October 24, 2010

Magical Leek Soup

My local library had a book sale today, and I've been totally pumped up all day since I managed to snag a copy of Jacques Pepin's La Technique and Marcella Hazan's More Classic Italian Cooking for a buck each. Both have been in my wish list forever, so I can't wait to go through them.

Today's recipe is actually the Magical Leek Soup recipe from Mireille Guiliano's French Women Don't Get Fat. I first discovered the book years ago when I lived in Japan; it was one of the few English books that my local library carried. I normally would not have given it a second look since I don't believe in dieting, but I must admit that some of the recipes it contained did intrigue me enough to try them.

Magical Leek Soup
Serves one for the weekend
  • 2 lbs. leeks
  • Water to cover in a large pot
  1. Clean leeks (starts at the 4:30 mark if you want to watch the proper way to do this) and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut end of green parts leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)
  2. Put leeks in large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer with no lid for 20-30 minutes.
I like to eat mine with a dollop of organic, cold-pressed olive oil from my local Greek market. Sorry, no picture today. I was too hungry to wait!

October 18, 2010

Tapas-Style Shrimp

I've been in the mood for Cuban food ever since last Friday, so I decided to make Moros y Cristianos as part of my dinner. I decided to pair it with a shrimp dish I made up about a year ago in an effort to incorporate as much traditional Spanish flavors as I could in one dish. I normally serve it with a crusty bread so that I can use it to dip the flavored olive oil.

Tapas-Style Shrimp (print recipe)
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 4-8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet, smoked paprika
  • 1 chorizo, crumbled
  • parsley for garnish
  1. Heat the pan to high heat and pour in the olive oil.
  2. Saute the chorizo and garlic for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the shrimp and stir fry until almost fully pink.
  4. Add the smoked paprika and cook until the shrimps are fully cooked.
  5. Top with chopped parsley.

October 17, 2010

Bacon, Leek, and Sundried Tomato Quiche

Quiches are one of those meals that I like to make when I have various odds and ends in the fridge that I want to use up. I always have prepared frozen pie crust in my freezer and eggs in the fridge, so it's never a meal that I have to do any real planning for.

Bacon, Leek, and Sundried Tomato Quiche (print recipe)
  • Prepared frozen pie crust (9-inch)
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup asiago cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the bacon until slightly crispy. Crumble and put aside.
  3. Cook the leek in bacon fat until softened.
  4. Scatter the bacon, leek, sundried tomatoes, and asiago on the pie crust.
  5. Whisk together eggs, heavy cream, and herbes de provence. Carefully pour in the egg mixture on top.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 mins or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is slightly golden.
  7. Let cook for about 15 minutes before serving.

October 11, 2010

Japanese-Style Aioli

Despite the picture shown above, today's recipe is actually just for the aioli. I was in the mood for some takoyaki today when I realized that I didn't have any mayonnaise to go on top of it; however, since I wanted something a little different I decided to go with an aioli instead.

The usual aioli recipe doesn't contain sugar, but I wanted something a little closer to Japanese mayonnaise when I made this. Rice vinegar is less sour than most vinegars, but the end result still turned out quite tangy. If you prefer a sweeter flavor profile, cut down the vinegar to 1 tablespoon.

 Japanese-Style Aioli (print recipe)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Dash shichimi togarashi
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
  • 1 crushed garlic clove (up to 4 cloves, depending on taste)
  1. Put the yolks, shichimi togarashi, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, and rice vinegar in the container of a food processor or blender and turn the machine on. While it's running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream.
  2. When an emulsion forms you can add it a little faster. 
  3.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

October 3, 2010


The Food & Think blog reminded me that it's Leidens Ontzet today, so I wanted to try and make some hutspot to celebrate. Some of the recipe notes I found online seemed a bit concerned about the lack of taste however, so I decided to play around with it a bit and flavor it like a nikujaga due to it having a similar list of veggies.

Normally I wouldn't alter a recipe on the first try, but I distinctly remember my guidebook listing only Indonesian food during my last trip to Amsterdam.... 

Japanese-Style Hutspot (Print Recipe)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp hon dashi 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Cut the potatoes and carrots into small cubes. Thinly slice the onion.
  2. Saute the onion, carrots, and potatoes on high heat for a few minutes until the onions start to become translucent.
  3. Add the water and hon dashi. Let it boil.
  4. Lower the heat down to medium and add the rest of the ingredients. Let it cook uncovered for about twenty minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Turn off the heat and mash them together.