Fish en Papillote

Hi everyone,

Mediterranean style fish en papillote
Mediterranean style fish en papillote

Growing up in an Asian family, steamed whole fish was a staple in our diet. I remember going to to the Asian supermarket with my parents and watching the fish swim in the tanks. And lo and behold, one of those swimming fishes would end up on our dinner table. Nowadays, live fish are available in most supermarkets but now living by myself, I realise that I do not have the stomach to cook a whole, recently live fish by myself. Instead, I choose to buy fillets and bake them. Recently I saw a picture of fish en papillote – a mix of steam and baked fish on the internet and was inspired to switch up my norm!

Asian style fish en papilotte
Asian style fish en papilotte

Over the weekend, Chipgirlfoodie and Alicia came over to try out my brand new Anova precision cooker (more to come later)! We decided to sous vide some duck breast, roast vegetable, make spicy Korean rice cakes and make fish en papillote! A lot of food for 3 girls, I know and we managed to polished  it all off save a few carrots….

Anova Precision Cooker
Anova Precision Cooker

To save you all from reading a ridiculously long post, I am only going to focus of the fish en papillote in this post. I was so impressed with the way the fish turned out, I made it again for dinner tonight! Because the fish is wrapped and baked in liquid, the fish comes out incredibly moist and flaky. From start to finish, this recipe will take you no longer than 20 to 30 minutes depending on what you decide to add to the dish. For our little dinner party, we decided to make a Mediterranean style fish and for dinner, I decided to recreate the flavours of my culture with a twist with a brown butter, soy, ginger, garlic, chilli fish.  Continue reading

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Simple butter free loaf cake

Hi everyone,

I have a weird fixation with cake. I love cake and frosting, specifically cream cheese frosting but I don’t like all baked goods, like cookies, I’ll eat them if I’m desperate, but won’t go out of my way to eat them. At work recently, I had an intense craving for egg-y, vanilla cake. I also knew that with my unpredictable work schedule, I wouldn’t have time to wait for my butter to soften if I wanted to get to bed a decent hour. Instead, I needed to find a recipe that required no softened butter, so melted butter recipes or coconut oil recipes.017

A couple clicks on google and up popped a “Lemon Pound Cake with Coconut Oil”. Looked simple enough and I had most of the ingredients save the half and half but I had buttermilk, same difference right? So off I went!022

The cake was incredibly moist and dense. I altered a few things based on what I had and what I had energy for but the cake still turned out really well! The only thing I would change is the cooking time and temperature. At 300 degrees F., the cake needed every minute of the suggested 1 hour and 30 minute bake time to fully cook through. Because of the long bake time, the loaf was able to develop and nice crunchy crust that was delicious. The next time I make this though, I will try bake it at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. Continue reading

Coconut vegetable curry

Hi everyone,

Busy season has come full force. My days have been full of working papers, tie outs, and red pens. It doesn’t leave much time for me to do much else … like grocery shopping, cooking, laundry etc….Luckily, I was able to sneak in a few hours on Sunday to watch the Superbowl with my friends. While the outcome was not exactly what we were rooting for, the company more than made up for it :).

What’s a get together without some great eats with the gang. I was a bit too eager to dig in and neglected to take a picture of all the goodies we were indulging in. I did remember to snap a picture of the nachos that chipgirlfoodie and I made based on seriouseats.com. Seriously, they were joking when they said these were the ultimate nachos, that cheese sauce…I could just drink it.

Gameday nachos!
Gameday nachos!

Of course with any successful get together, there is bound to be a ton of leftovers….including 6 large fully baked russet potatoes… chipgirlfoodie has some serious potato eating to do…sorry inside story. Just a few hours ago, there were 6 wrapped baked potatoes in my fridge. I have now recycled two of them in this vegetable curry I made…four more to go…

Coconut vegetable curry
Coconut vegetable curry

In addition to the said potatoes, I also had a left over vegetable platter to take care of.  What better way than to use up all the leftovers than to bath them in a creamy, spicy coconut curry. This recipe was really simple and since all the vegetables came pre-cut, preparation and clean up was also minimal! I loosely based my recipe on one found on finecooking.com subbing in ingredients that I had and really kicking up the spice level.  Continue reading

Turkey chili with cheddar biscuits

Hi everyone,

I don’t think I have professed my love yet, but I love my cast iron skillet. I picked up my handy heavy duty skillet from Crate and Barrel during Boxing Week and never looked back. I effectively use this pan for everything now. I love that the pan can withstand and handle a high heat point making it easy pan fry and sauté. Because I have flat electric elements on my stove, there is no point of getting a wok because the sides won’t heat up sufficiently. Since the cast iron skillet can withstand a high heat temperature, I just wait until the pan is screaming hot (use an oven mitt) and quickly throw my ingredients and make my stir fries that way.

Orion loves chili and freshly baked goods. There may have been certain instances where I have made banana loaf and before I know it, the whole loaf has been devoured. With the weather steadily dropping (Vancouver’s warm spell has come to an end), I decided to make a lazy one skillet chili dish and top them off with Pillsbury biscuits… wait wait…I mean homemade cheddar biscuits! How hard can it be right? I mean I learned how to make scones in Foods 12….10 years ago…..

The biscuits were surprisingly easy to make and turned out light and flakey! I will definitely be making different variations of these in the future! I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet and it was big enough to make the whole chili in it without any spillage. This one pan recipe was a hit with Orion and Gail and clean up was a breeze – one pan recipe remember? One note of advice: have everything ready to go for the chili, the pan is hot so the food cooks fast. There isn’t much time in between steps to prep the ingredients.  Continue reading

Marutama Ra-men

Hi everyone,

Typical to Vancouver weather, this past Saturday was dark and rainy. I had plans to meet up with Michelle downtown for a brunch and catch up. Initially we had planned to go to either Twisted Fork or Cafe Medina but with the downpour of rain, standing in line outside was not an option. Due to the dreariness of the weather, we decide to hit up one of the many ramen shops in Vancouver.

We ended up visiting Marutama! I have been eager to try Marutama’s signature chicken broth since they opened up shop back in 2013. From what I have gathered, Marutama is the only ramen shop that offers a pure chicken broth. Most of other ramen shops serve up pork bone based soup or a mix between pork and chicken. I was both excited and hesistant Marutama’s chicken broth wondering if it could hold its own against the traditional pork based ramen soup that Vancouver has gotten to know and love.

Tamago Ra-men
Tamago Ra-men

I am happy to report, the chicken broth ramen was delicious! It had all the qualities of a good soup that I was looking for – full of depth and had a silky, creamy consistency that is a result of many hours of boiling chicken bones and chicken feet.

Soft-boiled tamago
Soft-boiled tamago

The highlight of this bowl of noodles was the soft boiled egg it came with. Marutama has their egg cooking skills down to a science. Look at the consistency of that yolk – firm enough that it held it’s shape and didn’t leak into the broth but still creamy and melt in your mouth.

Last thoughts: Overall, I felt that Marutama put out a very competitive bowl of ramen. The handmade noodles were toothsome. If I had to critique, I would prefer thicker noodles like the ones they make at Taishoken but I would happily eat this bowl of ramen over and over again without complaints. This bowl of ramen did not satisfy my ramen cravings, instead it made me want more ramen. So much so, I went to visit Taishoken the next day. And as I sit here typing up this review, I am wishing that Marutama was still open so I can get my hands on another bowl of chicken ramen as my after dessert dessert.

Marutama Ra-men on Urbanspoon

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Hi everyone,

Today I would like share with you a simple 20 minutes dinner recipe that is not only delicious but good for you! After a long week of work, I lightly toyed with the idea of going out for a meal with Orion but opted to enjoy a meal together within the confines of our home (ie: in front of the TV) with a nice bottle of wine. Given the simplicity of the meal that we had, I initially had not planned on blogging on this but the chimichurri sauce that I whipped up was too good not to share.

The bright, spicy, and garlic-y chimichurri was definitely the star of the show. This sauce really helped lighten an otherwise very meaty and fatty piece of meat. In the quest to be more cognizant of portion sizes and red meat intake, Orion and I shared one steak and served a large salad (sweet kale salad from Costco) and boiled broccoli on the side.

Continue reading

Chicken Pho (pressure cooker)

Hi everyone,

Right before Christmas, I treated myself to a “pressure cooker”. I “quote” because in the effort to save counter space, I purchased a 5 in 1 Fast Slow Cooker  from Breville which features slow cooker, saute, steam, pressure cooker and warm functions. I have never owned a pressure cooker before and while critics may say that this is not a legit pressure cooker, I have nothing to compare it with but I am super happy with the pressure function of this product!

Breville Fast Slow Cooker!
Breville Fast Slow Cooker!

Recently I came across an article on Serious Eats for pressure cooker chicken pho. I love pho otherwise known as Vietnamese noodle soup. This is comfort food for me, a large bowl of carby goodness (rice noodles) topped with meat and steaming hot broth. I have always toyed with the idea of making my own pho broth but the thought of standing over the pot for 12 hours skimming off layers of foam was not appealing to me. When I came across this recipe, I was stoked, pho after 20 minutes in the pressure cooker? Sign me up!

Chicken Pho!
Chicken Pho!

I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty the broth was after only 20 minutes in the pressure cooker! It had a nice clean flavour, but found that it lacked a bit of depth. However, when I had the leftovers the next day, the flavours had settled in more and the soup tasted richer. Next time I make this, I will prepare the soup the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge to give the flavours more time to meld together. I will also add some chicken wing tips which is fatty and contains collagen to create a silkier, and richer broth.  Continue reading