Category: Recipes

Bang Bang Chicken Salad

 

1607008_10152803389946142_4402349267042935368_n

I realize that it’s terribly cold right now, and a salad recipe isn’t exactly what everyone is craving, but I whipped this up for dinner last week and it was so good I had to share it. I haven’t had Bang Bang Chicken in donkey’s years. But it’s my little brother’s favourite Chinese dish in the whole wide world. Every time we go for Chinese back home he insists on ordering it. I had all but forgotten about this dish, but when I was trying to figure out what to do with my chicken breasts the other night it came screaming back to me. I luckily had all the ingredients in my cupboard so I was able to whip it up in just a flash. (more…)

Courgette Cakes with Chunky Salsa

10404081_10152791226086142_1750324125941355166_n

Being a food blogger isn’t always easy. I’m under constant pressure to come up with new and exiting recipes all the time, which is probably why I have been eating out so much recently. We always have a fridge full of ingredients, it’s just a matter of compiling them in different ways to make new foods so things don’t get too repetitive. Courgettes are back in season now and dirt cheap. Usually  they just get relegated to extra status and thrown in at the last minute, but in this recipe they are the star of the show.  They are very easy to make as well as being tasty and filling, so just perfect for a weekday dinner. You could also substitute them in place of a burger for your vegetarian friends. I served mine with some chunky salsa. Chunky salsa is a lazy girl’s dream, as it requires far less chopping but retains all of the deliciousness.  (more…)

Halloween Ideas

Hurray, Halloween is fast approaching and it’s one of my favourite times of the year. I love a good a food theme and what better theme is there than something a bit spooky and scary. I’ve made a few different things over the years so here’s a bit of an amalgamation of my stuff, it’s no pinterest board but there’re a couple of gems in there regardless. Sadly I have not had a hot minute this year  to make anything new as I’ve been too busy making my foodie themed costumes instead. Though since I took 1st and 2nd prizes for them, I consider it time well spent!

10624993_733323353429349_3264297362565589405_n 10438587_734304266664591_280241235060584588_n

(more…)

Wild Rice Enchilada Bake

1794658_10152745095156142_2150838209852374778_n

On my last iHerb shop, I treated myself to a bag of wild rice. Frivolous I know, but I just thought what the hell, treat yourself!  It’s so much healthier that its white counterpart, and it has a nuttiness and flavour you just don’t get with white. I was in somewhat of a quandary on how best to use it when I hit upon an enchilada bake. I quickly whipped up my own tasty enchilada sauce, and threw in some leftover Costco rotisserie chicken (which I am obsessed with by the way), black beans, extra veg, and leftover cheese and bing bam boom, dinner was served. Both the Fat Boyfriend and I agreed it was one of the best dinners we had had in ages. With some sliced avocado on top, and a wedge of lime it was a damn good Wednesday night dinner. There were also plenty of leftovers for the next night too, which I find a highly desirable quality in a weeknight dinner!

10171025_10152745095116142_6753264544848831952_n

Ingredients

2 cups of rice

4 cups of water

400g of tomatoes (or 1 can)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 tablespoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1/2 a teaspoon of chili powder

2 peppers (any colour)

5 spring onions

3 cloves of garlic

A handful of cilantro (고수)

1-2 cups of leftover cooked chicken (or 2 breasts)

1 cup of black beans (cooked)

A great big handful of cheese

Directions

1. If you are using dried beans you will need to soak them the night before then simmer them for about an hour. If you are using canned, you can just add them in step three. Cook your rice, using the 1 cup of rice, to two cups of water method. I find this works perfectly with brown or wild rice. The rice shouldn’t be mushy, but cooked until it has still got a tiny bite, as it will cook a little more in the oven.

2. While the rice is cooking, make the enchilada sauce by roasting you tomatoes with the garlic for 10 minutes with a little olive oil then blending your tomatoes with the herbs and spices.

3. Finely chops your spring onions, peppers, cilantro, and any other vegetables you wish to throw in. When the rice is cooked, mix in with the vegetables, shredded chicken, beans and enchilada sauce. Put the whole lot in an oven proof dish and top with cheese. Then bake at 200 degrees Celsius for another 10 -15 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. If you have it,  serve with avocado, lime, and sour cream.

149354_10152745095191142_378914882423967476_n

Chocolate Eclairs

1959449_10152718237301142_5564552889038266632_n

To anyone who reads this blog often (which is mostly my immediate family), it’s always staggeringly obvious when the Great British Bake Off is on TV as I can’t stop baking things! My sweet tooth goes on a rampage craving all kinds of baked delights. Cookies, cakes, breads and pastries, every week I get urges I can’t control. This week I was inspired to make choux pastry. I love chocolate eclairs, they are one of my absolute favorite foods, but for some reason it’s been years since I last made them. They also aren’t all that prevalent in Korea and when they are, they are staggeringly expensive. The ones at Éclair, beautiful as they may be, are 6,000 a pop. I can bake about 12 for not much more. So it seemed churlish not to whip of a batch myself. I used the Silver Fox’s recipe as I figured I couldn’t go wrong, and do you know what I didn’t. My old recipe used more eggs, and I occasionally found they collapsed a bit after baking, so I’ll stick with Paul Hollywood’s from now on.

1898020_10152718237156142_6559813678536796116_n

Ingredients

Choux pastry (I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe):

65g strong white flour (sifted)

50g butter (diced)

120ml water

2 eggs

pinch of salt

Filling

300ml of Cream

2 tabelspoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

 Ganache 

200g of Chocolate

100ml of cream

 

1. The first step is to make the pastry, start by pouring the water, salt, and butter into a pot and heat it up. You don’t want it to boil at this stage, you only want the butter to melt. Once the butter has melted quickly bring the mixture to the boil. Once it starts to boil remove it from the heat and quickly add all the flour. Whisk this together for about a minute and it should form a kind of sticky dough. Put this back on a low heat for a minute or two, just to cook the dough a little bit, beating as you go. It should all come away from the sides and form a glossy ball of dough.

2. Transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl and leave aside to cool. Meanwhile in a separate bowl beat your two eggs. Once your dough has cooled a bit you can gradually beat in the eggs using an electric mixer (if you have one), or by hand. Keep beating it until your mixture gets to the correct consistency, you may not need all the egg. A tip I picked up from watching the bake off was that you should be left with a V shape of mixture hanging from your beaters when you remove them from the mixture.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Now your mixture is ready to go, prepare a flat baking tray. You can grease it with butter or put down a sheet of baking paper (I recommend the latter!). Put your mixture into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe out twelve 4 inch long lines a little bit apart. Depending on the size of your oven you may have to use two trays. Sprinkle a little bit of water on the trays around the pastry, taking care to avoid getting the pastry itself wet.

4. Put your eclairs into the oven for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes is done, reduce the temperature to 170 degrees and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Do not open the oven at this stage under any circumstances unless you want flat choux pastry! After this 10 minute period remove your eclairs from the oven and quickly poke a hole in the end of each one, to allow steam to escape. Then put them back into the oven to dry out the inside for another five minutes. Finally remove them from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. To make the filling, whip the cream, vanilla and sugar until thick, and set aside until the eclairs have cooled. Once the eclairs have cooled use a piping bag and a thin nozzle to pipe the filling inside the pastry. You may need to make the holes slightly bigger to do this. or if you don’t have a piping bag, make a slit in the side and fill them with cream.

6.  To make the ganache, melt the chocolate over a double broiler, then stir in the cream. It should be thick and glossy. You can then dip the eclairs in the ganache and allow them to set. But if you are anything like me, it will really test your willpower. Once the ganache has cooled, devour with gusto!

 

10670064_10152718236961142_1355541951769933123_n

 

Caramel Fig Cheesecake

10645228_10152705695281142_7169105005294656325_n

Fall is here and along with cooler weather, figs are in season (hurray)! I managed to score this huge box at my local market for a mere 15,000. That may seem like a lot, but it had 25 figs in it and you could easily share with a friend (but not me because I’m greedy and frown upon sharing).  I have been eating them in a variety of ways but wanted to showcase them in this delicious cheesecake recipe. I made the cheesecake even more fabulous by sweetening it with the  Caramel flavoured Berentzen liquor. It was a wining combination and one I plan to use again in the future, possibly in cocktail form!

1920539_716823495079335_7833362542189138777_n

Ingredients 

Base

200g of digestive biscuits

85g of butter

Filling 

200g cream cheese

250 ml cream

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of caramel liquor

100g icing sugar

3-4 fresh figs to decorate

 

Directions 

1. To make the base, crush the biscuits until they resemble fine bread crumbs. Then melt the butter over a low heat. Mix the two together, then press into the bottom of your tin and up the sides to form the base. Put in the fridge while you make the filling.

2. Soften the cream cheese with a fork, then beat together with the cream until it’s thick and lustrous. Finally stir in the caramel liquor, vanilla, and icing sugar and put the filling onto your base.

3. Slice the figs into quarters and place on top of the filling. Leave to set in the refrigerator for at least four hours, as hard as it may seem to wait your willpower shall be rewarded.

1904069_10152705695216142_850471608942267060_n

Coconut Milk

10649871_10152687533281142_5053796739343509858_n

Coconut milk is rich and creamy and one of those staples I always like to keep in the cupboard. It full of goodness and very versatile. But sadly in Korea it’s not as cheap and prevalent as one would like. Sure you can find it at big chain supermarkets, but not so much at the smaller Korean marts. It can also run to about 3,000 a can, which if you are using two doesn’t make a cheap dinner. Luckily though I recently discovered this little trick in which you can use shredded or dried unsweetened coconut to make your own milk, how cool is that? And you actually get a very good result. The shredded coconut works  great and is roughly around 7,000 for 700g on iHerb. This bag will make about 8 cans worth of milk, really lowering the price if you use it regularly. It’s quick and easy to make, and you can whip up a  batch whenever you are need, as the dried coconut stores well.

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened dried coconut

4 cups of water

Directions 

1. Heat the water until it’s just about to start boiling then turn off the heat.

2. Put the dried coconut and hot water into the blender.

3. Blend for five minutes until smooth. Be careful when doing this, if you have a cheap blender. Blend in pulses and let the cap off to release the steam periodically.

4. Strain the milk and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You will still have a thick paste of the coconut meat left after straining, you can use this in baking or smoothies, or just eat it by it’self as it’s filled with nutrients. Happy Milking!

10641239_10152687533766142_4762300434253528483_n10670209_10152687533716142_101086588526379405_n10649465_10152687533651142_856395483676640873_n10358561_10152687533211142_8261003485993945019_n

Aubergine Fries

10527769_10152687113651142_1381682783726980568_n

Aubergine fries, my latest food obsession, and by obsession I mean can’t stop thinking about them, complete and utter devotion. I have had them for dinner every night this week, which actually bodes well for me as aubergines are in season right now and so cheap they are practically giving them away. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at making baba ganoush now is the time, this week I got 6 for a mere 1,000 won. The reason these beauties are so good, is that they are crispy on the outside and soft and gooey in the middle while still retaining their shape. I had my qualms about making them at first, as I never thought they would hold up, but they do and they are delightful. Make them tonight and I promise you shan’t be disappointed. Fat Girl guaranteed! The other fab thing is that they are baked, not fried, so you can eat an entire pan full, without feeling the least bit shameful. Though you can of course deep fry them if you wish. I paired mine with a sweet chili mayonnaise I made but really any dip at all will do. I didn’t make my own mayonnaise as I was out of olive oil, and we also have a giant vat of mayonnaise that we got from Costco that needs using.

10628028_10152687113691142_1101653034620312045_n

Ingredients

Aubergine Fries 

4-5 aubergines (egg plants)

2 eggs

200g of panko crumbs (or your own breadcrumb mix)

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional, but more delicious)

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 tablespoon of of mixed herbs (your choice)

A pinch of salt and pepper

Sweet Chili Mayo 

6 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce

a pinch of chipotle chili powder

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions 

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the aubergines in half length ways, then in half again the opposite way. You can then cut these four pieces into quarters or sixths depending on their size. Spread them out on a tray lined with baking paper. Then sprinkle on the mixed herbs and bake for about 15 minutes. They should almost be cooked through, while still retaining their shape.

2. While the aubergines are cooking, beat your eggs in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, add the panko crumbs, paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and mix together.

3. When the aubergines are done, take them out of the oven, and dip first into the beaten egg then into the panko crumb mixture and set back on the baking tray. Repeat until they are all coated then then drizzle with a little olive oil and put them back into the oven for another 10 minutes. They are done when the are the crumbs are golden brown.

4. To make the sweet chili mayo mix all the ingredients together and serve with your lovely fries. Eat them, then go out and buy more aubergines cause they are amazeballs.

10685430_10152687113741142_5490730084409588814_n

Edamame Hummus

10649651_10152673292846142_2248766673331808102_n

My favourite bean is back in season and last week I picked up a giant bowlful for only 5,000. It was actually a giant bag full of the little blighters. Aside from boiling them and eating them as a healthy and delicious snack, you can also use them to make a cramazingly tasty hummus. Simple as anything you just boil the beans as usual then use them in place of the chick peas. I just made a regular version but you could also jazz it up by replacing the cumin with wasabi paste.  The beans I got were a different variety than usual, their skins were black and purple rather than the lustrous green we all know and love but still just as delicious. I served it up with my homemade chili chips. I’m obsessed with making homemade tortilla chips at the moment, as they are so much healthier, and if you get one of the big bags of wholemeal tortillas from Costco an absolute bargain.

1610815_10152673292911142_5862404886980280486_n

Ingredients 

500g of edamame (doesn’t need to be exact)

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of tahini (see my recipe here)

1 lemon (juiced)

1/2 a teaspoon of salt

1/2 a teaspoon of cumin

Olive oil and paprika for the top

10520791_10152673292606142_605877701889275360_n

Chili Chips

3-4 wheat tortillas

2-4 chilies (depending on how hot they are)

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 a teaspoon of chipotle

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

10665144_10152673365016142_2975947523549183279_n

Directions 

1. First boil your edamame beans for 5-25 minutes. This is rather vague as the green ones usually take about 5 minutes, whereas the black ones take much longer to become softer. So just keep trying them until they are firm but soft in the middle. Reserve the cooking liquid as you will need it for the hummus.

2. Once the beans are done, pop the beans out of the shells and into a blender, add a little of the water at a time, until you reach a thick hummus consistency. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt to taste then blend again. Hummus tastes are very personal, so just adapt it to your liking. If it’s still too thick add a little more water. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

3. To  make the chili chips, put all the ingredients except the tortillas into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a thick gloopy liquid and everything has been pulverized.

4. Preheat your oven up to full heat to around 210 degrees Celsius. Cut your tortillas into eighths then brush each one with the chili paste. Then place onto a large flat baking tray and cook in batches. It only takes a few minutes until they are golden brown and crunchy, so you really need to keep an eye on them  as a minute too long and they will be burnt to a crisp. Serve with your totes yummy edamame bean hummus. Yummy and healthy, what could be better? 

10336624_10152673372636142_6451181836804995520_n

Carrot Salad

IMG_2159

As part of my new, healthier lifestyle I am trying to embrace more produce in my life. Trying to keep things new and fresh isn’t always easy. When we make the same old things all the time, it’s easy to get bored with eating them. I also think far too often that we relegate great ingredients to fillers. I would rarely ever use carrots as a star ingredient but they are more than just a side dish. Here they take center stage in this glorious salad. The key here is slicing them with the vegetable peeler so they have a different texture. You can also use them this way as a substitute for pasta. dressed in this fabulous and tasty dressing, they really are lovely. We have had it twice this week alone. Any salty crumbly cheese will work here, but you could also skip it if you don’t have it.

IMG_2152

Ingredients

1-2 carrots

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 lemon (juiced)

2 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of sliced almonds

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon of salt

A handful of torn mint leaves

50g of feta cheese

 

Directions 

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel your carrots into lovely long ribbons. This will get a tad trickier as you approach the middle, but you should be able to do most of the carrot.

2. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and cilantro. the pour over the carrots and mix. You may not need all the dressing depending on how large your carrots are. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

3. When the carrots have marinated crumble in the feta, and sprinkle on the mint leaves and almonds. Give everything another tossing then serve. Voilà carrot salad.

IMG_2148