Category: Recipes

French Dip Sandwich

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This is a delicious little treat I whipped up for dinner last week. It was a crazy busy day so I needed something quick. I had picked up some fresh chuck steak from the foreign food mart in Itaewon the night before and wanted to use it on something new. Chuck steak needs to be cooked slowly to get it nice and tender, but it was far too warm for stew so a hot sandwich seemed like the perfect idea. I sliced a couple of onions and threw them into my rice cooker along with the steak, a pinch of thyme, and a couple pints of beef stock, then set it it to cook and walked out the door. When I came home 6 hours later I was treated to the most fabulous smell ever. I sliced open a couple of crusty bread rolls I had picked up on the way home, slathered on some melted cheese, and had the onion sauce for dipping. It was incredibly delicious and beyond easy. I often use my rice cooker when I’m short for time, as you can just throw in everything raw and come home to a ready cooked meal.

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Super Chocolatey – Nutella Cake

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This cake is pure wicked indulgence. It’s a rather late tribute to the most chocolatey time of year, Easter. I wanted to share a dessert type cake which I would have eaten on Easter Sunday if I hadn’t been dying of a hangover. While I wanted to make it with the intention of Easter, this is a cake that can be eaten at any time of year for any occasion. Everytime I look at it I just think of the Bruce Bogtrotter cake from Matilda, although like Brucey I would not falter half way through eating it, despite the unbridled richness. To make it extra special I used an entire jar of nutella on the frosting because, why not? If you want something nutella-y you might as well go the whole hog. I made the cake in the rice cooker, just because I find it easier and they always come out moist, but the cake can just as easily be baked in the oven if that’s what you prefer.

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Oven Cooked Poached Eggs

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This past weekend I hosted a roof top brunch for some of my most wonderful friends. The sun was shining and the mimosas were flowing, it was the perfect start to the Easter weekend.

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Hot Cross Buns

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Nothing marks the start of the Easter season like the heavenly smell of freshly baked hot cross buns. Spending Easter in Korea, it’s sometimes hard to get into the seasonal spirit as the traditions we know and love from back home just aren’t replicated here in Korea. While a chocolate egg may be hard but not impossible to come by, hot cross buns can be easily made if you have the right recipe.

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Breakfast Quesadillas

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I adore brunch, it’s probably my favourite meal of the week, I don’t know why but there just seems to be something magical about it, probably the booze. Now as much as I love brunch I can’t always afford to go out to eat, but thanks to the mammoth portions at Costco I always keep a well stocked fridge. These breakfast quesadillas are the perfect dish for brunch as they are quick and easy to make and you can do it all in just one pan. I paired mine with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream as for once I had all three on hand but just use whatever you have, it is brunch after all. And the best thing about eating at home is there’s no need to get dressed #winning!

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Smore Surprise Cookies

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Not being American it wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered the joy that is smores. For some reason the amazing campfire treat of cookies, marshmallow, and chocolate completely bypassed mother England. Why? Who could say for sure as it’s such an amazing combination. I decided to try out these treats after bringing back an ungodly amount of confectionery from New York, that coupled with the fact I was itching to do some baking after catching up on a few episodes of The Great British Bake Off. After that it all came together rather easily, I made a little cup shaped cookie in the muffin pan, shoved in a mini peanut butter cup and topped it with a marshmallow. If it’s possible they taste even better than they sound and will certainly be winging their way into my regular baking repertoire.

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Chicken Soup for the Seoul

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I’ve been feeling rather glum since I returned home from New York, which is probably due to my monumental jet-lag I’m suffering from. I seem to be exhausted during the day and and fidgety and awake at night. The lack of sleep is making me feel very stressed and I seem to have a gnawing ball of anxiety I just can’t seem to shift. Whenever I’m feeling sick I always turn to my favourite comfort food, chicken soup. For me it is the miracle cure all reviver, and I always used to make this for dinner every Monday night to refuel my body after a weekend of non stop partying. I whipped this up yesterday for my dinner and I’m already feeling a 100 times better. The fresh noodles really help give the soup a lot of depth, and really help to fill you up, you can find them in any Korean supermarket in the refrigerator section and they are super quick and easy to make. The best part of this dish is that I’ve got plenty of leftovers in the freezer for next time I’m feeling under the weather.

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Mini Pork Pies

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Pork pies are a fabulous yet traditional British lunch or picnic snack. Renowned for their great taste and non-pretentious nature, they are a meal fit for a king or a pauper. I made these using a hot water crust pastry which is actually much simpler than it sounds, and really cuts down on the amount of butter you need, though it does require some lard in its stead. Lard is terribly easy to make, it’s just rendered pork fat. If you have a friendly local butcher he will probably give you some for free. Or you can save your rendered fat from whenever you cook bacon or pulled pork like I do. The filling is traditionally made with bacon, pork shoulder, and pork  belly, but I went for a much simpler pork mince filling. The real ones also have a layer of gelatin around the inside of the pastry, but I again skipped this step, mostly because you have to wait about 12 hours for it to set and patience has never been my virtue. These beauties are just as good hot or cold and especially nice with a bit of brown sauce or piccalilli if you have it.

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Crepe Cake

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I have been wanting to make one of these fantastic crepe cakes for pretty much over a year now, but just haven’t ever quite got around to it. But with the timely coincidence of a friends birthday and pancake day, it was finally time to whip out that crepe pan. This cake is nothing short of a show stopper, with all those layers it looks absolutely magnificent and I was getting compliments about it the whole night long. The cake is actually rather easy in the skill department to make, as long as you can make a crepe you are golden, it’s just insanely time consuming to make, at around 2 hours. I think I actually under estimated that part, but you can always make the custard filling and the crepes the day before and just assemble on the day if you are short on time. But trust me, this cake is totally worth the time and effort.

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Homemade Pimms

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Pimm’s is without a doubt the quintessential British summer drink. No picnic, or sunny day in a beer garden is complete without a jug or five of this fabulously fruity concoction. However this fab favourite of mine is impossible to find in Korea, probably due to the insane amount it would cost to import. Luckily Bulldogs opened its doors last year and salvation was finally here, but it also got me thinking how easy it would be to make myself. With just 3 ingredients from your amply stocked liquor cabinet, Pimm’s can be yours all year long. Luckily I had a bottle tucked away under the sink (aka my liquor cabinet) that I’d bought on my last trip home and I did a taste comparison, the original is a wee bit sweeter but overall it’s not bad at all, and will certainly fool all of your friends if you don’t let them in on the secret!

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