Saturday, April 25, 2009

Udon noodle soup with watercress

Sun dresses, bermuda shorts and flip-flops were frantically pulled out from the closets all over Montreal this morning. The humidity was suddenly quite present in the air.

This is it! This is when the ice cream machines take over the ovens, when cold treats are invading the brownies & bread puddings. This is when I'm prone to making noodle soups for lunches & suppers instead of well... everything else!

I always have a couple of boiled eggs still in the shell for quick snack or "emergencies" that i keep in the fridge. I'm not a vegetarian, I like meat but I actually don't eat a lot of it, so a boiled egg slightly pan fried face-down for colors, sounds good for the protein part of the meal.

So for this bowl of goodness, you will need:
  • A splash of olive oil
  • Some minced garlic
  • One hard boiled egg, halved
  • A handful of chopped tomato
  • Broth (homemade of chicken, or vegetables, or boxed)
  • A bunch of watercress
  • Fresh instant udon noodles (I only eat half a bag at a time, but put more if you eat more)

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Put in garlic. Put the egg halves in, face down, for about a minute. Shake the pot a bit so they don't stick. Scoop out into bowl.

Throw the tomatoes in, cook 1 minute. Pour broth in. Turn heat up to high and when broth boils, put in noodles. Swirl the noodles around a bit until the strands detach themselves from one another. Then immediately put watercress in to cook, about 30-45 seconds. Turns off heat. Pour everything into bowl. Crack some pepper on top if you'd like.

Udon (饂飩)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Strawberry frozen yogurt pops

Today was the first day of 2009 that I was able to walk outside without a jacket. The sun was out and about doing its thing. It was wonderful!!! The bar terraces were completely packed with people drinking & staff running around like chickens without heads.

I literally had to duck and hop through a sea of mini micro skirts and "wifebeater" tank tops on my way home.

So let's celebrate the nice weather with a really quick & simple-to-make treat.

Strawberry frozen yogurt:
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (If you can find any, if not just drain the water out from full-fat yogurt)
  • 1 cup strawberry, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey, depending on how sweet the strawberries are
Whiz everything together in a blender and pour into molds. Keep in freezer for an hour or two before serving.

You can also use other fruits. I think berries are best.

I got these pop molds from the dollar store. Good stuff!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The simple things

I find it hard to have simple things nowadays. There is always an "ick" in the way. A bow too big on a pretty dress, a color too many on a cute pair of shoes, an ingredient that we can't pronounce, etc...

You get the point.

So some days, I just want a really simple meal.

When I was a kid, in the summer days when school was out & parents were at work, my cousin & I would each grab a big bowl, fill it with rice, some vegetables & cooked meat and drizzle everything with a sauce.

We would then head to the garden, the pool, or climb up to the roof, and enjoy our meal together that way. Simple, yummy, in great company, and then we'd be fully recharged for our next misdemeanors.

One of my favourite sauces to drizzle on rice, is a soft or hard boiled egg mashed into prepared fish sauce. I don't know what it is, but I go nuts dipping okra or green beans with this. And I won't need anything else.

And because in a typical Vietnamese pantry, there is ALWAYS a bottle of fish sauce & rice, this is really quick to make.

This is not a recipe. All you need is:
  • Cooked long grain rice
  • A peeled hard boiled or soft boiled egg
  • Prepared fish sauce ("recipe" below)
  • Okra or string beans (cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes, then put in cold water right away to stop the cooking process. I like my veggies with a slight crunch)

Dipping sauce (I like to make more than I need for other times)

  • In 2 parts warm water, dissolve 1 part sugar.
  • Then add 1 part of lemon juice (or half lemon juice and half white vinegar)
  • 1 part pure fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • chili, minced (optional)
Stir to mix. Then mash the egg into the dipping sauce. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then scoop the egg remains back out onto your rice. Dip your vegetables in the fish sauce & enjoy your meal

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a tart!

If I were a dessert today, I'd probably be a fruit tart (because tomorrow is another day and I might wanna be chocolate cake, who knows!!!)

What I don't get, is why is it insulting to call someone a tart... I mean, look at it!!! It should be a compliment...

NOO? That wasn't convincing enough, was it? *sigh*
How about now...????? Look closer!!!

Fruit tart with lemon curd

for 3 tarts of 4.5 inches

  • 1 batch of lemon curd
  • your favorite tart dough ( i used sugar cookie dough that I found on Annie's Eat)***
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate (that's 2 Baker's squares)
  • strawberries, grapes, pineapple, etc (fruits that won't change colors when cut) washed and sliced

Roll out your dough to about 1/8 inch, press into bottom & up the side of tart pan. To even out, pass your roller over the edge of the pan. Prick with a fork so dough won't bubble up while baking.

Bake crust according to recipe (with pie weight, or line crusts with parchment paper & fill with rice or dry beans) Cool completely.

Melt chocolate in the microwave (since it's not a big amount, no need to use a double boiler) with medium power setting for about 1 minute, then stir to completely melt.

Brush crust with melted chocolate on bottom and side. I simply used a spoon. No need for perfection since the curd will hide it anyway. Just make sure the surface is well covered, so the crust won't get soggy.

Spoon lemon curd into tart shells. Place fruit pieces as according to your liking.

***note: you will have left over dough for probably another batch of fruit tarts :)

Now share them with your family & friends, because or else you will end up eating all of them! Well... that's not such a bad thing is it...? :P

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh "sole" mio!!!

First of all, I have to announce that I got my 1st post on Tastespotting today!!!! What a great way to start the day!!! I mean, Tastespotting is only... like... OMG... my FAVORITE website EVER!!!

Yes, we've already established that I am a nerd, moving on!

Gonna keep this one short & sweet, well, actually, short & savory, then I'm off to make a chocolate ricotta cake for my friend J. & the baby that is still hibernating in her belly. So I give you an uber quick meal to prepare with sole & spinach.

Pan-fried sole with "garlicky" spinach & tomato

per portion
  • a pinch of sea salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried rosemary (it's up to your taste)
  • 2 splashes of olive oil
  • a couple of garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fillets of sole (or any other white fish that you prefer)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • a bunch of spinach, washed

Sprinkle sea salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried rosemary over the fish fillets.

In a pan, heat 1 splash of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook fish til done. Carefully lift fish out onto plate with a spatula (sole fillets are thin)

Add the other splash of olive oil, add garlic. Scrape up bits of the fish if there is any. Throw the tomato cubes in. Stir around for about 30 seconds & throw the spinach in. Cook for another 30 seconds or til spinach is wilted.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

A day full of lemons

We went to a fruit & vegetable market yesterday, and oh my... I get light-headed every time from excitement... Lame, I know, leave me alone...

One of the many things that I filled my cart with, was a bag of lemon. A LOT of lemon. Why? Because they were plump, cheap, yellow which is one of my favorite colors, and I had limoncello in mind... (This sounds so wrong for some reason...)

So all day today, I busied myself with lemons. Zesting, cooking, juicing, u name it, I did it.

The limoncello requires 2 months to mature, so you will have to come back then to see what happens. All two of you. I know who you are!

For now, I give you Lemon Curd. I got the recipe here from A Chow Life, and altered it a tiny bit


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp, chopped in cubes for easy melting.

Make a double boiler (A pot with 1-2 inches simmering water & a non-reactive mixing bowl that fits securily over the pot. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl)

Off the heat, beat the yolks in the bowl. Put in sugar & lemon juice, mix well.

Place bowl over the pot, stirring constantly. Keep heat low. The mix will eventually come to a puree consistency. Drop butter cubes in, one after another and keep stirring til butter is melted & curd is smooth. Turn off heat.

Cool & store in the fridge.

(doesn't that look like egg??? it's awesome!!!!! again... lame, I know... leave me alone)

I put lemon curd and plain yogurt into a half lemon shell. Then happily dunked a moka meringue cookie in (which I made yesterday, but that's another story) and enjoyed a moment between my zesting session for the limoncello.

Yummy in the tummy!