Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dynamo Donuts

This morning ShunBun surprised Mo-Fo and I by bringing these delicious Dynamo donuts to our early morning coffee ritual at Blue Bottle Coffee. I have always been wanting to try them out since it first opened because of their interesting flavor combination and the hype surrounding its maple glazed bacon apple donut. After having my share of the donut, I was hooked and kept reaching over Mo-Fo to get the bacon bits that fell off from the donut. I also went nuts over the Spiced Chocolate donut because the chipotle dredge totally compliment the chocolate flavor in a nice way. It was a great way to start a week-day morning!

Lemon Thyme (donut made with lemon zest and fresh thyme and has a lemon honey glaze) and Maple Glazed Bacon Apple (studded with bacon and apple sauted in bacon fat maple glaze and crispy bacon):

Vanilla Bean (vanilla and orange zest donut with a vanilla bean glaze) and Spiced Chocolate (chocolate donut with cinnamon, sugar and chipotle dredge):

Monday, June 28, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, I was quite a busy bee in the kitchen this weekend. I even baked some chocolate chip cookies because Porgy was craving for something chocolaty ever since he saw Alex Guarnaschelli's Chocolate Pots de Creme episode on Food Network. I used my Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe and improvised a little bit by adding some Dutch cocoa powder and a little bit of chili powder.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (at room temperature)
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coffee
8 oz of chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven at 300F
  • Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, chili pepper, cinnamon, ground coffee)
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract
  • Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 2 phases
  • Mix all together at slow speed
  • Add in chocolate chips and mix with spatula
  • Bake for 16 mins for more moist (chewier) cookies or 18 mins for crunchier ones

Poached Egg Breakfast

After a few days of cold summer weather in San Francisco, it felt so nice to wake up to a warm and sunny morning. This Sunday was one of those days and even Arthur was in a good mood.

I decided to make Poached Egg breakfast with breakfast sausages from Little City Market in North Beach and hash browns from Trader Joe's. Since I have never made poached eggs before, I went to Simply Recipes site because I know that Elise always has great step-by-step directions for her recipes.

Slowly frying the sausages...

Poaching the eggs (my pictures are not as good as Elise's) - even Arthur had one.

Our Sunday breakfast... yummy!

Eggplant and Minced Meat with Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

When I first started to cook this dish, I wanted to make stuffed eggplants with some kind of South East Asian flavored mince meat. However, when I made the stuffing, I noticed that the peanut butter sauce was too creamy to be used as stuffing so I improvised and cut up those eggplants into bite-size pieces and mix them with the mince meat. It turned out pretty good - though now I'm on a hunt for a good stuffed eggplant recipe!

3 eggplants, cut into half and then into 2-inch sections (I used Chinese eggplants)
1 lb ground pork
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 stalk lemon grass root, finely chopped
1 green chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup coconut cream
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped parsley

  • Heat up the oven to 400F degree and bake the eggplant slices in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
  • Mix the peanut butter, coconut cream, fish sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In the mean time, stir fry the pork with a couple tablespoons of oil over medium high heat for a few minutes until well colored.
  • Add chopped garlic, shallot, lemon grass and green chili pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in the peanut butter sauce mix and cook for several minutes until the mixture thickened.
  • Stir in the eggplant pieces and chopped parsley, adjust seasoning and serve over white rice.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beef Tongseng

I'm back!!! Finally I'm not as crazy busy with work and Arthur. Yes... Arthur still has his moments from time to time but at least I don't have to keep worrying about him all the time because Porgy and I decided to put him in a doggie day care. We love this particular doggie day care because they also do trainings and long walks with their "customers".

Earlier this week, I met up with close family friends who were visiting from Indonesia. They brought an Indonesian cookbook for me from my sister and I've been going through the recipes in the past couple of days. Yesterday, I decided to make this Indonesian Beef in Spicy & Sweet Soy Sauce called Beef Tongseng. In Indonesia, you would make this dish with goat or lamb meat but I find that fatty beef meat can be a good substitute for them. I followed a recipe from Gramedia International's "Menu Sehari-hari" cookbook.


1 lb beef eye roast, cut into 1-inch cube
6 shallots, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 lemon grass stalk, bruised
1 tablespoon tamarind water
5 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
4 1/4 cups water
1/2 head of small cabbage, de-bone and roughly cut into thin strips
10 red chilli pepper, seeded and cut into strips
salt and sugar to taste
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon minced galangal

  • Using mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the garlic, black peppercorns, coriander, ginger and galangal until they become a smooth paste.
  • Stir fry the shallots with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat for 3 minutes or so until light yellow colored.
  • Add seasoning paste, bay leaves and lemon grass and cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the meat, toss around and cook until the meat change color.
  • Add in the water, soy sauce and tamarind water. When the water boils, lower the heat and continue cooking until the meat is soft.
  • When the stock has reduced by half, add the chopped cabbage and chili pepper.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and sugar according to taste.
  • Finish cooking when the stock/sauce boils again and serve over white rice.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

What to do if you're craving for 2 types of cookies? Combine them together! I have been craving both Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip cookies so I decided to make this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies. I used Smitten Kitchen's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe for the base and substitute the chopped walnut with chocolate chips. Both Porgy and I really enjoyed the end product – the bitter sweet chocolate taste mixed with the chewiness of the oatmeal and the tart of the raisins... yum!


1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 oz) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
  • Per Smitten Kitchen's suggestion, I chilled the dough for 30 minutes or so in the fridge to help the cookies maintain their 'thickness' and then scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake them for 12 minutes or so until they are golden brown at the edges but still soft on top. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Otsu Soba

A couple weeks ago, I made this cold buckwheat soba salad with lightly fried tofu and ginger dressing called Otsu Soba because Porgy and I were craving for something light, refreshing and delicious. I used these two sites, WeHeartFood and DinnerWithJulie for my recipe source and according to one of you they are based on Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks (thanks for letting me know of another wonderful site!) Otsu Soba is a perfect left-over food for us since you don't need to warm it up and you can just eat it cold out of the fridge.

It was my first time cooking with Soba so I was pretty excited about that and now I can't wait to cook another Soba dish... wonder what's next. Maybe Zaru Soba – cold soba noodles with tsuyu dipping sauce?

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded toasted Nori

  • Drain and press the tofu for 30 minutes or so, pat it dry, and cut it into 1-inch rectangles.
  • Make the dressing by combining the rice vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne, salt, grape seed oil, sesame oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and ginger in a jar and shake vigorously until it's mixed well.
  • Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender according to the package direction then drain and rinse well under cold running water.
  • In a well-oiled saute pan, brown the tofu on all sides over medium high heat. It took me about 3-4 minutes of each side. Toss gently once and continue cooking for another minute or so until the tofu is firm, golden brown, and bouncy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, tofu, 1/4 cup cilantro, green onions, cucumber and about half of the dressing. Toss gently until well combined.
  • Serve on individual serving bowls (or plates), garnish with more cilantro, toasted sesame seeds and shredded Nori. Add more dressing if needed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stir-Fried Beef with Broccolini and Shitake Mushroom

I was surprised to find Broccolini in the Farmers Market a couple weeks ago since I thought they are only available during the Winter and Spring time. Maybe I am wrong? Since it was an impulse purchase, I did not know what to use them for. After looking at the contents of my refrigerator and browsing some cookbooks, I made Stir-Fried Beef with Broccolini and Shitake Mushroom – with sauce that's similar to the Noodle with Red-braised Short Ribs and Asparagus post.

1 lb of Broccolini
1 lb of fresh Shitake mushroom, halved
0.5 lb of stir fry beef meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 garlic, smashed with skins removed
1-inch ginger, cut into julienne strips
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch sections
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
1 tablespoon Mirin
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

  • Marinate the beef with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine, 1 tablespoon Mirin and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch for 30 minutes.
  • Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, Shaoxing cooking wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, black pepper, cornstarch) in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large pot, blanch the Broccolini for 1-2 minutes until the color turns bright green and plunge to cold ice bath to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large saute pan until hot but not smoking.
  • Add the meat and stir with spatula until all pieces are coated with oil, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. Fry until the meat just cooked, set aside.
  • Add the rest of the oil and stir fry garlic, ginger and half of the green onions for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and mushroom, stir to blend and cover with lid, lower heat to a simmer and braise for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the meat, Broccolini and the rest of the green onions into the pan, stir well until all is coated evenly with the sauce.
  • Adjust seasoning and transfer to a serving dish.