Monday, January 19, 2015

Tomato Tart

4 large firm and ripen tomatoes, sliced thinly, and dried with paper towel
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 pie crust
a few basil leaves, sliced thinly (optional)
fresh thyme, chopped thinly
1 tbsp. mustard
sea salt and pepper for seasoning
tart pan with removable bottom
some melted butter
some olive oil
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush melted butter on bottom and sides of tart pan.
2) Gently place the pie crust on over fluted tart pan and press the dough to the bottom. Trim off the excess dough from the sides of the pan with a knife. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork to make a few holes.
3) Spread mustard over the bottom and sides of crust; and sprinkle some cheese, and basil (if used), and thyme. Next, place sliced tomatoes on top, in overlapping circles. Season top with salt, pepper and leftover basil or thyme. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Lastly, cover the top with a generous layers of cheese.
4) Place in oven and baked for about 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the crust has pulls away from the pan. Remove and cool before serving.
Tips: I find the crust to be slightly soggy, due to the excess juices from tomatoes. You could pre-bake the crust before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Ingredients; (adapted from
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (for less sweet)
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour (and some extra for dusting)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Andes Creme de Menthe chips
1/2 tsp. mint extract
a few drops of green food coloring
1. Cream butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and vanilla, combine to mix.
2. In a bowl, sift 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt together. Gently add to the egg mixture and beat to combined.
3. Divide mixture into thirds, keeping 1.3 in the mixing bowl. In this, add mint extract, and green food coloring and extra flour to mix into a smooth dough. Form the dough into a flat rectangle and wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Place the rest of the 2/3 dough into the bowl, add cocoa powder and mint chips. Mix well to combine and wrap dough with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. On a floured piece of wax paper, roll the chocolate dough into a flat rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Do the same with the green dough and place over the chocolate dough. Press gently to stick both pieces together. Roll into a log and press down on the end to seal, pinching any cracks together. Wrap the log in wax paper and refrigerate for another 30-45 minutes before baking.
6. 5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Unwrap dough and slice into 1/3-1/4 inch pieces. Place pieces 2 inch apart on baking trays and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool on trays after removing from oven, before transferring to cooling trays.

Persimmon Cookies

Ingredients: (adapted from
1/2 cup butter, soften
3/4 cup sugar (for less sweet)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup ripe persimmon pulp
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground clove
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachio, cashew, of your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, followed by the fruit pulp and baking soda. Mix to combine.
3. In another large bowl, add and mix the following: flour, salt, ground spices. Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir in the nuts and raisin (if used).
4. Cover and chill dough for about 30 minutes.
5. Using two teaspoon, drop a spoonful of dough into baking tray, spacing each cookie 2 inch apart. Bake between 15-18 minutes until mixture set or light golden color. Remove and cool completely before serving.


Ingredients (adapted from
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, soften
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar ( I used 1/2 for less sweet)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. anise extract
1 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground cardamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
confectioner sugar for dusting
1. In a heavy saucepan, add the following: molasses, shortening, and butter over medium-low heat. Stir gently until mixture is creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. When cool, stir in the beaten eggs to the mixture.
2. Into a large bowl, add the following: flour, white and brown sugars, all the ground spices, salt baking soda. Add the cooled molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combines into a dough. Cover and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pinch a small amount of the dough and roll into small sized balls. Arrange on baking sheet, spacing an inch apart.
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove to rack to cool. When completely cool, dust cookies with confectioner's sugar.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Korean Stuffed Chicken with Fresh Ginseng Soup (SamGyeTang)

1 Cornish game hen (thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup sweet rice (washed, soaked overnight)
2 fresh ginseng roots
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
8-10 Chinese red dates (jujube), seeds removed (soaked to soften)
1 stalk of fresh spring onion, cut into short lengths
a small handful of wolfberries (optional)

1. Clean and rinse the inside and remove innards from chicken. Trim off excess fat and tail (bishop's nose)
2. Drained water from sweet rice, and red dates.
3. Stuff the inside of chicken with half of the following: sweet rice, garlic, ginseng roots, spring onions, and wolf berries (if used).
4. Make a slit in one of the leg and push the other leg into the opening to close. The other option is to use skewers or toothpicks to close up the opening.
5. In a large saucepan, place the stuffed chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Pour enough water to cover the chicken.
6. Bring to a boil on high and let it cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Skim off excess scum from the top. Lower the heat to low and simmer for another 1.50 hours, or until you see the meat is cooked through.
7. Season to taste with salt, and serve warm.
Tips: You can cook this soup in a slow cooker (crockpot). I left this to cook overnight on low and have it ready the next morning.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Steamed Chicken in Scallion and Wine

1 organic chicken, head and feet removed
2 bunches of scallions, washed and drained
2 pips garlic, sliced in halves
1 large piece of ginger, skin removed and pounded finely
1 cup Chinese rice wine (good quality)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. light soy sauce
Rice cooker, preferably a large one that cooks for 10 persons

  1. Wash chicken and pat dry. Mix salt, pepper and soy sauce in a bowl. Rub this mixture generously inside and outside the chicken. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Place a bunch of cleaned scallions and garlic into the bottom of the rice cooker. Remove the plastic wrap from the chicken and place it over the scallions/garlic. Pour wine over the chicken, close the lid and power up the rice cooker. (Most rice cooker has two settings, you don't need to watch the cooking process)
  3. Thinly sliced one bunch of scallions, put into a deep medium bowl. Add the ginger and a pinch of salt. 
  4. Heat oil in a small saucepan until sizzling hot. Remove from heat and pour this into the scallion/ginger mixture (Be careful not to scald yourself. I put a chopping board in front of me so that it doesn't splash)
  5. The chicken is cooked when the rice cooker is on the "keep warm" setting. Remove the chicken when it is cool enough to handle. Cut into serving sizes and serve warm with scallion/ginger sauce over rice.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Osmanthus Blossoms Jelly/Guì Huā Gāo (桂花糕)

1 package Konnyaku jelly powder (use regular gelatin or agar-agar)
1½ cups water
4-6 presoaked wolfberries (optional)
2 Tbsp. dried Osmanthus
Jelly molds
1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of water and sugar (if used) to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Remove from stove and add dried blossoms. Give it a good stir and cover saucepan to allow the blossoms to infuse for 10-15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve the Konnyaku jelly powder completely with the rest of the water. Pour in the cooled infused liquid and stir well to mix.
3. Drop into each jelly mold a piece of wolfberries (if using) and fill molds with jelly mixture. Leave aside to cool, and then chill jellies in the refrigerator. To serve, simply unmold and serve.
Note: If using other jelly powder or gelatin, follow instructions on package. Adjust water and sugar to your taste.