Recipe: Thai eggs and rice

Quick, simple, and delicious. What more can you ask from a meal, especially around this busy time of the year? If you love a good, savory breakfast, this makes for a great, speedy hot meal on weekday mornings (assuming you have some rice cooked ahead of time). Don’t let the fish sauce throw you off; I promise it is not fishy in the least, and you won’t even notice it’s there. The tiny amount that goes in imparts a more flavorful, umami saltiness than salt alone would.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola or other neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or flour
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup rice, cooked

Instructions

  1. If you do not have some rice already cooked, do this first. The eggs will take less than 5 minutes to whip up, and they are best served fresh.
  2. Heat a small frying pan with the oil over medium-high heat, until the oil starts smoking lightly.
  3. While pan is heating up, mix together fish sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, and water. Beat in eggs. Try to keep the fork as low as possible when beating, in order to avoid adding too much air into the mix.
  4. When pan is ready, pour in the eggs from about a foot above the pan. Cook eggs for about 20 seconds, and flip. Cook for another 20 seconds on the other side. Eggs should look toasted and crispy on the edges.
  5. Serve immediately over hot rice.

Recipe: Cold Hot Toddy

Lately, early mornings in Boston have been feeling brisk. Fall is around the corner, and some nasty bug is going around in the office. However, it’s still a toasty 85F in the afternoon, far too hot for my usual go-to for colds, a hot toddy. Once I got a roast chicken going in the oven (with the intention of using the carcass for congee – another sick day favorite), I gave a cold version of a hot toddy a shot, and it came out quite tasty! I’ve heard some nonsense about how bourbon is dehydrating and therefore not good for someone with a cold,  but where’s the fun in that? 🙂

Makes ~2 servings, depending on the amount of ice and water

Ingredients

  • A handful of ice cubes
  • Enough water to get the blender going
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 large lemon, peeled
  • 1 piece of ginger, the size of your thumb

Instructions

  1. Blend until you achieve desired consistency. Try a taste and adjust to taste. This came out quite tart, which I enjoy.

Recipe: Gazpacho Seville

Gazpacho brings back fond memories. It reminds me of sitting in my friend’s sunny porch in Coolidge Corner after work one summer afternoon, sipping cilantro-grape gazpacho with vodka martinis. It also makes me think of a lazy afternoon meal we had in the Albayzín last year, with hills of homey white building and the bluest blue sky as backdrop, itinerant musicians playing pretty tunes.

Unfortunately, the gazpachos themselves in those happy moments did not impress. I thought myself not a fan and never considered making some myself, until we had a large volume of excellent produce from R’s garden that needed to be used up quickly. I wanted to try out my new Vitamix that came in a couple days ago, so decided to give this NYT recipe a whirl. I was pretty impressed at how tasty this was! I think the magic was in the high quality produce, since gazpacho is a simple dish that allows each ingredient to shine. I’m really looking forward to more batches of this with the rest of our garden tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, and onions coming in the next few weeks!

Recipe adapted from the New York Times

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds well-ripened tomatoes (I did not chop or core)
  • 2 cloves large garlic
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and white membranes remo.ved, leave in if you like it spicy)
  • 1 persian/english cucumber, about 8 inches long (peeled)
  • 1 small onion (peeled)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Throw all the produce in a blender and blend until very smooth. Since I used this beast of a mixer, I left all the produce whole. For other blenders, it might be good to chop up the vegetables some.
  2. Turn down the mixer to a low speed. While the blender is still running, pour in the vinegar and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream until the gazpacho is emulsified and creamy-looking, a bit like salad dressing. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Store in a glass pitcher and chill for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.

Recipe: Caesar salad

I’ve loved caesar salad for as long as I can remember! This version uses yogurt as a base, instead of an emulsion made from oil and raw egg, or God forbid, jarred mayonnaise. I love this healthier version, which packs in a boost of protein and has less fat than traditional caesar without sacrificing any of that savory, zippy flavor that I love. Without a raw egg, the dressing keeps a bit longer in the fridge as well. It’s delicious as a veggie dip, too.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

Dressing (makes enough for 4 dinner servings)

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic*
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 anchovies packed in oil*
  • 1 tsp oil from anchovies
  • Few turns of black pepper
  • Water

Salad (makes enough for 2 dinner servings)

  • 2 cups dinosaur kale, tough ribs removed
  • 2 cups romaine, torn
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked (I used these amazing instructions!)

* start with one of each if you’re not a fan of either ingredients, then add more to taste.

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT water) in a mini food processor and pulse.
  2. The dressing will be fairly thick. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse, until dressing reaches desired consistency.
  3. Toss kale and romaine with half the dressing. Top with chicken breasts and serve.
  4. Dressing will keep for a few days in the fridge, tightly covered, but it never lasts very long at my house. The dressing thickens up in the fridge, so you may need to add more water to thin it out a bit.

 

Recipe: Kalbi style flank steak

I recreated an amazing dish we had at Empire last week, a Korean style flank steak, and it turned out really well! R is not a fan of repeat meals, but he mentioned that he would be happy to eat this weekly. The apple is the secret ingredient in getting the meat nice and tender. Kiwi or Korean pears also do wonders for tenderizing the meat!

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2.5 lbs flank steak
  • 1/4 of medium sized onion
  • 1/4 of medium sized apple, unpeeled
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1″ segment ginger, peeled
  • A couple turns of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp clear liquor that isn’t flavored too strongly (vodka or rum is good)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp honey or corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Cut steak into nice sized slab. I cut my 2.5lb piece into 5 pieces.
  2. Soak meat in cold water for about an hour.
  3. Puree all ingredients except for the steak in a blender or a food processor until smooth.
  4. Place steak and marinade in a gallon ziploc bag. Allow to marinate at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  5. Lay down a piece of foil on a large skillet or frying pan and preheat on medium high, until a few drops of water dropped on the foil sizzles. The foil is essential – this marinade really gets baked on otherwise!
  6. Take steak out of gallon ziploc and shake off excess marinade. Lay down on pan without crowding the pan or having the pieces touch. Allow to cook for 4 minutes on each side without disturbing. This yields a medium rare steak.
  7. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain. Serve with rice and kimchi.