Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chestnut Pie

The same weekend Virginie made her paella, Florence (a family friend from Chicago) and I made a chestnut pie (actually, we made two). The recipe was from a French cookbook for quiches, quick breads and pies. It was called Quiches, Cakes, et Compagnie, literally: Quiches, Loaf Cakes, and Company (as in "We have company for dinner tonight.") I decided to make the pie because I had seen a can of chestnut purée in the cupboard.
The recipe goes like this:
Blind bake a pie crust. Mix chestnut purée with cream and honey an almonds. Pour filling into a crust, bake again. The first picture is the recipe in French, clique on it for a larger version to practice your French!
Since I was lazy, I used a pre-made pie crust. It was ok, but too salty for the recipe, next time I'll make my own crust. Also, I made 2 different pies. One of them had almonds and the other didn't. This is because Virginie is allergic to nuts. The one with almonds was better because it had a thicker consistency, but this may be because the other one was slightly undercooked. Oh well, next time I'll do better.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Virginie's Paella, Yum!

Last weekend, Virginie, my friend Olivia's mother, made a delicious paella for us in Tahoe. For those of my dear readers who have not encountered a paella yet, it is basically rice cooked with saffron and olive oil with various seafoods , chorizo (Spanish spicy sausage, SSS!) and chicken. Sometimes it can include peas or onions. The one Virginie made used chicken, chorizo, calamari, mussels, shrimp, onions, and yellow bell peppers.
Traditionally, paellas are supposed to be cooked in a paella pan, a large, shallow, flat pan, but it worked out fine in a dutch oven and a big pot!
Anyways it was a great paella, and an interesting experience to see raw, whole calamari.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Philosophy Club Fondue

I know this is kind of late, but oh well. Last Saturday, the Philosophy Club (of which my brother is part of) had its annual fondue (at our house like usual). Xiao-Xiao, the club president, has this great recipe for cheese fondue with no wine in it! It's made of cream, cheese, and cream cheese. More specifically:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. + 2tbsp heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. grated parmesan
1/2 c. grated gruyère
1/4 tsp nutmeg
First cook the onions with the olive oil. then lower the heat and throw in all the lactose-full white stuff and wait for it to melt. Wisk it and add the nutmeg.
With this delicious fondue we had baguette and blanched: broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and yellow bell peppers. We also put out raw carrots, but the boiled ones were easier to eat with the cheese because they were softer.

The topic of discussion was education, so we compared the style of education in different countries. We often got off topic and started to gossip, but it was all in good fun!
When we finished the cheese fondue, I remembered a tradition that said to break an egg into the fondue pot, making an omelet that scoops up all the remaining cheese, yum!
For the chocolate fondue, in previous years we just melted chocolate with cream. This year though, Xiao-Xiao wanted to try a recipe she had found. It involved making a sugar+cornsyrup...syrup and adding chocolate powder and chocolate. I guess we didn't let enough water evaporate from the syrup, but the liquid would not thicken! In the end, Xiao-Xiao and I decided to add some cornstarch and hope for the best. The end result was good, but it was a bit too sweet and watery. I recommend sticking with the good old chocolate and cream.
With this fondue, we had strawberries, bananas, oranges, apples, and madeleines! The madeleines were a great touch because they absorbed the chocolate mixture.

In conclusion, the unorthodox (I've been using that word a lot ever since I started reading 1984 in class) cheese fondue was a success, but complications of the non-traditional chocolate fondue were not worth the effort. Just stick to the basic method with two ingredients.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mango Dofu

I was cleaning out one of the cupboards in the kitchen and I found an old box of Mango Flavored Dofu (gelatin). I decided to make Friday night. So, I poured the bright orange powder into 3 1/2 cups of water and heated it to a boil. While I was waiting, I read the dofu box. Suddenly, the saucepan overflowed with foam! I turned off the heat and Lifted the pan out of the mess. Ick! There was orange foam all over the stovetop. My mom helped me clean it up with a spnge.
Next, I proceeded with the rest of the recipe. I mixed the milk in with the water+gelatin and ladled some of it into teacups with a couple of previously frozen raspberries. I made four small teacup desserts and put the remaining dofu in three large ramekin dishes. That night, my mom, dad, and I ate one teacup each. My brother was at Sadies (really surprising!!!! it was his first dance) so he ate his the next morning.
The dofu was good. It was like sweet mango flavored jello, and the raspberries added a nice tang. The teacups I used had a strawberry print that went well with the dessert inside.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Waiting for thermos!

I eat the same thing for lunch every week day. A ham and lettuce sandwich. This gets a bit boring after a while so I decided that I could get a food thermos to keep leftovers from dinner warm until lunch! My friend Cynthia has this cool Japanese thermos that works, so I did some research about it. It's the Ms. Bento from Zojirushi. I ordered one from Amazon and it's supposed to arrive tomorrow. Was expensive!! It probably would have been cheaper if I had gone to Marina Foods in Cupertino or something, but I was in Tahoe, and ordering was simple. Also, whenever I go to Marina I always feel weird because everyone around me is speaking Chinese or other Asian language.
Anyways, I can't wait 'till tomorrow! I ordered the beige one.

On Wednesday:
Its still not here!

On Thursday:
I looked again and it is actually only supposed to arrive on Feb 7-12.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Poll results: Favorite asian food

Chinese won! I'm not very surprised because I have lots of Chinese friends. I personally prefer Thai food, but that's just me. My favorite Thai dish is either pad thai (wide rice noodles in sweet yummy sauce with veggies and either tofu or chicken) or chicken satays with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. I don't know much about Chinese food because I never know when it's 'real' or Americanized. I do like Dim Sum though. I go to this place called Ming's and they serve tasty shrimp dumplings and BBQ pork buns.
Now, the results:
3 (25%)
3 (25%)
0 (0%)
4 (33%)
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
2 (16%)

Votes: 12

I'm sad that Vietnamese and Indian didn't get any votes because I also like their type of food, but I have never had a Korean meal, so I don't know if I would like it.