Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cat's Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

  • 100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 75 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 100 grams all-purpose flour

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degree. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  • In a different mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the egg whites into the butter mixture. Shift the flour onto the butter egg mixture and fold until well blended.
  • Using piping bag and medium star tip, pipe small finger length of batter on to a greased cookie sheet. Careful not to pipe them too close together, as the cookies will expand.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they're brown around the edges.
  • Cool completely on wire rack, store in an airtight container.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fresh Fruit Roll-Ups

I say fresh because it uses uncooked fruit puree.

6 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 150 degree, cover a baking sheet with layer of plastic wrap. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Spread the puree onto the prepared baking sheet. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven.
  • Bake for 5-6 hours with the oven door partway open. Fruit is dry when the surface is no longer sticky and you can peel it like a leather. Roll up the fruit and store them in an air tight container.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thai Green Curry Paste

It's actually not that difficult to make your own Thai curry from scratch. This green curry paste recipe is pretty straightforward, and as authentic as you can get. The amount of spiciness can be adjusted according to your taste (my family likes it VERY spicy!).
The curry paste freezes well. So you can make a batch of it, freeze them, and just take some from the freezer whenever you feel like cooking it.

  • 4-6 green Thai (bird) chillies
  • 5 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch fresh galangal
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

Put all the spice paste ingredients in a mortar and pound with pestle until everything is smooth and ground thoroughly (alternatively, you can also use food processor).

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Herbed Cheese Puffs

    • 200 ml water
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
    • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • Put water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Bring to boil.
    • Reduce the heat, add shifted flour and baking powder into the butter mixture. Mix until smooth and forms a dough. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Set it aside to cool down completely. Preheat the oven to 400 degree.
    • Once cooled, add eggs, parmesan cheese and dried oregano. Mix well, use hand mixer if necessary. 
    • Spoon the dough into a plastic or parchment pastry bag (use tip if desired), snip the bottom off. Pipe an-inch dots onto the greased baking sheet, about one inch apart. Bake in the oven until the puffs rise, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degree. Continue baking until all the puffs turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool down.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Baci di Dama (Italian Chocolate-filled Hazelnut Cookies)

    • 3/4 cup hazelnuts. toasted, any loose skins removed, and cooled
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped
    • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350 degree. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • Grind nuts with confectioners sugar in food processor until powdery.
    • Beat together butter, zest, salt and nut mixture in a large bowl with a rubber spatula until creamy, then add flour, stirring until just incorporated.
    • Roll lever 1/2 teaspoon of dough into tiny balls and arrange 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake until pale golden, 12 to 14 minutes, then slide parchment with cookies onto a rack to cool completely.
    • Melt chocolate in a double boiler pan, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small plastic bag and seal, forcing out excess air. Snip off 1 bottom corner of bag with scissors to form a small hole.
    • Pipe a small mound of melted chocolate onto flat sides of cookies and top with other cookies, pressing flat sides together to help adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies.

    Bun Bo Hue (Hue Beef Noodle Soup)

    • 6 lemongrass stalks (bottom 3 inches only), outer layers peeled
    • 3 lbs beef short ribs
    • 8 cups low-salt chicken broth
    • 8 cups water
    • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 onions, thinly sliced, devided
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tbsp or more sambal oelek
    • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 3 tbsp fish sauce
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 1/2 shrimp paste
    • salt to taste
    • 1 8.8 oz package dried thin rice noodles
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
    • 1/2 cup rau ram (vietnamese coriander) or Thai sweet basil
    • Finely chop enough lemongrass stalks to measure 4 teaspoons. Cut remaining stalks in half. Place beef and stalks in a large pot. Add broth and water, bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 1 1/2 hours.
    • Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 of sliced onions and garlic, saute 1 minute. Add sambal oelek, paprika and chopped lemongrass, saute 1 minute. Add sambal oelek mixture to the soup, mix in fish sauce, sugar, shrimp paste and salt. Simmer until beef is tender, skimming foam from surface, about 1 hour. Remove beef from soup. Skim fat from surface of soup. Simmer soup until reduced to 8 cups, about 10 minutes. Add more sambal oelek for spicier flavor. Trim off any fat from beef, cut meat in bite-size pieces.
    • Bring large saucepan of water to boil, add noodles and boil 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water. Using scissors, cut noodles crosswise. Divide noodles among 4 bowls. Top with beef, remaining sliced onions, green onions and cilantro.
    • Bring soup to boil, ladle over noodles. Toss cabbage and rau ram in small bowl, sprinkles over soup. Top with chillies , if desired, squeeze lime over.