhile, place the pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425-450°F for 30-60 minutes (depending on topping prep time.) Slice or grate your vegetable and cheese toppings. Do not load up each pizza with too many toppings as the crust will end up not crisp that way! About a third a cup each of tomato sauce and cheese would be sufficient for one pizza. One to two mushrooms thinly sliced will cover a pizza.

Take the ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Let the dough relax 5 minutes. Stretch dough into a thin 12-inch round — I did this classical way, tossing the round on my knuckles in the air. Be careful! Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent soggy dough from the toppings). Use your fingertips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling? Let rest another 5 minutes.

Here I removed the pizza stone from the warming oven. It’s very hot. If you have it, sprinkle the pizza stone with cornmeal (I didn’t), and place the dough on top. Spoon on the tomato sauce (I added some dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper here), sprinkle the cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza. Slide the baking stone into the oven. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. Then drizzle with olive oil.

Ok, so this post title is a lie. I used garlic herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, which only recommended a (too short) baking time of 6-8 minutes. But I followed all the other steps. Wish I had had 250 g diced fresh mozzarella, and torn basil! Made a baby spinach side salad rather than wilt it in the oven as a topping.

~Jessica

P.S. Pizza attempt #1Pizza attempt #2Pizza attempt #3

Triple Grilled Cheese

IMG-20170501-WA0011.jpgButter both sides of the bread. Add cheese. Fry until cheese melts. Put the slices together and fry a little more in the pan, flipping once. Serve hot.

A classic Grilled Cheese involves 1 slice of cheddar per bread slice. I added muenster and crumbled goat cheese, garnished with a side of kale chips. (Because there was cheese in the fridge that needed to be used, if you know what I mean). Next time I will add more cheddar and a little less goat cheese (strong flavor overpowers the sandwich).

~Jessica

Disney’s ratatouille

IMG_2699

Doesn’t look like much. I know.

Adapted from Dishes by Disney

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, cut into large cubes
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes (I subbed with a green bell pepper for lack)
1 yellow squash, cut into large cubes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into large slices
1 red onion, cut into large cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 sprigs thyme
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
4 eggs

Directions:
Saute the red onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Crack the eggs and poach them in wells in the pot, like shakshuka. Spoon sauce over and let heat cook them a few minutes. Serve hot.

I had half a box of white mushrooms, so I tossed them in last, chopped same size as all the other veggies. Apparently the modern ratatouille included marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence, so I threw in a few bay leaves while our little potted basil re-grows its leaves from the last Continental recipe.

~Jessica

Chinese scallion pancakes, part II

IMG_2701.JPGAdapted from Sichuan Food, repeat of part I

Ingredients:
300g all-purpose flour
150g hot water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 bunch of scallions thinly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
sesame oil

Directions:
Melt the salt in the hot water. Make the dough with this water, set it aside for around 10-25 minutes. Roll out the dough into a large round cylinder. Brush some sesame oil on the surface of the circle. Sprinkle the chopped scallions evenly on the surface. Roll the dough round into a cylinder. Make sure that the chopped scallions are inside the cylinder! Wrap the cylinder around into the shape of a snail shell. Roll out and flatten the snail into another big circle. Brush some cooking oil on a pan and then fry the pancakes until each side is lightly browned.

Amber had brought back three bunches of green scallions from Flushing, on her weekly visit to her parents’. So time to use that up! Delicious fresh dough.

~Jessica

Strawberry chia jam

IMG_2693.JPG

Fresh  out of the pot

Adapted from Nadia Lim

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries, frozen
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
splash of vanilla extract (optional)
splash of water
splash of lemon juice

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except chia seeds. Cook in a small pot over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir until thickened, breaking up the fruit. Sweeten to taste. Add the chia seeds and stir for a minute. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof, sterilized jars (I adore Bonne Maman preserves, so I always save up their jars). Cover and let cool completely. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

IMAG1293After looking up all of those interesting ways to use chia seeds, I became fascinated with this simple recipes. Only berries and sugar and chia seeds are essential, but I had the rest in the pantry, so hey, why not? All the little chia seeds look like strawberry seeds in the photo! I thought the vanilla flavouring unnecessary, so I wouldn’t add it next time. And it wasn’t overly sweet, as most jams are — a nice change!

~Jessica