Friday, April 24, 2015

Thai Green Eggplant Stir-fry

I was at the HK market this week when I saw these beautiful little green eggplants a sure sign of warmer weather. We usually don't get them here till Mid-May, and our garden won't have any till June, so I was excited.
They are most commonly referred to as Thai eggplants, the cultivar is Pitch Siam, though they are common all over Southeast Asia and used in a variety of cuisines. Unlike Italian or Japanese Eggplant varieties; they are not as acidic so are often eaten raw or lightly cooked to keep their crunch.
Not wanting to over cook them and ruin their crunch and flavor, a veggie stir-fry seemed the way to go!

This stir-fry is chockfull of colorful spiced veggie goodness; the mix of chili, ginger, black soy sauce, basil and lime lightly coat the vegetables in a wonderfully fragrant sauce.

Here is my recipe for Thai Green Eggplant Stir-fry:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How to Tuesday - Homemade Butter

Lately I've been playing in my kitchen with homemade dairy products. These range from yogurt to cheese, and I thought the best recipe to start this series with would be butter/ buttermilk. Mind you not just any butter, but Cultured Homemade, Handmade butter! Talk about highfalutin! Oh, but that taste truly is worth it and it's so easy to make. 
You just need 3 things - Cream, Salt, and a Sterile Glass Jar. The other important things are time, and energy...if you need an arm workout this is for you!
Now, I like to use raw heavy cream that is cultured by sitting at room temperature for 10-12 hours, but you can also use store bought pasteurized heavy cream. The main difference outside of taste, is that the pasteurized butter will last more than 10 days, so keep that in mind when deciding to make a batch. 
You don't have to culture the cream but it does give the butter and resulting buttermilk a nice nutty, slightly tangy taste.

Here's my recipe for Cultured Homemade Butter:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Honey &Feta

Spring is here and I've been spending as much time as possible in my backyard getting my kitchen garden ready. We've set up the beds and check on our seedlings and plants every more. They still have a way to go before we can start harvesting but lucky for us one of the local farms opened this past weekend. They were selling cool season and early spring veggies, needless to say I got some lovely kale, spinach, beet greens and young tender asparagus. Now I know just like spinach a lot of people have an aversion to asparagus, but I promise you they can be very tasty if you get thin, young shoots as oppose to thick, tough and stringy ones. These guys were too delicate and fresh to ruin by over cooking so I used them to make this tasty, tangy salad. 

This salad is a good source of fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, and numerous other essential vitamins and minerals that promote overall health. It is a great light starter or side dish, with fresh shoots mixed with a dressing of sweet and tangy lemon, honey and feta.

Here is my recipe for Shaved Asparagus Salad with Honey and Feta:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Green String Bean Poriyal

A  'Poriyal' in Tamil, or seldom used for this dish 'Porutu' in Telugu, is a pan-fried spiced vegetable dish topped with shredded coconut. It is a great quick vegetable side dish and you can add pretty much any vegetable that is in season. When we have a busy day and are too tired to really cook; dinner is some variation of rice, pickle (Most often shrimp), and vegetable poriyal. 
Green String beans are a staple in our fridge and garden. I love their fresh taste and crunch, that's why I like this method of cooking them. The quick cooking method keeps the green beans crunchy, while the spices, cilantro, and coconut add extra layers of flavor to this crisp spring dish!
Here's my recipe for String Bean Poriyal:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Braided Blueberry and Cheese Danish

Happy Easter! We had a very interesting Easter dinner this year. It was an amalgam of the different cultures and food that make up our family. We had roasted pork, baked sweet potatoes, mango rice, sautéed mushrooms, spinach salad, samosas (veg & non-veg), eggplant parmesan, and then dessert.
This year instead of making Tsoureki, I decided to make a sweet danish bread filled with homemade cheese and homemade blueberry jam from last year's garden. I also made one with some pineapple curd from last summer.
 I would suggest when making this opt for a fruit curd or whole fruit jam instead of a jelly, because jelly will bubble right out of the bread!

This lightly sweet soft bread lattice encases a tasty, tangy, sweet mixture of soft cream cheese and whole fruit blueberry jam.

Here is my recipe for Braided Fruit and Cheese Danish:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Baked Scotch Quail Eggs

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser on 'Outlander'
I'm generally not one to go crazy fan girl over TV shows but this Saturday is the return of 'Outlander' and I'm honestly excited. Since they made me wait way to long to find out what happened, I started reading the book, haha. In either case, I wanted to make a dish to celebrate the return of Jamie Fraser...I mean 'Outlander.' 

Being the day before Easter, what better way to celebrate than to use cute little quail eggs to make Scotch eggs! 
Scotch eggs are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and then deep fried. They are believed to have originated in the Medieval Scottish Highlands as a quick, travel friendly meal for farmers and shepherds, but there are similar recipes from The Netherlands to Mughal India... Which makes this recipe perfectly apt for this blog! 
For my version, I decided to bake instead of fry them, spiced up the breadcrumbs and instead of using regular flour I swapped it for Rice flour to get a good crisp on the baking. 

These Spicy Sausage wrapped Eggs are baked to a crisp and are perfect served with a dollop of homemade mustard and a spinach salad.

Here's my recipe for Baked Scotch Quail Eggs:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In My Kitchen - April 2015

It's time for another round of the very cool monthly happening called "In My Kitchen" run by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

So here we go....

This Month in my Kitchen...

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