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Beef Stew for 2 (and a half)

With the cold at its pinnacle here in Hong Kong I’ve began my gauntlet of winter foods. Hopefully I can satisfy a years worth of cravings into a month….maybe two if we’re lucky. Beef stew is one of the healthier options on my cold weather favorites list and as it’s the start of a new year I figured I would start with that with everyone’s resolutions still intact. This recipe was made with my one year old in mind so ingredients are all cut into bite size pieces BEFORE cooking as to reduce cooking time as well as fussy time at the table. If your kid is anything like mine, once he sees the food he needs it in his stomach immediately, you’ll appreciate this. Otherwise I’d suggest having chunkier beef & veggies and doubling the oven time to get a fuller flavor.

Beef Stew

10oz Beef Butt (Rump) cut into 1/4in cubes
1 medium onion cut into 1/4in cubes
1/2 pack baby carrots cut into 1/4in cubes
2 baby red bliss potatoes cut into 1/4in cubes
10 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 clove garlic sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and flour as needed

1. Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a sip.  You should always cook with wine you’re willing to drink and cooking should be fun so let’s loosen up a bit!

2. Heat the oil in an oven safe pot. Place the beef cubes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Toss the seasoned beef in as little flour as it takes to just dust the beef.

3. Add the beef to the hot oil and cook until nicely browned.

4. Remove the beef and toss in the onions.  As the onions release their water make sure to use it to loosen up the beefy goodness stuck to the pan before it burns on the bottom.

5. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are just soft. 

6. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf.  Stir just until combined.

7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.

8. Add everything else to the pot and bring to a simmer.

9. Once simmering cover the pot and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Check it at 30 minutes.  If dry add just enough beef stock to loosen it up but not too wet!

Enjoy!

I like to let it cool, pop it in the fridge overnight and heat it back up on the stove SLOWLY for dinner the next day.

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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Baby, Dinner, food, Recipe

 

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Baby Gastronomy

Yea, it’s been awhile since I posted….so…I’ve been…busy?

Let me begin by stating that the picture you see to the left here is a play on a caprice salad.  What I actually did was make mozzarella from scratch, then create a delicious gazpacho and make it into “grape tomato” shapes.  Then added the fresh baby basil and a balsamic reduction.  The end product….simply delicious.

Enough with my childish attempts to create molecular gastronomic pieces of art.  The following is a great way to give a child of around 6 months a healthy meal all made from scratch!

Ingredients:

150gms Carrot (Peeled)
150gms Zucchini
150gms Salmon

Diced all the ingredients:

:

Steam for 15min:

On a quick side note…I HIGHLY recommend purchasing an all in one steamer/food processor if you’re interested in making baby food.  My life wouldn’t be complete without my son….my son wouldn’t eat without my Advent food steamer/processor.  Now, I don’t know if it is the best one out there, but I am in love with it!  (This is not a paid advertisement…simply a chef turned father preaching his opinion.  But if any supplier would like a few nice words said about them let me know 😉 )

Serve and enjoy!

This is not Junior’s first encounter with salmon or carrot…but it was the first time to add the zucchini which I think he loved all the more.  Horray!!! My son is a healthy eater…so far…

 

Keep on eatin’….at all ages 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Dinner, food, Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Ramen

Ramen

In honor of nutrition month I would like to show everyone what I like to do with ramen.  For me, instant noodles aren’t a meal.  I wouldn’t even really classify them as a snack because 10 minutes after eating them I’m hungry again.

I started playing with ramen around the time I was in 6th or 7th grade.  At the time I realized I was no longer satisfied with 1 pack of noodles so the first thing I tried was simply eating a second pack.  This worked for a time or two, but then my mind began to wander.  Now, I don’t suggest eating a lot of instant noodles as they really aren’t that great for you.  Yet on the occasion when you find your self being drawn in to their simplicity keep this post in mind.

Now that I live in Hong Kong there are quite a few more options for instant noodles and I have found a new favorite, but this can be done with any pack you prefer.

My pack of choice is the Ajisen Ramen.  The flavoring packs have a deeper taste to them and the noodles tend to have a nicer bite.

They also come in a two pack so it’s great for couples!

 

 

We simply begin by ignoring all of the cooking instructions and boil a pot of water.  (For a healthier version boil a pot of your favorite stock instead and ditch all the flavoring packets!)

Dump out the flavoring packs into a good-sized bowl that you’re planning to eat out of.  When the water (or stock) comes to a boil add about 1/2cup to your seasonings and stir to combine.

 

 

Dump your noodles into the boiling water and cook them until they just start to get tender.  Trust me on this one, if you wait until they are cooked through by the time we’re finished here your just going to have a pile of mush in the bottom of your bowl!  Remove the noodles from the water but keep the water in the pot either using chopsticks or a noodle spoon.

Top your noodles with a handful or 2 or greens.  Dark leafy veggies are an excellent source of nutrition and they are darn tasty as well!  You and boil up some asparagus, broccoli, choy sum, or bok choy ahead of time and add it at this stage as well for an even healthier treat.

My favorite thing to do when playing with ramen is to add an egg.  Today I decided to poach my egg as I’m feeling quite lazy and don’t want to dirty another pan but you can scramble, over easy, or sunny side up if you’d like!  Another option would be to have some hard-boiled eggs on hand.  They make a great snack as well!

If you’re going to poach keep the noodle water, add a teaspoon of vinegar, stir your water, drop in the egg and let it cook for about a minute to a minute and a half.

Scoop out the egg, top up your bowl with water (or stock) and enjoy!

*Side note* You may notice my ramen flavor today is pork bone broth.  This is about as close as this lazy chef was getting to a roast crown of pork to celebrate today’s holiday.  Happy roast crown of pork day!

 

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Hot Buttered Rum

Somehow this post that was supposed to be posted immediately went into my drafts and I’m just noticing now..
Happy very belated Hot Buttered Rum Day!

 

January 17th is hot buttered rum day.  Unfortunately I had to work the night shift yesterday so was unable to participate until the wee hours this morning and soon there after passed out.

Having learned from my previous experience with ordering obscure beverages at restaurants I decided it was worth the wait to make it myself.  Also, having done so I can supply you with the recipe:

55g Butter
100g Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
1 dash ground clove
Rum of choice

Cream the ingredients together and return to the fridge until ready to serve.

Serving:  Take one heaping tablespoon off the butter/sugar mix and plop it into a coffee mug.  Add 1 and 1/2 ounces rum (my rum of choice was Captain Morgan’s).  Fill the mug the rest of the way with boiling water.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and enjoy.

Simple as that my friends and it was quite delicious if I do say so myself, and of course I do say so myself.

Happy hot buttered rum day!

 

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Mulled wine

Every time I think of mulled wine it instantly brings me back to that first year living in Germany.  My first day of school was a field trip to a local market where I got to sample many sweets and even got to bring a few home.  Mom also got to have her first sip of Gluhwein….which I believe in the coming months/years we drank enough to supply a whole village.

Gluhwein is probably exactly the same thing as mulled wine but I can’t say for sure as I was a bit too young to consume it then and have created a recipe that I know as mulled wine but the taste is quite similar to what I remember.

Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine (whatever you were going to drink next is fine…unless you’ve got expensive tastes…then save that one for later and go pick up a decent bottle of pinot noir or merlot)

1 large orange
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4cup (60ml) brandy
1/2cup sugar (100gms)

Get 6 good size pieces of orange rind off the orange by using the tip of your knife to just cut the skin into 6 equal sections and pulling them off in strips.  Juice the meat of the orange and set aside.  Remove all of the white part (pith) from the orange skin and pierce with a clove.

Put the wine, brandy, sugar, and orange juice in a pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely combined.  Add the orange peel and cinnamon stick, lower the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain out all the chunks, fill up a mug and enjoy.  To save for later simply allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, put in a container with a lid and refrigerate.  You can keep it this way for up to a week.  Simply fill a mug and pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes and enjoy!

Happy mulled wine day!

 
 

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Image

Happy fettuccine alfredo day!

Alfredo sauce:

1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
3 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream/whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
100g (4oz) parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and herbs, saute until onions become translucent.

Add white wine and reduce by 1/3.

Lower the heat to medium-low, add cream and milk. Stirring slowly, but constantly until it just starts to simmer. Add the parmesan at this point, stirring until the cheese is melted through the whole sauce.

Serve immediately with fettuccine and topped with your favorite protien. (grilled chicken is an excellent option.)

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Dinner, food, My Meals, Photography, Recipe

 

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Peach Melba

Peach Melba

Happy peach melba day!! (a day late)

January 13th is peach melba day, and although I am posting this on the 14th I promise it was celebrated on the proper day.  Ok, enough excuses…on to the celebration!

A peach melba is simply cooked peaches with ice cream and a raspberry sauce.  I decided to take a crack at it myself as I don’t recall ever having this dessert before.

First I halved the peaches, removed the pits, and simmered them, skin on, in a vanilla syrup for about 3 minutes per side.

Then I removed them and allowed them to cool slightly before removing the skin.

Second was the raspberry sauce.  I kept it simple and tossed a pint of raspberries, 3Tbsp of powdered sugar, and 1tsp of lemon juice into a food processor.  I decided the sauce was a bit thick so I then added about 3Tbsp of port, blended it all together and ran it through a sieve to remove all the seeds.

Next step is to pop the peaches back into the lemon syrup just long enough to get them hot again, assemble, serve, and enjoy!

I saved 3 halves to play with later as I may have an idea for a twist on this classic.

Happy peach melba day!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Dessert, food, My Meals, Photography, Recipe

 

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