Vegatables

CHEWY LAYERED ROTI + KICKASS DIP

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” …WHOPPING 90% HYDRATION…
SPRUNG LIBERATED OUT OF THE FOUNTAIN OF SECRET DOUGHS “

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ALTHOUGH extremely rare, there are recipes that seem theoretically impossible at first, but somehow just come smooth-sailing under the first trial.  They make recipe-developers feel invincible even just temporarily, like the lighthouse of success glowing just over the foreseeable shore.  Handshakes with Batali and cold beers with Tony Bourdain, book-signing with fan-blown hair and the next dinner party, Ina Garten is bringing her cake.  These occasions embolden even the blindest of self-confidence.  But then, then there’s the opposite of such.

I call them, the kitchen nemesis… or for times, my baby kitchen unicorns.  It’s a tormented, twisted love-and-hate relationship, with an adored food-item that hides a secret so beyond your grasps that failures of making it has been haunting you for years… even decades.  The recipe of which you have ventured high and low for – with or without the luck of finding any at all – that in the very end, all greatly disappointed, again, and again.  A lover, who’s not completely yours.

For the past 2 decades, my nemesis… my baby unicorn… has been but one thing.READ MORE

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THAI HERBS AND PORK SALAD

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I’m determined to get a life during this Labour Day long weekend so let me quickly leave you with this.  Best.  Damn.  “Salad”.  You’ll.  Ever.  Have.  Period.  Period.

HOW COULD IT BE?  OH WAIT, IT’S THE PORK.

It’s a recipe I developed for Food52’s column “Half Way to Dinner“, and initially I didn’t write any measurements down because I wasn’t sure how open you guys would be towards a “ground pork salad”.  But it turned out, a few request for it came in and so I made it again the other night… and again… and again…

I was incandescently happy being lost in a sea of gushing green that I got confused for a moment.  How could be?  What’s happened to me?  The flavour between a few thinly sliced shallots, splashes of fish sauce and lime juice is practically addictive no matter what you mix it with, but still… am I a “salad” person now?  Oh wait… there’s the ground pork… lots of it.  Actually.  Well forget what I said then.

Best.  Damn.  “Meat salad”.  Ever.  Period.

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SICHUAN DRESSING & BOUQUET OF FIRE

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THIS IS WHAT I CALL, STUFFED ARTICHOKE”

I’ve never understood salad.

And by “salad”, I mean it in the most traditional sense of plant-based lifeforms being tossed in vinegar-based dressings.  I’ve never understood the idea of it, or the taste of it.  It seems that all salads are ever “dressed” with, are the nonstop BS campaign and PR efforts, the pretence of hippie-wholeness and “feel-good” sentiments designed to talk us into laying down our appetites and picking up that cucumber.  Excluding vegetarianism which is a whole other subject, the only peace I find in salad, is if we could all just admit to the blunt and clear motives of why anybody eats it.

We only eat salad because we have to.  Period.

We eat salad because we don’t want to be fat.  We eat salad because we don’t want to die prematurely.  We eat salad because what, you think you have a choice?   Underneath whatever self-hypnosis, there’s only strictly medical purposes.  And I think that if everyone could just quit dancing around it and just say that.  People would actually eat more salad, because truth, is the most powerful persuasion.

However, after moving back to Asia, that view is slightly, or at least in the progress of, changing.

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HERB GNOCCHI W/ MID-SEASON GREENS

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“IT’LL FOREVER CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL TOWARDS GNOCCHI… OR KALE FOR THAT MATTER”

I don’t know which shocker this post is more about.  The best damn gnocchi you’ll ever have in your life, that instead of “fluffy clouds”, tastes more like spring thunder in your mouth, or the fact that… holy shit, I cooked vegetables!  I guess… both, I think.  Two previously unfavoured dinner-candidates came together and pulled a stormy revolution in my kitchen.  I’ve survived with only a belt-overhanging gutt to tell you about it.

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DUSTY CHEDDAR POTATO CROQUETTE

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“A SEQUEL OF CHICK-FLICK POPCORNS…”

I couldn’t stop thinking about the color orange.

Not thinking about orange after the revelation of homemade cheese powder for this white cheesy popcorns, is like ignoring the bigger and prettier elephant in the room.  You know you thought the same.  So let’s just take a moment to put this unnatural, unhealthy, un-anything-you-should-really-eat-or-let-alone-making-at-home idea aside, before we can get back to eating real foods.

Shall we?  A sequel of our chick-flick popcorns – the orange stuff that would make cardboard taste good.

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CHEESY CHICK-FLICK POPCORN

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“MR. DARCY, THE CLOSETED FETISH OF MODERN FEMINISTS”

OK… OK so I lied.  I didn’t go outside last week…  As a matter of fact, I didn’t go outside for the entire three consecutive blue-sky-days…  I’ve been home.  I’ve been home all this time, alone by myself with Jason on a business trip… helplessly, drowning in a bloodbath of some of the ultimate, eternal cinematic achievements known to women.  One.  Classic.  Hit.  After.  Another….  Twelve Years Of Slaves?…  Neeuuu….

Ladies, bust out your most shameless, worthless, dirtiest secret stash… it’s home-alone chick-flicks extravaganza night.

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HELLO, ÇILBIR

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“FORGET EGGS BENEDICT… THERE’S A
NEW BRUNCH CRAZE IN TOWN”

The sleep-bugs are hitting me like a brick today…

Maybe because I fought to stay up last night after Jason pulled a long work-night, and prepared him this as a very inappropriate thing to eat at 2 AM.  I can be a very irresponsible wife sometimes.  Lighting looks weird but hey, that’s the best midnight can do.

But the more pressing matter, besides the fact that I’m slowly murdering my husband (who helplessly squeezed out these words, “Is yogurt… fattening?” through his feeding mumbles…), is have you heard about this?

Çilbir.

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