Sunday, September 1, 2013

An easy spagetti dish

This morning I watched an episode of Giada at home on the Food Channel, where Bobby Flay was invited as a guest to her home. They prepared a spaghetti dish that inspired a  quick scaled-down version I made for our dinner tonight.

Ingredients (1.5 to 2 servings):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 slices of bacon
2 small Roma tomato, or plum tomato
a little bit of basil (parsley or cilantro would be fine too)
a teaspoon hot chili paste or oil
chicken stock (1/3 cup), base or bouillon
a teaspoon of butter
some Parmesan cheese 

Prepare spagetti in a large pot of water. Add a table spoon full of salt to the water.

While the spaghetti is cooking:

Cut the bacon in the small pieces
Cut the tomatoes into bite site small pieces
Dice the garlic. You can smash the garlic after adding some kosher salt if you wish, like Bobby did in the show.
Dice the basil. You should have about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of basil after they are cut.
Hit up a sauce pan with 3 table spoon of olive oil.
Add the bacon, fry for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
Add the tomato.
Add the basil.
Add about a table spoon of black pepper.
Add a teaspoon of chili paste or oil. Any type would be fine. I love the Chinese Shechuan style chili paste, but Tabasco would be good too.
If you have chicken base or bouillon, add a teaspoon now.

At this time, your spaghetti should be ready. Take a sample bite and make sure they are just cook.
Pick up the spaghetti and put them right into the sauce pan. There is no need to worry about draining. We need the liquid.

If you haven't put in the chicken base, this is the time to add the chicken stock. Otherwise, just add 1/3 cup of the hot water into the noodle.

Mix them very well, and lower the cooking temperature. After about 1 minute, add some Parmesan cheese, and remove the pan from the stove. You are now ready to serve.

Add some black pepper, and more cheese if you feel like.

I guarantee you won't be needing any store bought pasta sauce any more in the future.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Simple Vanilla Pudding


25g Water (Room Temperature)
75g Sugar
25g Water (Hot or Boiling)

2 Large Eggs
50g Sugar
180g Milk
250g Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Use Google Search to convert from Metric to English measurements. Eg. 50g = ?oz
You would need glasses or bottles that are heat resistance to hold the final product.


Mix water at room temperature and sugar into a small pot. Heat it up over small flame.
The water takes some time to evaporate and eventually the sugar reappear in near solid form. After that it will melt and slowly turn into caramel. Do not let it become to dark. A light brown color is what you need.

Immediately turn off the flame and let it sit for about 1 minute. Pour in a few drops of hot water. Be very careful because the water will evaporate very quickly and cool down the caramel at the same time. Slowly add the remaining hot ware while stirring. The caramel should now turn darker than before. Let it cool down for another 2-3 minutes, and pour a little bit of them into the final glasses or bottles where your pudding is going into. About 1/2 cm  or 1/4 inch is what you need.

Bit the eggs until there are eventually just enough to mix the yolks and egg white.

Pour the milk, heavy cream and sugar into a pot. Heat it under small frame.

Stirr the mixture slowly until the sugar melts. Do not let the mixture boil.

Remove the mixture from the heat. Use a spatula and slowly drip a little bit of the mixture onto the egg. Do not do this too fast or the egg will cook. Continue doing this until about half the milk and cream mixture is mixed with the egg. You can now mix everything together in either container you were using.

This mixture is ready to go into the glasses or bottles you have prepared.

Heat up your oven to 320F, or 160C.

Prepare a deep over ware. An disposable roast pan would do. Add about 1cm deep of hot water into it. Put the glasses or bottles into roast pan.  Cover the glasses or bottles with aluminum foil.

Put the roast pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Once it is done baking, take it out from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes.

This pudding is best served cold. So it should go into the fridge for another hour at least.