Categories
Recipes

Pizza!

(Pizza, with Habanero Peppers, and Kale Pesto, by Reggie Soang)

We worked hard over the weekend cooking! We’ve made tomato sauce, kale pesto, and learned how to bake…now let’s put it all together!

For the latest COVID – 19 Home Cooking Series, I present you:

Pizza

Ingredients:
For the Pizza Dough
500g AP Flour
10g Salt
5g Yeast
2 Tablespoon EVOO
350g water
More EVOO for Greasing the Baking Pan

For the Toppings:
Shredded Mozzarella, as much as you like to put on
2 pcs Habanero Peppers ( or Scotch Bonnet), thinly sliced
1 Cups/8 oz. Tomato Sauce
Kale Pesto, as much as you like to put on

*Give yourself at least 4 to 6 hours for the dough to proof.

  1. Mix AP Flour, salt, and yeast. Add Water and 2 Tablespoon EVOO to the dry goods. Mix to combine. You don’t have to knead the dough at all! Just leave it on the counter at room temp, and then it will proof nicely.
  2. After 4 to 6 hours, turn your oven to 450F.
  3. Grease up your baking vessel with generous amount of EVOO to cover. The oil will help creating a crust.
  4. Once the dough is proofed, gently fold it over few times to smooth out surface. Lay the dough into the baking pan (deep dish cast iron, or any dish that conducts and holds the heat well) and let rest for another 45 minutes.
  5. Use your fingers (WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST) to stretch the dough to the edge, and then add your toppings.
  6. I started with tomato sauce, and then followed by adding cheese, and sprinkled on thinly sliced habanero peppers.
  7. Bake your pizza in the oven for 20 minutes at 450F oven. Let rest and cut into slices.
  8. Spoon on some of the kale pesto that we made over the weekend…Bon Appetit!
Categories
Recipes

Buttermilk Pancakes

(Buttermilk Pancake, by Reggie Soang)

This is the recipe I use to feed my staff at work. We love this recipe and it works every time!

For the latest COVID – 19 Home Cooking Series, I present you :

Buttermilk Pancake

Ingredients:
2 Cup (275g) AP Flour
2 teaspoon (6g) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (4.5g) Baking Soda
1 teaspoon (4g) Salt
4 Tablespoon (50g) Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Cups (410g) Buttermilk
2 Tablespoon Butter, Melted
More butter for cooking!

  1. Add the dried ingredients together
  2. Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a separate bowl. Slowly drizzle in butter and whisk to combine
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Let rest for 15 minutes, and the lumps will start to disappear.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet at medium high heat and melt some butter.
  5. Ladle your batter into skillet and cook the first side until you see the bubbles on top are set. Gently flip pancake over to the other side and cook until it feels a little bouncy when you press the middle.
  6. Do this for rest of the batter. To keep pancakes warm, cover pancakes with paper towel and leave them in the oven on the lowest setting (usually 200F).
    When pancakes are ready…sky is the limit on how you serve it! Bon Appetit!
Categories
Blog Recipes

Poached Eggs and English Muffins


(Poached Eggs, English Muffins, Taylor Ham, Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Kale Pesto, by Reggie Soang)

A simple brunch egg dish to start off your weekend right!

For the latest on COVID – 19 Home Cooking Series, I present you:

Poached Eggs and English Muffins, w/ Spicy Tomato Sauce and Kale Pesto

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce:
1 Can (28 oz.) Canned Tomatoes
(You’d be able to use this sauce for other meals)
1/2 of a medium size onions, diced
12 Cloves fresh garlic
Salt, to Taste
1 Tablespoon of dried chili (personal heat preference)
1/2 Cup EVOO

Kale Pesto:
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
2 cloves Fresh Garlic
1 Cup EVOO
7g Salt, just less than 1 Tablespoon
1 Bunch of Kale
1 & 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan

1 English muffins, split in 2, buttered
2 pcs Taylor Ham
2 Eggs
White Vinegar

  1. In a medium pot, gently cook your onions and garlic with olive oil until soft. Add canned tomatoes and simmer until thickens (this could be done well ahead, or just use any red pasta sauce you have on hand)
  2. To make Kale Pesto, use a food processor to blitz pine nuts and garlic first until fine, add kale and pulse until the greens have been finely chopped. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the food processor with motor running. Adjust the amount of oil for consistency.
  3. Add grated parmesan and salt for seasoning.
  4. To cook taylor ham, use a non-stick skillet and turn the heat up to medium. Slash few cuts around the ham to help cook evenly. Cook taylor ham until crispy on the edge. Remove and set them on paper towel to drain off excess fat.
  5. Maintain the heat at medium, put the buttered side of English muffin down in the skillet and toast until fragrant and browned.
  6. To poach your eggs, maintain your pot of water at simmer (in between 80 to 90 Celsius if you have a thermometer). Add a splash of vinegar to help egg whites coagulate. Use a whisk to create a gentle tornado in the center of the water and drop your eggs in. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
  7. To check doneness of poached eggs, gently poke around the edge of the yolks; if the whites are little bouncy, then the eggs are done. (3 to 3 minutes and 15 seconds cooking time is usually my sweet spot)
  8. To Serve, put Taylor hams on toasts, scoop some tomato sauce onto hams, and put the eggs on top. Spoon some kale pesto onto eggs and sprinkle some black pepper if you’d like. Drizzle some olive oil around, and voila. Bon Appetit!
Categories
Blog Recipes

Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake…Saving AP Flour for Pancakes

(Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake, Pomegranate, White Chocolate Ice Cream, and Brown Butter Solids, by Reggie Soang)

I need my chocolate…and to prolong my indulgence in Chocolate, I made it into a cake without flour, how about that gluten free diet? This one is for you!

For the latest on COVID – 19 Home Cooking Series, I present you:

Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves your family

Ingredients:
170g (1 & 1/2 Stick) Unsalted Butter
170g Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
220g (1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons) Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
4 Eggs
2 Yolks (save the whites for Macarons!)
55g (1/2 cup)Cocoa Powder

  1. Preheat your oven at 350F and get out your 10-inch cake pan. (You could absolutely use other baking pan, mine was 13″ by 9″, so I doubled the recipe)
  2. Butter your baking pan, and lay a piece of parchment paper on it. Butter and flour your parchment paper.
  3. Set up a double boiler, and melt chocolate and butter in it. Whisk to combine.
  4. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, add sugar and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Take it off the heat.
  5. Combine your eggs and whisk. Now…carefully adding 1 ladle at a time (about 2 oz.) of warm chocolate to your eggs and whisk to combine. Do this few times until your eggs are lukewarm. You will use about half of the chocolate mixture. We call this technique TEMPERING, which is to bring up the temperature of the eggs so they won’t scramble when combined with hotter liquid.
  6. Once your eggs are warmed up, add them back to the chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine.
  7. Sift cocoa powder into the chocolate and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
  8. Pour your batter into the cake pan and place your cake inside a water bath. To set up a water bath, use a pan large enough to fit your cake pan and pour hot water until water level reaches half way to the cake pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, and check for doneness.
  9. To check for doneness, insert a skewer. You should hear a crack at the surface, and there will be some chocolate clinging to your skewer…THIS IS NOT THE USUAL CLEAN-SKEWER TEST.
  10. Let cool, and use your knife to run around the pan to release the cake. Put a tray that is big enough to cover the cake pan and flip the cake over. Do this again with a cutting board. Now you are ready to slice.
  11. Run your knife under hot water to help you slice through the fudge-like flourless chocolate cake.
  12. Now…sky is the limit on how you’d like to serve it!
Categories
Recipes

Puttanesca…because I Have Olives

(Puttanesca w/ Shaved Broccoli, Kale, and Boquerones, by Reggie Soang)

Isn’t there an “olive theory” going on in romance? Well…let’s put that to rest…make puttanesca with it. Just kidding…but for real, olives and anchovies, sounds like a winner!

For the latest on COVID – 19 Homecooking Series, I present you:

Puttanesaca with Shave Broccoli, Kale, and Boquerones
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
200 g AP Flour ( about 1 and 1/2 Cup)
* You could absolutely use dried pasta. As matter of fact, the more traditional dish is made with spaghetti. 
2 Eggs
1/8 Cup EVOO
10 pcs Fresh Garlic Cloves
1 can Anchovies (comes in 2 oz. usually)
1 can (14 oz) Tomato Sauce
1 & 1/2 Cup Chopped Olives (I used cocktail olives)
4 pcs B&G Pickled Hot Cherry Peppers (buy one jar now! incredibly useful!)
1 good handful of fresh oregano (you could substitute with basil, parsley, or tarragon)
1/4 Cup red wine (optional)
1/2 Cup Kale, chopped
1/4 Cup Broccoli, shaved
2 pcs Boquerones (white anchovies)

  1. To make fresh pasta, make a well with flour on your kitchen table and put two eggs in the middle. Slowly bring together the flour and eggs with your forefinger and middle finger, whichever hand you prefer. 
  2. When the flour and eggs are combined, start kneading the dough in north-south direction. Fold, and knead…fold and knead. Once you have a smooth pasta dough, let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Slice your garlic thin. Cut olives into halves or quarters. Seed and mince cherry peppers.
  4. Turn the stove to medium high and set up a medium pot. Add olive oil and wait until oil starts to shimmer. Add your garlic and turn your heat down to medium. Once garlic gets a little brown, add your anchovies. 
  5. Cook your anchovies until dissolved. Add oregano and cook until fragrant. Deglaze your pot with red wine, optional.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring everything to a boil, and then simmer until the sauce thickens. The sauce should be able to cling to your noodles. 
  7. To dress kale, sprinkle 1/8  teaspoon of salt and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over kale. Wash your hands, and then crush kale with your hands until softened.
  8. Use your knife, cut broccoli into thin slices. Don’t throw away the crumbs, they could be mixed in with the noodles. Toss shaved broccoli with drizzles of olive oil.
  9. To finish the dish, roll your pasta out to second to last setting (my preference) and cut it into the width that you prefer. Cook your pasta until nice and chewy, drain, and mix in kale and puttanesca sauce. 
  10. Garnish your pasta with shaved broccoli and couple pieces of white anchovies if you fancy. (white anchovies, also called Boquerones, usually come in a plastic container rather than in a can. These anchovies are not salted, but marinated in flavored olive oil. They could be found in most of the supermarket near charcuterie section). 

Categories
Recipes

MIND OF A CHEF: GRAINS AND RICE, AND SEEDS

Riding on a train through southern Taiwan, the main source of rice and whole grains.

Grains and rice are principal food for more than half of the population on this planet. Grains and rice have been a source of energy and documented in many traditions for thousands of years. Whole grains and rice are also prized for their multiple health benefit to humans. More importantly, whole grains have great textures if cooked right. I promise to bring you the pleasure of eating and cooking grains if you could follow few simple guidelines.

  • Wash or rinse your grains and rice: unless you are making porridge or congee, or toasting grains with fat initially, washing your grains gets rid of the excess of starch on the surface to avoid clumping and turning the final product into a mush. Wash grains with cold water until the water becomes clear. Having grains in contact with water also softens the surface and allows better liquid absorption in cooking.
  • Ratio: the ratio of water to hearty grains, such as barley, wheat berries, or farro, is 4 to 1, in volume (soaking grains overnight could reduce the ratio to as little as 2:1). Brown rice has the ratio of 2.5 to 1, in volume. Long grain white rice has the ratio of 1.75 to 1, in volume. Short grain white rice has the ratio of 1.25 to 1, in volume as well.

Note: these ratios could also vary by few tablespoons of liquid depending on your choice of pot; you’d like to choose a pot where raw grains only takes up one-third of the space of the pot.

  • Cook them nice and slow: besides proper ratio of liquid to grains, which is discussed above, the single most important cooking technique involved is your patience. You must bring your water to a boil and maintain a steady simmer, and trust the process. If the cooking procedures are rushed, your grains will be undercooked, or overcooked as you try to rectify mistakes by adding more liquid. If you have a rice cooker, the robot will do the work for you. However, I find cooking grains over my stove top to be rather satisfying. Not only have I truly understood how grains absorb the liquid, but I have also noticed the subtleties in texture if I were to change the recipes.
  • Keep the lid on, for 10 more minutes: steam generated by heat is crucial to the final stage of grain cookery. When liquid is completely absorbed by the grains, steam coming out of each kernel will further cook the grains and help you achieve the right consistency. Rushing to lift the lid and let out the steam often lead to slightly undercooked grains.

Wash or rinse your grains or rice, choose the right pot and ratio, cook the grains or rice nice and slow, and keep the lid on for 10 more minutes at the final stage, you will have a bowl, or many bowls for that matter, of pleasantly cooked grains that are toothsome and delicious. Let’s talk about recipes, shall we?


Black Forbidden Rice (photo credit: Weekday Herbivore)

Black Forbidden Rice
Serves: 3 average American adults, or 1 big eater

Ingredients:
1 cup Black Forbidden Rice
4 cup cold water
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Rinse black forbidden rice with cold water until it becomes clear or               slightly purple
2. Season the rice with salt, and add water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil     and turn down to simmer.
3. Wait.
4. Leave the lid on for 10 minutes once water has been fully absorbed (you     may lift the lid couple times during the cooking process to check the           level of water. Be quick with this step)


Short Grain Brown Rice (photo credit: Weekday Herbivore)

Short Grain Brown Rice
Serves: 2 average American adults, or 1 big eater

Ingredients:
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 and ½ cup cold water
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Rinse brown rice with cold water until it becomes clear (water is
    generally clear when washing brown rice, but do it anyway and trust the     process).
2. Season the rice with salt, and add water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil     and turn down to simmer.
3. Wait.
4. Leave the lid on for 10 minutes once water has been fully absorbed (you     may lift the lid couple times during the cooking process to check the           level of water. Be quick with this step)


Farro (photo credit: pbs.org)

Farro (Emmer Wheat)
Serves: 2 average American adults, or 1 big eater

Ingredients:
1 cup farro (commonly known as emmer wheat as well)
4 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
1. Rinse farro with cold water until it becomes clear (water is generally          clear when rinsing farro, but do it anyway and trust the process).
2. Season the grains with salt, and add water to cover. Bring the pot to a         boil and turn down to simmer.
3. Wait.
4. Leave the lid on for 10 minutes once water has been fully absorbed (you     may lift the lid couple times during the cooking process to check the           level of water. Be quick with this step)

Feeling motivated? Bonus Recipe…

Red Quinoa…

and it’s neither a cereal nor a grain! Red Quinoa is a seed, but cooks like grains, and is a relative to spinach, beets, and chard.


Red quinoa (photo credit: Weekday Herbivore)

Red Quinoa
Serves: 2 average American adults, or 1 big eater

Ingredients:
1 cup red quinoa
3 cups cold water
½ teaspoon salt

Instructions:
1. No need to rinse quinoa with water. Cover red quinoa in a pot with water     and season with salt.
2. Bring the pot to a boil and turn down to simmer.
3. Wait.
4. Leave the lid on for 10 minutes once water has been fully absorbed (you     may lift the lid couple times during the cooking process to check the           level of water. Be quick with this step)


Mix of Black Forbidden Rice, Turmeric Jasmine Rice, Short Grain Brown Rice, and Red Quinoa (photo credit: Weekday Herbivore)

Last but not least, once you have mastered cooking grains, rice, and seeds, you may take the liberty and mix the final products together. Not only will you end up with a bowl of beautifully cooked whole grains, but you will also get to experience the nuance in texture. Good luck!