Rigatoni carbonara

IMG_2667Amber’s recipe, learned in a cooking class on her Phillippines-Vietnam trip

I love fettuccine or linguine (pasta lunga) best, but we only had pasta corta (short pasta) in the cupboard. Amber had a hankering for this as we had all the ingredients and had been eating my grandmother’s cooking for several meals by now (food is equal to love, for Chinese families — accept the gifts of food and be grateful).

Ingredients:
400 g pasta of your choice
2 eggs
75 g Parmigiano-Reggiano (aged three years), grated
3-4 strips of bacon (if only we had guanciale or pancetta!)
black pepper
100 g peas, frozen
2-3 cloves of garlic

Directions:
Bring a pot of salted water to boil, while you do other things. Fry the bacon until crisp but not too overdone. Beat the eggs, and mix in the cheese. Season this with some salt and pepper. Mince the garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the peas to cook them a little bit, or cook them in the pasta pot of boiling water for one minute like Jamie suggests.

When pasta is al dente, drain and make sure you reserve some pasta water (we did not, sadly). Toss the pasta, peas, and bacon all together in your pan. Season with fresh cracked pepper if you have a grinder. Now, make sure the pan isn’t too hot, or the eggs will scramble. Slowly add the cheese-egg mixture so the heat of the pasta cooks it, tossing all the while. Jamie also suggests adding pasta water to thin the sauce if need be. Garnish with some more freshly grated Parmigiano and slivered basil (we took a few leaves from the window herb “garden”).

IMG_2668

~Jessica

Huevos rancheros

IMG_2664Adapted from smitten kitchen

black beans (Deb used a can of Black Bean Soup — will try next time)
tomatoes
cilantro
salt
lime juice
poblano pepper
red onion
fresh Mexican sour cream
flour tortilla
Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg

Dice the tomatoes, peppers, onion small. Mix this with salt, lime, and a few sprigs of cilantro. Set aside. Heat your griddle/pan. Toast both sides of the tortilla before adding the grated cheese. Crack one egg on top. Wait a little while, then flip to cook the rest of the egg. Remove to serving plate. (Here I heated some black bean-red bean-corn from quesadillas night). Add the salsa fresca, beans, and a dollop of sour cream on top/the side of your cheesy egg tortilla, whichever you prefer. Serve immediately.

~Jessica

One avocado one banana bread

Adapted from Food Network and A Little Yum. Similar to a previous post.

80 g (3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
3 spoonfuls of sugar
pinch of baking soda
pinch of salt
ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (subbed with 5 spice powder)
1/2 avocado, chopped (we used the whole, made for a very moist cake)
1 egg
dash of pure vanilla extract
orange zest (optional — have used apple juice before!)
1 very ripe banana, mashed
2 spoonfuls of honey
100 g (4 tbsp) butter, softened
a couple splashes of milk (optional)

Preheat oven 175 deg C. Mix the dry ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Combine the two. Pour into buttered baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool. Slice. Serve.

~Jessica

Shrimp rolled omelette

img-20170116-wa0034Similar to Japanese tamagoyaki. Adapted from mao mao Mom

12 shrimp
salt, white pepper, cornstarch, sesame oil
4 eggs
salt, rice wine, scallion greens
olive oil

Deshell and de-vein the shrimp. Rinse and chop small. Mix with salt, white pepper, cornstarch, and a dash of sesame oil. Set aside for 20 minutes. Beat the eggs with the seasonings and scallions.

Heat nonstick pan (must be nonstick!) and fry the shrimp in the oil until cooked pink. Remove from pan. Add half the egg mixture. Cook until it’s mostly done (a little wet on top still), and add half of the marinated shrimp in a line down the middle of the omelette. Carefully wrap the omelette around the shrimp, and cook on all sides. Serve. Repeat with the rest of the egg and shrimp.

~Jessica

Tiramisu

imag0665Adapted from Mario Batali and Anna Maria, made for Amber

1.5 cups (360 cc) espresso coffee
2 pinches of sugar

zabaglione
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (120 cc) Marsala wine (or Port or Madeira) — we skipped this
1 lb (450 g) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1.5 cups (360 cc) heavy whipping cream

savoiardi
10 oz (285 g) ladyfinger cookies (~40)
2 spoonfuls of bitter cocoa powder

Make about 1½ cups (360 cc) of espresso. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in the coffee while the coffee is still hot. Let cool.

Beat the egg yolks over a double boiler until they become fluffy. Beat in the sugar until the mixture lightens in color and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the pot. Transfer the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until this thickens. This will thicken just before it boils, when small bubbles appear. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the mascarpone into the egg yolk mixture 1/4 at a time. Fold the mascarpone-yolk mixture into the egg whites until smooth. Fold the whipping cream into this and set aside.

Place the ladyfingers in one layer in the dish, and lightly soak them in the coffee. Evenly distribute half of the egg cream over the ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers (we ran out for this step) and top with the rest of the cream. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for about 3 – 4 hours.

~Jessica

Spanish tortilla

Adapted from Jamie Oliver, inspired by my friend Daniel, cooked with Amber

300 g waxy potatoes
1 onion
olive oil
5 large free-range eggs

Peel the potatoes then slice thin. Pat dry. Peel and finely slice the onion. Drizzle Spanish olive oil into a small frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and potatoes, alternating layers of potatoes with the onions. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 25-30 minutes covered. Do not stir it or the potatoes will break up. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then whisk together. When the onions and potatoes are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs. Cook over low heat for around 20 minutes, then loosen the sides of the tortilla. Carefully flip the pan over a dinner plate and tip out the tortilla, then slide it back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Cut into 6 wedges and serve hot.

~Jessica

P.S. We also added broccoli and ham, chopped finely and fried before incorporating, when we made this last Sunday. ^_^

Pumpkin pie

img_0342Adapted from Simply Recipes

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves (we ground with mortar & pestle)
pinch of ground cardamon (we didn’t have)
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 cups of canned pumpkin purée
1 can of evaporated milk
1 good pie crust

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Mix dry ingredients (sugar & spice) and zest. Beat eggs. Mix wet ingredients (pumpkin and dairy). Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45-55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for two hours. Serve.

~Jessica