Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lemongrass carbonera with radish, carrots, and pea leaves

Ah school is almost over!!! Meanwhile, the food and science class at UCLA has given a lot of inspiration and wayyyy expanded my cooking creations. I have been going to the farmer's market more often :). Good thing LA has so many farmer's markets.

Here's something I came up with after going to the farmer's market in Santa Monica.

Lemongrass carbonera with radish, carrots, and pea leaves

A batch of spaghetti (1 inch diameter)
1 cup Heavy cream
1 stalk Lemongrass
1 tsp Soy sauce
2 egg yolks
3 cloves Garlic
2 Carrots
1 Radish
1 Green onion
1 small bunch of Pea leaves with flowers
1 cm Butter
1 tbs Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Prep lemongrass cream (can be done a day beforehand)

1. Peel outer layer of lemon grass
2. Cut lemon grass into little pieces
3. Heat up heavy cream until simmering.
4.Add lemongrass and let it simmer for 10 minutes and stir constantly not to let the cream burn.
5. Add soy sauce and stir.
6. Let it cool and let the lemongrass sit to infuse more flavor (I let it sit in the fridge for a day).

Prep work for main
1. Get water boiling. 
2. Cut carrots into as seen in picture.
3. Slice the radish into paper thin.
4. Slice the green onion.
5. Mince the garlic.
6. Trim the pea leaves to get rid of the thicker stalks.
7. When cream is cooled, add egg yolk and stir with the cream.
8. Blanch pea leaves in the boiling water or until the stalk is soft.
9. Leave pea leaves to dry

Instructions for cooking
1. Boil water
2. Add pasta
3. In a pan, add half butter and set for medium heat.
4. Throw in carrots and cook until semi soft.
5. Add radishes and cook until it still has a little crunch in it.
6. Add in blanched pea leaves and the rest of the butter.
7. Set aside in a warm place.
8. Remove pasta from water.
9. Add olive oil to a pan on medium heat.
10. Add pasta and garlic and stir until aroma of garlic comes out.
11. Turn off the heat and add cream and egg mixture.
12. Stir around so that the egg does not cook.
13. Add salt and pepper.
14. Plate as above and add cheese to the noodles.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spaghetti with Miso Cream Sauce

Time for a post before finals begin...
About a week ago, I have been thinking about different ways to combine western and eastern cuisines together. I have always wondered how I can incorporate miso into Italian style cuisine. Heck, I'll make some Japanese-Italian pasta dish.

Spaghetti with Miso Cream Sauce (Chicken optional)

Spaghetti for two servings
1 Chicken breast
2 tbs Red miso
1 half inch slice Ginger
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Sake
3/4 cup Heavy cream
1/2 cup Chicken stock (better if it is fresh and no salt)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Basil
Salt and pepper

1. Boil water.
2. Mince ginger and garlic.
3. In a cup or bowl, mix cream, stock, and cheese.
4. Salt the cup (I give my Trader Joes salt mill 8-9 turns)
5. Slice basil into strips.
6. Slice chicken into stripes or bite size pieces.
7. Throw spaghetti in.

Time to COOK!
1. Heat up oil in a pan and saute the chicken until almost done.
2. Remove chicken and hold in a bowl.
3. Add ginger and garlic to the juices and oil.
4. Start browning those ingredients.
5. Add sake and cook off alcohol.
6. Add miso and cup mixture.
7. Stir fast so that the cheese gets incorporated instead of melting into a mess.
8. At this point your spaghetti should be almost at al-dente (test by eating a piece)
9. Transfer noodles and chicken into the frying pan.
10. Add basil and toss the spaghetti until each piece of spaghetti is evenly coated with sauce.
11. Transfer to a plate and enjoy
Note: You never ever dump sauce onto pasta and call that done. The noodles are supposed to absorb the sauce or else you'll just be eating a soupy mess. When you finish eating the noodles, there should be no sauce leftover.

Enjoy your meal! Now onto cramming for finals ><.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I was doing a bit of daydreaming in class today, while my professor talked about Hamilton's principle and yada yada yada....

What would you plan for your significant other for v-day?

Here's what I would do...
An Italian dinner
Spinach, strawberry, vinaigrette
tagliatelle salsiccia
sausage, red wine cream sauce
Costolette d'agnello alle sette erbe
-herbed lamb chops
Anice stellato panna cotta
- Panna cotta flavored with star anise with orange sauce

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shades of Pink

Hello readers! (the few)
I will post up more recipes when I'm done with midterms :(.

Meanwhile ...
I've entered a mixology contest. Please vote for me!!! It would mean a lot to me if I could go to Uncork'd at Vegas.

Here's the link and recipe!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ricotta Cheesecake

I had some leftover ricotta cheese, and I did not know what to do with it. I always wanted to try to make ricotta cheesecake. With some experimentation, I think I got a set recipe down.

Light Ricotta Cheesecake

1 Package of graham crackers
2 tbs Brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbs Melted butter

16 oz Ricotta cheese (Drained of most liquid)
16 oz Cream cheese (I think its 16 oz. Basically a block)
2/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Cake flour
2 Egg whites
2 Eggs
1 tsp Orange blossom
Zest of one orange and one lemon
1/4 Lemon juice

Directions for the crust
1. Melt butter
2. In food processor combine crackers, cinnamon, and sugar
3. Pulse everything until well blended
4. Slowly drizzle butter in
5. Line baking material bottom with crust

Directions for the filling (Preheat oven to 350)
1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. (set aside in a bowl)
2. With a paddle mixer, beat the cream cheese and ricotta cheese together.
3. Put in the two eggs. (one at a time at low speed)
4. Add in sifted sugar and cake flour.
5. Mix very slowly or else everything will fly out.
6. Add in lemon juice, orange blossom, and zests.
7. Mix until well incorporated.
8. Fold egg whites into the batter
9. Prepare a water bath
10. Put batter in cake pan
11. Put cake into the oven for 45-60 minutes.
12. Let it cool and serve

Sunday, January 15, 2012

[$20/week] Week 1 Recap

As a resolution, I decided to do something crazy... $20/week. I usually spend $40 or even $50 per week on food and groceries. Here's a recap of what I made, and what I ate.

$1.99 Chocolate Chip Waffles
$2.55 Blueberry Muffins

$0.28 7 Carrots
$1.34 Ham Fried Rice

$11.62 Turkey Lasagna

$1.40 1/2 gallon Milk
Free Water

Total: $19.18 <- Within budget. Woot...
Note: Sometimes I eat the blueberry muffins for lunch.
Ham fried rice lasted me two lunches.
Lasagna surprisingly lasted me the whole week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

[$20/week] Blueberry Muffins (week 1)

Right in the middle of the night, I get the munchies... I quickly scavenged for ingredients and made something simple, yet healthy. Here's a recipe for about 12 muffins. These things saved me for the rest of the week for snacking or breakfast.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour ($.015)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder ($0.0382)
1/2 cup Sugar ($0.48)
1/3 cup Oil ($0.18)
1 Egg ($0.149)
1/2 cup Dried Blueberries ($1.50)
2/3 cup Milk ($0.15)
Total: $2.55

Directions (Preheat oven 375F)
1. Run all the dry ingredients together through a sifter.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
3. In a separate container, mix all the wet ingredients.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients.
5. Line muffin tins.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Friday, January 13, 2012

[$20/week] Ham Fried Rice (week 1)

I brought back some goodies from home. What could it be?? Something from Virgina that is good??? So... I brought back my mom's famous Virginia Ham. Yes, ham in Virginia is quite famous and delicious.

At this time of the week (Tuesday, I think), I was getting quite sick of lasagna everyday. I decided to dig through my fridge and see what I could find.

Carrots ... check, onion ... check, ham ... check, garlic ... check. I think we got ourselves some fried rice ingredients.

Ham Fried Rice (serves 2)

Leftover Rice [1 cup] ($0.05)
1/4 Onion ($0.03)
Garlic ($0.045)
Egg ($0.149)
3 thick slices of Ham (~$1.00)
1 tbs Soy sauce (~$0.10)
Canola Oil (~$0.10)
Total : ~$1.50

1. Cut up all the ingredients like so below:

2. In a wok, toss in some oil and wait for it to heat up.
3. Sweat onions.
4. Add carrots and cook until the onions are slightly brown and carrots are almost soft.
5. Add ham and cook until the ham is heated up.
6. Turn down heat and make a well for the egg.
7. Scramble the egg in the wok.
8. Add rice and cook.
9. Add soy sauce and stir around until rice turns brownish.
10. Taste to see if flavorful enough. Add salt if not or oyster sauce.

[$20/week] Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna (week 1)

It is a new year! Time to actually get some blogging done. I haven't touch this blog since summer : (. Graduate school has been quite tough, and I have been getting accustomed to it.

Being a redditor, I decided to take on the $20 a week food challenge on r/budget. As a student living in LA, my peers have told me about how difficult it will be to survive on just $20 a week for food and be decently healthy.

Shizzam! I spent $19.49 this week!
My strategy was to make lasagna, fried rice, eat waffles.

I shall begin my perilous journey of almost starvation:

Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna (Serves 6)

Cheap ingredients!
Fresh Pasta
5 Eggs ($0.745)
2 lbs Tomatoes ($2.05)
1 Zucchini ($0.37)
Whole Wheat flour ($0.15)
1 lb Ground turkey ($3.79)
3/4 Onion ($.09, yea Smart n Final deals)
1/2 Garlic head ($.09, Smart n Final is the best!)
1/2 package of Mozzarella cheese ($1.745)
16 oz Ricotta cheese ($2.495)
Olive Oil (~$0.10)
Herbs, Seasoning (~$0.15)
Total cost: $11.874

1. Follow instructions to make fresh Pasta

Make the Turkey pasta sauce
1. Finely chop garlic and onion.
2. De-seed the tomatoes.
3. Heat up pan with olive oil.
4. Sweat onions and garlic.
5. Add tomatoes and cook until the peel starts to fall, and liquid starts leaking (~10 minutes).
6. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.
7. In a pan, cook the turkey until it is well done.
8. Add blended sauce.
9. Add seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, marjoram)
10. Taste to see if it tastes good!

Ricotta cheese portion
1. Take ricotta and mix with one egg.
2. Add salt and pepper.
3. Taste to see if well seasoned.

Assembling the lasagna in a 12" x 12" lasagna pan (Preheat oven to 375F)
1. Add sauce layer.
2. Add pasta.
3. Add ricotta cheese layer.
4. Repeat until you get to the top.
5. Top with mozzarella cheese and sliced zucchinis.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25 minutes.
7. Unwrap and cook for 15 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown.