Monday, May 25, 2009

2009 Memorial Day Weekend Part 2

In addition to making the raviolis, we also made Strawberry Mascarpone Tart. We marinated the strawberries using sugar, thyme, lemon & orange zests. This tart totally has Spring written all over it. Many thanks for MoFo Duo for making the buttery shortbread tart crust and for hosting us!

2009 Memorial Day Weekend Part 1

I spent this past Saturday cooking a Spring-influenced menu of Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Ravioli and Veal and Pork Sausage Sage Ravioli with MoFo Duo, ShunBun and Craig. We followed the recipes almost to the T - except that we did not use any morel mushrooms in the sausage ravioli and we used brown butter sage sauce on both raviolis. It was the first time I ever made pasta or raviolis from scratch. Although it took me awhile to get used to it (and having flour everywhere), I think the result was definitely worth our the efforts. It was a fun and relaxing day working together with close friends making a delicious dinner.

Indonesian Fried Noodle


1 package of fresh noodle
5 beef meat balls - cut into quarters
5 fish meat balls - cut into quarters
10 shrimp - shelled, deveined and cut into half
chinese vegetables - cut into bite size
3 leeks (white parts only) - chopped
3 green onion - cut into 2 inch length pieces
3 candlenuts
4 cloves garlic
1 shallot
salt & pepper
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
fried shallots

  • Grind candlenuts, garlic, shallot, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper to a paste
  • In a large work over a medium heat, stir fry the seasoning paste in a 3 tablespoons of oil for a few minutes until fragrant
  • Add in the shrimp and meat ball pieces - cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add in the vegetables, leeks and green onions - cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the noodles and sauces, mix together until all is cooked
  • Serve with fried shallots on top

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Since I made the Chicken and Tofu in Spicy Green Curry Sauce yesterday, I decided to make Nasi Kuning (Indonesian style fragrant yellow rice) and Serundeng (fried spiced grated coconut) to accompany it.

2 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
1 teaspoon tamarind paste (dilute with 1 teaspoon hot water)
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon grated galangal
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt

  • Make paste out of the sugar, shrimp paste, tamarind paste, garlic, galangal, cumin, coriander and salt, add a little bit of water if need to
  • Stir fry the grated coconut over a medium heat until it turns yellow (for about 10 minutes)
  • Take the fried grated coconut out
  • Stir fry the paste and the bay leaf with 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the pan for 5-10 minutes until it thickens up
  • Put the fried grated coconut back into the pan, mix well and cook for another 20-25 minutes stirring frequently until it crisps up but not burned

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicken and Tofu in Spicy Green Curry Sauce

Tonight, I made another Indonesian inspired dish of Chicken and Tofu in Spicy Green Curry Sauce. It's somewhat similar to the Opor Ayam dish that I made few months ago but it has a little more kick and a bit more sour because I marinated the chicken in lime juice and salt first.

4 whole chicken legs, cut in pieces
juice of 1/2 lime
1 package of yellow fried tofu, cut in half diagonally
4 hard boiled eggs
1/2 can of coconut milk
5 kaffir lime leaves
6 candle nuts, roughly chopped
1 lemon grass stalk, chopped (white part only)
5 garlic
6 shallots
1 tablespoon grated galangal
1 tablespoon grated tumeric
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon whole pepper, crushed
2 serrano pepper, seeded
4 thai bird eye chilies, 2 seeded (or more if you want)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
2 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat the oven to 350F
  • Marinate the chicken with the lime juice and salt for 15 minutes, wash thoroughly afterwards
  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes
  • Grind the candle nuts, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, galangal, tumeric, ginger, pepper, serrano pepper, 2 of the thai chili, sugar, shrimp paste in a food processor until smooth, add some canola or olive oil if need to
  • Heat up 3 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat and stir fry the spice paste and the kaffir lime leaves until fragrant
  • Add in the fish sauce, half-cooked chicken and the tofu pieces and mix well
  • Add the coconut milk and enough water until they're almost covered
  • Cook over medium heat until it boils
  • Lower the heat to a simmer, add in the hard boiled eggs and the other two thai chilies and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken pieces are soft and the sauce thicken up
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
  • Serve over steam rice with some fried shallots

Just For You Cafe

I had brunch with my lovelies over the weekend at Just For You Cafe in the Potrero Hill area of San Francisco. The last time we tried to go there, the wait was over 1 hour and 45 minutes long so we went to Serpentine instead. Good thing that we did not have to wait too long this time because we were craving for some huge beignets. I ordered the Crabby Bennie with a Creole crab cake on toast with hollandaise sauce.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Veal Stuffed with Garlic, Pistachio and Sage

A few weeks ago I read a couple of interesting entries at Helen Graves' Food Stories and Eating Asia on pistachio-stuffed meats. They looked so good and appetizing that I knew I had to try it out. Unfortunately, when I went to the Farmer Market over the weekend, they did not have any pork or lamb meat with the skin (crackling) on so I decided just to get a veal cross rib since it looked pretty good to me and it was reasonably priced. I used both of their recipes as a guide for my Veal Stuffed with Garlic, Pistachio and Sage.

4 lb of veal cross rib (or pork with skins or lamb saddle)
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
12 leaves of sage, finely minced
1/4 cup of pistachio, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon of butter, soften
salt, pepper and olive oil
1/4 cup of dry vermouth (or dry white wine)

  • Wash, dry and butterfly the veal
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper and let it marinade overnight
  • Heat the oven to 375F
  • Roll out the meat and put the rest of the seasonings (garlic, sage, pistachio and butter)
  • Roll it up again and tie with kitchen string
  • Rub the outside of the meat with 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Bake the meat for 30 minutes in the oven, uncovered
  • Pour in the vermouth, cover loosely with aluminum foil and cook some more at 350F for 15-20 minutes until the meat is done
  • Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting

El Norteno Taco Truck

A few days ago, Aaron and I went to El Norteno Taco Truck in the SOMA district in San Francisco. It was my first time (ever) getting food at Taco Truck. It's definitely met my expectation - delicious, tasty and inexpensive food. I had 3 yummy tacos (carne asada, carnitas & chorizo) for $4.50 total.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Muracci's Japanese Curry and Grill

One of my favorite lunch spot in San Francisco's Financial District is Muracci's Japanese Curry and Grill. I usually order Katsu Curry (pictured below) or the Katsu-Don. Since it's very popular, the best strategy is to call in your order first so you can go directly to the front of the line, pay and enjoy your meal.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken, Shrimp and Tofu in Soy Sauce

I was craving a Chinese Indonesian dish called Nasi Bakmoy - Rice with chicken, shrimp and tofu in soy sauce. However, since I was in a hurry and feeling a bit lazy, I decided to cut corners and this is my simplified version.

2 chicken breast meat
2 chicken thigh meat
4 cup of water
1/4 lb of shrimp (de-shelled, de-veined and cut in half)
2 packages of medium firm tofu, cut into cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 teaspoon of white pepper
2 stalks green onion, chopped

  • Boil the chicken until cooked, cut into cubes and save some of the chicken broth
  • Stir fry the minced garlic until fragrant, add in the chicken, shrimp and tofu cubes
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients except the green onion and mix well carefully
  • Add in 2 cups of the chicken broth and cook all on medium heat until the liquid reduce by half
  • Add the chopped green onion in the last minute of cooking
  • Serve over rice and sprinkle fried shallots on top

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mission Street Food 05-07-09

Tonight, I went to the Mission Street Food again with Aaron, Craig and ShunBun. Tonight's menu was mainly Japanese-influenced dishes courtesy of Nick Balla. Since we want to get the whole experience (just like last time), we decided to order everything on the menu (sans drink - since Aaron brought a bottle of 2007 Sudtirol-Eisacktaler Pinot Grigio) and a couple more. Oh yeah... we were FIRST in line tonight. Woo hoo!

Snap Pea Salad with Beech mushroom, seared cauliflower, cucumber and edamame puree

Satsuma Imo Korokke with tonkatsu sauce

Local Halibut "Poke" with spring vegetables and hijiki seaweed

Grilled Pork Steak with Serrano chili, lime, mint, radish, mizuna

Knife-Cut Homemade Udon with spicy braised tripe with cilantro, avocado, scallion and cabbage

Knife-Cut Homemade Udon with rock shrimp dumplings with English peas, tendrils and sesame

Sesame-Avocado Brown Rice with Maitake mushroom and chorizo

PB&J - Berkshire Kurobuta pork belly with marinated jicama, cilantro aioli and pickled jalapeno

Lung Shan's Vegan Delight - shitake and oyster mushroom dumplings in miso soup

Chocolate Ice Cream Mochi with Valrhona hot fudge and chocolate puffed rice

Scoop of Humphrey Slocombe Secret Breakfast Ice Cream (coffee-flavored)

Mint Julep

I've been drinking mint juleps every night in the past week using the recipe from Joy the Baker because last Sunday was the Kentucky Derby. Yesterday, i improvised it a little bit by using both basil and mint leaves.

10 basil leaves
10 mint leaves
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
sparkling water (or filtered water)

  • Muddle the leaves and sugar using 1 tablespoon of bourbon until leaves are bruised and the sugar is dissolved
  • Fill the cup with ice cubes
  • Pour in the bourbon to 1/3 (or 1/2 if you want stronger) of the glass
  • Top with the sparkling or filtered water
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stir-Fried Yam Leaf

Today was a weird day for me because things did not go as smooth as usual. So when I got home, I decided to relax by cooking a relatively simple Indonesian dish, Stir-Fried Yam Leaf (or Kangkung Belacan as we know it in Indonesia since we used water spinach there). I never made this dish before but I ate plenty of it and I saw a great recipe at Rasa Malaysia that I knew I could improvise on. Here is my 'adjusted' recipe (see note below):

1 bunch of yam leaf (or water spinach leaf)
1 can of quail eggs
1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 red bird's eye chilies (I used dried red chillies, halved and seeded)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons Oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
white pepper

  • In a medium pan over medium high heat, stir fry the chilies, garlic, shallot and shrimp paste with the oil for 3-4 minutes until fragrant
  • Add in the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Oyster sauce, and the quail eggs and cook for another 3 minutes
  • Add in the yam leaves and stir thoroughly until the leaves started to wilt (cooked)
  • Adjust seasoning using sugar and white pepper
Note: The cooking did not go as well either as I over-seasoned the dish. The original recipe used a lot more shrimp paste and double the seasoning sauces. Although it tasted good, it was a bit in the salty side for me. And to top it off, my apartment smelled really bad for the whole night (the curse of shrimp paste)!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Risotto with Pancetta, Peas and Red Onion

Using the leftover ingredients (peas, pancetta and chicken stock) from the Pasta dish, I decided to make Risotto with Pancetta, Peas and Red Onion.

1 red onion - half and sliced thinly
1/2 cup of roughly chopped pancetta
2 cups of peas
2 cups of Arborio rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine (I used Vermouth)
6 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of saffron
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

  • In a large pot (or a dutch oven), cook the pancetta over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they crisp
  • Take out the pancetta and put over paper towel
  • Using 2 tablespoon of the oil from the pancetta, sautee the sliced onion for 5 minutes
  • Add in the Arborio rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's glossy and coated with oil for about 3 minutes
  • Add the saffron along with a little salt and pepper, then the Vermouth and stir until the liquid bubble away
  • Using a ladle, add the chicken stock into the pan half a cup at a time, stir after each addition and when the stock is just about gone, add more
  • After about 15 minutes or so, add in the peas into the rice mixture
  • Continue cooking the rice using the chicken stock for another 5 minutes
  • Taste the rice to see if it's done - it should be tender but with a bit of crunch in the middle
  • Adjust the seasoning and add in the grated parmesan cheese and pancetta crisps

Pasta with Pancetta, Peas and Porcini

1/2 cup of roughly chopped pancetta
10 porcini mushroom - sliced length-wise
1 shallots - finely diced
2 cups of fresh pea
fresh egg pasta
parmesan reggiano
salt & pepper

  • In a large pot, boil enough water for the pasta
  • In a large sautee pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they crisp
  • Take out the pancetta and put over paper towel
  • Using 1-2 tablespoon of the oil from the pancetta, sautee the shallots for 3 minutes
  • Add in the peas and mushroom and cook for another 5 minutes
  • In the meantime, cook the pasta (since they are fresh, they should cook in a minute or so)
  • Add the cooked pasta into the sautee pan along with 1/2 cup of the pasta water
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese
The next day, I ate the left over pasta as a noodle soup by adding the chicken broth (saved from when I made Hainanese Chicken Rice)

Maple Pecan Granola

Earlier this week, I made Maple Pecan Granola using recipes from Closet Cooking and NYTimes' Bitten Blog. I don't usually eat breakfast... however, since I started working out again, I feel that I should start eating breakfast in the morning. I guess if I have to eat breakfast in the morning, I might as well make it delicious and healthy. Today, I had the granola with Saint Benoit yogurt before heading to the gym. Tasty...

9 cups of rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups of chopped pecans
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, sugar and maple syrup.
  • Place on a sheet pan and put in oven.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally every 15 minutes or so.
  • Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.