All posts filed under: Homemade

3 Simple Wine Pairing Ideas for Weeknights at Home

I usually don’t make New Years resolutions but for 2017, I decided to make it a mission to cook more. One Sunday I spent the entire day studying Serious Eats and making this slow cooked ragu sauce which took 5-6 hours. But on weeknights, quick, easy and satisfying options are necessary. So one Monday, I decided to make myself this epic, while simple, three-course wine pairing dinner at home. Blowfish Wines & Giveaway (ends 11 Feb 2017) People always say, Thursdays are the new Fridays. People also celebrate Hump Day Wednesdays. Then there’s Mondays. In short, there’s always an excuse to open a bottle of wine. Blowfish wines are good options for non-wine-experts; they’re inexpensive (averaging HK$100 per bottle), pair easily with food and simply crowd pleasers. Now to celebrate the end of the elongated holiday season and welcome a lot of weeknights to come before another holiday, Blowfish are giving out a full case (12 bottles) of wines, which include: Chardonnay (x4), Shiraz (x4) and Cabernet Merlot (x4). Head over to my Instagram page for more details (now!) – it ends …

Guide to Perfecting Your First Homemade Steak

Steak has to be the most satisfying dish to make at home. It can probably be made in under 15 minutes and as long as you have a decent quality piece of steak, it’ll probably be delicious. I love steak. But if I’m paying HK$1500 to have one at my favourite Grand Hyatt Steakhouse or still quite a lot at any of these Top Classic Steakhouses in Hong Kong, I would save myself from bankruptcy to make this at home more often. Of course there are more affordable options like Le Relais de l’Entrecote or La Vache, but you get the point. Yesterday someone who hadn’t ever made steak before asked me how to cook it and also how to buy a good piece of steak. So I thought I’d write out this simple guide to help you make your first slab of steak.     The easiest way to cook your steak is to sear it Let the steak rest to room temperature before cooking Lightly season with salt and pepper – the salt helps …

Recipe: Sugar-free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I often encounter phases in my life where one cookie ingested leads to a continuous daily craving for more, usually at 4pm in the office. But anyone who’s actually watched cookies being made, will know how bad it is to give in to that craving everyday. There is so much sugar involved. Sugar-free Natvia So when I found out that Natvia‘s 100% natural sweetener, made of Stevia, had a “baking” version, I was excited to see if making delicious “guilt free” cookies was at all possible. I’m aware of the other healthy sugar replacements such as coconut palm sugar. But it definitely seems to be marketed as way more “healthy” than it actually is. According to this article, coconut sugar is still 78% sugar, so it seems to me we really shouldn’t be using it as liberally as its marketing suggests… I’ve still got a pack at home I haven’t opened for precisely this reason. On the other hand, Natvia is not only derived from 100% natural sources, it’s also totally sugar free and almost …

Do Mug Cakes Actually Taste Good?

If you follow any food blogs, accounts or websites, you must have seen all the viral posts on “mug cakes”. It’s an easy sell for modern busy/lazy people, because it’s a quick cake recipe that’s supposed to take no longer than 5 minutes, including microwave time. So I’ve always been curious as to whether mug cakes actually taste good. Even though many of them sound horrible – come on, you can’t expect real cake with just 3 ingredients, some actually look amazing. So I browsed a while for relatively complex mug cake recipes. Plus I was hoping that adding in some characteristics of actual good cake could give me a better shot of churning out a decent tasting cake. That’s why you’ll see the ingredients list I used is so long. Recipe for Chocolate Mug Cake Ingredients: 1/8 cup flour 1/8 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/8 cocoa powder pinch of salt 1/8 milk vanilla essence 1 egg 1/8 oil Method: Mix the dry ingredients then mix in the wet ingredients. Pop it in the microwave on “high” for 1.5 …

Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese from Scratch with 3 Ingredients

I shockingly learnt from my invaluable cooking class at Red Feather Inn that you can easily make your own ricotta cheese at home with close to minimal effort and accessible ingredients too. It’s easy, cheaper (than buying it) and you can use it to make delicious ricotta hotcakes, mix it into your scrambled eggs to make it extra creamy or simply use it to top your salad. Here’s how… Ingredients 2 cups of milk 1 cup of cream Apple cider vinegar Method 1. Put the milk and cream into a saucepan and heat over low fire until it is “bearably hot” (I check by dipping my finger) or just as soon as you start to see a bit of steam. Turn the fire off. 2. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix and wait 2 minutes. You should see the mixture curdle into small lumps. Add a bit more vinegar if parts of the mixture are not curdling. 3. Strain the mixture using a soup bag (cheese cloth) to separate the cheese …

Recipe for a Perfectly Creamy Tiramisu

Tiramisu has long been my favourite dessert and with this motivation, it became the first dish I ever mastered, to my own preference of strong mascarpone cheese flavours, high ratio of cream to lady fingers, not too sweet and no brandy. Although the proportion of ingredients help shape the taste of this cake, getting the technique right is also important to churn out a tiramisu with a thick creamy texture. After numerous iterations, the below recipe is one I’m most happy with! Ingredients: 5 egg yolks 100g of sugar 250g mascarpone cheese 350ml heavy whipping cream 1 espresso shot Lady fingers Cocoa powder Tip: Buying good quality mascarpone cheese, though expensive, is important. Method: 1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and mix it over a bain-marie for about 10 mins. 2. Remove it from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture until it turns very light pastel yellow in colour (about 3-5 mins of beating). 3. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until just incorporated. 4. In …

Recipe for Kimchi Grilled Cheese and Kimchi Carbonara

Asian fusion, especially kimchi-everything, seems to be strongly trending in Hong Kong these days. Having sampled such fusion dishes myself, such as the kimchi bruschetta from Moyo, I do understand the addiction. That’s why I’ve even gone ahead to try these kimchi-fused dishes at home! Apart from actually making the kimchi (I’m not Korean enough for that yet), incorporating it into everyday comfort food turned out to be pretty easy, straight forward and a great complement. See my two recipes for kimchi grilled cheese and kimchi carbonara below. Kimchi Grilled Cheese Ingredients: 2 slices of bread A handful of grated cheddar cheese A small handful of kimchi Butter Method: 1. Butter one side of each slice of bread 2. Mix the kimchi and grated cheese in an oven-proof bowl, shove it in the oven (I put it in my mini toaster oven) until cheese is melted (about 3-5 mins) 3. Spread the mix onto one slice of bread on the non-buttered side 4. Place on the pan on medium heat (butter side down), place other …