Saturday, May 29, 2010

Braised Sea Bass Claypot/ Ca Kho To

Of course, you all know I love food. I love baking, I love cooking, I love eating, I love gawking, I love just the smell of it all. My ultimate favorite type of food though, is Vietnamese. It's probably because I am Vietnamese, but hey, we have some good eats.
This dish is one of my absolute favorites! It's fish that is caramelized in a claypot so it's sweet and salty at the same time; the ultimate combination, I think. Traditionally it is made with catfish, but at my work they upscale it and make it with Chilean Sea Bass so I decided to give that a try. It was still just as delicious and uberly buttery and rich. The perfect accompaniment with rice, especially with all that deliciously sweet sauce.
Braised Sea Bass Claypot/ Ca Kho To
Yields: 4 servings

For the caramel:
1/4 cup water
2 tbsn. sugar

For the sauce:
1 tbsn. oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup water

1 1/2 lb. sea bass filets, about 1/4 inch thick
Black pepper, to taste
3 - 5 dried thai chilis
1 green onion, julienned (for garnish)

Clean the fish filets and pat dry. Rub the filets with black pepper, to taste; set aside. In a medium saucepan, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and heat over medium heat until begins to bubble and reduces slightly, about 5 - 7 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.

In a medium sized pan, combine the sugar and water for the caramel sauce. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves and starts to brown. As soon as the sugar mixture turns a light brown, add the filets and sear the fish on each side for 1 - 2 minutes. The sugar mixture should be darker in color and caramelized on the fish filets.

Remove the fish and add to a claypot (which is traditionally used but not necessary) or keep in the same pan. Cover with the braising sauce then add the thai chilis and cover. Cook on medium high heat for 5 - 7 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Top with the green onions and serve with rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"The Chewy"

I've never made a chocolate chip cookie before, and did I mention that I call myself a baker? Pshh what was I thinking! I think to call yourself a baker you have to have at least baked one batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Well, after today, I can now happily and without a doubt call myself a baker.
My favorite type of cookies are the chewy type, so it just seemed appropriate that I try a recipe called, most blatantly, "The Chewy." These cookies were definitely yummy, and yes chewy as their name described but I don't think that I can call these my go-to CCC recipe. They were good just not out of this world delicious and when it comes to a CCC, I think they deserve to be just that.
Also, I was just wondering, do any of you guys ever bake cookies and get those thinned out crispy edges? Most of my cookies always come out that way and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. If you guys have any tips on this problem, help a girl out?
Alton Brown's 'The Chewy'

Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Original recipe can be found here.

1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tbsn. milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda, set aside. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla, then mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Tailored Tuesdays

1. A.P.C. 'Quilt detailed cotton parka'
2. A.P.C. 'Merino and cashmere blend sweater'
3. Current/ Elliott 'The moto skinny jeans'
4. Belstaff 'Barkmaster ankle boots'
5. Miu Miu 'Canvas and leather tote'

all images can be found

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Kogi" Korean BBQ Tacos

I've mentioned the Flying Sams before, but if you didn't know or are new around here, it's a club that I am involved in. We are a completely student run organization that operates a clinic in El Testerazo, Mexico once a month. It's the best club I've ever had the chance to be involved in and I love it dearly! More info here.
Well, every once in a while we have fundraisers to help us keep our clinic running and to provide the necessary medications for the people of our clinic. Sometimes we sell cupcakes and sometimes we sell Korean BBQ. This time we decided to kick things up a notch and try our hand at "Kogi" Korean BBQ Tacos. If you've never heard of Kogi you probably don't live around Southern CA, cause it's definitely all the rage around here. We used this AWESOME recipe from Kevin of Closet Cooking and boy was it a hit!
We kind of changed it up a bit by using prepared bulgogi meat rather than Kalbi that Kevin used. You can get prepared bulgogi meat from Korean markets, which are relatively cheap. It is already marinated and delicious by itself, but when topped with the SUPER, SUPER spicy Korean Salsa Roja, wow! Everything was delicious and so full of flavor. If you have the time, definitely make this.

Topped with some juicy limes, and you're set!
Mmmm juicy bulgogi.
"Kogi" Korean BBQ Tacos
Yields: 12 tacos/ 4 servings
Adapted from this recipe.

12 small corn tortillas
1 1/2 lbs. prepared Korean bulgogi
1 cup Korean style salsa roja (recipe below)
1 cup onion cilantro relish (recipe below)
2 cups shredded lettuce in Korean sesame vinaigrette (recipe below)
Toasted sesame seeds

Heat a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Cook until cooked through, about 5 - 8 minutes, set aside. To assemble the tacos, heat the tortillas over an open flame until lightly toasty and warm. Top each tortilla with some meat, hot sauce, relish and lettuce. Finish with some sesame seeds and enjoy!
Korean Style Salsa Roja
Yields: 2 cups
Original recipe here.

1/2 lb. plum tomatoes
1/4 lb. tomatillos
1 cup water
1 oz. (about 20) dried chilies de arbol, toasted
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsn. garlic, grated
1 tbsn. ginger, grated
2 tbsn. gochujang
1 tbsn. sesame oil
1 tbsn. sesame seeds, toasted

Roast the tomatoes and tomatillos until charred on all sides, about 10 - 12 minutes. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, water, chiles de arbol and onion in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the onions and chiles are tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. Drain the water, reserving it. Place everything, other than the sesame seeds in a food processor or a blender and puree, adding some of the reserved liquid if needed. Strain the bits from the salsa and mix in the toasted sesame seeds.
Onion and Cilantro Relish
Yields: 4+ servings/ about 1 cup
Original recipe here.

1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Mix everything together.
Shredded Romaine in Korean Sesame Vinaigrette
Yields: 4+ servings
Original recipe here.

1 tbsn. sesame oil
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tbsn. soy sauce
1 tbsn. gochugaru
1 tbsn. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 heat romaine lettuce, shredded

Mix together all of the ingredients except the lettuce. Toss the lettuce in the sauce.

Tailored Tuesdays

Simple but just a little bit sparkly.
1. Maison Martin Margiela 'Cotton blend tuxedo jacket'
2. T by Alexander Wang 'Jersey pocket tank'
3. Citizens of Humanity 'Avedon slick legging fit jeans'
4. Lanvin 'Happy metallic lambskin leather bag'
5. Burberry Prorsum 'Vintage house studded ballerina flats'
6. Mawi 'Multi strand swarovski and heart locket necklace'

all images can be found

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Favorites

So, I've made quite a bit of things during my run here on this blog, and I'm sure a lot of you often wonder, well, what are the best, most delicious things that I've made and that will continue to make in the future?

Well, here they are: the tried, the true, the absolutely wonderful!


Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar, Cream Cheese Frosting
Matcha/ Green Tea & Strawberry Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cake
Coconut Mochi Cake
Easy Layer Cake with Strawberries and Custard
Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake
Apple Berry Pie
Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie
Crispy Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Nikki's Healthy Cookies
Smores Cookies
Fleur de Sel Caramels
Chocolate & Banana Bread Pudding
Green Tea & Strawberry Daifuku
Mini Fruit & Custard Tarts
Che Thai/ Vietnamese Fruits in Coconut Milk
Raspberry Cream Pie French Macarons
Baked Oatmeal
Chai Spiced Pancakes
Ricotta Anything Muffins
Strawberry Banana Muffins
Blueberry Green Tea with Add-ins
Open-faced Fresh Blueberry Pie
Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies