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Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:
6 sheets phyllo pastries
6 tablespoons butter, divided into 2 and 4 tablespoons
1/2 cup (40g) panko, Japanese breadcrumbs
1 & 1/2 pound chopped apples, 1/4-inch chunks
4 tablespoons sugar (52g) sugar
1 lemon, zest
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

  1. Defrost phyllo dough in the fridge overnight (note: must do it this in the fridge otherwise the phyllo sheets will stick to each other)
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat and toast panko in the butter until golden brown. The breadcrumbs should smell like brown butter.
  3. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters and get rid of the core. Cut the apples into 1/4-inch chunks.
  4. Mix the apples with sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt in a microwavable bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain the apples and reserve the liquid.
  6. Take out the phillo pastries and keep them under a plastic and a clean towel. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter and pre-heat the oven at 375 Fahrenheit,
  7. Lay a piece of parchment paper, 16” x 12”, on a counter, and then place a sheet of the phyllo pastry on it. Brush phillo pastry lightly with melted butter and dust confectioner’s sugar, about 1/4 teaspoons worth, on top. Repeat the process with 6 sheets of phillo pastry and stack them on top of each other. Wrap up the rest of the phillo pastries and seal tight. Keep them refrigerated or frozen.
  8. Leaving 2-inch space from the sides and the bottom edge of the phillo pastries, place half of the toasted breadcrumbs in a 3-inch strip across. Add 1/3 amount of the apples (use the rest of the apples for more strudels) to the top of the breadcrumbs.
Apple strudel filling
  1. Lift one side of the parchment paper (either left or right) and fold in the phillo pastries. Use your hands to seal the dough. Do the same from the other side.
  2. Lift the bottom edge of the parchment paper and fold the phillo pastries over, leaving only half the filling exposed. Brush the edges of the pastries with the reserved apple juice. Seal the strudel by folding the other side over the top. Brush the outside with apple juice until it looks shiny and dust the top with confectioner’s sugar.
Finishing touch for the strudel
  1. Bake the apple strudel on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper for 25 minutes. Turn it around midway. Rest the strudel for 5 minutes before cutting it.
Let the strudel rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting it
  1. Cut the strudel into 2 to 3 inches wide, don’t cut them too thin because the fillings will fall out. Enjoy the strudel with more dusted sugar or drizzles of honey. Bon apptité!
Apple Strudel
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Spiced Apple Bake

Spiced Apple Bake

Ingredients:
For Apple Fillings:
1.5 pound chopped apples, into 1-inch chunks
1 lemon, zested
1 lemon, juiced
1 + 1/4 cup (205g) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon, 135g) butter
2 tablespoons (13.5g) corn starch
3 tablespoons (45g) water
1/4 cup chopped dried apricot, 1/4-inch chunks
4 tablespoons shaved almonds

For the cake topping:
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 orange zested
shaved almonds

To Finish:
Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Pre-heat oven at 375F.
  2. To make the filling, mix chopped apples with lemon zest, lemon juice, dark brown sugar and set them aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter with ground cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
  3. Add the apples to the butter mixture and gently cook them until soft, about 10 minutes. Mix the corn starch with 3 tablespoons of water, and then add to the apples. Bring the pot to a simmer and cook until the fillings are thick and saucy. Add the chopped apricot to finish.

    Apple Bake Filling
  4. To make the cake topping, add all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and butter into a food processor. Blend until it forms a breadcrumb consistency. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour until it forms pebbles. Mix in orange zest.
  5. Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla extract and combine with the flour mixture. A pancake batter consistency should form.

    Cake Batter
  6. Using a ramekin or any casserole, place the apple filings at the bottom, and then top off the fillings with the cake batter, about 1/2-in thick. Sprinkle the top with shaved almonds.

    Assembling the Spiced Apple Bake
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Dust the spiced apple bake with confectioner’s sugar and place the ice cream right on the top. Bon appétit!

    Spiced Apple Cake
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Recipes

Snacks: Garlic Twirls

Garlic Twirl Dough
500 grams bread flour
325 grams water
3 grams yeast
37 grams EVOO
11 grams salt

Garlic Fillings
15 grams (or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons) chopped garlic
60 grams (or 1 cup) chopped parsley
30 grams (or 1 cup) grated Parmesan
60 grams (or 6 tablespoons) EVOO

Directions:

  1. Heat 50-gram of water to 90F~95F (lukewarm temperature) and dissolve the yeast in it. Set it aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour with the salt (the dry goods) and the rest of the water with EVOO (the wet goods). Keep the wet-goods and dry-goods separately.
  2. When the 5 minutes are up, add the yeast mixture and the wet-goods to the dry-goods in a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients into a dough with a bare hand or a wooden spoon. The dough will be wet and sticky. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, stretch the dough from the sides and fold it over to the top. Do the stretch-n-fold step a few times and flip the dough over, with the folds facing down. The dough should be smooth at this point. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and set it aside for 2 hours or until it doubles in size. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings. Mix chopped garlic, chopped parsley, and EVOO together. Keep the grated Parmesan separately.
  5. Once the dough doubles in size, portion it into 9 oz. and then shape them into balls (the result is 3 pieces of 9 oz. and 1 piece of 3 oz.). You could refrigerate the dough overnight, which will enhance the flavor, or let the dough proof for another hour or so until it doubles in size.
  6. If using a refrigerated dough, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to a room temperature, above 68F. Roll the 9-oz. dough out to 1/8-inch thick rectangle, about 15-inch in length.
  7. Add the garlic mixture first and spread it around evenly on the dough and leave 1/2-inch space from the sides. Add the grated Parmesan on the top.
  8. Start from the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the dough into a big cigar. Cut the cigar into 1-inch segments. Flip the segments over to reveal the cross-section and then let them rest for another 30 minutes until it doubles in size. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 425F.

  1. After 30 minutes of rest, drizzle extra EVOO on top of each garlic twirls and sprinkle a pinch of grated Parmesan on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Serve garlic wheels warms with marinara sauce.

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Blog

Weekly Podcast: The David Chang Show with Corey Lee

David Chang interviewed Corey Lee, chef at Benu, in one of the latest podcast episodes. Corey recently debuted his much-anticipated Korean restaurant with take-out concept only. David and Corey talked about the meaning of the job as a chef, David Chang’s new memoir, Eat a Peach, and the future of the restaurant world.

The podcast started with a discussion on artistry and craftsmanship. In order to hone in on artistry and craftsmanship in cooking, chefs go through years of training. Artistry and craftsmanship existed in two extremities in David’s perspective when he was a young cook; chefs are craftsmen who perform with consistency. Nevertheless, David’s bridged the two concepts through learning different cultures and foods, in which he sees cooking and feeding others could be done artfully with a chef’s own interpretation.

With the rise of celebrity chefs and the culinary profession, Chef Corey associates the boom in the restaurant industry as a bubble to burst imminently; restaurants have been opening at an exponential rate without much of thought in its economics; too many people are opening restaurants, which drives up the demand for quality cooks, yet the supply is not enough to support the industry as a whole, due to the constant struggles to give fair wages and benefits.

The expansion of culinary industry brings a new set of rules to the professionals. David and Corey debate on the “rule 17” written at the end of Chef David’s memoir, in a chapter called “33 rules for becoming a chef”. “Rule 17” is, don’t edit it in your head, which is his enouragement for chefs to stay curious and hands-on; results are shown from experiments and not hypothesis.

Last but not least, the conversation turns its attention to changes in our industry “post-pandemic”. David, Corey, and Chris (another guest on the podcast) discuss whether a “brigade system”, which was developed by Escoffier. still has its place in the future. There is no clear answer to its potential demise or permanence. The Brigade system’s worked because of its clear definition of hierarchy practiced in a highly stressful environment, yet, developed the controversy on its contribution to toxicity at workplace.

I highly recommend this thought-provoking, yet lighthearted, conversation on restaurants and chefs. The silver lining of the pandemic could be its power to open honest conversations on struggles and solutions. Chefs are courageous, resourceful, and perseverant. While COVID-19 has decimated the restaurant industry, I remain hopeful that what forced us out will get us back in with new attitude and perspective.

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Blog

Weekly Podcast: Kevin Hart Interview, by Tim Ferriss

Kevin Hart’s interview is inspiring. Kevin challenges us to get rid of negativities and live with an intention; this interview gives an informative resource to stay mentally fit and continuously live a joyful life. 

I have 5 highlights from this interview. (I will also give you the time slot on the podcast so you could skip around and find the segment that resonate with me the most)

18:50, goes on for about 3 minutes
We are very much aware of own effort in everything we do.

Kevin was apathetic toward academic when he was young and he felt left out when his friends went to colleges. After being left out, Kevin cultivated a strong work ethic, which comprises of a healthy dose of self-critique and discipline.

27:00, and goes on for about 6 minutes
Seize opportunities and make long-term investment in yourself

Kevin’s goal was to become an international comedian; a goal that took years of doing low budget production shows, networking, and doing the grunt work. Kevin shows patience and stamina in investing in his career, which pays off eventually.

34:30, and goes for about 1 minute
Many successful people, ones who have done well for themselves in my definition, have rigid morning routines.

Kevin works out in the morning. Taking care of his health is his commitment to being the best version of himself everyday.

38:23, and goes on for about 4 minutes
In times of uncertainties, informative and useful contents are invaluable; they provide confidence in decision making.

Kevin pushed up his latest audiobook release, The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success, because he believes that his book could lend some wisdom during the current climate. Kevin’s book is about his trade secret in staying mentally fit and away from negativities or bulls*t (in his own word).

46:31, and goes on for about 2 minutes
Humans are attracted to negative news; we feed off the arousal from seeing the bad news and then get manipulated by the social media, which lead to making bad decisions (someone understood the power of social media and used that tactic to win the 2016 presidential election).

Kevin asks a thought-provoking question – why do we rather choose to read about a wife cutting off her husband’s genital than a brave man saving a child, if these two hypothetical stories were posted side by side? (I’d be guilty of choosing to read about the bad ones without a doubt).

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Blog Recipes

Weekly Podcast: Nick Kokonas Interview, by Tim Ferriss

After spending nearly 6 months wfh, the timeline of events has become a blur. I listened to a podcast on an interview with Nick Kokonas, one of the founders at The Alinea Group. Nick has some interesting perspective and solutions on overcoming difficulties in keeping a restaurant open in the midst of the pandemic, and also on what tactics to avoid (or to reconsider).

I have 5 highlights from this interview. (I will also give you the time slot on the podcast so you could skip around and find the segment that resonate with me the most)

8th minute and 55 seconds, and goes on for 25 minutes
Right off the bat, Nick introduces the concept of “asymmetry bets or risks” to frame the conversation around surviving the pandemic while running a business. Asymmetric bets could either give you high returns in investment or wipe your investment to zero.

In the example of hospitality, an asymmetry risk is the possibility of having zero customers, which none of us would have never imagined (except on a slow night, maybe), until the pandemic hit.

The concept of “asymmetry bets or risks” is fascinating because many of us are often willing to take an asymmetric bet and hope for the high return, while neglecting the high risks that are involved with the bets.

The first 25 minutes is about how Nick had tried to re-assess the asymmetric risk of running a restaurant business and tried to anticipate the worst if the pandemic reaches Chicago, where most of his restaurants are based.

26th minute and 35 seconds, and goes on for about 7 minutes
In the event of a crisis, leadership shapes the culture, by either reinforcing the original beliefs or reshaping the group mentality. Nick shows great leadership by putting his employees’ personal and job security first. Nick was also adamant about firing people who were not on the same page to protect the company.

One may argue that the act was unfair, yet, he and his ownership team sacrificed their pay to ensure the entire staff was getting its final pay and the added benefit of $1000 heading into the pandemic. Nick’s conviction in doing the right thing shows great leadership when many people were cynical or felt uncertain.

46th minute, and goes on for about 3 minutes
The Alinea Group https://www.thealineagroup.com/ immediately pivoted their business to no-contact takeout. The restaurant group was one of the first to change their business model to stay ahead of the crisis. The Alinea Group’s ability to switch on demand is worthy of notice; the hospitality industry as a whole needs to stay flexible during the uncertainties.

1 hour 9th minutes, goes on for about 1 minute
Our current commercial real estate business has been doing poorly in conjunction with restaurants shutting down. Young or aspiring chefs will have the opportunity to rent commercial spaces for cheap in the future, which brings hope to the restaurant community where it’s in the re-set mode while waiting for a vaccine.

1 hour 10th minute, and goes on for about 5 minutes
Couple of interesting perspectives on bad tactics in surviving the pandemic for restaurants. And the way to survive the current climate is to plan ahead.

  • Selling/buying gift certificates is not the most ideal solution to help a restaurant stay afloat. Gift certificates are liabilities to the restaurants. Given the current climate, the money generated by the gift certificates will be used right away; therefore, the x-amount of gift certificate could potentially be the “free meal” that the restaurant can’t afford to make for your in the future.
  • Suing an insurance company for business interruption insurance is a long process. I am not familiar with this subject, and am going to trust that the “long process” is not favorable to any business.

 

 

 

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Blog

Weekly Podcast: Jimmy Chin, the athlete who cheats death, by Tim Ferriss

Jimmy Chin might be the best athlete in the world that we have never heard of; he’s climbed to the top of Mount Everest and then skied down the entire way. Jimmy had attempted Shark Fin’s route twice in climbing Meru Peak, in which he failed the first time due to a severe weather condition, and then followed by a second trip where he and two other climbers had become the first to succeed at reaching the top, while filming the trip.

Meru is a documentary about the breathtaking (literally and figuratively) experience of climbing Meru Peak by taking the Shark’s Fin route. I find Jimmy’s story inspirational because he’s founded a career in climbing, photography, and film making by living through the process of learning those skills from scratch.

I have 5 highlights from this interview. (I will also give you the time slot on the podcast so you could skip around and find the segment that resonate with me the most)

12:14, and goes on for about 2 and half minutes
A passion is only practical if you could do the work and learn the craft, and support yourself with the earnings from selling it.

Jimmy is asked to choose and keep one of his three professions, climbing, photography, or film making, he’d choose to keep climbing because extreme sports inspire him to do the other work. Extreme sports are Jimmy’s passion, and his creative process in photography and film making is rooted in his exposure to nature.

28:00, and goes on for about 2 minutes
Alleviate the perceived fear in climbing by teaching the safety system and practice it often

Jimmy tells about his approach in teaching a beginner to climb. Jimmy would have his student start with bouldering to get familiar with the movement and techniques, and then follow by teaching the student on manuevering the ropes. Fear in climbing is often rooted in perceived risks, and if the beginner were able to learn the basics and safety early, then he or she’d be better at managing the fear.

59:16, and goes on for 2 minutes
When face with obstacles, draw from experiences and temper expectations, and focus on the tasks on hand.

In the film Meru, there is a sequence of climbing that is called House of Cards; Jimmy had to climb a section of the mountain with extreme care because any uneven distribution of his weight could cause the rocks to peel off and take the entire expedition team down the mountain. With such difficult task on hand, experiences and rational decision making are critical in staying alive.

1:04:54, and goes on for about 5 minutes
Mountain climbing and reading are beneficial in acquiring new skills and stimulating growth

Mountain climbing involves teamwork and organizational skills, and also promotes self-discovery. Reading, not exclusively to books, leads to creativity, and ultimately leads to better output at work.

1:18:58, and goes on for about 2 minutes
Giving advice to a 30-yr old self: think of the long game, and chill out. Accept the ups and downs of the life

The interview was conducted when Jimmy was about 40-year old. When asked about giving some advice to a 30-year old self, Jimmy says that he’d tell the younger self to “play the long game” and enjoy living through the ups and downs. His own advice resonates with me because I share a similar sentiment of slowing down on life and enjoying it for its highs and lows, and also to cherish the privilege of eating good food and reading great books.

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Weekly Podcast: Michael Lewis – The Seven Minute Rule

The inability to pay off the student loan is a frightening truth in America; Americans are duped to believe that our government has the best interest in helping us get the finest education by lending us the money, yet it has rarely shown any interests in relieving our burden.

Federal government passes off the menial student loan management to private companies where they’d receive portions of fees in managing debt. However, student loan servicers often give the wrong information, process payments incorrectly, and fail to act when consumers file complaints. The above negligence has led to tens of thousands of Americans struggle to come out of their debts, which amounts to both emotional and physical pain.

In this podcast episode from “Against the Rules”, Michael Lewis explores the corruption in the consumer financial industry, where middle-class Americans are often the victim to the greed and apathy of capitalism.

My 5-takeaways are below, which resonates with me the most from personally being in debt with student loans and credit cards for a decade. (I also jotted down the approximated time slot in the podcast to help you skip around and listen to the juicy parts of the episode)

  • 9th minute, and goes on for about 30 seconds

There are 44 million Americans who owe about 1.5 trillion in student debt (about 75% of the CARES act that the Congress had approved to help the Americans during COVID). More than 4 million Americans are already in default, with more people going broke sooner or later.

  • 13th minute 43 seconds, and goes on for about 3 minutes and 30 seconds

In 2007, Congress passed Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, in which any public servants could have their student loans forgiven after serving 10 years in a qualified field and make 120 payments on time. However, loan servicers, such as Navient (the biggest in the U.S.), often gave the wrong information, processed the payments incorrectly, and failed to act when borrowers complained about loan problems, which prevent our public servants from getting out of their debt. 

  • 18th minute, and goes on for about 4 minutes

There is a “7-minute rule” that whenever anyone calls Navient, the agent on the opposite end of the phone will end the call within 7 minutes without giving the customer a solution. The agents from Navient are also trained to not help customers apply for loan forgiveness. Government pays Navient a fee to help it manage federal loans, and the more clients (which are ordinary citizens) that Navient has, the more fee they’d collect; therefore, Navient has no incentive to help Americans, and yet tries to bury them with interests for as long as possible. 

  • 28th minute 10 seconds, and goes on for 3 minutes

Not only have the students been exploited by our financial institutions, but military members oversea have also been tormented by the wrongdoings of big banks. Service Member Civil Relief Act that has been around since the Civil War forbids banks to foreclose homes owned by military members. However, financial institutions would bet on the troops not knowing the law and foreclose their houses while they are serving abroad.

  • 36th minute, until the end of the podcast, about 10 to 12 more minutes 

The last part of the podcast revisits the subject on the student loans; a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau staff had predicted the catastrophic outcome due to the incompetence and negligence of our government and loan servicers, yet, our current administration further denies American access to loan forgiveness and buries evidence on the wrongdoings by loan servicers.

 

 

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My Rules…a Continuing Effort to Be Better

Thailand 2017, by Reggie Soang

I used to think the career of a chef is simple and straight forward; you work your way up the rank and you become a chef, and then you’d enjoy the perks that come along with the hard work, the end. However, the road to becoming a chef is rather winding and surprisingly, without a summit. Being a chef does not conclude my journey, but rather just another pit stop off a long, exhausting, and yet rewarding climb in my pursuit to eat and cook good food. And at some point, being a chef and earning a title is no longer that important, and engaging in the work inside of the food industry becomes my sole motivation to wake up everyday and do it repeatedly.

Over the years, I had many lows. I had debts and I drank, and I hated the vicious cycle of waking up hungover and going to work, and doing it again, though at times that the camaraderie was worth it. I started on the recovering journey when I realized that what I wanted did not exist and never will. “Making it as a chef” is as abstract as “being successful”, at what point does my success complement the role I embody when I take off my chef jacket? To me, the greatest chefs are the ones who take an interest in other subjects, who are family-oriented, and who devote their time to teaching and mentoring. Being a chef embodies the role of a counselor, an entrepreneur, an innovator, and a great parent.

I am a patient of my own after seeing the worst of myself through job losses and breakups. I grip onto the faith that my continuous effort to be the best version of myself will lead me to a more joyful life. To achieve honesty, integrity, and accountability, I continuously write rules for myself in order to steer me towards a more pragmatic path. I’d like to share my rules here.

  1. Life is not easy and fair, and don’t try to make it so.
    • I knowledge my privilege and therefore will not play the victim card in any circumstances. The secret is…I had played the victim card quietly in my own world for some time and it’s only hindered my progression to be a better friend, a more thoughtful partner, and a more understanding chef. I will not allow myself to do it again.
  2. Do not be surprised by the absurdity of this world
    • Humans are capable of loving and hating; don’t let others surprise me with their effort to bring me down. Use their negativity to learn about compassion and develop a growth mindset. On the other hand, believe that others are capable of loving me as I am capable of loving them.
  3. Happiness is the byproduct of my hard work. If I don’t work hard, I don’t deserve to be happy. Nevertheless, I can be joyful and content with my life during the process.
    • I find happiness after winning a pick-up basketball game. I find happiness after cooking a delicious meal for my friends and anonymous guests in the restaurants. These happiness are the byproduct of my consistent practice and training. To achieve any of these happiness, I first have to find joy doing the work, and be content with my total effort, even if I fail.
  4. Turn the page
    • I am the author of the book on my life. Own up to my mistakes, make amends, and then turn the page and start over, but never forget.
  5. 10,000-hour mastery only gets you a better job, not the best job
    • Everybody can cut or dice an onion, what makes my onions better than his or hers? The best job does not need the “perfect diced” onions, but the finest onions for the job.
  6. Dissect opportunities through gratitude because chances are…I was lucky.
    • None of the jobs I have ever had was because I deserved it. No one is entitled to a job regardless of his or her experiences or background. Opportunities show up because life is a lot like luck. Be consistent, and keep doing what I am doing, let luck takes its course and grab onto the opportunities.
  7. Give my obstacles credit
    • Obstacles and fears push me to be creative and to overcome challenges. I have been defeated by fears and overwhelmed by obstacles, and I have had many bad days. I have also learned that obstacles and fears don’t sympathize with my circumstances, my pride and ego will only feed my own denial, and it’s only my acquired humility and growth mindset that will help me navigate through my time on this planet.
  8. Time is the most expensive currency
    • There are two items in my world that I won’t get back: the death of my loved ones and time. Death and time work hand in hand. Life is short…but how short? Time is precious…but how precious? I don’t have the answers and time does not wait for me to figure that out.
  9. My role is to support
    • One of the best ways to lead is to support. Being in a supportive role, I could empathize with the pain, create a joyful environment, and live with no regret. The most dreadful thought is to have lived but not have lived to be the best and kindest.
  10. Constantly define and refine the concept of success for myself
    • Currently, being a great support, being content with myself, living with intention, and looking after my health are on my scorecard for being successful. I have to feed each category with a healthy dose of attention to achieve my own success.

I practice these rules everyday. Through my own practice, I’ve become more confident and assured of myself. I embrace uncertainties, and these rules guide me through the noises and bring out the best version of myself even on a bad day.

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Recipes

NYC Community Supported Agriculture: Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Anchovies

Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Anchovies, by Reggie Soang (click on the image for the YouTube video)

Caesar salad is simple and delicious. The perfect Caesar dressing is tangy, salty, and bright. The tanginess comes from the vinegar, the saltiness comes from the anchovies and Parmesan, and the brightness comes from the fresh lemon juice. Caesar salad is a salad in its simplest form: fresh romaine lettuce and crispy croutons. When the lettuce and croutons are covered in the perfect dressing, this salad is brilliant and delightful!

For the latest Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Caesar Salad with Whole Wheat Sourdough Croutons and Anchovies
Serves: Enough croutons and dressing for 6 to 8 salads

Ingredients:
For the Croutons
2 cups torn sourdough bread, into bite-size
2 tablespoons EVOO
Pinch of Salt

For the Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Champaign vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves fresh garlic
7 anchovies fillet
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

To complete:
1 head Romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon EVOO

  1. To make the croutons, tear up the sourdough (or the bread you choose to use) into bite-size and let the bread sit on the counter and dry out for an hour
  2. Meanwhile, wash the Romaine lettuce and dry the leaves. Set them aside in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Next, make the dressing by first grate the garlic onto the chopping board. Add the anchovies to the garlic and chop them together until forming a paste.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, dijon mustard, Champaign vinegar, water, and ground black pepper.
  5. Add the garlic-anchovy paste and grated Parmesan, and stir to combine.
  6. When the sourdough croutons are nice and dry on the surface, toss them in olive oil and salt, and then toast them in a skillet on medium heat until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before using them in the salad.
  7. To make the salad, dress the lettuce with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and Caesar dressing, and then rub the dressing into each leaf to make sure it is distributed evenly. Add the croutons and toss them with the lettuce and the dressing.
  8. To plate, place the bigger leaves at the bottom of the plate, and then add the croutons. Repeat by layering the lettuce and the croutons, and place the smaller leaves towards the top. Add more grated Parmesan and anchovies fillets around the salad, and drizzle a little more olive oil to finish. Bon appétit!